Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Whirlwind of Random Thoughts

1.  I recently got a new computer at work!! I have finally emerged from the Dark Ages and I am loving, I mean truly loving life!

2.  I found out while I was Black Friday shopping that I am drawn to gadgets and technology. I love technology. See number 1.

3.  The Hustler surprised me and put lights on the house. White lights of course. He is slowly learning the do's and don'ts of Christmas decorating.

4.  I decorated this year in purple and silver. B-E-A-U-TIFUL!

5.  Augusta had to go to the vet today to get a sticker surgically removed from her paw. She is pouting as we speak.

6.  Just discovered The Big Bang Theory.  Where have The Hustler and I been the last 4 years!?

7.  My Christmas gift from The Hustler and my parents gets here tomorrow. A new bedroom set. So excited!!

8.  I am regretting that we didn't do Christmas cards this year.

9.  I decorated Christmas cookies with my BFF tonight. So much fun! 

10.  I showed up to my hair appointment yesterday, turns out I was a week early.

11.  I have not had a pop in 5 days! 

12.  Harley has destroyed 1 present and unwrapped 2 so far. We are now utilizing the kennels when we leave.

13.  I am burnt out of the internet, Facebook, Blogs and Reverb 10. What's wrong with me! :)  

14.  I still have not tried out my new Ocho Cinco running shoes.  

13.  I absolutely cannot wait to see all of my family over Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pop, Soda, Diet, Soda Drink, Soda Pop, Coca-Cola, Refresco



I have come to love, love Diet Coke. So much that when I wake up I crave it (don't worry I don't allow myself to drink DC before 11am!). I probably drink 1-3 Cokes a day. I personally, prefer cans over bottles and Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi. 

But here's the deal. Since I have fostered a loving relationship with Diet Coke, I have completely turned my back on Water. I tend to go days without water. YIKES! 

In an effort to drink more water and consume less Diet Coke chemicals, I am giving up all pop, soda, diet, soda drinks, soda pops, coca-cola, refrescos- whatever you want to call it- for the next 13 days

Anyone want to join me? 
 
 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Swim Story

I went to the gym today!!! You have no idea how good I feel about myself. I have been craving the gym for about a month now. Sometimes good ol' fashion running or swimming sounds fun. Today I swam. Tomorrow I am going to pick up my cool new running shoes. Next year (25 days to be exact), is going to be all about running; so much that I am naming my new kicks. Their name "Ocho Cinco". You'll understand once I show you a picture of them (or maybe you won't, I don't know).

The Hustler also played a hand in motivating me to get back to the gym. He and his BFF have been getting up in the morning to play racquetball/basketball. This goes to show what working out with a friend does to your motivation and accountability. I tell ya, The Huster literally jumps out of bed at 5:30AM in the freaking morning!! He hasn't missed a day yet! 

Moral of the story: workout with a partner.

Back to the swim. My swim was great, that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the lady who runs the pool at the gym. I call her the Pool Nazi. Honestly. Today she was giving swim lessons when I was about to jump into the water. Knowing that she is the Pool Nazi I immediately turned right back around and showered off before I got into the water. But even after I wash off and am dripping wet she still calls out to me, "You must shower from head to toe." Apparently my hair wasn't wet. Seriously lady!? Pool Nazi! 

That's not all. As I was relaxing in the hot tub I couldn't help but notice that Pool Nazi was teaching a new lesson to a group of 5 little girls. Pool Nazi was extremely MEAN!! Okay maybe I am exaggerating with the word mean. I think it had to do more with her tone (I sound like my mom- watch your tone). Anyways,the little girls where practicing their wall starts. She told the next girl in line "GO" and when the girl didn't move the Pool Nazi yelled "GO" in a very annoyed, very loud voice. Okay either the girl didn't hear you the first time or she was nervous and trying to psych herself up and froze.  There were a lot more instances, but I am a bad story teller so just take my word for it okay? 

I wish someone would tell Pool Nazi that these are little girls, who probably based on their experience in your swim class may or may not ever take another swim lesson again. Because of you they will either love swimming or hate swimming. Your job, Pool Nazi, is to teach them the fundamentals of swimming while allowing them to have some fun without yelling at them and shamming them! I doesn't sound very hard to me. But then again she is the Pool Nazi.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Letting Go

Reverb 10
December 5 – Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Author: Alice Bradley)

I am only on December 5th and I already feel like I have talked about the same things for all of the prompts. Sorry about that- I blame it on my poor memory. I honestly can't remember what else happened in my life! I even had The Hustler run through each month with me to pinpoint the highlights. 

Because I am afraid this is getting a little boring to read and because I am tried of writing about it I'll make this one short!

Letting Go: I let go of the notion that I am not a runner. 

Letting Go: I let go of a few pounds.

Letting Go: I let go of a sedentary life style.

