Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Preppy Decade... Or Looking Back as an Individual

For me personally this decade has been full of changes, and I'm definitely showing my age with this one. I graduated high school, moved away for college, and graduated college. I applied to medical school once, and was wait listed. Applied again, and was wait listed. Applied a third time and have been accepted. I learned to be persistent in reaching for my dreams, but I also learned to be flexible, to live in the moment even though I felt there was a bigger future ahead of me. 

I enjoyed and faced the end of two long term relationships in this decade. My heart broke, and I felt as though my world would end, and then I picked myself up brushed myself off and moved forward.

I moved from Wyoming, to Arkansas, to New York, to Florida, to Texas. I went from a small town girl, to a member of the workforce in Manhattan. I have worked as a receptionist, an academic assistant, a health club supervisor, a server, a cocktail waitress, an executive assistant for a stock firm, a merchandising development assistant for an interior designer, a dental practice manager, and now a client relations and marketing specialist for a technology firm. Each of the places I have lived, and each of the jobs I have held has shaped me and grown me into the person I am today.

I have taken on student loans, totaled a car, lost an appendix, bought my first car on my own, paid off my car, paid off a major amount of debt, had to replace my first vehicle and buy my second car on my own. 

I have trained for a marathon three times and never actually ran one. I have been faithful about exercising and health. I have been unfaithful about exercising and health. 

I have made bad decisions, and good decisions. I have learned to budget and manage my finances. I have learned to pay off debt, and understand how my credit rating works. I have learned how deep my inner strength runs. I have learned that I am resilient, that I will find a way to work through even the hardest challenges.

I have felt ashamed of myself, felt isolated from the church, and my relationship with the Lord. I have been reminded that I can never stray so far that God won't still love me. I have been restored in my faith, and brought close to my Savior again. I have remembered that without faith, I am only partially whole.

Wow... this decade as been full of a lot. A lot of heartache and loneliness, but also a lot of Joy and accomplishment. I have gone from being a young girl, to being a woman. From being a child to being an adult. Thinking back to what I would have wanted for myself when I was in high school ... I don't know that I would have ever imagined things to be this way. I had dreamt of making it to the big city, but never actually thought I would. I had dreamt of making it into medical school, but had no idea how taxing that journey would be, or how amazing it would feel when I finally got the acceptance letter. There are things I said I would never do, that I've done... and been ashamed of. But the reality is that I've learned not to lose myself in those moments. Those times when I've the very worst version of myself, are not the end all and be all of my existence, just a momentary stop on this journey forward. Overall, I think the high school me would be proud of the person I am today. She'd be shocked at what it took to get me here (and I'm glad I didn't know then, how hard some things in my future would be), but she would, and I do feel a great sense of accomplishment in who I've become and what I've done in the past decade.

I'm thankful that I've learned in new and amazing ways that God is faithful always standing by my side. He's gracious and forgiving, and that He always has a plan. I'm also glad that I've learned that I don't need to see His plan, but I just need to trust and to be faithful daily and His plan becomes apparent. I know that seems like it is common sense, but it's taken me a decade to learn it!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking Back as a Citizen...

Everyone says they're cliche, but I love the practice of making New Years Resolutions. For me it's part of goal setting, and a reminder to keep aiming to be the person I most want to be in life. I often miss the mark, but none the less I'm still aiming!

So for me the process of New Years Resolutions begins with looking back. And as this year is not just the close of a year, but also the close of a decade I really want to look back and think about where I've been and whether or not I'm the person I thought I would be. 

For all of us this decade has brought great tragedy. The terrorist attacks of 9-11, the tsunami, the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Chinese earthquake, years long drought in Africa and many more. But it's also been a decade of great advancement. Much progress has been made in the world wide battle against HIV, we have seen the strength of a nation standing together and supporting those families that lost loved ones, we have pulled together to help with international and domestic relief efforts, and we have reached out and helped our neighbors as they have lost jobs and homes. We've started to grow our own produce, and save money, and plan more conservatively for the financial future.

