Weekend Rewind

Because my weekends are always filled with something different, I decided to start a weekly weekend rewind to muse over the events that filled my days off! This weekend was particularly eventful since I have had a five and a half day weekend! Here are a few of the non-holiday related happenings!

This weekend I…
…went to my first hockey game
Yes, I am 26 and up until last week I had never been to a hockey game. It was fun, but I was hoping to see the “flying V” or something. The Coyotes were playing the Ducks after all! There weren’t even any real fights. On the plus side, I did my god deed for the day by catching a little stuffed SRP alien thing and giving it away to a little kid. (But only after checking to see if it was a winner. Sorry kid, but you wouldn’t have gotten “cuss” if it had been a winner!)
…watched a lot of Sex and The City
One of the items I find hard to resist on Black Friday is a good DVD. When I saw all the Sex and the City seasons on sale for only $7.99 I picked up season 5 and 6. Then I proceeded to watch both seasons followed by the movie (which I already owned). I think I might write a longer post about the women of SATC later. It was a lovely to spend part of my holiday in New York with the girls though!
…bought Fantastic Mr. Fox
A friend of mine told me a while ago that this was a fabulous movie. I hadn’t gotten the chance to see it yet, so when I saw it on sale at Target for $3.99, I was in. For as long as I can remember, I have found talking animals to be absolutely hysterical. Something about it just kills me! So this movie was sure to be a home run. The fantastic Mr Fox did not disappoint. Not only did the animals talk, but they were sarcastic and sassy. Because of the movie, I have officially adopted the word “cuss” to replace all cuss words. See above. Example : What the cuss! Maybe it will help me to tone down my unladylike rants.
…made Sunday dinner deliciousness
I love to cook, when inspired. Tell me to host a dinner party and I will take the day off work, just to make a ridiculously elaborate spread. However, I find that when it comes to just making dinner every night, I get bored and quite honestly I am often to exhausted just thinking about cooking after a long day, so I opt for something carry out. This Sunday when it was time to come up with a cheap dinner for 2, I tried to make it easy and delicious. Mission accomplished. I sautéed spinach with garlic and olive oil and cooked some risotto and ginger miso shrimp that have been hiding in the fridge. Best dinner I have had in a long time. I was pretty proud of my creation.
Here’s to a fantastic week ahead!

Strong Is The New Skinny

You laugh because it’s true!
I know I am not the only one that struggles with losing weight. (Of course I haven’t lost it, I know right where it is!) Staying in shape is constant struggle for just about everyone I know except for the blessed few that the rest of us hate. You know who I’m talking about, the fat kid stuck in a skinny girls body. Well I for one am done being a fat girl stuck in a fat girls body! Tomorrow I am going back to the gym. Sure it’s the holiday season and all of those little cottage cheese-like lumps that are cleaverly disguised as sweet holiday treats are about to be unleased. I like a challenge. So tomorrow, the gym and I are getting back together.
I was hoping to upgrade to the fancy Lifetime Fitness down the street, but those dreams were squashed when I got a price quote and realized it was going to cost me twice as much as my current gym membership. So instead I have set it as my first goal. When I lose 25 pounds, I get to upgrade myself to a fancy gym. There is something to be said for enjoying the space you are working out in, so it gives me something to work for. For now, LA Fitness, I’ll see you on the daily.
I am also lucky enough to live in a place that winter hiking does not require snowboots. So I used part of my weekend to start spending more time outside. I love being outdoors anyways, so if anyone is looking for a hiking buddy, give me a call.
Most importantly, I am not focused on being skinny. Strong is the new skinny and I would much rather get back my athletic body than be a skinny waif. Besides, I have to get my body beach ready if I am going to live near one soon!


