Awesome & Awkward Friday

Why are the weeks leading up to a holiday always the longest? I swear time started to reverse a few times.

As always, linking up with From My Grey Desk and The Bargain Blonde to share my fave 5 awesome & awkward moments from the week.

  • Bonus BodyJam on Monday! I love to dance, so this was an extra bonus to the start of my week.
  • Remember how I bought Vampire Diaries season 1 and 2 a few weeks ago? I busted open season 1 and have been indulging in it all week. Delicious!

  • Made Reese's peanut butter blossoms:
  • B finally watched Hunger Games and liked it. Now if only I could get her to read the books so that she'll understand all of this and this.
  • This song:

  • The hurricane shouldn't mess with Houston at all, but B figured we should have a backup/survival plan. That plan? water, tuna packs, cookies, board games, Harry Potter story time, and we'll have our wands ready. Bring it!
  • I had to call Marshall three days in a row before he finally answered. I don't understand why he wouldn't have been more eager to call me back when I'm always giving him advice on why he should study hard and try to avoid student loans, going to college, why drugs and underage drinking are bad, and why you should never date a slutty girl. Those are very important things to know!
  • This week I had two searches land on my blog for "idk my bff jess brother andrew obituary." If you were actually able to find it, then you are a google genius because I can't even google and get it to come up when I have the last name and date. Anyway....whoever you are, you can find it here.
  • I cried during the season finale of The Secret Life of The American Teenager. It was a rather heart wrenching scene, so I'm not ashamed that I have emotions. I'm more so ashamed that I watch this show and that I love it (and this is coming from an unapologetic Bieber lover). Most of the time it is pretty redic, but it has really improved since the first season. I swear each epp you could have a drinking game based on whatever the buzz word is. Last episode would have been 'pimp.' I would have been blacked out by the end.
  • This was probably the most shocking ep of PLL ever which was awesome. But this made it to the awkward category based on how loud I screamed and then how I felt like I couldn't trust anyone after this happened:
Photo from @keeoone
And I was like:

Can you relate? What was one awesome & awkward moment from your week? Any plans for the holiday weekend?


I Made The Front Row My Bitch

My back had been feeling like a normal functioning back for about two weeks so I've been easing it into exercise to make sure its good to go.

I had already been doing upper body weights, so it was time to start trying other things out.

First up: BodyJam. I didn't realize how much I had missed Jam until I took it. During my absence James and Stacy were added to the teaching lineup. I'd creeped on their class through the glass, so I was super stoked to finally get to participate. I would def have to say that Quality Life Fitness has the best Jam instructors of all time (all time). Actually, they have the best instructors for all of the classes.

Since that went well I added in lower body lifts. I could feel it working my lower back so I was really nervous of how that would feel the next day. Luckily the only pain I was suffering from was muscle soreness from not working my body out in that way in about two months. But the back felt good. success!

When Saturday came around I knew it was time to try out my one true gym love, Body Pump. After I got amped up on endorphins during Jam, I reclaimed my rightful spot on the front row for Pump led by Taylor. I went light on a few things that incorporated my back...just in case it decided to fall apart. Aside from it just being rough after missing so many sessions, it was also a success!
The funeral is back on!
I felt so exhausted but more satisfied than I'd felt in a long time with my workout. It's so great to no longer be limited in what I can and can't do because of injury.

And soon I will be tackling my last obstacle: the pole. Honey said she'd love to help me catch up so maybe I can jump back in with the group for level 4 since I was only able to attend level 3 once. My body feels scared.


Cap'n Crunch Treats

Rice krispy treats are one of my faves ever. I've made a few combos with that this past year. But then I thought why stop there? You can basically sub in any ingredient, add some marshmallows, and you are good to go! Well....except that one time that I made them with Chex...but I think it's because I over cooked the marshmallows. It takes a special skill to mess something like that up.

I had been craving some kids cereal so I hit up the aisle to see what I wanted the most that day. Cap'n Crunch won! So here you have it:

Cap'n Crunch Treats
2 tbs Butter
1 bag marshmallows
6 c Cap'n Crunch
  1. Melt butter in a large bowl - about 30 sec.
  2. Add in marshmallows and microwave stirring every 45sec until smooth.
  3. Slowly mix in Cap'n Crunch.
  4. Pour into a greased cake pan, let cool, cut, & serve.


"Are We Getting Kidnapped Or What?"

On our way home, the boys started talking about going to Aaron's to play pool. I love to play pool, but figured I'd let B decided for us. I was honestly shocked when she said "Ok" because it was wayyy past BJ House bedtime. So We headed to the heights to play some rounds.

Here's some of the things that may or may not have come out of my mouth during the ride:
  • Are we getting kidnapped or what?
  • I checked us in on facebook so my mom knows where I am if anything happens.
  • I'm going to text my dad your descriptions just in case you try anything funny.
  • I will not hesitate to break a bottle and stab you in the neck for self defense.
  • Are you going to roofie me? I'm not going to take any drink or food if you offer.
And I'm sure there were many others. I know. I'm such a peach. I don't know if they took me seriously or not, but I was mostly kidding.

