Orange You Glad It’s Freezing Out?

No. The short and  simple answer to that question, for me at least, is no!

When I woke up in my apartment this morning, I was not unlike a groggy, angry bear who was forced out of hibernation too early.

I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant...

I was the opposite of a happy camper. I was an unhappy…. home-dweller.  It wasn’t pretty (as you can see.)

Lunchtime, though, did bring one happy winter reminder into my mind (and, later, into my belly):

The S&P Bears envy their juicy goodness

Navel oranges have made their way into the “cheap” season at my local grocery store, and the former-soccer player and future soccer-parent in me are both elated.

Last volleyball season, I can’t tell you the number of oranges I sliced and wore in my mouth like a neon smile while my teammates nibbled and looked on in confusion.  I flipping love oranges.

Stopping by the grocery store during lunch was also important because I needed some essentials.  Namely, veggies and sandwich thins.

Today after work, I have to head to Durham for some last minute preparations for the North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out Festival of BEERMAS along with some other errands, so I won’t be able to enjoy a home-cooked dinner like I am fond of doing.  Luckily, a can drain and a few chops into lunch, I had prepared both my midday meal and my evening ingredients.

La Banderita for the senorita!

For the lunch version, I whipped up some  tuna salad with low-fat mayo, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  With enough veggies stuffed inside of a wrap, a can of tuna can definitely make two sandwich “innards” for me, so this worked out perfectly.

ALSO, the La Banderita low-carb, low fat tortillas were a discovery of mine when I first started Weight Watchers, and I’ve sworn by them ever since.  With 81 calories, 6 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of fat, they are absolutely a staple in my household, especially for taco nights or quesadilla feasts.

Anyway, the final product was a very colorful wrap with spinach, tuna, avocado, tomato, cucumbers, and a final dusting of the (now empty) bag of Crackerful chips from my Foodie Penpal of November (sad to see them go…)

The giant looms over her meal, ready to pounce

My shadow over the food means I was starving and, promptly after this photo was snapped, scarfed my food down whilst watching Top Chef: Texas.  On the side were some steamed green beans/carrots with a butter sauce and some cranberries, from a frozen pack that was just waiting for me to eat them up.

I took the leftovers of this meal and turned it into a sandwich form for the evening realizing that, while I don’t love to go three meals in a row with the same food, two for me is pretty normal.  I realized long ago that cooking single serving meals was a pain, expensive, and a little depressing.

Now, when I’m in the kitchen roasting up enough vegetables for a small village, I pretend that maybe that village is coming over for dinner. (Fact: They never do, so I just eat their portions gradually over time.)

I’ve got a bag of goodies for later loaded with an orange, a sandwich, and some green beans, ready to take on whatever Durham’s got to give.  And, despite the freezing temperatures (of 50 degrees. I’m a weakling when it comes to temperature), I plan on finishing out No Heat November in style, orange in hand.

And in just two days, I’ll be starting off December the best way possible.  Suds and Santa style!

Just call me Santa's Little Helper

Do you have any fruits/veggies that you anxiously await for each year?

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A Little Spice is NICE! November Foodie Penpal!

Hey there friends and neighbors!

My first day back from the long weekend was actually a half-day, as I received a mere 3 hours of sleep on Sunday night. The combination of an early flight, puppy hair inhalation (resulting in a restless night of sneezing), and a last minute visit from the beau, along with a rather chatty early morning airplane crew and I was plum tuckered out. Zombie Jordan is not a productive employee, so I took some sick time to replenish my slumber funds.  Voila, a new woman!

And, waiting for me, was a delicious package, most of which I’ve been holding back on due to frequent trips and traveling.  Lisa from The Healthy Diaries was my lovely Foodie Penpal for this month!!  And little miss Lisa spoiled me rotten.

(In case you’re late in the game, check out my packages from Allie in September and Laura in October.)

Lisa’s package was the full Monty.

Holy DELICIOUS!

