Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Last of January

Let me sum this past weekend up with three words: Pizza, running and homework.

I spent Friday morning mulling over school work and trying to get organized to "start" the semester.
The amount of money I waste use on paper and ink is beyond me. But I'm totally one of those weirdos that has to have a paper copy of stuff to hold in my hand. I'm not really a fan of reading everything on a screen. I like to rock out old school. No big deal.

After the homework and printing mania, I decided to go for a little run. I don't know if I've officially told you, but I'm trying to run 3 miles in under 33 minutes. And I was just 39 seconds too slow.
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 33:39
Best Pace: 8:51
Average Pace: 11:13
Calories: 354
I was pretty excited about the time, even though I was just under my goal time. It felt good to be outside. It was hot, and I was really overdressed. Before I took the above picture, I had on a hot pink long-sleeved pull-over. I ditched that after I ran the first mile and about had a heat stroke.

Speaking of the hot pink pull-over, let's talk about how ridiculous I looked on my run. I knew I was going to wear the pull-over. So I put on capris since it wasn't freezing outside. Then I thought Hey, I think I'll wear my purple compression socks to see if I can tell a difference while I run. Yeah, that's a great idea. So I put those on while still wearing the capris, hence the purple shins. And I just happened to put on pink socks.

Basically I threw up every little girls' dream colors as I ran with my pink and purple self. And yes, I went out in public. Totally not ashamed. I owned that run. Pink and purple powers unite. Ok, enough. I know. Whatever.

As an added bonus to this wonderful weekend, I got to have my favorite pizza.
The Queens Deluxe Pizza from NYPD Pizza in West Little Rock. SO SO SO GOOD! Can't even begin to talk about how tasty it is. I love it and would eat it everyday. Literally, everyday. YUMMY!!! And yes, that piece is two pieces that I decided was one piece. Again, not ashamed.

In other news, the countdown begins. Three days until Boom Kinetic and my birthday bash, and six days until my actual birthday. Gots big, big plans this weekend. And I'm so excited I can barely stand it. Pray the week goes by quickly.

How was your weekend?

Favorite pizza place? What do you get there?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ashten, Plain and Tall

I'm not sure what kind of day this day will be, and I say that because I spent 20 minutes looking for a jacket that was hanging in my closet and spilled coffee three times in a matter of 30 minutes.

Have you ever spent a ridiculous amount of time looking for something you couldn't find, and then you find it in the exact place it should have been? I swear I looked in my closet for the jacket three times. Never saw it. I touched every piece of clothing. Didn't see it. Looked again for the fourth and final time, and there it was just hanging in my closet.

How did I not see it? Maybe it was adjustment? (Have you seen The Adjustment Bureau? If you haven't, rent it tonight.)

As for the coffee spillage, it's the story of my life. If I had a dollar for every time I spilled coffee on me or in my car, I'd be a millionaire. End of story.

Switching gears: My mom came to Little Rock to visit me...well really for a dentist appointment...but I like to say to visit me. We go to the same dentist. I just went on Monday for a teeth cleanting and check-up. And yesterday was her turn.

So we had dinner at Cafe Prego, a little Italian place in the Heights. And while we were talking, she told me about the dental assistant asking about who I was and what I looked like. Now keep in mind, my mother has looked at me for almost 24 years now.

Per my mom's description: Well Ashten is very little. Like teeny tiny. And she has long brown hair. Like really long brown hair.

I sat there waiting for the rest of the description, but that was it.

Could I BE any plainer? (Friends reference...If you don't get it, I'm sorry for you.) I was instantly reminded of the book Sarah, Plain and Tall, which I read in elementary school. I feel the need to teach my mom some adjectives to help her out next time.

I'm not upset about her description because what she said was all true, although I don't think I'm teeny tiny...I would prefer just the right size for me. But I do find it interesting that I'm put in such generic categories. Tall. Long, brown hair. Skinny. Blah. Blah. Blah. Boring. Blah.

When it comes to describing someone, we always go for the looks first and personality traits second. Not saying it's a bad thing, but it's something. I find it really interesting that we don't really get creative with our descriptions of others.