Here's the deal. This was the first time I'd met these boys, and I know B had met Aaron a time or two before. But just because they are Brian's friends doesn't mean much. Brian is one of the nicest people ever and basically will turn everyone he meets into his friend (obviously if I didn't feel safe then we would have taken a cab home, duh). The next day I was asking B how he knew these guys and it turns out they had been friends for years and through context clues we concluded that they probably know each other from high school. And I obviously survived to tell about it, so it was fine.

We played two rounds of pool. I did pretty decent at first (I can't even remember the last time I played), but B & Aaron won. But the next round we dominated. I may have trash talked, and B would just laugh and say how funny and competitive I am. At least she knows!

After the second game everyone loaded up and Aaron took us home.

The next morning B and I went to freebirds for an early lunch (best recovery meal ever). It was a great time...until B saw a rat. She literally saw this rat jump from the floor to the table to the top of the deconstructed brick wall. I only noticed once I saw him scurry across the top of the brick. That thing was huge! We promptly left and I don't think I'll be visiting that particular location anytime soon. ick.


Friends Forever with BriBri

After I got hired with my current company B took me to lunch with them. Brian was the first (and possibly only) person that introduced himself to me (I did already know about half of the people I was going to work with). He is just so nice. And once I started work he would always stop by to chat on his way to and from the bathroom ( I sit in the front, so everyone passes me). But our friendship became solidified during our AGM trip to NYC. He is just so crazy. We ended up wondering around the city for the first half of the day (most everyone else was at the basketball game or shopping), then met up with the coworkers at The Ainsworth. He's always looking out for me when we go out and makes sure I don't get kidnapped.

No, this isn't a love story. BriBri is more like an older brother and dating one of my friends.


I was looking for friendship redemption since I had missed Brian's birthday because of personal stuff. We had plans to go out and Bri said that if I didn't come then he might friend dump me, so B & I pulled ourselves together and got a taxi (after we called to replace the first taxi that didn't show up) and got to midtown around 11.

When we got there Bri was a little wobbly and was having some trouble keeping his eyes open. I made sure to get a pic with him so I could prove I was there because I had little faith that he would remember the next day. It was so good to see him for about 15 min before he called it a night and got walked home. It's been so long that I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember my real name and only refers to me as Stripper. I actually find it funny, so I don't mind.

Well, the show must go on because B and I just got there. So we headed over to Shot Bar with Brian's friends. The line was hella long and we didn't have connections there so we hit up Red Door next because I just wanna dance! Well....everyone got in except one of the boys because he wore shorts. Armature move. We had a drink then relocated to Wonder Bar so everyone could participate in the fun. 

B and I were dancing and some rando came in the door and started dancing on us. I had really missed B the enforcer, so I was glad she showed up. She popped her little elbow up then extended her arm to move him out of the way and gave him the head shake. #mommabearclaw. He came back over a few min later and said "I told my friends y'all don't want to dance. It's done." Errrr....ok. 

We took the dance party to the next level once Taffy & Jenna showed up! 
Taffy, B, Jenna, & Me (B's Photo)

Around closing time we all headed over to Brian's. He just loved getting woken up. At least I was kind and played the big spoon instead of just jumping on him like a few of the others did. He seemed confused. 

Once he seemed a little irritated, we left. Aaron (Brian's friend) offered to take us home but the adventure didn't stop there. 


Awesome & Awkward Friday

This week was crazy at work, which caused me to be a little on edge from 8-5. But this just makes me appreciate these few days off even more!

Linking up with From My Grey Desk and The Bargain Blonde to share my fave 5 awesome & awkward moments from the week!

  • Groupon had a special for the Santa Hustle Half Marathon. Who can resist dressing like Santa? Not me! I can't wait to pick up my shirt, Santa hat, and beard!
  • Made these Fruity Pebble Treats:

  • Halo game night with Croc & Adam!
  • Jess and I used to workout almost every day together. Well, after the longest month of my life full of solo workouts, Jess finally rejoined me at BodyJam & BodyPump. I always enjoy my workouts, but it's so much more fun when she's there!
  • I can't get enough of this song!

  • Remember that time I signed up for the Santa Hustle? Yeah, totally rolled my ankle twice during Jam that same day. Not good since my racing season officially kicks off on October 1st and I really need to work on getting my strong base back. Yeah...
  • Admitting to the hairdresser that it had been 8 months since I'd gotten a trim. Luckily she said it didn't look bad and I only had to part with 4 inches!
  • About Halo night...I did terrible. We played capture the flag, something about collecting skulls, hot potato, and I think a few others. My lack of skill breaks my heart. I used to play like a boss.
  • On my way home I saw someone get arrested for dealing drugs. "Where's his bullet proof vest? Is he the sacrifice?" - The lesson: Deal drugs = go to jail. 
  • When it's past my bedtime my body starts shutting down. My face starts to fall asleep, my words kind of slur, and I am more prone to walking into things...it basically looks like I'm drunk even though I'm not. Croc got to witness this as I walked home after Halo.
Tell me an awesome and awkward moment from your week!