Letting Go: I let go of the idea that my house will always be sparkling clean (I have 2 dogs). 

Letting Go: I let go of the little voice telling me I never finish anything I start.

Letting Go: I let go of the idea that you have to drink alcohol to have fun in a social setting. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sense of Wonder

December 4 – Wonder
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? 
(Author: Jeffrey Davis)

 First of all, I had to look up what a "sense of wonder" even means. 

SENSE OF WONDER n. a feeling of awakening or awe triggered by an expansion of one’s awareness of what is possible or by confrontation with the vastness of space and time, as brought on by reading science fiction. (The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction)

I don't read Science Fiction- except for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is a great book by the way, a must read. I know, I'm getting off topic, but I don't like this question. So what do you do when you don't like something... put it in list format and add some color. 

2010 Events that Cultivated a Sense of Wonder or Awe
1. Being onstage with The Blue Man Group in Vegas
2. Winning $2400 at the Craps table at MGM 
3. Climbing the Incline for the first time
4. Running my first 5k (St. Patrick's 5k)
5. The whole Tri For The Cure experience
6. First time on the water in our boat Uncle Sam 


Friday, December 3, 2010

My Moment

Today's #reverb 10:

December 3 – Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)

Hands down the #1 highlight of my year was competing in The Tri For The Cure Triathlon. This moment was absolutely amazing! I was so happy I got to share this moment with my BFF and family.

This day happened all too fast, but let me try to recreate it. It started with my BFF and I getting up at an ungodly hour to find a parking spot and most importantly the perfect transition spot. We meticulously set-up camp and nervously waited for our heat to be called.
Sunrise

I remember standing in our heat line edging closer and closer to the water waving frantically at Ashley's dad. Before we knew it we were in the cold, murky green water counting down... 10,9,8... At 1 I plunged into the water kicking and swimming as fast as I could to distance myself from the pack. I had no idea where Ashley was or if I was making any progress. My goggles quickly fogged up and the bright blare from the sun made it difficult to navigate in the water. At times I would have to stop to maneuver around a stagnate swimmer. When I was training I imagined getting ahead of the slow swimmers and having no problem. But I didn't anticipate catching up to the nearly drowning swimmers from the prior heat. At times I would take a stroke and end up hitting a fellow swimmer. For the first half of the course I couldn't see much due to my crappy goggles and the sun. I had to stop and pop my head out of the water to make sure I wasn't swimming in circles- a huge fear of mine! After I passed the last turn I knew I was so close to home. I stepped up my stroke by giving myself a little pep talk, but for the most part I kept hitting people. I finally got out of the water and ran as fast as I could to my flip flops tearing off my swim cap.

I got back to my transition station and threw on my bike shorts, shirt, socks and shoes, bike helmet and glasses and waited for Ashley. I remember saying to myself come on Ashley, come on Ashley. I knew she was close behind me, but I was getting nervous. I then saw her and we decided I would go ahead of her and she would catch up to me. 

I took off with my bike and ran. Once I jumped on I thought crap I forgot to adjust my bike pedal straps. They weren't tight enough so I couldn't pull and push as well as I would have liked to be able to. I peddled as fast as my legs would let me trying to pass one person after another. The bike portion of the race was amazing. It was so calming. I tried to take everything in as I biked by it. My only fear was not finding Ashley and getting a flat tire. Every person I saw on the side of rode fixing a tire I made sure wasn't Ashley, because I knew she would need my help if it was her. Luckily, we both made it through the bike portion without any problems!

I made it back to my transition station and put on my running hat and waited for Ashley. I didn't have to wait long, she was right behind me. We took off for the run realizing that this was the last leg of the race and we were almost done. What a relief! 

The run was grueling hard! At the very beginning our legs were heavy like concrete. It took everything we had to put one foot in front of the other. From the very beginning we said we wouldn't walk at all. We kept true to our word. The first part of the run was mostly uphill up the damn. Seeing The Hustler and my sister and Mr. and my parents was probably the best part of the race. It gave me a splurge of energy I didn't know I had left in me to jolt through the finish line. 

Crossing the line was the best feeling I have ever experienced. All I could think was we did it. We just completed our first triathlon!! We are triathletes!!! I was so overjoyed and extremely proud of myself!! I was so happy I could experience this wonderful moment with my best friend and family that came to support and cheer us on! 
Ashley and I after the race.
Ashley and I will start training for this same triathlon and a 1/2 marathon in January. I cannot wait to relive this experience. Anyone want to join us?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Say What!?!

Today's #reverb10:

December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

BORING! I'm not a writer and I don't want to try to become a writer. Mostly because I am not very good at it. It literally takes me 1-2 hours to write my blog posts. I am the slowest writer known to man. I have always had this problem. In college, when I didn't have my mom by my side at midnight helping me write my papers like in high school, I had to start on my papers weeks before they were due. What happens is I type a sentence and then delete it- over and over again! Anyone else do this? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

reverb10- have you heard about it?