I mean really. Think about it. Think about someone you see every single day. How would you describe that person to someone who has never seen them before? Your mind automatically goes to looks first...Unless, on the rare occasion, a personality trait stands out stronger than any one physical feature.

I didn't mean to get all psychological on you. I just really think it's interesting. I'm totally ok with my generic description. Tall. Long, brown hair. Teeny tiny. Whatever, whatever.

In the words of the great Boom Kinetic, "Ordinary people. Ordinary people. Doing ordinary things. It's not good enough for me. I am extra ordinary. Extra, extra ordinary."
What's your generic description?

How's your day going so far?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holy Cookies

I'd love to tell you this post had something to do with something other than the cookie you see above...But that would be a lie.

My sole purpose of choosing my lunch spot today was because of the cookie. Sole purpose. As in, cookies dictate where I go. It's true, and I'm not ashamed. Not even a little bit.

Boulevard Bread Company makes the best vegan double chocolate chunk cookies in the entire world. THE BEST. And did I mention they are vegan...an added bonus.

Apparently, they put espresso in these beauties. And I pick up the faintest hint of cinnamon, which I love. They are oh so chocolatey. And soft. And delicious. And almost as big a plate. I swoon.

While I went to Boulevard Bread in hopes of getting the cookie, I also grabbed a pretty healthy lunch. The homemade soup of the day was a white bean soup with crusty bread and homemade pesto, and I got the hummus sandwich, which is also vegan.

When I paid for my goods, the girl behind the counter asked if I was vegan. And I said no. I didn't tell her that I chose to come there for the cookie AFTER I talked myself out of a big ole cheeseburger from Arkansas Burger Company.

I thought Arkansas Burger Company would be a bad choice since I'm running this afternoon and eating Italian for dinner with my mom. No need to further clog the arteries.

So cookies win. And I'm totally ok with it. And I say this while I'm feeling miserable at my desk after stuffing my face too full of ridiculously delicious food.

What food places do you go to have just that one special item?

What is your favorite cookie?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Tale of Good Fortune

School has officially started again, as in last Thursday. There are four people in my class, one of which I know from a previous class. And while I'm excited to start this semester, the excitement comes from seeing it come to an end. This is the last semester I will take classes EVER. So Thursday was my very last first day of school. Everybody scream.

Now let's talk about what the semester will look like. I'll definitely be stressed out trying to get all the HUGE assignments done each week. The book is as thick as a dictionary and reads like one, too.
Clearly, the class would be a lot more interesting if the words "critical approaches" were not in the title. Yikes. After my first class, I'm pretty sure my brain went into shock. I haven't seen such a demanding class schedule in a while. Like I said, something huge due every single week for the next 15 weeks. And it all comes together to be a paper, which will be a chapter in my thesis.

But enough with the boring graduate school talk, on to something more exciting.
I made a creamy mushroom pasta dish with roasted broccoli for dinner the other night. And it was amazing. It was super easy and looked very fancy. It will definitely become a regular at my house. So good. And let me also just say this: Roasted vegetables of any kind are absolutely delicious. When in doubt, roast em.

The other night at dinner, I got a pretty awesome fortune in my fortune cookie. I usually get the absolute worst fortunes. I mean all my friends will tell you the same. Pretty sure one time I got one that said something about orange being a good color to be around. Nobody knows what that's suppose to mean.

But the other night I got this beauty.
I've been saying 2012 was going to be the year of really awesome things. And I'm pretty pumped about my 24th birthday coming up in two weeks. So I'm hopeful this fortune won't be a fluke. And if the fortune wasn't good enough, the word on the back was February, which is my birthday month. I think it's a sign.

What's new with you?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Make It Count

Lots of really great things happened yesterday. To keep everyone sane and to help me not ramble on, I'm going to group the happenings into three different sections. Get. Ready.

Happy Birthday to me! Yes, I know my birthday isn't for another few weeks, but my mom kinda surprised me with tickets to see Needtobreathe in Searcy. I say kinda because she told me had tried to get them, and then she sent me an e-mail confirmation saying the tickets have been purchased. If I could scream, I'd still be screaming with excitement.

