Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happiness in a bowl

{image via}

Dear Starbucks,

As if I was not already enough of a Starbucks crack whore addict, you had to go and make your deliciously delightful morning cup of joe into an equally delicious and delightful evening cuppa bowl of joe. And then you send me coupons. On a weekly basis.

Darn you, Starbucks and your genius evil ways.

Addicted in Indianapolis

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All the small stuff

Right before we went on vacation, I found out that I actually one a blog giveaway. I never win those things. So I was super stoked to win the giveaway at All the Small Stuff - especially since I won a Coach wristlet! Hello? Who doesn't love a new Coach bag?

Imagine my surprise when I got home and saw this entire box of goodies sitting on my doorstep? She even sent something for my furbabies! How sweet is she?

There is some seriously good stuff in here - Burt's Bees, OPI and my first ever Lilly - but I think this one is my favorite.

What can I say? It's all the small stuff that makes me happy!

And suddenly, it's okay to laugh when people fall down

{image via sharetv}

Have you guys seen this show Wednesday nights on ABC? Freaking funniest thing you've ever seen!

I'm not usually into reality show competitions. Sure, I love me some Tori & Dean, but when it comes to stuff like Big Brother, Biggest Loser or The Bachelor, count me out. Just not interested.

That is, until one Thursday morning a few weeks ago when my friends the baristas at Starbucks were laughing their tails off as they talked about this show. Of course, I was intrigued, thinking it can't possibly be as funny as they claim it is, right? It's 10 times funnier. In fact, words cannot do justice to just how freaking hilarious this show is. Do you laugh when other people fall down? Giggle behind your hand when you see someone trip in public? Baby, this is your show.

{image via time inc}

And not only are people doing their pride some serious damage, but the ESPN commentators are egging them on with some of the funniest material I've heard in a long time. The first night we watched, I was laughing so hard I was crying. And I haven't missed a show since.

Trust me. Watch it. Tonight. 8pm. ABC.

Worth every tear.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesdays at the Table

It's time for that blog carnival we all know and love, Tuesdays at the Table!

This recipe is super easy, but it requires a little forethought, which is definitely not my forte. Twice a year when I actually do have the presence of mind to marinate this chicken, it's totally worth the effort!

Yogurt Marinated Chicken
Original Source: Lite & Tasty Magazine

1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
Garlic (to taste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
6 chicken breasts (deboned and deskinned)

1. Put all ingredients together in a gallon size Ziploc bag.
2. Place chicken breasts in bag with marinade.
3. Let marinate 8 hrs or overnight.
4. Grill chicken until done (grilling time will vary).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yesterday was our six year wedding anniversary. Crazy stuff, right? I shake my head in amazement every time I think about it. No way am I old enough to have been married that long already! Our wedding day seems like yesterday and forever ago all at the same time.

A long time ago I promised you guys our engagement story, so here it is. Be warned: It's kinda long. (But well worth the read!)

It was November of our senior year in college. We were having a winter semi-formal for the first time in many years and I was on the planning committee. The Monday before the dance, I got a letter in my mailbox from a secret society (like a sorority or fraternity, except co-ed and well, secret). I thought this was a little odd, being that I was not a member of one and you generally joined long before your senior year. But I was an active leader on campus so maybe it had to do with my society or some other group I was part of. Anyway, of course, I mentioned my invitation to Nate. A darned if he hadn't gotten one too! Convenient, right?

The night of the dance came and everything went off without a hitch. Great turn out, good DJ, decorations were awesome, fun time had by all. As it's approaching midnight and time for us to leave, Nate is getting more and more antsy to go. But I am a hostess of this shindig, so I have to make sure I've done my part, right? I am running around doing a million little things while he continues to hurry me along. Then a great slow song comes on and I want to dance. Then I want to change my clothes before we go. When we finally leave, we are over 20 minutes late.

On the way there, I am crabbing at him because he wouldn't let me change my clothes. Hello?! It is 28 degrees outside and I am wearing a sequin top and open toed shoes under my winter coat. So not weather appropriate (but super cute, of course!). But he argued that he didn't have anything to change into, the invitation didn't say we could change, we don't have time, just stay dressed like you are.

The invitation directed us to take a little walk through the woods near campus. As we climb out of the car, my camera falls out of my pocket and Nate nearly has a heart attack. What are you doing with a camera? Why did you bring that? Did someone tell you to bring your camera? He totally thought I was on to him. But I bring my camera everywhere with me, so I just kind of looked at him like, 'Dude, what's your deal?' and kept walking.

