Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rules of Living With Me

-There must always be at least one gallon of unexpired, unopened, untapped skim milk in the refridgerator at all time.

-Close the shower curtain when you're done showering.

-Keep the toilet lid closed at all times, especially before you flush.

I have trained my fiance very, VERY well. Except maybe on the shower curtain one.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Ok, I have to write a new post for several reasons, mostly because I want that last post to not be the most recent thing that people see when they look at my blog. Also, it's been a while and I missed you!

I'm not tanorexic, I'm pale-orexic if anything. I don't go tanning unless there's a big event coming up and I was wondering what my adoring audience thinks of tanning in advance of my wedding. I'm pretty much sold on doing it once a week for about a month in advance (with a week buffer in between the last tan and the wedding) of the wedding despite the risks of tanning beds.

My reasons for wanting a little sun on my skin are:
-Preparing for a honeymoon in Mexico IN JULY, I want a base tan to prevent that big burn I usually get if I'm not prepared.
-Having a little color so I don't look ghostly in my dress.
-Going to a tanning bed to prevent tan lines! HOW TACKY WOULD THAT BE?

How does everyone feel about tanning? Do you go regularly? If so, how often do you go?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Christmas Present To You

Oh Holy Crap... so I figured I'd go through facebook tonight and try to find a good "before" picture for you guys to see how far I've come. Here is a doozy. This was taken August 2009 so just over a year ago. All I have to say is O.M.F.G.

I should really get in the habit of taking more full body shots to track my progress, but here's one with me and the fiance from September 2010 (other full body shots taken since then I've deemed unworthy for various reasons, most commonly the fact that I look like a super dork unlike the super cool and modelesque pictures below)

Here is a super awesome pic taken in October 2010 after a night of drinking and dancing I thought worthy of sharing.

Now to be truthful, I probably weighed more on that top picture than I did when I started Weight Watchers, so I'm not lying when I say I'm probably down a solid 25-30 pounds from then.

I remember feeling sooo disgusting at this point. I basically hated the way I looked and felt. I think I needed to see this picture today because I'm having one of those days where I'm not happy with the way I look and I've even looked online for drastic procedures to change the way I look... I'm just being honest, who hasn't wondered how much liposuction costs before? Looking at this picture over a year after it was taken makes me realize exactly how far I've really come to this point. I honestly feel so much more confident today that this picture really feels like it was taken about 3 years ago. I don't remember looking like that so recently.

I've since donated that dress to some Salvation Army-type place in the Chicago suburbs so I can't try it on to do a really perfect after picture (you know the one, where the person is wearing jeans they used to wear but they're so big they have to hold them taught with their thumb outstretched so you can see exactly how far they've come). But I can tell you that dress was a size 14 and the wedding dress I bought is a size 8! Just typing that sentence makes me teary eyed. Nope full fledged tears just fell down my face. Still are. Yup I'm a sap but I'm proud of myself.

I've come a long way! And there is still more that I want to do with myself. I hope that this post is inspiring somewhat as to what a healthier lifestyle can provide you.

More Reasons to do Seating Arrangement

I was skimming through's community (read: message boards) and found someone who summed up the reason exactly why I want to have a seating* arrangement.

Doing table assignments is actually a courtesy to your guests. It ensures that people who don't get along won't end up stuck with each other because they're the only open seats left. It ensures that couples or families won't be split up because there are not enough seats left at any given table when they arrive.

It ensures that Great Aunt Hilda won't be seated with your FIs college frat brothers, or that Grandpa Al won't end up sitting right next to the dj's speakers.

It ensures that your college roommate, who doesn't know anyone but you at the wedding, won't wander the room hoping that she can sit somewhere. (Remember the cafeteria in Jr. High?)

It ensures that you won't have 11 people jammed into a table that seats 8 comfortably because people decided to pull up chairs so they could all sit together.

It also saves you $$, because when you don't have assigned tables, you need to have extras because you WILL end with tables of 4 where you intended to have 8.