She not only got me a ticket, but she also got the roommate a ticket. It's not a birthday celebration unless the best friend is there. In six long short weeks, I will in a room with Needtobreathe yet again. Let's all take some time to remember how I got to meet them and see them twice in one week. 

In other news, I ran yesterday with the roommate for the first time since what seems like October. It was a cold run because we started out running into the wind, but I knew once we warmed up and turned around out of the wind it would be flaming hot. And it definitely was.
Yesterday's run was a lot better for me than the last one. I felt strong. Like I could have gone for miles and miles. And I was just shy of my 33 minute goal time. I will get there soon. I'm determined. 11-minute-miles here I come. Here are the stats:

Distance: 3.00 miles
Time: 34:22
Best Pace: 8:56
Average Pace: 11:27
Calories: 356

I felt really good after the run minus the fact that I freeze to death if I can't change clothes right after a run. Literally freeze to death. I did have some sharp knee pains after I quit running, just another sign for saying I need new shoes. More on that later.

I've been working on a Mother's Day art assignment for work. Basically, I have kids draw a picture for their moms, and I have to send them in to headquarters in Kansas City for some massive project. Out of what seems like millions of drawings, two stood out to me for different reasons. Now keep in mind the assignment was suppose to be a cheery drawing for their moms.
I am completely in love with this little girl's drawing. It is so sweet and colorful. Exactly what I want to send to Kansas City.
Now, this little boy needs to see a therapist. But I can totally relate. For the majority of my childhood whenever I could get in trouble, my mom would go from the fun, sweet, loving mother to "Dragon Momma" in about 4.25 seconds. So I can see why this kid might think it's appropriate to draw a dragon in a forest. In all honesty, I love this drawing just as much as the first one, but I can't send this to Kansas City for review.

One day, a long, long, long time from now, I hope I have a kid who blesses me with such creative artworks.

What are you excited about this week?

Which artwork do you like best?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Big Important Day

Happy Birthday to my blog!
It's two years old today.

Can you believe I started writing this blog two years ago? It's crazy how time flies. Because it's my blog's birthday, I thought it would be a good idea to take a little stroll down memory lane and see what I thought was so important that I couldn't not share it even though it probably wasn't that big of a deal was worth sharing with you the past two years on this day.

The First One was the first one I ever wrote. Clearly I was a confused, stressed neurotic college kid trying to figure out how to act like an adult. It makes me laugh because stress is what fueled that first post. I needed an outlet. While I still use the blog as an outlet for my stress, it's evolved into something more.

In 2011, I had a bad day. When I read it now, it all sounds so trivial, but back then it was like the end of the world. Notice that it was published on the 19th instead of the 18th since the Internet was down at work on my blog's first birthday.

But here's the thing.

Look how beautiful it all is. I have written somewhat regularly for two years. I have documented my life for two years. Good and bad. School stress. New adventures. Moving twice. Running. Running a 5K and a 10K. A year and a half of graduate school. Reflecting on relationships. Friendship break-ups. Friends' birthdays and weddings. It's all right here in one place.

It's almost like you and I get to watch me grow up as I write it. It's crazy how I've changed. What was important to me in 2010 may be different in 2011 and 2012. It's really cool to me to see how I've evolved as a person.

I've changed. I've grown up. I'm a strong, independent woman. I have some of the best friends any person could ever have. I have a job that allows me to support myself comfortably. I've almost completed the two hardest years of school that I will ever complete in my life. I try new things and take risks, even though I don't know what will happen. And I've realized I really can't please everyone all the time, and that's ok. I've finally got it together, and I'm proud of the person I've become.

I see big things happening in 2012. I don't really know why I think that, but I love that I think that. And I can't wait to share it all with you. So get your party pants on because when I said this is going to be good, I've got a feeling I'm going to be right.

So here's to another year of writing, storytelling, music loving, school finishing, party going and celebrating this beautiful life God has given me. THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SHARE IT ALL WITH YOU!