Nate was in charge of bringing the flashlight for our little woodland adventure, so as we entered the woods, I asked him to turn it on. Click. Nothing. Dead. No batteries. Seriously? That was your only job and you didn't check the batteries? First you don't let me change my clothes and now I have to venture through the woods IN HEELS, IN THE DARK.

We forge ahead, flashlight-less, and Nate grabs my hand and points out the full moon and how romantic this walk is without a flashlight. Uh-huh. Right. I'm too busy watching my feet to look at any stupid moon. Poor guy, I was not making this easy!

We get to a little ditch with a piece of plywood laying over it. Nate starts to walk across it and I'm like, 'Don't walk on that! You don't know how long it's been there. You could fall and break your ankle and then I'll have to carry you out of here!'. Of course, not knowing that he'd put it there just that day so that I didn't have to jump the ditch in my heels. Which I totally did anyway.

We passed a little boy scout hut and turned down a side path and even in the dark you could kind of feel that you had entered a little clearing. The woods fell away and the path opened up on both sides. Then suddenly thousands of Christmas lights were twinkling all around us in the bushes and trees. Yes, literally, thousands (2500 to be exact!). It was like a wonderland.

And I still totally thought it was the secret society thing.

That is, until I saw the rose petals on the ground and the table with a spotlight and what looked suspiciously like a ring box. Who felt like a total heel then? This clearly took days of work and planning and I had been *ahem* difficult, to say the least, since the minute we left the dance. I was lucky he hadn't walked me to a different clearing and left me there instead!

So we walked hand in hand down the little aisle of rose petals and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so busy reminding myself to remember what he said (for the scrapbook later, duh!) that I completely missed the first two sentences! But I got the gist of it!

The whole thing was without a doubt the most romantic thing he has ever done for me. It took days to string up all the lights, then they blew a fuse, had to hi-jack electricity from the boy scout hut, and he was covered in poison ivy to boot! Poor guy. But it was worth every minute of it for the memories we have and the joy I get in telling the story over and over again. I love it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Six Word Saturday - Vacation Edition

Six Word Saturday is the blog carnival hosted every Saturday (clever, right?) by Show My Face. I could write volumes about our ten glorious days in the South, but I have neither the time nor the patience for that. Plus, I like you too much to put you through all that. You're welcome. So here's our vacation - six word Saturday style.

Only at Quaker Steak & Lube

Nate - Ready for his first triathlon

Leah and I - 20 years later

Lovely bride. Handsome groom. Best wishes!

Pretty pals pose poutily with pockets.

Rookie's not sure about new addition.

Nate gets in a little 'practice'.

This is art? Who'd buy this?

Apparently, these guys. Really, boys? Seriously?

Good times were had by all.

Nate got more than he expected.

The Fearsome Foursome - Miss you guys!

For more vacation pics, visit my Flickr stream here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

You know you've officially passed the 'growing out' hair phase when.... burn your boob with the hair straightener.

Don't ask how I know this. Just trust me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How do you spell Sara? L-A-Z-Y

I should be.... the house. It's amazing how dirty a house can get even when you've been gone for ten days.

...replying to the two dozen waiting emails in my inbox.

...reading the library book that's due back on Monday.

...working out with Jillian.

...getting my laptop re-organized after it's near-death experience.

...downloading pictures from our vacation.

...blogging something interesting, lest my blog readers decide I have deserted my little corner of cyberspace.

Instead, I am...

...contemplating a trip to Starbucks for my second coffee of the day, courtesy of the fabulous Starbucks treat receipt program.

...sitting around in my pajamas even though it's the middle of the afternoon.

...cuddling with my furbabies.

...catching up on all the trash TV I've missed the last two weeks. Tori and Dean, anyone?

...debating which to have for dinner: cheetos or a pop-tart.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mama's got a brand new tan

I can't decide if a decent tan is worth the possible melanoma

Nothing says summer quite like the glow of golden brown skin in a cute sundress. Sadly for me, I have skin so ridiculously pale that I bare more than a passing resemblance to Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Most days I'm totally okay with being the palest girl in the room. I flirted briefly with the tanning bed one summer, but quickly discovered that my golden glow came with a high price - more freckles. Every summer, I buy the latest and greatest in at home tanning products - lotions, sprays, foams, oh my! But I have neither the time nor the patience to apply carefully and then stand around waiting a month and a day for my skin to dry.

Finally yesterday, after a day at the amusement park during which I was slathered in SPF 50 from head to toe, I finally gave in to my vain yearning for a tan. Baby sister, Emily, works at a tanning salon that just so happens to offer spray tanning. So with a second wedding coming up this weekend and a rather slinky dress to wiggle into, I begged for a quickie appointment.

