Wednesday, May 27, 2015

-Ish I Did and Didn't Blog About, Pt.1

A few months ago I started following a blog whose author was participating in a Winter Fashion Challenge. The idea is, for 21 days you mix and match all of your outfits from a pre-determined capsule. It fascinated me for several reason, the first being, I love seeing what other people are wearing. Like, love it a lot. I also love Instagram pictures of people's lunches, especially in bento boxes. TINY FOOD IN COMPARTMENTS!!! But I digress...

The second reason was the concept of a capsule wardrobe. Only a few pieces of clothing, all coordinating together in perfect harmony. Crazy, I love clothes and might have a few. OK, more than a few. Shopping is my happy... I don't wear most of my things and some things I only ever wear with other things. I need to better mix and match what I do have. #IHaveALotOfClothes

I loved watching the outfit re-mixes and the thought of knowing exactly what to wear the night before was super appealing to me. If you haven't been, check out the Get Your Pretty On website. Sign up for the mailing list and get a free style challenge from last year. 

Ok, on to the challenge. I signed up for the Spring Challenge and couldn't wait to get the shopping list. Alison does a great job teasing 2 outfits and it usually starts a shopping frenzy on the Facebook page, I however, showed remarkable restraint and waited until I received the entire list. 

The cool thing is that you can start by shopping your closet to see which pieces you already own and what you'd need to add. 

I won't go into a lot of detail about the shopping list because that kinda defeats the purpose of the challenge. Instead, here's what I selected for the challenge.

I did end up purchasing a few things that weren't already in my closet. White pants, camo pants (un-pictured), olive pants, black drapey tank, grey t-shirt, black-tshirt, floral skirt (un-pictured, FINALLY found in the last week of the challenge)

The evening before we received the outfit and had to style it for the next day. As part of the challenge, there's a HUGELY active FB page where the participants post their outfits of the day. Did I mention I loved seeing what everyone else was wearing? 

Most of the outfits are geared more towards the casual side and some days I wasn't able to follow the challenge 100%. For example, the first day....

The very first day of the challenge, the CEO was in town. Day 1 was camo pants, grey shirt and bright cardigan and even though I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have minded, I thought I should keep it a little more professional. Instead, I did grey tank, bright cardigan and navy skirt. I would have never thought to pair this tank with a colored cardigan, mission accomplished. #TryToDressUpWhenTheBossIsInTown

Day 2 was pretty spot on. Stripped dress with a cardigan.

Day 3 was also 100% on point, white pants, black drapey tank, white pants. I got a lot of compliments on this outfit but I'm not sold on it. 

My #1 accessory on white pant day? Tide Stick. 

Day 4 involved a chambray shirt, white tank and I don't remember what kind of pants but I subbed with these burgandy ones. 

Day 5 was jeans, patterned shirt and bright flats. 

I have pictures from the other weeks too, but I missed a few days because in week 3 we went to Florida. 

I loved participating in the challenge and you should do it too. The Summer Challenge is open and the Early Bird Rate of $29 expires on 5/29. Then it goes up to $39. Sign up here to join me and the other challengers! Full disclaimer, that's an affiliate link for me but honestly, I'd still tell you to sign up and do the challenge even of I made $0 off it, which I probably will. 

The shopping list comes out on 6/5 and the daily outfits on 6/14 - 7/4. Just like last time I'll be in Florida for part of the challenge and off plan, I'll be back in Orlando for the Kappa Delta bianniual convention and I'll be in dresses every day. But I'll still have plenty of inspiration for the rest of the summer. For example, one of the sample outfits is a white eyelet dress, and I JUST so happened to be looking for a new white dress for convention. #TwoBirdsOneStone #ConventionShopping #OneDayIWontBeAbleToUseThatExcuse #TodayIsNotThat Day

I know most of the outfits will involve shorts and since that's not happening in my office, I'll be subbing for more work appropriate bottoms, Even if you have to dress more professionally, it's easy to substitute. 

Alright, don't foget to check out the link up!

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why Can't They All Be Three Day Weekends?

