Friday, July 30, 2010

1001 Days?

I've been browsing around finding so many new, wonderful blogs lately (not sure if I'll ever be able to keep up reading and writing when school starts back).  While browsing around, I found something very intriguing from Ramblings of a Small Town Girl.  She's doing the 101 in 1001 Project.  Now, I am copying and pasting from her post (her link will lead you directly to the post) about the project:

"The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities."

It is actually known as the Day Zero Project.  Go to the blog or the website to check out some of the stuff.  What Small Town Girl did was separate her 101 things into categories such as Indulge, Create, Help, etc.  I really love the idea of this.  It's more in depth than my Bucket List and you set a timeline for yourself.  My fear is that I might set my goals too high (I had thought about putting to attend yoga/pilates once per week) and then failing within the first month.  Then what?   Have I failed at that goal for my 2 years?  I want to put a little more thought into it.  I though about maybe doing one together with D.  I'm thinking more about doing one of my own and posting it on the refrigerator, maybe at school and on my mirror.  If I don't have the constant reminder of it, chances are my opportunities will slip away without my knowing.  What about 1001 days?  Doable?  Sure.  I have to make sure not to put too many travel destinations on there.  Obv I can't travel too many places within 3 years.  I'm going to work on this and hopefully post it for you guys as an auto post while I'm away.

Thanks to Small Town Girl for the inspiration :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010 the extreme.

I don't want my blog to get too bogged down with the typical woman's complaints about weight.  This is just a big part of my life right now and it is my blog ;)  I weighed myself on Tuesday.  I gained again.  This is getting beyond frustrating.  I am counting calories (although giving myself some breaks on the weekends), stopping drinking during the week (or take a 5/2 drinking schedule), and getting my ass kicked at the gym.  I've literally been hitting the gym hard at least 5 days a week.  I am mostly staying within the same pound, so I guess that's good.  I've been trying to drink lots of water (which is going to be a challenge when school starts back).  I'm still no where near my goal weight.  I am getting so frustrated :(  I am thinking I may need to hire a personal trainer and/or nutritionist come September.  Even though I feel better about myself sometimes...I'm still not fitting better into my clothes (which can obvs be explained by the lack of pounds coming off).  I went to the gym 2 hours/day before camping to make up for the lack of gym time while I'm camping.  It's starting to get depressing.  Here's what I am doing:

  • Gym: 5 times/week
    • 3 days - run 2 miles (I'm a super slow runner so that's about 20 mins) and then a calorie crush (low and high intervals) on the stationary bike or elliptical
    • 2 days - Body Power classes; super intense classes that work every muscle region
    • Trying to add in a yoga or pilates class once per week as well
  • Calorie Counting
    • I eat pretty well (keeping around 1,000 [which I know may be too low] and 1,200 calories per day...including working out
    • Since D works in the beer industry, I'm taking weekends to enjoy beer but still trying to be mindful of what I eat
  • Water drinking
    • I've been only drinking my am coffee and then water during week days.  Water intake tends to slacken on weekends.
What am I doing wrong?  What do I need to add in??

**I'm still on vacay...just auto posting this.  Anticipate a not so whiney post tomorrow :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

$1 Icees and popcorn.

I always relate the summer time with movies.  I love love love going to see movies in the summer.  It's just the perfect way to escape the heat.  And let me tell you, it's been HOT in NC!  The heat index this weekend was 110 degrees!  We discovered a little cinema here that shows indy films, which I am so excited about.  They also serve beer there which is obv an added bonus.  Last weekend we saw Cyrus.

John C. Riley and Jonah Hill are hilarious together.  Moviefone says...

"'Cyrus' stars John C. Reilly as John, as a middle-aged single smitten by Molly (Marisa Tomei), who has an unusual attachment to her son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill).

Conflict arises when Molly brings John home and Cyrus is none too pleased. The film becomes a war of wills between John and Cyrus, with Molly stuck in the middle."

I liked it.  I love Jonah Hill though.  I love awkward humor though.  I definitely want to keep an eye out for indy films at the theater.

D loves animated and 3-D movies.  We saw Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, and How to Train Your Dragon.  I loved Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon.  Despicable Me was probably one of the funniest animated movies I have seen in a while.  I was definitely laughing a lot.  We hit up the dollar movie in town quite a bit.  They have $1 Icees and popcorn on Tuesdays.  We frequent that (because we all know drinking Icees is totally going to help me lose weight).  Other movies on our must see summer movie list (based upon affordability) are Inception and Get Him to the Greek (hopefully at the dollar movie this week!).

