Six Pack Sunday: Enjoy the Ride

We’re coming to the end of an era, folks.  By we, I mean the royal we, as in only I am. But you probably know what I’m saying.

I’ve got 2ish days left until my Costa Rica trip.

5 days left in the office.

12 days left until an epic Florida vacation with Ryan’s family.

And 18ish days left until I make my move (the first part, at least) to the shore for the month of July.


Until then, I’m going to take the advice of my friends over at New Belgium Brewery and Enjoy the Ride.  So that’s what this week’s Six Pack Sunday is all about!

(PS read through all six for a HUGE surprise at the end! Unless you follow me on Twitter, then it’s less surprising.)

1. Soaking Up the Sun (or the rain?)

So yeah, that Costa Rica trip? Here’s the forecast:

Lookin’ GOOD!

I’ll be honest, though. It could rain every second of the trip and I’m sure I’ll have a blast. I’ll be with my best friend, going on all sorts of adventures.

That being said, cross your fingers, your toes, your legs, your hair (maybe braid it?) that it clears up.  Because we ladies like to get some sunshine now and then.

Recreating our favorite 2005 photo op

2. A Fond Farewell

I had to say farewell to my favorite Zumba instructor of all time (guess what color she was!), Aaron, this Tuesday. It was her last Tuesday class, and my last week at the gym. Though there’s a slim possibility I may take one last class with her, it still felt like goodbye.

She’s also the tiniest

I enjoyed every class I’ve ever taken with her, and wherever she teaches next is getting on hell of a instructor!  Instead of dwelling on the sadness, we rocked out an excellent booty shaking class. Obviously, this sweaty picture was snapped after class.

3. New(new) Lulu

Isn’t it… beautiful?

So lululemon has a new location.  AND it’s virtually in my backyard.  The Durham lululemon just opened up on Friday.  And I may have visited two times already.  I’ve been working very hard the past few weeks on the Healthiest You Challenge, so instead of freaking about the cost, I decided to reward myself with some goodies.

The second time, I walked out with a brand new pair of reversible groove shorts and scoop neck tank (in a pattern not shown on the website. It’s rather adorable, so I’m sure I’ll show it off soon.)

4. Spades Spaz

I played Spades for the first time last night. And my first hand may have been the worst hand known to mankind.

Spells trouble

Luckily, the my partner and I rallied and this newb totally WON her first game ever! It got a little intense, but I managed to let the competitive monster that lives inside of me take the night off in favor of just having fun.  And it paid off.  I liked it. More mellow (but I still won.)

5. Frat So Hard

What happens when a bunch of St. Anthony Hall members live in the Triangle?

We inevitably find the frattiest place in Chapel Hill and invade it en masse.

I literally almost bumped into some of my brothers at the Carolina Inn’s Fridays on the Front Porch, and even though they all hail from Ole Miss, they found their way to our little Southern Part of Heaven.  I love Chapel Hill.

6. I won a bike.

Wait. Let me fix that.


Oh yes, you will be mine.

New Belgium’s Enjoy the Ride campaign encouraged their followers to tweet a story that embodied the “Enjoy the Ride” slogan.  And so I did just that.

foodsweatnbeers: It was the end of the boardwalk, but the beginning of ride. Sisters, sweat, sand, and sun. #EnjoyTheRide @newbelgium

Guess who won the first bike of the campaign?!?!?!?!


That’s a shot from me at last year’s Tour de Fat in Durham. And as a lover of New Belgium AND bikes, I couldn’t be more excited!! Stay tuned for tales of me cruising the shore on the flyest bike in the world.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever won?

Because this bike definitely takes the cake for me.

Do you like card games? Board games? Mind games?

Two-a-Days and the Results

The past two days, I’ve doubled up on my workouts.

Zumba + yoga on Tuesday had me feeling like this:

So Zen, so happy.

Zumba + Pilates yesterday had me feeling the burn in my thighs. But, at the time of the class, I was feeling long and lean and lovely. Like this:

Am I the only one that thinks all this equipment looks like some sort of crazy Fifty Shades kinda sex room?