Now everybody go outside and scream just because you can. (I would, but I still don't have a voice. #day5)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Boom Kinetic Day

Greetings Friends. Today I'm thankful for this blog because I have lots of stories, and no voice to tell them. Why don't I have a voice, you ask? Well, I sang my little heart (and apparently voice) out during Boom Kinetic's show at Sticky Fingers on Friday night.

But before I get into all that, I have to tell you about the two miles I ran without stopping in the freezing cold Friday afternoon.
I tried out my new compression socks my dad got me for Christmas. And I honestly don't know if they did anything different since I only ran two miles. But I'm hoping to see some differences once I work up some higher mileage.

I was really the most excited to be done with the run because my throat was seriously hurting, and I felt like I could barely breathe the entire time. And it shows in my stats.

Distance: 2.00 miles
Time: 24:10
Best Pace: 11:00
Average Pace: 12:06
Calories: 222

I'm looking for a redemption run tomorrow afternoon.

But back to Boom Kinetic. I was at the very front and center the entire time. I got a picture of the set list, and I have made the most awesome playlist in the history of all the playlists. Two songs you need to get right this very second are "Electric Feel" by MGMT and "Walking on a Dream" by Empire of the Sun.
"Electric Feel" by MGMT
"Walking on a Dream" by Empire of the Sun

And just so you know how amazing and excited I was about the whole Boom Kinetic show, I'm going to show you this.
I am the girl just to the right of the guy singing. This was taken by Boom Kinetic's drummer. And I sang every word to every song for three hours straight. And they will be playing in Little Rock on my birthday weekend.

And we (Jodi, the roommate and I) may or may not have talked to the lead singers of the band after the show was over. And now they know who we are and that it's my birthday the next time they come to play in Little Rock.

How was your weekend?

Any new songs I need to know about?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To Rove or Ramble Without Restraint

I may or may not have googled the word "run" before I started writing this post. (Don't judge me.)

Actually I dictionary.com-ed it. And while I know what it means, it's pretty interesting to see some of the definitions of run. My favorite was "to rove or ramble without restraint," hence the title of this post.

Anyway, moving on to more important things. I ran yesterday and drank all 64 oz. of water. Cha-ching! And I'm happy to report I kicked my own butt.
But I was still pretty happy. Yesterday's weather was absolutely perfect to run outside. Sunny. Slightly breezy. 60 degrees of pure running bliss.

Distance: 3.00 miles
Time: 35:25
Best Pace: 9:08 (not sure where that came from)
Average Pace: 11:49
Calories: 349

I have no idea where the 9:08 pace came from. I'm going to say it had something to do with the beginning of the run. And there may or may not have been two love birds making out right in the middle of the River Trail. And they may or may not have been right in my way. I'm guessing the 9:08 came from running quickly away from that ridiculousness.

I told you I haven't been feeling all that great, but I decided to run anyway. I really need to get set in my new routine. I was also trying to keep my pace somewhere in the 11s. I really want to run the Savannah Half Marathon at an 11:00 pace.

By the end of the first mile, I was ready to quit, which is usually how I feel. So I just kept on going. By mile two, my head felt like it was going to explode. It wasn't really a headache. It was just a lot of pressure. Not really sure what that was about. And when I finished my throat felt really sore, and I was having some pain in my ears. It was really windy once I got going, and the air was pretty cool.

Today, I think I'm paying for that run in more ways than one. My throat is now sore when it was just sore in the mornings when I'd first wake up. And my whole body feels like I threw it down on the ground and then had someone drive over me with a truck.

But it feels good to run again, even though my body is pretty pissed about it. I'm hoping this sore throat crap gets the hint and goes away. I gotta get well so I can get jiggy with Boom Kinetic tomorrow night. #soexcited

Happy Thursday, which is my Friday!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Progress Report

Happy Wednesday Friends!

I thought today would be a good day to update you on my resolutions progress. It's been 11 days since I made my resolutions, and to keep myself accountable I'm going to share progress reports with you every now and then.

