Friday Thoughts/Confessions

  • So, I've gone 4 full days 100% complex free which means we have 21 more to go. The first four days weren't horrible - and I know for certain that my body feels a ton better. Normally after I eat, which my friends and family can attest, I complain of a stomach ache - which have been completely non-existent since Sunday. I am going to be able to accomplish this challenge.
 diet quote
  • I'm so excited for a double date night that we have planned for Saturday night. One of my newest - and most favorite - friends Laura is finally bringing her new hubby out of hiding! We are  introducing our men and doing it over a much anticipated seafood dinner at Water Grill in Downtown L.A
  • Can you handle Lindsey Lohan? I'm sorry, but that girl needs to go away. She has been given every opportunity in the world and she has made a complete and total fool of herself. Time to sleep in the bed she made.  lindsey lohan | Tumblr
  • I cannot wait to see "This Is 40". Looks so refreshing, realistic, and hilarious.  This is 40 starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel and Megan Fox. 12.21.12
  • This week in L.A.it's been gloomy and cold, and I've loved every second of it. Except, I totally forgot that rain and gloom makes it extra hard to get out of bed in the morning, go for runs in the afternoon, and not want to drink red wine and eat deep dish pizza in the evening. weekend cozy
  • I finally made a hair appointment to lighten my locks for next Friday. I was debating waiting until January, until a sweet woman asked me in the elevator at the dermatologist what color brown I had used to dye my hair.
  Reese Witherspoon
  • I'm cooking a rib-eye steak tonight on my stove. I've never cooked steak before. Ever. But, I found these instructions on Pintrest and it seems easy enough.   How To Cook Steaks On Your Stovetop That Taste Better Than in a Fancy Restaurant
  • I currently have TWO pairs of wearable jeans. Suddenly I went from twenty to two. Somehow, in the last three months, the jeans gods decided that they hated me. Two jeans ripped, one pair of jeans zipper is permanently down, two are just god ugly, and. so on and so on. It's gotten so bad that I started wearing a pair of Express jeans I bought my freshman year in college. My Christmas present to myself are these Rag & Bone bad boys:  Need these
  • And, a constant reminder
It's not happy people who are thankful.  It's thankful people who are happy.


I've been an angel all year

Well, I'm only fat in the sense that I have a baby bump... But general request to Santa still applies!! 
And if you decide to really float my boat, I'll take one of each:

vestPrada WalletGreat new shape.  Ray Ban Meteors.
Cartier Love BraceletZara 

So hurry!


Wedding Wednesday: Carb Free

Who knows why, but for some reason I've been delaying starting the "bridal diet". 

Ok, that's a lie. I do know why. 

I'm really scared to fail at it. 

So, instead of making it this 6 month ordeal of sacrifice and starvation, I've started something that's less scary and a lot more manageable for me.  I'm breaking these next six months into mini sections. Thinking about dieting for 1 month, seems much less scary than 6. Plus, I'm going to have lots of mini check points rather than the pressure of just one.

Just one.

Joel's parents told us on Thanksgiving that they hadn't eaten carbs since August 15th and they both lost 15 pounds. 

These are not the first two people in the world to have ever lost weight on the low-carb diet, but for some reason, they were the first two people that inspired me to start.


For the next 25 days (until we leave for Mexico on December 22nd At which point I will hit the on button for carbs. No chips in Mexico just aint gonna happen) I am going 100% *complex* carb free. No bread, crackers, granola bars, chips, french fries, or English muffins.
No pasta, or bread crumbs. No pizza dough or buns. Nothin.
Like any good Type-A, control freak, I sat at the table for two hours Sunday night and planned away. 

I've got a countdown to the 22nd, a calendar to track my weight in in the bathroom, snack and lunch ideas posted on the fridge, and a meal plan for the next week.
#quote, #motivation, #inspiration,
The past three days haven't been horrible. And, when I'm feeling really grumpy, I try to remind myself of all the good foods I still get to eat: eggs, peanut butter, fruits, avocados, nuts, cheese, and wine.

