T.I.L. #5

Y'all remember when I mentioned I'd been payin' off debt aggressively? Well, I took 2 steps back in this area around Thanksgiving. Hear me out though. I think you'll find that it was probably needed(?)

This Toyota Camry has been an amazing ride. She's been with me for 12 years and I got this car right after I graduated from college. You see, I'd only had one car previously and its name was Doo-Doo Brown. Partly because my last name is Brown, partly because it was a brownish color, but mostly because it was a piece of poo. Many weekend nights my friends & I would drive by my lonely car chillin' in the school parking lot because it wouldn't start. It served me well my freshman year at A&M and I am grateful. Oh, I definitely abused ol' Doo-Doo Brown. I once parked it in 'Fish Lot' way across campus for 2 weeks and when I retrieved it, it was covered in bird poop (Doo-Doo White?) Seriously, A&M parking lots are like scenes from horror flicks involving crazed birds! In fact, there was so much bird poo that I ran into a pedestrian (thankfully he jumped out of the way just in time). He took one look at my car after cussing and started laughing.

On my way back down my sophomore year {with my sissy transferring in! yay!}, ol' Doo-Doo died on the side of I-35 near Waco. I called my dad to deal with it and I never saw it again. We high-tailed it in my sister's car the rest of the way and shared her car for a couple more years until graduation.

So, as you can see, the one-year old Camry was the fanciest thing I'd ever driven. And I drove her to the ground (kind of):

Once I hit that mark, I decided it was time to get another ride. I was losing hubcaps by the hour and maintenance costs started to add up. I didn't want to buy a new car because I am soooo close to being debt free (I would make an exception for a house though...doesn't count to me). But rather than hold on to this idea I'd had, I decided to start looking for something I'd love as a replacement. I had a list of things I liked, didn't like, and didn't care about. I searched some lots and found them to be just awful. Horrible deals, high pressure sales, and they treated me like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, only I was flaunting good credit, not a wad of hooker cash. It was ridiculous.

Thankfully, a friend's wife saw my plea on Facebook and directed me to her husband's new business: Sign It Drive It. He basically FINDS the car you are looking for and gives you a great deal on it. No pressure. No gimmicks. No shady business.

I know Jake's family and his business partner seems like a great guy. They are a local small dealership but waaayyyy better than any of the other guys. Please give Jake a call if you are in the market for a car. Here's what he found for me:

Haha, nope. That's what I traded in...here's the slightly pre-owned ride I'm sporting now:

It's a 2012 Nissan Rogue (note the spelling...the 'other' dealer before Jake kept writing Rouge. I couldn't help but call it that after seeing him write it so many times!) It ha(d) 6,700 miles on it until I got a hold of it.

And I absolutely enjoy driving it. And it has 4 hubcaps. And room to carry crap around. And it's fully loaded (which I didn't care to have before...but is it wrong that I now use my seat warmers as a heating pad after a long day?)

Before (oxidation and rust suit her well, don't ya think?):
I mean no disrespect to Camry-girl, but this car is Bad-A! I can officially say I like driving now. So boo to all you high school folks who didn't understand why I was nervous about highway driving. When your car shakes above 55 mph, you'd be scared too. Now I have to be careful that I don't go 90! Anyway, I waited to share the news in case Jake sold me a lemon. Which he didn't...and he wouldn't. But now it's official:


T.I.L.#4: Valentine's Edition

It's Valentine's Day and I can't think of a more appropriate post than to say...

And by that admission, I mean this Darcy:

Not this one:

I guess it should be more about Mr. Darcy's character and growth, not on the particular actor but c'mon! You can't watch the 5 hour A&E version of Pride and Prejudice and not come away with a Colin Crush (I read that sentence like 6 times and I'm still not sure I said it correctly. But you get it...watch movie. Crush happens.) Unless you are a guy. Even then, it'd be a man crush.

