Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bright lights

Well, as many of you know, I recently ran a half marathon in Las Vegas.  I have to say that it was one of the most awesome feelings in the world.  I mean, I have done a half marathon before, but running down the strip at night when it is all lit up is just one of those things that is exhilarating.  The lights of the Vegas strip illuminated the path and I had this dump of adrenaline that was incredible.  It fueled me to the finish line and it's an accomplishment that I'll never forget.  Though I did not make it to my goal of finishing in 2 hours and 45 minutes, I was only 3 minutes shy of this goal.  It's 21 minutes faster than my last half marathon, and it means that I will have to come back and try to defeat my old time!  I love Vegas so much that I may have to go back before the half marathon to scope out the course again!!

One thing that was awesome about visiting Vegas in december, is that the casinos were decorated with christmas decor for the holidays.  Ginormous Christmas trees, wreaths and other decor adorned the halls of these casinos.  I think in Vegas, it's go big or go home!!  Obviously.  I think there's a certain cheeriness in the air as well.  Everyone seemed a bit friendlier.  And the winnings were more abundant than they have been in the past.  Me and my hubby both came home with some money in out pockets!  It IS the most wonderful time of year everywhere!!

With that being said, I think one of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to go look at Christmas lights!  I think they are absolutely beautiful as each house tells a different story of the people who live there.  My most favorites are the "Griswald lit houses" with 10,000 sparkling, twinkling lights!  There is a house that I love to go by, it's close to my parent's house, that's on 66th and Ave. S.  It's got at least 8 Christmas trees, a farris wheel, a projection screen and tons of little knick knacks.  My inner child comes out and I feel like a kid again.  Like when Ralphie looks in the window at the red ryder BB gun at the toy store.  That's exactly how I feel.  I hope that this magic feeling is not dieing in our culture.  Sometimes I feel as though the Christmas spirit is really lost in buying stuff and rushing to get the holidays over with.  To me, Christmas is about the birth of Christ and the wonderful gift this world was given.  And spending as much time with family as you can.  Being with friends and laughing and remembering that this is the most wonderful time of year!  I definitely made some wonderful Christmas memories making Christmas candy with my mom, cousin, and her kids.  The family tradition of making date nut loaf has been passed on to me and my cousin, and I'm so excited to keep this tradition going as long as we can!

Well friends, there's only 13 days left till Christmas.  I got lots of shopping, cooking and spending time with family to do.  In case I don't post again till after the 25th, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Husky for the holidays

The most wonderful time of year is upon us, and you know what that means.  Holiday goodies and treats!  YUM!!  I'm a firm believer in that all constricting clothing should be banned from the beginning of November till the beginning of January.  (or maybe just in general!!)  The holidays are supposed to be about "letting it all hang out" and enjoying yourself.  No worrying about the holiday calories.  I've never had an indulgent carrot or a to die for salad.  And trust me, no one ever enjoyed seeing the spandex brought out during Christmas.  Know why Santa's suit is so loose fitting... because that fat jolly guy wants to enjoy his cookies and milk!  There's a reason Santa isn't a skinny guy.... it's the holidays that make him put on the weight!  He is the poster child for the inner fat kid in us all!!  Bring on the sweats!

With all this being said, since the beginning of November, I have gained 4 pounds.  And I have no intention of even thinking or trying to loose the pounds over the holidays.  I'm sure just gonna try and maintain, but definitely won't be depriving myself of my mother's delicious candies or my grandmother's delightful dishes at Christmas dinner!  I do find it rather odd that I've gained 4 pounds.  I've been training for a 1/2 marathon since September and doing most of my rough training this month.  Even did a long run while on vacation in little rock!  Ah well.... it's muscle right?!

So folks, remember.  As you deck your walls with jingle bells and decorate the tree with those homemade ornaments, it is ok to indulge yourself with treats and eats!  The holidays are for enjoying those things that we only get once a year.  That's what new year's resolutions are for right?!  Can't have something to work for next year if you've already done it this year!  So I will be maintaing husky for the holidays campaign and everyone is free to join!!

