Friday, February 28, 2014

Parental advisory: F word ahead

This post is a matter of personal opinion, and do not, in any way, think I won't be your friend if you disagree with me.

"It's a fucking pie in a box!"

This is the phrase that changed it all. Derek and I were in a grocery store and, while purusing the frozen food section, he made some kind of remark about pies in boxes and that was my response. It wasn't said in a mean or demeaning way. I didn't even think twice about it. So he said, "Why does it have to be a 'fucking' pie? Why can't it just be a pie?"

If you were my friend in college then you probably heard the "F-word" slip from my mouth pretty often, without hesitation or reason. When I was at the ripe ole age of 18 I thought the "f-word" was a novel idea. I almost got chills every time I said it, thinking it made me sound like an older, cooler, more mature version of the skinny blonde freshman that didn't know how to do her makeup yet. Fast forward four years and it was rolling off my tongue like back sweat on a hot summer day.

Sure, I refrained around certain crowds: my parents, their friends, certain classmates and teachers. I knew when to hold my tongue and act like a "nice young lady." But it wasn't until that day in the grocery store that I realized how excessive it had become.

That day, Derek asked me why I felt the need to curse so much. Instead of replying something like "I don't know... I know it's a problem and I need to work on it," I'm sure I sounded something more like this "What? I don't even cuss that much! And besides... I did it before we started dating and you didn't have a problem then!" What a gem, I know.

He pressed on, talking about how ugly it sounded and how I didn't sound very "lady like" when I used those words. Well, babe, I've never claimed to be a lady. I told him I would try to be better. I would try to use "ugly words" less and I would try to be more lady-like in my vocabulary choices.

You may read that and be thinking "What in the actual hell? You mean to tell me you just quit, because a guy told you to?! Oh hell no." And that is perfectly okay, because if you would have told the Kalyn three years ago that present-day Kalyn would quit cursing because a guy "told her" to, she would have laughed and said "You're fucking kidding me, right?"

But loving someone isn't about "dealing with" their faults and "getting over" the things that bother you. Loving someone is about compromise. It's about going out of your way to make someone happy and doing things you wouldn't normally do because THEY enjoy it. It's about making sacrifices and changing little things. 

So that's what I did. I changed. For a guy. 

I am, in no way, perfect. If I am angry, upset, or in bad traffic, you will most likely hear an "ugly"word slip out, because let's face it, sometimes "shoot" and "heck" just don't cover it. I have however, quit throwing around random F-Bombs and other things for no particular reason. And you know what? I'm proud of myself for it. I'm proud that I made a change for the better (in my opinion). 

You still probably won't catch me calling myself a lady though. I still don't like to cross my legs.

Also. This song is everything. Linking up with Whitney.

Dark Horse by Katy Perry on Grooveshark

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I've Got Beef...

Does anyone else remember the term "got beef?" Well there are a few things that have been bugging me lately that I've "got beef" with and because I am a type A over-sharer, I figured I'd write about it on my blog. Because why not.

I've got beef with the phrase that's seemed to take over the hearts, minds, souls, and instagram feeds of countless brides-to-be. Sweating for the wedding. There's just something about that phrase that rubs me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong, I think wanting to get in shape for one of the biggest days of your life is a great thing. But what about after the wedding? What is it about your wedding day that makes it more special that it's the only thing you're willing to get healthy for? Shouldn't the prase be something more like "sweating to be healthy" or "sweating for the rest of my life because I want to live past 50."

I don't know if I'm seeing more of it because of this little blogging community or if it's just because I'm at "that age" where all my friends are getting married, but it's EVERYWHERE. I can't help it but I just get so irrationally angry every time I see it.

What are you going to do after you're done "sweating for the wedding?" Are you going to go back to the life you led before you got engaged and suddenly realized you were going to be the center of attention for a good 24 hours and you realized you didn't want bat wings in all of your pictures? Or are you going to continue the "sweating?" If the latter is true, then why do you plaster that phrase everywhere?

Every time I see it, my mind instantly jumps to the conclusion that you don't care about anything but looking good in your dress, while all eyes are on you. Don't think I'm throwing this assumption out all willy-nilly here, because if I'm being honest, I know several ladies that were in excellent shape on their wedding day and have let it all go to pot since then. My only assumption here is that because they weren't sweating for anything anymore, that they just quit. They didn't have a reason to work out and look good, so they gave up.

Shouldn't you WANT to sweat (aka be healthy) for the rest of your life? Shouldn't you want to look good in a bikini (or other swimwear of choice) forever, instead of just on your honeymoon? Shouldn't you want to be able to run, laugh, and play with your future children or even grandchildren, instead of getting short of breath after only a few minutes?