I’ll admit, I love that the majority of my packages have been savory and delicious.  While sweet treats are fun, I can’t help but follow my spicy and salty nature…. and it’s led to some AMAZING sauces, dips, and flavors in my mouth.

In my package:

Be still my savory-lovin’ heart!

My regular post-workout snack has been the crackers dipped in the Pepper Jelly. Or, really, my anytime-at-all snack. I’m addicted to the pepper jelly. I want it slathered on my lips like chapstick. But, in the meantime, it makes for a great base of a egg-cheddar-pepper jelly sammy!!

Match made in heaven (egg not pictured)

And for Monday night’s meal, a total treat:

Skillet Sauce, anyone?

Just a little sauteed onions, browned chicken, and some skillet sauce, and I had myself the makings for a totally delightful dinner.

This skillet sauce adds flavor to the most basic of ingredients, and couldn’t have been simpler.  Toss some of the mix on top of a salad base consisting of spinach, avocado, tomato, salsa, and a bit of cheese… Perfecto!

El Gigante

I’ll admit, I’ve got an aversion to Mustard (should’ve mentioned that in my email! woops), but I’m sure I’ll find a use for it in the future. And the next day I grab some serious avocados, you bet I’ll be getting my guac fix.

Thank you, Lisa, you palate-pensive penpal! You nailed my taste, and freshened up my kitchen in a time of need (after traveling so much, my cupboards were virtually bare!)

A penpal in need is a penpal, indeed.

If you’re curious about what I sent to Lindsay, check it out at The Lean Green Bean’s Foodie Penpal post!! (She’s the lady that organized this whole shebang, so I felt like I was writing poetry for Shakespeare or sending Bumpits to Snookie).

Thanks, Jordan, but I think I got this.

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. *US Residents only please at this time- hopefully we can expand soon!*

If you’re interested in participating for December, please send  an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com  by December 4th and include the following information:

-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)

Maybe you’ll get a sexy package from MOI! or be able to send me one!! And, tis the season… It’s better to give than receive, right?

I do love making holiday themed packages, too! Oooh lala.

Six Pack Sunday: Thanksgiving Hangover

Ah, the post-Thanksgiving hangover.  It’s not really a booze hangover, as much as it’s an “Overeating, overdrinking, under-workingout, miss-my-family-alread” hangover.  And I’m feeling it (though I don’t actually leave until tomorrow morning.)

The boys have started trickling back to their respective towns (I’m the eldest of five kids, 3 brothers, 1 sister) and the relative quiet in the house is setting in. Yes, there’s still my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother, two dogs, and a turtle with me…. but you know what I mean.

It’s been a busy weekend, and though I didn’t take my camera out too much, I managed to snap a few bits and pieces for this week’s Six Pack Sunday.

Six Pack Sunday: Thanksgiving Hangover

1. Pretzel Perfection

Hear that chorus of angels?

I never ever eat pretzels in North Carolina. It’s just not something I’ll go out and get for myself.

In Pennsylvania, though, all bets are off. When I’m around Snyder’s hard pretzels, I can’t control myself. And the twist in the middle of the pretzel…. if anyone says that’s not the best part, they’re just sitting on a throne of LIES!

2. Sipping on Small Business Saturday 

Wanna get more customers in the store on Small Business Saturday?

Mimo party!!

Offer free mimosas to customers.

Bonus perk: they drink a few, maybe they get a little looser with their moneys.  Win-win, all around.

3. S’more-tini!!

Bottoms up!

Inspired by the ever-wise Jessica’s recipe, and an airplane bottle of Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow vodka, I enjoyed a s’moretini on Friday night.

If you like your booze to taste like a campfire treat, make these. ASAP.

4. Booty Bump

Did anyone but me miss this story until just today?

Holy moly

This woman in Miami tried to get a butt implant on the cheap from a Fake Doctor named Oneal Ron Morris, who filled her butt with super glue, tire sealant, and cement for $700.

