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Mooning My Honey

May 23, 2013

From the throes of wedding planning, I emerge as an honest woman with a new last name, and nothing to do at work now. Just kidding, I’ll never be an “honest woman” in Biblical terms, but the work thing? Yeah, about that…

Our honeymoon! Was. Amazing.

And as I sit at my desk overlooking the gray concrete parking garage, I’m reminded that I am no longer in Kansas anymore (well, Antigua). I haven’t cooked or cleaned since we came back 3 weeks ago, because at any moment I’m sure one of our butlers (yeah.. we had TWO butlers), will walk in and do it all for me.

Soooo… still waiting…

And my new husband is looking at me like, annulment maybe? Surely he didn’t sign up for this.

We spent 7 glorious nights and 8 glorious days at the Sandals Grande Antigua, and everything lived up to our expectations. We chose this particular resort because 1.) it’s all-inclusive, and 2.) it’s all-inclusive. The fact that we chose Antigua was just a bonus, really. I’m pretty sure Sandals lost some money as soon as we set foot in that lobby, because from the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we literally did not stop drinking and eating and eating and drinking.

Onto the good stuff…

 

guy sandals in sandals

 

girl sandals in sandals

 

{sandals in sandals… duh}

drinking and eating in bed

{exhibit a: drinking and eating in bed – after dinner}

patio view of sandals grande antigua

the grounds of sandals grande antigua

panoramic views of sandals grande antigua

{legit views from our room suite}

romantic decorated bed

{bow chika wowwow}

honeymoon hangover

{exhibit b: too much drinking and eating… apparently there IS such a thing}

romantic decorated bathtub

{more bow chika wowow}

snorkeling in antigua

{we snorkeled there}

nelson's dockyard in antigua

{we took a boat ride out of there}

{my husband (whoa) caught this on our boat ride… a 75-pound white marlin… no big deal}

lounging poolside at sandals grande antigua

{our daily itinerary}

{espressos, cuban cigars (yay, they’re legal in antigua!) and a very tan man}

chcolate party platter

chocolate shots at chocolate party

{first night – chocolate party aka the moment i realized i chose the right place}

shrimp cocktails, cheese and fruit, and champagne and espresso on the patio

{shrimp cocktail and fruit platter delivered to our suite, by our butler, after a long day of doing nothing}

{our reserved chairs (and cooler stocked with beer and champagne) by the pool for the week… yes, the entire week}

breakfast by the sea

{breakfast with a view}

{champagne all day errrrday}

pre-hangover picture

entrance of sandals grande antigua

{and of course, can’t forget the selfies}

the fountain at sandals grand antigua

{and one non-selfie… success.}

antigua sunset

{what i would give to see this again right meow}

The Hobbyist is Back

January 17, 2013

 

I haven’t blogged since September 25, 2012. I haven’t even logged in to my account since then, and sadly, I couldn’t even remember my password today. But I’m back, and that’s all that matters.

Here’s what we’ve missed together…

Happy Birthday to Me! (Sept. 28th)

Happy Halloween!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Hanukkah!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday to ManFiancé! (Dec. 31st)

and Happy New Year!

 

Image

Image

{like a boss}

Whew… now that we’re all caught up, I guess I should fill you in on where I’ve been. I have been in the wedding-planning abyss. Clearly I am not a great multi-tasker, which is why my posting on here has been, well, nonexistent. But, I am determined to get back on track … because once this hobby called wedding planning is over, I don’t know what the hell I will do with myself. Literally, my life has become CONSUMED with wedding stuff. It’s awesome, but also kinda crazy. And I’m publicly apologizing to all my friends and family who have had to endure my endless talks about it. Because it’s all I talk about. I’ve become THAT. GIRL.

Anyway, I’ve been taking some cool pictures and learning some new things, and I plan to start sharing that all again with you.

It’s good to be back, ya’ll.

Oh, and we’re only 100 days away from The Big Day. Whoa.

Learning to Love Low-Carb

September 25, 2012

I’ll be honest, when my dad first suggested that I needed to cut out the carbs in my life, I laughed him off and told him it was impossible. However, my weight was saying otherwise. Over the past 6+ years, my weight has slowly and but surely crept up, and I wasn’t stopping it. I had worked out, cut calories, skipped meals – but it all lasted just a few weeks, and nothing seemed to work. I’d eventually go back to the same ol’ habits of eating whatever I wanted without thinking twice.