Can I Make A Birthday Request?

When I moved to Houston my plan was to go home at least twice a year: Christmas, and sometime in the summer. I figured seeing my family twice a year would be adequate, and the costs of flights have really gone up. Just 3 years ago I could fly from Lubbock to Houston for $200...now I can't manage to get anything under $350. WTF? Seriously, I'm only flying across Texas. And two of my New York flights have been less than that! Yeah, so I'm stubborn and try to avoid spending that much when going into the land of almost non-existent small towns. Come on, there's not really even anything cool there! Well, aside from my family and Donut Stop.

This year I decided to skip my summer trip and just go home at Christmas. I know it's terrible, but since Andrew died I don't like going back. And since never going back clearly isn't an option, I was just going to stick with the major holiday.

Great plan in theory....until I learned that it's time to go home when some or all of the following things are happening:
  • I am watching New Moon once a week if not more.
  • I start only listening to that soundtrack or other debbie downer songs.
  • I call my mom crying at least once every day for more than a week (Thanks for still answering and calling me back!)
  • I don't want to leave my apartment/bedroom ever. (But force myself to the gym in hopes of releasing some endorphins).
So since I'm a little broken hearted and homesick, I figured it was time to raise the white flag. In the past when I got homesick I wouldn't go because I fear that I'll get there and never want to leave. And as much fun as I really would have retiring and living with my grandma baking, cooking, and making s'mores...I feel that's not a good plan in the long run. But since this was more about matters of the heart, I figured I wouldn't be at too much of a risk of staying forever.

So I called up my Dad and made a bday request. It went something like this:
Me: My dearest Daddy, how have you been?
Father: Good my sweet darling Jes.
Me: I'm ever so pleased to hear. I miss you oh so much and would love if you would be so generous as to give me a birthday gift of coming home.
Father: Why of course my sweet girl.
Ok, we don't really talk like that. But basically I called up Dad and requested that my bday present be a flight home, he said the only stipulation is that I see him when I'm there. Duh, Dad. Duh. Done deal!

How could he say no? Especially after he gave me this picture and frame for Christmas. He knows what's up.

There are perks to not going home but once a year: your family seems to love you even more and wants to do whatever you want when you get there.

For example: I called Grandma to make sure her and Papa could pick me up from the airport since Mom will already be back at school. Once she agreed I asked if we could then immediately hit up donut stop so I can eat my weight in donut hole and cherry donut goodness! She said that's fine, but that Papa might not want to do that. She was kidding because Papa loves donuts, but just for good measure I told her that she might have to leave him behind.

Then she said that we should have a cookout and roast hot dogs, marshmallows, make s'mores, and would I like some homemade ice cream?

Why yes, yes I would.

I think my Grandma's plan to get me to stay forever is to 1. Make me so fat that I can't move, or 2.Hypnotize me with my fave treats.

I can't wait to go home to see my family and Donut Stop.


Feels Like Home

I texted Brittany to see if I could join in on the family activities for the rest of Saturday, and of course she said I was welcome.

I forgot to tell her I was on my way when I responded to her last text. I showed up, knocked twice, and let myself in. The house was quiet and the lights were off. I double checked that both cars were in the driveway and just figured that they were taking a nap because she had said that Emma was. My plan was to just chill on the couch until they got up. About a min after I got inside she texted asking when I was going to be there and if an early dinner was ok. haha. I responded to let her know that 5p freebirds sounded great...and that I was actually on their couch. I'm a creeper.

Once Emma woke up we headed to the mall to look at running shoes for Cole. I ended up finding tons of great things: Nike workout tops, two bracelets, some casual tees, and a black maxi skirt! Brittany and Cole ended up leaving empty handed. How did this happen?

Emma was getting fussy, but a Freebirds taco seemed to be just want she needed. Cole treated us to snow cones on the way home. Oh the perks of living in the burbs.

Emma & Cole

Brittany & Emma
We spent the evening playing with Emma until her bedtime. Then we busted out a few rounds of Skip-Bo. Skip-Bo and HP Scene It? are the most played games when I'm there. I love them both.

We also got Brit signed up for The Color Run! Now that she's started running again I'm going to start bringing my running shoes with me so we can log some laps at the track together! I'm really excited about that!

We ended the evening watching SNL and YouTube videos. And they let me stay the night in my old room.

I had a really great time, as always. I love being over there because it feels like a second home. The circumstances that had me move in were not ideal, but because of that it makes their home feel like a safe haven. I remember those days when I felt like I couldn't breathe, but then I'd get home and just being around Brittany made me feel a little bit better again. So now when I go to visit, it has the same effect. It makes it feel like nothing else that's going on matters...much like when I go to my family home to visit. I am so thankful that Cole & Brittany took me in and still let me hang out pretty regularly.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

As far as baking goes, I think I like eating cookies the most. Or at least right now I do. 