Oh Tuesday, you're like a Monday. Especially after a lovely three day weekend, there you are, rearing your ugly head. Let's take a look back on the Weekend shall we, and remember what it felt like to have an extra glorious day off. 

Last month I participated in a Spring Fashion Challenge, GYPO or Get Your Pretty On. I'll chat more in my next post but one of the things it taught me was how to take a crappy selfie. (Actually this one is better than most). I take my selfies at work in the bathroom and I'm always on edge thinking that someone is going to walk in and catch me mid picture. 

I hurry up and try and smile but I just can't not look at the screen. I don't know why and I only have seconds to take my picture since ANYONE could have to pee at a moment's notice. At least there are far fewer women on the floor than there are men. I even tried to lock the bathroom door while I was taking my pix, but it doesn't lock. Weak...

Any who, this is what I wore to work and to a baby shower that night. I'm really starting to get on this maxi dress kick. I always thought I was too short to pull them off but they're working for me. I got this one last year and didn't like it with a short sleeved cardigan, but I LOVE it with the jean jacket. I've gotten a TON of use out of this jacket and it literally stat in my closet unworn for 4 years.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to run a 5K. Earlier in the week I was looking for a Memorial Day 5k but you know what? There aren't any in the area which I thought was really odd. Instead I signed up for the Stubborn Girl Race. 

The race was one of the oddest ones I've ever done. It was only $30 to run but no t-shirt. I don't know that I've ever not gotten a shirt at a race. One time I got a pint glass, which was cool, but I've always gotten something.

There were maybe 75 people running the race and it was supposed to be all women. The course ran through the Dorthea Dix Campus in Raleigh which was nice. I'd never experienced this before but the race was "timed" but the timing consisted of a guy with a stopwatch. Literally a stopwatch. 

We took off running and the first mile was pretty good, nice and flat with a few hills. I started to get thirsty and the "water stop" at mile one was a guy with cups of water on the side of the course, You had to walk over and get it and he clearly didn't want you to throw the cup on the ground. I decided not to stop and that was probably a mistake.

In mile 3 there was a giant hill and a headwind and I had nothing left in the tank. Ugh. I also should have eaten something that morning. I was just full of rookie moves that day. 

Queen of the positive splits right here. I clearly started out too fast. The thing that really annoyed me was that the course wasn't a 5K, it was barely 3 miles. My Garmin clocked the race at 2.92 miles. :/ If it's supposed to be a 5K, map that course out and make sure it's a 5K. 

We did get this medal, which I'm pretty sure came from Oriental Trading.

I got my exercise in for the day but as far as races go, I'd pass on this one next year.

Kev went with me and after we got back he tore out some dead bushes on the side of the house and planted some new ones. After that we took a trip to the mall. I ordered some shoes from Nordstrom and they were too big. I am a solid 7.5 and I was slipping out of both pairs. Grrrr,,,, They were perfect for Convention and I was really hoping they'd work out. 

It was dinner time and we opted for Cheesecake Factory. I was shocked that on Saturday night and there was only a 30 minute wait which is like finding a unicorn. There's always at least a 2 hour wait there. Really though, who waits 2 hours for dinner? 

All I wanted a salad and a few fries.

That's a side of fries. This is why we're fat....

Chopped Salad, no cheese. Nom.

While we were waiting for the table, I snuck into the Kendra Scott store. It's my new happy place, Add that to the lululemon store that's a few stores down, I could so some serious damage there. I showed my MIL the awesomeness of the store and she treated me to a new pair of earrings. LOVE THEM! 

Sunday morning was pretty lazy. I was sore from my 5K, my hips are really bothering me. It's odd because my hips never bother me, I think it might be time to get some new shoes. 

While I was out running my errands, I stopped into Xpert Nutrition and found a new protein powder. It's just straight powdered egg whites which makes me super happy. No dairy, no artificial sweeteners, nothing but eggs. I've been looking for a powder that wasn't full of a lot of junk and I think I finally found one. The true test will be tomorrow's smoothie.

After I got home, it was time to make our first trip to the pool! We have 2 awesome pools in out sub-division and it was a perfect day to spend some time pool-side. 