I have joined Reverb 10- "an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead." 

Each day in the month of December, I will respond to a creative prompt from Reverb 10. 


What to join me? Go to www.reverb10.com.









December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

  
self-DISCOVERY 
This year has been all about discovering who I am. Let me explain. I have been married for 3 years. The first 2 years of my marriage I molded myself into my husband. His hobbies became mine. For example, I played in a pool league, attended all of his pool matches and basically did everything he did. I didn't know who I was or what I enjoyed doing in my free time. He never did anything to make me think I couldn't have my own hobbies or do my own thing, it was just something that happened without me realizing it. Before I knew it I didn't have an activity or hobby that I was passionate about. Does this sound familiar? I think this happens to a lot of women.

This year that all changed. I think for the first time I truly became comfortable in the relationship and loosened the grips so to speak. Little by little I started to learn who I was and what I enjoyed doing in my free time. 

My memory is atrocious, just ask my sister or BFF. I barley remember the highlights of high school 10 years ago. So for me to remember all of the events that took place in 2010 is hard. I should really keep a highlights list. Here is a list of 2010 events or moments, that I can recall, that has led me to new firsts and discover who I am and what I am passionate about. 

1. My BFF and I took a road trip to Nebraska- without the husbands- and learned all about the company Beachbody. This was my first real trip without The Hustler. I think this road trip set the stage for the rest of my year in terms of finding me.  

2. Soon after, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and signed up as a Beachbody Coach. I shouted out into the universe I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT living a healthy lifestyle and motivating others to do so also. Talk about terrifying! The self-doubt started to creep in- what if I fail, what if people think I am a moron for becoming a Coach, what if think why should I listen to her, what right does she have to talk about working out, does she think she is better than me. Yes, these were my thoughts. I actually thought people were going to think I was silly for becoming a Coach. Really!? Like you people care I am a Coach! What silly thoughts! I truly believe becoming a Coach has made me a more confident person by perusing something that I was sure would be met by resistance. 

3. My BFF and I trained for 7 long grueling months and compete in our very first Triathlon. Actually following through and competing in the triathlon was a huge milestone for me. I said I was going to do it and I did. For the first time (okay maybe not the first time I mean I did finish college), I set out and accomplished something! And I rocked it! 

4. I ran a mile for the first time! Come to find out, I actually enjoy running. I even competed in a total of four 5k's in 2010! 

5. I discovered that I like to be active and challenge myself to new adventures. I did the Incline for the first time in 2010. 

6. I took a photography class, all by my self, and completed it! If I were a betting man, I would have bet that I wouldn't have finished the class. It feels great when you surprise yourself and actually stick with something! Plus I learned some great photography tips.
  
7. I cooked the most amazing Thanksgiving turkey ever! Slowly I am learning how to cook.

8. The Hustler and I bought a boat and learned how to operate it. Boating is a new hobby that we both enjoy and something that we can do together.


2010 has been about finding self-confidence, discovering who I am, what I am passionate about and stepping outside of my comfort zone and taking on new challenges.


I want my word for 2011 to be focus. I want to focus on... our road to financial freedom and savings, relationships, Beachbody, fitness and health, organization, work and hobbies.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Friday

Cassie, Aunt Candy, Grammie, Me, Lindsey (mom is taking the picture)
I LOVE, LOVE Black Friday shopping for so many reasons. My family is heavy on traditions, which I believe is what makes our extended family so close. 

Black Friday Shopping is a tradition that has been in the family for a long time. I am sure my mom has memories of shopping the day after Thanksgiving with Grammie and her siblings. What makes Black Friday shopping so much fun is finding the best deals. My crazy family buys Christmas presents for everyone is the family (another great tradition and story for another time). Before Black Friday we all make lists of what we are getting everyone in the family and set out on Friday to find the best deals. For those family members that are hard to shop for we keep our eyes open for that gift that speaks to us. It's really is fun shopping for others and finding that one gift that you know if just perfect for them. 

Friday is also about spending time with each other enjoying our traditional top of the morning Starbucks coffee, Christmas music and candy canes. It really is a blessing to be able to spend time with Grammie and looking back this will be a tradition that we will all remember and carry on and have fond memories of.
 
This year mom, Lindsey and I decided to be a part of the crazy 3am crowd and stand in line at Target hoping to get one of the Door Buster items. We literally froze- finger tips, toes, legs, nose. Every part of our body was frozen by the time the store opened. To make the expereince even worse, we didn't get the item. I was literally one step away from it, when a man stepped in and swiftly grabbed it. Damn hesitation! If you ask Lindsey she will probably rave about the experience. Me, I'm not so sure the experience was worth the frozen bones and major disappointment!