The first time I made these was last August for Emma's pre Christening BBQ.

I had found the recipe somewhere online...I can't believe I didn't bookmark it and can't find the exact place I got it from. I had typed up the ingredients and instructions so that I could easily hit up the grocery store. Yeah, dumb move for referencing purposes. But I do remember that it was called something like the New York Times best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. The actual recipe was far more particular, but who has time to measure all ingredients and cookie dough scoops out in ounces? Definitely not me. So this is slightly simplified and a few ingredients slightly altered. But I assure you, the taste doesn't suffer one bit.

These cookies are the perfect combination of soft but firm. And so delicious it'll help you trick your way into any one's heart.

Like almost everything I bake, I brought them to work and they were a hit. I told my coworkers that the special ingredient was love, that I literally hugged the bowl of dough while thinking about what I love about each of them. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly adapted from New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

2 c minus 2 tbs cake flour
1 2/3 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c + 2 tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 12oz bags toll house milk chocolate chips (about 4 cups)

  1. sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 5 min). 
  3. Add eggs, stir in vanilla.
  4. reduce to low speed and slowly add dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips then refrigerate dough for 24-36 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350*, spoon dough onto baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 min. 
  7. Let cool for 10 min, remove from sheet and place on cooling rack. Eat. 
Make these soon. You will not regret it!


Bitch It Out Breakfast

Sometimes you just need to bitch it out. Sometimes I swear B is psychic. When she got home from BriBri's bday she texted me that if I go to breakfast in the morning to wake her so she can join and fill me in on the previous night. That worked out because my Friday evening was less than stellar.

I went to opening day to see Dark Knight Rises. It was originally a sister wives date, but we had a last min addition. I didn't say no when I found out this person wanted tickets because I really felt like that was a loosing battle. So I got on board and figured it would be awkward, but I could handle it. Yeah, I was wrong. I've learned that in post love interest interaction I have four possible reactions:
  1. I'll treat you like a regular person that I know. It really won't be that awkward, and everyone will have a nice time. (This typically happens when it's either my decision, or a mutual one to end things).
  2. I will treat you like a stranger that I have no interest in talking to. I will respond if you talk to me, but it will not be warm.
  3. I will talk to you, but 75% of the things that come out of my mouth will be snide remarks.
  4. I cry. Or try not to cry because I can feel the tears coming. (Just when things weren't awkward enough.)
I figured that I could manage a #1-2, but turns out it was more of a #4 situation. I really couldn't get out of there fast enough.

BUT the movie was super good. Like so good that I almost went to see it again on Saturday, but opted for social interaction instead.

Back to breakfast... So I woke up, got B up for breakfast, told her about my evening, then headed to breakfast. We decided the theme was basically going to be pet peeves and things that we hate due to the direction of the conversation was headed. We even made a top 5 list:
  • When people don't call back when they say they will.
  • bad/drunk drivers
  • People that cross the crosswalk when it's red. (this happens way too often when it's a high traffic time. Do they want to get hit?)
and I can't remember my other two. I think I gave up and put specific people on there.

If you were to host a Bitch It Out Breakfast today, what would be a main topic? And thoughts on Dark Knight Rises?


Awesome & Awkward Friday

It's been a great week! The fact that I only worked 3 days didn't hurt either.

Linking up with From My Grey Desk and The Bargain Blonde to share my favorite 5 awesome & awkward moments from the week.


  • I made this (recipe coming soon):
  • Got some sweet stuff at Target:

  • You complete me: 
  • Went home for the first time this year.

  • Starting my mornings off right with a little BodyJam 60:


  • Thinking I'm about to get caught in an intersection so I start whispering about how panicked I am...and B was sitting in the passenger seat looking at me like I'm crazy.
  • My overly dramatic gasp when I saw that season 1 & 2 of The Vampire Diaries was on sale for $15 each!
  • I thought I saw Tyler Lockwood in my pump class. #vampirediarieswithdraws
  • Almost midnight on Wednesday night and I still haven't packed for my 8am flight the next day. Why do I do this every time?
  • Being reunited with Donut Stop after 8 long months - I whisper to the cherry donut before I bite it "I've missed you so much." Marshall looks at me like I've lost my mind.
How was your week? Tell me something awesome & awkward!


Chocolate Cake

When it comes to cake, chocolate is my fave. Sometimes I like it with chocolate icing, sometimes vanilla buttercream. Since it was my bday I decided to have both!
I remember one birthday when my mom was going to order me a cake from the local bakery. I told her to save the money and make me a box chocolate cake. Maybe I've never been to a really good bakery, but I'm often times less impressed with the cake and wishing I had a simple box cake. Well, I figured that being a baker and all it might look bad if I busted out the box. Trust I have a few on back up in case a recipe goes wrong!