Very very scary stuff.  Folks, if you decide to get major surgery on your body, and someone is willing to “make a deal” with you, you should probably see the red flags and head for the hills.

5. Remember the Memories

Good ol' tree

My aunt, who hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year, actually lives in my old neighborhood in Delaware that I lived in from birth until about age 10.  Of course, we had to sneak over to my old house and give a hug to the tree outside of it.

Totally normal, yeah?

6. Mother-Daughter Piercing Party

Clearly having a blast

My mom and I have sort of made a tradition in the recent history of getting pierced together. It’s like we egg each other on and WHAM, my eyebrow’s pierced.

Well, this Saturday, we took a walk around downtown West Chester, PA and stumbled across High Rollers Tattoo, which received glowing reviews on Yelp.

After signing a few waivers, holding each others hands for pain transmission, and admiring our new bling, we were done!

Hoop de loop

We each got the “helix” piercing, prompting my mom to call us a Double Helix.

Now you know where I get my sense of humor.

Did you have any exciting family adventures this weekend? 

How about any impromptu piercings? No? Just me?

 

Black Friday: Thanks, but No Thanks

Hope that y’all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! And, to those of you who were brave enough to venture to the sales last night/this morning, I salute you.

And, if you were in line last night around 9:30, I may or may not have made fun of you.  Well, not really made fun of you. More like… had my brother drive me past you as I recorded the chaos.

Super Target! Super Line!

No shame in that game, though, but I managed to get the camera I was hoping for online this morning without camping out with a Snuggie and a bag of snacks.  Whew.

While I was online, searching for my personal shopping needs, I stumbled upon a few choice items that, while unique, might not make me super happy if I found them under the tree this year.

Hoot, hoot!

For just $50, you, too, can look like a total lunatic. This “Owl Buddy” from Urban Outfitters matches perfectly with platform shoes that the model is showing off, so maybe if you’re headed out to the discotheque this year, but you wanna stay warm, you know where to go to pick up your gear!

$12 for the bear, $150 for the dentist’s office

This year, why not do yourself and your loved ones a favor and don’t buy them the 8″ tall nearly 2″ thick gummy bear from Fred Flare.

Then again, if your mother is a dentist or your family invested heavily in floss companies, by all means, get a dozen of these to hand out at the office.

Ummm.

Plush Bonsai Kitty.

Not ok.

Half a Glass? NEVER!

The Half Full Optimist’s Glass, to me, is really just half of a glass that takes up the space of a full glass. And I like full beers. I wanna drink them all. This glass hinders my ability.

Rude.

What’s the silliest gift you’ve ever received?

Word-short (Dark) Wednesday

Hey folks!! Glad you enjoyed my Thanksgiving DOs and DON’Ts from yesterday, I’m so hyped for Thanksgiving but, with packing and working and traveling, I only have a bit of time to blog.  Here are some of the best things on my Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday.

Stormy Day for Beer Lovers

Since I’m not in Pennsylvania yet, my baby brother, Connor, is doing me a HUGE favor and picking up some of Victory Brewing Company’s Dark Intrigue, a bourbon aged Russian Imperial Stout, which has been hyped up for the past month or so. It’s pouring rain there, and he’ll eventually be out there for over an hour for Dark Wednesday, the epic release of the beer!

That’s love, right there.

Ch-Ch-Ch-CHIA!

Since I’m traveling tonight on one of the (or is it THE) busiest travel days of the year, I knew I wouldn’t have time after work for fitness. So I woke up bright and early this morning and head over to crank out a quick half hour on the elliptical.  Early morning workouts, while leaving me sweaty and out of breath in the AM, are the BEST because you start the day off in such good spirits!!

Also, when you have a recovery drink of Drink Chia, it’s that much better. The folks at Drink Chia (who I actually met during the Healthy Living Summit Cocktail Party ) were kind enough to send me some of their new Mango Tangerine Drink Chia (along with their classic other flavors) and, I must admit, the new flavor is definitely my favorite. With only 40 calories and 4 grams of sugar, it’s like a dessert smoothie with the benefits of antioxidants, omega-3, and all that good stuff.

