Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweet Treat Swap

I was so excited to participate in this Sweet Treat Swap Link Up! Who says kids get to have all the fun on Halloween?!

I sure lucked out with the sweetest swap partner, Kenzie!  This girl is awesome! I've already loved following her blog and having a new virtual friend! = ) 

Kenzie lives all the way in Minnesota, so I was pretty excited to send (and receive!) mail to/from there for the first time!

What a FUN package... it's like she already had me figured out in the week we've known each other!

In addition to the sweet note (and I'm a big fan of handwritten cards and will definitely be adding this one to my note box), she sent me a vanilla scented car air freshner (which of course I need!), pearl bracelets (LOVE-- right up my alley!), nail polish (I'll be applying this fun color ASAP), and a cute necklace!

Thank you so much, Kenzie!! And thanks to Sarah Grace and Amy for coordinating such a fun link up!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breakfast Challenge Update

You all remember my breakfast challenge.

I know that my eating habits aren't exactly a hot topic, but I did want to update you on how my attempt to eat "the most important meal of the day" went.

My breakfast of choice was either toast with peanut butter or my favorite cereal, Raisin Bran.

The first couple of mornings were hard because I wasn't used to eating anything, and then I was starving by lunch.  Then I got used to it and found myself eating less at lunch... I guess they weren't lying about it jump-starting your metabolism!  

I'm proud to say that I completed the challenge and had breakfast every day for a week!

Implementing this new three-meals-a-day plan into my every day life is a challenge.  What I do know is that on the mornings when I skip breakfast, I do end up feeling hungry, and I think it negatively affects my morning.

My friend Heather (who's a fantastic baker, by the way) just might have been right.

But don't worry-- despite all of this breakfast business, I still make regular morning Starbucks visits.

Baby steps, right? : )

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Social: Halloween

Sunday Social
1. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?  Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and Little Red Riding Hood

2. If you could go back and dress up as something, what would it be? Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)... a pink princess is right up my alley!
Supreme Aurora Costume - Kids Sleeping Beauty Costumes
3. Favorite costume as an adult?  Minnie Mouse! I even pulled out this costume to pass out candy a couple of years ago, and it was a hit with the cute little kids!
4. Favorite Halloween Candy? Sweet Tarts, Skittles, Milky Way Midnight... I could keep going! 
5. Favorite Halloween Memory? The excitement as a kid of it FINALLY being Halloween after you had waited in anticipation for months, getting all dressed up, and racing from one house to the next arguing with your friends about whose turn it was to ring the doorbell!
6. Whats your favorite scary movie? I love scary movies and have seen a lot of them.  I can't pick a favorite, but a few that I've seen multiple times that always do the trick- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, The Ring, Paranormal Activity, The Exorcist...

Happy (almost) Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

High Five for Friday

As an optimist who loves to appreciate the little things in life, I was excited to discover that a few bloggers on my reading list participate in "High Five for Friday," a blog link-up on Fridays (duh!) where you share five things that made you happy that week. 


1. The Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth. Nothing like starting out the week enjoying God's beautiful creation!
2.  Listening to worship music on Pandora while I get ready for work completely changes my perspective for the day.  You should try it.
3. Beautiful work dinner that I was fortunate to attend.  Loved the flowers and gorgeous place setting. 
4. Getting all dressed up for the above mentioned dinner...such fun!
5. Cooler temperatures have arrived in Dallas! So excited to get out my coat and not feel ridiculous ordering hot coffee!
What made you happy this week?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sand, Pebbles, and Stones

I have heard this story before, but my mom forwarded it to me the other day, and I thought it went along well with my recent Sunday Social post about what's really important in life. 
Enjoy, and remember to focus on your big stones! 
Sand, Pebbles, and Stones
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.
He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children– things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car.  The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life.
 If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.
Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fun-Filled Fall

To counteract the Monday morning blues, I wanted to share about the fun things I've been up to for the past few days!

Chihuly Nights at the Dallas Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum had a special exhibition of Chihuly's beautiful glass pieces on display for the past few months, and I finally went to see it! All of the pieces are lit up for Chihuly Nights, and they have a concert series as well where guests can set up a picnic, listen to music, and wander around the Arboretum viewing the gorgeous pieces.
Nature, art, music, and wine all at once? What's not to love?!
Live music on the lawn, and everyone set up dinner picnic-style. Such a pretty night!

Loving the purple, obviously

TCU Homecoming
My Little, Ashley, came to DFW this weekend for TCU Homecoming! She lives in Kansas now, so our time together is always so special.  She got in late Friday afternoon, so we spent the evening shopping at NorthPark, my favorite mall in the area, and dined at La Duni.  If you haven't been there, you need to try it!

TCU friends! Rachel, Kayla, me, Lauren, Ashley, Alissa
We spent most of Saturday at TCU, catching up with friends at the Frog 5 Tailgate (for graduates from the past five years) and of course watching the game.  We lost to Texas Tech by 3 points in the 3rd overtime, but it was an incredible game and our team didn't go down without a fight.  Still so proud to be a TCU Frog!
My Little and I at the Frog 5 Tailgate

My Family Line at the alumni reception- Hannah, Meridith, Callie, Kayla, Ashley, me!

After the game, we stopped by the alumni reception for our sorority, Tau Beta Sigma.  Great to see so many of my sisters!