A few months ago Croc brought over some cake that his mom had made for her bday. And it was delicious! I insisted that he get me the recipe. Luckily he obliged and I've been saving it so fopr my bday cup cakes! It tastes like box cake, but even better! Paul said (with chocolate icing dripping down the side of his mouth) that this was the best thing I've ever made. He's said that a few times, but I might have to agree on this.

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
2 c sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c boiling water

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and place cupcake wrappers in pan.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder & soda, sat)
  3. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract - beat on medium for 2 min. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thing).
  4. pour into cupcake liners (2/3 full).
  5. Bake 22-25min or until it passes the toothpick test.
  6. let cool for 10 min then remove from pan and place on cooling rack.
Note: to make icing the cake/cupcakes easier, place in the fridge to completely cool.

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting
adapted from Hershey

1 stick butter
2/3 c cocoa (I used Hershey's...obviously)
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs meringue  powder
  1. Melt butter
  2. Stir in cocoa
  3. Stir in powdered sugar and milk - alternating
  4. Stir in vanilla & meringue powder
Adapted from Wilton

1 lb powdered sugar (4 cups)
1 c shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbs meringue powder
2 tbs water

  1. Pour everything except for the powdered sugar into a large bowl.
  2. slowly mix in powdered sugar (to help limit the mess!)
  3. consistency varies by climate...so add more water if needed to make icing more spreadable.


The Most Double Non Date Ever

I had invited a few people to dinner...but only Adam & April, and Croc could attend.

So Friday I met Adam & April, and Croc at Lupe Tortilla for Dinner. Croc and I split Fajitas (which were so delish) and he paid for dinner (whapshhhh)...in exchange for me taking care of his drinks that night.

While the boys got caught up talking about politics or something that April & I weren't into, we chatted on the side. The more I hang out with April the more I like her. Good pick Adam!

Croc was supposed to have a real date/concert thing after dinner...but he got dumped. Ok, he didn't get dumped, but whatever. So we all decided to meet up with Kylekins, his parents, and some more friends.

I dropped my car off, consulted with B on the dangers of taking my muscle relaxer and drinking (I have to take them with food, but I had a drink with dinner, yeah). She said I wouldn't die or anything, so I took them since I wouldn't be driving the rest of the night. (Please note that I do not promote this behavior, because you might die even though I didn't). Luckily it continued to have the same effect on me as when I'm not drinking-None. Yay!

So Croc picked me up and we headed to Volcano. I sat on the bench with A&A and Croc sat with Kyle. Kyle's mom was insisting that she could still talk to Croc if he was sitting on the other bench (by me), but I don't think Croc was catching the fact that she thought we were together together. So I chatted with April and continued to weave our friendship bracelet.

Kyle's mom was so kind as to buy us a round of drinks. I don't remember the technical name, but it was basically a frozen rum and Coke. When someone buys you a drink, it can be quite the tricky situation because you feel obligated to drink it even if you don't like it. This was one of those times. I don't really like coke, or rum it turns out (unless it's Malibu!), so I waited until it melted and chugged it. As we were leaving I met Kyle's dad and he asked if I was with Croc. Croc was sitting by me at this point, so he told him that we are just friends. Which is accurate, but the way he said it was as if he was ashamed at the though of otherwise. Way offensive Crocadilly! But was is far more offensive is the way that it was so apparent that Kyle had never mentioned me to his parents. WTH? We used to hang out all the time! My parents know about you, even if they can't identify your name. I digress...

We headed over the Baker Street Bar (maybe? I don't really know, I don't go to these bars often). On the walk over I serenaded Croc with the Aggie fight song. And then he feel in love. He didn't really fall in love, but he was surprised that I knew it.

Someone scored us the large connect four so we entertained ourselves with that for a bit. I played Kyle's dad in a death match that he ended up winning. Sucks for me. We played, we drank, we chatted. Then Croc dropped me off on his way home...after arguing about which Lonely Island song is best: Natalie's Rap or Mother Lover. Umm? Natalie's Rap, duh!

It was a good time. This is not my typical night out because I am a lover of dance! BUT since my back is still healing, I must take it slow and enjoy these more laid back nights out.

And Croc, you are welcome for not making it totally awkward by calling you "Babe" and acting like you were denying our love. I know how easily you can get flustered.


A Letter To My Back

My dearest back/spine/muscles/whatever is making you hurt,

I know that I've been giving props to my legs for working hard no matter what I throw at them (even though they try to fight the running). And my upper body for the hard work it puts in at pole. But I don't want you to ever think that means that I appreciate you any less. It's just that they get worn out faster than you do, so I have to pep talk them and baby them more than I do you.

Without you, my dearest back, I wouldn't be able to do anything! You are the glue that holds everything together. And when you aren't working properly, everything else crumbles.

