Monday, November 18, 2013

Why I'm Done Blogging

So, it's been quite a while since my last blog post.  Just over a month, really.  And so today I'm just going to stop by here and say "bye" and give you my thoughts on why I'm done, at least for now.

1.  The time and upkeep and the guilt and being present.

I work 8 to somewhere between 4:30 and 6 every day, and tack on 2 hours of commuting.  And then a few nights a week I work at home too.  And I'm also taking on more at working and getting some new responsibilities.  We have our delightful puppy who needs lots of time and love and attention, and deserves to have that.  And of course I have my supportive and wonderful husband, who also deserves time and love and attention.

So when I get home at night, I want to be able to maybe take a quick run, or start dinner and have a glass of wine and relax with my boys.  Not feel guilty about not wanting to find clever gifs or not wanting to write up a good recipe, etc.  I want to be present and focused on our little family.

2.  I made a REAL friend.

I never planned on blogging to meet any friends, online or in real life.  But guess what?  I did it!  Lauren at Eat, Drink and Be Lauren (f/k/a Method to My Madness) and I hang out on the regular, and our e-mail strings and texts could fool anyone into thinking we've been friends for WAY longer than a couple of months.

So basically, it's way more fulfilling for me to spend a Saturday out shopping with her and having prosecco and pizza IRL for three hours than to spend that time locked in front of my computer.

3.  I didn't miss it.

I didn't write a "goodbye" post right away, because what if I wanted to come back a week later?  So I deleted Bloglovin', HootSuite, and the Facebook Pages app from my phone. And I removed my blog email from my phone.  I cut it all off cold, and guess what?

I didn't miss it at. all.  For the most part, I found that my life was better because I was enjoying what I was actually doing a lot more.  Not worrying about taking photos, or thinking of a clever post based off of Barley's latest quirk.  I also didn't miss feeling that I needed to be keeping up with other people's posts in order to garner attention to my own blog...which goes back to the time.

So today, I feel confident in saying "bye" to this blog for a while.  Who knows, maybe in six months or a year or in two years it will all change and I'll be back.  I didn't delete any of my social media accounts, so there's always that possibility.

Finally, if you're reading this now or you took the time to ever read my blog, thank you.  It's flattering that anyone would read anything I have to say, and it's extra-nice that so many of you did.  I hope that some of you will continue to follow my Instagram and we can stay "internet friends" in that way, and if you're interested in following along on Twitter, you can find me here.

See ya later alligators!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"You're Awesome!" {half marathon training}

Hm.  So where do I begin with this post?  I feel like I am just bad at training.  I am finding it really hard to stick to a training plan right now, and I'm disappointed in myself.

However, as the title of this post suggests, I was actually running recently, and a guy who was running by my gave me a thumbs-up and said, "You're awesome!"

I didn't think it was that big of a deal until I realized that it made me feel a little bit better about the fact that I was running an 11:30 mile, and I was tired, and I just wanted to stop.  It's awesome when you have anyone cheering you on or even just giving you "the nod".

Over the weekend, I did two days of running inside and doing HIIT and it worked me over.  My legs were good and sore, and I could really tell the difference between doing just a run and doing the HIIT.  I think I needed to feel a little extra "ouch" there to get my leg muscles working and feeling it again.  The last few runs I had outside in September, I was not feeling any residuals the next day, and to me that is the mark of having pushed myself a little extra on that workout, so I'm excited to integrate some new stuff into the mix.

Another huge issue for me has been my shoes.  They are old and they suck.  No way around that.  So for my birthday Bryan got me new running shoes.  I NEVER thought I would be the person who would ask for running shoes as a gift, but here we are.  

So that's where I'm at, and I'm slow, but I'm happy that I'm realizing what I need to adjust and where to make changes.  For me, upping my overall cardio tolerance has been my biggest challenge so far, so I think that will continue for a while.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! {27 woo!}

Happy birthday to me!  

Today I'm hitting 27, so I thought I would throw together a bunch of old birthday photos

So it's my birthday everyone!  Turning 27 and feeling pumped about it.  27 is going to be a great year I think.  I am mostly hoping for stability, happiness, and letting the good times continue to roll.  So today I'm going to take a walk down memory lane and look at some other birthdays from my 20s...brace thy-selves.

2007, turning 21.  It was a Tuesday and we went to a bar called Joe's on Weed St.  that had $2 pitchers and 25-cent beers.  #collegelife Also, this is when Sparks were big and there is a sparks hiding in this pic.  

2008, turning 22...eating chili cheese fries at Portillo's, duh.  After that I ate a huge Italian meal at a place called Quartino's in Chicago too....damn I want that metabolism back.