I've only been to one wedding without table assignments, and it was a holy mess as people wandered around trying to figure out where they were supposed to sit.

Do table assignments.

*I found through the knot that my definition of seating arrangement actually is table assignment, not specific chair placements.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Running Songs

EDIT (12-23-10):
Turns out the day I promoted Grooveshark is the day they increased their rates for their mobile service to $9/month. I was a little perterved (is that how you spell that) that they didn't inform me that my membership which I was still paying for was invalid and that I would need to upgrade yet again from VIP to their new product. So after hearing rave reviews of Rhapsody, I'm giving that a shot at $10 a month. Updated review to come.

I've recently become obsessed with the most awesome music website I've ever encountered in my entire life.

Let me tell you why it's awesome:
1. You can play any song you can search for.
2. You can create playlists.
3. You can play them on your smartphone by downloading their app if you upgrade to their VIP service which is totally worth it at a whopping $3/month.

So with my new found ability to search for songs, especially newer songs, I'm eager to come up with the perfect playlist for running/working out. My goal is to find nothing but "Pump Up" songs. My personal definition of "Pump Up" songs is a song that when you play it you get energy from it and want to run faster, pedal harder, or just go absolutely bananas!

Here are a few songs on my running playlist that will definitely pump you up:
Andrew W.K. - Party Hard
Flo Rida Ft. David Guetta - Club Can't Handle Me
Darude - Sandstorm
Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up
LMFAO - Shots
Enrique Iglesias - I Like It
*don't laugh*
Miley Cyrus - Hoedown Throwdown
Seriously, I love Miley. Let the girl smoke salvia, it's about a trillion times better than the drugs that her peers are doing. I can do this dance too. I think that's why I like it so much :)

Problem: My playlist is SO short! I need to have at least 35 minutes of music without repeating songs!

Please comment to this blog with your fave workout songs, or songs you listen to before you go out to get you pumped up for the night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Can we please talk about how I'm going to be married in 200 days!!!

I have so much to think about still. Here's a list of a few things:

-When should the wedding start? Does anyone know how long a Methodist wedding lasts? I'd like to keep the break from wedding/reception as short as possible to start the party!

I would like it to start around 5:00 or 5:30

-Do we want to do a shuttle from the MU to the Gateway? This is important for family members who want to drink and stay at the Gateway... I don't want drunk drivers!

Safety First!

-What do we want for food? We are definitely doing a seated dinner with Chicken, Beef and a Vegetarian option... also a kids menu!


-How do I want my hair to look? Makeup?

Basically I wanna look HOT!

-SHOES, when are the cute peep toe shoes coming out (fashionable readers, please tell me when the summer shoe styles come out!)

Purple shoes please :)

-Invitations, definitely doing the seal-n-send ones. But when do I order them and the wording!!! Oh the wording is an ART!

Keep it simple, stupid.

-Wedding Songs: Me coming down the aisle, first dance, entrance song??? There are so many to decide!

No dollar dance, please.

And this is all I can think of in 5 minutes.

Kenneth Cole Giveaway

Hey blog readers:
I want to introduce you to an amazing blog and that just so happens to be giving away a $50 Kenneth Cole Gift Certificate TOMORROW! Enter to win, it's easy... just go to Kenneth Cole's website, create a wishlist, and share in the comments section of this blog entry:


Monday, December 20, 2010

And A Happy Holiday To You

Happy Holidays....
... Is what the terrorists say. Merry Christmas from That Easley :)

Today was a vacation day and I did some cleaning and wrapping of presents! The fiance and I don't have a Christmas tree so I decided to fashion one out of construction paper to spread a little holiday cheer in my apartment.
Don't be jealous, this tree is fantastic.

And underneath is the bounty of Christmas presents for my family :)

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas all! I wish everyone safe travels and fun with your own family!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's been a while

Sorry for all of you that are reading my blog regularly, but I decided to take a week off in order to clear my head and to not put so many posts up. I didn't want my blog to become diluted thoughts like a facebook status that gets changed every 5 minutes.