First class, baby!

Just in time for Thanksgiving weekend, I received my A-List card from Southwest in the mail today!

No lengthy lines for this girl (MUCH more important in Philly than in Raleigh Durham airport).

I feel like a baller.

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving?

What would you wait in a rainy line for?

Thanksgiving DOs and DON’Ts

Good day to you all, and TGIT(before Thanksgiving!)  If you’re as excited about the holiday season as I am (but don’t want to unload all your bank accounts to fund it), check out my Guest Post over at Cynthia‘s blog titled: Rich Girl Living on a Poor Girl Budget!  Curious how I afford my LAVISH lifestyle?  Well ALL is revealed (almost. There’s nothing about the magic beans I got from that shifty salesman when I was a young lass.)

I’m so thankful. This time in two days, I’ll be at home, with my family, maybe even helping out with some sort of recipe. Or maybe I’ll be on our annual Turkey trot (since my family of 7 is made up of a chunk of late sleepers). And, while I’ve had a fantastic past few Thanksgivings with family and friends, this year I’ve decided to make sure that I maximize my Turkey day without feeling awful and sluggish for the next few days. Or weeks. Because yes, that’s happened before.

DON’T get in an accident halfway through your 12 hour ride to Thanksgiving dinner and have to rent a car on Thanksgiving day. 

Uh Oh.

Last year, Ryan and I managed to burst a tire 20 miles outside of Sevierville, TN. 6 hours from our starting point. 6 hours from our destination. On Wednesday night, before Thanksgiving.

You know what aren’t open on Thanksgiving?

98% of rental car places.

A 50 minute cab ride to the airport later, and an all-out, temper tantrum (by me), we got a rental car and THANKSGIVING WAS SAVED!!

DO be able to laugh about it when things go wrong

Oh, Dolly.

In case you weren’t aware, Sevierville, TN is the home of Dolly Parton.

So yeah, if you get stuck, make a new friend! Even if she’s a cardboard cutout of Dolly Parton. Roll with the punches, life’s full of them.

DON’T feel obligated to buy butter in a seasonal shape

RIP Butter Turkey

There’s never any need for a giant thing of butter in the shape of a turkey. And you’ll feel like you have to finish it on Thanksgiving. It’s ridiculous (and hilarious), but spend that money on a sweet turkey shaped…. hat or something.  The hat is much lower in cholesterol.

DO deep fry, smoke, and roast turkeys

Turkey Smorgasbord!

If you can, try a smoked turkey. Try a deep fried turkey. Eat roasted turkey.

They’re all delicious. And all SO different!! Love those turkey options.

DON’T eat every casserole in sight

Six casseroles. Sure, why not?

I think sweet potato casserole is my downfall.

Wait. Scratch that. ALL casseroles. I can’t even control myself. Note to family: If you see me going back for thirds of casserole, grab a wooden spoon and THWACK!

Then, get me a beer. Because that wooden spoon hurt.

DO try a little bit of all your favorites, on a PLATE!

I LOVE variety. I love tapas and appetizer samplers and so Thanksgiving is just my dream holiday. Turkey’s great, but so are mashed potatoes, and mac & cheese and buttery rolls and green beans and I like to try a little of everything. But make sure you limit yourself to what you enjoy on a plate. I’ve found that if I pick and nibble at things without putting them on my plate, I eat MUCH more.

Plate your victuals, and don’t go pickin!!

DON’T forget about dessert!

Pie in the Sky

While I’m no Ed Levine (Read: Don’t fantasize about an all-pie Thanksgiving), I do love pie. In fact, when I was 10, I won a pie-eating contest with pumpkin pie! The prize?

More food (namely a GIANT tub of caramel corn.)  Delicious.

DO spend as much time with your family/loved ones as possible!!