I don't doubt that when I get engaged that I will want to shed just a few extra pounds, because I do agree that I will want to look my absolute best on the day I join my husband in matrimony. But I don't think you'll ever catch me using the phrase "sweating for the wedding" because that's not my end goal. 

End rand. 
Hashtag sweating for life.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Things every blog should have

Oh, look who got a makeover last night (it was my blog in case you were wondering). When I work on designs, I've had several people ask me what they should include on their navigation bar (those little links under your blog header) and my answer is usually the same. I think there are a few things that every blog should have, whether you have two or two thousand followers.

About Me Page
I could write a whole post about "about me" pages but I'll try to keep it short and simple. When I find a new blogger, this is the FIRST place I go. I want to know who I am reading about. I want to know if we have anything in common or if they have dogs or kids or pet snakes. Does this make me a stalker? Maybe. I just think readers connect better with people that they can relate to and how are they going to know if they relate to you if you don't tell them?

Things "about me" pages should include: A picture of you. Duh. Your home page should have this, but have at least one or two more. It should also have any pictures of people you frequently mention (boyfriend, roommate, dogs, parents, etc) so that we know what they look like when you talk about them. A little tidbit of yourself outside your blog is nice too. Your readers want to know why you're a person. And I don't know about you, but I love reading about why people started their blogs.

Things an "about me" page should not include: number of sexual partners. Your address. Your social security, bank account, or credit card number. Shoe size (I mean, you could, but why?)

Popular Posts section
Whether you want to list this on your sidebar or make it have it's own page (like mine) I think it is very important to have a "Popular Posts" section on your blog. I do not mean the little widget you can add from blogger. (Because if we're being honest my actual most popular post is a giveaway and that doesn't count). These are posts that YOU think are important.

Things a "Popular Posts" section should include: posts that tell more of your story (facts about me, things I like, things I'm good at). Posts that you are proud of. Posts that received great feedback. Any post that helps your readers get to know you better and gives them a better sense of what you like to write about.

Things a "Popular Posts" section should not inlcude: Weekend updates - they're okay to read once, but no one wants to re-read them. Giveaway posts. 

As you can see, I am breaking my own rule because I don't have a contact page anymore. However, my email is located in three different pages so I think I'm okay. I can't count the number of times I've wanted to email a blogger and I CAN'T FIND THEIR EMAIL and it is so aggravating. Also, do yourself a favor and create a separate email account for your blog.

Things your "contact" page should include: email address. Social media (but only if they aren't listed anywhere else).

Things your "contact" page should not include: Home address. Cell phone number. Work email. Personal email. Anyone else's email that isn't yours.

Links to your Social Media sites
Another thing I do when I find a new blogger that I love is follow them on essentially all of their social media accounts. I know tons of bloggers that do this. I think as bloggers we are equal parts over-sharers and stalkers. Because of this, it is important that you put your social media accounts where everyone can see them. Mine are easily accessible as little icons right after my profile picture/intro. Some people also include them in their post signature or contact pages. I also like to drop mine in an occasional post here and there, just to make sure you're paying attention.

Social media links should include: links to any social media account you would like to share with your blogging friends. This can be including, but not limited to, instagram (my favorite), twitter, pinterest, bloglovin, youtube, etsy, and facebook (if you have a page for your blog).

Social media links should not include: your personal facebook (unless you're cool with strangers finding your personal facebook). 


Have you ever wanted to have brunch with some of your favorite bloggers and talk about all things blogging over mimosas or coffee? Why am I even asking that, of course you have! Ashten, of Always Ashten, is hosting TWO blogger hangouts (also known as #happyhourhangout) this weekend, except you'll be brunching instead of happy hour-ing. And the best part? I'm co hosting with her on Sunday! 

If you're interested in talking about all things blog related over your favorite brunch beverage, CLICK HERE and join us for tons of fun! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

You know what I haven't done in a while? Posted a recipe.

It's really odd because I LOVE to cook, and really enjoy being in the kitchen, but I rarely post any recipes online. I don't know if it's because I don't think my meals are blog-worthy (enchiladas, spaghetti and turkey meatballs, and steaks + broccoli are some of my faves) or if it's because I never think to take pictures of anything until my food's already half eaten off my plate. Probably more of the latter.

But today, you get a special treat. Raspberry oatmeal bars using homemade raspberry jam. The recipe I based mine off of can be found here. Being the rebellious gal I am, I made a few changes of my own.

Raspberry Jam
Measurments are approximate
1 cup raw raspberries
1 tbs sugar
lemon zest

Put raspberries in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. After a few minutes, mash the raspberries with a fork and stir continually. Add sugar and lemon zest. Keep on low heat for 10-15 minutes until all sugar is dissolved and the jam is a "jammy" consistency. I know, I have such a technical vocabulary.