 

Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Brine a Turkey

This year I decided to "brine" my Thanksgiving Turkey. Yes, I too had no idea what "brine" meant until I found this fabulous recipe by The Pioneer Woman.

I admit I was a little hesitant to try a new turkey-cooking-technique since my parents were coming over for Thanksgiving and eating my turkey for the first time. On the other hand I didn't really have a good go to turkey recipe so really I didn't have much to lose.  
You MUST try this recipe the next time you cook a turkey! It was actually pretty easy and makes your house smell of Holiday cheer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 3 oranges, peeled, white pith removed, skin roughly chopped
  • 1 (20-pound) fresh turkey
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped orange zest

Directions

Combine the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and orange peel in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat immediately, cover, and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Cool mixture in the fridge until you're ready.
To brine the turkey, remove the turkey from wrapper, remove interior bags (set aside; refrigerate), and rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.

Place the turkey into a plastic brining bag or a very large pot.

Pour the cooled brine mixture over the top, adding extra cold water if you need more to completely cover the turkey. Seal the bag or cover the pot and allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.

Before roasting, remove the turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then soak in a sink full of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry. Discard brine. (This soaking process will decrease the likelihood of too-salty gravy).

Preheat the oven 275 degrees F.

Truss the bird and place it breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it's entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan). Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (a 20 pound turkey will roast for about 3 1/2 hours).

Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Mix the softened butter with the rosemary and orange peel and rub all over the skin of the turkey, covering every single inch of the skin. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey, uncovered, back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 170 degrees F and until the juices are no longer pink.

Remove from the oven and cover with foil until you are ready to carve and serve. Reserve pan juices to make gravy.

Cook's Note: This is enough for a 20 pound fresh turkey. You can decrease the quantity for a smaller bird.


You can find this recipe on the Food Network website.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thank You Pioneer Woman...

for making me look like a professional! 

The Hustler and I, a couple of years back, decided to start our own Thanksgiving tradition. Instead of celebrating Thanksgiving at one of our families houses, The Hustler and I stay in and make a grandiose meal for just the two of us. We thought it would be nice and useful to know how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for when we grow up and potentially have a family other than dogs. 

Over the years we have made some monumental mistakes in the kitchen. The first year I under estimated how long it actually took to cook a turkey- like 2 hours underestimated. This same Thanksgiving The Hustler didn't realize he had to cook his pumpkin pie, which we didn't realize until his dad went to take the first bite. To add to the disaster our TV bulb went out in the middle of football. Yes this happened all in one year! 

Another year I swear we slept right through Thanksgiving! I don't even remember how the food turned out or if we even ate. 

And last year I was so determined to thaw that damn turkey I let it sit in the sink for multiple days without refrigerating it. This really freaked people out and they convinced me the night before Thanksgiving to throw it out and buy a fresh one.

This year was a little different. We invited my parents over for Thanksgiving. Talk about some added pressure! This is the first time in Hollis history that everything tasted amazing!! Everyone even said the turkey was the best they ever had!!!!!!!! This was music to my ears. I will be bragging about this for probably the rest of my life. 

I got my amazing turkey recipe from the Pioneer Woman. The secret is brining the Turkey. I'll be posting pictures and the secret recipe soon! Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WOW!

I haven't talked much about the Work Weight Loss Challenge this go round. I think mostly because I haven't intensely focused on eating clean or exercising. 

To be completely honest I haven't worked out since I stopped Insanity a couple months ago. I have had good intentions to work out, but I haven't been able to put my good intentions into action. Almost every night, while I lie in bed, I think about the gym and how fun rewarding it would be to run on the treadmill or swim. Most nights I even dream that I am swimming. But the next day I can't make myself go. Does this ever happen to anyone else? You want to workout, you dream about working out, you almost crave working out, but you can't get your lazy self to go to the gym or push play. Talk about frustrating! 

And to make matters worse, this one ate my only pair of shoes!! 

So naturally all I can think about is how bad I want to work out. And if I only had shoes I would go to the gym right this very second. Maybe I can find a new pair of shoes on Black Friday. Then I won't have any more excuses.

So I guess because I have felt a little guilty for not working out I haven't wanted to talk about the Challenge at work. Today was the final weigh-in. In order for me to win I had to weigh 130.6. I can't tell you the last times I weighed 130.anything. I know I have gotten down to this weight, but I haven't been able to stay at it for very long. In fact just a month or so ago I was having a hard time getting below 132. It was to my great surprise this morning that I weighed 129.2!!!!! 

WOW!!

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be below 130. My goal weight is actually within reach. Just think what will happen if I add exercise to the mix. 

Another co-worker and I split the pot and now I have a little extra spending money for Black Friday shopping! I think my first purchase better be shoes.