I'm sorry if you felt like you needed to practically paralyze me so that I would love and appreciate you more. I've been taking you to the chiropractor twice a week to pay you extra attention and get you back to optimal function. I even bought you a massage to show you how much I love you! You are so important to me that I've cooled it on a lot of my physical activities (per your demands) so that you can have a break.

Today we went to the regular doctor and got you some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory meds. So please, please, start working at full throttle again. You are a very important part of this team and I can't enjoy life the same without you!

I know that you are dying to get back to your regular activities! The rest of the body is too, but we can't do it without you!




Yeah, so I went to Jiggle It (it's exactly what it sounds like), and I ended up sneaking out after the warm up because my back wasn't having it. I was in so much pain that I called my mom crying from the parking lot. After many tears about how much my back hurts and it's interference in my daily activities, she suggested that I head to my regular doctor. So I did.

After the doctor ran some tests to make sure it wasn't anything with my kidneys, she concluded that it's probably just a muscle strain. Great. I wish I had come to her in the first place because my chiropractor was telling me it was just because my spine was squeezing some nerves wrong (seemed likely because that's happened before, but not to this level of bad and for this long). She prescribed some anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers.

I was hoping the muscle relaxer would dull the pain or something! Instead it made my head fuzzy (only the first few times), but the pain was still vivid. After a week of the meds I am finally feeling better. Not better enough to actually live my life, but when I got out of bed on Saturday morning I didn't say any profanities. (It's quite the task getting out of bed half asleep because you don't always remember that you are injured).

I am disappointed because not only has my back interrupted my regular workouts (I miss you my dearest bodypump), and weekend fun (no dancing or two stepping for me), but it's also put a hold on my promising stripper career. (kidding dad, it's pole dancing for fun...not money. And I keep my clothes on.) I called the studio to let them know I wasn't being lazy and skipping out. Honey said that if I'm better by level 4 that I should just sign up for it and she'll catch me up on the level 3 stuff because she has a pole at home. So that's my current game plan. I really don't want to take another instructor or be with other classmates because Erica, Jay, Honey, & Cierra are my pole sistas fo life! (even though they wouldn't get the matching pole tattoo on their index finger...which I was kidding about, but I think some of the girls thought I was serious).


Awesome & Awkward Friday

What a week! Every day this week felt like friday. What's up with that? I guess it's the anticipation for this weekend. Steven, Croc, & I all had birthdays this week (7,8,9). We are celebrating Croc's tonight and mine tomorrow night. Can't wait!

I'm linking up with From My Grey Desk and The Bargain Blonde to share my fave 5 Awesome & Awkward moments from the week!

  • Emma called me on Brittany's phone. Britt got to the phone before I answered so Emma didn't even get to talk to me. How rude! I haven't seen her in two weeks so she probably misses me. (Please keep in mind she's only 1.) Brittany also sent me a video of her trying to get Emma to say Happy Birthday and my name. It was so sweet that I may have cried a little.
  • Lunch meeting at work. 
  • I made this for my bday (I'll share the delish recipe next week):
  • Yesterday was the one year anniversary of me & Jess attending Quality Life Fitness.
  • I really wanted to wear my cupcake costume for my bday and play this song all day:

  • I was googling how to make homemade cake taste more like box mix...apparently everyone else is trying to make box cake taste homemade.
  • My body has picked up this new habit of not breathing while lifting. I love feeling like I'm going to die when at the gym. WTF body? Inhale, exhale - it's not that hard!!!
  • My lower back and hips. WTF?!? Act right already!
  • Last night we did BodyJam 50. I didn't like it when we did it two weeks ago but figured I'd give it another shot. Turns out I liked it even less the second time. I left halfway through the class when we took a water break. Sorry Katie!
  • The fact that I can remember anniversaries to random stuff like that...
Tell me something awesome & awkward about your week!


Happy Birthday To Me!

Yep. Today I am a year older and wiser? Sure, whatever. Let's go with that.

What have I learned this year? I think it's pretty obvious that I haven't learned much.

Last year I celebrated my actual bday by cashing in my groupon and trying out Quality Life Fitness for the first time ever with Jess. I believe we did BodyJam, and went into the jungle and had our lives forever changed! Don't worry, I'm not totally workout crazed - I had dinner and dancing with my friends that Friday...after Jess and I went to BodyFlow.

So naturally, being the creature of habit that I tend to be, I will be spending my birthday evening at BodyJam once again. I may get really out of control and pick up sushi on the way home...we'll see.

Of course there will be a celebration with friends, but that will be going down Saturday night - dinner, drinks, and lots of dancing.

I made my fave chocolate cupcakes so my coworkers could celebrate with me...and continue to like me. (Recipe share next week!) I feel bad because Laura offered to make my cake, and I turned her down. It's not that I didn't appreciate the gesture, because I truly did, it's just that I get so much satisfaction out of doing it myself. Plus, she's into eating primal, and there is nothing primal in a cupcake. She might have ended up bringing me a steak with a candle in it!

