Monday, September 30, 2013

Birthday Recap

This is the last time y'all will have to hear about my birthday for at least a year. Well, I might bring it up one more time because my family is getting together Friday night to celebrate it as well as Darla (my aunt) and Nan's birthdays. :-)

I posted a before and after picture on Facebook and told my friends and family that this is the happiest and healthiest I have felt in a long time, which helped to make this one of the best birthdays I have had in my 20s. The 'before' picture is from Christmas Eve 2011 when I weighed 271 pounds. The 'after' picture is from Friday, which shows the 50 pound weight loss I've achieved. 

I hate that I can't find many full body pictures from my heaviest days because I never wanted my picture taken back then. I liked being in control of the pictures and being able to tell my sister, 'Just the shoulders and up!' Lord knows, she heard that plenty of times! One piece of advice I can give to people starting their weight loss journey is to take lots of pictures...up close and full body. You will love to do comparison pictures once the weight drops! Trust me!!

Moving on to the presents I got! Before my birthday, I wrote about five things I had on my wish list. I am happy to say that I got two of those things along with a few surprises! 

My mom bought me the Sperrys I wanted, and I think the saying on their box seemed fitting for me. ;-) 

My stepdad got me the Polar heart rate monitor! I can't wait to try it out tomorrow. I've got it programmed with all my information, and it's ready to go!

My sister surprised me with tickets to a Dallas Stars hockey game! We are going on Saturday. It's gonna be so much fun! Also, while all my other cards I received were sentimental, this is the card my sister got me. 

I love it!

Friday night, Mallory, Emily, and I went to a Pink Zebra party that my cousin, Amanda, invited us to. To me, Pink Zebra seems like a new and improved Scentsy. There are lots of shades to put over your wax burner that are perfect for fall! My favorite scents were Stone Washed Denim and Farm House Cider. I'll probably wait until pay day to place an order, but once I do, my room will smell amazing!

How cute is this turkey shade to put over your burner?

After the party, we went to Applebee's for dinner. I ordered the Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Shrimp that is on their 'Under 550 Calories' section. It is one of the tastiest things on their menu, and I'm sure I would order it even if I wasn't trying to eat healthier. It's also something that I could probably try and recreate at home.

Nom Nom Nom!

Overall, it was a great birthday, and I'm looking forward to what the next year will bring!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thirty by 30 Revamp

So, as most of you know, my birthday is tomorrow, and I will be turning 28! That means I have exactly two years to complete my Thirty by 30 list I wrote about way back in March. This isn't a post to update you on what I have accomplished because NONE of them have been finished completely!

I'm writing this post because I want to tweak a couple of the items on my list and totally change 5 of them. At first, I didn't think I should change any of it, but if I've lost interest in something on the list or I don't see it meshing well with what's currently happening in my life, it would be best to go another direction.

My tab at the top will also be updated with my changes if you want to check out the whole list.

Original #1: Run a 5K.
Tweak: Complete a 5K in public.

I don't know if I will ever be able to run a whole 5K at one time, but I do know I want to finish one in public, more importantly, away from the comfort zone of my treadmill.

Original #4: Audition for a community theatre play or musical.
Change: Take a dance class.

I don't really have any interest in acting in a play or musical anymore, so I changed it to taking a dance class. I would love to learn some Latin ballroom dances!

Original #5: Get a teaching job.
Tweak: Get a full-time job.

I'm so close to being able to cross this one off my list! I don't want to jinx myself though, so I'll probably wait until I am able to step foot on the ship before I cross it off.

Original #10: Get my master's degree.
Change: Go skydiving.

Two completely different things! I feel like if I return to the classroom at some point, then it will be a good idea to get my master's degree. Until that happens, I changed it to skydiving.

Original #13: Go on a cruise with my mom and sister.
Change: Have a bachelorette party for Emily.

