Friday, May 31, 2013

An award?! {Liebster}

I was nominated by the beautiful, wonderful Kelley from One Hot Southern Mess for the Liebster Award.  Not going to lie, this came at the perfect time for me because just the other day I was telling Kelley about how I didn’t really feel like writing about anything in particular.  Now thanks to this lovely award I have something!

So here’s how it works…1) Acknowledge the blog that nominated you [see above, thanks Kelley!] 2) Tell 11 facts about yourself 3) Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created 4) List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition 5) Post 11 questions for them to answer 6) Notify them that they’ve been nominated [Obvs you can’t nominated the blog that nominated you.]
11 Facts about Me
(1)    I’m a Wisconsin girl through and through.  Yes, I’ve milked a cow before.
(2)    I learned to drive a manual last year so I could come home early from camping up north to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with my BFF.  Priorities people.
(3)    I have anger problems when driving.
(4)    I curse. A lot.  See #3 – I curse at other drivers even though they can’t hear me.
(5)    I watch NASCAR, football [NFL], and college softball.  I’m trying to get into watching baseball but the games are always on at such strange times to me that I can never keep it straight.
(6)    I hands down LOVE pasta and seafood.  Put them together and I’m an extremely happy girl.
(7)    I have one BFF and a handful of friends.  Quality over quantity is my rule of thumb.
(8)    No one IRL knows about my blog.  [As far as I know.]  Not sure that I will ever choose to share it but if someone finds out about it I guess that’s okay.
(9)    Bloggy friends are becoming real life friends and I love it!  [Hey Kelley, Kay, Lex, and Jenn!]
(10)  I can remember song lyrics like it’s nobody’s business.  Had I been able to remember things for school the same way I would have been a straight A student for sure!
(11)  I believe I need to find me a good southern boy to settle down with.  Gah, those accents!
Kelley’s Questions
(1)   Nail polish or natural? Polish for sure!  The only time I don’t have polish on is when I take the old stuff off but get too lazy to paint them again for a couple of days.
(2)   Beach or Mountains? Mountains
(3)   Beef or chicken? Beef
(4)   Who is your daily reads? Whitney, Sami, Kay, Kelley.  I love a lot of blogs but I always, always make sure that I at least read these blogs on my phone even if I don’t comment until later.
(5)   Drink of choice? Cherry Dr. + Mt Dew is my go-to drink.  I’m also fond of Dreamsicles and Captain + Pepsi.  I drink beer only occasionally when out with the guys because it makes me D-R-U-N-K!
(6)   What is one thing you love the most about blogging? I love connecting with people around the country that I would have never met otherwise.
(7)   Do you have an embarrassing middle name? Nope!  I have my momma’s name for my middle name.
(8)   What’s the last song you were singing to? Point At You by Justin Moore.  If looks could kill my BFF would have been dead Wednesday night after she said she didn’t like the song.  Nobody messes with my man Justin! [He’s part of the reason I think I need a southern boy.]
(9)   If you could move anywhere where would it be?  The south…NC…Raleigh…at least that’s my flavor of the month.  [Hey Kelley you got room for me down there?!]  It would also be kind of fun to move around the country as my BFF moves for her hubby’s job in the military.
(10)Favorite food?  Pasta, seafood, or Chinese.  I really can’t choose just one of them.
(11)What would you tell new bloggers?  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.  Chances are there is someone out there that can relate and blog-land is full of wonderful people who will offer advice and kind words.
11 Bloggers:
I also nominate anyone else who stops by my blog and wants to join in on the fun!  Horrible blogger I know but I didn't plan ahead and am running out of time before work to find more bloggers to nominate that have less than 200 followers. 
My Questions:
(1)    What’s your go-to outfit on any given day that you need to leave the house?
(2)    If your IRL people know about your blog, how did you decide you wanted to share it with them?
(3)    What’s one book that’s at the top of your list when someone asks for a recommendation?
(4)    Coffee: yay or nay?
(5)    Cooking or baking?
(6)    What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone leaving the nest [moving out of mom and dad’s house] for the first time?
(7)    Country or City?
(8)    Favorite Quote?
(9)    Original or Cool Ranch Doritos?
(10)  Name brand or generic?
(11)  How did your blog come to be and how would you describe it?
Can’t wait to learn more about all of you lovely nominees!  And I hope I shared some new interesting facts about me that you didn’t know before!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Drinking, because it's fun!