However, this morning, I’m pretty sure my legs feel like this:

So heavy. Not Zen.

In case you’re not as interested in piping as I am, those are lead pipes.

Oh walking, you’re gonna be tough today.

Do you ever double up on workouts? 

I was feeling like a champ…. until I got outta bed this morning. Oy VAY!

The Hazards of Being Fabulous

I know, I know, it seems like all I talk about these days is Zumba. How I dress for it, how much I love it, how great it is. Whatever, old news, right?

Well, did you ever know how dangerous Zumba can be?

It’s risky to shake it as hard as I do, sometimes.

Let me explain.

Certain instructors like to split the room in half and work the room in a dance-off. A battle of epic, Step Up proportions. And these are excellent times. On Monday, I visited Women’s Only Workout in Chapel Hill for the first time (membership is a perk from the Healthiest You Challenge). I figured I’d tour it and try a Zumba class.  Only my fellow participants weren’t exactly as hyped up as I’m used to. While I was hooting and hollering, they were sort of silent coyotes, dancing without words.  So, when the room was split up, the instructor called me out.

Instructor: “Who do you Zumba with? Like, who taught you?”

Me: “Oh, goodness, like… any and every instructor, really.”

Instructor: “Well, class, you gotta Zumba like THIS GIRL! Get into it, let’s hear some noise!”

Me – “Challenge ACCEPTED.”

That was a challenge, right? So I decided to REALLY bring it.

The side vs. side dance-off began simply enough, lots of shaking and shimmying.

Then, we took it to the next level. We’re talking booty-popping, locking, and dropping.  So I decided to top it off with a grand finale, guaranteed to garner cheers and joy from my fellow Zumb-ers.

After shaking my way to the center, I thrust my hand in the air (like so):

You know what’s coming

Then, in an epic gesture, I dropped it low and SMACKED the floor. Like this:


And, the moment I spanked the living daylights out of that floor, I felt it.  Right in my hand, a searing pain that one might expect to get had they slapped a brick wall for sassing them, or had their hands rapped with rulers for being snarky in school.  So, I continued to dance as the crowd roared with laughter and cheering and claps.  But what I WANTED to do was this:


The result?

Hand bruises are no jokes, y’all.

What did we learn from today’s lesson, friends?

Winning a Zumba dance off is worth any and all pain.

I don’t regret a thing.

‘Cuz I’m Bossy

I don’t really like board games. And I hate bowling.  Mini golf, go-karts racing, and the like… They bring out this intense, competitive creature that normally lies dormant inside of me, and she’s kind of a jerk, so I tend to avoid them like the plague.

But there’s another activity that fills me with this unexpected aggression that you’d never see coming.

When I go to a new Zumba class, I feel like I am at my first day in prison. I can’t help but assert myself as the baddest bitch in the class. My claps are loud, my hips are bootylicious, and my steps are huge.

And I wear shirts like this:

Come at me, bro.

With Arnold by my side, you better believe I was the boss of yesterday’s class.

(I’m a crazy person.)


A Tale of Three Zumbas

I just love the heck out of some Zumba.  Apparently, this is abundantly clear to anyone who participates in class with me as, today, as I was leaving the gym, one woman came over, having just sweat next to me for an hour, and said,

I just love your enthusiasm and energy in the class! It really just makes me wanna work even harder!

I said thanks, letting her know that it meant a lot to me knowing I could contribute to the workout.  And I’ll admit, more often than not, I like to take zumba class seriously. When instructors say, “Oh, it’s just about having fun! Don’t worry if you don’t get the steps,” I say, “NAY! If it were PURELY about having fun, I’d be off at some discotheque with some cute skinny jeans and a bandeau under a tank top. Instead, it’s about getting my sweat on to some of my favorite jams, and incorporating pure joy into fitness.”

Ok, I don’t really say that, as I’m likely winded already and toweling sweat off my face and that’s a lot of words to say between water breaks.  But I do take it as seriously as I take any workout.

That is to say very seriously.

That’s why, today, I decided to look at three different Zumba experiences I’ve had in the month of March, with three different instructors, and investigate the differences.