My mom seems to have no interest in going on a cruise, so I'm changing it to a bachelorette party for Emily. Nothing crazy or anything, but I was thinking about a weekend trip somewhere for us girls.

Original #18: Buy a new car.
Change: Buy myself a 'real' piece of jewelry.

Sure, a new car would be nice, but I don't need (or want) to buy one when my Corolla works just fine. *knock on wood* All my jewelry is cheap costume stuff that I've bought from department stores, so I want to buy myself a 'real' piece of jewelry that I would LOVE to pass down to a daughter or granddaughter one day.

Original #21: Pass additional certification tests for teaching.
Change: Host a Pinterest party.

Again, since I'm not currently teaching in the classroom, I figured this should be put on hold when and if that happens. I think hosting a Pinterest party would be so much fun!

Two years to go...I better get busy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I've Got Sunshine!

Last week I got a comment from the lovely Sarah over at Sweet Happenings that she had nominated me for the Sunshine Award. You should definitely check out Sarah's blog, and read about the time she became BFFs with Bradley Cooper (yes, THAT Bradley Cooper). I am so excited about this nomination, and I love participating in these and then passing on the love! Thank you Sarah!

The idea of the award is to nominate 10 bloggers whose posts brighten your day.

The Rules
1. Include the award logo in your post.
2. Link to the person who nominated you - Sweet Happenings
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. Link the nominees to your post and notify them!

Sarah's Questions for Me
1) What's one city you visited that you DIDN'T like, and why?
I don't think there has been a city I totally didn't like, but for some reason, Santa Fe is the least memorable city I've visited. Maybe it's because it was a short trip, maybe it's because we went so long ago, but I can't remember anything we did there!

2) What's your favorite clothing store?
Oh, I have a few! I love Belk, Target, and Dillard's for cute dresses, and Old Navy is my go-to store for basics like tank tops, camis, and shorts. As I'm losing more weight, I am able to shop at more stores, and I love it!

3) If I gave you $500.00 right now, what would you go buy? 
Hmm, I would probably put it towards my CPR class and my medical for Carnival. Nothing fun or exciting, but it is practical!

4) What's the population of the city you currently live in?

5) What's your favorite scent?
Right now, it's anything cinnamon...I love the scents of fall!

6) Would you prefer to live in the city or suburbs?
I've never lived in a big city, but I love living in the suburbs. It's nice to be able to visit the city, and then get back home where it's quiet and laid back.

7) Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Hoot hoot! Definitely a night owl! I'm pretty sure I growl every morning I have to wake up with an alarm clock, which is basically every morning since my dog has figured out what time he needs to wake up to get his insulin shot. 6:00 AM every single day...

8) What was your favorite childhood show that you can remember?
Saved by the Bell! Gosh, I watched that show way back when Miss Bliss was their teacher all the way through to Zack and Kelly's wedding. I wonder if this is on Netflix. If it's not, it should be!

9) Do you prefer swimming or skiing?
Swimming! I went on a ski trip once. I tried it for one day and ended up sitting inside the lodge for the rest of the trip reading and drinking hot chocolate. I actually do want to try it again though because I think I was a big chicken back then.

10) How long have you been blogging for?
I have been blogging since January of this year. One of the best decisions I've ever made!

Questions for My Nominees
1) What are 3 things you're thankful for?
2) What's the last movie you watched? Did you like it?
3) If you could have free, unlimited service from a chef, chauffeur, or masseuse, which would you choose?
4) What did you have for dinner yesterday?
5) Do you consider yourself young at heart or an old soul?
6) What was your first job?
7) Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?
8) What is a super power you wish you had?
9) What does your current outfit look like?
10) What is the title of a book that you feel everyone should read?

My Nominees
 I kinda cheated and only listed 5 bloggers, but I'm opening the questions up to anyone that wants to answer them!
 1) Zainab @ Kicking Kilos
2) Jennifer @ It's Just Jennifer
3) Ally @ Ambitious in LA
4) Sarah @ Beautiful Disaster
5) Katie @ Katers Potaters

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Listicles: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to find this fun link-up from Stasha over at The Good Life. I am a lover of lists, so I thought I would join in this week for 10 things I am looking forward to.