Lessons I Learned Today From Pop Culture

The last couple yeas, haven’t been the easiest for me. I know everyone has good times and bad, but with the black clouds that have been following me lately, I feel like I must be due for a world of sunshine any day now. I am a big believer in bringing the good into your life by expelling the negative. I can’t say it is something I have done a very good job of lately.
My Black Friday consisted of little shopping but a lot of self realization. Do you ever have a day that just seems to be slapping you in the face? Everything you do, listen to, see, seems to be saying “wake up idiot and get your life together!”? That is what happened to me today.

First I went to The Muppet Movie expecting to enjoy a an hour and a half of silliness. Well the movie is everything you would expect and for me, there was a particularly poignant speech at the end. Gary is telling Walter that it’s time to grow up. I wish I could remember/successfully stalk the exact quotes, but what I took away from it was that you have to stop waiting for your life to start, it’s time to start being brave and go get what you want. It’s time to grow up. Well not to spoil it for anyone, but Walter firgures out what he needs to do to grow up and I think it’s time I follow his lead.

Then as I was driving home,it seemed as if life had handed me a personal soundtrack. We started out with Florence + the Machine’s Shake It Off. Please, if you are not already obssessed with this song, or this band, go right now and download! I’ll wait for you here. I have heard this song a few times, but didn’t really listen to the words until today.
“It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back so shake him off.”
“I’m done with my graceless heart so tonight I’m going to cut it out and restart”
Light bulb. “Yes Florence, you’re right. My heart has been pretty sour lately! I’m shaking that devil right off my back!” I thought as I drove down the 101. But my soundtrack of consciousness was not done there. Next it was Fly, by Nicki Minaj and Rhianna.
“I came to win, to fly, to conquer, to thrive. I came to win, to survive, to prosper to rise, to fly.”
Another light bulb, “Rhianna and Nicki, I did come to win. Thanks for reminding me of that!” Finally, as I pulled in the driveway, that infectious Colbie Caillat’s Brighter Than The Sun came on. How can you help but smile when listening to her songs (except for maybe her painfully beautiful cover/mashup of Breakeven and Fast car) ? This one didn’t hold any particular significance for me, but it was a nice, happy song to finish my drive with.

With all these light-bulbs shining, it was getting pretty clear that I can’t wait for New Years to make some resolutions. So, my Black Friday resolution is this: From here on out I will be focusing on the positive and flushing out all the negative from my life. I’m going to grow up, dance, fly and be brighter than the sun. Thank pop culture for reminding me how to get back on track.


Thanksgiving Thanks

I am a long way from hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. I think you have to at least have your own place for that. However, it hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of my future dinner plans.
First off, anyone who knows me knows I have a serious aversion to animal bones. The idea of cooking a boney turkey kind of makes me want to die. Fortunately, a few years ago I got this incredible recipe off an episode of the biggest loser courtesy of the fabulous Rocco DiSpirito. The recipe is for poached turkey breast and I promise it won’t disappoint. I have made it a few times and it has always been a huge hit! The meat is juicy and oh-so flavorful! I really wish I had a picture to add. But seriously, try it, it’s awesome!

Also if you know me, you know I believe ambiance is everything! With that said, I love tablescapes! You can’t table scape if all the food is all over the table, so I believe in buffets. Check out a few of these beautiful buffets and tablescapes.

Like I mentioned I like things that sparkle. Especially sparkly mini pumpkins. Okay, Okay, any excuse to use a mini pumpkin is fine by me. Is everything just better in miniature?
And finally, With all the cooking and decor, we women forget about another important part of Thanksgiving. FOOTBALL. So here are a few treats I found on Pinterest to satisfy the football fanatic in your house. (And it will keep them from bothering you about snacks while you are finishing the Thanksgiving feast.)

I have about a million things to be thankful for this year and I hope you do too. Have a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving. Happy Eating!