The cranberry bread and butter sauce is calling.... No way I'm not answering!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


As Veteran's day approaches every year, I am reminded of my wonderful Grandfather, aka Pop.  He has been one of the most influential and inspiring persons in my life.  I would go as to say that he is my hero.  I am saddened every day that he did not get to see the person I turned out to be, but I hope he would be proud because he was a huge driving force behind my decisions.  Some people may ask why and I'll tell you.

James "Bob" Andrews was no one famous.  He did not invent any great invention.  He was no genius or wealthy man.  He never won any great prize and never found the cure for cancer.  What did he do that was so special?  When he was a young man, he voluntarily enlisted to fight for his country.  Out of the tons of things he could have done, he went and placed his life on the line for the freedom of others because this is what he thought was the most important thing at that time in his life.  He enlisted in the navy and spent several years defending our country in WWII.

I can remember listening to the few stories he would tell us when we were kids.  He told us that he was next in line to get on a ship in the Atlantic, and they cut off right in front of him.  That ship, he told us, would later be blown up with no survivors.  He also showed us a Japanese gun that he took home from war with a bayonette on the end.  I thought this was the coolest piece of history that I had ever seen.  He also had pictures and a journal from the time that he served in the military, and I received these treasures from my grandmother last year along with 2 uniforms and a flag.  The flag, I later found out, was hung in the front window at his mother's home as a symbol that she had a soilder in the war.

You may still wonder why he's so influetial on my life.  I can't imagine making that kind of sacrifice at that young of an age.  What an admirable thing to do?!  At 18, I'm pretty sure that I was more worried about where I was going Friday night and who I was going to be with.  Not worrying about if I was going to have to kill someone or be killed.  I have a major respect for veterans and the sacrifices that they have made in order for us to enjoy the freedoms that we have.  I'm even more greatful that my pop got to come home from war and I was able to enjoy the time I did get to spend with him.  I know there are so many that did not get to come home.  I get so angry when people are disrespectful to Veterans and those serving in the military.  At least they had the courage to make sacrifices we couldn't!

All in all, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm very thankful for those veterans, past and present, who chose to fight for our freedoms.  I feel that what I do is nothing compared to leaving your family for an extended period of time and deal with less than ideal conditions in order to protect our country.  Thank you thank you thank you to all you vets out there and thank you for those that continue to serve.  God bless you and God bless America!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's the good life

Oh Frankie baby.... you had it right when you sang this song.  It is the good life.  I mean, I have a roof over my head, food in my mouth, awesome friends and family... and most important an incredible husband who loves me unconditionally.  I mean, it's definitely the good life for me.  

While we are on the music scheme of things, I've found the theme song of my life.  Linus & Lucy from the Charlie Brown movies/cartoon.  It's one of those songs that you can't help but bob your head and smile when you hear it.  It seems like the only time you hear this song is during the holidays. But my goal shall be to make this a year round favorite, which I feel like is an impossible task because no one listens to jazz/classical anymore.  Friends, if you do nothing today, put in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/Christmas and listen to this treasure.  At least you'll have a smile on you face.

More on the music... Most people don't know that I'm very muscially inclined.  I've played the piano since I was 10 years old.  My present from my pop that year was a piano and piano lessons.  It was not a grandios piano, but it holds lots of sentimental value and I don't see myself ever getting rid of it.  I still love to go over to my parents house or my grandma's house and playing some tunes.  Makes me feel closer to him even though he's no longer here.  He instilled that passion for music in me with the gift of that piano.  Still play the piano, a little rusty, but I enjoy every minute of tickling those ivories!

With the teenage years approaching, I started band in jr high and played the flute.  Continued to the marching band in high school.  Ended up switching to playing the tuba in concert band.  Which brings me to one of my proudest accomplishments.  Why yes, I was a drum major for my high school band!  Call me a nerd, dork whatever.  I beam with pride any time I get to tell people that!  I also sang in the choir in high school, another very fun time.  Onto college, where I did play in that amazing Goin' Band from Raiderland!  Just for one year, but one awesome year!  Marched the tuba in the Tech band.  All fond memories that I look back on and can't help but smile.  These events are major contributors in my musical career.