Up first: Zumba Red

Colors = Different Instructors

This class, taught in the beginning of March, was by a instructor that I’ve come to dread.  If I’d never taken a class before, and she was my instructor, I might not know any better.  But I’ve taken dozens, from MANY different instructors, and I’ve become a bit of a snob.  Instructor Red takes things easy. While she occasionally mentions the higher level options, she rarely never demonstrates those options. She also sticks with the most traditional of the traditional Zumba songs. I’m talking almost entirely samba, salsa, and merengue. Sure, there’s the occasional hip hop or contemporary song, but it’s often the slowest of slow, and the moves are repetitive and uninspired.

I find myself having to invent my own “higher level options”, jumping when she steps, lunging when she leans. It’s a challenge to me, not to keep up with the instructor, but to keep making up ways to keep the workout exciting.  It’s a shame, I’m sure she has the best intentions, but she’s the kind of instructor that would be better suited for Zumba Gold. Also, I tend to like it when I can sing along with the music. When every song is in Spanish, I can’t. And that’s the worst.

If you look at the image, too, you can see the deep drops in heart rate. I love a little breather now and then but, when my heart rate dips to 120 and I’m not cooling down… that’s a little bit of a bummer for me. When I only have about an hour to work out, I like to get the most bang for my buck.

Zumba Blue

I’m pretty sure the initial spike up to 201 was a fluke, but I will say that the blue instructor always starts the class off with a bang. He (yup, it’s a dude!) teaches the most athletic Zumba class I’ve ever attended. There’s jumping, shaking, quick feet, and core work. But despite the variety of exercises, I am sweating the entire time. He probably plays the most “contemporary” music, with a lot less focus on the traditional Latin tunes. I know that’s not maybe the most kosher, but it helps me when I’m drenched and gasping for breath to at least be able to say the words of the songs in my head.  Also, one of his favorite songs to play?

That’s right, the hit song from the Madagascar 2 soundtrack.  Listen to it, and you’ll be able to imagine the booty shaking and thrusting that goes on in this song.  I LOVE it.

It doesn’t hurt that he’s nice to look at, but that’s neither here nor there.

Zumba Yellow

Instructor Yellow is a firecracker. She’s a ray of light every day that I get to work out with her, and she fills the group fitness room with light (that’s why I chose yellow for her.) Mixing traditional Latin music and current songs, she is never afraid to challenge us with a song that doesn’t seem like a “Zumba” song. (Country Girl, anyone?) While there is never truly a “slow” song, she tends to feel the crowd out and throws in a slightly slower paced one every now and then if we’re huffing and puffing.

The thing I like the most about her, though, is she makes the class interactive. She invites the boys to the front of the class every now and then for a particularly booty-shaking-focused jam, she calls people out when they’re really rocking, and she always knows what to say to pump us up for a song. Also, unlike Instructor Blue who has a more athletic, though slightly jerky pace, she has a nicer flow than all the other instructors I’ve worked with in the past. She doesn’t restart songs if we aren’t dancing immediately when it starts (which I think can mess with the flow of the class) and, if she messes up, she always recovers with grace and a chuckle. She just seems at ease all of the time, while simultaneously making the class feel comfortable AND kicking our asses.  It takes a powerful character to accomplish all that at once but, despite being tiny, she packs a wollop!  You can tell if you look at the heart rate chart.  Woo, nelly, no joke!

It doesn’t hurt that her outfits are bright and exciting, making her a flash of color across the stage at the gym.  She’s just the best.  And when you find a Zumba instructor you click with, you just know.

What makes a group instructor particularly great in your opinion?

Skinnylicious and Zumba-tritious!

Hey hey folks, we made it to Wednesday!

Since I’m in the office for lunch, today, no No Pants Wednesday for me today…I enjoyed a few leftover chips and bread from our office holiday party for which, true to fashion, I was the only one that dressed up.

Old habits die hard.

Oh well, I think it was obvious that the holiday spirit was in everyone’s hearts as we ate our way through a MASSIVE catering by the Cheesecake Factory.

