Thursday, March 31, 2011

Insert witty title.

So, the best news is that my credit cards will be ALL PAID OFF in June (now if only I could say the same for my school loans...ugh)!  This is thrilling news!  It will come at about the perfect time.  I have so many BIG financial commitments every month and feel like I have no extra money to indulge a little (on maybe my Toms?).  In April, we have spring break.  In May, I have my friend, KD's, bachelorette party and D's birthday (which I have to go big or go home for since I was broke on his birthday last year).  In June, I have KD's wedding in Birmingham (which is a bit of a trek from Raleigh).

After June, I will have the credit cards paid off and (hopefully) a little work bonus in my pocket!  My mind is running with little ways I want to spend a bit of extra money.  Mainly, I want to put it in savings for a trip to NYC with my girls and mine and D's holiday getaway this year.  BUT if I have a few extra dollars here and there, here's a few things I hope to spend it on...

[Fete Sequin Mini, sale $138, J Crew]

I know LOTS of bloggers are loving J Crew for spring.  Obviously this skirt wouldn't be there by the time I have a little spending money in July, but I adore this skirt!  The whole look is just chic and stunning to me.  Those shoes too!  I'll be on the lookout for something like this.  (Oh and even at the original $178, this one is perfect in comparison to the $2500 on the Sequin Long Skirt)

[Myne Jazz Long Skirt, $210; shopbop]

I'm totally into the maxi skirt and dress trend happening right now.  One of my fav outfits I wore recently on a warm day was a maxi dress topped with a sweater.  It gave the illusion of a mxi skirt, and I felt so fab and comfy in it!  I like the pattern in this skirt and could envision the numerous possibilities of styling.  I feel like it could work through summer and fall.  It also reminds me of something Carrie would pick out :) Not too sure if I could rationalize $210 for a skirt, but hey, this is a wish list!

I die a little inside that I can not buy this this very minute (ugh...this is what happens when I browse online. Must.remind.myself...D's birthday, spring break!).  I have been dying for a Foley + Corinna bag for YEARS now.  I could never afford the almost $400 retail, but this is totally do-able.  I know it will be long gone before July....

[Plains Ranger Dress, $128; Anthropologie]

Oh I adore this dress!  I'd take off the sash and pair with a brown, braided leather belt (envisioning one I've been eying at Target) and pair with some chunky brown wedges.  Love.

[Warby Parker, Roosevelt glasses, $95]

I've been on the hunt for some cool new glasses for a while.  I LOVE these Warby Parkers glasses.  I hate making "practical" purchases though.  Warby has so many cool choices though; I'll definitely HAVE to make a purchase from them this summer!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weighing in Wednesday.

[How I felt before I started the shred]

I'm trying to hold myself accountable and work hard.  After pretty much one solid week of shredding and running again, I've tuned in for the weigh in.  I'm trying to be diligent about weighing in only once per week (so as to not get easily discouraged).  I broke down yesterday and was 1.8 pounds lighter!  Then on my official weigh-in this morning, I was back up .6 of a pound.  On the plus side, I've still lost something!  It just goes to show how the scale can fluctuate daily.  I think my true weight probably is closer to down -2.  My measurements are down as well from Saturday.  This could be due to some faulty measuring (um, like the measuring tape was backwards or something), but those lower number made me feel better.  I was down in my hips, stomach, and chest.  

I'm still sending mad props to the shredcrew I seriously feel shit about myself when the rest of the shredcrew is posting their hard day of shredding to Twitter (follow me and the shredcrew here), and I didn't do it.  Yesterday I was concerned about time and decided to run before doing the shred.  This resulted in me being super exhausted, sore, and not doing the shred.  At least I did get a work out in, but in the long run, I think it's beneficial to use the shred as a warm-up to running.  
Regardless of the weight loss, or lack thereof, I'm not feeling like a fat cat anymore.  I'm feeling much better about myself and my weight.  The only thing I can do is keep doing what I'm doing and that's the best I can do.  After school today, I'll be off to shred and then have a sushi date...not too sure how those calories are going to look....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Travel itch :: South America

It's no secret I have been dying to get away again since our last big trip over a year ago.  Spring break is three weeks away and we haven't quite planned what we are going to do yet.  Since we just finished becoming homeowners, we're keeping the spring break trip to domestic travel.  I've got my sights set on bigger (not necessarily better) things.  I'm pretty stuck on making a trip to the southern hemisphere during the holidays this year.  Since I'm not yet on a year-round school schedule, our travel times are limited.  We don't want to schedule two big trips close together, plus travel is more expensive in the summer.  What better than checking out destinations where it'll be summer during our winter?!


But I'm sort of set on saving Brazil for the next World Cup, which I am obsessed with going to!