At the end of this decade, I'm proud of us. Proud of us as citizens of America, and proud of us as global citizens. Yes, there are areas for improvement, but I often see my fellow Americans reaching out and doing the right thing. I have been amazed to see activists across the world push for social justice. To see the best and brightest students from my university become teachers in foreign countries, Doctors who practice medicine internationally, provide education and job services to break the cycle of prostitution in India, become lawyers fighting for human rights with International Justice Mission, to work in orphanages in Africa. I feel so honored and so privileged to know such giving people personally, and to be inspired by their choices throughout the years.

As you prepare for the New Year, what are some things that have made you proud of your fellow citizens?

*I have tried to link each photo to where it came from, if I pulled a photo from your blog and didn't link back please let me know and I'll be happy to correct my mistake!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time to Re-Focus

By this time I have all my Christmas shopping done, most of my gifts wrapped, and all the shopping done for my winter wardrobe (it finally fell below 50 here in Austin, so I of course ran out and bought armfuls of sweaters and coats -- and somehow didn't buy gloves but that's another story altogether).

I'm feeling a little inundated with posts about "What I want for Christmas" or "What I'm buying so and so for Christmas." I personally have stretched, and strained, and over reached my budget for the month... and as often happens after the buying blizzard is over... I'm forcing myself to sit back and think about what really matters...

I'm thankful that I'm healthy, and happy, and have opportunities on the horizon. What a wonderful Savior I serve. What other King would leave his thrown, and his riches, and his Glory to become "the Least of These" for me? As the season has progressed I've quietly (and admittedly inconsistently) celebrated the advent, the Christian season of watchful waiting for the Savior who has come once before and will come again.

I'm relieved that the sum of my life is not all I own, or all that I can buy, but rather all that I am, and hopefully a reflection of the One who created me.

Tonight I'm going to pour a glass of wine, sit by my fire (unless of course its 65 like it was yesterday) surrounded by the PBF, our three loving dogs and my beautiful Christmas Tree. These quiet moments of beauty and rest are the things I enjoy the most about the Christmas Season. The reminder each year that there was One who came for you and me, who loves each of us more than we could ever imagine. That the love we share with one another is a small example of how much He Loves Us! 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I love my ecosphere

Today, I really wish I wasn't at work... Somehow knowing that this week is a short week, is making it seem particularly punishing. Knowing that in just a few days I will be on my way to Arkansas to spend my very first Christmas at the PBF's family home (can you believe we've been together 4 1/2 years and we've never spent Christmas together with his family?) is making each minute spent on the 27th floor feel like an hour. 

So instead of working today, I'm sitting at my desk staring at my ecosphere. What is an ecosphere you ask? It's a self contained environment. My ecosphere has two crustaceans, some algae, and a small piece of coral. All it needs is moderate light, and it grows and functions all on it's own. 

As silly as it sounds I love watching my little crustaceans swim around on my desk. I love how beautiful this small piece of nature is. 

I'm always brought to a place of awe and wonder as I think about how perfectly each of these things works together to create a self-contained little environment. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blogger's Block

Hello, blog world... this is my brief post to say hello! Merry Christmas! 

And yes I am still alive....

So much has happened between now and thanksgiving, that I'm afraid I have too much to write about... 

I'm not quite sure where to start... so I'm procrastinating!

I hope everyone has a blessed holiday filled with Laughter, Joy and Family!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Skagen Watches...

Readers I'm having a shopping breakdown... okay not really but still a mini crisis...

I'm thinking of buying my sister a watch for Christmas, and this lovely Skagen watch happens to be on sale on editors closet (you can get an invitation by clicking the button on the right hand side of my blog). I fell in love with this one for my sister:

And for the sake of honesty I'm also considering buying one for myself, they are at 75% off retail price.

However, I also like this one from another website that is a similar price, but is it too masculine?

Then of course, I'm tempted to buy some for myself, I mean they are just soo cheap... but really I already have two watches.... do I need four? Aackk.... I want them, but don't need them... but I sure do want to buy them....

So readers, should I splurge and by myself two new watches? and do we like the plain black watch or the one with embellishments more?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway winner!