That's my update for now, my brain needs more rest, and possibly a drink!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Making of a Bridezilla

Ok, I am going to confess something here. I will probably be a bridezilla. At least a mini-one.

I came to this understanding on Sunday when watching Bridezillas with my fiance. I should rephrase that, while I was watching Bridezillas and the fiance reluctantly sat next to me on the couch hoping I would turn it off.

So anyways, here is when you'll see the bridezilla in me come out, this isn't exclusive to wedding related events.

-If you provide extremely poor customer service
example: Fitness Together when I completely ripped the guy a new one...
-If your doing or lack of doing something makes my life harder
example: people that don't shovel their sidewalks. I called a complaint line on Sunday to report a stretch of sidewalk that was covered in thick snow.

I'm sure this list will add up quicker than I care to admit. But in the meantime, I need to practice on creating crocodile tears and overuse of the phrase "I was PROMISED _____".

I'm sorry in advance.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Week In Review #2

So here's another update for how this week went down. If you saw my post on Thursday you'll notice that I found a gym!! It's affordable and close by, like so close that I don't even have to step outside of my office building to get to! That's right, it's just downstairs from me.

There was seriously no one there!

Sunday - Pretty much a sharty day cuz I went out on Saturday night and ate everything I saw, tater tots, chicken fingers, fried macaroni bites, waffles, pizza. So yeah, I had a bad food "hangover" and still ate like garbage on sunday.

Monday - Back in the swing of things, doing the same old same old food schedule, basically I eat about 5 different things ever. I'm writing this day's summary on Thursday and to be honest I don't remember the deets (details, I'm gonna just shorten it from now on. Learn it)

Tuesday-Wednesday - Don't remember, but overall I give my eating a 7 out of 10 for those few days.

Thursday - I'm eating amazing today, haller. Cereal for breakfast, clementines for snack, then string cheese for another snack, then big salad for lunch, then another clementine/string cheese snack combo. For dinner tonight I have spinach and garbanzo beans waiting to be heated up. NOM NOM

Friday - (projected food intake) Breakfast, cereal, string cheese snack, lunch STEAK FROM LUX BAR, and probably copious amounts of alcohol leading to bad food decisions that I know I'll feel guilty about. Yes I'm planning on this. I have no will power

So I've been listening to my fave podcast, Fat2Fit Radio. And I have to recommend these guys over and over again. If you need motivation please listen to them. You may notice that I've incorporated some "cheat" meals on Friday, which I'm totally OK with! As I lose weight I know that there will be times when I have a party to go to, or a fun treat that just looks so delicious that I can't pass it up. The philosophy of these guys is that you should eat like the thinner person you want to become, and guess what, the thinner person I want to become gets drunk, eats steak, and cookies from time to time. I don't do these things often but I don't want to rule them out of my life forever.

I've also noticed that I've plateaued (spelling) now for at least a month or two. I'm at a weight now that I'm finally comfortable sharing with y'all in blogger world. 150.6 pounds as of this morning when I stood naked on my scale just after waking up and after going to the bathroom so it's at it's absolute lowest number of the day :) I'd say ideally I'd like to be around 140-145 for the rest of my life. My goal is to be able to eat so much food, maintain my weight and NEVER EVER feel hungry. The way to do this is to live like the thinner person you want to become.

This does not mean eating 1200 calories a day people! You are starving yourself if you're doing this! The Fat2Fit philosophy starts with each individual finding out their BMR, (BMR=how many calories you burn if you were in a coma). If you eat below that number, your body will start to eat away your MUSCLE. WhY? because it burns the most calories when you're just sitting there. If you get rid of an organ that burns a lot of calories then you're body will adjust to the number of calories you've restricted yourself to. So you've lost muscle and then when you quit your diet your BMR is much lower than it was before you dieted. Two steps forward, three steps back.

You are starving yourself if you eat 1200 calories a day people! Don't trust the diet industry.

Please listen to the Fat2Fit podcast. Figure out your BMR and never eat below it.