I normally steer clear of the giant Factory, known for it’s ENORMOUS portions and frying everything from zucchini to macaroni and cheese.  And I’ll admit, yesterday during lunch, I definitely over-indulged a little bit.  But by choosing a very healthy option from their “Skinnylicious Menu”, I managed to not feel too bloated after enjoying some of the shared appetizers (spinach artichoke dip and Tex Mex egg rolls).

I even had enough for a hearty dinner made of delicious leftovers.  Folks, I present about 2/3 of the Skinnylicious Grilled Salmon and Vegetables!


I scoped out the Skinnylicious Menu and found a bunch of (reasonably priced) healthier options and small plates that I think will definitely come in handy the next time I head to the Cheesecake Factory.  It was delicious, even reheated, and the (likely less-than healthy) dipping sauce on the side made everything even more tasty, creamy, and flavorful.

As for the Zumba-tritious…. well that’s gotta be the sore, sweaty feeling I felt after a particularly intense Zumba session at the gym!  There were actually 4 Zumba instructors in the class, though only one was the instructor, and, for some reason, I tend to get competitive when I feel like there are skilled folks in my group fitness classes.  Or if there’s a very tall lady, or a pregnant women. I don’t know, it’s a bad habit, but it’s the athlete inside of me and wants to win.

Luckily, since EVERYONE wins when we Zumba, I left feeling great.  I also left thinking about the most recent Zumba classes I’ve taken.  And I think I realized that, even though it’s supposed to be a “Latin dance inspired cardio workout”, I always prefer the songs that are less of a samba and more of a chance to dance like a crazy person.  So, in case you’re looking for a fun (short) dance party playlist, these are my three FAVORITE Zumba songs to dance to!

1. Jai Ho – The Pussycat Dolls

With a sweat-blasting pony step, sexy hip swirls, and Bollywood inspired moves, this song’s beat and tune always get me working harder/better/faster/stronger.

2. Waka Waka – Shakira

This official song of the FIFA World Cup always makes me want to kick a ball into a net, rip off my shirt, and show off my killer bod a la Brandi Chastain.


In the video, it’s very apparent that Shakira’s hips don’t lie, and the African chanting lend themselves so well to the lyrics:

You’re on the frontline
Everyone’s watching
You know it’s serious
We’re getting closer
This isnt over

If the little kids jumping all over the place in the video don’t inspire you, clearly you have no soul.

3.  Country Girl (Shake it for Me) – Luke Bryan

I think my family would disown me if they knew just how much I love country music. Clearly, my parents should’ve never let me go to school in North Carolina (oh, and falling for a Mississippi boy… I’m a walking cliche).

This song makes me wanna sweat the heck out of my achey brakey heart, eat some fried catfish, and grab some boots.

Mostly, I just look good in a cowboy hat.

What’s your favorite song to Zumba to?

Or, if you don’t Zumba, what’s your favorite song to workout to? That one tune that makes you push harder than anything else?

Ode to the Awkward

This post is very near and dear to my heart.

On Tuesday evening, I went to my third Pure Barre class (to see what I thought about my first one, check out my Pure Barre Breakdown).  As I mentioned before, the class may not be means for the tall people, the people who aren’t flexible, or the people without rock hard abs. But it’s a workout to kick your butt. You’ll leave drenched in sweat (or dripping actively on the barre all throughout. It takes all kinds, right?)

Something that I couldn’t help but notice, though, is it’s also a workout for the fashionistas. When you head over to the Pure Barre website, you’ll be treated to images like this one:

And they look so happy, right? (source is Pure Barre site)

Not surprisingly, when I attended my first class, everyone that joined me in the class was wearing…. well, they were wearing this. And I don’t just mean the compression black leggings, the signature purebarre socks and the slim-fitting tank tops. I mean the stone-cold looks on their faces as they tucked their hips, squeezed their fannies, and extended their elbows. I felt like the first class, as well as the one I took on Tuesday, was an hour long photo shoot that we were all supposed to have dressed for.  For comfort reasons, I wore this:

What? Not appropriate for the class? You all don't want celebratory Irish kisses as you squeeze a small ball between your thighs?