Great things are on the horizon, I can feel it!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wii Madness

My Sista and her Mr. came over and played Wii tennis with The Hustler and I. I forgot just how much I love Wii tennis! Is is my favorite Wii game.

The Hustler and I also tested our Wii age. Usually the Wii says your age is 80 or something crazy like that. To my surprise my Wii age was 33- not bad at all!  The Hustler was in the 50's or 60's. Ha take that Hustler!!

There is a tragic story however to this night. The Hustler and I where in a close game of tennis and I was serving. The Hustler has a wicked return that results in a point every-single-time. The only way to combat is to bring the heat with the serve. I knew that if I wanted to win I had to send a rocket fire. I got so into it on my down swing I hit Augusta on the head with the remote which flew out of my hand and hit the wall making a dent. The sad story is Augusta's lump on her head. For the remainder of the night she would not come into the living room and hid upstairs. So so sad!  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Undeveloped Wino

It's amazing how driven and specific my life becomes when I make a list. It shouldn't surprise you that I have already completed something off of my 30 Before Thirty list just a couple of days after I came up with this great idea!

The Hustler and I stayed in and finally opened the bottle of wine my Aunt and Uncle gave us last Christmas. The wine was great! I wish I could tell you what it tasted like, but my lack of experience in the wine department leaves me with no idea how to successfully describe it. Therefore I have made it my main goal to drink more wine. This is by far the best goal I have set for myself yet. 



I was finally able to add a wine cork to my decorate collection.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Need a Little Coffe Cup SIZZLE?

Each year (okay only since last year) Ashley and I look for a fun creative gift to make for the holiday season. Last season Ashley knitted kitchen wash cloths and I etched on glass baking dishes. We also made layered recipe jars with brownie mix inside.

This year I came across this craft project. I immediately fell in love. Knitting runs deep in my family. It's something that all of us "Pieper" women know how to do and it's a wonderful tradition that has been passed down and will continue to be passed down to all of the women in the family. I am very blessed to have had an amazing great aunt who loved to knit. It is in her spirit and in remembrance of her that we all learn to knit and pass it onto anyone who is eager to learn.

So I knew that this project was just what I was looking for! I also loved the idea of making a cup holder to replace the wasteful cardboard that I always grab at Starbucks- mostly out of habit. I thought how cool would it be to pull my crafty cup warmer out of my purse and add a little decorative earth friendly sizzle to my coffee cup! And better yet, maybe I can make this for other people! Win-Win-Win.    
(http://www.etsy.com/listing/61615665/cream-speckled-knit-coffee-cozy)

I immediately emailed Ashley my great idea and started looking for patterns. I couldn't find one as cute as this picture so I thought I would recreate it. I found some yarn in my stash and started on the project with this picture in mind.

I should have reminded myself that even though I know how to knit, I'm not an expert! I ended up having to start over more times than I can count and I had to switch to a more workable yarn. Well here is my finished project (try not to laugh).
Notice how my recreation doesn't look as put together as the picture above! My ends didn't match up, I dropped a couple of stitches, I made it too big, and I didn't really think through how I was going to connect the two ends with buttons.

This morning The Hustler had a good laugh at me and my coffee warmer. He didn't quiet see the brilliantly hand crafted warmer that I saw! But I'm not letting his obvious lack of creative view stop me from making one of these for everyone that I know! Watch out- YOU might get one of these for Christmas!! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Before Thirty

I recently turned 28. People have asked me if I feel different- older. The answer is no. Honestly before my 28th birthday I couldn't remember if I was 27 or 28. I think half of the time I thought I was already 28. The only difference I can see is I am only 2 years away from 30. Now 30 sounds old! No more twenty something who can get away with anything.  At 30 people expect you to be responsible and have your shit together.

The Hustler truly believes most women go through a semi mid-life crisis at age 30. He says he is already preparing for my crisis!? I have no idea what he is talking about, but he says he knows people whose wives went through the 30 crisis. Does anyone else know what he is talking about? I get the feeling he is not looking forward to me turning 30 either.

Lately I have come across blogs that talk about a 30 Before Thirty list- something like a Bucket List, but the items must be checked off by your 30th birthday. Since I love lists I thought this was right up my alley!