So, fellas (not that I truly think there are any eligible bachelors reading this), if you are wanting to date me, please consider P&P an important instruction manual to win my heart. Here are my reasons for loving Mr. Darcy:

1. He's snooty but teachable--therefore, his character grows as he humbles himself
2. He doesn't start out with great manners but practices them because it's important
3. He dances to be close to a girl even though he hates it 
4. He doesn't trifle with silly gossip girls
5. He likes a spunky, independent woman and offers love, protection, and provision

So basically, he ain't perfect. But he'll admit it and learn. Yum. There's so much more to this character, but you get the idea. And before you say 'he's fictional!' please be mindful that I've met guys like Mr. Darcy. Yep, they are showering their women with love right now as we speak. I will only give you the 'it's fiction' excuse when the main squeeze sparkles in sunlight and doesn't have a heartbeat. 

Single peacocks, I'm now taking applications.


T.I.L. #3

Though my goal had previously been to post every weekday, I've realized that the goal of writing every day in 2013 was lofty enough. I've pretty much met that goal so far & I've only missed a couple of days here and there. I don't think I need the added pressure of constant blog posting...these puppies take a long time to    plan/write/edit/pimp out on Facebook & Twitter!

Plus, the whole purpose of writing daily in 2013 is to push myself toward finally publishing one of my many book ideas. At the rate I'd been going, I would've probably seen Jesus come back before my book hit the shelves; the discipline of writing daily has been a great exercise. With that said, I can't use all my writing steam telling the world about teeny mustaches and grown-ups wearing tutus, now can I?

With that said, I've been sharing a few things I love since it is February. You can read about Things I Love (TIL) no.1 and no.2 if you so desire. 

On to TIL #3:

What's that? I'll tell you.

I know you know by now that I have explored the areas of diet and exercise for a while. I've had challenges with co-workers to cut out sugar and have scoured the interwebs for the latest and greatest perfect-diet-du-jour. I am a huge nerd and I genuinely enjoy reading medical websites and health blogs, as well as having deep scientific discussions with my equally nerdy brother in law. In fact, I think we both accidentally made my pregnant sister cry because of our 'helpful' diet advice. oooops.

I've honestly struggled with my weight/size my entire life. It's not SUPER noticeable to the outside world because my 5'8'' body wears extra pounds well. But it is enough for me to know. {And maybe a few others--I recall the one time in 9th grade when we were supposed to wear hand-me-down cheerleading uniforms and of course, very few fit me. I painfully found this out by trying them all on in a room full of short, tiny girls giving me the stink eye. The only taller (read: above 5'4'') cheerleader in the past had worn a size 4 and had zero lady lumps. My summer 'surprise! You're a C cup!' growth spurt caused the whole squad to have to re-wear our current uniform the entire year. gasp.}

From that point on, I've tried everything under the sun to lose weight and keep it off. Carrot sticks and diet Sprite? Yes, please. Until I almost fainted at school. That one cost me 10 extra pounds after I gained back the initial weight lost. No sugar? You betcha. Until I lost the will power and ate triple the amount of sugar I had been before starting. That one got me a firm extra 10 pounds as well. You get the idea. With each fad, I can do it for aboooouuuut 4 weeks. {Vegetarianism lasted 6 years though. I was proud of that one until the doctor said I'd killed my female hormones. oh, snap.} With each of these attempts at weight loss, I'll usually lose 10-20 pounds, go back to normal eating (because that's what happens when you live life), and gain the original weight plus a little extra. Boo, right?

Well, it turns out that it isn't just me and my broken will power. It's the nature of tinkering with your body. You may remember how I decided to 'go primal' to kick this 'problem' once and for all. I had some success. In fact, RAPID success. But that's the problem. Like I said, I know HOW to lose weight. I can do it well. But each time, I get cold and shivery like a chihuahua in a pool (and not half as cute!) and start to show signs of metabolic distress (anyone else have a peeling scalp and hair falling out in clumps? No? Just me then.) This is where rapid weight loss can get dangerous. I've realized that as much as I want to be my ideal size without too much extra junk in the trunk, I don't want my metabolism to suffer for it.

