Saturday, May 26, 2012

24 by 24

I've seen this on several blogs, and as my birthday was last Thursday, I've decided I want in. Here are 24 things I want to do, see, try, etc before I turn the big 2-4. 

(in no particular order)

1. Pay off at least one student loan. 
Eek! Starting us off with a scary one!

2. Sew/make my own skirt.

3. Grow a vegetable.

4. Memorize (at least) 24 Bible verses.

5. Bake something new every month.

6. Go camping!
Needing some people to help me make this happen!

7. Buy a piece of furniture I love.

8. Find a place to volunteer regularly.

9. Take a picture every day.

10. Print off more pictures. 

11. Visit (at least) three new towns/cities.

12. Explore three Dallas historic sites, museums, art exhibits, etc.

13. Do a paint by number.

14. Read three C.S. Lewis books.

15. Go to a Renaissance fair.

16. Watch all three LOTR movies.

17. Bike ride around White Rock.

18. Take a class on something I'm interested in.
(cooking, crafting, etc)

19. Clean out and give away stuff I don't use/need.

20. Reread The Hobbit and go see it when it comes out.

21. Send birthday cards/letters to my immediate family.
*Bonus* Add a personal, well thought out gift.

22. Make a scrapbook of my study abroad trip.

23. Watch five documentaries.

24. Go on a road trip.

I'm so looking forward to what 23 has in store for me! Anyone older than me probably hates this, but I felt like I was 22 for ages! I guess because I'm younger than most of my friends. But I'm happy to be caught up. Last year was a year of tremendous blessings, some struggles, and lots of fun and I'm expecting no less from the year ahead. Here we go!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's a New Month! May 2012

Last month, I wrote about some goals I had set for myself to complete in April. And you know what? I did them all. High five for me? I'd be glad to accept!

So I got to thinking, how great would it be if I set goals like this each month? You know . . . goals that are actually achievable and make me a better person? A lot of this idea has been inspired by these verses. I feel like so often with New Year's Resolutions, when we don't make it through the whole year, disappointment sets in. But I'm thankful that we don't just get one chance per year to try to better ourselves. We get to wake up EVERY SINGLE MORNING and try again!

Therefore, each month, I'm determined to set a few realistic goals for myself. I loved how it worked in April, so toward the end of the month I thought about these questions:

--Where did a lot of my time go?
--Where did my money go?
--What could I live without in the upcoming month?

Some follow-up questions may include: Where should my time have gone? Where should my money have gone (or just stayed away from)? What material things in my life did I let get in the way of being closer to the Lord?

Are you still with me? I know this is a serious post . . .

Without further ado (and I could've probably stretched that all further), here are my goals for May:

--Go the whole month without purchasing anything on iTunes. 
Since I spent the month of April sans-shopping for clothes, shoes, accessories, I noticed I was quicker to spend money on music. Albeit great music, I think it was more about spending money on some sort of little luxury.

--Spend more time in prayer.
I'm hoping to focus on at least one different spiritual discipline each month. I love to write in a prayer journal, but don't make it a priority and neglect to spend much time in conversation with God outside of these scribbles.

In order to accomplish that last one, I will . . .

. . . keep the radio off when I'm in the car by myself.
I've started to realize . . . I don't even like most of the music on the radio these days. So far, I'm enjoying my time spent thinking to myself and practicing becoming more comfortable with silence, but also with praying out loud. Do I feel like a crazy person sometimes? Sure. I pretend that anyone who sees me will just assume I have some sort of bluetooth device on my opposite ear, but then I remember I don't much care what they think anyway.
*author's note* This goal has also helped the fact that I have a tendency to be a bad driver. I spend a lot of my time on the road singing along (and loud) to music, so this is definitely helping my focus there.

. . . write in my prayer journal every day.
Last night, I turned off my lamp, rolled over to fall asleep, and not a minute later popped back up, because I'd forgotten to write one last little snippet of thankfulness for the day. I like goals like this because once I stick to them for a while, I can't not do them. This is why I physically cannot go to sleep if I haven't brushed and flossed my teeth.

So there you have it! May 2012's New Month Goals! I'll do my best to post some sort of something at the end of the month to recap the month and any lessons learned. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Last Night I . . .

--bought my first Clif Bar. Chocoalte Chip flavor, duh.

--teared up while I watched Survivor.

--makeshifted an easier version of these headbands for the hostesses (and bride, of course) to wear at Rachel's lingerie shower this weekend.

--knew it was James Van Der Beek from the second I saw his name on the title credits of SVU. Though he played an ultimate creeper, I was really just sad that he didn't get more air time, because it's just always nice to see Dawson.

--decided I could make it one more day without a shower.

--quoted and loud laughed to episodes of Friends with Shelby.

--said the serenity prayer and meant every single word.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It Only Takes A Day . . .

. . . to undo a month's worth of hard work. 

The lovely people over at the Whole30 suggest slowly reintroducing things that you've been without for a month back into your diet. Things like dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, etc.