Any summer movie recommendations?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Woods and books.

So I've been talking about vacationing a lot and I'm actually going off for the week.  We're going camping in West Virginia.  There's one hook though...we're going with D's grandparents.  This equals no drinking, censoring my books/magazines (ie. it is recommended that I do not read Harry Potter while there), and lots of listening to old stories.  I'm happy to get away though.  I'll be able to enjoy my last few weeks relaxing before I'm back into the hustle and bustle of school.  We're camping at this place D grew up going to with his family and grandparents, so it's sentimental for him.  And his grandparents are getting older.  You know I mentioned that I was going to start reading some old classic books.  I purchased a copy of Pride and Prejudice a while back.  I was struck by this redesigned cover...

Penguin Publishing has redone covers on some classic books and established their list of Ten Essential Classic Books and Pride and Prejudice is one.  I figure I'll start on that when we go camping.  I am also definitely going to be making those ten part of my reading list!  I used to read an hour before I go to bed to just wind down and get away from the TV.  I need to get back on it!   

What are your favorite classic books?

Monday, July 26, 2010


I had a fabulous (but beer and food indulged) weekend.  Hope you all did too!  I spent all day Friday studying for my Praxis exams (blah.) and then woke up super early to take them.  I did get back to Raleigh until about 3...just in time to clean up and meet our friends from Athens.  Such a fun time!  I wish we had people come visit more often!

Friends and D...oh and yummy beers :)

 Ignore the crazy look on my face...this was a few drinks in...

Sunday we went to a Summer Wheat Beer Dinner at the Busy Bee in Raleigh.  I've been missing beer dinners in my life.  It was delicious.

D loves some beer...we reminisced about Belgium with this beer.

4 delicious courses...

 Because he can never take a normal picture...

 Second with farro (which I now love), brussel sprouts, etc.  One of my favorite courses.

 Looks may be deceiving...

 That's not Smuckers!  It's Terrapin Gamma Ray jelly!  Those aren't eggs either.  They were some sort of deliciousness heated to congeal and then slowly melted (like over easy eggs!) with some pineapple yumminess in the middle.  The "smoked slamon" is really cantaloupe.  Oh...this was to die for (as weird as the dish may sound).

So we had a wonderful weekend eating, drinking, and being merry with friends.  Who's coming to visit me next?!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lazy Sundays.

We actually haven't had a lazy Sunday.  I adore the weekends.  Yesterday I had to wake up so early to take my teaching tests.  I don't even want to talk about that.  I'm enjoying/celebrating the rest of my weekend drinking with friends.  We have some friends in town this weekend (which I'm so happy to have some Georgia friends back in NC!).  Since I'm officially done studying and can enjoy the rest of my summer, I'll be updating on my weekend and such tomorrow. 

Just to give you some eye candy...I'm anxiously anticipating the return of Gossip Girl.  I adore Chuck Bass.  Here's some pics that just make me smile :)

[i love this.]

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ten things I can't live without.

I've been inspired by some other bloggers doing a ten things I can't live without post.  I figured why not...

[Cinque Terre, Italy]

1. TRAVELING.  I yearn to travel.  I haven't been that many places in the realm of the world.  I haven't traveled outside the south (well including Florida).  I just ventured to Virginia for the first time a couple months ago.  It's funny I've traveled more internationally than I have domestic.  My travel list grows practically daily though.  I would never want to live a life where I didn't get to see as many places in the world as possible.

 [Isn't he handsome?]

2.  BAILEY.  I have another cat and two dogs, but Bailey was my first pet all of my own.  D picked him out from the shelter and gave him to me after a tough time I was having.  I raised Bailey from a kitten.  He holds a very special place in my heart.  Obv one day I'm going to have to live without him...but for now I pretend that day will never come.

  [Our very first picture taken together back in 2005]

3.MY BED/MY HUBBY.  This picture was actually taken in bed too.  I relish my time to sleep in and relax in my bed, especially in my bed with my hubby.  I definitely can't live without a comfy bed!