I'm gonna get off this soapbox.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

With the Fishies

The Fiance and I went to the Shedd Aquarium on Saturday! It was an amazing day, that's why you've been reading about my Saturday for the past few days haha.

We were able to get myself in for FREE because I'm a Bank of America customer. They have free admission for BOA customers the first weekend of the month. Then I paid for the Fiance because, let's face it, I'm a baller, and it came to $32 total. Including a 4-D showing of Happy Feet.

What's 4-D you ask? Well it's the added dimention of spraying water on you, vibrating seats, things poking you in the back freaking you out, bubbles... it's pretty cool!

Here are some pics of the day!

In front of the aquarium.

Japanese Snow Crab (totally not sure if that's right or not)

Doing "The Jellyfish"

The Coral Reef

Me in my 4-D spectacles waiting in line to see the 20 minute (ish) showing of Happy Feet. I hadn't seen the movie before so I think that was the shortened version!

I really really like jellyfish.

I recommend that you DON'T try the chili at the cafe. But other than that, a super fun day!

Mad Props

Today I have to give "mad props" to a certain someone who gave me a 12 month gym membership for the price of a 6 month membership. Thank you lady, you truly made my day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Clear your sidewalks!

There is a sidewalk under here.

Hi all, today I'm writing this with some rage a'flairing. Many of my readers are also facebook friends of mine so you may have seen me frustration about the lack of shoveling laws in Palatine, IL.

Basically I'm outraged with my government today. I've never once in my life thrown out the "I pay taxes!" line to anyone but honestly I'm so concerned that I threw it out there yesterday. What exactly do I pay over 10% in sales tax for? And why is nearly $500 taken out of my paycheck twice a month? My wages aren't being garnished for any reason so you can rule that reason out, so it's all for taxes.

The unsung song of the Democrat is "Don't Complain About Taxes". I don't, I understand that we need taxes to pay for schools, roads, in the winter we have snow plows that clear the snow from the streets. So can someone please explain to me why the sidewalk owned by Cook County right outside from my apartment isn't cleared on a semi-regular basis?

Yesterday I spent nearly 15 minutes on the phone with a representative from the Village of Palatine. I explained to him that I walk home from the train on a regular basis. I don't have a car. My only option besides walking is waiting for my fiance who often can't come pick me up until nearly an hour and a half after the train drops me off. I only live 1.5 miles from my apartment. I'm in good shape and I can walk that far in about 30 minutes. It shouldn't be THIS complicated to walk home. Over 50% of the sidewalks that I walk on going home are not just dusted in snow, they are packed in snow from the footprints of countless other taxpayers who have to blaze their own trail in order to do the same thing that I do. Get from point A to B.

Now I suppose I could go buy a car, or I could take taxi's home... but both of those are options that I'm not comfortable with at this time. Mostly it's a cost issue. As much as I would love a new car, I can't afford the $300/month car payment, insurance, plus parking at the train station (which is $40/month). I don't apologize for not having a car, in fact, I embrace it. I count on that 1.5 mile walk as part of my daily exercise routine. I think that people are getting too attached to using cars and I feel free knowing that I'm not tied down to a car payment.

A taxi ride home typically runs $6-8 each way. I go by Ben Franklin's addage that a penny saved is a penny earned and I think about how I'm saving that $6-8 bucks each time I walk home instead of taking the easy way out by grabbing a cab. Plus I'm being green.

There is nothing wrong with my choice to walk.

Why can't Cook County clean my road? I explained to the Village of Palatine rep yesterday that my only other choice when the snow gets higher will be to walk on the street. This was the case last year. The street I walk on is 4 lanes. 2 lanes in each direction. There is no shoulder. He explained to me that they DO clear sidewalks, but only if they're en route to a school. He explained to me that a street that is over a mile away from me is cleared and if I just have a way to get to there I'll have a cleared sidewalk. Please explain this logic because walking a mile to get to a cleared sidewalk is lost on me.