10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

1) my birthday
Not only fun because it's my birthday, but my nan and aunt have their birthdays just days after mine, so all of the family gets together for a celebration, which is always one of my favorite things to do!

2) my new job
I'm so ready for everything to fall into place and have my paperwork approved, so I can get to sailing!

3) the State Fair of Texas
This is happening. My sister and I have already made plans. I will ride the Texas Star, even though it terrifies me (it's a tradition, after all), and I will be hunting down the Fried Nutella.

State Fair 2011
4) my ship assignment
Once my paperwork is all approved, I will receive information about what ship I will be sailing with. Not gonna lie, I have a few favorites in the fleet that I would LOVE to be on.

5) Emily and Kelby's wedding
Yay! Still planning, still excited!

6) Pink Zebra launch party
My cousin, Amanda, is having a launch party for Pink Zebra on Friday night, and I think it will be a lot of fun. Mallory and Emily are gonna go with me. 

7) the holidays
I don't know if I will be home for any of the major Fall/Winter holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but even if I'm not, I'm looking forward to celebrating them. I've heard Christmas is a really cool time to be on a cruise ship. If I do leave before then, I'm making my family celebrate with me before I go.

8) a Dallas Stars game
I told my sister before I leave I want to go to a Stars game. I don't think I could have ever predicted I would be a hockey fan!

9) the Katybug Shuffle 5K
This will be my first ever 5K in front of other people, and the proceeds from the race benefit Katy and Brooke, two little girls that are battling cancer. I don't think there is a better cause to support than that. I need to get registered!

Katybug Shuffle Facebook Page

10) Fall TV
All my favorite shows return this week! Except for Supernatural and The Walking Dead...I have to wait 'til October? Really??

My 5 Favorites!

What are YOU looking forward to? Link-up and join the fun!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In #30

This Week: -0.8 lb
Total Loss: -29.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 251.2 lbs
Current Weight: 222.0 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.0
Current BMI: 31.9

Workouts for the Week
Friday - Day 10 Squat Circuit Challenge (90 squats), 3.10 miles on treadmill (46:30)
Saturday - Day 11 Squat Circuit Challenge (125 squats)
Sunday - Day 12 Squat Circuit Challenge (Rest Day)
Wednesday - Day 13 Squat Circuit Challenge (140 squats)

Total Mileage: 3.10 miles
Total Squats: 355
Total Time: 46 minutes 

Considering that yesterday I said I would have a horrible weigh-in, I am actually very surprised I had a loss this week. Last week I said I was going to hide the scale all week...I didn't. So, I weighed every day, sometimes multiple times a day, which led me to believe I would have a gain today. This week I WILL be hiding the scale and will not get it out until next Friday, which happens to be my birthday! I have to get a loss on my birthday, right? Isn't that a law or something?? ;-)

1) Make a workout plan for the week
I didn't STICK with my plan, but I did make one!

2) Complete Days 10-16 of the Squat Circuit Challenge

3) Complete 4 5Ks, and improve my time with every one

4) Register for a 5K 


I think I'm going to pretty much stick to the same goals that I had last week since I failed miserably at almost all of them.

1) Complete Days 14-20 of the Squat Circuit Challenge

2) Complete 4 5Ks, and improve my time with every one

3) Register for a 5K

4) Do not step on the scale until next Friday

I want to share a before and after picture. Sometimes these pictures are more of a motivational tool for me than seeing the weight loss each week. The before picture was taken last summer in Galveston, and I probably weighed somewhere between 255-260. The after picture was taken last weekend, which shows about a 35 pound loss. What stands out most to me is how different the shirt fits me now than it did last year. It appears as if I've gained 2-3 inches of length in the shirt just by losing weight!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Birthday Wishes

My weigh-in tomorrow is going to be horrible. I haven't had a good workout since Friday, and I have eaten way too much candy. I'm disappointed and embarrassed, but I'm going to put that aside right now. 