I'm going to keep up with the same workouts I've been doing and I know I will see success. The goal is 7 pounds and I promise to give you the final results on Wednesday, 12/19.

Wish me luck!
Keep going.



For not being home at Thanksgiving, we had the absolute best weekend we could have dreamed up. 

I started the the weekend a little early on Wednesday by making a surprise visit to Joel's office. A lot of his co-workers had been bringing in their dogs that week, and I knew he would love to see Roscoe, so we went over lunch hour and brought some sweet treats for the office to enjoy.  

I was so excited that I actually had an excuse to make a cute craft. And the dish came home after work wiped clean. 

Thursday morning was our big 10k turkey trot in the mountains! I trained with Joel and Shelby, but they both kicked my butt. 
Shelby and I were so freaked out at the beginning of the race because all of the other runners looked so legit. They were slurping back energy gels and going for warm up mile runs (which.....???), but we actually turned out to be stronger runners than we thought.


I finished in the bottom half of the 10k group, it took me an 1:30, but it was a 7mile 10k, with sick hills so I was happy with it.


We raced home, got all of dishes ready to bring to Thanksgiving and freshened up. I found this turtle neck tank top at TJ.Maxx while I was picking up some candles, and it's the perfect California sweater, since our Thanksgiving temperature reached almost 80 degrees. 

Before we left for Dawns, my family in Chicago had arranged a skype time for all of the people that couldn't be with the group. It was absolutely hectic, but so much fun to see everyone and it made me so much less homesick. 


Our dear friends Brent and Dawn hosted Thanksgiving this year and did not disappoint. The food, setting, and company was absolutely perfect. And, they even let us bring Roscoe.  


It was so nice having Joel home for a long weekend and Friday we just relaxed. Shelby and I treated ourselves to a massage for running the race, and then Joel and I decorated the house for Christmas. I love the beginning of the Christmas season and I love the way our house feels with all of the decorations up.

And because we just couldn't get enough Thanksgiving, we did it all again on Saturday, except for this time it was at our house. Joel's brother and sister-in-law drove up from San Diego to spend the day eating, drinking, and playing games with us. We always have such a great time with them, I'm so happy that they are just a drive away. 
Joel did almost all of the cooking and everything was perfect. It was just another one of those nights were I took a step back and felt seriously, seriously blessed. 

Clearly, By the time Sunday rolled on, I was pretty much done, but alas - no rest for the wicked. We had made a registry appointment at Bloomingdales a week or so ago, clearly not realizing that this is the busiest shopping weekend of the friggen year.

We got to the mall, saw police directing parking lot traffic, and knew we were in for big, big trouble. The first hour of registering was really fun. We picked out beautiful Waterford china, and had a good time walking through the store.

The last two hours, it got hot, I got overly exhausted and aggravated, and after gunning a $1200 carry-on luggage piece on to the list, Joel, rightfully, decided we were calling it quits for the day. *Word to the wise, register first thing in the morning.*

Even though that adventure was a bit of a failure, it really was such a fun, holiday break.

And now, back to reality.


What a year.

This year I've experienced the greatest of blessings and the greatest of losses. To be honest, I'm still wrapping my head around both.

Some days, I can't even believe the good fortune that has been bestowed upon me, while other days I cannot comprehend why my Aunt Peggy isn't here.  Why her children have to grow up motherless, and why my family has to suffer this enormous grief.

While today is a happy day, and a reflective day, there is a large piece of my heart that aches. However, through this experience, I have brutally found out that tomorrow is never guaranteed ands.  while Thanksgiving is a tremendous reminder to take stock in your good fortune, it would be wise of us all to practice this daily.


-I am so thankful for my mom and dad this year. Words aren't going to do this one justice, but I hope that they know that me and my sisters saw everything they did this year. We noticed it all. We were proud to call you ours. We will never forget any of it, and we will never be the same because of it.

-I am thankful to have a fiance! My boyfriend of five years, Joel, proposed to me on June 9th. I cannot wait to marry him in 2013 and I am thankful for everything that he is for me.

