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Monday, September 30, 2013

A Different Kind Of PinterTest!

In case you don't know, I get bored very easily. Especially with my hair and clothes. Clothes cost more money to turn over so I can deal with boredom there. My hair though is easier to mess with.

Growing up I was never allowed to do anything to my hair. It was long, curly, and very thick and my mother loved my hair. I always wanted to cut it (the tangles were horrible and atrocious, especially once frizz entered the picture), but I was never allowed to.

I remember in 7th grade my grandmother took me to the mall and let me get my bum-length hair cut to my shoulders. She said my mom would be fine with it, but if not, it was my grandmother's fault and that I wouldn't be in trouble for it. Let's just say my mother was furious and blamed us both. After that, I had to wait until my senior year when she let me finally cut it again for my 17th birthday.

All that to say, when I want to do something with my hair now, I typically just go for it. I can always change it back if I hate it. Or grow it back out.

As you may or may not recall, I've been dying to rock some bright red highlights (it's on my bucket list), and when I found this pin, I had to do it! I love EVERYTHING about this photo, down to her hipster-wearing glasses.

My dear friend is also my hairstylist and she said because I'm so Casper-pasty-white, I can't do that color of red, but I could do a darker bright red (or something like that). I didn't want all over red- just highlights, so we worked off three different pins: one for the cut (above), one for the pattern of the highlights, and one for the color. Let's just say it got kinda confusing!

Last Friday we went for it! I have to say these pictures don't really do it justice- I've been flipping out the bottom a little more than this, and the red is even more vibrant in person. I want to straighten it so it's more punk than the photos below show.

The first photo is taken right after outside of the salon. The second photo was me trying to recreate the exact photo in the pin, which didn't go so well. The third photo is a better shot of all the red that Hubby took at the coffee shop Friday night. (I'd warned him that he'd have to take my hair out on a date that night since it would be all fixed up!)

Right after

Trying to recreate the exact photo from the pin
Red! Red! Red! Red! Red!
I will say I expected more highlights on the left side of my head and some in the back, so I'm hoping Melissa can do more the next time I see her. She ended up bleaching the highlights to a light caramel color first so the color would take. I'm hoping the red lasts! The last time a few years ago we tried to do color, it always kept fading to ugly colors we didn't intend after a couple days. So far, this is lasting pretty well and I'm beyond thrilled with it! CC seems to like it too, which makes it extra fun!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Pin All The Things!

Lately I've been pinning all the things (as usual) but I've also gotten tired of my disorganization with the boards and so I've been trying to clean things up. Which means lots of PinterTesting. 

 Last weekend, we had a few friends over to play cards and have dinner together. This is one of my favorite things that we do ever. It's such a good time, especially with good food and good friends thrown in the mix.

We had tacos for dinner but I wanted something fast, easy, and Fall-y for dessert. And hopefully not completely sinful since I was trying to be sort of good, eating wise. I found this dip that I'd pinned on Pinterest and decided to test it out (original link here).

Pumpkin Pie Dip with Cinnamon Pita Chips? Sign me up! I cut my time in half by buying Stacy's pre-made cinnamon sugar pita chips, which are amazing, in case you're wondering. The dip itself you just whipped up and let it chill until you're ready to eat it. AND... it's made with greek yogurt so it's not really that bad for you. Yay!

Unfortunately, it was a hit-and-miss type recipe. Since I took the vats of leftovers to work on Monday, I had several people give feedback. Tons of folks loved it, but some thought it was strange and tasted like apple (which made no sense, since there's nothing appley to it). You might have to try it for yourself and see what you think.
 
The dip that looks like hummus but isn't even close.
Sunday I ended up not needing to work so Saturday I wanted to make something special for Sunday breakfast since we'd have time to enjoy the morning before heading off to church. I came up with this french toast recipe (original recipe here). You have to understand how snobby we are about our french toast- we do NOT like mushy french toast! Since you assemble this the night before and let it sit, we were concerned it'd be pretty mushy. It wasn't mushy at all! It was super easy to throw together Saturday night, and then you just bake it off in the morning!