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
1 c.whole wheat flour
1 c. raw oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
dash of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbs. butter
1/4 c. applesauce

Combine first five ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend together. Add butter and applesauce and mix by hand or with a pastry blender until entire mixture becomes crumbly (it should be loose in the bowl but if you squeezed some with your hand it should hold it's shape). 

Put all but 1/2 cup of mixture into a greased 8x8 baking pan and pack down evenly. Spread raspberry jam evenly to within 1/4 inch of the edge of the pan. Sprinkle remaining crumbles evenly over jam (it shouldn't cover all of the jam) and press down lightly. Bake in oven on 350 for approximately 30-35 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve hot or cool. Store in dry storage container.

I'd love to know if you decide to make some of these delicious bars! Enjoy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

I biked to the top of a mountain, and other things

Hello and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had as awesome of a weekend as I did, because I had an awesome weekend. It started Friday with new glasses and ended Sunday installing one of the prettiest designs I ever did see (in my humble opinion). 

1. I seriously can't get enough of these babies. Tune in later this week for more info on how you can get a pair of your very own.
2. Friday night was Happy Hour Hangout with Ashten and Amber and it was ah-mazing. This group of girls had so much to offer on all things blogging and my little heart was so happy and full at the end of our session. Read Ashten's recap here and Amber's recap here.
3. Derek and I ventured to Oak Mountain State Park (in Birmingham) for the first time (my first time, not his) and we CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN on our bikes. This picture was taken right at the peak, after a three mile incline. 
4. Celebratory stance on some rocks. They don't look that tall but behind me was the drop off of the side of the mountain and I felt pretty tall up there. 
5. 16.7 miles of intense trails (my furthest ride yet!) call for intense re-fueling. On hot wings and beer. Duh.
6. On Sunday I decided to make nomz in the form of raspberry oatmeal bars (recipe to come) and it took every fiber in my being to not eat the whole batch right out of the oven.

Other weekend things included grocery shopping, buying a new Camelbak after mine busted (these things are awesome), and tons of homework and studying. I seriously wish every weekend could be as awesome as this one was. Today I'm back to the hospital for another night-time clinical, but last week I got to help deliver a beautiful baby boy into the world, so maybe I'll get lucky again tonight!

PS: I am looking for some wide-angle lens recommendations for my Nikon D5100 and would love any suggestions! I've also decided to get the Nikon 50mm 1.8 but would like to order a wide-angle at the same time. Thanks in advance!

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Rachael and Meg!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sometimes you need Cherry Pie

Happy Friday friends! I could not be more glad that it's here (and that I don't have work!) because this week has been extremely crazy, stressful, and other things that ended up with an hour and a half long cry-sesh yesterday but I felt immensely better afterward. Let me tell you, if you ever want to buy a house, do it during a peaceful, event-free time in your life. Not when you're already trying to juggle 10 other things. 

So now that I'm done with that, it's time for a Friday Favorites post, it's been a while!

Favorite Tweets

I get so annoyed every time I see one of their Keek tweets. I don't know what Keek is, but I'm already social media'd out.

Me, every time I drink any hot drink. Tongue burns for days.

#fatkid status right here. I love me some twizzlers.

Hallelujah for warm weather! It was 77 here on Wednesday, and even though it was overcast, I LOVED every minute of it.

Favorite Pin
I died over and over and laughed so hard. I need this in my life.

Favorite Blog Posts

Do you read The Fairy Princess Diaries? I hope you said yes, because if you said no then you need to reevaluate some of your life choices. This post she wrote on valentines day was extremely accurate and I think every girl (single or otherwise) should read it. I hate to admit that I'm guilty of one or two of the behaviors listed.

Amber of Mr. Thomas and Me always writes these incredible thought provoking posts that usually leave me in awe of her ability to turn every day events into life lessons and heart warming stories. Getting pulled over by a cop was no exception, and her post about it really left me thinking about why we make ourselves out to be so important and self righteous. 

I cracked up yesterday when I read Lisa's stream of thoughts during the Winter Olympics. What is Curling all about anyway? I understand that you are supposed to knock the other team's heavy circle out and get yours in, but there is a lot of yelling. And sweeping. And yelling. I love it.

Favorite Video


And of course I am linking up with Whitney for #backthatazzup Friday!

Cherry Pie by Warrant on Grooveshark

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blogging Inspiration

Blogging is weird, don't ya think? We come to this place and we spill our deepest, darkest secrets for strangers on the internet to read. We talk about our parents, our relationships, our fears and doubts. Sometimes we say things we wouldn't think of saying to our closest friends. A lot of bloggers even keep their blogs secret from everyone in their real life.

Not only is it weird as you-know-what, blogging is hard too. It can seem like a full time job at times - for some people it is their full time job (can someone teach me how to do that?). Anyway, back to my point. Blogging, it's hard. You have to learn the "rules." Sometimes you have to deal with hateful comments or "cliques." On top of all of that you have to come up with original content several times a week, and where the hell are you supposed to come up with all of that?