[Mar del Plata, Argentina]

 [Iguazu Waterfalls in Argentina which border Brazil as well]

[More falls, Argentina]
[Andies Mountains in Patagonia, Argentina]

Argentina holds a special place in my heart since I did a study abroad in Buenos Aires for two months.  I would love to do a tour around Argentina.  There's so many beautiful places and fun experiences to have there.



With the east border of Chile bordering the ocean, there are plenty of beach spots and beautiful places to choose from!

[Machu Picchu, Peru]


Machu Picchu is one of the places to see before you die.  Peru could be a very likely option.

Any suggestions for where we should check out in South America??

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kicking ass and taking names.

That's right!  I can't even begin to tell you guys how much motivation it's been to have the ShredCrew behind me throughout the 30 day shred!  It's been motivation just to see the posts of everyone else completing the shred daily, struggling with eating and counting calories, etc.  It feels great that I'm not the only one who struggles with completing even 20 minutes of a workout daily.  I must say, it helps with the mindset.  While I didn't lose any weight this week (I'm thinking about having a Weigh-in Wednesday to check back), in my mind I see tiny lines of abs coming back to light.  Plus I can't do much more than TRY.  I bought a tape measure yesterday and took some measurements.  I'm hoping that'll prove for a little more motivation if I don't lose actual pounds.  I'm drinking water like a mad woman and hoping to have shaved at least a few pound off by spring break (3 full weeks away!).

Last week, I talked about training for a half (Claire!  Are you still considering it as well?!).  I ran on Tuesdya and Thursday of last week after not running at all for a month+.  You'll remember that I'm not much of a runner, and I'm certainly not fast.  On Tuesday I ran on an outside trail in 80 degree weather.  I had a tough time doing one mile (embarrassing but hey, I'm all for honesty).  On Thursday, the weather was a much different 54-ish degrees and windy.  I tried a different part of the trail and fairly easily bumped my run up to two miles.  My goal was to run Saturday before D returned home, but it was cloudy and much colder (low 40s).  I didn't feel ready to brave those temps.  I've got plenty of time to train before the half in November.  I want to continue to train outside and in all types of weather.  I'd prefer to give another two weeks of two mile runs before I start the official training plan (which starts with a 3-mile run).  Here's my plan for this week:

  • Monday:  Rest day
  • Tuesday: 2 mile run outside (temps predicted - high 60 & cloudy)
  • Wednesday: Rest day - supposed to be rainy
  • Thursday: 2 mile run outside (high 60 & 50% chance of rain)
  • Friday: Rest day - headed to Athens after school
  • Saturday: Possible 2 mile run in Athens?  Should be warm temps.  Depends on how much drinking was done the night before
This weekend out of town/in Athens is going to be TOUGH.  It's doubtful that the shred will be attempted at all (except maybe upon return on Sunday), and lots of drinking will be involved.  I need to keep my mindset on exercise to cancel out (some) of the bad food and alcohol.  Sorry for the text-heavy post....

I need some new running shoes!  I don't like/can't afford to spend lots on running shoes.  Any favorites?  Here are a few I'm considering

[Nike Free XT+  Womens Training Shoe, only $85; I like them in the gray/yellow]

[Nike LunarGlide+2 at $100; supposedly works for every stride and has great cushioning]

[New Balance 759, $100; although I'm not too sure what my gait or stride is like]

[Asics Gel - 3020, $120; Supposed to be the best for distance running]

Shape has some other shoe options that I'm interested in checking out.  How do you find new running or fitness shoes?  Any recommendations?

Here's to another week of hard work on the shred and on the trails!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Closet craving :: Purchases on a dime.

Back in early February, I showed you this hat that I was craving...

However, $98 was way to steep for my budget.  Claire (check out her blog!) made the perfect suggestion though!  She mentioned getting a cheap fedora and pinning a cute flower to it.  I haven't been on a hardcore search for a Fedora, and on my tiny budget, I typically just check over the accessories section at Target.  Last weekend I purchased this cutie for only $12.99...

While it is definitely a different material, and I didn't get it with pinning to it in mind, I like it!  It's a good switch from my "touristy" fedora that I got from the Eugenia Kim Target collection last year.

Although that fedora is the same style as the $98 Anthro one above.  I could always cut off the parrot (which I'm eh about anyway) and pin something there.  I'm excited about my cheap Target score from this year though.  It feels more like a wear-anyday hat.

I've also been craving some brown oxfords since last August!  I can only hope that they'll still be in next season because a flat, brown shoe is perfect for standing all day in my classroom.  I saw this picture of Sydney, from The Daybook, and had to check out her shoes!

I immediately headed over to Threadsence to check out the shoes.  To my surprise, the shoes were $33!!!!  What?!  Next to check the sizes...certainly my size 6 could not be in stock.  But YES!  Size 6 was in stock!!!  I immediately put in my order.  And no joke, 3 days later, my shoes arrived!