Hurray, it's time to announce my giveaway winners...

Here's the process of how the winner was selected:

For everyone who entered I dropped by your blog, and you got one entry per day that you mentioned my giveaway on your blog. Everyone also got one entry for commenting on which card they liked best from the MDCardsandGifts Etsy store.

I typed all the entries into the random list generator at and....

Gena is the winner! Gena I don't have access to your profile so I hope you see this! Drop by the MDCardsandGifts Etsy store and let them know what you want! If you don't respond by Friday December 4th, then the award passes onto KAG, so stay close KAG!

For those of you in Austin, MDCardsandGifts will be at the Georgetown Christmas Stroll in Georgetown this Saturday, December 5th, they will be one of the booths that backs up to the courthouse! Drop by and say hello!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Preppy Card Giveaway ends tomorrow!

Hello readers,

Oooh I have so much to catch you up on, but for now I just wanted to remind you that the preppy card giveaway ends tomorrow, so be sure enter here and post about it on your blog....

I just dropped by MDCardsandGifts at etsy and saw Maggie's super cute new monogram cards.... how fantastic is this preppy black and light pink card?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wishing you a very Pink Christmas

I'll be a little MIA this week, but I wanted to remind you to enter my fantastic giveaway!

Read this post for the full details, and be sure to drop by MDCardsandGifts frequently to see the new items added!

I've recently fallen in love with this Cheery Pink Christmas card! This one would be perfect for some of my fellow pink lovers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Monogram or Christmas Card Giveaway

Hurray! My Giveaway Starts today!
Many thanks to the ever creative Maggie, from the Etsy store MDCardsandGifts for pairing with me on this giveaway.
This giveaway is for one set ($6 and under) of your choosing of monogram notecards (any monogram set can be personalized for you, and you can even order your own personalized set by filling out an Alchemy request and giving Maggie your monogram, color palette, and number of cards).
One set ($6 and under) of your choosing of Christmas cards or Gift tags.

The rules are as follows:

~Earn one entry by visiting MDCardsandGifts on Etsy and leaving a comment here telling me which card is your favorite!

~Earn one entry for every mention of the giveaway on your blog. For example mention the giveaway today and get one entry, mention it again tomorrow and get another entry, mention it every day between today and Monday November 30th and get 11 entries! Maggie will be posting new items frequently throughout the week to give you something new and fun to feature with each mention!

This giveaway ends Monday November 30th at 7pm, and Maggie has agreed that whatever item you order will be delivered by Friday December 4th, so if you order a Christmas card set you'll still have plenty of time to send them!

Let the fun begin! Ho~ Ho~ Ho

And just so you know if you win, and decide you want to give me these... that would be FANTASTIC! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Preppy Card Giveaway...and some preppy Christmas Cards

I must admit I have been remiss in keeping up with important blog coming and goings...

You see my 100th post went by without mention, as did my one year blogging anniversary... so to make up for it I am pairing with the ever lovely Maggie of the ETSY store MD Cards and Gifts to bring you an ever so fabulous Preppy Card Giveaway! Stay tuned as the full details will be posted tomorrow! In the meantime drop by her newly established ETSY store and see some of the fantastic cards she is selling!

I love this reindeer card:

And how great is this preppy gift card holder:

Love, love, love the polka dot Christmas tree card:

and I'm drooling over this elegant card,

And just to represent Austin we've got to throw in this card right?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trade in Those Mud Pies... C.S. Lewis

I periodically have moments where I'm not sure how deep, or how much to share on this blog. I never want to bare my whole soul, but I also want to be true to who I am. Although, this blog started as a fun shallow past-time, a way to talk about and share some of my thoughts and ideas without putting too much thought into it, occasionally I want to share something very close to home... 

This weekend I was reviewing some notes from church and I re-discovered this C.S. Lewis quote:

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. CS Lewis

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sugar Doll Award

The Wife, gave me this sweet award, thank you so much! 