30 Before Thirty
01.  Finish wedding scrapbook
02.  Complete Rosetta Stone Spanish program
03.  Compete in a race longer than a 5k
04.  Make homemade noodles
05.  Climb Pikes Peak or other 14teener
06.  Take a family photo (Cheese)
07.  Start to furnish house (Furnishings)
08.  Aggressively fund retirement and savings accounts ($$)
09.  Go on 2 vacations not including Las Vegas
10.  Get in the best shape of my life
11.  Go snowboarding (Snowboarding)
12.  Sing Karaoke
13.  Attempt to surf
14.  Dinner at the Penrose Room at The Broadmoor
15.  Drinks at The Golden Bee
16.  Get a tattoo (TATTOO)
17.  Do the stairs at Air Force Academy
18.  Do something fun for 10 year reunion (10 Year Reunion)
19.  Put together a puzzle
20.  Spend a night in, drinking wine with The Hustler (Undeveloped Wino)
21.  Get a picture of Harley playing in the water at the lake (Harley Swimming)
22.  Take pictures of Grammie and Poppie (Grammie & Poppy)
23.  Host a dinner party
24.  Get eyebrows waxed
25.  Play Wii Tennis  (Wii Madness)
26.  Recreate Boulder Creek trip with Ashley, Lindsey and Brea
27.  BFF Night Out
28.  Try rollers in hair
29.  Go to a bar specifically to play pool
30.  Create photo mural from Photocraft book

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Must See

I recently watched the movie Due Date with Robert Downing Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. I promise you, if you loved The Hangover as much as I did you will laugh your ass off in Due Date. It is one of the best comedies I have seen in a long time. Check out the trailer. 



Speaking of movies here is a count down of my all time favorites.

11. Mona Lisa Smile
10. The Hangover
09. Sleepless In Seattle  
08. Pretty Women
07. My Best Friend's Wedding
06. Little Women
05. Finding Neverland
04. The Blind Side
03. Dirty Dancing
02. The Hours
01. Grease 1 & 2   

What is your all time favorite movie?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Introducing...








The Hustler

10 facts about The Hustler
1. He does not like to have his picture taken.
2. He does not take naps.
3. His word is golden. 
4. People always assume he is in the military.
5. He's very sarcastic.
6. He bets on everything.
7. If he could, he would get his truck washed everyday.
8. He can't swim.
9. He once worked 3 jobs. 
10. He lives for Vegas.


Thanks everyone for voting!!
 

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Points

Tonight a friend from work and I met for our monthly points dinner at Salsa Brava. Each month we meet and go over our points list and add "to do" items to it.

For this month we decided we have to reach 27 points by the 29th. Most months we add a twist to the game to make it more exciting. Last month we identified a couple of must do items that had to be completed by today. My items were schedule a vet appointment for Harley and clean the two ceiling fans. This time around we decided that half of the 27 points must come from specific identified items on our list that we view as a must do.

I selected the following for a total of 15 points:
- Clean TV entertainment area (3 points)
- Dust blinds and wash window by TV (5 points)
- Clean bathtub in Master (2 points)
- Clean trash out of window wells (3 points)
- Put together Craft Room (2 points)

The remaining 12 points can come from any other categories on my list. I break my list down into 5 categories: Clean, To Do, To Buy, Fitness and Reoccurring. Here are some of the items I have on my points list.

Clean
- Storage Room (5 points)
- Doors (1 point per door)
- Junk Drawer (3 points)
- Base boards (2 points per room)


To Do
- Organize recipes (4 points)
- Go to Pawn Shops with the husband (2 points)
- Recycle plastic bags (1 point)
- Watch Sound of Music (3 points)
- Sent out Christmas Cards (5)
- Make Bucket List (1)
- Get a tattoo (5)
- Touch up paint around the house (5)
- Scrapbook (1 point per page)
- Hang shelves in Dinning Room (5)
- Schedule dentist appointment (5)
- Go sledding (5)

To Buy
- Water can (1)
- New plant (1)
- ShoDazzle (5)
- Dog collar (1)
- Brown dress pants (5)
- Earrings (2)

Fitness
- Donation or hot yoga (5)
- Take Zumba class (5)
- Complete Turbo Jam (5)
- Eat clean for 10 days (2)

Reoccurring (only allowed to get 1 point)
- Mop main floor
- Clean vanity and mirror in Master
- Clean Fridge
- Clean toilet
- Organize pantry
- Iron cloths
- Vacuum couch

This game is a great way to motivate you to do things that you know need to be done, but that you keep putting off. Try it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

LOVERS or HATERS

I might or might not have gotten in a dog fight. Well I didn't get in a fight with a dog, but Augusta did. Harley started it. 

We take our dogs to the open space behind some houses in our neighborhood. Augusta and Harley love it out there. They can roam, sniff and run free. Augusta particularly likes to flush out and chase rabbits. She is actually pretty good at it. Luckily she has never tried to gobble one up. I really think she just likes the chase. You should see her, she pounces and jumps and runs as fast as she can looking for rabbits. It might be her life calling. Harley spends his time sniffing with his pig nose, marking his territory and trying to keep up with Augusta.