This was my first experience with technician applied spray tanning. I was admittedly a little nervous about the 'human error' factor (versus a Mystic Tan booth) and the whole 'naked in front of a total stranger' thing, but it was actually a total breeze. And I couldn't be more pleased! I'm tanner than I've been in years. True, I smell like a chemical sewer plant and I'm stickier than a hot cross bun, but I'll sleep it off, shower in the morning and be a bronzed goddess by lunch time tomorrow!

A decent tan may not be worth the possible melanoma, but it sure as heck is worth mild nudity and $25!

Sad day

{image via people}

It's official. Channing Tatum is married. So much for my Plan B.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

On vacation

{image via google images}

The car is packed, the dogs are walked and we are ready to hit the road for nine fabulous days down South! With the laptop still DOA, I'll be MIA for a few days. Sad, I know. But I have a fun post from my first ever guest blogger and a few scheduled posts to keep you busy while I am away. Try not to miss me too much!

Peace out, ya'll!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Laptop down

{image via google}

My laptop is sick. Working fine one minute. Black screen of death the next. Some mumbo jumbo about a Windows file missing or corrupt.

Unfortunately for me (and my laptop) neither Nate or I is very technically savvy. I can do most basic stuff but this is definitely beyond me.

Dang, dang, dang.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesdays at the Table

The second weekend of our vacation next week will be spent celebrating the wedding of a college friend in the town where we all went to school. We are, of course, super stoked to spend a few days with our college pals. The boys been calling non-stop the last two days, planning and plotting their no-doubt appropriately adult juvenile activities. The part I'm maybe not so stoked about - we're staying in the college dorm where the boys spent their senior year. As in bringing our own linens, sleeping in twin beds and showering in the nastiness that is a boys' college dorm room. I could barely stand to use the bathroom in there five years ago. I shudder to consider the state of the showers and what has likely gone on there in days past. Note to self: Pack rain boots for showering.

Sleeping arrangements aside, I am still super psyched. So in honor of our upcoming adventure, I'm going to share a favorite recipe from those hallowed halls. My friend Tre introduced us to this tastiness fall semester of freshman year. I am pretty sure five of my freshman fifteen came from this bean dip. For four years the bean dip was Tre's signature dish. She would share the love, but never the recipe. Then the last week of senior year - TADA! A sweet card and the recipe for all her girls! Now that's friendship.

So when we moved on the grad school, I made the bean dip my signature dish. 1. It's easy. 2. It has less than 10 ingredients. My kind of dish, right? Pretty soon, I wasn't allowed to make anything but Tre's Bean Dip for tailgating. In fact, I think I would have been turned away at the door if I'd ever dared to bring something else! Six years and two states later, I still take this to practically every tailgate, cookout and Euchre party.

Tre's Bean Dip

2 cans pre-seasoned black beans
1 small jar of cumin
1 16 ounce jar of sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
2 jars salsa (Mix mild and medium or medium and hot)
1 large package of Mexican style cheese
Tortillas for dipping

1. Drain black beans and pour into 13x9 pan.
2. Sprinkle 2 tbsp cumin on beans and stir until beans are coated. Spread beans across bottom of pan.
3. In a separate bowl, mix taco seasoning and sour cream. Layer on top of beans.
4. Layer salsa on top of sour cream.
5. Sprinkle on as much cheese as desired. (I use the whole darn package!)
6. Chill in fridge for one hour OR heat in oven at 350.
7. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
8. Say a little thank you to God that Tre shared this recipe once upon a time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What should be half way....but it's not

So today is Day 15 of The 30 Day Shred. I should be enjoying a leisurely stroll through Level 2 right about now. But of course, I'm lazier than a beached whale and didn't start working out until a scant 19 days before vacation. So instead, I'm trucking on in to Level 3 today!

To be perfectly honest though, it's only technically Day 14 of my Shred. I had to take Saturday off because I jacked up my shoulder somehow. I felt so guilty for slacking off, I seriously considered working out when we came in from the fireworks at 11:30pm! I hated to break the streak. I was hoping I'd just slept on the shoulder wrong and a day off and a good night's sleep would fix it. It seemed better on Sunday, so I did Level 2 again. But I woke up all tight and achy again today. Not as bad as Saturday morning, but still a fair amount of pain. So I'm not sure what's up with that, but I didn't let it stop me again.

I decided to move onto Level 3 in the hopes that it would have less plank activity and spare my shoulder a bit. There's less plank activity for sure, but let me tell you....Jillian Michaels ain't messin' around on this Level 3 business! Holy Cow! That was a very intense 20 minutes! But I actually kind of found it...dare I say

Of course, it being Monday, I measured myself again. I find it very hard not to measure myself every single day. I'm doing pretty well, only really measuring fully once a week and maybe measuring my trouble spot hips every other day. Obsessive much?