The award says I should tell you ten random things about myself and pass the award on to ten bloggers... so here goes:

1. I can't imagine my life without my dogs. What do people without dogs do with their spare time?

2. I am constantly pleasantly surprised that all of you in blog land want to read my drivel... and I am so thankful for all of the new friendships I'm forming!

3. The PBF bought me a guitar last spring because I used to play, and I haven't  hardly touched it. I don't know why, I just haven't. He however, has been playing it and sounds wonderful!

4. There are lots of things I'm going to miss about Austin when we move, but at the top of the list is my church. I'm afraid I won't find another 'home' church in the Bay Area.

5. Because I am not close to my parents, and growing up I never turned to them for advice... I have a really hard time seeking advice and wisdom before making a decision. But whenever I step out there and ask someone I trust for wisdom or godly counsel, I am always pleasantly surprised!

6. I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I want it to snow from Thanksgiving to New Years and then I want it to be 80 again! 

7. Growing up my family didn't go on family vacations. I went places by myself, to swim camp, to visit my grandparents etc. But we as a family never went anywhere... so this vacation to Mexico with PBF's family is my first 'family' vacation ever, and I am SO excited!

8. I was always a little jealous of my cousins because they grew up living close to my grandparents and I assumed they had a better relationship with them than I do. My grandma recently told me that I'm the grandchild she talks to the most and is the closest to, that made me happy, and sad because we don't talk all that often... so I'm going to make a serious effort to reach out to them more often now.

9. I'm scared of the dark. That's right, scared of the dark. When the PBF is gone I leave a light on in the living room. Our first year together, he was working in a restaurant he'd get home really late and I would have every light in the house turned on. He would get frustrated about how I was waisting energy, so one day I calculated how many kilowatt hours I was using if I had every lightbulb in the house on. I then figured out how much his electric company was charging him for kilowatt hours. I calculated how much it costs for me to leave all the lights on a few nights a week (it was somewhere around $1.85). Then I wrote him a paper "On Energy Usage in the Home," in which I explained all the math, my results, and then asked him if my peace of mind was worth $1.85. He's never bugged me about leaving the lights on, and we still laugh about the paper!

10. I love rainy days, foggy days, snowy days... although I enjoy sunshine and hot days. I grew up in a high plains desert, so any kind of weather feels unusual and awesome to me!

I pass this award on to:

Fun with The Super Mums - Super cute and cheery blog, always good for a smile!
Up North Preppy - Sweet preppy blog, featuring cute blogs, and the life of newlyweds moving into their new home
Weigleinc - an in real life friend of mine from college
Frayed Laces - A grad student, and avid runner living in Hawaii
Footy Pajamas - Another in real life friend from college
BrooklynLimestone - She has renovated a Brooklyn Limestone... it's stunning, and she's always doing creative and gorgeous projects. One of my favorite home design reads!
Practically Perfect - They'll be moving to New Zealand this spring, start reading to hear more about their great adventures
Grove Gals - started by two girls who own a stationary business
The company she keeps - cute blog by a Lilly lover
Sweet Tea Diarries - Great blog by a southern girl living in LA

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rent the Runway

I'm finally starting to feel better, however I have this nagging cough that is keeping me out of the gym... so much for 30-day shredding my way to Mexico over Thanksgiving! But at least I won't be sick while I'm there :)

On a much happier note, have you ever heard of bag, borrow, steal? It's a website where you can rent designer handbags and jewelry, and if you love them you can buy them. It's not a discount site, but it's a fun idea.

Along similar lines, the New York Times Online posted an article about a website called "Rent the Runway". According to the description you can rent designer couture gowns that would normally cost you $1,000 or more for $50 to $200 for two days. I've always thought it was unfair that men could rent tuxes for a special event but women had to buy the dress! You simply rent the dress, it's mailed to your home, you wear it and return it in the package they send to you. Dry cleaning is included in the cost of the rental. It's like Netflix for couture! This sounds like a fun way to expand your fashion wardrobe without spending half a months worth of salary! The bad news, is that the website which has only been up for one week and only has 160 dresses, already has a list of 20,000 members. However, you can be added to the waiting list and hopefully this new business will succeed and they will continue to add members!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So Sick...