There are a few things for me that are usually a shoe-in for getting some blogging inspiration:

Take a shower, a nap, or go on a drive. Just do something relaxing. I find that some of my best ideas come to me when I'm not even trying to think of ideas. They pop into my head as I'm washing my hair or drifting off to sleep. 

Read other blogs. Not only can other bloggers give you ideas for your post, but sometimes you can straight up copy another blogger's idea (with permission) and make it your own. I did exactly that when I wrote about my life in numbers, after Nadine wrote about hers. If you don't use the same idea as another blogger, it is always fun to write a rebuttal post to something you agree/disagree with.

Browse the internet. Have you heard of Buzzfeed? (If not then where the hell have you been?) I am always browsing, not just for my own entertainment, but there are literally thousands of blog topic ideas at my fingertips. I also like to browse Pinterest (the quotes section is a goldmine) and The Berry to get my creative juices flowing.

Write down every idea. Even if it's just half an idea - write it down. Whether you keep an actual notebook or planner, or you just save it in the notes section of your phone, you need to save it somewhere. Sometimes I will write down an idea and it will expand on its own accord, and sometimes I have to leave it for a few days or so and when I come back to it I'll have a new outlook or more ways to expound on it. I literally have about forty posts in drafts from where I've just written a sentence (or a word or to) to be visited later.

And because I'm feeling extra nice today, here are some post ideas for you to use, free of charge:

Tell a story. Most embarrassing moment (bet you can't beat mine). Your first kiss. A time when you were proud or scared. Any story will do. 

Write a letter to yourself. Whether it's your past or future self, it's always fun to pretend it's normal to be talking to yourself, right? 

How to... think of something out of the box. How to successfully go a whole day without wearing real pants. How to be the best tailgater at a college/NFL football game. Or you can write about how NOT to do something. Everyone knows how to do at least one thing with above average skill. Write about it.

Write about a hot/controversial topic. Kelly Cuoco wearing a pink wedding dress. Living with your boyfriend before marriage. Drinking on weeknights. Having/not having children. Go on, tell us how you really feel. I (double dog) dare you.

I really don't want to sound like a corny asshat here, but just remember with all blog posts you write, stay true to yourself and your writing style. Even when borrowing topic ideas, try to make them your own. Your readers love you for you, not for who you are trying to be. And with that, I'm done. Peace out, girl scouts.

This post was originally featured as a guest post on I Wore Yoga Pants to Work.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm the kind of girl..

I'm the kind of girl who likes to keep people happy. Who likes to entertain, and who likes to be liked (aren't we all?). Last night's blogger happy hour with Whitney and Erin was awesome, I got to meet a lot of fantastic bloggers who all had some great questions and great input.

Print found here
I posed the question "What do you do when you're in a blogging slump?" and I got so so many great replies. At one point Erin said "Personally, I think we make our blogs a bigger deal than they really are, and 90% of the time, no one cares as much as we do." I couldn't agree more. I mean how many people actually get up thinking, OMG I wonder what Kalyn wrote on her blog today??? I can answer that question: two. My mom and my aunt, and the only reason I know this is because they told me. (And I think it's incredibly sweet and awesome that they care so much).

But really, we put so much into our blogs and sometimes we have to take a step back and realize, it is just a blog. But with being a girl who likes to be liked, I feel like I have to perform. I have to show up to this party five days a week and says something worth reading and be on social media and comment and reply and jump through a thousand hoops, when really it isn't the case. 

So, all of that crazy intro is leading up to something totally different, because when I read about Holly's "I'm the kind of girl..." link up, I knew I had to join in all the fun. In addition to being the kind of girl who likes to make everyone happy, I'm the kind of girl who...

...puts everything off to the last minute. I don't know why, but every time I try to start on a project/paper/presentation that is due on a certain day, it never fails that I fiddle fart around until the day before (or morning of) to finish it. Maybe it's the adrenaline rush knowing that if I don't finish it right now then it will be too late that makes me perform better. 

...prefers scortching temperatures over freezing ones. I know everyone and their dog has been complaining about winter, but now I want to join in the fun. I know that if I lived anywhere other than southern Alabama, I'd never make it. I think 40 degrees is freezing and 20 is a reason to call in to work. Give me 90 and sunny any day.

...isn't afraid to try something new. Oh, you want me to try that fried squid that is still moving? Sure! You want me to get on a bike (after years of not riding) and ride 8 miles of the toughest trails in the state? Why not! I think that trying new things, especially things that scare us just a little, can be refreshing and rewarding. Even if you don't like it, at least you can be proud of your self for trying.

