um…yeah, let’s catch up

Friday, May 25, 2012

Remember when I said I was gonna try to put more words down and be more vigilant about making time to write? um…yeah I’ve been busy. If you are a friend on Instagram, then you’d have a clue what I’ve been up to. For the rest of you, here’s a brief recap:

Last we talked, it was the first of the month and I’d just gone to a concert. Well, since then…
I traveled to good ol’ Lubbock to do some maternity portraits, a baby shower, and attended my first ever Christian Rock concert (loved that they had the lyrics on the big screen so you could sing along!

I also caught my first baseball game of the season. Later than normal for me for me to go, but it was a wonderful surprise from my husband! Despite the loss, it was still a great game.

I also had a me-party day where I treated myself to a blow-out (where I got to see The Notebook uninterrupted while sipping a super yummy mimosa), met up with a girlfriend for manis/pedis (and more yummy mimosas!), then headed out to the Byron Nelson golf tournament for a late lunch and laughs.

This group of people will brighten any mood and make your sides sore for days with all of the laughter. Who needs a workout video when you can hang with them?

Also, I headed up to Rochester, NY for one of my oldest friends’ wedding. It was such a nice and lovely wedding. I was glad I was able to travel up there and stand up alongside him for such a memorable occasion. I kept thinking to myself, daaang, when did we grow up??

And I have to say, how awesome are weddings? Not only for that nice jolt of lovey-dovey LOVE, but meeting new people and making friends with them. I was lucky enough to make a new friend who offered up a room in her home for my stay while there!! (everyone there was so welcoming and amazing, I’m highly endorsing Rochester as a place to visit, folks!) On the morning of the wedding, I’d gotten up to go for a quick 5K. I got to see so much green beauty on my run and it was a refreshing 49 degrees at 6AM. When I returned, I tried to be a good house guest and whipped us up some scrambled eggs with spinach. We also had amazing toast, yogurt with cereal, and some delicious flavored bread! We dined al fresco and it was heavenly!! (Thanks Jules!!)

Because I wasn’t busy enough, as soon as I landed from my trip, I took a power nap, then dolled myself up because it was my turn to surprise my husband. I’d gotten us tickets to see Green Day’s American Idiot at the Winspear and we’d made a complete date out of it. We went to eat at The Porch, had some libations at Veritas, popped in to the show at the Winspear, then finished the night at Union Bear. WHAT??? I know, it’s like we had free babysitting or something. Well, we did, thanks to my mother-in-law, who watched our girls on her birthday!! Amazing!
We like to dance where ever we are, whether in a wine bar (Al Green) or on a scenic balcony (singing Fly Me to the Moon).

Whew…busy! Oh, and we went to a vodka tasting with friends and capped the night off eating some raw oysters! Yum!! Best part was introducing friends to the wonderfulness that is a delicious raw oyster. Nothing like a bit of vodka and lots of horseradish to get someone to try new things, ‘eh? (I think it had more to do with the vodka, but whatever.) But how can you resist this awesomeness? I'm salivating looking at 'em!

So yeah, that’s been my life in a nutshell. Busy, busy, busy. You know what, friends? It’s about to get even busier! I head out to NYC in 10 days, then we’ll be in ol’ Costa Rica in 3 weeks, followed by a visit out to California, then Tennessee. During that time, I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging in real time, but I will have my trusty journal, writing down the adventures; doing it up old school style with ink and paper. Usually when I travel, I'm often hit with nostalgia and feel the need to document times that have long since have passed, as well. This is very cathartic for me as it allows for fresh perspective on any lingering thoughts that aren't necessarily at the forefront of my brain.

But even before that, it’s June 1 and y’all know what that means…


Florence + The Machine

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

There are moments in your life that everything falls into place as if things were supposed to always be that way. This story I'm about to tell you, is one of those moments. If you listen to any type of mainstream music, you have heard of Florence + the Machine's Dog Days are Over. Last summer, my sister was off in Nashville and she happened to be able to hear her live when she opened for U2. When she called me during the concert (and afterwards when we talked, too) we made a promise to go see her live if she ever came to Dallas.

Fast forward many months and I received the notification through AMEX for a pre-sale. Instead of buying the 4 tickets immediately, I sat on it and set a reminder. Unfortunately, I set the reminder for a week after what I should have and when the reminder popped up, it was the live sale to the public. When I tried to log in, I was too late. They'd sold out in 20 minutes. INTENSE. followed by some choice profanities.

For the past several months, I've been stalking ebay and craigslist for tickets. They were all priced at $150 each. Pre-sale price was $50. You can imagine my sheer and utter heartbreak and disappointment. On a clear night when I was out running, I stopped, looked to the stars, and said outloud, "Universe, I'd like two tickets to see Florence, please, for the price of what I would have paid. Please, work some magic to make it happen." It wasn't a prayer because well, prayers should be reserved for saving people from terminal illness, healing emotional wounds, and things like that.

On Sunday, I checked Craigslist again and still, no one was selling their single ticket for less than a hundred dollars. I sighed and tried to focus on the positives in my life. The love of my life, the good friends I have who have supported me (especially here recently when I've been on the verge of a complete and total mental breakdown, did I just admit that? yeah, I did. they may or may not have known that. if you are reading this and are my friend, odds are at some point a single action you did to reach out to me pulled me out from a very, very dark place. thank you! sincerely, thank you for that.), my family, my precious girls, my job, you know...all of those things that create light in the world. Monday, I was positively giddy and excited to go home to have a family date. On the drive home, traffic was, well, traffic and yes, I checked my facebook. I know, I know. Normally, I just read through the updates, but one specific update caught my attention:
I immediately replied and texted. And folks, that's how magic happens! A friend sold us her two extra tickets at cost and made a dream come true for two sisters. How special is that? My happiness level went from a 10 to an 11 (Spinal Tap reference) in a matter of seconds. The connections we make in our lives are so very, very important. This is a prime example of that, of how we are connected, of how mistakes (they'd accidentally purchased two extras because of a computer hiccup, which totally benefited us) can be turned into dreams, of how all of that becomes kismet.