Today it was just me on the walk. I was running along the path while the dogs did their thing. We came upon off leash dog #1 and his owner with no problem. Then came dog #2. The two owners immediately put their dog on a leash and the wife stood in front of it. I should have taken this as HEY STUPID gather your dogs, they are afraid their dog might attack yours. But I didn't. Augusta approached first and she immediately knew to keep going. But Harley... Poor Harley... He didn't know to keep going. He walked right up to the dog and of course the dog on the leash with the scared owners tried to pounce on him. Augusta being the protective female jumped in and they started to brawl. 

Basically a lot of teeth and noise. The owners were freaked out and cussing at me. They wanted me to stick my hand in there and grab Augusta. No way! Plus they were all moving around and I didn't have a clear shot at Augusta. 

To make matters worse their dog's collar came off. The owners freaked out even more. The fight broke up, but the owners still had some choice words for me. They thought my f'in dogs should be on f'in leashes. Sorry but no thanks. 

I understand that the owners can't control what my dogs do so that in turn makes them scared. Preston says I should have noticed that the owners were uneasy and I therefor should have crossed the ravine. I know he's right.  But the words that the guy called me infuriates me and makes me a little bull headed. 

I'll continue to take them to the open space and allow them to run off leash (there aren't rules that you must have your dogs on leash). But next time I will pay more attention to the other dogs and owners out there. Lesson learned. 

Oh the dogs are fine. There was no blood or bite marks. Just a lot of noise and teeth.
Lovers or Haters?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obsessed.


I am officially obsessed with Celestial Seasonings Green Tea.

I drink caffeinated during the day and decaf at night.

I usually have 3 cups a day.

I tastes so darn good.

Ashley and I are going to tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder sometime very soon.

It's on our Bucket List.

Hot Tea is very filling and sooting.

I am starting to like hot tea over coffee.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Vote

What should Preston's fake blog name be? Please vote on the right.

I'll give you a little background on each option.

1. The Hustler: Preston loves to play pool (billiards). He is actually pretty good.
2. P-Dawg: my sister gave Preston this name.
3. Mr. Schnaz: what can I say, Preston has a big nose.
4. George: this is what I call Preston (he calls me Barbara). Don't ask why. We have no idea why we call each other this.
5. Efren: one of Preston's favorite professional billiards pool player is Efren Reyes.

*I have ran all of these possible names by Preston and he is okay with them all.

5 Things

ONE
Sunday the husband and I made the journey out to Calhan to visit the folks. I love it out there. It is so quiet and peaceful and most of all homey. I always come back thinking I could live out there. The husband thinks this from time to time as well. But deep inside we both know we have become too accustom to the conveniences of the city to honestly make the move to the country.
Taylor, Lindsey
Me, P
Mom, Dad
TWO
Saturday night I made the cupcakes that Curtis Stone made on The Biggest Loser. The cake part wasn't too bad, but the cream cheese/banana frosting was awful! I already threw the recipe away.
Harley with flour on his nose.
Curtis Stone Cup Cakes

THREE
I finally won at BUNCO! This is the first time I have won since us group of women started playing. I wish I had a picture to capture my excitement!! In case you have never heard of BUNCO it is a dice game.  There are many different ways to play, but basically you have three dice and try to roll as many sixes as possible. You keep rolling as long as you roll a six or three of a kind. If you don't roll a six the dice goes to the next person. You are paired with the person across the table from you. Once the head table reaches 21 points you total your points and the winning team moves up to the next table. The goal is to reach the head table and stay there for as long as possible.

FOUR
Ashley and I are eating clean starting tomorrow. Ashley and Josh are doing the Beachbody workout Insanity by Shaun T. They just finished week 2 and are seeing great results! Ashley, though, will admit that she hasn't been focusing on her diet. She recently decided that if she is going to put in the effort to do Insanity than she might as well give it everything she has starting in the kitchen. I decided to support her and eat clean with her for the next 10 days. Have you seen Ashley's post P90X pictures? If you are wondering she still looks like this!
Ashley post P90X


FIVE
I ordered the fabric for my dinning room curtains on Sunday. I am so excited to get it all put together! Luckily, my Grammie agreed to help me sew them. Here is the before and after picture of the wall that I painted and the picture that I am basing room around and the curtain fabric (the white is actually more cream). Do you think it will all come together?
Before

After
Inspiration
Curtain Fabric

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What is a "Coach"?

So you hear me talk all the time about how I am a Beachbody Coach. I am usually talking about the post workout drink called P90X Recovery Drink, or the delicious meal replacement drink called Shakeology and workouts such as P90X, Insanity or Turbo Jam. Let me give you an idea of what a Beachbody Coach is and what all is involved.

First of all let me be clear, to be a Coach you DO NOT have to be fit, skinny, a male or female, a gym rat or health nut. When you sign up to become a Coach, Beachbody does not screen to see if you meet some preconcieved criteria. So if you have ever thought well I don't workout everyday or I just started on my fitness journey and I still have x amount of pounds to lose STOP!! Anyone can be a Beachbody Coach. Let me say it again, you don't have to be extremely fit to be a Coach.   