...would rather stay home and binge on Netflix than go out and party. If you picked any weekend over the past several months, there's a 99% chance you would find me and Derek on the couch watching Netflix (or the Olympics recently) and I'm perfectly okay with that. the opposite of a "type A" personality. I really am a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of lady. I've never been a person to use planners or make lists or double confirm things. This goes along with the procrastination thing, but sometimes I think it's fun to go somewhere with no set plans in mind and just do whatever comes to mind. But, there have also been times where it's bitten me in the butt.

What kind of girl are you?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekend things

Look at me, blogging on a Monday like a big girl. I know last week I was kinda MIA for a few days but that's what a five page case study, care plan, 12 hours of work, 8 hours of clinical, 2 exams and 8 hours of class will do to a person. At least I think that's everything that happened, I'm trying to block most of it from my active memory.

I had Friday off and spent most of the day blog designing and doing a little homework but mostly I relaxed, which I haven't done in a while. Derek and I decided not to do anything big for Valentine's day because we really didn't see the point in going to some fancy restaurant just to wait an hour to be seated when I can cook  perfectly good steak at home.

Except my steak caught on fire while it was cooking. Thankfully it was still eatable but just a little on the "well done side."

Saturday we went mountain biking (yes, again) and I decided that I wanted to have a leisurely ride instead of trying to keep up with Derek. So I put my headphones in and turned on my classical Pandora station and took my time to finish 9ish miles while Derek did about 11.5. It was so, so nice. And I only fell one time and it didn't even hurt that bad so I'm going to say it was a good day.

One of the reasons I love biking so much is because it's absolutely gorgeous to ride around the lake for several hours. There really isn't much I'd rather be doing on a Saturday. Call me crazy.

After we rode, we had an impromptu "date" at the oyster bar down town, where we haven't eaten since summer and it was soo sooo sooo good. I wasn't even embarrassed about the fact that I had mud on my knees and up my back (like a skunk tail) because the food was that good.

Even thought it was February and freezing, there's something about eating some raw oysters and bacon wrapped Mahi that makes it feel like summertime.

Sunday I got to have a lunch date with my awesome Mama, who I haven't seen since Christmas. Even though it was short and sweet, I'm glad I got to spend some time with her.

The rest of the evening was spent at work and today I'm getting ready to go to a night clinical (yay) and do some more studying/school work.

I'm living the life I tell ya.

Linking up with Rachael and Meg!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ghosts of Valentine's Past

In honor of today's "Holiday" I thought I'd re-live a few of my more memorable Valentine's days. To be honest, Derek and I aren't really in to the whole gift exchange thing. I got him a bag of chocolate covered pecans and he got me a card with a nice poem - that he would never have said to me otherwise - now that's love.
I'm not going to lie Valentine's Day 1994-2004 (elementary and middle school) were probably some of my favorites. Those were the days when you got a "Valentine" from everyone! Every person in our class got to decorate a shoebox the day before, so that on the day of, we could walk around the classroom and put our Harry Potter Valentine cards in everyone's box. If you were really lucky, you had someone in your class who's mom was an over-achiever and made homemade brownies/cookies for everyone. Then at the end you opened all your Valentines, searching for all the candy. 

My first "real" Valentin was my Dad. He gave me Dove Chocolates and a card when I was about 14 and I was the happiest girl around. Who needed a boyfriend when you had an awesome Dad to give you candy?

The next Valentine's day (my Sophomore year of high school) I got a "few" things from my "boyfriend". I say those words in quotations because (1) I didn't know he was my boyfriend and (2) a few things was actually a lot of things. So I was stuck walking around looking like a jackass with a huge teddy bear, roses, chocolates (that I didn't like) and a balloon. A balloon filled with helium with some ridiculous lovey-dovey message on it. The worst part is that I didn't get him anything. Not even a card. Sorry if your'e reading this Jeff.

My senior year of high school had to be the worst (not really but just go with it) because my boyfriend of over a year got me a single carnation. Bought that morning for S1 from the SGA or something. I still didn't get him anything so I guess I was the real winner in that situation.

The next few years I don't really remember (or maybe I've subconsciously blocked them from memory) but there were bland dates to Olive Garden and Red Lobster thrown in here and there.

My first Valentine's day with Derek started with  me waking up late for work, yelling at Derek for something ridiculous while he was in the bathroom and storming out of the house only to find a gorgeous boquet of tulips sitting in the front seat of my car. So, feeling like the ass that I was being, I went back in with my tail between my legs to say thanks.

So... the moral of the story here is, Valentine's day (to me) is just a load of hog wash where people are supposed to get gifts for there significant others that don't really mean anything other than "I bought you this because I thought I had to." I don't "hate" Valentine's day, I just think there are better holidays out there. Sorry, but I'm not sorry. Is it Fourth of July yet?