Sisters, Aunts, Cousins, Nieces

That’s what I’m most thankful for, without question.

And even though Ryan will be celebrating his family in Key West (hard knock life, right?) I’ll be thinking about how thankful I am to have such a great beau in my life! (Especially one that will brave Dolly Parton-land with me.)

What are your favorite parts about Thanksgiving?

Any Thanksgiving DO or DON’T you live by?

Luchadoras Attack Durham

I know, the title of this post is a bit misleading. I mentioned it in this week’s Six Pack Sunday so, if you read it, you already probably know that there weren’t actually droves of female masked wrestlers attacking innocent strangers on the mean streets of the Dirty D.

There were, however, some gorgeous masked ladies who invaded the ring at Motorco, one of Durham’s most unique and excellent venues. Serving quite a number of yummy beers, craft and otherwise, this music hall hosts everything from aerial performers to local bands to viewings of cult classics like The Big Lebowski. On Saturday, starting at noon, they went in a different route: Durham’s first Luchadoras extravaganza.  For $5, with all of the proceeds going toward grassroots food justice efforts in Durham, NC, how could I say no?

Going wild!

The folks of Durham came out en masse to cheer on these masked misses, and after grabbing two beers, Ryan and I joined the horde.  The first battle paired up two ladies , and the story was that one… maybe poisoned the friend of another…. who wanted to demask the first… for honor and shame?

I’ll be honest, the Legends behind the Luchadoras are complicated, dramatic, and crazy!! There’s so much intrigue and, considering most of the names were in another language, I struggled to keep up.

Baxter, you know I don’t speak Spanish.

After watching the villainess get demasked and shouting SHAAAAAMEEEE with my fellow enthusiasts, it was  time for a little audience participation.  The announcers, who were hype and hilarious (and struggled to not laugh at the whole shebang themselves), called for 4 female volunteers to come up to the stage.  There were a couple of quiet minutes as everyone looked at one another, wondering what it was for and why they needed these ladies?  Body painting? Date auction? Virgin sacrifice?

Of course, I waltzed up to the stage. How could I say no to one of those options?

Advance apologies for bad picture quality...

After placing the four women in the ring on each corner, they announced that we’d be battling it out for a handmade luchadoras mask of our very own!  At this point, the gloves came off. Well, in my case, the glasses did, as I handed them to a friendly stranger on the side for safe keeping.

God as my witness, I was going to get that mask.

Luckily, my three opponents were itty bitty women. I’d say none was taller than 5’6″, weighing no more than 130 lbs soaking wet. Realistically, they didn’t stand a chance.

As the mask dropped on the ring, our bodies hit the floor. I knew I had a quality grasp on the mask right when I touched it, but so did at least two other women. My strategy? Box them out with my body.  This involved (but was not limited to):

  • Rolling around
  • Trying to flip my butt on them
  • Jamming my shoulder into their body
  • Creating a body cocoon around the mask, forcing the women to get too close to me, feel awkward, and let go

I’m not sure which was the straw that broke the lucha’s back, but the last woman finally dropped and I was declared the winner.

WINNAH!! (Pictured with Juicy Booty)

To the victor goes the spoils: A killer luchadoras mask and pride that spans a lifetime.

Battle Scars

Also to the victor go the wounds: scratches on the neck, 3 nail digs on the knuckles, a really sore neck and TWO earrings yanked out.

We weren’t messing around.

I also must not forget the fact that I pretty much mooned the entire crowd. Since I wasn’t planning on battling for honor, I may have mistakenly rocked a pair of super low-rise skinny jeans which did a great job of sneaking below the crack quite a few times.

At least I was wearing cute undies?

Smack that booty!

These women were totally bad@ss. They were exciting, they were dramatic, and I’d be lucky to be in their ranks.  Which is why I gave the “scout” my card, in case he needs La Glamazon to come put some princesses in their places.

At least he knows I can take a beating.

Ever been in a physical fight?