Thanks to the lovely Kelley [One Hot Southern Mess] the topic today is bars.  More specifically, country bars vs. city bars.  Actually if we’re being completely honest here, we have to thank my supervisor at work for telling me that I wouldn’t meet Mr. Right in a bar, I needed to go to church.  Yeeeeaaaah.  He’s weird.  This strange exchange with my supervisor led to me telling Kelley about it, which led to us discussing meeting people in bars, and then we ended up comparing country and city bars a bit.  So now we’re here…with this post.
Ms. Chelsea's Birthday Celebration
 The dress code is much more relaxed.
I know I know, there isn’t really a dress code in any bar other than the whole no shirt no shoes no service thing.  Well except on Halloween.  I’m pretty sure you can get away with almost anything on Halloween.  But at a country bar you can go out in whatever you please and not feel out of place.  Feel like getting dolled up? [I’m talking a little, not the whole 9 yards because then people will just wonder why you’re there.]  You can!  Feel like wearing yoga pants?  You can!  Jeans and a t-shirt?  You bet!  Seriously, you can wear almost anything and not feel awkward because you’re under dressed.
The drinks are cheaper.
Who wants to pay oodles of money to have a drink at a bar?  Not this girl!  I’d rather drink alone at home then because this chick has student loans to pay off and a new car payment [someday] so there’s no way I’m going to blow my money on expensive drinks.  And why are they more expensive anyways?  It’s the same alcohol last time I checked and yet drinking establishments in the city think they can charge you more?
Yummo drinks!
All music is good music.
More than likely the patrons at a country bar are in charge of the music that’s heard thanks to the good ol’ juke box.  As a result you hear all kinds of music and it’s awesome!  It’s not all country music but you bet your ass you’ll hear some.  The times I’ve been at city bars that didn’t have a band there was a DJ and I am pretty sure I can count the number of times I heard a country song on one hand.
No cover charge!
Seeing a band at a country bar = no cover charge!  I have yet to pay a cover charge to see a band play at one of my usual places.  I have however gone to see a band in town at a bar where I paid a cover charge even though I’ve seen the same band at a country bar and not paid.  You know it’s the bar then that’s invoking this cover charge.
Everyone knows your name.
Anyone think of Cheers when you read that?  I love going to one of my usual places because you know the bartenders and you know the other patrons.  Occasionally you’ll see people that don’t seem to know anyone stop in but we’re all friendly people so we don’t mind.  In addition to your name the bartenders know what you drink.  When I go out I love being able to just signal to the bartender that, yes I want another drink, but I don’t have to remind them what I’m drinking.  Any time I go out in town I’m constantly telling the bartender what I’m drinking, unless it’s a bottle of something in which case it’s pretty easy to guess.
There was great debate over what bar this was actually taken at for a while. Drinking will do that to ya!
I hope the next time someone suggests to go to a country bar when that’s not usually your scene that you don’t just wrinkle your nose up at the idea.  Try it!  You might be surprised how much fun you have while you’re there and will leave at the end of the night wondering why you never tried it out before.
**Disclaimer: I wrote this post based on my experiences with bars.  I live in Wisconsin where the bars aren’t hard to find and they outnumber churches.   So if you’re ever looking for a good time hit me up and I’ll show ya how we roll up here. ;) **
Now, for the first time ever I am linking up with the lovely Whitney from I Wore Yoga Pants to Work for backthatazzup Friday!  [Thanks again Kelley for suggesting I do this.  You truly are a genius!]

I apologize that it's not a cool little thing from groove shark but I have no idea how to do that.  Blogging novice at work here.

This song has something for everyone Chardonnay, Fireball whiskey, beer, margaritas....and the title pretty much sums it up in a nutshell.  It also seems appropriate for a long weekend.  Enjoy!

TGIF!!  Enjoy your long weekends!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{Book Talk} Before I Fall

After seeing the lovely Ricci {Ricci Explains It All}mention on her blog that she was borrowing e-books from her library I decided to look into doing it myself.  I was over the moon excited to see that I could borrow books for my Kindle.  No more waiting to read something new until I thought it was okay to spend the money!  And I can borrow and return books from the comfort of my own home.  Now that I don’t work within walking distance of the library I would need to plan to make a stop there and sometimes that just isn’t convenient, especially over a weekend.
Also thanks to Ricci, the first book I borrowed from the library was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  Here’s the synopsis from
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
When I updated Good Reads as having finished the book I rated it as a 3/5 star book, or as I liked it.  I didn’t think the book was bad but it won’t be one of my favorites where I’ll read it more than once.  The idea behind the book intrigued me and while the story of each day changed enough to keep me interested throughout, I found the ending to be lacking.  I felt as though I was left hanging with this feeling of “oh that’s the end of the book…ok…”
Even though the book was told from the main character’s perspective the entire time I felt like there could have been an ending that didn’t really involve her.  I think maybe something to show how life was going without her for those other characters would have helped me feel the closure I needed to be more comfortable with the end of the book.
I did like how the book showed how our actions can affect others.  I won't say more because I don't want to spoil the surprise but it definitely makes you think.  The fact that it's a young adult book and it makes you think is even more awesome in my opinion.
Would I recommend this book to someone looking for something to read?  Yes, even though I was disappointed with the ending I still liked the book overall.  And you can definitely take something away from the book, which is awesome.
I've already read my next book, The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks, so be on the look out for that review!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Why I Love Living in the Country