  • Yay for eating out less. I've done good at cooking at home during the week. I cooked Sunday, Monday and last night. And I've made myself breakfast the past two mornings, which is a big deal since I'd much rather sleep. And I haven't eaten out for lunch this week yet. I call that a success. Let's hope I can keep it up. 
  • Yoga - I've attended classes last Tuesday, Thursday and last night. Now I had very good intentions to go on Sunday afternoon. I got ready and went in a terrible thunderstorm. And when I got there I was 25 minutes late because I thought the class started at 2:30, but it really started at 2 p.m. Needless to say, I picked up a class schedule that now lives in my purse. On a more positive note, I really enjoy yoga. I've met some nice people, and I'm learning a lot about my body had how it moves. P.S. I have sucky balance.
  • "Dressing for Success" - I'm happy to report I'm clean, made up and sporting work appropriate clothes...and I have been since Jan. 3. I'm sure my co-workers are thrilled to see my greasy bird's nest of hair on the top of my head have yet to show this year. And I plan on keeping it that way...or I should say clean bird's nest on the top of my head.
  • "Skinny" Starbucks beverages - Not my favorite resolution, but I'm making it work. I really, really hate how artificial sweeteners taste. Like really, REALLY hate it. So I either try to make the skinny latte work with an extra shot of espresso, or I just get hot tea. 
  • Bread making - Did it. Now I just have to perfect it.
  • Thesis - School starts back for me next Thursday. And I'm not looking forward to it because it's about to rule my life yet again. I have a chapter of my thesis due for a class this semester, plus my actual thesis defense where I defend my topic against a panel of faculty members of my choice. Pray for me. Every day. Seriously. 
  • Volunteering - not really sure what I had in mind when I wrote that, but I will figure something out. But wherever I end up volunteering, I'm sure I will absolutely love it. 
  • Blog redesign - Currently on hold because I want to think of a new name so I can have my own custom domain name. I really want this blog to be a www.whatevercoolnameithinkup.com. So the redesign is on hold until I come up with something clever and awesome. But it will happen.
Now let's get to the stuff I'm not really excited to talk about because I haven't been doing too hot.
  • Running - I ran one time last week. I was suppose to run Monday, but my sickness was really kicking so I decided to rest. TODAY I WILL RUN. It's not suppose to rain anymore so that's good. But if it does rain, I will run on a treadmill at my apartment's gym. I will. I have to. I must. If I don't get it together soon, I will not be ready for the Capitol City Classic 10K in April, or any other race for that matter. If you have my phone number, please call or text me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to see if I ran that day. If you don't have my phone number, Facebook message me or tweet me. And if I say I haven't ran no matter what excuse I give, you have my full permission to yell at me in all caps.
  • Run a half marathon - My mom and I are tentatively looking at the Savannah Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Nov. 3, 2012. I think this would be perfect because I will be done with course work for graduate school. And I will miss the flaming heat at the end of summer. Or I think I will miss the flaming heat. Who wants to run with me?
  • 64 oz of water - This is the one resolution I'm struggling with the most. And it should be a piece of cake. I can't seem to down all the water, and I know I need it because of the oncoming sickness I've been feeling the last couple of days. When you text me to ask if I've ran, also ask if I drank my 64 oz. of water that day. 
I'm still not feeling 100 percent. But my sore throat is not really sore anymore. I still have a lot of drainage. And I'm doped up on Zyrtec D. I. Must. Get. Better. Before. Friday. I have to sing and dance like a fool with Boom Kinetic.

In an attempt to make myself well, I've got my army of sickness fighters.

Coffee, a banana, water and dark chocolate. I think that about does it.

If you made it to the bottom of this post, I commend you.

How are your resolutions going?

What resolutions are you struggling with so far? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Can't Get Sick

Yesterday morning I woke up with a sore throat. So I immediately started a medicine regimen. And by that I mean 1 part Zrytec D with 1 part sleep and 1 part soup. I'm feeling better this morning, but not my usual peppy self.

The reason I can't get sick is because Boom Kinetic is coming back to Little Rock on Friday. I think you may remember the last few times they've been to visit, but in case you don't check out this and this.