How do you feel about professional wrestling?

Six Pack Sunday: Laughter, Lager, and Luchadoras

Good afternoon, campers!!

It’s Sunday and, though I spent last night relaxing, my neck and booty are incredibly sore.  More on that in a moment.

This weekend was particularly special because my beau, Ryan, decided to semi-surprise me by visiting!!  It was such a treat to have him back in our little nest and we managed to have a stellar weekend so far.  The major points of this weekend that will be featured in the Six Pack Sunday for the week? Laughter, lager, and luchadoras.

1. Yeti: It’s what’s for dinner?

Gotta keep that yeti from spoiling

We spotted this little gem outside of the local grocery store. And I couldn’t help but snap a shot, probably because of the mental picture that I got after seeing it. Imagine a young hunter killing her first Yeti. She wanted to bring it home, and was nervous it would spoil before she could tote it back for Thanksgiving dinner with the family.

Thank goodness she picked up the specialized Yeti Cooler: Now, with more space for chunks of yeti than EVER BEFORE.

Hilarious to me. Ryan was less amused.

2.  Toast King Queen

Cheers to the freaking weekend?

I’m a pretty generous lady with my toasts, apparently, as identified by my newest badge on Untappd  (friend me!) I have to wonder, though, if there’s any way that Untappd could make gender specific badges. It’d probably be a little extra work on the front end, but I’ll admit, I wish that I was badged the “Toast Queen” badge instead of the Toast King.

Just saying, Untappd, as noted by all those Girls’ Pint Out chapters popping up, ladies are drinking (and toasting) a lot, too!! Show us some love?

3. Luchadoras Lovin’

Hard Earned Mask? Get on my level.

I’ll save most of the gory details from this event for another post…. but I fought 3 women in a ring to earn my own luchadoras mask. And I haven’t ever been so sore from a 2 minute event in my life. Even though none of the other women were more than 5’6″ (I’m estimating), they fought like little ankle-biters. It was a rough battle, but Jordan came out on top.

I also may have mooned the entire crowd.

Note to self: Low-rise jeans are NOT the best attire for a wrestling match.

4. Sam Adams Chocolate Cherry Bock!

Smooth and delightful!

Rockfish’s Rare Beer Fridays are managing to make me a twice-a-week regular at the bar.  And this week’s tapping was Sam Adams’ Chocolate Cherry Bock!  I’ve never actually even tried their Chocolate Bock  before, but this beer (as my friend, Michael pointed out) tasted just like a chocolate covered cherry. And, while that may not be up some beer drinkers’ alleys, it was like a decadent dessert for me.  Loved it, though I probably couldn’t drink many more than the one!!

5. Draft & Dogs!

Chorizo Dog for m'lady?

If you live in the Triangle area, GET TO DRAFT! Located in Raleigh, this spot is known for it’s burgers and beers. But I went for cheers and chorizo.  This dog was only $6, and was made of chorizo with chimichurri & grilled peppers.  Also, on Wednesday, their giant pilsner glasses are only $5!  Since I live pretty far away, I only enjoyed the one beer and the dog, but it was a delight on my palate!

Mmmm beer.

6. True Love

 

Did I mention that Ryan offered to be my trainer for all future wrestling matches?

Nothing says love quite like a grapple rope shoulder slam combo.

 

 

Daddy Dearest

We just found out that we have the day after Thanksgiving off for a holiday. I consider this an early Christmas gift so, in turn, as much as I am ashamed to admit it, my mind decided to make the connection to Christmas through song.

I’ve been singing (in my head) (mostly) “All I Want for Christmas” since we found out.  Please, don’t ban me from my favorite store, Nordstrom!

But honestly, this blessing may seem small to some, but when you live hundreds of miles from your immediate family members, every day is precious, especially around the holidays. And, in less than a week, I’ll be going home to my favorite people on the planet.  But there’s one in particular that I’d like to focus on today.

So Professional, yeah?