4.  BREAKFAST.  I love, love love anything and everything breakfast.  I know I've talked vegetarian...but I can not turn down bacon (although I try to buy humanely raised bacon...and same goes for sausage).  D is the best hubby ever and makes kick ass breakfasts on the weekends.  I could eat eggs for every meal.  And I die for a brunch :)

[First, how much do you love Emma Watson in this picture??  Second, find it here]

5. BOOKS/READING.  I dream of having a library in my house one day filled with rows and rows of books.  I love reading and have such a long wishlist of books I want.  Currently, I want to read a lot of classics that I've never read.  How sad is it that I teach English (just middle school) and have never read Pride and Prejudice?! Don't fret, I'm starting on it next week when we go camping.

[Had to get in a little bit of Gossip Girl...they're wearing a beautiful Chanel sweater that I adore. Found here.]
6.  JACKETS/SWEATERS/CARDYS.  I can not get enough sweaters and cardigans.  I love pairing oversized pieces with skinny jeans.  There is something so comforting and cozy about wrapping up in a sweater.  

  [Pshhhh...wish I was that small.  credit where it's due.]
7.  WORKING OUT.  Ok...I can (and have) lived without this.  I love the way it makes me feel though.  I love feeling accomplished after I have pushed myself through a run.  Funny how quickly these wonderful feelings slip my mind.  I hope I continue to be reminded of the way working out makes me feel and continue the "kick" as a lifestyle.
[This makes me drool just looking at it.  Google images]

8.  CHIPS AND SALSA.  Two things on this list are food (notably "unhealthy" foods) which probably explains why I do not have a body like the girl above.  I can not even stop myself at Mexican restaurants.  Whoa.  I could eat an entire basket by myself.  We still haven't found the perfect Mexican in Raleigh (die inside.) but BIG basket of chips and LARGE bowl of salsa is crucial.

  [Only in stick form!]

9.  CHAPSTICK.  I've been addicted to Carmex for a while.  I want to make the move to Burt's Bees though since it's local to NC.  I have a weird addiction to chapstick.  I have to put it on every time I get in a car!

  [These aren't mine, but mine are just about as worn]

10. MY CHACOS.  Probably another reason I struggle with fashion.  I'm going to be one unfashionable 40 year old.  I own two pairs of Chacos.  My first pair, which looks like the ones pictures, I've had since I was a senior in high school!  That's 8 years people!  They are still completely wearable and holding strong.  I love them.  They're so comfy and perfect for festivals and river/camping trips :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Closet Craving :: H&M

Two closet cravings in a row!  I've started following lots of new wonderful blogs, many of them fashion related.  I need major help dressing myself fashionably.  When I moved to Raleigh in March, I was super excited about the H&M opening up at the mall.  Sadly guys, I have not even stepped a foot in there since it opened :(  How depressing!  Since I had little money, I didn't want to tempt myself in there.  Let me tell you, when I finally get paid again, H&M is the first place I'm hitting!  I've been so inspired by fashion bloggers finding such affordable pieces from H&M.  My body type differs greatly from most of the bloggers I've seen.  I'm working hard to shed some pounds though and be able to buy items that will last me.  Here's some of my H&M inspiration...

I am really feeling more into hats.  I've gained confidence in wearing them.  This dress and hat is from H& cute!

Isn't she beautiful?  The dress here is from H&M.  I love that little belt too though.

Nothing here from H&M but I couldn't resist!  What an adorable outfit!  I want this for my school day.  Here's the back of the shirt from the above picture...
[mocha-soy-whippy] all above images

H&M Spring/Summer collection 2010.  So bright and beautiful  [art8amby]

Haha...this look is too much for me, but note the shoes!  Ooooo...I love these!  []

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Closet Craving :: Pretty jewelry...and cardigans...and a bag.

I'm not much of a jewelry person.  I'm terrible at accessorizing daily and get overwhelmed if I have too many choices.  Sparkly jewelry can be a great addition though.  It's such an easy way for me to dress up a more causal outfit for school days.  La Dolce Vita featured some new Stella & Dot lines coming out.  Here are some of my favs...

I love the simplicity of this bracelet. I'm not sure if I could see myself paying the $39 for such a simple piece

Guys!  You know I die over owls!  How cute, yet chic is this?  It's $44

So then I got to thinking...who has some wonderful jewelry...Anthropologie.  I could live and die in this store.  I adore all of the outfits, decor, accessories, etc.  My life would be complete if I won a lifetime supply of clothes from there.  On my measly teachers salary, I can not afford much from here.  I have to scour the sales (and once I start getting paid again I'm scouring the sales rack at the Durham SouthPoint mall).  But nonetheless I'm craving...