In a desperate attempt to get back to normal, I sipped coffee and hot tea off and on all day yesterday. Now I'm an avid coffee drinker, my friends and the baristas at Starbucks will tell you, but I do enjoy a nice cup of hot tea on the reg.
 My newest love is Numi Aged Earl Grey Tea. I couldn't find it at Walmart or Kroger, but Whole Foods didn't let me down when I was on the hunt for it a few weeks ago. This tea is absolutely divine. And I could drink multiple cups every single day and not get tired of it.

My second desperate attempt to make myself feel better was wearing the new yellow beauties around the house.
 They make me extra tall. And I love it. I'm sporting them today with my navy military blazer I snagged for $20 from Old Navy. I'm excited to see all the possibilities these beauties will have in my fashion future. And just know I'm now a towering 5'9'' chick walking around the big city.

 On the menu last night: Mexican Tortilla Soup. I got the recipe out of  For the Love of Soup, a new cookbook I picked up from Anthropologie a few weeks ago. This is the first soup I've made from the book, and it's a winner.

What you will need:
Olive oil
1 Onion
1 Yellow bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 Jalapeno
1 T. chili powder
2 tspn. dried oregano (I accidently used 2 Tablespoons in mine. Oops.)
1 tpsn. ground cumin
4 C. vegetable stock
2. C. water
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, diced up
1 C. frozen corn kernels
6 small tortillas, cut into strips (I used corn tortillas, but you can use flour ones if you like those better.)
Salt and pepper
Cheese or sour cream, to finish

Saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno in a large pot on medium high heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook for 2 more minutes. Add stock, water, tomatoes, zucchini and corn. Bring pot to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the tortilla strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put in a bowl and top with sour cream or cheese or both. 

Seriously, this soup is so easy and so good. I will definitely be making it again. I think it did help make me feel better. I'm excited about tonight's supper. I'm making a spicy pesto pasta dish. More on that tomorrow. 

As for the rest of this day, pray that I don't fall asleep at my desk due to medication overload and that I don't fall down in my yellow beauties once it starts raining later. 

Hope you all had a nice weekend. Now let's take this week by storm. And not get sick. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Blessed Beyond Belief

After publishing yesterday's post, I was a bit nervous. I never really know how people are going to take what I choose to write about, and yesterday's post was not easy for me.

I want to thank you for your unyeilding support. I received numerous texts, phone calls, tweets and Facebook messages about yesterday's post.

To share something so personal and close to my heart, I am so overwhelmed and humbled by your kind words. I truly am at a loss for words. Nothing I could ever say would explain how thankful and blessed I am to know such wonderful people.

When I started this blog almost two years ago, I didn't really know where I would take it. I mean it basically started as an outlet for my school stress. But then, over time, it has become this beautiful place where I get to write about things that are important to me, or silly to me, or whatever. And you guys keep coming back to read it time and time again.

As I type this with tears streaming down my face, I don't understand why you as a reader would keep coming back to read my endless rants about grad school and boys who broke my heart and first kisses of the New Year.

Thank you. So much. So so so much. I'm honored and humbled that you would take time to read about my life.

Thank you for enduring the rants about homework and stupid teachers and thesis work. Thank you for not judging me for making "poor decisions" when I drink too many Play-de-doos. Thank you for commenting when you feel moved by what I've written. Thank you for considering my point of view.

But most of all, thank you for listening to me and caring enough to read it again and again.

I am moved by your willingness to accept me as I am. And I am forever grateful for the opportunities and blunders I experience on a daily basis because I get to share them with you.

Happy Friday! Be lovin you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some Things Fall Apart So Better Things Can Fall Together

I got some pretty neat things the other day. And I want to show them to you. But I've got something else I need to talk about. So here's the deal. I'm gonna show you the pictures with minimal descriptive words, and then get to the heart of this post. Remember when I said transparency...Well I meant it.

I got new bowls and cookbooks from Anthropologie. It's all too good. And those outrageous yellow beauties are currently on the way to my doorstep from California.

Now on to the next part of the show.

Right before Christmas I told you I had a friendship break-up. And while I'm not ready to discuss the details of said break-up, I do need to talk about some things that have been brought to light.

Not a week before the friendship break-up, my friend Jodi posted a quote on Twitter that said "Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it." (Come to find out it's from the movie We Bought a Zoo, which I loved, just FYI.)