Enter the whole friggin' point of this post. I'd read a book (surprise!) written by Matt Stone called Diet Recovery & another called Eat for Heat. He's funny, smart, irreverent, and well-versed in the latest dietary dogma. Anything you've tried, he's done too. But instead of being stubborn and lying about progress after the weight-loss honeymoon ends, he tells it like it is. Because of this, some of his ideas grow/change with experience. I was frustrated at first: "just tell me what to eat, Matt!" But that's the problem in a nutshell. Everybody is different and every body is different. I started following his general recommendations to restore metabolic function and have seen a pretty remarkable improvement. My average temps went from 97.4ish to 98.7 in about 4 weeks. My hands and feet are warm, I don't have to wear my black puffy coat indoors as much (you guys who know me are probably laughing right now...), I had some eczema that cleared up when my temps normalized, and I went up a cup size. Thankfully, more chest is a problem I'd like to have now that I don't have to fit in any cheerleading hand-me-downs. That's about all I've seen so far, but this is a process. I no longer feel the need to lose weight by some arbritrary timeline. Bikini by Spring Break? Maybe not. But I have the freedom to approach health as more than a number on a scale. Metabolism is now my friend and frankly, it's kind of refreshing to hang out with the new kid in town. Weight loss was getting too bossy and was kinda starting to piss me off.

I'll keep you posted as I learn and experiment. Are you interested in this? Do you have low temps or symptoms of impaired metabolism? If you want to see what I've been doing, grab Matt's new e-book Diet Recovery 2** while it is ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS. Yes, less than a buck. But get it before 11:59 Eastern on 2/15/13 or it goes up to $9.99. Which to be honest, is still worth it in my opinion. And isn't that why you are reading my blog in the first place?

**Edited to add: Matt's book has some harsh language in it, as well as a few pictures of women's body parts to show the changes in body composition when restoring metabolism. But of course, he does it in a totally inappropriate way cuz that's how he rolls...so, you've been warned. Doesn't detract from the message for me, but it's nice to have a heads up I guess.


T.I.L. {Things I Love} #2

I believe that you absolutely cannot go wrong with owning a tutu skirt. Maybe it's because I wanted to be a ballerina (still do!) or maybe it reminds me of princesses, but I am just drawn to them.

I own only one myself (thanks to my bestie, Amanda, we have matchy black tutu skirts) but I could seriously have one in every color.

To be honest, they are darn hard to wear well. I mean, who wants EXTRA fabric around the mid-section/hip area? Maybe that's why I will only wear it when I've been sick and haven't eaten for a week (just kidding...kind of.)

But I love to look at them on people who just look stunning. Sorry, I don't have credit for the original pics except for a few: 

Emerson Fry @ www.emersonfry.com

Rosie @ The Londoner

 Oh, and don't get me started on this girl:

She made this tutu skirt because she didn't want to buy the one from Anthropologie and I think hers is waaaay cuter. Plus, she pairs it with the best things...sweaters, boots, girl-ties, chambray shirts, etc. So fun! I've actually got a little more share time about her in the future. Until then, just look how cute her family photo of mom & the kids turned out:

So, moral of the story...you should own a tutu skirt. Even if you only wear it to cook dinner.


Things I love Series

Since it is February, the month of love, I thought I'd share about some topics that are near and dear to me. In no particular order (other than because I darn well felt like posting about it that day), here is the first:

I adore music...most genres, most artists. There are very few bands that make me cringe (I'm glaring at you Nickelback!) I love live music, local music, international music--you get the idea.  

I really enjoy going to concerts; case in point, for my 10th birthday, I asked for Def Leppard/Queensryche/Stryper tickets and people to go with. My mom (best mom ever!) took me and the sibs to my first concert. I've been to over a hundred since then and I STILL enjoy finding people to go with me to my favorites. I just realized that I have taken very few pictures at these concerts, but here's a couple:

My sister and I at a 30 Seconds to Mars Concert

Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars at Edgefest

2nd row (for a few songs) at Coldplay in 2010
At Edgefest
Coldplay 2012
And if I can't find someone to go with, I have no qualms going solo! I get lost in music and the whole experience of a production.

In addition to the genuine article, I also get a kick out of cover songs from incredible artists who put their own spin on songs. One that I heard recently really blew me away:

And for most who know how much I LOVE Coldplay, I've now madly fallen for the baby-fied version of their music. I am definitely ordering Rockabye Baby's Coldplay Lullaby Renditions. Who says it needs to be for a baby? Seriously, listen to the sampler. So incredible.

So there ya go. The first post in the many things I love! What is your favorite music or band?