I caught myself huffing, puffing, dripping, and grunting, as I do in all group fitness classes. I’ve spoken before on group fitness etiquette and, as a huge fan of group fitness classes, I wanted to write an ode, a thank you of sorts. Not to the classes themselves, but to the people who take them. The people who take them that may not be wearing the right outfit, the folks who give me high fives when I run past them, the ones who can’t kick up to their heads like a rockette and the ones who haven’t the foggiest idea what this whole “rhythm” is.

The one thing I noticed in fitness classes, namely Zumba, BodyJam, Sh’Bam or any class related to rhythm and matching your bodies to the sweet beats blasting from the sound system, is that I have no dancing skills in my body. While other people were trying out contemporary jazz classes at their local dance studios, I spent my time doing lunge suicides and practicing soccer kicks [to no avail, as I sucked and continue to suck at soccer].

I’m not saying that this makes me unique.

But it does make my “dancing” look a lot less like the moves on Dancing with the Stars and a lot more like a jerky, athletic seizure.

Dance move or volleyball block? Now you don't have to choose.

So here’s to us, ladies and gents. The ones who work it out in class despite the fact that our hips do, in fact, lie. They lie and pretend they’re Shakira’s hips and, for a few brief minutes, we can pretend they are.

Waka Waka, nice moves, lady. (click for source)

Here’s to the silent awkward majority. When we go to BodyJam or Sh’Bam and they ask us to arabesque, our poses look something like this:

Is this what you meant? No? Well, I'll just keep doing it.

We won’t be able to do a 480 spin midair while we’re perspiring and rocking out to some new Pitbull remix, but we will work just as hard as any of you who can. When instructors ask me to pony step, chances are they assume that my kicking is an attempt at squishing some spider on the gym floor. 99% of the time, it’s not.

There was the great spider invasion of the YMCA Zumbathon Against Prostate Cancer in 2004, but we’ll forget that ever happened.

As a big thank you to all my fellow awkward weirdos out there, I want to promise you something.  As many overpriced exercise classes I go to, I will always dress in part-neon colors, part inappropriate shirts. They might even have a picture of me on them.

Ok, it's hard to tell, but this is ACTUALLY a shirt I own with a picture of myself on it.

If you feel like flailing like a lunatic in a class, I won’t make fun of you. I will be right there, matching you flail for flail. Whatever.  We’re getting our fitness on, and we’re having a blast doing it.

I just wanted to say this for the sake of anyone who might be nervous to go to their first group fitness class. Every single person in that class was a newbie at one point, and if you’re not sure about it, just do it! Get out there, flail that body, shake it like a polaroid picture, and maybe one day our paths will cross.

Chances are, though, it’ll be as I high kick you in the face in the middle of BodyJam.

I apologize in advance, I still don’t know how to control these long legs of mine.

The Lighter Side of Zumba

Hey there y’all!! Long time, no blog.

This weekend was jam-packed, and I even blogged a pinch about it in this week’s Six Pack Sunday: My Cousin’s Wedding. That being said, considering it was the longest time I’ve spent home in a looooong time. Monday, since I had off, I took advantage of the bonus day and staved off my flight until Tuesday morning. The cost? One exhausted Jordan.

Payoff? Phenomenal Sister Date!

See the resemblance? (I'm the taller one, ps.)

On the agenda?

Pancakes (banana chocolate chip… with sprinkles), Baking (Namely, Courtney’s Crackled Sugar Cookies), Zumba, Lunch at Moe’s, and FroYo. All before 4pm (game time for her volleyball game!)  It was daunting, especially after drinking all the beers during the weekend, but, with little Kiley by my side, I was ready for anything.

She's also a whiz with a whisk.

Up first? The cookies.

Toss those bad boys into the oven, now what?

Since they take about 12 minutes to cook, but we were already dressed for zumba, clearly we only had one option.

Girl's got ups.

Not much of a yogi-bear

Beautiful tree pose

This is the most flexible I've ever looked. Don't believe everything you see.

16 takes of each pose later, they were ready!!

Just in time for zumba!

All iced and ready for the team!