All That Glitters

I am find myself constantly attracted to things that sparkle. I personally feel that you can cover just about anything in glitter or rhinestones and that thing becomes illogically more attractive. (note: this doesn’t apply to everything. I gave up on body glitter a long time ago.) As we get closer to the holidays, it couldn’t be more true. It’s the perfect time of year to make your home and yourself shine! Here are a few of my favorites holiday sparkles!
Holiday Nails:
My holiday nails. Just enough sparkle!
A little decor bling:
Dollar store finds dipped in glitter
Every girls favorite kind of sparkle:
Ugh, isn’t this just perfect!
Some say glitter and sparkle is girly and cliche. I agree, which is why I love it so much. This holiday season make your life shine a bit more with some added sparkle. As for me I like a little sparkle in my step!
Just enough sparkle to match my personality- ha


California Dreaming

I’ve been doing this A LOT lately! I believe I was meant to live by the water. The sound of ocean’s crashing waves calms me in a way that can’t be duplicated even by the local wave pool. Salty sea air makes my skin happy too.

I’ve been on a mission lately to get myself relocated ocean side. I believe in manifesting your own destiny. If you believe it (and it’s logical and possible), you will make it happen. So everyday, I envision myself going for a run on the beach instead of the gym treadmill, reading my book in with the sea breeze blowing my hair instead of the ceiling fan, driving with the windows down to smell the distinct smell of the ocean instead of the exhaust fumes of my fellow drivers, feeling the sand between my toes instead of the cold tile floor. No exciting news to report just yet, but I am in an active pursuit of opportunities that will allow me to eat my lunch at the beach. Here are a few images I collected to keep me focused.

Ahh, Paradise!


Did Disney Skew My Reality

Sadly, I wasn't born with Disney hair, but my quest is never ending!
One thing is for sure. I LOVE love. It’s kind of an obsession I have. I cry at every wedding. I die for sappy romantic comedies and whenever I am feeling sad, I put on love songs. But how real is love. With the divorce rate what it is, I have to wonder, does it still really exist or are we basing all of our hopes of a happy ending on fairytales? A co-worker and I were just talking about how disney movies not only gave us unrealistic hair expectations, but alsounrealistic ideas of what love looks like. Is it selfish to believe that we deserve the movie ending?

Sometimes, I can be really poetic. As I mentioned in a previous post, I haven’t opened my journal in over a year. I took a little time to read a few entries. A particular entry really struck me. On July 5, 2010, I wrote the following about love:
“Life and Love are impossible to understand. To me, it seems as if they are always getting in the way of one another. I can’t help but love love. I want to feel helplessly unwhole without the man in my life. I want a man to sweep me off my feet. I don’t want a fairytale I just want a story worth telling. I want someone’s kiss to rock my soul. I want a man that understands what it means to be a husband and more importantly he wants to fill the job. I want my life to be extraordinary. I am hesitant to believe that truly extraordinary love and life can exist for women, except those in books and movies. I’m afraid most of us aren’t willing to hold out for both. I am going to. I am going to fall in love with someone, but more importantly someone is going to fall in love with me, all of me, not just the good stuff. I need to keep finding myself and along the way, I’m sure someone worthy will find me too.”

Such a cute photo- Pinterest find
Yep, it’s confirmed, I’m a hopeless romantic. It was refreshing to remind myself that I have always felt like this. If I dug out some of my journals from high school, I am sure they would say much of the same. Who can you be truly honest with if not yourself. I am happy to report that despite everything, I haven’t given up on love and I don’t think anyone else should either. Despite the movies and how hard it is to make love work, I know I will never give up on it. I love it too much. Disney you’re off the hook for my expectations of love, but as far as hair goes, I hold you personally responsible for my disappointment in my hairs lack of volume!

The Price of Sight

This morning I was reminded of the price of sight- let me tell you, it is freaking expensive!! Obviously it’s worth it. Just ask Val Kilmer in At First Sight. Side Note- I can’t help but laugh when I think about this movie.