[Sorry to break the news, but they are all sold out now]

I can't wait to break them in and wear them next week to school!  And here's to hoping the trend sticks around for at least another year...

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Our one year anniversary.  What a crazy and wonderful year it has been with D.  I mentioned some memorable dates in our March from a year ago yesterday.  And of course a full re-cap of our 2010 is here.  I will forever remember March 8, 2010 by my wedding tattoo

[Wedding tattoo right over my heart...original can be seen here]

The week before our anniversary, D had been out of town.  I had a stressful week home alone.  On my way home Friday, he surprised me by telling me to pack up.  We headed to a little mountain cabin in Boone, NC. 

[Our little cabin getaway]

We brought the dogs with us (which is always the hard part about's so expensive to board if we can't take them with us).

 [Marlee chilling by the fire...gas logs which were so easy!]

 [They have a tough life]

Friday we stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on breakfast food for Saturday morning.  We relaxed and enjoyed the cable (which we don't have at home now) and hot tub!  

 [The cabin was a little studio with moose decor]

 [The hot tub on the back porch overlooking the creek]

 [Notice the creek in the right hand corner and how low it is]

It rained all day Saturday, but that didn't stop us from checking out the city of Boone, drinking, and eating.

 [Of course we had to stop in to a local bar for a beer or two]

  [Fried green tomato BLT with goat cheese...yum]

We woke up on Sunday to check out and the creek was completely flooded!  Luckily we didn't have a problem getting out.  Unfortunately, the neighbors looked like their bridge was flooded!

 [The rushing river on Sunday after a full day of rain downpour]

We had a wonderful, relaxing anniversary weekend.  It was the perfect refreshing escape from reality.  A wonderful way to celebrate one year later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Am I being too forward if I ask you to...

...Tweet me?!  I finally gave into the twitter and am utterly baffled and confused by it.  Figured I'd take the plunge.  Goodbye facebook and all the family "friends" with their religious quotes or daily "uplifting" quotes.  I hope I can take a good long hiatus from obsessing over facebook statuses and funnel my free time into twitter.  Now I just need more friends ;)

Here I am!

Ps. While you're clicking around and checking things out, check out Megan's awesome giveaway!  Unlike me she's lucky and won two giveaways in like one week, so she's giving back! 

I'm a little late, but better late than never, right?

March marks quite a lot of anniversaries for me (and D) this year.  It's really surreal looking back on this past year.  D and I were talking about friends we know who are on the "baby track" and making predictions as to when certain couples would have a baby.  He made a prediction for a year for a particular couple we know.  It got me thinking, and I mentioned to him, about how different a year is when you get older.  Thinking back to middle school (and seeing my middle school students) and high school, a year was an eternity!  It was impossible that we could quickly get to that next summer break.  Even as a college student, I had a little concept of a year as I preoccupied my mind with drinking, drama, and boyfriends (shudder a bit here).  Now, at almost 26 (which in itself feels surreal), a year can quickly and easily fly by.  I know having children make the process feel like it flies even quicker.  I know I just did a reflection on my past year for New Years, but I want to take another step back and look specifically at March one year ago.

March 6, 2008
We arrived in Aruba for our elopement/honeymoon.  And to think, we weren't even engaged a year before.

March 8, 2010
Our wedding day.  Perfect.  I would never change it for anything.

March 14, 2010
Return from Aruba.  We immediately pack up my car and I head from Athens, GA to Raleigh, NC, cats in tow but husband not.

March 15, 2010
My first day in North Carolina AND as a teacher.

March 15-March 30, 2010
The cats and I spend a lonely and hectic time in Raleigh.  We have no furniture, expect an ottoman and air mattress.  We have cable and internet.  We have no D or doggies.  I'm trying to continue to plan our wedding party and drive 5+ hours back to Athens every weekend.

March 27, 2010
Our wedding party back in Athens.

March 2011 marks my one year wedding anniversary, my one year anniversary in Raleigh, and my one year anniversary teaching.  A year really can fly by...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pretty perfect day.

Look at me! I had a day away from students, posted now THREE blogs in one day (record I believe, came home and shredded it, went to the lake for a run (we'll ignore how TERRIBLE it was), and now watching the new Skins DVD I finally received from Netflix (waiting since January!!).

And now if only I didn't have to go back to school tomorrow. But positivity in check...three more days until the weekend, D comes home, and a teacher work day Monday. Bring it on Wednesday!

Ps. I'm thinking about getting a twitter...but I'm scared to take the plunge.

-BlogPress post

Call me crazy but...