The whole time my friend was in Little Rock I kept thinking about how I need to tell him everything I was feeling about our relationship. So I worked up the courage and did something about it. And got a response I didn't want, but figured would happen.

Now I haven't told anyone this part of the story yet. But it's important to talk about today because I found out he is now engaged.

The day I told him everything, we spent some time talking about other stuff. And somehow we happened onto the subject of Heaven and Hell. And I being the girl born and raised in the Bible Belt, spent elementary school at a private Lutheran school, and attended church on the reg for years said something like, "Well it doesn't matter if I die because I know where I'm going." Meaning I know that I'm gonna go to Heaven when the good Lord tells me it's my time.

And his response to me was "You don't know that for sure."

We then went into this long, drawn out conversation about if God was actually real. As a Christian, it was a true test of my faith, and I tried very hard to stick to my guns. But my friend was very adamant about not knowing for sure.

The point of this story is not to offend anyone, it's to help explain myself a little better.

As he was saying all these things to me, I found myself becoming angry, and I got really quiet. And then he changed the subject.

And that was the moment I knew, even if he accepted all the things I was about to say, it wasn't going to work between us.

God is a big part of my life. I pray on the reg. And when I want to talk about Him, I want my significant other to share the same feelings of love for our Savior as I do. And when it comes time for me to leave this earth, I want my man to know and believe that I'm going to a better place, and that he will go there, too.

So I'm sure you're wondering why I went through with the whole telling of the feelings crap. I had to for me to know for sure. Sometimes you just need to hear that it's not in the cards.

And while we were friends for 3 years and he asked me out in college and I told him how I feel now, it would have never worked out because it's not suppose to. Because God has made a man especially for me.
And I can't wait of that day.

So it's totally ok that he's engaged. And it's totally ok that I said all the girly feelings. And it's all ok because some things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And We're Off to a Good Start

I am off to a good start this morning in the breakfast department. I haven't eaten yet because I'm still in the process of treating my coffee addiction, but I see breakfast happening in the very near future. The likelihood of that pear being good is questionable. So the Luna bar was absolutely necessary. P.S. I went to yoga yesterday. More on that later...as in tomorrow.

The 64 oz. of water will happen today, unlike yesterday. I left my fancy water bottle at home. I know it's not an excuse, but I did. P.S. I got the Camelbak self-filtering water bottle for Christmas, and I love love love it.

I know I just posted my resolutions yesterday, but I've been thinking about them for a while now. So I'm going to show you what I did Monday while I was at home kicking it.

I made bread from scratch. And it is delicious. You should totally make some. If you want the recipe, leave a comment on this post, or message me on Facebook, or tweet me. Whatever.

Now let me just say that my mom and I have been trying, unsuccessfully I might add, to make my great-great grandma's cinnamon rolls. And to do that you have to make a yeast dough. All of our yeast dough didn't rise. So we didn't have cinnamon rolls.

But we figured out what's wrong and fixed it when we made bread on the same day at our own houses. So I just want to say I made this bread without her help, and she made her bread without my help. But we did exchange lots of encouraging words throughout the day. Not the point, but anyway. Moving on.

Yeast dies when you add it to water that is too hot. Just make extra sure your water is LUKE and you will have the most perfect bread.

I do have a recipe to share with you today. It's super easy and yummy.
Veggie Stir Fry: You can basically use whatever vegetables you want, which is what I do everytime.
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 ribs of celery
1 packet of mushrooms
1 bag of steamable broccoli
1 bunch of asparagus
1 C. of rice
1 T. chia seeds
Olive oil
Teriyaki sauce
Red pepper flakes
Black pepper
Salt (optional since teriyaki is so salty)

Start by chopping up your veggies into bite-sized pieces.

Cook the rice in a separate pot until tender. Follow the instructions on the bag. I did one cup of rice to two cups of water with a little salt and a smig of olive oil. Cook for about 15 minutes.

While your rice cooks, heat a little bit of olive oil on medium high heat and throw in the onion and garlic. Add a couple shakes of red pepper flakes. Cook for about 1-2 minutes to soften the onion. Then throw in everything, but the broccoli. You might have to add a bit more oil to the pan so nothing sticks.