Thank you all for faithfully commenting even though I've been sort of absent lately. 

I bought a 2004 Accord, and I love it so far. It's an adjustment from the explorer, but I know I'll love the better gas mileage when we move out to California this summer!

I'm sick again, blech... this has been the worst cold and flu season I've had in a minute... honestly I think I've caught everything that's going around (except H1N1). So for now, I may be a little MIA, but I promise I'm lurking around!

Briasmama, was kind enough to give me the Honest Scrap award... so hopefully sometime soon I'll post about that.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good Bye Explorer... Hello New Car

It's a sad day at the preppy house dear friends... This morning I took my car in for some basic maintenance... only to find out that my perfectly cute, paid off, wonderful SUV that I was planning on driving "until it died." Has met an untimely end, and is apparently a death trap! My sweet car spent a few years driving on the over salted roads of upstate New York. Unbeknownst to me the road salt wreaked complete havoc with my car, and more than a handful of necessary parts have in the words of our mechanic "disintegrated" and he's not joking. He let us look under the car and parts that are supposed to be connected are just gone, and the whole car is completely rusted :( 

Basically, he said I was a few weeks away from a very dangerous accident. I spent most of the day crying and looking for new cars. Crying because I really, really loved my car. I bought it after having a major accident in New York... I totaled my car in a six car pile-up...  The explorer was an unexpected purchase and I spent the next two years busting my behind to pay the explorer off. In December of 2008 I paid of the car and have been living sans car payment for a cheerful 10 months... until today :( 

I loved my car, it was my first major purchase as a responsible adult, she's never needed any work. I sort of feel like this car represented a major achievement in my life. Having it paid off made me feel like a financially secure adult. Today, that sort of crumbled. 

Buying a car was so far off of my radar. I've been budgeting and trying to save for medical school, so I don't have any money set aside for it, and I just used the good majority of my savings to make my first tuition deposit. I have to buy a car on Monday because my grandparents are coming to visit next weekend and I'll need a vehicle to drive them around as they aren't renting a car. Phew... the weight of this unexpected expense just makes me want to crawl into bed and hide. I know that in 8 months I will be living on student loans and the idea of taking on car debt in addition to that makes me cringe!

So for now, I am begrudgingly car shopping. At the moment I'm leaning towards a 2006 Honda Civic... What do you all drive? What used cars do you recommend?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lilly Pulitzer and a J. Crew Cardigan from Ebay

Since I am trying to spend less, and since I recently cleaned out my closet via ebay, I have been browsing for some fantastic deals... This week I found two items I couldn't pass up:

A Lilly Pulitzer tunic with gold embroidery around the collar, sleeves, and hem for $15 including shipping (for those true Lilly fans out there, what is the name of this piece do you know?)

And the J. crew Jackie Cardigan in a lovely bright berry color for $25

Yay! I'm wearing the tunic today to work, and it's a light linen blend so will be great with some white shorts for my trip to Puerto Vallarta over Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Row Nine, Rue La La, Gilt Group, and One Kings Lane

Readers, this post will be short and sweet...

Most of you probably know about these member's only shopping discount sites, but for those of you who don't I wanted to let you know and give you the option to sign up.

These sites feature designers from BCBG, Vera Wang, to Kate Moss and Seven Jeans. They are member's only sites, and I've now included links to Row Nine, Rue La La and Gilt Group invitations on my side bar for you. If you would like access to One Kings Lane which is a housewares sale site just email me and I'll invite you.

The fantastic thing about these sites is you can score designer duds at remarkable discounts, with no commitment. They don't cost you a thing, and they don't sign you up for a bunch of annoying emails or anything. The return policies on these sites are fantastic and the array of sales they offer is astounding. For some of the sites the sales run only for 24 hours, for others they may run for a week.

Hit the wall head on...

I had a bad day yesterday, and today isn't necessarily looking any better! I just sort of feel like I'm stalling out right now. There are amazing things happening in my life: medical school, personal growth that started with the exercise of budgeting, spiritual growth that started with a commitment to go to church every week during this topic, but the day to day of my life... getting up, going to work, coming home, picking up, going to bed... it just sort of feels like I'm sputtering through this week, and it's only Tuesday.