And of course, it's Friday, and in blog land that means it's time to #backthatazzup with Whitney.

Replay by Zendaya on Grooveshark

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Movies every woman should see

When I was in college, going to the movies was one of my favorite hobbies. Maybe because I always had a roommate or girlfriend to go with or maybe because every Wednesday night was $1 movie night for students, I'll let you be the judge. Either way, I saw a lot of movies. Movies that made me laugh, movies that made me cry, and movies that gave me a headache after wearing the 3D glasses.

I mentioned yesterday that I went to a movie alone yesterday, and to some that may be an odd thing to do, but I really do love going to the movies and unfortunately Derek does not so I don't have a problem going by myself. Especially if it's to a movie I know he won't enjoy. I'm not a fan of cruel and unusual punishment and I think forcing people to watch movies/TV shows they hate qualifies as such. Back to my point: while I was in the movie (August: Osage County) I found myself thinking, this is a movie every woman should see. Which led to the thought that there are actually several movies every woman should watch at some point in her life. 

Thelma and Louise
Favorite quote: Hey, throw in a couple bottles of Wild Turkey while you're at it.

Maybe I just love this movie so much because of the name similarities, but I really think I would still love it if either one of us had a different name. Although I will admit, it was the only reason I watched it for the first time at my aunt's house when I was about 8 years old. This movie is the ultimate best friend's movie, with one literally killing to protect the other. I'm not saying you've got to kill someone or drive off a cliff to prove you're someone's best friend, but then again maybe I am.

Mean Girls

Favorite quote: Is butter a carb?

This movie is the perfect inscription of high school. If you haven't seen it, then I would recommend it, even if only for the seating chart. Even if you aren't in to burn books or wearing pink on Wednesdays, you'll at least be able to understand the many, many references all of your friends are making.

Steel Magnolias

Favorite Quote: A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste!

Probably my favorite Julia Roberts movie, though it unfortunately showcases her worst hairstyle. This is a movie my mom raved and raved about but isn't one that I watched until I was 18 or so and I wish I would have gotten around to it earlier. Sally Fields gives probably one of her best performances after she loses her daughter to Diabetes and the supporting characters couldn't be a better pillar of strength and comic relief at the same time. Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie yet, stop what your doing and find it in the nearest movie rental store or Amazon and watch it.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Favorite Quote: Oh it don' make no kind of sense. Big ol' ox like Grady won't sit next to a colored child. But he eats eggs - shoot right outta chicken's ass! 

Remember when I said that being a best friend doesn't mean you have to kill for them. Well this movie proves just that as it follows four women, two in the present day, reliving the lives of two women fifty years prior. This movie touches a bit on being gay when it wasn't acceptable to be gay, but of course I didn't realize it until I was much older. This has always been, and will continue to be, one of my most favorite movies of all time.

The Help

Favorite quote: There are two things I can't seem to forget: that my own daughter threw me in to a nursing home, and that she ate Minny's shit!

If you haven't been living underground for the last three or four years, you'll know that this was originally a book (I raved about it here) which turned into a movie. The movie is no exception, with a wonderful cast to portray wonderfully written characters. You will laugh, and you will cry, but most of all you will take away that if you have a dream, and if you work hard enough, you can achieve it.

What movies would you recommend?

Linking up with Karly Kim for Totally Posted Tuesday!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Another confession + weekend activities

I know I just confessed a lot of things on Friday, but I have another confession. Over the weekend I looked at GOMI (Get off my Internets - essentially a blog bashing website). I mean, I've gone to the URL before and glanced around the home page but this time I actually read what people had to say about bloggers. About bloggers I love to read and bloggers I don't love to read. 

Did I feel good about doing it? No. But it's like a black hole... it just sucks you in and you have no control over it and the next thing you know it's been over an hour and you've read so so many pages and you can't take it back. I'm not going to tell you the specifics of what was said about who, because if there's one thing I did realize while I was on the site, it's that I'm not in to internet bashing. 

You may think I'm hipocrytical since I'm basically telling you I spent the better part of my Friday night reading this site, but even though I occasionally would nod my head in agreement at the idea of what someone was saying, I completely and wholeheartedly disagree with their method of saying it. 

My theory is, if you don't like it, just leave it alone. I, personally, am not a huge fan of chocolate ice cream. But do you see me coming to my blog bashing chocolate ice cream, the makers of it, and the people that eat it? No... I just buy vanilla for me, chocolate for Derek, and get on with my life. I just don't understand why people on the internet can't be more like this.

Sorry for the rant.

The rest of my weekend was pretty pleasant. Saturday I had the WHOLE day to myself to do whatever I wanted. So I went to a movie alone (August: Osage County) (aaaaammmaazing), went grocery shopping, and came home to cook dinner and curl up with a redbox. I know, I am the epitome of excitement.