Two weeks in, I've lost 2.75 inches on my waist. I want to think this is a mistake, but I measured like 3 times to make sure it was true. Even when I breathe out and make myself as 'large' as possible, I still come up with the same number. I notice a definite difference in my ab strength too. There's no six pack yet, but I definitely see a muscle or two popping out at the top!

The rest of the measurements aren't nearly as impressive. One full inch off my thigh and another off my bust (hello, so not what I was going for!). And my hips are holding strong at the EXACT SAME FREAKING MEASUREMENT. Ugh. So frustrating. But I think that Level 3 might finally start to make a real difference there. There is a lot more plyometrics involved in this level and that might finally be what I need to unload these saddlebags.

Oddly, my weight and my body fat measurement have not wavered a single bit. I like to think that is because I am gaining muscle and losing fat, but the body fat number would indicate otherwise. I'm not too concerned with either of those numbers though, as I'm at a healthy place already for both. As long as I feel better, look better and my clothes fit better, I'm a happy camper.

Only 4 more work out day left until vacation. You can bet I plan to make the most of 'em!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

It's a yucky, rainy 4th of July here, so we're just kicking back and taking it easy. I was trying to come up with a clever 4th of July post idea and coming up completely blank. So I checked out my post from last year - and was surprised to find it is exactly where I am at again this year! At this time last year, I was stressed and feeling overwhelmed, most definitely not pursuing happiness. And although the circumstances this year are different, the resulting feelings are the same - I am stressed, overwhelmed and not pursuing happiness.

{image via collecting tokens}

I've been walking around a little like Eeyore, with a little raincloud over my head that I just can't seem to shake. So when I read last year's post on The Pursuit of Happiness it hit me all over again - I have much to be grateful for and I need to start acting like it. I have to stop wallowing in what I don't have and start pursuing happiness again.


Text from last year. Original post is here.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
-Declaration of Independence
, 1776

In deciding what to post this morning, I decided to re-read the Declaration of Independence. It has been years, probably high school, since I read the whole the thing through. I am in awe of extraordinary bravery of those ordinary men.

But that's not what this post is about. The passage above is probably one of the most familiar passages of the entire document, words that most Americans recognize. In reading it through this morning, I was struck by the words 'pursuit of Happiness'.

The dictionary defines pursuit as:

1. the act of pursuing
2. an effort to secure or attain; quest
3. any occupation, pastime, or the like, in which a person is engaged regularly
or customarily

—Synonyms 1. chase, hunt. 2. search. 3. activity, preoccupation, inclination.

Pursuit requires action, effort, a search or quest. Happiness is not a right or a guarantee. I do have the right to wake up in the morning and decide to be happy. Happiness is a decision.

Most days I win this battle but the last few weeks have been stressful and I had forgotten that the pursuit of happiness is my right. Starting today, I will again make the conscious decision to be happy (at least most days!).

If you want to read the full Declaration of Independence or other information about it, visit US

Better late than never

I finally uploaded my pictures from Em's graduation. Sorry it took so long! Check them out on Flickr here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O-range P-olish I-ndeed!

I have gotten an unprecedented number of pedicures already this summer. The next door neighbor wants an impromptu pedi? Sure, I'll join you! Friend from church wants a girls afternoon pedi? I'm in! Bonding time pedi with my baby sis on her visit? Nothing better!

I always choose an OPI polish and I manage to get weeks out of my pedicures. Each week I paint a single clear topcoat on my toes and keeps my posies perfectly polished for days on end!

So when I saw that ULTA had OPI polish 'Buy 2, Get 1 Free', I took full advantage! The middle one is 'I'm Not Really a Waitress' red. It's what I have gotten the last two pedicures and I absolutely love it. The pink one is 'Party in my Cabana'. Now I have never in my life used such a bright pink polish - I'm more of a dark red berry kind of girl - but one of my girlfriends always has bubblegum pink polish on her toes and I admire it every time. And who can resist a name like 'Party in my Cabana'?

And finally, the piece de resistance.....'Clubbing til Sunrise' orange. For someone who rarely ventures outside of 'I'm Not Really a Waitress' territory, this one is quite a leap. But I am already counting down the days until Volunteer football and this polish fits right in with my extensive orange wardrobe. I can hardly wait until September to wear it!

What brand of nail polish do you swear by? Are you a one-color-wonder or do you like to wear the rainbow?
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