Soooo good!
This is the kind of breakfast you make for Christmas morning while presents are being opened. For birthday mornings. For special occasions, like the weekend. Make this ASAP. In fact, this might be the best thing I've ever found on Pinterest. For real.

Tuesday we had other friends over for dinner and to catch up. That's always a blast but I wanted to test more recipe pins. I made Mexican Chicken Casserole  (original recipe here) for dinner and Snickerdoodle Blondies for dessert.

I don't apparently have a photo of dinner but I really liked it overall. It was sort of like a mexican lasagna with the layering and cheese, but it came together pretty quickly. It was an automatic pin when I first saw it since it didn't call for rice (higher calories there) or beans (CC won't eat them). I think I'd like to try to make it again and jazz it up with more spice and maybe something else. It was good but I felt like it was missing something. CC hated it since he thought the flour tortillas were 'mushy' and it was 'too cheesy.' I will say it calls for a 2 quart dish but the photo shows a 3 quart dish, which is what I used. I might've gone with the 2 quart and just had it piled up higher. That part was pretty confusing. And it didn't call for salt or pepper so I did add that at one point.

Dessert however was a MUCH different story. It was a hit so big that this might be Hubby's new birthday request. Especially after he came up with the idea to heat up some caramel sauce and drizzle that bad boy all over. OH MY. Considering I baked something that wasn't blueberry-lemon or chocolate-pecan (my two fave combos), this was pretty incredible.

Original recipe here
Amazingness right there!

So yeah. I've been a PinterTesting fool this week. And it's not over yet! I'm working on a PinterTest surprise for you friends, and hopefully I can pull it off and share the big reveal later this weekend! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall is here.

My very favoritist, most beloved time of the year is upon us. Fall is full of awesomeness and I am happiest at this point in time each year. I begin celebrating after my August birthday September 1st and get so much flack for it, but now that it's official, I can celebrate to my little heart's content. Even CC can't complain!

The trees changed color right on time with the 22nd this year!
Julie posted a link to a hilarious open letter that you might find amusing, especially if you're not feeling Fall-y yet. Here in the usually hot South, I could relate to some of it, though this year's been mostly mild, praise the Lord! I will say that as much as I adore Autumn, the one thing that is so well-loved that I absolutely can't stand is the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. I tried it for the first time last year and was pretty grossed out. I figure I don't like liquid pumpkin products, since I love pumpkin anything food-related.

I don't know what we do that keeps us so busy, but life is rushing by still. I can't believe it's almost October, let alone the year 2013! Crazy!

I will say that among the craziness has been lots of working out and PinterTesting in the last week or so- it's all about the balancing act, you know. I will share as I am able, but I'm finding some GOOD stuff on Pinterest lately! Yay! And the working out is about three months overdue so now I have accountability in the form of daily texts. I'm so grateful for good friends who will be honest and hold my feet to the fire.

Speaking of working out, I thought you might enjoy this photo of CC and Scout on our walk. We're the only people we know with a dog that doesn't like to walk. Go figure.
No shame.
My Katygirl wall is officially up and I'm in love. This is actually my view from the couch every. single. day, and I'm never tired of seeing this. I call it that because Katy designed and sells each print. (The frames are from Michael's.) Isn't she amazing?

love.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Cupcake Run!

The Cupcake Run was last Saturday, and we were anxious about it all the way up until about five minutes before we did it. You see, in case you aren't aware (or following me on MFP), we've kinda been slacking in the health department for the last few months. Exercise has gone mostly by the wayside, and eating almost whatever we want especially on the weekends (and especially involving macarons!) has taken priority.

Well I am not happy about that any longer! I'm putting my foot down and saying no more! Fall is finally here so last weekend we were cold and stiff before the run. We just hoped to finish and not die or pass out before we got our cupcakes.

Cute little logo!
Doesn't it sound like the most amazing run on the planet? You run a little, you get a cute shirt and a cupcake. I was picturing tutus, rainbows and lots of purple, sparkles and glitter, and maybe a unicorn or two. The reality is that it's an actual 5k. Over three miles. And wouldn't you know it, the course was super hilly?!

Turns out we ended up running most of it just to survive! Yay us! There was a decent (not cheesy) warm-up for the group before the race, which helped loosen me up and get me ready to go. We did so well compared to how we thought we'd do, we were exuberant and really pumped to get healthy again by the end of the race!