I'm sure each of us has had a bad week or two occasionally, so what works to cheer you up when you've got a case of the "mean reds"?

For now I'm going to tuck in and focus on the task at hand, I think one of the best blessings and biggest challenges of life is that it is only temporary... So I know that this day, and this week will come to an end, and there's a new day and a new week full of hope and promise, and hopefully a better mood just around the corner!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Are you an Early Christmas shopper?

I love buying presents for people, and I love having a fully stocked gift closet so I'm not running out at the last minute trying to find the "perfect" hostess gift.

As such, I am an early Christmas shopper... I buy presents ridiculously early. However, this year I'm stumped as to what to get for the preppy boyfriend's father. PBF's family is always so kind and generous to me, I always want to give them something special. I have a few things for PBF's mom and sister, but his father has completely eluded me. Earlier this year I gave them a book as a hostess present and he raved about it, so I'm thinking of perhaps another book or two. He loves to cook, so perhaps a unique cook book of some sort? Maybe Texas' best BBQ or something... I don't know, I'm just stumped.
He's also been working out lately so I thought of maybe giving him a few personal trainer sessions, you know the kind where they come to your house and train you... but I thought that might be insulting? 
What have you all given your Father in law's for Christmas (I know he's not technically my father in law...)?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

30 Day Shred day 3 kicked my bottom

Okay so I promise sooner or later I'll blog about something apart from the 30-day shred, it's just that it's the new thing in my life right now...

So about my last post where I say it wasn't as hard as I thought, I'm totally eating those words. I was so sore the next day that I had to take a day off. I hopped on the eliptical trainer to work out some of that soreness (I'm of the school of thought that an easy workout generates blood flow and increases recovery time). The eliptical was tough and a good workout! So this morning I was back to the shred again. My muscles are fatigued, and I'm praying for less soreness this time around... we'll see.

For anyone who has ever hated workout videos, but wants to try one again... I recommend the shred you need the video ($10) and some hand weights ($10) and you're ready to go! It's cheap and so far as been an awesome workout. One note though, in the 25 minutes I did the workout I only burned 150, about half of what I would burn on the stairmaster, treadmill, or eliptical (measured with my polar heart rate monitor). However, exercise scientists say that weight training keeps your body burning calories at a high rate much longer than cardio, so overall it's about the same for calorie burn (in theory).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Be Grateful To Yourself, 30 Day Shred Day 1

This quote was the daily quote in my Real Simple Daily Quotes email earlier this week and it struck a chord with me:

"I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself." ~ Oprah Winfrey

As I've started to budget, I've begun to realize how much shopping I really do, and how much time and effort I spend on that pursuit. For me it just feels out of proportion. Clothes are an important part of your image, and how you present yourself. But, I don't want to feel like what clothing I have and what clothing I wear defines me. Right now I think my relationship with clothes is a little unhealthy. Part of that stems from just not knowing what to do when I'm bored, and the other part of that stems from having an unhealthy image of myself. It seems as though nearly all women want to work on their figure or lose weight. I know I'm constantly wanting to change my appearance. Right now I'm working towards accepting myself for who I am, and also working towards being healthy. Eating healthier, and focusing on getting the recommended amount of cardio and strength training in per week. I would like to see some weight loss, however, I would much rather have a healthy habit of exercise. So for now I'm doing the 30 day shred for strength and doing 5 days of 30-45 min of cardio per week.
When I started the budget I had no idea how transforming it would be, but I'm really learning some important lessons about my self, and my perspectives on life through this exercise. It's exciting to feel like I'm growing as a person.