Has anyone else noticed that essentially all women's athletic shoes have SO MUCH pink on them? Out of all the women's Nike shoes in Academy these were the three pairs that didn't have a lot of pink. It's ridiculous. don't they know that not all of us are obsessed with pink things? Or neon for that matter?

My grocery haul consisted of lots of fresh goodies for my clean eating journey. I will confess that I didn't do to great at the end of last week but I was on point this weekend.

Sunday Derek and I got up and went to our favorite mountain biking trail and it wasn't pretty. The day was pretty, the ride was a different story. Usually when we bike, I am pretty slow and there is a chance that I may take a small tumble but nothing serious. 

Before the ride - I had no idea what was coming.

Yesterday, I took three hard falls. One of them was off a bridge and I cried and cried and no one came to my rescue so I had to limp/ride/walk the last mile of the trail all alone. It was pitiful. But even though I'm bruised and banged up pretty bad and I have a bent brake lever on my bike, I don't think it will stop me from riding again.

Oh yeah, I also finished up on Juliette's beautiful (in my opinion) new blog design. If you're interested in getting one yourself, head over to my design site for some more info!

How was your weekend?

Friday, February 7, 2014

I hope you read this in your best Usher voice

-I can't stand it when people live tweet the Bachelor. Or awards shows. Really any kind of live tweeting (except when Juliette did Harry Potter - that was okay). It makes me want to unfollow you on twitter but I'm a nice person so I don't.

-I'm writing this post while I'm supposed to be studying/writing a paper. For some reason my blog writing skills are at their highest point while I'm supposed to be doing something else important.

-I don't recycle. I don't really have an explanation for this one and I don't really know if it makes me a terrible person or not. It's not that I'm against it, I just never think about it.
-Sometimes I would rather not hang out with my boyfriend. Like when I wan to paint my nails or write a blog post or read a book or drink wine and watch countless episodes of New Girl. He can really ruin those moments.

-I live with my boyfriend's parents and the part I hate about it most is their dog. It's a pomeranian and it never. shuts. up. It is the only dog I've ever wanted to physically harm (don't worry I haven't) .
It really makes me miss my sweet Piper girl, who loves to cuddle and rarely barks.

-Sometimes I give myself a minor panic attack wondering how many people in my real life read my blog that I don't know about. I mean, I know most of my family reads it but what about people from high school? Or heaven forbid, from work? Not that I've ever said anything negative about work but I just don't want people snooping.

-I tell Derek that it's okay, I'm not in a rush to get married right away, when in reality I want to be married to him yesterday. I try to be passive about it but sometimes I slip up and we get into an argument about not being engaged yet and I feel like that awful, naggy girlfriend that gives ultimatums and no one likes her because of it. I know he wants to marry me and he wants to ask me "in his own time" but sometimes I'm like, WHY HAVEN'T YOU ASKED ME YET??

-I really really enjoy catching someone check me out - at the gym, at work, wherever - some people get creeped out or offended but I like to think of it as a compliment. As long as the person doesn't touch me or say something disgusting, I'm okay with it.

Do you do any of these things? 
(Please tell me I'm not alone!)

Linking up with Whitney for #backthatazzup Friday

Say Something (feat. Christina Aguilera) by A Great Big World on Grooveshark

This song has been on repeat for days! So pretty.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happiness is...

Happiness is a pretty great thing if you ask me. It comes in all shapes and sizes, it comes any time it wants, it comes unexpectedly. Happiness is something different for each and every one of us and to me, that is kind of beautiful. Happiness may not come from the same place for us all, but it feels the same for everyone.

To me, happiness is:

+ Making the green light just in time

+ The barista spelling my name right

+ When my Dad calls me baby

+ Spontaneous trips to see my parents

+ Watching my little brother play baseball

+ The smell of Derek's cologne

+ When someone tells me I'm pretty

+ Having a patient tell me they missed me

+ Looking down at my finger and being reminded of my beautiful grandmother

+ The excitement my dog gets when I see her

+ A cold beer on a hot day

+ Laying in the sun 

+ Catching a perfect moment on camera

+ Doing one more pull up 

+ Getting compliments on my legs (I work hard for those suckers)

These are just a few of the things that can put a smile on my face, and there are many many more. This post was inspired by Brooks, who wrote about a few things that made her happy.

What makes you happy?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#SayYesProject: Clean Eating

Mr. Thomas and Me

So after skipping a month or two (because I didn't feel like I did anything exciting enough) I am back for the #sayyesproject with Amber from Mr. Thomas and Me. This month's say yes project isn't something I thought I'd be featuring and it's not really anything "huge" but it's something I want to talk about on this blog and hopefully get some input and advice. 