Now, years later, (just 8 years, but feels like so long ago) I really miss those days filled with music.  The only music I really make these days, is a bad version of whatever is on the radio, but always at the top of my lungs.  Right after college I made a bucket list, and on it, I put play in a dueling piano bar once.  I still hope to forfill this dream one day, but I guess I need to get on the ball about practicing more.  As the holidays approach, I'm making myself a promise.  To get back on that bench and practice my scales, songs, and reherse to forfill this dream!  Wish me luck!

The ivories are calling....

Monday, November 5, 2012

It works!

I truely believe that the demise of all productivity of women lately has been because of pinterest.  I am one of these women and I'm not afraid to say so.  Sometimes I wish I had the job of testing the pins that people want to try.  You know, like they do on the news with does it work... I'd make a does it work pinterest style.  I'm sure there are pins that everyone repins with the intentions of trying it out one day.  I know I have.  I want to be that girl that tests them out and tells you whether they work or are easy, ect.  Recipes, DIY projects, remedies.... Was it actually worth it to repin it... or is it just a waste of time.  That being said, I'm interested if some company wants to pay me for my supplies and time.... but I highly doubt that this will happen.

I would like to share some of my "yes it works" knowledge from pins posted with my fellow friends and family.

1. 1/2 cup warm whitevinegar with 1/2 cup of blue dawn.  This remedy is supposed to clean the soap scum off your shower.  And it worked in my shower yesterday!  I had to give a tiny bit of elbow grease to get it to work, and the vinegar has to be warmed in the microwave... but it worked wonderfully!  Pin approved!

2.  If any of you have a microfiber couch or piece of furniture, I have found the remedy to clean the stains! Grab a spray bottle and saturate the stain with rubbing alcohol, then scrub with a white sponge.  I was absolutely amazed at the dirt and yuckiness that came out of my couch!  But it looks almost brand new now!  Yippee!  Pin approved!!

3. And finally I'm topping of my list with a cocktail.  All these remedies have worn me out for the day!  And I think everyone should end the day with a nice cocktail.  I'm freezing some coffee (as best I can without an ice cube tray) and am going to pour baileys over it.  I love baileys and I love coffee... so even though I haven't actually drank this yet, I'm giving it the Pin approved status!

I'm feeling a pinterest party for Christmas coming on!!  Whose in?!?

I promise all my posts will not be about pinterest, but I just felt overwhelming joy at my accomplishments and had to share.  Anywho.... Pinterest is calling.... and I must see what I can get into next!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Family, friends... whoever is reading!  The holidays are upon us!  It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Not only to I look forward to the decorating, shopping, and general merry-ment, but the thing I look forward to the most is the obsessive time spent in the kitchen!  Hours of my holiday time is spent either in my mother's kitchen, my grandmother's kitchen, or my own kitchen.  I think one of my favorite past times is spending time with my mother making her famous "Fantasy fudge" or when she taught me the Williams special "date nut loaf."

Most people loath all the Holiday calories, but I say, you only live once and I'm going to enjoy all my holidays to the fullest.... and until I'm the fullest.  I'm feeling overly excited this year because it's my first holiday season as a wife!  I'm so excited to smother my husband with my domesticated skills!  Decorating and cooking and my obnoxious holiday cheer!  He's probably going to be sick of me come January!

One of my domesticated duties is I'm trying some pinterest remedies for house cleaning so the house will be extra clean. Just in case the in-laws drop in... don't want them thinking that I'm some sort of slob.  Maybe if the house at least smells good, they won't notice the mess around the house.  I don't consider it a mess, I consider it the "lived in look."  Anywho, I'm trying the 1/2 blue dawn, 1/2 white vinegar remedy on the shower and alcohol spray to clean the microfiber couch.  I'll let you know if they are a waste of time or worth the effort.

Just call me the domestic goddess.... or the tidy bowl queen!  I'm off to save my house from dust bunnies and soap scum... the bath tub is calling!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

48 Hours Left

Well friends, it's my last shift here at station 2.  And its a 48 hour shift.  It's kinda bittersweet.  It has been my home since I started at the fire department almost 2 years ago and it's been AWESOME!  I have learned a ton since I have been here and made some really great friends/family.