My goal for 2011 was to run more.  I haven't run another 5k this year, and I've started slacking off running at all.  Boo.  Remember back in February, I talked about starting Jillian's 30 day Shred.  Well I started it alright, and then fell right off that wagon after about three days.  Coincidence or not, I re-started it last Monday and accomplished another 3 days last week before Carrie mentioned the shred today!  I'm not on twitter, but I'm psyched that Carrie has linked facebook with her twitter.  If you're dead to the world like me and don't have twitter, go on her to Carrie's post here, check out her awesome blanket and like her on facebook!  Anyway, I'll be using hers and others motivation to keep up with the shred!

Now this is where I get crazy...I'm thinking about pulling the full monty and begin training for a half marathon. I ready?  The half I'm looking at is the Outer Banks Half Marathon in November.

November is a really long time away.  Most of the training schedules I found online (um, the free ones...I'm not ready to dish out money for a training program unless it's with a real person) are for 9-12 weeks.  I found a pretty simple one from here which is 12 weeks long.  It's pretty do-able.  After those 12 weeks, I want to upgrade to this plan from Runners World which is 9 weeks long.  I think I need to do the double duty training since I'm a pretty low/slow beginner.    I'm not nervous about not being able to do it (ok, maybe a little) as much as not following through.  Obviously my biggest exercise issue becomes follow through/motivation.  I still haven't met too many friends here in Raleigh, especially ones who are new/slow runners, and I'm not sure how to find a running buddy.  I don't want to dish out money for a trainer.  How do you maintain your motivation?!

I have been using Lose It on my iPhone and online to track my calories and weight again.  I fell off the wagon just a tad bit last night with some left over Thin Mints, so I didn't weigh myself this morning (and I never do it Monday after I indulge over the weekends).  It's nice keeping track of what I put in again.  I'll weigh in tomorrow and hope to see something good.  D is off touring the east coast without me this week, so it's a lot easier to focus on eating better and drinking less.  I'm worried about getting off track when he comes back (it's so hard to track calories when you eat out).  I'm looking forward to no school in the summer and focusing on my fit-nessss, but I have to look good in this swimsuit before summer officially hits!

[Simple and classic.  Digging all of Antropologie's swimsuits this season!  Check out the fab one pieces too!

Bringing it all together.

Yesterday I told you about my seemingly awesome vintage map project for D for our one year anniversary.  I was only able to find 3 decent frames from my local thrift stores.  I went on the search for cork to use as the back.  It turns out I have a Michael's store right down the road from me (yay!), and they had a couple cork options.  The first was a set of 4 cork tiles.  These seemed like the best option as they were thick (and I needed something to account for the missing glass in the frames) and pre-cut squares (less work for me).  The cost of a set of 4 tiles was $10.99!  What?!  I had seen some other cork projects on Young House Love, and they scored $5 cork tiles from Target!  I checked both Targets near me with no luck.  My other option at Michael's was a roll of cork for $3.99.  The cork definitely was not as think or nice.  I got a pack of both and figured I'd work with it. 

This is the large frame I decided to use for the 1914 US map.  The blue mat came with framing that beautiful duck photo.  I had to trim the mat a little and decided to use the roll of cork for ease.  I would have had to use almost an entire pack of cork squares, so the roll was perfect here.

[Sorry!  I just can not get Blogger to rotate this]

And ta da!  First and centerpiece of project done!  It didn't take that long.  I ended up buying the rest of the frames (and had to get another set of tiles and another roll of cork) from Michael's on sale.   

[Final US map in theformer "duck" thrifted frame]

If I would have had more time and energy, I would have trimmed the mat more on the top and bottom.  I added the mat because the dark frame with the brown cork was just too brown.  I may still go back and trim that down. 

[I used colored pins because that's what I already had.  I only marked where we have been together.  We realized we have so much more to explore!]

[US map again, South America, and Australia]

[Europe and North America]

I chose to include North America since the US map would not include places like Canada or Aruba (where we "eloped"). 

[Europe framed in the former thrifted hideous 3-D flower frame]

[North America in the former thrifted creepy girl frame]

[Vintage maps don't always have every location, so I hot-glued some locales that weren't there or visible on pin tops]

 [Africa map in a Michael's frame (which D especially liked).  Not backed with cork since it wasn't visible.  I saved money and used cardboard from the original frame]

 [Asia map in a Michael's frame]

This is definitely my least favorite.  It just didn't turn out well.  The frame is crap.  It's a perfect size, but it was cheap and a bad make for this project.  I also got a bit off on my cork cutting.  I want to re-frame this one.
 [South America in a Michael's frame.  Probably one of my favorites due to the perfect fit]

 [Australia, etc. in a Michael's frame.  Hope to mark New Zealand off this one in a few years!]

And there you are!  We're still not 100% sure where we want to hang them yet.  But I'll be sure to post pictures.  In all, the project cost around $150 max.  It was probably closer to $120.  I probably could have researched other ideas for finding vintage maps, but I like that most of these are different sizes and have different looks.  


Pin It button on image hover