I also explained to this rep that in Iowa there is a law that you must remove your snow within 24 hour of it falling. He acted so shocked that a state could actually enforce such laws. Iowa isn't a pedestrian state, Illinois, if any midwest state, is a pedestrian state. I still live in Cook County, the same as the great city of Chicago.

Of course I'm positive that the money that could be used towards cleaning my sidewalk is going in the pockets of the politicians. I can't prove any of this, I'm just leaning on the fact that Illinois is known for it's corrupt government. The fact that I pay one of the highest sales taxes in the nation and I bleed money from my paycheck and I can't have a clean walkway.

On my walk home yesterday, when I wasn't shouting obsenities (I really did), and trying not to slip (I nearly did), I reconsidered my membership of the Democratic party. Something I never thought I would do. I was always of the assumption that I don't care that I pay taxes because they are for the benefit of the people. Well I'm an American, I pay taxes, but I have to walk home through an arctic tundra in order to get home. My core beliefs remain the same so I don't know if I'll become a "red" any time soon, but lets just say I see their side more clearly at this moment.

The government of Illinois/Cook County/The Village of Palatine are not on my side. You really do put the "annoy" in Illinois.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Wonderland

This is the view from my apartment on Saturday, December 4, 2010 morning. The night before there was NO snow and I woke up to this!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Anatomy of an Unfashionable Chicago Suburbanite in the Winter

Double click on this picture to see a clearer version. Sorry but this is the best blogspot can do for me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty!

Soooo I found something that I think would be a fun DIY favor for the wedding guests! Once again I seek inspiration for Squirrly's Blog!

I like the idea of having a snack for the guests that they could enjoy. It doesn't seem too difficult to make either.

I've made the twist pretzels in almond bark before in the past and it's not too difficult! The best part is that we can eat whatever mistakes we make hahah (evil laugh)

I think I could probably do this a week or so before and they would be fine. I can't do them this far out though which is kind of a bummer since they look so tasty! AND FUN TO MAKE :) If I decide to do this there will be pictures to follow!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week In Review #1

As part of my wedding fitness inspiration I plan on putting together a Week In Review each Saturday.

So here goes nothing:

Challenge: This week I wasn't able to re-register at the Health Club near the train stop. The reason is because they were going to charge $99 bucks to reinstate my membership. That in combination with the fact that the membership is $79/month plus it doesn't have a whole lot of stuff going for it (no classes, no pool etc) so I'm going to walk to the YMCA at least 3 times a week. Anything more than that during winter will be a bonus.

Additional activity: Daily walks during my lunch hour.

Tuesday: I had an awesome workout, I lifted and really pushed myself after work. Other activity included an hour walk during my lunch hour and about 35 minute walk to the YMCA.
Food-Cereal for breakfast, String Cheese for snack, Eduardos Spinach Stuffed Pizza (one slice) and BBQ chicken pizza (two small slices, thin crust), protein shake - I know, I'm such a meathead, and turkey sammich (that's how I spell sandwich, get used to it) with a glass of milk.

Wednesday: Today I had a pretty pathetic walk that was balanced out by a lot of walking, probably about 2 hours total. Today I had cereal for breakfast and a string cheese for a snack along with my big awesome salad including a whole zuccini, 3 tomatos, a celery stalk, a whole apple with an olive oil/balsamic vinaigrette dressing (spelling), for dinner I had chicken with angelhair pasta and marinara sauce, along with a handful of almonds and some chips and hummus

Thursday: Today I didn't go for my walk during lunch like I normally do :( But after work I lifted using the ActivTrax thing the Y provides. I had cereal for breakfast, string cheese for snack, 3 chicken tacos from taco bell (served fresco, meaning without cheese or sour cream), another string cheese snack in the afternoon and chicken with marinara sauce for dinner along with some chips and hummus and a small handful of almonds.

Friday: No workout today, I took a 1/2 day of work and I'm spending it with the fiance! WOOT WOOT

Friday, December 3, 2010

Narrowing down the list

I should be recieving the Save the Date magnets sometime today and now it's really getting real! This is the part that I hear is the hardest, narrowing down who can come vs. who can't. I think I've got the list in relatively good shape though.