Not to say everything is all sunshine and roses...heck, leading up to it, there was a chance my sister wasn't going to be able to join me. Heck, after our dinner date on Monday, she sent me a text telling me she couldn't join me. I fired off a flurry of texts to those who I knew went 12-year-old-girl-giddy at the mention of anything Florence. You know what I mean, the arms flapping, running in place, squealing, head bob happy. Yeah, that kind. It was a short list, especially considering the time in the evening. Even fewer responded favorably, which worked out just as well because her plans changed and she was able to go with me after all. And this happened:

At the concert...I left my worries on that alcohol and sweat stained dance floor. I poured out all of the ache I'd been feeling for the past month. I felt strength pulling me to the light, reminding me that life is meant to be truly lived, not wallowing in sadness and despair. There is a time for those things, but in the here and now, I have been given a very unique opportunity to be age 4 and age 1...again. I hope I appreciate it a little more this time around.

I know Florence and the Machine wouldn't read my little blog, but if they could read my words, I'd tell them thank you. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the intoxicating words. Thank you for the kickass melodies and rhythms. Thank you lighting and sound folks. Thank you costumer (wow, what amazing details. She glided across that stage like Snape flew in Harry Potter.) Thank you for it all! Thank you for letting me sing as loud as I possibly could, dance away the grief, and not feel like a complete and total idiot. To everyone there (except the jerk who I nearly got into a fight with because he needlessly shoved my sister. yeah punk, I'm not afraid of you. I'm a mommy on edge and I would've messed up your perfect hair. You are now immortalized forever as the a-hole at the Flo+Ma concert. You're welcome.) for jumping along and singing, y'all were all new friends.  To Debra for the amazing opportunity. To Danika for introducing me to Debra. To my beloved for watching our daughters and being excited for me to go.

It was an amazing night!

Giveaway!! S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Remember my book review yesterday? Well, I've been notified that one of my lucky readers can be entered to win their own copy!! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your niftiest get-healthy tip and you will be entered. That's it! 

Contest ends at noon tomorrow! Good luck!

Cynthia Sass, the creator and co-author of the New York Times Bestselling Flat Belly Diet presents her new break-through, 30-day weight loss program Cinch!targeted to end overeating, leaving dieters feeling full and satisfied while enjoying the best food combinations to burn fat and boost metabolism.

S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim is a 30-day plan in two parts. Part one is a 5-Day Fast Forward option that jump starts your results. It calls for four simple meals a day, made from just five foods: spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs, and yogurt (or vegan-friendly alternatives). Cynthia selected these foods because each is filling, rich in detoxifying and health-protecting nutrients, and has been scientifically shown to specifically support weight loss. Using these five superior foods in various combinations daily for five days gives your body, mind, and taste buds a fresh start and will help you shed up to eight pounds quickly.
Part two is a 25-day plan (30 days if you forego the Fast Forward option) which also calls for four meals a day, but now draws from a broad but specific array of food choices. And with this part of the plan, you can easily drop a size in just one month. The Core is based on cutting edge research and three key rules that work in synergy to provide real and lasting results:
  • Rule #1: Eat Like Clockwork. Meal timing is important — you must eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and space the remaining meals evenly throughout the day, no sooner than three and no more than five hours apart, in order to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels and hunger hormones; reset and rev up metabolism; and keep feeling energized.
  • Rule #2: Think 5 Pieces 4 Times a Day. Each meal in theS.A.S.S. Yourself Slim plan is constructed as a unique “puzzle” made from five pieces: produce, a whole grain, lean protein, plant-based fat, and specific seasonings — or, as Cynthia refers to them, SASS (more about that below). Following the plan is as easy as knowing what the five pieces of the puzzle are and how much of each one to include at every meal. This becomes second nature within thefirst week. This simple approach allows you to consistently S.A.S.S. yourself whether you’re at home, at a restaurant, or on vacation. It’s as easy as choosing from Cynthia’s 100 delicious recipes or using the DIY chapter to build your own ‘5 piece puzzle’ meals.
  • Rule #3: Make Flavor Your Focus. S.A.S.S. — the fifth piece of the puzzle (above) — stands for Slimming and Satiating Seasonings: vinegar, citrus juice or zest, hot peppers, tea, and herbs and spices. These five additions not only add flavor to the meals without excess calories or sodium, they are scientifically proven to maximize your body’s fat-burning furnace and are rich in antioxidants, which have been linked to lower body-fat levels, even without dieting.
The book also includes chapters on emotional eating, falling in love with walking, and an entire chapter devoted to the health and weight loss benefits of the daily dark chocolate escape. On this plan you can shed pounds while enjoying satisfying recipes, such as Berry Almond French Toast, a Smoked Gouda and Grilled Onion Salad, Ginger Pear Smoothie, and Shrimp Creole. Vegetarians, vegans, and those following a gluten free diet can also follow this plan to achieve sustainable weight loss success. 
S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim teaches you how to get your body back, and refocus your attention and energy where they should be — on living and enjoying your life.

**As a member of the One2One Network, I was asked to review this book. As such, I am eligible to receive one of five $50 gift cards for my participation, but in no was was that an influence in my review. The opinions in the review are my own.**   
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