Sure, the wedding in a few months has played a part in my decision to take the low-carb plunge, but it’s more than that. I wasn’t happy with myself, I was always tired, and I want to have kids in the near future (without the added complications due to being unhealthy). I went in to this new lifestyle thinking that it’ll be hard, but knowing the overall benefits are worth it.

Don’t get me wrong,  I haven’t cut out carbs completely, but I definitely cut them down drastically. For example, a dinner at Carrabba’s consisted of 1 loaf of bread dipped in olive oil and herbs before dinner (yes, I can eat that by myself). Then, the entrée was breaded chicken parmesan with spaghetti, some more bread, all while washing it down with 2-3 glasses of wine. If I didn’t have dessert, I’d have another glass of wine. Sounds like a great time, but afterwards, I felt like shit. Not only did I feel incredibly bloated, but I surely looked it, too.

We all have heard it before –  it’s all about moderation. But it’s more than that – it’s making smart swaps as well. Take the above example: no more bread before dinner (or at all, for that matter), grilled/blackened chicken instead of breaded, and steamed/grilled veggies instead of pasta. And if dessert is ordered by the table – have 1 bite and THAT’S IT – or, trade that bite of dessert for a glass of wine – you can do either/or, but NOT BOTH. My biggest accomplishment? Taking home leftovers because I drank 2 glasses of water before I ate. I can still eat at Carrabba’s (only once in awhile), but it’s all about making those small, but important, adjustments.

I always thought it was impossible to forego bread and pasta, but each day that I feel better about myself, the less I miss it. Plus, I have so much more energy! That’s a huge positive for me – I’m only 28 (soon-to-be 29), and I was always tired after work. So much so, that I couldn’t even bring myself to work out. Now that I’ve cut down on the carbs, I have a lot more energy to work out (and that’s a MUST). Sure, I have my good days and my bad – so I decided to make a list of my New Health(ier) Choices and then my Cheating Choices (because you can’t completely deprive yourself – it’ll never work!).

Here it is…

My New Health(ier) Choices

  • No Bread
    • Tip: If I must have bread (either for a sandwich or hamburger), I turn to these small, low-carb, whole-wheat tortillas. These have changed my life! Thanks to my friend, Johanna, for introducing us!
  • No Rice
    • Tip: I loveeeeee sushi. If I don’t get it sashimi-style (no rice), I get the rolls that are wrapped in cucumber instead of rice. Or, just scrape the rice off the roll (it’s a little time-consuming, but worth it.)
    • Tip: Cauliflower rice is a popular option. Recipe for Cauliflower Fried “Rice” here.
  • No Potatoes
    • Tip: I was never a huge potato fan, so this isn’t that hard for me. However, I do miss my sweet potatoes, so having a small one (baked only) every so often is OK. Make sure to forget the butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon only.
    • Tip: Cauliflower, the magical veggie. Here’s a recipe for Mashed Garlic & Cheese Cauliflower.
    • Tip: If you must have fries, limit yourself to 5, and don’t dunk it in anything. Not sure why I picked 5, but that seems to do the trick.
  • No Added Sugar
    • Tip: This one is a bit controversial, but I opt for sugar substitute. If you are against this, try out Stevia or Truvia products. They taste similar to sugar, but are all nautral (or so they claim).
    • Tip: I still eat fruit – this is the most natural form of sugar, and fruits are good for you. Just don’t go overboard on an all-fruit diet. I once read that fruits with seeds in them are the best for you – since they have the highest fiber. These include strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
  • Work Out at LEAST 3 Times a Week. Even if I can’t get to the gym for 1 hour of cardio, I garden, power walk for an hour, or clean the house like a mad woman for a few hours. I’ve been good at getting in 4 days a week at the gym, though.
    • Tip: Go with a friend! Trust me, this is HUGE. It makes the time go by faster and more importantly, you motivate each other to actually GO.
  • Drink A Lot of Water.
    • Tip: I got a water bottle that has a built-in straw, and I swear I fill it up 8 times a day without knowing. That’s a little over a gallon of water I drink every day! It fills you up, makes your skin look nice, and you just feel better overall.