30 Day Shred, Day 1 notes:
I woke up late, but was committed to doing the 30 day shred this morning (and I was excited to do it), so I ended up being a little late to work. Thankfully nobody at work cares if your late. The workout was challenging, but it was easy to catch on to because they are familiar and basic moves. I used 5 pound weights and even now I can feel the fatigue in my arm muscles. I also wore my heart monitor and found that my heart rate was higher throughout the workout than I had thought it would be (at one point I got up into the 90% of maximum heart rate range). I also burned between 150 and 200 calories, which is what I expected given that the routine is 20 min or so. I have to say, I'm not a huge exercise video fan, but this one wasn't bad. I certainly had more energy when I got to work today! Level 1 wasn't as excruciating as some of the reviews made it sound, but I did have to modify some moves (on the second round of squats and presses I did one press for every 2 squats... also, I can't do more than 13 or so pushups without stopping). So hopefully, I'll master level one this week and can move onto level 2 next week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

30 day shred and Boondock Saints II

I just received my copy of the 30 day shred, and as I'm exactly 31 days away from my Mexico vacation I'll be starting the shred tomorrow! Hopefully I'll be posting updates as to how its going! I've also been watching what I eat, and since my employer basically said she was canceling our gym memberships if we didn't use them I'll be doing a few spin classes a week at my gym. I'm not looking for drastic results, just a little more toning (I mean honestly I have cellulite on my CALVES? What in the world?), and maybe a 3 or 4 pound weight loss!

PS has anyone heard about Jillian's new show "losing it with Jillian" it'll be on NBC and it'll feature Jillian moving in with a family for a week and telling them how bad all their choices are for themselves. Sounds good! Also, if any of you out there are fans of the movie Boondock Saints it looks like there is a sequel (maybe not new, but new to me Boondock Saints II All Saints Day)

Summary and photo courtesy of

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tuescher's Truffles, High Waist Jeans, and What to do if you don't like your friend's friends

Woo Hoo!

We're having girls night tonight and I am so excited. We have a great group of friends in Austin, and for whatever reason I don't get to see them as much as I would like... so tonight all of us girls are meeting for Tapas! I cannot wait, as I already work downtown, I pretty much just have to hang out until the other girls get off work and can get through traffic to get here. This would be the perfect time to do some shopping... however I am not shopping, so hopefully my girls will get here soon (otherwise I may have to stop by Teuschers and pick up a champagne truffle just because). I loved seeing the awesome window displays at the Teuschers in Rockefeller Center on my way to work, and I was thrilled to see one opening in down town Austin... seriously I must go there soon!

On to better things, I've mentioned my big budget fail this month... part of that was a pair of high waist wide leg jeans similar to these but without the gold trim.

 I love these jeans they are so comfortable! Big Bonus they were $15 at TJ Maxx... I mean that's practically free, and I hate jeans I think they are so uncomfortable, so to find a comfy pair for cheap...I couldn't say no. Excuses aside, as much as I love them I'm late to the high waist trend... what should I wear them with? Right now I'm wearing them with this blouse, and a white caridgan, and I've tried the blouse tucked in to show of the high waist and it looks okay (my co-worker says it looks great), but I keep untucking it, which is fine, except then these great pants sort of end up looking like mom jeans... 

Any input? Any suggestions? So many of my basic tees are in black or dark grey that I'm afraid I have nothing to wear my super cute new jeans with! Aack!

On a much shallower note, I'm suffering a dilemma that many of us have suffered. I have a friend, who has best friends, whom I cannot stand. I think they are bossy, and rude, and always have to be the center of attention. They are the type of people who sit at a table of eight and pull two others into a private conversation to the exclusion of everyone else at the table. Honestly, I just think they are beyond rude. However, they are fabulous friends to my friend. I am thankful that she has such great girlfriends, and lucky for me these friends live out of town so they aren't here very often, but whenever they are here I want to make myself scarce. The challenge is that I don't get to spend as much time with my group of friends as I would like... so whenever we can get together I want to be there... does anyone have any great tips for being charming, and sweet and ever so courteous to afore mentioned friends?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Setting Goals for the year before Medical School