I DID dangle my legs in the pool which is a BIG step forward, especially if you read my last post. Kev didn't help, he  just talked about how the pool was washing off all his sweat and sunscreen and swirling around in the pool. Thanks...

That night I decided to see what all the X-Files hype was about. There are something like 202 episodes on Netflix, should keep me busy for a while. As I was watching, all I could think about was how having cell phones would make their jobs so much easier, Ugh, always looking for a pay phone, trying to find a fax, and they didn't take pictures of anything. Pictures would have made a HUGE difference.

Monday morning I went to a 90 minute combo class. Body Pump, Step and Attack. I realized that I really, really, really hate step class, Like a lot. It reminded me of an 80s aerobics class. 

At least I burned some calories. 

The rest of the day included looking for a fire pit, which is harder than you might imagine. We went to 3 different places before finding one. It's still in the back of Kev's car though, so no pictures of fire yet. We have so many sticks in the yard that I don't want to pick up and aren't being reclaimed by the earth fast enough for my liking, Now we can BURN THEM ALL. :)

That's all for me, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Triathalon? - This might really happen

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'd like to do a triathlon. I can run, I can ride a bike, all I need is the swimming. Don't get me wrong, I can swim well enough to keep myself from drowning but laps? Nope. I know that the swim part would be my biggest nemesis.

Last year I even bought a swim suit and some goggles, or maybe it was 2 years ago. Darned if I can remember. I even took 1 swim class with some college swimmer who was home over the summer. And that was it. 

Here's the thing, pools skeeve me out, seriously, big time nasty. Don't even get me started on water parks. All those people, their sweaty nasty selves and that water washing all over them and back into the pool and onto you. #poolsarenasty 

Kev says that the chlorine in the pool kills everything. If that's the case, WHHHHHYYY do they post these signs at the gym??? 

The chemicals on your body can cause the pool to become cloudy and they have to close it. That pool is closed all the time and I KNOW it's from people's funk. You also know that the minute a kid poops in the pool, someone just goes in and scoops it up. They don't boil the pool to kill the poop germs. 

Don't even get me started on the pee in the pool. Let's be honest, everyone pees in the pool. If you don't now, then you did at one time or another. Don't lie about it. #everyonepeesinthepool, The ocean is also full of nothing but pee. Dolphin pee, fish pee, people pee. No one is sitting on the beach, has to pee and walks back to hotel or cottage. Pee everywhere.

Have you ever seen the South Park episode where everyone pees at the water park?

Then people die in a flood of pee. I'll rank that as one of my top 5 worst ways to die. Being trapped in something sticky and not being able to get it off also ranks up there.

Although I could go on, I'll stop talking about what Kev calls "my irrational notions".

So, Sunday morning I left to run some errands and the cyclists for the Rambling Rose Triathlon were riding though my neighborhood. Some looked happy, some not so much but all I could think was that they'd just finished the swim, were in the middle of the 9 mile bike ride and still had 2 miles to run, How fricking awesome. They were out doing fantastic things and I was off to buy a watermelon and some cat food. 

As I was getting my coffee at Breuggers, I posted on Facebook that I really wanted to do a triathlon. This was the response I got.

If I had to sum up all the things I love about being in a sorority, it's this, right here. All three of us went to Pitt together and are KDs. They live in Charlotte and I haven't seen Beth since graduation. I've seen Rachel the last 2 years when she comes up to Raleigh to do Ironman. At a  moment's notice they're ready to jump on a bike and run a few miles with me. I have no words, I know I'm super fortunate to have had the opportunity to make such awesome friends. 

It sounds like I have plenty of motivation to get over my fear of a pee pool and learn how to swim some laps! The oooonly thing that might stand in the way is when Kev and I re-book our Europe trip. We have to go before January 2016 and the month of October is out, because, Octoberfest. There's a small chance we'll be traveling on September 20th but I think it's far more likely that I'll be doing my first Sprint Triathalon! 250 yards in the pool, 9 miles on the bike and run 2 miles, Let's do this!