2010, turning 24....also celebrated our first dating anniversary!  We went to the Signature Room at the Hancock building that year.

2011, turning 25!  My mom makes the most legit birthday cakes ever.  I mean you can see that here...three layers, whatever kind you want.  Because it's your day.

Ok, so I don't have that many pics of my adult birthdays, woops. Last year we went out to the Original Carrabba's on my birthday, so delicious and legit.  We are going out to a casual, more chill dinner tonight and then plan to have a few friends over Saturday and go out to some bars.  Who's bringing the Sparks?! :)




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup


Today, I'm excited to share this very easy and very delicious soup that is perfect for the "chilly" temps that are coming, or if you live in the plains, will warm you up after you dig out of 3 feet of snow.

It was a perfectly fall day here in Texas on Sunday, so we "celebrated" by wearing sweatshirts, and eating a yummy potato soup, which I promise you will love.  

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen hash brown potatoes (cubed)
20 oz. (or so) of low-sodium chicken broth
1 block of neufchatel (could use cream cheese too, but I like to cut corners)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
6 or so strips of bacon, fried, dried and crumbled
1 tsp. cajun seasoning (Or be scientific like me and do a few shakes in)
3 green onions, chopped for garnish
Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish/stirring in to make it even better
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Get that crockpot out and put the hash browns, chicken broth, cream cheese, and cream of chicken soup in and give it a stir.  Add in the bacon crumbles and cajun seasoning and stir again.  Let is go on low for about 6 hours or so, stirring occasionally if you can.  If not, just stir it when you get home and let it go again for the cream cheese to blend in.  

2.  When it's ready, spoon into bowls and garnish with green onion and cheese, then stir in that goodness and enjoy!

Boom. Done.  So easy and delicious.  What's your go-to crock pot fall soup or recipe?


Monday, October 7, 2013

Rebooting {weekend recap}

I had big plans last week to give you a five on Friday recap, but last week things went a little awry.  Wednesday night my car stopped working as I was going up a freeway on-ramp.  Yup, just wouldn't accelerate, so we had to have it towed and turned out a connection between my gas pedal and fuel injection needed to be replaced, FUN!   

Then, Thursday afternoon, I went to get a sandwich at lunch and while I was backing out of my parking spot in the downpour, got into a fender bender, very minor.  No one was hurt, but it was just a huge pain.  So basically I was all out of sorts.  Hence, the title of this post:  Reboot.

Friday night we had a birthday party for the CEO of my company, it was so much fun!  Delicious fajitas, open bar, and Bryan finally got to meet most of my co-workers, which was great.

Here you see me sketchily wandering through Wal-Mart pre-party because on our way out the door, I noticed there was a 1-inch tear in the side of my dress by the zipper!  Sweet.  Nothing like power-walking through a Wal-Mart in 4 inch heels to get a sewing kit.


And here we are at the party!

Pretty good looking couple I'd say! My eyes are a little squinty from the flash but oh well.

Post-party we made a late night Whataburger stop because, you know, sometimes you need some onion rings and a cheeseburger and Diet Coke before you can fall asleep on your couch watching Too Cute! on Animal Planet.  Also, the party favors included full-size Hershey's and Hershey's with Almonds bars and so now we have about six candy bars in our freezer. Dangerous.

Barley had quite the weekend--Saturday morning we went to the dog park where he promptly got filthy dirty and totally exhausted.  He got totally mauled by some tiny corgis and chased around with an Aussie mix.  Then he resisted every second of Bryan hosing him off.  In the lower right pic you can see the tired in his eyes.  Also doesn't my little boy look so handsome in his Packers bandanna?!

Since little buddy was so tired on Saturday, we snuck out in the afternoon to go see Gravity. It was really good, but also kind of anxiety-producing for both of us, this isn't a movie you can totally relax in because you're pretty caught up in whether or not she's going to be stuck in space or not.  The whole concept is really kind of terrifying, and will make you feel really small.  Plus we saw it in 3D so maybe that was part of it.  We both enjoyed it, but maybe would have rather seen Captain Philips.    So we'll save that one for another time!  

Sunday meant breakfast out, grocery shopping, and football.  Plus, it was legitimately COOL here in Houston, which felt like the ultimate win.  Since it felt like fall, I made a delish crockpot soup that I will be sharing tomorrow.  Behold, Baked Potato Soup:


And of course, I painted my nails again.  Guys, I'm getting kind of good at it so maybe I can cross this off of my 30 for 30 list soon.


Hope you had an equally great weekend!! And apologies for dropping out of life and the blog world last week, it was a total mess, and I owe a lot of you e-mails! :)