A week from tomorrow, I will be celebrating my birthday! I needed something to put me in a better mood, so I am going to share with y'all some of the things on my birthday wish list!

I think this dress from Old Navy would be perfect paired with leggings, boots, and a pretty scarf!

I love the colors in this workout tank from ActivateApparel on Etsy.

I've heard good reviews on these non-slip headbands from Brady Bands. Elephants are one of my favorite animals, and I think this pattern is too cute!

I've wanted one of these heart rate monitors for a while now. I feel like it would give me a more accurate reading of my heart rate and calories burned as opposed to what the treadmill says.

I've had these shoes on my wish list since last September, and I still don't have a pair! Although last year, I really wanted the leopard pair, but I think these would go with more outfits. I've tried them on before, and they are super comfortable, which would be perfect for substitute teaching!

So, those are the top 5 things on my birthday wish list! Hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge to any of my family reading this ;-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Saturday Shenanigans

{Linking up with Sami today for Weekend Shenanigans!}

Sami's Shenanigans

I didn't really do much on Friday or Sunday, so this post is all about my Saturday I spent with these lovely ladies!

Mallory, Emily, and I started the morning at a festival in Sanger, TX where the city's public library was having their annual book sale. I found a few books that sounded interesting, and I only had to pay $5 for them all!

After the book sale, we walked around and browsed the different booths, but we didn't really find anything we had to have. While we were walking downtown, we saw a sign for a garage sale. We followed the signs and ended up at the Masonic Lodge where I found the best deal I've ever gotten at a garage sale...

Isn't she a beaut? I scooped this crock pot up as fast as I could! I was just telling my mom the other day that I needed one that had a removable inner pot. The older crock pots (if they're in good condition) work better than the newer ones with all the 'fancy schmancy' buttons. All you need is off, low, and high, and you're good to go!

Once we were finished shopping, we headed to Denton for lunch at Texas Roadhouse. We were seated by a big poster for Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch in Pilot Point. My sister said, "Let's go there after lunch!" None of us ever do anything spur of the moment. We always have everything planned down to the last detail. Well, somehow, we ended up at the wildlife ranch, and it was a lot of fun!

We were loaded onto a safari tram and saw camels, emus, zebras, zorses, and zedonks. I love how that camel looks like it's ready to give someone a big ol' kiss!

There were also bears and snakes, but of all the animals, I was most scared of this pig! She kept rooting her nose against my leg, and I was afraid she was gonna try to grab a bite! :-D

The sweetest animal there was this white-tailed deer named JD. When he was a baby, a car hit him and shattered part of his skull and jaw. Before he was found by anyone, it had already healed wrong. After being seen by a vet, it was decided that a surgery was not necessary, so they didn't want to risk his life to try and fix it. They said he is in no pain and will live out his days at the ranch. He loved to be petted as you can see in the picture.

By the time we finished up at the ranch, it was pretty hot outside, so we headed to QT for drinks. Our papa loves the frozen cappucino from there, so we all got one of those (our 1st time) and texted him this pic of us drinking them. It was really yummy! I'm glad I don't live closer to a QT, or I would go there more often to get one of them!

So, that's how I spent my Saturday! It was fun and partly unexpected!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Currently 9.15

{This 'Currently' format is borrowed from Julie!}

Current Book: I don't normally read more than one book at a time, but I'm reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays by Peg Kehret. Since one is fiction and the other is non-fiction, I don't think I will confuse the stories going on in each of them. :-)

Current Music: "Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave!"

Current Guilty Pleasure: Oreos

Current Nail Color: Fina from blue silvery metallic


Current Drink: Coffee and Iced Water

Current Food: Toast with Peanut Butter and Honey

Current Favorite Show: One of the best shows I've ever watched...Parenthood. I just can't get enough of the Braverman family. I started season 4 last week, and almost every episode has left me in tears. Such an emotional show, but it has its funny moments too! I can't wait until season 5 starts.