Botanical Gardens  
I caught up with a TCU friend who was in town for the weekend, and we spent Sunday afternoon at the Botanical Gardens.  In all my time at TCU, I think I only made it over to them twice, which is a shame because they are so beautiful! The weather was unusually warm, and I loved walking around enjoying nature.   Definitely will have to make another visit there in the spring!

Counting my blessings after all of this fun with wonderful people, and looking forward to the rest of the fall!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Social: The Big Questions

Sunday Social
1. What do you value most in life?
My faith and the genuine relationships I have with my family and friends. They are what matter the most.
2. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? 
The Internet. Though it has created a new set of concerns, we now have access to so much information- the world is literally at your fingertips. 
3. What do you think is the secret to a good life? 
Discover what makes you happy, and then do it. Surround yourself with people that inspire you, challenge you, love you, and make you become the best version of yourself.    
4. What would you most like to be remembered for when you’re gone? 
I thought a lot about this when my Grandpa passed away several months ago. I want to be remembered for the way I made others around me feel, and how much I loved them.    
5. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of? 
That I've stayed true to myself and my morals, and that I am doing exactly what I set out to do when I began college. 
6. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? 
Anne Hathaway

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Social: Fall

This week's Sunday Social is what we love about Fall, and since October is my second-favorite month of the year (after December), I am eager to participate!

Fall Favorites:

Cooler Weather Accessories

The extreme cool front in Dallas this weekend had me pulling out my jeans, boots, long-sleeve shirts, scarfs, coats, etc.  I can't even describe my level of excitement yesterday when I looked through the "fall/winter" section of my closet and realized the new outfit options I'll have as the temperatures finally stay cool.  As much as I enjoy summer, I was burned out on 100+ degree days and my summer wardrobe!

State Fair of Texas
In my opinion, if you grew up in Dallas/Fort Worth or have lived here for a significant amount of time, you HAVE to go to the State Fair at least once.  I went with my parents every year when I was a kid and loved the rides and fun houses.  And, I actually went to the Fair with my friend today!  It's definitely crowded, but there's something for everyone-- auto show, petting zoo, livestock, shopping, rides, and of course, tons of food.  I had to get a classic Fletcher's corny dog, and the chocolate dipped turtle cheesecake was to die for!

College football
Even though my TCU Horned Frogs lost yesterday, and therefore gave up the longest winning streak in the nation, I still love them.  The spirit of college football is so fun.  

Scary movies
I enjoy scary movies, and what better time to watch them than October?!  I've seen quite a few of them, and of course, it wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't watch the classic Hocus Pocus

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
As soon as Labor Day passed, I felt it was acceptable to begin consuming this delicious fall beverage.  I'm also a big fan of their salted caramel mocha frappucino.  Yum!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Breakfast Challenge

While I am a morning person, I am not a breakfast person.

I know, I know, they say "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," and they're probably right.

And don't get me wrong, I do love traditional breakfast foods. Sometimes on Saturday mornings I like to make biscuits and bacon or pancakes with my parents, and late-night breakfast food with friends can be the best!

But, during the week, I can honestly say that I never eat breakfast anymore. I would rather savor a few more minutes of snoozing than wake up earlier just to prepare and eat something.  I'm never hungry right when I wake up.  And, on the mornings when I've brought breakfast with me to the office with good intentions of eating it, I always get caught up in my work and forget!

What I do have every morning is coffee, whether I bring it from home or stop at Starbucks.  So many mornings, my "breakfast" is a mocha frappucino (no whip) or a large cup of iced coffee.  Not healthy, and I should really cut back on the Starbucks trips to help my wallet, but it does the trick until lunchtime!

I am used to my breakfast-free lifestyle, but my friend Heather gave me a challenge that I've decided to accept. She dared me to eat breakfast every morning for a week. If it doesn't change my life, she'll let me continue with my two-meals-a-day lifestyle.  The only restriction is that it has to be somewhat healthy-- i.e. oatmeal, cereal, fruit, toast, eggs, etc.  No Pop Tarts or donuts.

I think I can totally do this.  

Day One starts tomorrow.

I'll be sure to report back on how it goes, but wish me luck... I may have to wake up early to work up an appetite!

Any other breakfast skippers out there?  Any of you that swear your entire day is thrown off if you don't eat it?

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Little Spice

Most days are ordinary and insignificant when you look back on them. 

As much as I love variety, honestly, most of the time I prefer to have a routine and know what to expect out of a new day. 

The past few weeks have been filled with plenty of the ordinary--wake up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, watch TV, spend time with friends, go to bed. Repeat.

But, these things have definitely added a little spice to my life as of late:

1. I moved! Into my very first post-college, grown-up apartment!  Much more on this to come in later posts...

2. I met a very influential, inspiring individual.  I wish I could share who it was, but I have to leave this one as a mystery.  Let's just say it was an honor to meet them, and I won't soon forget it!

3. I witnessed a crime.  Sounds dramatic, but fortunately it was a small crime, and I am perfectly fine! I was driving by a row of parked cars, and about to pass one stopped in the middle of my lane, when I noticed that two guys had smashed in the window of a parked car and were in the process of putting a stolen stereo into their own car.  They looked right at me, and I realized I needed to get out of there and call the appropriate authorities!  All of this was in broad daylight...and I am kicking myself for not getting the license plate number! Next time look out, bad guys, I'll be ready.   
I suppose I can cross this off of my bucket list?

4. I was the lucky girl who found a man's wedding ring that he lost in the middle of a football game.  Read all about the "ring fling" here. 

What unusual things have added a little spice to your life lately?