**NERD ALERT: I'm using a spreadsheet in Excel to say the name of the person, if they can bring a guest, and the percentage chance I think they can come. For instance, my mom is 100% yes, whereas my cousin who lives in Japan is a 0% yes. This is helping me calculate a number of those that actually may attend vs. the number of people receiving an invitation.

So basically when I got engaged I loosely said out loud to my coworkers that "you're all invited" and dammit if I'm not eating those words right now... I've looked closely at the list and if I invited all of my co-workers and 100% of them came, that would be 20% of my guest list... Granted I work for a small company and I also took into account that at least 1/2 of them wouldn't attend but I didn't want to gamble and take any risks. I cut the list down, way down. I'm sorry to those I'm not inviting but if they've ever planned a wedding/will plan a wedding they'll understand.

Then there is the case of those that are friends of friends that I'm not very close with that actually ASK me to come to the wedding. Well SPIT! If I invite you then where does the line stop?

So recently I sent out a facebook blast to a few too many people asking them their addresses. Hindsight is telling me that many of those people are actually on the B-list and now I'm just trying to figure out how I'm supposed to skirt the fact that many of them may not be on the A-list. YEESH!

Let me know your experience in cutting down a list and how you made your tough decisions!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All About Hair


A lot of things have been coming up related to hair recently and I know for some reason people find certain discussions of hair to be taboo so I'm just gonna embrace it.
Topic #1-
So last weekend when dear Fiance was in Omaha celebrating the wedding of a college buddy I was beyond words bored. Like insanely, uncool bored. This was the weekend that I bought the Sims - but wow that didn't even keep me super entertained.
It's Saturday night and what better time of day to go shopping. For some reason my money (or lack thereof) was burning a hole in my pocket and I'm walking through the mall with every intention on shopping at both Express and Victoria's Secret. Let's face it, sometimes a girl just likes new undies.
And I got suckered in to one of those kiosks where they were selling hair straighteners. Lordy let me tell you, they sure know how to sell. I was basically putty in their hands when I saw how "soft" my hair looked and how "smooth" it was (minus frizzies). So I went ahead and paid 140 bucks on a hair straightener.
Bless my Fiance's heart when I told him how much I spent on the new hair product he said "well you must have needed a straightener then" instead of "WHAT you spent THAT MUCH on a hair straightener?"
My short review is that it's ok, but if you're not really a hair snob like me then you won't notice much of a difference.

Topic #2-

How many of you girls have ever, uh, visited Brazil... say in a beauty salon? For the sake of the story and the fact that many of my readers are family members I will tell you about a "friend" of mine.

See this friend of mine decided to take a personal day at work (read: sick day) and go get a few things done for herself. Perhaps she went to the gym or picked up a prize that she recently won...

Anyways on a whim she sets up an appointment to visit Brazil at 3:00. The only way to really tell this story publicly is to graze over the risque parts... I have a few points of the appointment that I think require mentioning.

-The waxer told me, uh my friend, up front that she doesn't visit Brazil herself.
-The waxer went over the SAME PLACES that have already been waxed, at least 3 times
-The waxer didn't get all of the hair out of Brazil

So anyways my friend called the salon and said that her experience was awful and the salon offered a refund and a free trip back to Brazil for whenever she wants it. Thoughts? Should she take them up on this offer knowing that part of the deal is that she doesn't get the same waxer again?

Topic #3-
Wedding Hair

A far less interesting topic than Brazil but still on my mind none-the-less.

Since the wedding is going to be in the summer, I'm thinking that I'll have my hair all up. This is only because I've been told that A) my hair doesn't hold curls very well and B) in the head of the summer having my hair down will be sticky/sweaty.

So here are a few hairstyles I'm considering, I'm willing to take opinions!

As you can see I'm clearly eyeing the twisty updo look. I think it will go well with my dress/personality. My hair wasn't meant to be in a perfect bun.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2 Year Anniversary!

It's my 2 year anniversary today at my job and they sent me flowers :) How sweet!