Love!  Love the layers (perfect for the school day).  This cardy I have been looking for forever but just haven't had the chance to buy.  I'd certainly have to pair with flats instead for all the standing and walking I do.  So cute. (Ps. not a fan of the model).

Oh my effing god.  I love this cardy.  I'm not sure why I love it so much.  Paired with some flats.  I would wear it everyday.  

Shirts like this are quite flattering on me.  I love the detail on this one.  They have so many colors in it.  And I wouldn't even need jewelry with this neckline!

I can not even express how much I adore this bag.  The combo of the leather on the navy kills me.

Ok...I can't torture myself like this any longer.  I want to start trying my hand at thrifting.  I feel like there's probably potential in the NC Triangle area.  I have to look cute without breaking my bank!  Julie at Helping Dress Myself is totally my inspiration that you can dress chic and trendy for less!  She wears lots of thrifted pieces paired with moderately priced items from Target, UO, etc.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Salad with salsa??

In an effort to eat better and shed some pounds, I've been trying to eat more salads.  I'm not the biggest fan of salads.  Today for lunch, I got a little light bulb!  I am obsessed with salsa.  I thought why don't I top my salad with salsa instead of my balsamic vinegrette, which is getting pretty boring. 

It was delicious!  I made a pretty simple salad.  I threw in some mixed greens, fresh cucumbers from the farmers market (which last so much longer than store bought!), goat cheese crumbles, half an avocado (yum!), and salsa!  It was so yummy and filling.  I'll definitely be having that for another meal.  We're running low on veggies here, so I had to make do with a mostly green salad.  I'd like to find some other salsas with more veggies and beans in them like this one...

Dreaming of a far away land.

You guys...I've been discovering more and more awesome blogs (not sure how I'm ever going to stay caught up when school starts back up).  With it being summer and all, everyone is talking about all their traveling adventures.  Well 1) this is way more motivation for me to never have kids and 2) I am getting like crazy antsy to get out of the country/state again.  The summer sucks with no money.  I am pretty lucky I suppose in my lifetime of travels.  I got to spend a fucking month in Europe!  But it's got me throwing a fit to go back.  Anyway, if you haven't been able to travel this summer...swoon over these pictures of beautiful places I want to go...

San Francisco



Waikiki, Hawaii
[life is Bananas]

[Magpie Girl]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Red-headed Cher.

Kathy Griffin if my Cher :)  (to use her quote).  Guys...I can not even stop laughing when I watch Life on the D-List. 

I totally want to add meeting her/spending a day with her to my bucket list, but I'm afraid it may not happen.  I hope she has a google alert for her name.  If so...


She makes me laugh so hard.  You also know how I love her support of the LQBT community.  I would die to be her assistant (probably literally because I'd have to give up my whole life with D here in NC).  So I'll take the day with her and Maggie.  Oh and I'd have to be able to bring a friend...KD since she got me hooked on Kathy.  I'm going to brainstorm more ways to bring Kathy's attention to me...

Trying to be an omnivore (is that right? omnivore??).

So WAY back in January, D and I did No-Meat January.  Since then, I have continually tried to cut back on my meat intake.  Back when I started this blog last September (whoa! I'm getting close to my one year blog birthday!), I also wrote about reading The Ethics of What We Eat.

I finally finished that book at the end of the school year.  It is a really wonderful book that I would recommend.  It doesn't blatantly recommend that people become vegetarians.  It just sort of weighs all of your options about being humane towards animals.

Anyhow...after reading that, I really felt stronger towards not eating meat unless it was from a Whole Foods type grocery store (although you really have to research even the organic meats and how the animals are treated) or if it was from a reputable restaurant.  I've held pretty strong on the meat buying.  I won't eat sandwich meat unless it's from Whole Foods (and typically only buy ham to throw on my egg McMuffin).  My exception is venison which we always get a large supply of from D's dad.  Deer are probably the most humanely killed animals as they still live in their natural habitats.  I've gotten D to switch over to cage-free, organic eggs and local milk.  I have definitely been slacking in the vegetarian eating at restaurants.  I am not much into salads and don't enjoy ordering a salad from a restaurant.  So I'm making the commitment to eat more vegetarian meals at home and restaurants.  Once D and I are both bringing in salaries again, I hope to be cooking more real meals and eating out less (doesn't seem to make sense how we eat out more when we have less money...).