My Cheating Choices

  • Cheese
    • Tip: Fortunately for me, this has little-to-no carbs; however, I do opt for the low-fat or skim milk options (even though this may add additional carbs, the lower calories and fat are worth it!)
  • Alcohol
    • Tip: Let’s be real, I’m a social drinker AND it’s football season. My drink of choice now is vodka, water and 2 lemon wedges. But I can’t drink that all day (or while tailgating), so I choose light beer and I make sure to not eat ANY carbs that day or night.
    • Tip: I don’t have any alcoholic drinks at dinner (unless it’s Friday or Saturday night).
    • Tip: I’m having a cheat day (usually on Sunday), I don’t drink – just water to rehydrate myself from the Saturday before (I’m a bigger college football fan anyways).
  • Dessert
    • Tip: I look for low-carb options like this.
    • Tip: If that’s not available, I only take 1 little bite and I SAVOR it.
  • Fast Food
    • Tip: That’s right! A late-night of drinking often leads to trips to McDonald’s, only this time, I order a salad. They are surprisingly good and filling – just go easy on the dressing.
    • Tip: If you must have a cheeseburger, take off the bread.

For more carb info, follow this carb chart – it’ll make it whole lot easier for you…

 

So far, I’ve lost 15 pounds in 2 months… and there’s no stopping me now! Like I said, I really don’t miss anything terribly bad. And if I do indulge or cheat, I make healthy swaps to make up for it. Try it for yourself, you’ll be happy you did!

Good luck!

p.s. Pinterest of course has great ideas and recipes. I’ve started 2 boards to help me stay on track: I’m Sexy and I Know It (healthy recipes and workout ideas), and Healthy Holiday Food (the holidays are coming up, time to prepare!).

p.p.s. I am not a dietician nor am I any kind of expert. Please consult your doctor before you decide to change your diet and workout routine.

Finally! Some New Shoes

August 14, 2012

 

I have a confession to make, and this is something only my close friends know: I’ve been wearing the same running shoes since I was 18.

Gross, I know.

That is more than 10 solid years of sweat, stink, dirt, wear and tear on a cheap pair of ugly sneakers I got my first year in college for a mere 20 bucks.

I think I’ve found the root of my “shin-split” problem. (damn, I can’t blame it on the actual act of running!)

On Sunday afternoon I was browsing through the store, when I happened upon running shoes for a GREAT deal: $35 (originally $70)!!

Clearly I have needed some new shoes for some time now, but I really wanted to wait to buy some nice ones as a “reward” to myself for working so hard lately (wedding in 9 months = CRUNCH TIME).

But for this price, I just couldn’t resist.

Annnndddd I love the bright colors. It’ll be impossible not to notice me now!

(Goal: people to focus on my feet and not my fat back rolls – accomplished.)

 

 

 

 

 

{i’m too sexy for my feet}

They’re the Reebok Fuel Extreme Running Shoe, and you can get them online for $70, but I suggest going to your local Beall’s Outlet store and snagging them for a mere $35.

I wore them yesterday, and can already feel the difference. They are way lighter than my other shoes, the mesh on the side actually cools my feet while I’m working out, my shins don’t hurt anymore, and, most importantly of course, my feet look dead sexy.

 

 

Seeds to Sunflowers

August 3, 2012

 

When I bought a packet of sunflower seeds from Goodwill for 49 cents, I hardly expected anything out of them. I’ve heard growing flowers – or anything for that matter – was exceptionally difficult when you are basically starting from scratch. Since I’m no avid gardener, I decided to start with something that required little-to-no work.

Ok I’ll be honest, it’s mainly because I’m lazy.

Lo and behold, in 2 months’ time, my baby sunflower seeds went from this…

 

 

… to this…

 

{those aren’t weeds next to my sunflowers, those are “wildflowers” – i promise.}

It may look like I know what I’m doing, but I really don’t. I guess I just happened to plant them at the right time (end of May), in the right place (constant sun exposure), and I also pulled the dead leaves off before they killed the entire plant. No fertilizers, either!

Oh, and the hot Florida sun and daily afternoon thunderstorms help, too.

 

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