Linking up!

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scenes from the Weekend

I know I promised a recap of -ish I didn't blog about last month, which is TOTALLY coming. I have like 10 different posts floating around in my head. There's a list on my phone where I keep all my ideas. Type A people are list makers and also extremely prone to forgetting things.  

Alright, what I did this weekend... Friday at lunch I headed over to Cary Towncenter Mall to do a little shopping. I have 40ish days until I leave for KD Convention and that means a few things. 1. I need to not eat carbs for the next 40 days so I can be cute in the 100s of pictures I'm about to be in. 2. I need to do some shopping. Since I'm now on NLT, I get to convention a day and a half  before the collegiates and we have National Leadership Training Academy. The dress code is Business Casual and I have plenty of that, but I still want some cute new things. We also have a semi-formal and a formal night and while I have plenty of black dresses that I can use for semi night, I do need a new formal dress. 

I learned something very dangerous while I was at the mall. The Limited AND the NY& Co stores are both outlet stores. Heaven help me,

I found this super cute maxi dress at NY&Co. You can't see the lace at the top of the dress but it's there.

It's not dressy enough for convention but nice for a summer evening out.

Then I discovered that my favorite Body Pump class on Friday nights was moved to 5pm. That gym is literally 2 minutes from my office and I realized I could peace out at 430pm and make it to class. Really though, there's not much going on at 430 on a Friday. Most of my team are sitting pretending to look busy until it's time to go home. If I;m going to leave early, the least I can do is be productive.

On to Saturday morning. Kev's Mom is in town for a few days and we went to look at some possible houses to get ideas of what we would like when she moves down here. We've moved a few times so it's not like we've never seen nasty houses but Saturday we saw the nastiest one ever. It's right down the road from our house and I pass it every day on my way to work. 

The walls were absolutely filthy. So, so filthy, with hand prints and stickers all over them. Really, It would have taken 15 gallons of paint and a weekend to put a fresh coat over the worst of the walls. The worst part was the boogers on the wall in the upstairs hallway. There. Were. BOOGERS. On. The. Walls. We aren't buying that one. 

All we learned is that I'm really picky, refuse to settle on things I don't like and we might have to build something. Or we might have to sell this house and get an apartment for a few months while we wait for what we want to come on the market OR we build something.

After house hunting, I hit up the mall (still looking for Convention clothes) and found a moisturizer to replace the M.A.C. stuff I returned 

I really love my Benefit mascara and they were having an event at Belk, The nice lady hooked me up with a new BB cream, moisturizer and a cream blush.

Busy day? Yes! Not done though! We had dinner reservations at Vin Rouge before going to DPAC. I get one thing at Vin Rouge, the steak tartare. Yes, it's a pile of raw meat but if you can get past that, it's one of the best things you'll ever put in your mouth. Oh, that's a raw quail egg too. I had this and 2 delicious cosmos, needless to day, I was a happy gal,

We had tickets to the Durham Performing Arts Center to see Pippin! Fun fact, Kev was in community production of Pippin when he was a senior in high school. His mom was the asst. director and choreographer too! They have a soft spot for the show and I was excited to finally see it.

There's a fantastic picture of Kev at his mom's house in a mesh shirt in the show. When she moves here, I want that to come with. :) In case the lead and understudy weren't able to perform, Kev was ready to step in.

We waited to get the seats and couldn't fin 3 together so him and his mom were 2 rows in front of me and I was by myself. I amused myself by taking selfies and making instagram friends with the people next to me. (I wore that back dress at the top of the post and a jean jacket) For some reason, I'm really liking the maxi dress with a jean jacket. AND it was a jacket that I've had for years and never worn. Way to shop the closet. Really though, who am I kidding, I shop all the time.

The show was AWESOME. It had just the right about of 70s groove and when they planned this revival, the show was re-imagined in a circus and the acrobats were phenomenal! I highly recommend it if you have a chance to go!

It was definitely a jam packed Saturday!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Daytona Beach and the Saga of the Lemon Ice Garotade Florida pt. final

II had a great idea that last Friday morning I was going to type this post while I was at work and then people wanted things. I looked up and it was 10:30am, so now I finally finish my Florida recap. 