-I am thankful for my sisters. We've been through a lot this year and they are really the only people that get it. I've realized this year, more than any year before, how valuable they really are. Unlike with friends, I'm 100% authentic with them, and they are with me. We give each other our best, and our worst, and no matter what, we will always, always be there for each other. 

-I am thankful for my puppy Roscoe. Roscoe has brought more joy to my house than I could have ever imagined. During times of loneliness and sadness, Roscoe has sometimes the only thing that can bring me out of my hole. He has taught Joel and I to be a family, and it's been so fun sharing him with Joel.

-I am thankful for Los Angeles. Never would I have thought that this year would include a cross country move, but I am so, beyond, grateful for it. It's been the adventure that I needed. The experiences that I was lacking and the change of pace that allowed me to see what I really want from life. The constant presence of sun, and water, and mountains has done wonders for me, and I really think I'm here because of divine intervention.

-I am thankful for new friends, and old. With the move, I had to re-learn how to make friends. How to go on "blind dates" and how to start from scratch with people who don't know my past. I've created lifelong friendships and bonds with people I've only known for six months. And on the flip side, I've cherished my friends back home. I feel so at comfort when I catch up with friends in Iowa or Chicago, or when my girls come to visit me. And especially my bridesmaids.

-I am thankful for wine. Obviously.

-I am thankful for our home. Our new apartment feels like a real home, and I am so thankful for it. I love tending to my little garden, and making dinners for our family, and putting out Christmas decorations. I love coming home to this place.

-I am thankful that I signed up for the 10k turkey trot this year (in the mountains) and ran it! My 8th annual turkey trot. 

-I am thankful for the ability to travel. Thankful that I can go home whenever I want, or even pop into the car and drive an hour to Santa Barbara. It's nice to get away sometimes.

-I am thankful for food. I've been getting much better in the kitchen this year (thanks to Pintrest) and it's been something I've grown to really, really enjoy. And on the flip side, I love nights out on the town where I don't have to cook.

-I am thankful for my job. I am thankful that it gives me the flexibility where I can cook, and I can enjoy this beautiful weather in California. I am so thankful for the option to work from home whenever I want, and to go into the office when I need to get out of the house. My job has been an enormous blessing.

-I am thankful for my soon to be in-law family. Joel's parents are amazing, and have been everything and more you could ask for. Plus, I get to inherit two brothers with amazing wives and one nephew!

-I am thankful for Skype. With one sister in Spain, one in Kentucky, a friend in South Korea, and my family in Chicago - it is so amazing to actually see them.

-I am thankful that I am spending this Thanksgiving with a group of friends in LA that feel like family.
The best is yet to come!


Wedding Wednesday: TIEing the knot.

We are on the hunt for the perfect tie and need to make the purchase soon.

These are the suits the groomsmen/groom/dad's will be wearing and my maids will all be in  floor length, navy dresses. I had Joel try on a few ties and decided that pattern definitely looks best with this suit - and adds a fun touch to the whole look.

Joel is gifting his guys with socks and ties, and we've decided to make the grand purchase at The Tie Bar.

 Here are our top five picks:

Trad Stripe - Navy/Silver (Skinny)New Seersucker Gingham - Navy (Cotton)New Gingham - Navy (Cotton)Double Stripe - NavySatin Dot - Navy/White

Which is your favorite? I'm so torn.


The Perfect Thanksigivng Dressing

...and I ain't talking about the food

Spending this holiday with friends seems to have me a little bit more concerned with my holiday outfit. There will be lots of eating and games, but I still want to look nice and dressed up for the festive occasion.

All via Netaporter.com

I feel like wearing a dress will simply be overkill for the day and evening we have planned, plus, maybe the waistband in my skirt will keep me from going overboard on the pumpkin cheesecake. 


Weekend Report

 My best friend Claire flew out to spend some time with Joel and I and it was such a treat. Since I'm not going home for Thanksgiving, it was especially nice to spend a little time with a piece of home. We soaked every hour out of our days together and had the most amazing time.