Fast forward to a trip to the YMCA. The 1pm Zumba class on a Monday is not something my schedule normally allows, so I jumped at the chance.  When we got there, we realized that wasn’t my standard Zumba class.  It was, in fact, a whole different ballgame.

The two of us probably brought the average age of the fitness room down about 26 years. While I’m used to the  college students from UNC and Duke, or the young professionals from the Research Triangle who dress in Lululemon, Nike, and Under Armour, the fashion in this class was outfitted in jeans (no joke), plaid shorts, and stirrup pants. We stuck out like two sore thumbs. Two sore thumbs that were about 6″ taller than most of the other women in the class. We’re tall, we’re gangly, and we have zero rhythm.

Clearly, we were meant to be in this class.

Well, we were given weird looks as we were flailing around, taking steps way longer than needed, and jumping up and down.  In fact, at one point, a woman leaned over to us and said “Man, whatever you’ve got going on in your shoes, I think I need it!”

Sweet moves, Ki!

Both of us are tall, lanky, and athletic. Surprisingly, that doesn’t actually translate to being a good dancer whatsoever. It mostly translated to us looking like we were illustrating plyometric drills instead of salsa and merengue steps.  But we got some laughs, we felt like spastic jellyfish, and we broke one heck of a sweat.


And, even though I may not have any sexy Latin moves, I can, at times, drop it like it’s hot.

Drop it low

It was great to take a group fitness class and feel like a goof, instead of focusing solely on knocking out serious cardio. I even followed my own group fitness etiquette and made sure that, since I wasn’t sure of the moves this woman used, I hung out in the back.

Do you ever take classes just “for fun”?

I can’t say I regularly do, but it’s such a welcome to take a class with a friend (or, in this case, a friend sister HYBRID!) and be silly. I still felt like it was a killer workout, but that might’ve been all the laughter (good for the abs, I heard.)

Stay tuned for a wedding post in the near future!!

Group Fitness Etiquette

Hellloooooo friends!

Even though it’s only Tuesday night, I already feel the weekend peeking around the corner.  Today was a little bit of a breeze, which I just loved. I worked on a different project at work which was both fun and exciting (like that hopeful feeling you get when you first start a year of school as a child, I love that feeling.) And then, I realized through the grapevine that it was, in fact, a very special day.

That day was National Taco Day.

Well, I really didn’t have much of a choice but to celebrate….


Bandido’s is my favorite Mexican spot of all time.  And, somehow, I managed to be lucky enough to live near two locations for the past 6 years.  We used to frequent the one in Chapel Hill every Thursday, me and my girlfriends Kinsley and Claire, and we called ourselves the Bandido’s babes. And I hadn’t been there since JUNE!  The splurge was totally worth it and included a black bean enchilada, a soft chicken taco (I ate about 2 bites of the tortilla, then just went for the fillings) and a side of black beans. Of course, everything was slathered in cheese and salsa.


In other news, I finally got back to Zumba today! And I was in an even better mood because I felt like I was rocking one of my favorite workout outfits.

All black everything.

In an attempt to show off my brightly colored bra, I also managed to call out the power of skeletor in the form of MY COLLARBONE!

Hey there, crazy collarbone. Thanks for coming out.

Fortunately, the collarbone went back inside shortly after and just in time for Zumba.  While in class, though, I got to thinking about Group Fitness Etiquette.  As a huge fan of group fitness classes (in particular, Les Mills classes, Zumba, and newly, Pure Barre!), I think about this a lot. I’ve been in amazing group fitness classes, and stuck in rooms where I felt like everyone was actively trying to kick me in the face [cough BODYCOMBAT cough]. But I like to think that I’ve picked up some pretty good bits of etiquette.

1. If you’re ever doing a move where you’re kicking or punching, LOOK where you’re going! No one came to the gym looking for a fight.

2. If you don’t know the moves, or choose to do moves different than the ones that the instructor is showing, don’t stand in the front of the class.

3. When taking classes like BodyJam or Zumba as an extremely talented dancer, showing off a little is okay. Re-enacting the hit film, Fame, is not. We get it. You got skills. Take them to a dance studio or some reality show, you’re making us feel bad.