As for weight, I'm weighing in on Wednesday.  I've been cheating.  I was down one pound yesterday but back up 1+ pound today....grr.  I figure I need a bathroom break and am just crossing my fingers until Wed.

Any favorite vegetarian meals?  Oh and I'm also looking for any vegetarian restaurants in Raleigh (we miss the Grit in Athens!)...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Numbers for thought.

We all know insurance prices are continually increasing as are our taxes.  The costs of everything are going up while salaries are being docked.  As a previous state-funded social worker and now county-funded teacher, my salary will never be high.  That's expected.  I'm not as concerned about my salary as I am the well-being of the children we are teaching.  My school is pretty well off and lucky.  Other schools in my own county are not.  My county just built a brand new high school that is equipped with about every school luxury.  Yet other high schools in the district have zero access to laptops in the classroom, stuck sharing trailers, and the teachers are lucky if they have overheads to use.  Monies for school budgets are continually being cut.  I can't understand where our country's priorities lie when I see numbers like this:

As a nation, we’ve spent over $732 BILLION dollars on the war in Iraq. If you add the cost of the war in Afghanistan, we are WELL over $1 TRILLION. (
Even more outrageous, the city of Philadelphia cut their budget for fireworks from $3 million to $2.1 million this year. Oh how sad for them.... Boston spent $2.5 million, and DC won't even release the information on their show. (
Tiger Woods will earn $110 million this year, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Kimi Raikkonen will all earn $45 million each. Even Dale Earnhardt will bring home a cool $34 million. (
 [Research credited to: Middle School by Day]
I know no country is perfect...but when I see numbers like this, I am more and more encouraged to move to another country (Netherlands? Switzerland? Belgium?) who seem to think more level-headed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting all sentimental.

You guys! I'm beaming about all the new followers I have :) Just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to the newbies following my blog! I'm happy you guys found and actually like me. Let me tell you, it's really inspiring me to keep WAY more up to date with posts. I'll try [sort of] not to offend or upset...but hey, it's bound to happen. Hopefully you're all less offended and more delighted to continue reading. Again, thank you all so much :)

Sent from my iPhone

Takin' it down a notch!

 I've been a crazy blogger now that school is out (teaching and college classes for me).  Trust me, once school starts back I will doubtfully be posting daily.  But geez...I have been getting all serious up in here talking politics, religion, babies, equality, etc.  Let's take it down a notch!  I do have a more serious post scheduled for tomorrow, but get over it.  I've been trying to shy away from fashion posts because I'm broke and it's depressing to scour my fav shopping sites.

Thanks to my summer sugar daddy wonderful hubby, I have enjoyed the luxury of eating a lot and drinking a lot this summer.  Two of my favorite things :)  I've been whining like crazy about not losing weight.  Well the fact is, I've been getting my ass kicked at the gym (average going 5 days/week for an hour...give or take) and I'm feeling better about myself.  When I look in the mirror most days, I feel healthier.  I love feeling sore and getting the adrenaline rush in the gym.  Anyway...all the eating out and alcohol drinking is probably not helping in the challenge.  So in honor of wonderful food and beverages gracing my summer...

My fav beverages!

I already told you about my love for Terrapin Wake N Bake.  That's my number one favorite beer.  D works for Terrapin which is a craft beer brewery, so we drink lots of craft beers...not Miller Lite (except maybe at the beach).  My favorites are dark beers.  Let me tell you ladies...anyone can be a beer convert.  When I started dating D 5 years favorite beer was Rolling Rock.  Really?  Oh the naive college days.  Now I adore dark, rich, malty beers.  I won't bore you with beer, but my second favorite beer is...

I adore this creamy beer.  It is especially wonderful if you can find it on a Nitrogen tap.  Left Hand Brewery and Terrapin Brewery also have some collaboration beers.  Try them :)

As for other adult beverages aside from beer...

Omg. This makes my mouth water right now.  I love a margarita any place and any time.  Frozen, on the rocks, whatever.  Any flavor.  If it's frozen, I prefer sugar on the rim.  On the rocks deserves salt.  Yum :)  There's this mexican joint in Raleigh that has these big ass flavored margaritas that are ah-mazing!

My wine of choice is...

An Argentine Malbec.  I fell in love with it when I went to Argentina four years ago.  I brought D back a $40 bottle which we enjoyed on our one year anniversary (right after I returned).  It will always win my heart.

What are your favorite beverages??


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