My daddio. He’s kind of absolutely a big deal in the movers and shakers of the courtroom, and I’m proud to say he’s been on the “Best of” for his profession for the past three years.  But that’s just stuff you can find out from a quick Google search. So I’ll spare you all.  I’m here to write about the man that I’ve known and loved longer than any other.

One heck of a family portrait

To the man who had five kids in 9 years, and served as a human jungle gym as we scurried and climbed all over him, trying to claim “king of the mountain” on our father.  I swear, growing up, I was certain he had extra arms, because he was always holding one of our hands or carrying another or adjusting the one that was on his back.  He’s such a pro, you’d swear he majored in “baby juggling” at school.

A perfect match

To the man that makes my mom happy every single day. The one that texts her a little love note in the morning, just about every morning. The one that searches high and low to find her the perfect present for Christmas and birthdays (even if I botch it and suggest that the “perfect present” is a dessert tray. Oops, sorry mom!)

Proud of his girl

To the guy that looks at his wife the way teenage boys look at the girl they’re taking to prom. It’s like he sees her and thinks, “WOW! How did I get so lucky?!”

I’ve never seen him prouder than the night of her Grad Party celebrating her graduation from grad school.

Tar Heel BABY!

Wait. I may have seen him prouder, and that’s when I graduated from UNC. He’s the man that supports his family without question, in any and every way possible.

His hours at the work are nothing compared to the hours he spent driving us to tournaments, cheering us from the bleachers as we swam, spiked, dribbled, blocked, and shot. He’s our number one fan, and I always worked a little harder when I heard him shout “GO JORDY!!”

Family Fun

Here’s to the guy who taught me that family comes first. The one who drives two hours to pick his mom up and bring her home when Hurricane Irene is on the horizon. The one who cares for his nieces and nephews like they’re his own, and the man who made every Christmas morning magical.  This is honoring the guy whose handwriting looks EERILY similar to Santa’s and the Toothfairy’s (a conclusion I didn’t reach for years upon years.)

Get you some, Daddy!

Here’s to the guy who everyone would describe as serious and straight laced, but the one that taught us that, when there’s a song you love, you’d better dance your face off.

Looks like it rubbed off, eh?

Bros Dads Icing Bros?

To the man who iced his son.

I’ll never forget that moment.

Here’s to the trunk of my family tree, my Dad. The one who was there when I was born, the one I look forward to one day walking down the aisle with, and the one who’s turned from a father to so much more, to one of my best friends.

Happy Birthday, Dad, and thanks for everything!!

I LOVE YOU!

The Grossest Parts of a Healthy Lifestyle

**HEADS UP!! This post talks about some gross stuff like bodily functions and fluids. If you’re not into that, go look at this video about Catvertising**

Hey there folks!!

I know I’ve been a bit of a jet setter lately. In fact, I just formally received my A-List Status from Southwest Airlines thanks, in part, to my glorious Chicago trip this weekend!  All that flying can really wear a girl out, though, so I took Monday off from the gym.

Yesterday, I decided to go back and MAN, I was feeling it!  It was sweaty, it was hot (I think NC got up to 77 degrees last night!) and it just felt great.  It got me to thinking a bit, though, about all that goes into this whole “Healthy Living” stuff.  And as much as I wish I could live off cocktails, oysters, and rich scallops every day, the fact of the matter is that I made a conscious decision to live better, be healthier, and that’s what I’ll do (despite the temporary setbacks).  While it’s helped me lose weight and feel awesome, it’s not all glitz and glamor, though. In fact, there are some aspects of “Healthy Living” that are just plain gross.  So I’ve decided to share with you all

The Top 5 Grossest Parts of a Healthy Lifestyle (at least for me)

1. Realization

Afternoon Snack? Why not?

I’ll admit, my former eating habits never felt exactly “healthy” but, most of the time, I just didn’t even think about it.  When you decide to make a change to eating better, though, you have to take stock of what you are eating.  And that initial “stock taking”… to begin with, that’s already pretty gross.