Most people don't know how fire station life works, so I will give you some background information. For fire fighters, the fire station is home away from home.  We are here for 24 hours, every third day, and basically 1/3 of our lives.  We try to make the station as much like home as possible.  We each have our own rooms with a twin sized bed, very small desk and one shelf.  There is one fridge to share with 5 people, one common tv and one common computer.  It may not be the ritz carlton, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  The guys at the station are like a 2nd family.  Which is what makes it hard to move away to another station.

There have been some AMAZING memories made.  I first learned how to use a weed eater at the fire station.  This was interesting, because I'm usually the one to ask for help.  But I was not about to tell the guys that I had no clue how to use the weed eater... let alone start it.  But I persevered and became a weed eaten' FOOL!!  Even learned how to add the plastic string.

Learned that everything is better with bacon.  Mitchell, aka Pee Paw, is a wonder in the kitchen.  I like to think of him as the male version of Paula Dean.  He adds butter, cream, and bacon to everything.  He has been cooking at the fire station for 24+ years and has a old tricks for this spring chicken in the kitchen.  From creamy chicken to bacon wrapped asparagus to homemade apple pie, Pee Paw can throw down in the kitchen!  Also just a really neat guy in general.

Didn't get to fight too much fire while I was here... but hey, I figure I'm doing my job at fire prevention right!  Never got to be first in on the "big one," but you can bet your butt that I have fought some fire and sweated like WOAH.  You will never know what tired is until you have spent hours working on a fire scene.  You will sleep like a baby after!

So as I spend my last 48 hours here and pack all my stuff in my car to move to another station, I'm remembering all the awesome times I've spent at good ol' station 2.  Thanks for the memories....

Well, the public is calling, gotta go save the world from minor aches and pain.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Some people don't like Mondays, but I always see Monday as a chance to start again.  Whether it be a bad day I had last week or dieting woes that I suffered the week before, I always look forward to getting back on track Monday.

With that being said, I am back on track with my running today.  Going to Vegas in December to attempt my 2nd half marathon, and my training lacked while on vacation.  But I firmly believe, when one is on vacation, do what vacationers do!  Eat... Sleep... Be Merry... Repeat.  I do not believe in working out while on vacation.  I mean, who wants to stop having a great time cause they need to go sweat for an hour, stink, and miss out on the vacation fun?!  Not this girl!  I always tell myself, enjoy yourself now and get back into the routine when you go home.  I think others should adapt this philosophy, but to each their own.

Training starts back today.  My longest run in my training so far has been 6.2 miles.  Close to half of the half marathon, but time to buckle down.  Schedule says to do one long run a week.  Which is doable.  But I find the hardest part of long distance training is finding that perfect pick me up while you're running.  You're supposed to consume gatorade, water, and some sort of energy boost snack while running.  Water and gatorade are easy, but the "snack" is a pain.  I've tried the goo.  This is what I would think a booger would tatse like.  It's runny, slimey, bad flavory... quite disgusting. Never doing that again.  Protein bites are good, but they make you have cotton mouth.  Homemade remedies tend to stick to your boosum and you don't want to eat them.  Especially when you sweat alot!!  Nuff said.  Suggestions are welcome.  Till then, sticking with the sport beans by Jelly Belly.  Just hoping I don't accidently choke on one cause they are tiny!

Also, back to the dieting wagon.  Totally fine, but I'm going to miss bacony, cheesy, fried goodness for a bit.  Good thing thanksgiving is thrown in there in a couple of weeks!  Trying a cleanse this week.  I'll let ya know how it works out.

Well, the world is calling!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wonder Woman

Sunday night... WHAT A WEEKEND!!!!  It was a blast from beginning to end, but did not leave much room for blogging.  How do those people that blog 24/7 do it?  Life is happening out there!  They must be glued to their computers at the hip!  But oh well.... My weekend adventure!

Friday can be summed up in one word!  Chimy's!  I remembered going to this place for margaritas and nachos all the time in college.  And by that I mean 1 one margarita.  Those things are so powerful they slap you in the face, and then they kick you in the teeth.  But, since I'm older and more mature (or have a higher tolerance), they are definitely not as bad as they used to be.  So all in all, I believe that everyone should experience a margarita from chimy's once in your life!  One of the best margaritas and plate of nachoes if I do say so my self.