While still on my fitness kick last week {walking after dinner every night} I ventured out with my daddy-o and Bo one evening and ended up walking around the block.  This was no city block though, when all was said and done we had logged over 3 miles.  On this walk my dad and I saw a bald eagle, at least three deer, and a raccoon.  The best part was seeing the raccoon get to the other side of the road without crossing it.  Any guesses how?
So, seeing all of this wildlife while walking got me thinking that this is why I love the country.  Sure there are some downsides to living in the country but the good outweigh the bad.  I came up with 5 reasons I love living in the country while sitting at work yesterday afternoon.
Bald Eagle across the road from my house.

#1 - Wildlife is all around!  As proven by the wildlife seen on our walk and by the numerous times while looking out of the living room window we’ve seen deer, turkeys, cranes, ducks, and pheasants.  People in big cities, or even in just the heart of medium sized towns get to see this kind of wildlife from the comfort of their own homes or while out on a walk.
#2 - Bo has room to run.  A fenced in city yard would not be enough for Bo.  He loves to run through the fields following his nose, or chasing birds and butterflies.  It’s an awesome feeling to be able to let him outside and not feel like I need to watch him 24/7 while he’s outside.  Between being set back from the road and the low traffic I feel pretty safe letting Bo run free outside in the yard and the fields.  You just can’t get that in a city.
#3 - You can go outside in PJs with bedhead without having to worry about someone seeing you.  As I said, my house is set back from the road quite a ways so, it’s acceptable to run out to the garbage can or to my car in my PJs with bedhead and an unwashed face because no one will see me.  Unless of course they’re spying on me with binoculars in which case they’re creepers and just plain in the wrong.
#4 - It's one big playground!  Growing up in the country meant my brother and I were free to ride our bikes up and down the road until our little hearts were content.  And even now, as an adult I can feel safe to walk or run on the roads because of the low traffic dirt {or should I say gravel?} roads get.  We have fields to ride the 4-wheeler around on.  And we have easy access to the snowmobile trails.  What more can you ask for?
#5 - No doggy do-do to pick up!  This one is probably my favorite.  Especially now, reading about other bloggers having to carry plastic baggies to pick up their lovable fur children’s business.  Not going to lie, I smile to myself and think, “Haha I don’t have to do that.”  Sure, I have to pick up after Bo in our yard and his kennel but there is no grabbing of the do-do with my hand inside of a plastic bag then carrying it to a garbage can.  I love it!
Would you believe my dad is in this picture?
It will be a sad day when I venture out of the nest to live on my own or with a roommate or two.  I don’t plan on buying a house right away and even if I was, land is expensive which is more than likely accompanied with a house in the country.  I’ve been blessed to grow up and live where I have.  I wouldn’t change it for anything even though when I was younger I didn’t always appreciate it as much as I do now.
Sorry for the blurry picture
Back to the raccoon from the beginning of my post, did you figure out how he made it to the other side of the road without crossing it?
He walked under the road through a culvert!  Genius little raccoon I tell ya!  It was pretty neat to see.  If only all animals had a safe way to cross the road.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday

Once again let’s just go ahead and give me the worst blogger ever award.  Has it really been 3 days since I posted last?  Yes, yes it has Amy.  Get with the program!
Moving on to an update on how I am doing with my Diet Bet challenge, Bloggers Bustin’ Their Buns.
Starting Weight: 205.5
Goal Weight: 197.3
5/1 Weigh In: 203.0
5/8 Weigh In {Current}: 205
Lost: 0.5
To Go: 7.7
Odds: 23%
And let’s go right into a regular weigh in update which is about the same.  I didn’t lose my pants for this weigh in like I normally do but that still doesn’t excuse the gain I saw on the Wii Fit.
Initial Starting Weight (highest recorded weight): 205
January 2013 Starting Weight: 202.8
Last Week’s Weigh In: 202.4
May 8: 204.1
So I gained about 2 pounds this week.
Reasons for this gain are skipping the gym Friday, not doing a damn thing this weekend, 2 Mountain Dews Sat & Sun, and not watching my food intake like at all.
What I’ve been doing so far this week to try and get back on track is drinking water and lots of it, working out every day, and half-ass watching my food intake.
You’re probably thinking why isn’t she giving it her all with watching her food intake?  Well I’m wondering the same thing myself.
I just haven’t committed to watching what I’m eating / changing things up to be healthier yet.  I’m feeling pretty committed to the gym and water right now which I’m happy with.  But we all know that diet is 80% of the weight loss equation.
If, or I should say when, I get my ass in gear and start making plans for my diet overhaul it will be a lot easier to watch what I’m eating.  I’ve got the My Fitness Pal app on my phone which makes it really easy to log my calories.  So here’s to helping my mom make a grocery list / meal plan for the upcoming week and sticking to it.
I just have to say what I really love about MFP is that it calculates how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis to lose weight.  A deficit is already figured into the numbers so if you work out that increases the number of calories you can eat for the day.  Essentially I think it helps drive home the point that when you work out you need to eat more to fuel your body.
Let’s be honest though, I don’t need to worry about not eating enough.  I need to worry about eating the right foods and not eating too much.
So the cliff notes version of my recap is I gained this week, I’ve been doing well with my water intake during the week but need to work on it during the weekend, and I’m doing okay with being active but there’s room for improvement.
That’s all I’ve got for this week folks.  Check in with me next week to see how I’m doing with the Diet Bet challenge and how that diet is coming along!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday / DietBet Challenge

Happy Hump Day people!  Let's just go ahead and give me the worst blogger ever award.  I wrote this post on Wednesday during a slow day at work and had every intention of posting it when I got home that night.  Obviously that didn't happen since it is now noon on Saturday.
This week I have gotten back on the weight loss / get fit wagon.  Monday I didn’t do anything because it wasn’t until during the day Monday that while checking my Twitter feed that I saw a new Diet Bet Challenge that some bloggers would be participating in.  Thanks Jenn for Tweeting about it and inviting me!  I decided Monday that enough was enough.  I hadn’t been to the gym in forever.  I hadn’t been trying to eat better or even watch my portion sizes.  Enough was enough.  And to drive the point home I put $25 down in Diet Bet that I would lose 4% of my weight in 28 days.  {To read more about Diet Bet and how it all works check out their website.}
It’s a bit of a lofty goal for me since 4% = 8.2 pounds, which is like 2 pounds per week that I need to lose to reach the goal.  It is doable though so I’m committing to it and just going to work my butt off to reach that goal!
I weighed in for the Bloggers Bustin’ Their Buns Diet Bet game on Tuesday April 30th.  I used a digital scale my mom has in her bathroom and I was wearing “airport security” attire which for me meant compression capris and a t-shirt.  My starting weight for the game is 205.5.  In order to “win” I need to lose 8.2 pounds and reach 197.3 on the scale.
Since Wednesday is my regular weigh in day I decided to jump on the same scale this that morning.  Essentially I was wearing the same thing, yoga pants and a cami, and I lost weight already.  A miracle I tell you since I don’t really think my eating was that great yesterdaythe day before and one work out does not make pounds disappear.  But I’ll take it.  It has kind of jump started me and has me pumped to keep the scale moving in the right direction so I can get my money back!
Here are my stats for the Bloggers Bustin’ Their Buns game.
Starting Weight: 205.5
Goal Weight: 197.3
5/1 Weigh In [Current]: 203.0 {at 30% of my goal}
Lost: 2.5
To Go: 5.7
Odds: 33%
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll see some updates from Diet Bet popping up {like this Wednesday morning it told y’all that I lost 2.5 pounds} and it mentions coming to cheer me on…definitely do that if you have a second!  I would appreciate it to no end.  Who doesn’t love some cheerleading?!
Okay, enough of the Diet Bet business.  I also weighed in on my Wii Fit this morning in my less than “airport security” attire.  This is the official weight that I have been going by for as long as I’ve been trying to lose weight.  And this is also the weigh in you normally see on Weigh In Wednesday {when I’m actually participating}.
Initial Starting Weight (highest recorded weight): 205
January 2013 Starting Weight: 202.8
Last Weigh In (4/10/13): 203
May 1: 202.4
Soooo MFP says I lost 1.1 pounds since my last weigh in…in order for that to be true my last weigh in needs to be 203.5, not 203.  Going to need to review the tapes on this one!  But I didn't because I'm lazy obviously.
Either way I am moving in the right direction.  Going to keep it that way too!
I’m drinking water like I can’t get enough of it!  I’m getting back into the gym.  And I have plans to work on those pesky eating habits of mine that need some revamping.
Overall, today was a good day in the weigh in world.  I’ll see y’all next week with hopefully another good update!
**I am not southern but saying “you all” all the time sounds weird so y’all it is!  Hope no one minds!**