Secretly I was pretty concerned they'd run out of cupcakes before we were done but they didn't. I got a chocolate cupcake and CC got a vanilla cupcake (because he's weird and doesn't like chocolate). Considering how expensive this 5k was, I was expecting a bigger cupcake- more like Gigi's size, but these were small, normal sized cupcakes. They were AMAZING though!


I'm hoping we do this run again next year and we'll be more fit to run it faster! In the meantime, I'm already scouting out our next 5k possibility so we can keep motivated.

CUPCAKES!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Can I Get Some Extra Credit?

I tested another Pinterest pin last week and I'd like to go on record now and ask Jessica for extra credit in next month's PinterTest Kitchen! (It's a slight miracle that I've tested two pins recently AND blogged about them!)

These chicken and bacon bites were so yummy! I was looking for something VERY quick and easy to throw together for dinner, but something I thought CC might go nuts over.

We like chicken. We LOVE times a million bacon. I like mustard, CC doesn't. I figured two out of three weren't bad and went for it. On the plus side, he seems to be getting over his aversion to mustard and I give all credit to this recipe. We have growth, people!

I bought chicken tenders already cut that way (half of the dang recipe is cutting chicken breasts down to size- I deal with raw meat as little as possible, so I said forget that!) and wrapped each one with a piece of bacon.

I didn't even measure the sauce ingredients, just eyeballed it. A little too much since I ended up with a TON. You throw in some coarse mustard, some honey, a little fresh lemon juice, and some salt. That's it. Whisk that goodness together and slap it on one side of the bacon-wrapped chicken. Bake for about 13 minutes, pull them out and flip 'em over, baste the other side with the same goodness, and bake for another 10 or so minutes. Wa-la!

Fortunately I thought ahead to separate out some dipping sauce (again, since I made a vat of the stuff), so we got to have extra on our chicken. I was concerned the bacon wouldn't be done enough for me since I like really burnt crispy bacon, but it was pretty good!

Another bonus for you healthy folks is it's pretty low-cal! Hubby's been asking for this a lot since I made it the first time. Hopefully soon I can indulge him.

Original recipe here

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back To It

We've kind of slacked off with our exercise this summer. While definitely nowhere near a typical summer, it's still been SUPER humid and warm, which makes this hate-to-sweat girl not want to be outside. With all the craziness of Hubby switching jobs and everything, we've enforced a 'no judgement' rule in our home regarding eating extra calories and being couch potatoes a little bit.

Well it's time to get back to it. I've gained about 12 extra pounds I refuse to become attached to again, and I really want to get to my goal before Christmas, if possible. To that end, we signed up about a month ago for the Cupcake Run this Saturday.

How is that going to help, you say? Are you at this very moment picturing lots of sparkles, purple, unicorns, and lots of sugar? Yeah, me too. Apparently it's a real 5k and there is a cupcake waiting for you at the end as your reward. MY. KIND. OF. EXERCISE.

I'm really looking forward to it, although we'll probably just walk it and not try to go full-on with the running. Eeeeease back into it, I say. I can't wait though. I'm ready to have this 5k jump-start kicking my booty back into shape! I refuse to give up on my health!

What're you doing to stay healthy? I need suggestions, friends. Help me gain back some momentum and motivation!


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Weekly Recap: Slasher Horror Edition

I'm not much for blood or gore. Or horror movies, or medical stories. Or really anything remotely, distantly-related to gross. Unless it's happened to me, personally, and then I can talk about it ad nauseum. Oh, be warned, if you're eating right now, you may want to stop.

Tuesday, CC called during lunch to ask if I could get our new insurance information because he needed it. (WHAT?!)

After I calmed down, I heard the tale of woe. Apparently, he was cutting an apple (being all HEALTHY!) for lunch and the knife slipped (cue dangerous warning music). He ended up gashing his left thumb pretty deeply and ended up with three stitches but a wound cut down to the muscle. (I hope you aren't eating at the moment.)

Poor Hubby!

He went to an urgent care near work (where he was at the time) and got all patched up. Unfortunately, this means he's still in quite a bit of pain and can't do a lot at home right now.