4. Ok, I’ll hand it to some folks. If you’ve got the confidence to rock just a sports bra and shorts, more power to you. But tiny booty shorts and a barely-there braziere might not be the best fit for a group fitness class.  Especially one with lots of bending and stretching [crotch shots. nuff said.]

5. Do unto others. If someone slips and falls, don’t laugh. Help them up, offer assistance if it’s needed, get ice. Don’t just ignore them. There’s nothing like slipping on the ground mid class and almost getting trampled because no one has stopped (sidenote: I’ve done this no less than 3 times).

6. Have fun. It’s so sad to see folks who look miserable, so if there is anything that can get you hyped up, it’s probably some exercise.  Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands (or anyone else.)

What are your favorite bits and pieces of group fitness etiquette?

Or… if you’re a runner, what’re some pieces of runners etiquette?

Demand and Dinner

Good evening folks, I hope none of you are still as sweaty and gross as I am.  But if you are…. I salute you.

After my lunchtime post where I showed you my advanced icing techniques, my ankle actually started to feel a little better. I spent the day in a long meeting, taking care of business, and then tidied up my desk to show off for the new employee tomorrow.

This might be the most normal it has ever looked.

If you take a closer look, you’ll notice a McCormick’s Italian Herb blend, a toy dog wearing a fruit hat, and my iPhone got a text! A rare opportunity to look at my life, behind the scenes. Cherish it, y’all.

After work, with my ankle feeling up to snuff, I hit up Zumba (considering my favorite instructor was there, I had to do it.)  I’m glad I did, as I rocked it out.

Woo, baby.

I specifically remember the track where my HR reached 180 because, in the midst of panting, I glanced over at the watch and was like WHOAH! My ankle’s feeling a little sore now, but during the class I actually felt pretty decent.  It was a packed class, lots of total newbies, but everyone handled their business and rocked it out.  The energy was awesome, the music was perfect, and we even did an all-arm track to Carry Out by Justin Timberlake.  I’m sore, but in the best way possible.

Following the gym, I received word from the beau that he was going to be late for dinner, so I made the executive decision to go shopping.

In case you didn’t get the message, my 24th Birthday is Next Wednesday, August 24. That’s right, one week and one day away.  Feel free to shower me with sexy presents like beer and sports bras and Norts (Nike shorts, for the folks who aren’t familiar) and all the like.  Or packages, or tweets, or email love.  Or just buy me a cocktail and compliment the tiara I’ll be wearing on my big day and, more than likely, the night of the HLS cocktail party.  I’m needy like that.

Now that we all are on the same page for what I was shopping for, you might understand that Nordstrom Rack was at the top of my list.  Since my feet are huge (size 12-13), any store that carries my size is somewhere I frequent.  And today, I finally got lucky.

Sam Edelman, you've done good.

I’ve been looking for a pair of sandals with this single long strap.  Though these weren’t the silver I hoped for, the gems and spikes on the back…. I felt like Lady Gaga when I put them on.  And then I found my birthday dress.  Which just so happened to have little white streaks in it. The price was a little steep, and there was a gem missing, so I asked the man at the front if there was another one, or if I could get a discount.  I couldn’t get a discount, and he almost wouldn’t sell them to me….  and then he told me they were the only size 12 Sam Edelman sandals of this style AT ANY NORDSTROM RACK IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!!!!!

I left, one pair of shoes richer (and a few more bucks than I wanted to be poorer…. but they were shaved about halfway from their original pricetag…. I’ll chalk it up as a win.)

With my birthday outfit success warming my heart, and my zumba class rumbling my tummy…. I headed home for dinner with the beau.

It was clean, it was fast, and it. was. tasty.

Grilled chicken covered in Frank's Red Hot and Laughing Cow Blue Cheese, steamed veggies, and a Diet Cherry Pepsi

Sweet Moments Caramel Delights

Now, it’s time to finish The Adjustment Bureau, shower, and sleep, sweetly and hopefully for a long time.  So. So. tired.

Do you get yourself birthday presents?  How about special birthday outfits?

I pretty much always do.  And rest assured, I’ll be rocking a tiara that day…. hard.