Okay now we can move on. Being a Coach has a couple of purposes. And it will be differnet for everyone. First of all, as a Coach you receive 25% off of all products and suppliments including Shakeology. This is one of the reasons why I became a Coach. I had bought Turbo Jam and was getting ready to buy P90X when Monica (my Coach) mentioned the Coaching opportunity and what I would save on my order if I was a Coach. Then Beachbody came out with Shakeology (the most amazing meal replacement/weight loss shake ever). The sticker price is $119 for a months supply (we will go into why it is so pricy later). But as a Coach I get it for $96 after tax and I don't have to pay shipping because I am on Home Direct. I also drink the P90X Recovery Drink after hard workouts. So I have bought 3 workout programs and I drink Shakeology every day and the Recovery Drink after every hard workout. So for me the discounts I get on the products is reason enought to be a Coach.

The second reason why some people become a Coach is the potential to earn a primary or secondary income. I have met people who have been able to quit their full time job and support their family with their Coaching income. I have also met mom's who were able to stay at home with their kids because of the income they are receiving from their Beachbody business. This does not happen over night, but it does happen. Beachbody is always saying if you want to succeed treat your Beachbody business like a business.

So how do you make money? In a nut shell you receive a percentage of your customer orders. The percentage varies by the product. Also as you get Coaches in your downline, you receive a percentage of what they sell as well. Beachbody has all of the tools available for you to suceed it just depends on how much time you want to put into it and what you want to get out of it.

The third reason why people become a Coach is they enjoy helping others. This is the most rewarding part of being a Coach. It is humbling to know you are inspiring others to make a change in their heating habits or motivating someone to start a workout program. It also makes YOU, as the Coach, more accountable. When you know people are looking up to you for guidence you are less likey to give up on your fitness journey.

People become Coaches for different reasons. Beachbody is a great company to work for and their products are some of the best out there. The transformations people have made in their lives because of Beachbody products are truely amazing. I truely believe in the Beachbody products so it's not really about selling anything. It's about telling people about this amazing shake called Shakeology and what it has done for me and my health and millions of others.

The reason why I am telling you all of this is a couple of reasons. One so you know and understand why I am always talking about eating clean or workingout. I have made a committment to myself to get in the best shape of my life and hopefully motivate others along the way. I realized how much I enjoy talking about my fitness goals and challenging myself to eat clean. It dawned on me, hey this is something I am passionate about. Beachbdoy has given me the workouts and suppliments to get fit and a reason to talk about my fitness journey and share what I have learned with others.

The second reason is from now until the end of December, Beachbody is making it easy for you to become a Coach. For this limited time, Beachbody is signing up coaches for FREE. Okay so what does FREE mean? They are waiving the $39.95 new coach fee while still providing you with the New Coach Welcome Kit. You also get 30 days free access to the Online Coach Office, a personalized Website for your customers to order from and backoffice support. After the first 30 days, if you still feel like this is something you would like to continue with, Beachbody will start to charge you $14.99 per month to pay for your website, payroll processing and backoffice support. That's it. No other charges are fees. Just $14.99 per month and you are a Coach. There is no contracts so you can cancel your Coach status anytime.

This is really great offer! If you have ever thought about becoming a Coach and have put it off for one reason or anther, now is the time to revisit the idea. Please let me know if you have any quesitons! You can also view my website at http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/lhollis for more information.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Night Photography

Last photo class we learned how to take pictures at night while blurring the source of light. This is perfect for taking pictures of fireworks, cars driving by, the Balloon Glow, stars, clouds and lightening (any object that is a source of light). For the picture to come out sharp and clear you really need to use a tripod and a remote with a lock will also come in handy. To get the desired picture you will need to set your camera to M (manual) and turn the shutter speed dial all the way to the left until it reads Bulb. You will also want your ISO set at 100, noise reduction on and manual focus on. You might also need to adjust your white balance. To start out with set it in auto white balance and then change if needed. For example street lights give off an orange light so you might want to adjust your white balance to make the light more white.

With your camera on a tripod push the take picture button down until you hear a click, focus on your object and push the button down all the way. Hold the button down for as long as you would like. This is called leaving the shutter open. The camera is taking multiple pictures of your subject for as long as your button is held down. To capture the movement and light from stars or clouds hold the shutter speed open for a longer period of time. This is where the remote come in handy. Set your camera up on the tripod and using the remote lock the shutter open. You can keep it open for a long period of time such as an hour. 

Here are some examples. I didn't have a tripod so most of my pictures are blurry, but you get the idea!

Car tail lights blurred

Holding the shutter open while moving the camera.