(We have Fall decorations to put out, people! I told him he didn't have to be so dramatic about getting out of putting up our decorations- he could've just said something, but nooooo.... CC had to be dramatic, with fanfare! Medical bills, stitches, and gauze- oh my!)

All patched up
This means our week of crazy has turned into survival mode with as much couch-potatoing as we can possibly cram in. Even Scout's on board with this plan.

The invalid
In other news, I realized when I saw today's date that today would've been my grandmother's birthday if she were still alive. I miss her like crazy still, so it's kind of a weird day.

The good thing though is that today's a great lead-in to a fun weekend, if Hubby's up for it. The weather this weekend's supposed to be pretty close to Fall and sunny, so I'm beyond excited! My 2014 Erin Condren planner has arrived and I can't wait to get it prepped and ready to go (yes, I realize it's September and my calendar doesn't start until January, but who cares!)! Sipping Starbucks and wearing sweatshirts and jeans- oh me oh my, I can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Lazy PinterTest Edition

Lately, I've been extra crazed about pinning all the things I can on Pinterest. The actual Pintertesting of such pins? Not so much. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover in the bathroom one day that I'd already pintertested a pin and hadn't even realized it. A win-win, I'd say.

Except not so much. This in no way gives me Julie's fabulous beachy-looking hair. In fact it really doesn't do anything for my hair except to make it smell AMAZING. It smells like coconutty-goodness which I love, so of course I keep using it. The reality though is there's really no point except for about two seconds each morning I can pretend I'm sipping a mai tai somewhere in Hawaii (yeah right!).

So would you call that a failure or a success? I think it's a failure just for me, other people seem to swear by the stuff, so you may just have to try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Linking up with Jessica here...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mug Swap Recap: 2013 Edition!

This year as you know, I participated in Kim's third annual Mug Swap. It was fantastic as usual, but this year was a little bit different for me in that I got assigned TWO people to send to! I was a little nervous about that, wanting to devote focus and attention to making each awesome lady feel special. It was extra fun that one was a tea-lover and one was a coffee-lover, so I got to buy different things for each of them!

Here's what I got no-blog Heather, my tea-lover who loves the color green:

Tea goodies!
For Heather's mug I went a little out of the box and got this tea-strainer carafe travel thingy. I was nervous she might not like it since it wasn't an official mug, but she says she likes it, so I was relieved!

Here's what I got Esther, my coffee-lover from Costa Rica who lives in Jersey:

Coffee goodness!
I had a little trouble with finding just the right mug for Esther because she only had one mug from a long time ago, so stakes were high to find the perfect mug. I ended up finding two and couldn't decide so I just sent them both to her. Fortunately neither one broke so now she's got a lot of cheery happy up in her cabinet!

It's been neat getting to know both Heather and Esther- I'm glad we connected and I'm looking forward to more openly stalking their Insta-feeds now, instead of trying to be all covert! I kept wanting to comment or like their photos on Instagram and I had to be careful not to. So glad that's over! Haha!

And here's what it all looked like pre-post office trip:

Muggy Goodness is right!
On to my own muggy goodness! So what's really cool about Kim's highly-advanced, scientific method of pairing people together is that I have gotten some really cool people each and every swap! This year I was beyond excited to receive a mug from Kelli!

Happy mail, indeed!
I haven't come right out and stalked her before, but we have a lot of mutual friends on Instagram, and I am forever about to post a comment only to see she beat me to it to say the exact thing I was going to say! Which of course makes me think we'd be kindred spirits and share similar brain thoughts and stuff. Or so I don't sound creepy, that we'd be good friends if we could connect. But I haven't wanted her to think I'm nuts so I didn't friend her. Until NOW! Woohoo! She's really cool y'all! And look what she sent me!

Isn't that mug the cutest?!
(Why does our counter always look gross and ruin the lighting? At least the card is cute!)
I also decided to send Kim a little birthday/muggy goodness for her own, and I found the purr-fect card to go with it.
Kim loves cats, you see.
Happiness!
Happy close to another successful swappy year! I already can't wait for 2014! Remember if you participated to link up with Kim here!