Here’s a quick synopsis courtesy of IMDB-
A driven Manhattan architect, Amy, relaxes at a resort and falls for the masseur, Virgil, blind since age 3 and assisted by his spinster sister. He helps Amy hear and sense the world, giving her new spirit and a burst of creativity. Over the sister’s objections, Amy takes Virgil to New York for new, radical surgery. He regains his sight. He’s disoriented and must learn to process these new images. Finding his place in a seeing world strains his relation with Amy; his absent father wants to connect with him now that he can see; then, retinal disease threatens to undo the surgery. Can love survive, will he find his new place and his old tranquillity, can Amy accommodate limits.
This film was so fantasaticly horrible it could have been a Lifetime movie! Everytime I watch it (which everytime I find it on television) I am impressed. Life would suck if you couldn’t see! I remember when I was a kid I would walk around with my eyes shut, just to see what it would be like. Even though I usually peeked, my expereiment always ended with stubbed toes, bruises or something nocked off a table.
In High school, I actually started failing math because I couldn’t see the board and I was convinced I would look terrible in glasses. My relationship with the eye doctor started from there. Glasses were the ugly stepchild that came from my union with the eye doctor. I never wore them and they are now broken in the bottom of a box somewhere. Contacts were my best friend. I wore colors to match with my outfits, and pretended I was one of those “lucky people” with dark hair and clear blue eyes. I gave up on colored contacts when gained a little more self confidence and realised my brown eyes were what made me extreamly unique in a family of blue eyed people.
My sweet new specs
Today the eye doctor and I had one of our dates. It ended like it always does, with me cursing the cost of sight. $330 later I have a cute new pair of glasses on the way, a years worth of contacts and a promise to myself that I will wear my glasses enough to make my contacts last two years. Besides, glasses are so in these days. Look at all these cute celebs sporting specs!
The Lovely Anne Hathaway
Stars with Specs!
Val might have been able to survive without sight, but it would never work for me. I’m a visual learner afterall. It looks like this realtionship between me and my eye doctor is not going to go away anytime soon. Anyone want to give me Lasik?


A Bucket List

Like so many, I have had a long standing Bucket List- things I want to do before I kick the bucket. I remember starting it back in high school and looking at it everyday. I was so focused on where I wanted my future to take me. Then, in college, I made some revisions, but most items remained the sam. I wrote them on the back cover of my journal. It’s been over a year since I have opened my journal and even longer since looking at “My Life’s To Do List”. I am a strong believer in positive affirmation. In fact, in re-reading my list created back in 2003 almost 10 years ago, I am struck by how many things I am actually able to cross off. I can only imagine how much more would have been on there if I hadn’t forgotten to remind myself of all the great things left on my to do list.
Today I am adding a page to my blog. My Bucket List. This way, I will easily be able to remind myself of all the things I want and make sure I am working towards them every day.


Can I buy a Mulligan

When I really think about it, I know that I am right where I am intended to be, no matter how frustrating it can be at times. Life is a beautiful disaster! Everything is right as it should be… I hope!

Last Week I got to spend two lovely days out of the office, riding around in golf carts at a couple of charity golf tournaments. The weather was absolutely fantastic and the surroundings were beautiful. One of my jobs was to sell Mulligan’s. For a mere $20 you could by to “do overs”. It got me thinking, what if we could buy a Mulligan for life? Everyone trys to live a life with no regrets, but chances are if you really think about it, you have a few.

"What If" no more

Recently I have noticed I have been living in a world of What If’s. What if I hadn’t done that. What if I do that. What if I fail. What if it doesn’t work out. What if. What if. What if. With so many “what if”s occupying my time, it’s no wonder I have lost my ability to extract the joy from anything. Well That all changes today. It is November 1, 2011, the day I proclaim that I am no longer being a “what if” girl! Call Nike, because my new motto is Just do it! Who cares if I fail? The beauty of life is the journey and my journey lately has been dismal at best. Today that changes. Today I bring back the sparkle, the adventure and most importantly my zest for life, love and he pursuit of happiness. The sign below sums it up best. A life without regret is a life well spent. Cheers, A. Allan