And now 26 fun facts about me!
  1. Just kidding. I've got nothing.
And finally: To my mom who was in labor with me for many many hours,. You are welcome for being worth the hard work! haha. But seriously, I was totally worth it, right?


Pole 3.2

It was good to be back in class after missing the previous week due to the Coldplay concert.

My back was being extra janky this week, so I was very nervous about my participation level.

So I came up with a plan to help things. Step 1.After work I headed to QLF for a quick cardio session on the bike. It actually really helped loosen up my hips (they were also giving me trouble) and get my back warm. Step two of my brilliant plan was to icy hot the crap out of my body! Seriously though. I hit up my lower back, bum (my back is messing with a muscle on the left side), and my hips. I smelt so minty fresh! It felt soo good once the cold hit. and I was able to do most things without any pain.

Am I endorsing this as a plan to success that everyone should do? Absolutely not. The responsible thing would probably be for me to sit out of pole until my back starts acting right. But when I was discussing that option with my mom I started crying because I didn't want to end up with a different instructor or classmates. I've been with the remaining 3 of these girls for 18 weeks now! Pole sistas fo life!

Turns out Jay wasn't exaggerating too much about the floor work portion. After pole circuits we had a floor free style sesh for one song, which seemed like 12min, but was probably just 3.5 min. That was exhausting, but I think I'm getting better at the crab crawl/mobile sexy bicycle (I can't remember what I previously referred to it as). I almost did it all the way to Cierra, but that ended up being too much work.

Then we moved onto spins.

V Spin. Basically you are spinning with your legs in toe touch position facing the pole. Not too bad, but my quads always cramp from holding my legs up. And it would be nice if my legs had muscle memory on how to naturally rotate my hips up from cheer days. I told Cierra that we might need to bring the toe touch back in order to make this work better! It's nice because Erica said we can have a choice on how to grip the pole: Top hand facing so the thumb is pointing up. Bottom hand either thumb pointing down or you can have the thumb pointing up! Sweet! I feel stronger when I have both hands pointing up, but some spins just don't work well that way. Luckily this one does!

V Spin with Bent legs. Same thing but bend legs at the knee so they are ready to land when you get to the ground. Doesn't look as cool, but my legs don't cramp up either. I guess optimally You'd do the V spin, then end up bending your legs as you land...if you don't want to land on the floor. Whatever.

V lift into invert. Apparently it's not really proper to just throw your legs up to get the invert. Dang. So she showed us the proper way: stand to the side of the pole gripping about chest height, then begin to raise your legs in spread eagle until they make it all the way up to grab the pole. And this is where I had trouble. My back was allowing me to succeed in the other areas, but drew the line here. I'm going to hope that as my back continues to heel that I'll soon be able to lift into this without any issues. Until then I'm going to sneak in core work (against dr.'s request) to help the situation out.

Then we learned some of the dance. As I expected, there is more free style.

What we learned so far:
  • Aphrodite's touch while laying on the floor.
  • floor free style
  • Mermaid pose then get up pretty
  • Merry-go-round then spin.
  • free style.
Not too much happening yet. But I feel like Erika has officially kicked us out of the choreographed nest, so I hope I learn to free style on the way down.

Oh, and the music this week? So good! It's always good, but this time I requested a few songs and she played 3 of them!
  • My Beloved - Alex Claire
  • As Long As You Love Me - Justin Bieber
  • Promises - Nero (Can't remember which version we used)



The 4th of July. America's Independence Day.

Growing up in Canyon contributed to this being my fave holiday.

I lived on main street so we always had a front row seat for the parade and just a short walk to fair on the square. The epitome of small town life. You would always see everyone you knew at the square.

Anna and I had a July 3rd ritual (I'm blanking on exactly when this started, but I think 8th grade) where we would spend the night together, watch Titanic, and she'd paint our nails like American flags. There was one year that she was on mission trip so she called me the night of the third while I carried out the Titanic portion of the evening with her over the phone. We did this through all of high school and a few times in college. We were a little weird growing up. I bet you never would have guessed that! haha.

Starting in 2005, the 4th took on even more significance by becoming my anniversary with Daniel. This has since become a noniversary...obviously, and a day that I kinda dread due to the memories that come with it from the past 7 years. ugh.

So this year my main goal was to survive the day without laying around crying while watching New Moon on repeat and eating my feelings. I started out the day by continuing the Vampire Diaries marathon I started the night before, then hit up the matinee showing of Magic Mike. Cole & Brittany were actually in town, so they were my next stop. We played a few rounds of Skip-Bo and just hung out. And I got some face time with Emma! She is hands down the cutest baby ever. I fear that my future babies (if I'm so lucky to have them) won't be as cute as this child. At 5 they headed to a cookout and I headed home for more Vampire Diaries. What better way to spend a noniversary, then to spend time with my fave Salvator brother.


Oh, and who can forget Jer-bear?

 Oh heck, all of the boys on this show are cute!

Overall I'd mark the day as a success because I managed to survive and enjoyed a lot of eye candy in the process!