While trolling around some fitness hashtags on Instagram one day, I came across this account. When I first started stalking her looking through some of her pictures, I thought to myself, GAWD she is in great shape. I'll never look like that. Then I scrolled past her "before" pictures and I was in shock. She had gone from a size 6/8 (my size) (and she's about my height too) too this teeny tiny super fit beast of a woman. So I began reading her story and became inspired.

After reading a good bit, I learned that a huge part of her success was attributed to her diet, to "eating clean." 

Let's face it, getting in shape is hard work. I've been going to the gym 4-5 days a week for 45-60  minutes for over a year now. Have I had results? Yes. But I've hit a plateau. I've been the same weight and pants size for over seven months now and it's time for a change. Instead of looking for new work outs, I'm looking for new meals. Meals that consist of natural ingredients. Meals that don't come from a box, a can, or the microwave.

One of my all time favorite snacks - Granny Smith apples and peanut butter. Really just anything with peanut butter.

The thing about clean eating is, I absolutely love the food. Lean proteins like chicken and fish are my favorite and don't even get me started on broccoli - I could eat it every day and not get tired of it. The part I don't love about it: the price tag and the prep time. If you don't know, I'm currently working part time while going to school full time. That equals not a lot of money or time to be cooking and prepping meals every day. That means sometimes it's easier to grab a Smart One or Lean Cusine for lunch. It's easier to eat a pop tart in my car for breakfast. But being healthy isn't about doing what's easy.

A typical dinner for me and Derek (sans broccoli for him). 

One thing I do pride myself on is cooking a healthy dinner for myself and Derek on average five times a week. But is that enough? Is five "clean" meals out of twenty something enough to change my body? No. No it is not. I usually eat pretty healthy but I want to go from pretty healthy to really healthy.

Yummy green meal for me (more broccoli - I told yo I love the stuff)

But there are a few things about clean eating that scare me. Mashed cauliflowers being one of them. The lack of grilled cheese (or anything cheesy for that matter) being another. Tell me, how exactly, is one supposed to live without things like Velveeta mac and cheese? One thing I'm not going to do is give myself a hard and fast rule of "no ice cream" or something ridiculous like that because that will only make me want it more. My rules are going to be more like, "less ice cream, more strawberries" or "less grilled cheese, more zucchini" because those are the rules I think I can live with.

So starting today (actually last night because that's when I made myself breakfast) I'm saying yes. I'm going to give this whole "clean eating" thing a try. I know it will be good for me, I just also know it will be hard. It will be hours in the kitchen on a Sunday (or other off day) preparing meals for the next week. It will mean watching my friends eat a pizza while I eat a salad. It will mean days of failure and days of ginger ale and grilled cheese for dinner. I know I won't be perfect, but I'm going to try. Will you help me?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Home Shopping Woes

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Derek and I were starting our home owning journey. We're only a few weeks in and already it's been a bumpy ride. We both know what we want in a home, the only problem right now is that we can't exactly afford what we want. I really wanted to come to my blog today with good news, saying that we had a really great experience or we actually found a home we wanted to buy. 

In the beginning, Derek was convinced we could buy our "forever" home and completely forego the whole "starter" home process. I had my doubts, but I continued to look at homes in our price range that fell in to the category of "what we wanted." The problem with that was, "what we wanted" and "what we could afford" were definitely two very different things. We found a few homes that met almost all of our criteria: over x amount of square feet, x amount of land, open floor plans, updated kitchen, a large storage option (barn/garage), and neighbors you couldn't reach with your broomstick.

Saturday we spent 4+ hours with our realtor looking at these homes that "met" our criteria, but nothing stood out. Nothing that screamed "home" for us. 

After we were done looking at houses, Derek and I had lunch. We talked, we argued, we compromised. We decided that buying our "forever" home was not an option right now, being that anything that fell in our price range just didn't measure up. 

So now we have a totally different list of criteria (I feel sorry for our realtor). We've done a complete 180 and are now looking at "neighborhood" houses. Houses with floor plans called The Diane and The Ashley. Houses who's back yard isn't big enough to play wiffleball in and who's "storage options" are limited to the attached single car garage. Cookie cutter homes. 

I'm not trying to put down anyone that lives in a neighborhood like the one I'm talking about, I really don't think there's anything wrong with Suburb-style homes and neighborhoods, I just know they aren't for me. I wasn't raised in a home like that and it isn't the kind of home I want to spend the rest of my life in. But I'm willing to settle, and willing to compromise - for now - because I know not everyone can get what they want when they want it. I'm smart enough to know that not many 23-year-olds are in the position to be a homeowner and I consider myself very fortunate.

I am not expecting to find our dream home the next time we go look, and maybe not even the next time. I am looking forward to the next few months of looking at possible homes with Derek and hopefully finding one that "speaks" to us. (Lord knows I'm ready for a place of my own.)

Did you have a hard time finding your "perfect house?"