Saturday... oh Saturday.  Up and down.  My red raiders put up a fight, but alas they could not hold K state.  Still my team, still guns up despite the loss.  Not gonna dwell on that loss though.  How do you get over a red raider loss??  Throw an impromptu Halloween party!  I was Wonder Woman!  I sure did feel empowered that night!  Guess not too empowered though.  My shirt came off the rack at wal mart, and not even in the costume section... it was in the regular clothes section.  It had a cape and everything.  I was just thinking that this was in the normal section of clothes at walmart... who would wear this every day?!  I must say my friends outdid themselves with their costumes though!  It was super fun with lots of laughter.

Sunday... REST day!  Too much of a good thing is bad for you... that's what they say.  But I strongly disagree.  I could go for another week of vacation.  It was so relaxing sleeping in, eating whatever, spending time with the hubs, family, and friends, good wine, EATING.  I defnitely don't see how so much of those good things can be bad for you!  But alas, they also say all good things must come to an end!  What a fabulous vacation spent at home!  There is one thing to look forward to though, headed to Arkansas for an adventure with the hubs in 3 weeks.  His friend Bobby is getting married!  Another state I get to mark off on my way to conquering the nifty fifty!

Till tomorrow, the world is calling... and I must answer!  Wait... that was definitely my bed calling!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cloudy with a chance

If you know one thing about me, its that I LOVE to eat!  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, brunch, bar food, cheese and wine... really I'll probably eat most anything.  Although I do have a lot of knowledge on food nutrition, I can't help but drool and give into cravings sometimes.  I mean honestly, who can pass over anything with the word bacon?!  Well, I bet most of you don't know where I got my passion for food and cooking... so, I will tell you.

When I was about 9, I read this amazing book called Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  I just was overwhelmed by all the food in this book.  And amazed that it fell from the sky.  At 9, I'm pretty sure the only reason I played outside was because I wanted so bad for a storm of potato chips to fall from the sky!  None the less, it never happened.  Maybe if I would have prepared a little better and had some ranch chip dip in the fridge, this might have happened.  LOL

Anywho, everyone in the book seemed sooo incredibly happy when they ate.  And I realized how happy I was when I would eat... thus began my stent of overweightness.  But that was not going to stop my feeding my face with such delicious foods!  Savoring every bite and morsel of yumminess!  With my favorite food being POTATOES!!  So versitile!  I was making my own baked potatoes at 9.

Now that I'm older, I'm definitely more aware of nutrition and make fruits and veggies apart of my daily diet.  Loosing so much weight I think definitely changed my mindset on how, when, and what I need to be eating.  But, the passion for cooking good food is still here.  I'm always trying to find good things to eat that are healthy, but still have that twist that makes you want to come back to eat them.  That being said, praise The Lord for turkey bacon!  I think you could put bacon on anything and make it taste amazing!  There are definitely those days when I revert back to my inner fat kid and pig out on potato chips.  I don't have them often, but I sure do love them.  And I always remember that amazing book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs that stirred up my passion for food.

Well, the world is calling... and I must answer!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My first blog!

Well, it's offical... I'm a blogger.  Mostly I'm starting this blog to share my adventures in travel, food, and fitness.  I'm hoping to get a few tips here and there from friends and family.  Hopefully it might help you friends and family with all my fun adventures.

So... on that note.  Today, I tried this amazing crock pot recipe for chicken tonight.  I sent it with my husband to work with some... and what do I do... I'm going out to eat with the parentals!  But, I will be having this delicious dish tomorrow for lunch! If you like oriental style chicken, you'll like this!

Ingredients - chicken, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ketchup, onion, red pepper flakes, and seasame seed.

In the crock pot(which I find to be one of the greatest inventions ever!!) for 1.5 hours and TA DA!  Greatness!!  If you want to correct measurements, holler at me and I'll hook you up!!  Tomorrow night... bagel dogs!  Until then... Life is calling, and I must answer!!