Splitting a large pepperoni pizza used to be the norm. Not a homemade one, either. A greasy, cheesy gooey delivery pizza which left me lazy as a loaf.  The chemicals, the preservatives, the sheer volume of calories and fat that I was putting in my mouth… No wonder I spent the first year after college basically shutting down my body.  In the winter, I hibernated. I was like a chubby bear. The realization of what you put in your body before you decided to take control…. gross, shocking and gross.

2. Fun With Fiber

Sweet Beany Goodness

When I first started Weight Watchers, there was a focus on fiber content in food. It actually went into the equation to figure out the point value of foods. And man, I was all about it. Fiber One cereal, black beans galore, the occasional Metamucil, bran, oats, why not?

Well, as I’m sure some of you are PAINFULLY aware, there’s a song about what happens:

Beans, beans, the magical fruit… the more you eat, the more you poot! (or toot)

Fiber makes you poot. And also, it makes you poop.

There’s no better way to put it. And when my old diet used to consist of carbs on carbs on cheese on carbs, pooping wasn’t exactly something I thought about all the time.

Fiber leads to pooping. And sometimes, that’s gross. Overdo it on fiber, and you may overdo it on pooping. Or at least pooting. And I’m not a doctor or anything, so I don’t have fancy words to say it better than that. Try to find the balance that’s right for you and you can avoid being that stinky (healthy!) person that no one wants to hang out with for fear you’d trample over them on the way to the bathroom.

3. Texture Trouble

Oh yes, they’re oats. (Click on link for Vegan Homemade’s post)

No offense to anyone who loves them, but overnight oats look gross. Chia pudding looks gross.  The texture in some of these healthy foods…. is gross.  Cottage cheese, riced cauliflower, I looked through my photos to see if I had a picture of these from my own files.

I didn’t.

Because they look gross.

The texture of these foods may not be incredibly appealing. That being said, their texture does nothing to detract from their tastiness (though I’m still holding out on cottage cheese). But man, the texture… it took me a while to get over it. Blech.  Oh well.

4. Asparagus Pee

Since I’ve already written about how frequently you pee when you guzzle water like it’s going out of style (as well as some ways to keep yourself busy in the bathroom!), I figured I should focus on another pee-related topic.

Asparagus pee!

I love asparagus.Asparagus is great for detoxifying, it reduces pain and inflammation, can reduce the risk of heart disease, and is just plain good for you.

I love the flavor, I love it roasted, I love it sauteed, I love it steamed, I’ve even had it fried and loved the HECK out of it.  But no matter how you prepare it, the next time you pee, it’s stinky.  It’s a fact of life.  Put asparagus in, get stinky pee out.  Basic math, really.

At the end of the day, though, the benefits of asparagus far outweigh the bummer of asparagus pee.  And really, it’s nothing a quick flush can’t fix.

5. Sweat, baby, sweat, baby!

Drenched

It wasn’t until I started working out REALLY hard that I realized it.

You sweat everywhere!

This is not ground-shaking, mind-boggling news. It’s just that I didn’t really think about it before.  I’ve been to fitness classes where I’m pretty sure my ears have sweat coming from the lobes. For me, the most drenched area (and thus, the stem of my love for capris) is the shin region. I don’t know why, but my shins just pour perspiration. No amount of antiperspirant will prevent me from “pitting out, ” so why bother?  As long as you’re not stinky (does asparagus make your sweat smell , too?) it’s just part of being a human. But group classes and killer workouts have definitely made laundry day come around much more frequently in my household.  An easy price to pay for a fitter future, but gross, nonetheless.

Since I’m not a runner, I’ve never had to deal with bladder control during a race BUT let’s just say that, if peeing your pants is cool, consider Lauren Miles Davis (that’s definitely HER story to share!)

Do you have any particularly gross aspects of your own healthy lifestyle that you’ve learned to embrace?