BTW, I definitely read all of your comments and love them all! I also swear that I've been reading all your blogs too, but it's on my iPad at night via the Bloglovin app which doesn't allow me to leave comments. Know I totally would if the app would let me. You know what else would be awesome? If I could speak my comments and it just adds it to someone's post. That would be fantastic, because I'm lazy.

Speaking of lazy, out final days in Florida looked an awful lot like this.

Check out my beefy calves.

After being there, I have no idea why Daytona Beach was so popular for Spring Break in the 90s. There were hardly any shops or bars and the ones that were there were all leather bars. I know Bike Week is a huge thing and there were a lot of biker bars, but no where I would go to have an adult beverage.

Our hotel was super fab though and we had lunch there when the sun was too much.

During my vacation I listened to the entire Serial podcast. OMG, what did everyone else do after it was over?!?! I seriously don't know what to do with my life any more. I tried to find other podcasts but nothing else compares. Does anyone have any suggestions for other podcasts? Really, I need my fix and nothing is doing it for me.

Oh, the other thing I discovered in Daytona were "Love Bugs". These bugs do nothing but have sex and collapse into a post-coital bliss and they're EVERYWHERE. so, nasty. Apparently it's a thing and everyone is used to them. I was disgusted.

Then for our last Florida dinner, I had an amazing pile of fresh seafood. So good...

And that was our Florida trip! We had a great time and we got to see new places and have a fantastic adventure. 

I might have also had an ulterior motive for going to Florida, I needed to find a 7-11. Had we gone to Europe, I would have driven to Dulles airport and stopped at 7-11 on the way up. Why? Because the most amazing Gatorade ever created is back, for a limited time, only at 7-11. LEMON ICE!

Let me tell you a story, in the lat 90s, early 2000s, the one beverage I turned to when I needed my thirst quenched or when I was sick, Lemon Ice. It was a delightful light, lemony flavor. Not syrupy or nasty at all. Just pure amazingness. Sadly, it was discontinued in 2003. For years, I looked and looked for it, to no avail. Anytime Kev asked if I wanted Gatorade I told him to get me Lemon Ice. He searched the first few times but finally caught on that it was discontinued. I still look for it everywhere I go. 

A few years ago I joined a Facebook group Bring Back Lemon Ice Gatorade. About 3 months ago they started chatting about how Lemon Ice might come back and I was so excited. So were the 800+ other people on the page. 

Well, it's back, but only at 7-11 for a limited time only.

It's just as amazing as I remembered and I might have brought a few home with me. I have my precious in the spare refrigerator in the garage, but I can only drink them for special occasions. It might be another 12 years before I can get any more. Really though, if you live near a 7-11, go get you some. You won't regret it. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Linking Up! BLoved Boston, Life of Meg and Champagne and Suburbs

Monday, May 11, 2015

I'm so glad we still have a space program. Florida pt. 5

Who knew that this trip would have provided so many days worth of blog posts? It's really awesome though. Instead of relaying every little tidbit of the trip, just trow it up on the blog and let everyone read it. 

I'm blogging and waiting for some Paleo brownies to come out of the oven. Kev asked for real brownies last night and it's all I can do not to dive into them. I figured a healthier option was better. Side rant, when people on Pinterest sat that brownies are "fudgy" it just beans they aren't cooked long enough. Seriously, say "these are fudgy because I like raw dough and you should too." The recipe I used called for them to be baked 25-30 minutes. I put them in for 30, then another 5. Kev ate a "fudgy brownie" and then I put them in for another 17 minutes until they were done. :/ That's just a half cooked brownie. 

Any who, back to my trip recap. We left Orlando early that morning and headed to Cape Canaveral to the Kennedy Space Center. We stopped for breakfast at some cute little breakfast place that also had a lot of home-made baked goods. As a side dish, instead of potatoes or fruit, you could get tiny danishes. Kev was in heaven.  We did discover that the bakeries in Florida aren't awesome. They tried really hard, but northern bakeries are so much better. 