Current Wish List: My birthday is in less than two weeks, so I'll actually be writing a post this week of things that are on my wish list! :-)

Current Needs: Some items for my substitute bag...stickers, planner, colorful pencils

Current Indulgence: There's some cupcakes in our kitchen that I've been eyeing, but I haven't indulged YET.

Current Blessing: My sister, Mallory, and my cousin, Emily...two great girls that I love oh so very much!

Current Outfit: Black workout pants and a Texas Longhorns shirt

Current Excitement: I have three sub jobs this coming week! The first ones of the year!!

{This link-up is brought to y'all from Lauren!}

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In #29

This Week: +0.2 lb
Total Loss: -28.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 251.2 lbs
Current Weight: 222.8 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.0
Current BMI: 32.0

Workouts for the Week
Friday - Day 3 Squat Circuit Challenge (90 squats)
Saturday - Day 4 Squat Circuit Challenge (Rest Day)
Sunday - Day 5 Squat Circuit Challenge (100 squats)
Monday - Day 6 Squat Circuit Challenge (50 squats)
Tuesday - Day 7 Squat Circuit Challenge (120 squats), 3.00 miles on treadmill (45 min)
Wednesday - Day 8 Squat Circuit Challenge (Rest Day), 3.10 miles on treadmill (57 min)
Thursday - Day 9 Squat Circuit Challenge (135 squats)

Total Mileage: 6.10 miles
Total Squats: 375
Total Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Up a little bit this week. I was disappointed when I stepped on the scale this morning, but I'm not going to let it ruin my day. I'm already looking ahead to this coming week and what I can do to make it better than this past week was.

I've decided I'm not going to list 'lose X amount of pounds' as one of my goals for this week. I feel like I obsess about that goal each week and stress myself out about it. I think I will have my mom hide the scale until next Friday because I weigh myself all week, and I don't think that helps me. All of my goals will deal with exercise of some sort.

Even though I'm not focusing on the number this week, when I finally hit the 30 pound mark, I'm going to treat myself and buy this shirt.

Elle Woods, FTW

I found a 50 minute workout for the treadmill that I tried out this week. I didn't get as much mileage in as I normally would, but I really liked it because it made me sweat a lot more and was constantly changing, which made the time go by quickly.

1) Lose at least 1.4 pounds 

2) Complete Days 3-9 of the Squat Circuit Challenge
3) Sell some of my clothes that are too big for me
I'm trying out Tradesy. I haven't sold anything yet, but I have a few things listed. I plan on listing some more items today.

4) Try this workout over the weekend

1) Make a workout plan for the week

2) Complete Days 10-16 of the Squat Circuit Challenge

3) Complete 4 5Ks, and improve my time with every one

4) Register for a 5K 

 Tomorrow I'm headed to a festival and book sale with Mallory and Emily. I'm looking forward to a fun, fabulous day!

Hope y'all enjoy your weekend! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Linking up with Jennifer today for Thursday Thoughts! 

Thursday Thoughts

~I'm almost finished with the book I'm currently reading, Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. I'm hoping to get one of the two books I've requested from the book swap group I'm in on Facebook. If I don't get either one today, I'm planning on reading The Girl in the Green Sweater next.

~This afternoon I have to take this guy to the vet to have his anal glands expressed. Some people do this themselves at home, but I'm not one of those people. If you know what this process involves, you can probably understand why I make the vet do it. It's not a pretty sight.

~I need to be certified in CPR and First Aid for my new job. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find a class! The earliest class I found is on October 4th, and it's only CPR. I have to add a First Aid extension class and take it after the CPR class. Too bad they won't accept an online class certification...that would makes things a lot easier.