Claire flew in Wednesday night, so Thursday morning we hit the ground running. The weather in L.A. is always warm and sunny so of course we woke up to rain and 55 degree temperatures.

We had a coffee by the fire at my neighborhood Coffee Bean and then headed to Santa Monica for some major shopping.

 The only good part of the rain and chilly weather was another excuse to wear my new, favorite vest.

Claire came out to California a day after her birthday, so as a present to herself we hit up London Sole so she could indulge in their fabulousness.

It started to pour rain, so we beelined to my favorite beach spot Shutters for the perfect afternoon hideaway. 

The place was the perfect spot to wait out the front that sat over Los Angeles, so for almost three hours, we had a bottle of amazing wine, snacked on oysters and butternut squash soup that was to die for.


After Coast, I took Claire through Santa Monica's 3rd St. Promenade for some more shopping. We only lasted an hour but we did manage to spot Michael Phelps and his girlfriend shopping at Aldo which made for our first, and pretty good, celebrity spotting of the trip. 

Joel flew home for a week long business trip so we decided to make dinner at home, chat about politics, and catch up with each other.


We started the day off with a tough hike through Runyon Canyon. The weather was still a little funky, but we missed the rain and tried to burn a few calories. I love to take visitor's to Runyon because it's a pretty short trail (a little over an hour) and you get a crazy good view of the city and Hollywood sign.

We spent the afternoon in Beverly Hills and had lunch at Villa Blanca. Lisa Vanderpump, her hub Ken, and their pup Giggy sat at the front table right as you walked in. I desperately wanted to take a picture (mainly for Claire) but I got talked out of it by the rest of the group! 
We shopped along Rodeo - and stopped for a glass of wine at The Montage, and then headed home for dinner.
Joel's friend Matt joined us for dinner at The Eveleigh and drinks through Westwood. I had way too much tequila and fun - and totally spaced capturing any of the night. 

Saturday & Sunday
We left for Santa Barbara early Saturday morning and still had shitty weather. 
Our drive took us almost 3 hours because the roads up to Los Olivio's had almost 0% visibility with all of the storm's fog.

Thankfully by the time we pulled up to Fess Parker the rain stopped and we were able to get the day started right with wine.
The tasting we were at was hosted in the winery's back barrel room. We pulled up a few chairs and were walked through the winery's 7 popular bottles. 
We stayed for a few hours and then drove to Downtown Santa Barbara to check into our hotel and join the Urban Wine Trail. We ended up staying at the Hyatt right across from the ocean and walking distance to Anacapa St. where all of the tasting rooms are located.

It was about 4pm by the time we got to Corks'n'Crowns - the room that was recommended to us by a guest at the hotel - and we were starving. The hostess at Corks told us about an Italian Deli that we could pick up sandwich's at and take back to their room. 

It was so fun to have gourmet sandwich and enjoy beer and wine in this awesome shop. We had such a great time there that we signed up their wine club and can't wait to bring our dog back and hang out there for the day.

One of our favorite restaurants in L.A. - The Hungry Cat - has a location in Santa Barbara, so we had to try it out...and it did not disappoint (per usual). 

After dinner we decided to go for just one more and found ourselves drinking martini's at Milk & Honey in downtown Santa Barbara and having some very, very strange conversations. The mix of a long day and a lot of alcohol made for lots and lots of laughing.

Joel called a cab to pick us up from the bar and take us back to the hotel. Hysterically, they were out of cabs, so they sent us a limo for the 1 mile drive home which just continued which really just added to our drunk giddiness.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and walked around downtown Santa Barbara. I'm pretty sure if Joel and I ever hit the jackpot, we are going to have to buy a summer house in Santa Barbara. It is the most perfect, quaint town that I've ever, ever been to - even their McDonalds is cute. 


It was so nice to have Claire here - and even though I need to diet, and stop drinking for quite a while, I already miss her terribly.