Yes, I always have eggs, turkey sausage and potatoes. Here's another picture of them. I ate this same breakfast this morning when I met Kev for Brunch.

Also, when your husband rolls his eyes that you're taking yet another picture of your food, just shout, "I'm a blogger dammit! I need to take pictures of my food!" It's awesome at fancy restaurants.

On to out trip. Small confession, I really thought that we no longer had a space program before I went to Kennedy. Like, I was pretty sure that the end of the shuttle program meant that kids no longer grew up to be astronauts. Thankfully, that is NOT the case! I'm so relieved. I almost posted something ob FB about going to see the "remnants of our once great space program". I did take it down, but instead posted it here for so many more people to see....

We pulled into the parking lot and the nice lady told us that the first thing we needed to do was to take the bus tour, then go to the Atlantis building, then the IMAX. She was on point. That's absolutely the way to do it.

I think admission was $49 per person and it was worth every penny. 

We got our tickets and onto the bus, it took us to an enormous building where we learned all about the early days of the space program.

The organization of the tours was fantastic, they made sure you learned stuff and had the experience they wanted you to have. On the bus there were TVs that broadcast videos that talked about NASA and what we were about to see.

We  passed this enormous building where they build all the rockets. The picture doesn't do it justice, I think the bus driver said that the flag on the side of the building was 21 stories tall.

When we got to the building, we waited by some giant doors and when they opened, we were ushered into a room where we watched a movie. 

Then we were ushered into another room that simulated being at Houston during a take off. All the monitors and everything was original. It was pretty awesome.

After that presentation we got to see one of the ships, I have not idea which one, I was in awe at how enormous they were.

We also saw the moon lander. One of the cool parts was that all the patches created for the Apollo missions were hanging from the ceiling, The did kind gloss over Apollo 13, but it was OK, Tom Hanks already told me what happened there.

As with every park, you have to exit through the gift shop. On our way through, Kev and I saw they had astronaut ice cream and we had to give it a try.

I remember as a kid seeing a astronauts eating "space food" and they always talked about the space ice cream. I'm pretty sure it was on Reading Rainbow and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

It wasn't bad! It was actually pretty tasty.

Before heading back to the other section, I found a space man and had my picture taken.

After seeing all there was to see, we got on the bus and headed over to see the Atlantis exhibit. Same thing, we were ushered into a room and forced to watch a move on how the space shuttle program was created. 

The coolest part was they put us in a room with a big screen that showed an amazing montage of the space shuttle. Then the screen became clear and behind it was the space shuttle Atlantis. The screen rose up and we were standing in front of the actual shuttle. It. was. awesome.

We also got to sit in a shuttle simulation and flip all the switches.

Call him the Captain.

Then I crawled into a tube thing with a bunch of kids and pretended I was in space.

There's so much more I could say about the Space Center but it was really one of the highlights of the trip. If you're in Florida, you have to go!

I also learned that the shuttle program ended because there wasn't anything left to do in low-orbit space, instead it's time to go further and head to Mars. We can't do that with a Space Shuttle, we need powerful rockets and to prepare people to be in space longer than ever before. Again, so happy we're still doing space stuff.

After visiting Kennedy, I read the Martian. It made SOOOO MUCH MORE SENSE than I think it would have if I hadn't just learned all about the space program.

We were all finished and and headed to out hotel in Daytona Beach, where the views were amazing. 

My team was making fun of me before we left for going to Daytona. They asked if it was 1994 and TRL would be there. Unfortunately not. I don't really understand why Daytona was such big Spring Break destination. Aside from the beach, it was kinda gross, a lot of leather bars. It's Florida, and humid, and leather, ewww... But at least the beach was super pretty.

Fun fact. these NASA shirts were $40 in the gift shop and $13 on Amazon. With Amazon Prime, it was in the mail box when I got home. I got Kev one too

We also got a the Apollo 13 mug, because, Tom Hanks.

In conclusion, the Kennedy Space Center was awesome. You should go there.

Linking Up! BLoved Boston