~I live in a small town with lots of other small towns around us. One of those towns is having a festival on Saturday, and my sister and I are going. Possibly Emily too if she doesn't have to work. I love small town festivals! The main reason I want to go is because their public library is having a book sale. $5 for a bag full of paperbacks? Don't mind if I do!

~There's another festival next weekend that includes a 5K. I really want to do a 5K but not by myself. Mallory and Emily both have to work. Boo! Maybe I'll conquer two of my fears at once...actually completing a 5K and doing it on my own! Today is the last day for early registration and to be guaranteed a t-shirt. I mean, c'mon, it's all about the t-shirt you get right? ;-)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In #28

This Week: -1.0 lb
Total Loss: -28.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 251.2 lbs
Current Weight: 222.6 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.0
Current BMI: 31.9

Workouts for the Week
Saturday - 2.10 miles on bike (13 min), No Excuses Gymless Workout (19 min)
Sunday - 2.50 miles on bike (18 min)
Tuesday - 3.00 miles on treadmill (45 min)
Wednesday - Day 1: Squat Circuit Challenge (not timed), No Excuses Gymless Workout (19 min)
Thursday - Day 2: Squat Circuit Challenge (not timed), 3.00 miles on treadmill (45 min)

Total Mileage: 10.60 miles
Total Time: 2 hours, 39 minutes

Down another pound! So far, that has been the best part of my day. We're having Crock Pot BBQ pork chops tonight for supper. When I went to get the crock pot from the top of the refrigerator, I heard the glass lid shift, and I knew what was coming. I bent my head down. The lid rolled down the back of my head, crashed to the floor, and ended up in hundreds of pieces. So frustrating! Thankfully, nobody was hurt (me or the dogs), and I found another crock pot lid I could use.

That stupid deer head magnet fell first

Anyway, I found two workouts on Pinterest that I tried this week, and I really like them.

1) Try a new healthy recipe
I made a roasted veggie and hummus pizza for lunch twice this week. It is so good! I will definitely be making it again! I added black beans to mine and substituted mozzarella for the goat cheese.

Click here for recipe

2) Lose at least 2 pounds

3) Log at least 20 miles

4) Do this workout on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday.

1) Lose at least 1.4 pounds 
I want to be at a 30 pound loss by next Friday!

2) Complete Days 3-9 of the Squat Circuit Challenge
3) Sell some of my clothes that are too big for me
  I can't decide where I should sell them...Ebay, a local Facebook group, or somewhere else. Anybody have a suggestion? 

4) Try this workout over the weekend

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Linking up with Jennifer today for Thursday Thoughts!

Thursday Thoughts

-I'm so glad substitute jobs are starting to come in! School started last week, so there's usually not much for a couple of weeks since it's very important for teachers to be there at the beginning of the year to set the routines and procedures. I've got three jobs lined up for the middle of the month, so I'm looking forward to that!

-As some of you know, my cousin Emily is getting married next year. My sister and I will be her bridesmaids. She told us the colors she wants for her wedding and told us to pick our dress. How awesome is she? We're 99.9% sure we will be choosing this one. I like that it doesn't look too 'bridesmaidsy,' so I could wear it again somewhere else. It also doesn't hurt that Emily loves our choice! choice...Mallory just does what I say ;-)

-We're also going to be using tissue paper pom poms in some way for the wedding. I made my first one for practice the other night. I think it turned out pretty good, but instead of being a pom pom, it's a half sphere. I looked at different tutorials, so I think I know now how to make it a pom pom.

-I don't watch Dancing with the Stars every season, but I always like to hear about the cast announcement. After reading about who will be on it, I think I'm going to watch! I'm already rooting for Leah Remini! My guess on the first to go? Bill Nye the Science Guy...sorry Bill, I just can't picture you being any good. Maybe he'll surprise me! Who knows?

-I'm going to be writing a Q&A post about my new job with Carnival Cruise Lines soon! I have some questions from family and friends, but if any of you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or send me an email!