How much do you love July 4th? And which Vampire Diaries character is your fave?


Awesome & Awkward Friday

I'm linking up with From My Grey Desk and The Bargain Blonde to share my fave 5 Awesome & Awkward moments from this week. This is a very rare week where the Awesome totally outweighed the Awkward!

  • I am now signed up for 4 races (2 5k, 15k, half marathon) for the winter/spring time. And have two more left on my 'to sign up for' list.
  • I made this for National Cheesecake day (or National Cheesecake Awareness if you ask Chandani):

  • My birthday is in one week, and my flight home is in two!
  • Donated blood on Thursday. To the lives I may potentially save, you're welcome. And to the blood drive, thanks for not sucking my O- dry.
  • Gotta love a Star Wars & Bieber mash up. This one is the teaser, but there is a full video parody too.

  • I should probably start running again since I have all of these things coming up. (I'm just waiting on one more muscle to start acting right.)
  • The skin at the base of my palm and wrist are always dry no matter how much I moisturize it. #poledanceproblems
  • I was playing on my phone when I got a text from someone unexpected...so I threw it across my desk.
  • I found the Justin Bieber cutout on Amazon and was contemplating buying it. It's currently on my wish list while I reevaluate the correlation between my age and appropriate behavior.
  • I went to bed at 9 on Wednesday night. I'm turning 26 not 100, so maybe I should start acting like it.

What were the top awkward & awesome moments from your week?


Pole Level 3 - Inverts!!

I've been so excited and scared for this level!

So far spins are my fave. They are so fun to do, challenging, and are impressive to someone who doesn't pole.

But the really good stuff happens once you can invert. It takes the game to a whole new level! Some of the moves I've seen the girls do leave me wondering how they are even able to stay up on the pole with hardly any of their body touching it. It's incredible!

On the day that level 3 was to start I got an email from the studio informing those that signed up that we currently didn't have enough people in order to have the class. I went into panic mode and texted the girls that I had numbers for to make sure they had officially signed up. They had. So I encouraged them to peer pressure anyone that they had phone numbers for. It was a pole dancing miracle because we managed to get enough people signed up so the show will go on!

I actually had to miss the first class because the Coldplay concert was the same night. So I made sure to get to the studio on Sunday for a catch up sesh with Erica. I did spins to warm up and then she taught me how to invert. I know I've probably said a billion times, but I've been having a lot of back pain. It had been getting better and was a manageable pain, but then out of no where it got really bad again. I probably shouldn't have gone to pole, but I'm determined to stay up to par with the class. Yeah, I may have been failing to mention this activity to my chiropractor. I'm dumb, I know.

The Invert. Erica laid down the mat and demonstrated the Invert. I honestly don't even know how my body knew what to do, but I threw my legs up there and the right one caught the pole! My left wasn't sure exactly how to position itself, but Erica helped me out. I don't want to say it was easy, but I got it the first time. We haven't learned any tricks or dismounts yet, so I just slid down (upside down) and curved my back as I got to the ground.

You remember how I've previously posted about the gnarly bruises all over my legs. I was hopping that part was over. Surprise! The bruises just became more interesting! I don't know if I'm just gripping all wrong, or if my skin just refuses to glide, but I have bruises all up and down my legs and my left arm...and a few on my back.
This is actually a bruise on my bruise. 

Once I got down, I threw the invert again. Not as smooth as the first time, but still good. I prefer to do it with the pole to my left. So I throw my right foot up to hook my foot behind the pole, while my body goes down and my left foot follows the up motion. You squeeze the pole between your calves, thighs, and your hands should be below your legs (your upside down remember), more near your chest. With the back issues I can't get my legs thrown up as high as they should go, so I always have to adjust my hands because it ends up caught in the thigh area. Once I get up there I don't have trouble holding the position.

After two successful attempts my body basically fell apart. My back decided it gave me all it had, so I wasn't able to easily get my legs up. Great!

Standing windmill kick. This was pretty simple, but again, the back is kinda jacking it up for me. You stand with the pole at your side and hold at chest heights. You windmill your legs by starting with the leg closest to the pole, and as you land you kind of spin. Yeah, that's not a clear description, but it's the best I have right now. I managed to do it twice, but it's really hard for me to lift my legs to the proper heights right now.

Even though I fear my back is trying to paralyze me (my chiropractor said that I'll be getting x-rays and maybe an MRI since it's being super crazy) I don't know how successful this is going to be.

If my body was at it's normal functioning level, then this is what I'd say: I'm really loving this new challenge. Once again I'm using my muscles in ways that I haven't done before and feeling new sore areas, which I love! I can't wait to learn as much as I can in the upcoming weeks! I plan to continue getting my splits back so I can do the split hold (basically the pole acts as the ground and you split on it. It looks so crazy awesome!).

BUT since it's not I'm in more of a I think I'm slowly dying, I'm scared I'm going to have to sit out kind of a situation.