Keeping this in mind, here's a quick rundown of what I ate yesterday, my first day off the cleanse:

-- a piece of chocolate chip cookie cake
(hello breakfast)
--a popover
(brought to work by a co-worker)
(from the oh-so-delicious Jimmy's)
--three chocolate chip cookies
(leftover from work event)
--a few Sour Patch Kids
(leftover from Easter Basket drive)
--stuffed and fried avocado
(dinner date with friends at Chuy's)
--starbucks java chip ice cream
(to cap off the day)

One realization I came to today (as I was shoveling food into my mouth) is that for so long, this menu could have summed up any given day in my life. Seriously. I ate like this every stinkin' day! What seemed overboard today was normal not long ago.

I went to the grocery store (to pick up the ice cream, of course), and found myself checking the ingredients labels on everything I picked up. If I saw too many acids, concentrates, or artificials, it left my hands faster than a . . . well, really fast, ok? And then I got my ice cream.

I guess what I'm saying is, while I'm loving the fact that I CAN eat whatever I want, I'm starting to think that what I do want is to eat food that will do good for my body instead of harm. 

Growth guys, growth.

Coming Soon to The Big To-Do (in no particular order):
--"It's a New Month" <--- This is a regular thing now. Get ready.
--More notes on the Whole30, because I know no one is tired of reading about it.
--Lists on a lingerie shower.
--How to treat a bite from the crafting bug.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why I Love Twisted Root

Honestly? It would be way harder to come up with one reason that I don't love TR. Because that reason doesn't exist. What's not to love?

1. Chipotle Ketchup
Any place that offers some sort of ketchup with a twist is excellent in my book.

2. Chipotle Ranch
Ranch dressing with a twist is even better.

3. Perfect French Fries
They're not too soggy, crispy, salty. They are not TOO anything, they are JUST ENOUGH of everything.

4. Pickles
I'm happy enough with dill, but make a bunch of flavored pickles that sound really gross, but taste really yummy? Even better.

5. Fresh Ingredients
This makes me feel like I'm eating real food instead of food that's been frozen since the Ice Age.

6. Burger Bowls
(pictured above)
Yes, the menu claims they are for sissies, but that didn't deter me whilst Whole30-ing. Making a burger into a salad may not sound exciting, but trust me. It is.

7. Atmosphere
Employees seem to have the most perfect mix between sweetness and sarcasm every time I go. And where else can I pretend I'm hanging out with the likes of Jessica Rabbit, Cool Hand Luke, and Ron Burgandy? My guess is nowhere. Last time I got to be Julia Roberts, and you know what? I'm okay with that.

There you have it. Seven of the top reasons I eat here three times a week (in a good week, that is).
Have you experienced the glory of Twisted Root? If not, what in the world are you waiting for?

Order the Ranch Hand. You won't be sorry.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Featured Friday--Sweaty Bands

I'm in the process of vamping up this little blog. I have only told a few special friends about it, because I want to make sure it is just how I like it before I go blasting it on any Fbook pages and whatnot.
In the meantime, I'll keep a'posting. Even though clicking "View Blog" doesn't make me feel quite as warm and fuzzy as I hope it will some day. :)

Today's Featured Friday is brought to you by Sweaty Bands! Now, one of my April resolutions was to spend some time away from shopping, and I have actually done a pretty great job, if I may toot my own horn.

However, tomorrow, I'm slow jogging my first 5K, so I thought this was cause to buy myself a little pre-race motivator. Ok, really I saw them when I was picking up my race packet and thought they were too great to pass up. Shelby thought so too. Though, no lie, we were both a little grossed out by the name.

What's so great about them that I just couldn't pass one up, you ask?

Two days ago, I had to fix the headband I was wearing to keep my bangs back at least six times during my 30 minute slow jog. The Sweaty Band has a velvet-like lining that keeps the band in place. Even though, at times, I though it was slipping, I'd reach up happy to find it right where I left it.

Shelby's Band:

Band I almost bought (since my cute chevron band wasn't on the website):

Seriously, what is my deal with gold these days? I just can't get enough.

You can even get them customized to have whatever they want! I'm more than happy with our picks and can't WAIT to test it out again during our slow jog extravaganze tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Read my favorite neighborhood happenings this week and tell me if this doesn't mean I live in the most precious place ever.

-Riding my bike to Central Market.
To be fair, I've only done this once. On Monday. And it was glorious. Central Market is not far at all from mi casa, so I said to myself . . . what the hay? I took advantage of an opportunity to use my new backpack. Toting back yummy snacks in the new pack just tied a pretty little bow on the whole afternoon outing.

-Seeing basketball boy play catch with his mom.
Basketball boy lives catty-corner to our apartment with his mom and grandparents. We can hear his basketball bouncing every single morning from our apartment, and every single time he sees any of us gives us a precious, "Hi! How are you?" Literally, every time he sees us. Today he gave me this greeting while he was on the phone.

-The man who feeds the birds.
Almost every time I go for a slow jog in our cute park area, I see the sweetest older man feeding a whole slew of birds. It happens when I've almost made one lap. Every time I see him he gives me the nicest smile and I just have to smile and wave. That wave makes the last few feet so much easier!