Microwave the broccoli for 5 minutes. I used the Birdseye brand of steamable broccoli. Drain off any excess water and throw that in with the other veggies.

By this time your rice should be very close to done. So stir in 1/4-ish cup of teriyaki sauce with the veggies. Toss in the chia seeds. You may have to add more teriyaki because the chia seeds will soak up a lot of the liquid. So just use your best judgment.

Throw in the rice. Check for seasonings. Add more pepper if you like.

Super easy. Very tasty. And it comes together in a flash. You should definitely try it.

What resolutions have you done already?

Any good recipes I should try?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolutions and Reminiscing

Well it's January. We've made it to 2012. Holla! And I've gots lots to tell you guys since I've been away. But we will get to that in due time. Today I want to talk about my New Years Resolutions and tell you a little story about the past two New Years Eve experiences. I'm thinking story first, resolutions second. So let's go. P.S. I've missed you guys!
This is us last year (2010) on New Years Eve. It was a good time with good friends. But one unfortunate decision was made on my part that has yet to be discussed outside my group of super close friends. But since it's 2012 and I'm less embarrassed...I'm gonna tell you this funny story.

On New Years Eve 2010, we went to Cajun's to celebrate the roommate's birthday. And after one too many Play-de-doos, the speciality drink that tastes of juices but is really straight up alcohol, I thought it would be a good idea to juke around on the dance floor, which is usually always a good idea.

As I was juking around in my black dress that was fun to spin around in, I spun into a very nice looking guy. I thought hey, why not. So we started dancing it up. And then being that it was New Years and all, we smooched. Just a little kiss. NBD.

Unbeknownst to me, pretty faced guy only had one hand. Yep, just one. Now I need to clarify that I was inebriated so my decision making process was not at its best. As I juked around the dance floor some more, I realized said pretty faced guy had just the one hand. The other one was just a nub in his suede jacket.

So I started 2011 off with a kiss from a guy with a nub. Not saying that's why 2011 wasn't the best year for me, but I'm not gonna deny it either. So take that as you will. (I need to say that I have nothing against people with missing appendages. It just caught me off guard in my drunken stupor.)
This year we went back to Cajun's for the roommates birthday after we ate dinner at Yaya's in West Little Rock. I was the designated driver, but it was still a really great time. Like last year, the night was filled with dancing, Play-de-doos and too much fun. And I am happy to report my New Years Eve kiss was with a very attractive gentleman whose hands were both fully intact. Score! I think I'm starting 2012 on the right foot.

I have quite a few resolutions this year. All of which are things I think can be accomplished in a year's time. And I'm pretty excited about them.
  • Run a half marathon.
  • Attend yoga classes three times a week.
  • Finish my thesis by December 2012...and graduate in December 2012.
  • Eat healthier meals at home (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Run on a regular basis again aka every other day.
  • Make an A in my last real graduate class.
  • Float the Buffalo.
  • Take a roadtrip.
  • See Needtobreathe and The Fray in concert.
  • Drink 64 oz. of water each day.
  • Only have "skinny" beverages at Starbucks...(I found out my favorite drink was 420 calories a pop.)
  • Bake my own bread.
  • Volunteer.
  • Figure out how to open a bakery...(this could take a few years, but I really want it to happen.)
  • "Dress for Success" for work everyday. (By this I mean hair washed, make-up on, and wearing work clothes.)
  • Reconnect with old friends/make new friends.
  • Redesign the ole blog.
For me, 2012 is about embracing the person I am right now. To be honest, I kinda like where I am. Everything is not perfect, but I'm happy. I love all the people I surround myself with, and I love the things I get to do. I'm really very lucky I get to spend time with people I care about and do things I want to do, and for that I'm so very thankful. More thankful than I can ever express.

So let's see what happens. I will be as transparent as I can be, and we'll go from there. I can't wait to see what this year brings for me. Bring it 2012. I'm ready for you.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

Tell me about a New Year's Eve kissing incident that was great or not so great.