I have a confession, I am a chronic list maker. I love to take the things rolling around in my head and make lists out of them. I have a certain paper size I like to make lists on 5X8, at work I use the 5X8 Junior Legal pads, at home I have several notebooks that are 5 X 8.
Something about seeing all my thoughts in list form on a tidy little sheet of paper makes me feel organized. Who cares if my blinds are dusty (by the way does anyone have any super easy tips on how to clean wooden blinds?), who cares if my home office/gift room looks like a disaster I have a list, or two, or well, fifteen!
So what's on my list right now? My monthly budget (which I apparently is a huge FAIL, good thing I'm starting now), estimated moving costs (to put a deep seated root of fear in me and inspire me to budget and save), and my goals to achieve before medical school!
Ah, the goals list... I've been thinking and carefully crafting my list of goals that I want to achieve before medical school, I thought it might be fun to share! Hopefully for inspiration for you, and if you want I'd love to hear what some of your goals are now! These are in no particular order...

~ Spiritual Growth - to be honest although I went to a christian college, I've found that my spiritual life has been sort of hit or miss since becoming an adult. I know medical school is going to be trying in ways I can't even imagine, but I also have a very keen sense (in a way that's completely new to me) that this really is God's will for my life. That being said (as cheesy and cliche as it sounds) I want to have a growing spiritual foundation underfoot, so that daily through the struggle of school I'll find my Rock.

~ Saving, saving, saving... I fear, that ya'll will soon become tired of my gratuitous repetition of this theme, but I can see now that it's going to be a struggle. Since my student loans won't come in until mid-September and school starts at the beginning of August I need to be financially prepared for the big move to the Bay Area and also need to be prepared financially to live for a few months before my loans come in. Right now I'm aiming for $12,200 for moving expenses, August living expenses, and September living expenses. That is a lot of money! One thing all of our cross country moves has taught me is that moving is always more expensive than you plan for!

~ Fitness... although I always seem to wish I weighed less than I do, I really want to create a habit of fitness in my life. In college I was a swimmer and I had a fantastic running partner so I was always fit and days where I didn't work out seemed weird. At the ripe old age of 26 I am a total couch potato, seriously its gross 4+ hours of TV a night... blech. So my goal is to get back into the habit of doing something active regularly, although I've tried a wide variety of things, I'm thinking I might start running again... not with a race or goal in mind, but just running because I love running.

~ Cleaning House... Okay I clean the house regularly now, but what I mean by that is getting rid of old and unused nonsense (which is why I'm selling a bunch of stuff on ebay right now, drop by and see if anything catches your eye, my username is danimjo). My goal is to go through and clean out the closets and the rooms one by one and narrow things down. Some people have great luck with garage sales, but for whatever reason every time the PBF and I have one it is a total flop, so I'm trying things like ebay and craigslist to sell whatever we don't want. After that we'll probably just donate whatever is left.

~ Second Job... This one is a huge maybe. I am nervous about saving all I need to for starting medical school, and so I'm seriously considering getting a second job part-time. The challenge here is that I'll need to work evenings and weekends. This of course leaves only a few fields open as options: retail or restaurant-unless any of you successful work from home readers know your company wants to hire me :). I have a long history of working in the restaurant industry and its the best bet to earn the most while working part time, the PBF is a chef and he and I met while we worked together. However, I hate the hours, and I'm a work a-holic. So I'm always that server that comes on saying I want 2-3 shifts a week and then I end up picking up for everyone and before you know it I'm working 6 shifts a week. I'm also always the server who has the 4 o'clock in time and then ends up closing because you can easily earn an extra $100 closing as opposed to going home at 9 or 10. That is not how I want to spend the year before medical school. But I know a few months of $400 weekends sure would boost my "Saving my way to $12,000" confidence!

So, there it is, in not so concise form, my goal list and all the associated ramblings that are rolling through my head!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pink and Green Christmas Ornaments on SALE!

For those of you that are looking for some super cute Christmas ornaments I saw these on sale at Kirklands for $5. They had the pink and green ones shown and they also had some super cute red and green ones.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Items I'm selling on ebay

Hey readers! I'm selling some stuff on ebay and thought I'd let ya'll know. My ebay name is danimjo. Here is a quick preview of some of the items from my closet: