A sister/sister, busy, kind of sick weekend wrap!

December 29, 2013

Before I begin my weekend wrap blog entry, I would just like to say "thank God for Zicam and Emergen-C". Ha!
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Friday at 4:30 PM, my weekend started as usual. I felt strong and hit the gym for cardio and weights. I had a great work out. When I finished, I had to run a lot of errands. I went to Target, Ulta, and GNC. Then finally I picked up a salad at Panera for dinner. 

Ugh, it never ends.

I finally put all of my stuff up, took a shower, ate, and got my sister's Christmas gift together. I thought it looked cute!

By the time I finished all of that it was about 9 PM and ho-ly crap. I started to feel horrible. Body aches and a sore throat. Thankfully, I did not have a fever, but I felt really bad. I knew I needed to take preventive measures and get into bed.

I drank my Emergen-C and took Zicam and slept for 12 hours. I hoped to wake up feeling brand new. I never get sick (knock on wood, thank God) and it's been well over a year since I have even had so much as a cold. 

I woke up Saturday morning feeling like crap. But I don't like to take a lot of medicine. I barely take Tylenol or even Midol. I just do not like it. I like to take a more homeopathic approach. I do not really have a solid reason as to why, I just do. Basically I just think the pharmaceutical industry is a bunch of shit. :)

I forced myself to go do a few things and clean my apartment so when my sister arrived she would not get sick. She was driving three hours from Raleigh. She pulled in around 1:30 PM. We chatted for a while then took off to the gym. I live right across the parking lot from my gym (so awesome) and she had a 3-day pass so we decided to make the best of it.

I felt OK to do cardio but I did not have enough strength to lift weights like we initially planned. I did 45 minutes of cardio and was pretty proud of myself, I pushed hard. My heartrate was up the whole time and I burned a bunch of calories!

I felt so much better afterwards. I felt like the medicine combined with some sweaty cardio totally helped. We went across the street to Earthfare (another awesme thing about where I live, ha!) and got a hummus and vegetable wrap. It was delicious and huge! It was only 300 calories for the whole thing. Double score!

Oh and thank you to my sister who brought me another Polar band so I can use my monitor again. Captain Grace (me) over here lost the damn band a month after I got my monitor so I have not been able to use it!

We then took showers, watched some of "Country Song", and got glam!

I'm ready!

We went Uptown to a place called "Blue Restaurant and Bar" for dinner and a martini. The crusine is Mediterranean; our favorite! I had this delicious spinach, mushroom, and ricotta pasta dish. It was amazing. And the restaurant is absolutely beautiful. The below image I found was on Google, but just to show you how gorgeous the place was!

I had an "Under The Sunset" Martini. It was SO strong and so much cinnamon flavor. I could not finish it, but it felt good against a sore throat because it was so strong.

By the time we finished dinner it was 10:30 and we had to drive back to south Charlotte, where I live. We were gong to go to a local bar to watch the UFC fights. I was so excited, last night the fighter line up was incredible. But I was done, I just wanted to go home. I pushed myself to the limit.

We came home and got warm on the couch and watched a movie on HBO called "Stoker" and what a weird ass movie. That movie was just... I don't even know. I literally had this look of confusion and disgust on my face the whole time, but like I could not turn away. I kept wanting to know what was next. So if you have HBO on demand, the movie is free, so it is worth a watch. Just be prepared that it is really freaking weird. Oh and Nicole Kidman is in it. We finally went to bed around 1 AM and slept today until 10. It was glorious. I love my black out curtains, ha. 

We got ourselves dressed, grabbed a hot tea and spinach and egg white wrap at Starbucks then drove up to Ikea. Every time she comes down to stay with me, we have to make a trip to Ikea. After spending two hours in there walking around, I left with this kick-ass picture for my living room. I love it! It was only 10 bucks too!

My sister left about an hour ago and I think I am down for the count. It is so cold and rainy here and my throat is still kind of sore, super tired too. I think the rest of the afternoon spent inside warm and resting will make me brand new tomorrow. I have a busy week ahead so I have absolutely zero time to be sick. Maybe I am wishful thinking, but so far Emergen-C and Zicam have done a great job. 

How was your post-Christmas weekend?!

*Link up's are going on today, check out my link up page and join the fun! 

Nothing says 'Christmas' like faux fur and red streaks!

December 26, 2013

I love the holidays. They are hard, but I love them. My family has changed so much over the past 5 years, but change is good. Christmas 2011 is when I found out my dad's cancer was not curable. And last week I was told by my step-mom that there is another tumor on my dad's brain. It was unbelievable shock to hear that when she called me because I thought she was calling to finalize Christmas plans. However, the surgery is a good thing because that means we finally know what is causing my father to have so many seizures. The tumor will be gone and my dad will go back to normal.... well as normal as he can be. Thank God for wonderful advances in cancer medication and for the amazing team of doctor's at Duke Medical that take such wonderful care of him.

I went to the doctor on Monday for my B12 injection and I lost 2.5 pounds last week! I am down 16.1 pounds total in the past 28 days!

My Christmas break started Monday at 4:30 PM. I hit the gym for cardio and a weight circuit. As I was leaving, I could not help but snap a picture of the beautiful sunset we had. It rained and rained all day, so the beautiful sunset was welcome!

I then came home to two wonderful packages. I buy ALL of my tops and dresses from Venus and I ordered this amazing new faux fur sweatshirt, I thought it looked perfect for the holidays. I love it!

Christmas Eve morning I woke up early and hit the gym for 45 minutes of cardio. I had to do preventative damage control because my step mom was making my favorite Christmas snack; sausage balls. After I came back to get ready and drive up north to my hometown. 

Oh and I got my red steaks touched up, they are so fabulous!

When I arrived in my hometown, my first stop was to see my best friend Anna and her adorable daughter, Alaina. She is unbelievably adorable and never cries. 

After I left Anna's, it was finally time to go stay with my dad and step-mom, and victory was mine. I finally indulged in my sausage balls!

My sister and her boyfriend were also there with us and we stayed up so late talking and laughing. I had such a great time. I only got 5 hours of sleep!

I loved their beautiful tree!

Christmas morning I was up at 7 AM. It was time to leave my dads and go to my mom's so we could go to my Papa's for our annual Christmas breakfast. I am 24 years old and I have never missed a Christmas breakfast at my Papa's!

My step dad and brothers at Papa's breakfast!
My brother and my nephew at Papa's
Papa handing out gifts!
My step-grandmother Dixie makes this sausage, cheese, and egg casserole each year and I swear it's laced with crack, it is so delicious. I ate way too much of it. 

After breakfast at Papa's, I went to my mom's for the day. Since I only had 5 hours of sleep at my dads and I had a carb overload from breakfast, I napped for a long time at her house. When I woke up, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew came over for Christmas lunch and exchanged gifts.

My mom made her famous mexican dip for lunch, it. is. amazing.

Around 3PM it was time for me to take off for Charlotte. I missed my cat and I wanted to get the drive over with so I would not have to make it today. 

I got back to Charlotte around 6 PM and was lazy for the rest of the night watching my new favorite show, "Total Diva's". I can definitely tell I ate way too much because I went to bed at 9:30 PM and did not get up today until 9:30 AM. I never sleep 12 hours, but after a lot of food and driving, I could not get enough of it.

I was so happy to be off today. I took full advantage of it by getting ahead on cleaning and putting up my Christmas goodies. I also managed to get in a killer leg work out. It felt great to be back in my health grind - clean eating and hard work out's. 

Marty and I were happy to relax once I finished all of that.

I am back at work tomorrow, but at least it is only one day! I have a jam packed weekend ahead and New Year's. My sister is staying with me this weekend and my mom will be staying with me next week! It looks like this new year will be coming in great!

Twas the week before Christmas and it's been nonstop!

December 19, 2013

Hello my loves! How is everyone doing this week? My week has been fantastic but nonstop. But now that I think of it, when is it ever? It is a good thing I am a naturally hyper person, otherwise I would not be able to keep up. I am stoked the Friday is almost here and that it will be another two weeks before I have a full work week again. Christmas and New Years will be here in the blink of an eye so that is wonderful and I am getting my hair done tonight - touching up my roots and getting the red streaks re-added. Ah! I am so happy, lots of awesome things going on!
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I bought a new table last week. I found it on Craigslist for $60. I then found two chairs on Amazon for $43 plus free two-day shipping with my Amazon prime. To complete my dining room, I needed to find the perfect centerpieces which I showed you guys on Sunday from the weekend blog entry. That totaled only $25. My chairs unfortunately arrived late so I did not receive them until Monday (it was supposed to be Friday) thankfully, I have an amazing boss who put them together for me! It was hilarious seeing the president of my company in a suit and tie putting together dining room chairs in his office. 

Since I am a diva on a budget, I am excited to say my dining room is finally complete and I only spent $128.00 on all of my dining attire!

I go to my wellness clinic on Monday's to receive my B12 injection. Since I have been back on track 100% with health and fitness and just overall trying to improve myself from a rough year, I have them weigh me. I lost 3.5 pounds last week! My total pounds down in the last 21 days= 14.1! How amazing. I am so excited! I cannot wait to keep going. I feel so damn good. I feel better about myself than I have in a long, long time.

I know my muscle is looking semi pathetic, but I have lost a lot of fat in them. My arms are a big trouble spot for me, along with my lower stomach, so seeing this progress means a lot!

My company had our holiday luncheon and 2014 benefits meeting yesterday. Since I am the Office mom, I mean manager, I had to order the food, set up everything, and then clean it all. Our company has 50 employees and cleaning up after Hurricane "Holiday lunch" was absolutely exhausting. Thankfully it went smoothly, we had a lot of fun, everyone brought delicious holiday desserts (that I did NOT partake in), and our company is growing. I was proud of my decor!

We had a local italian company cater pizza for our luncheon today and everyone brought a holiday dessert. I normally let myself have two "cheat meals" a week so I decided to make yesterday one of them. Usually my "cheat meals" are like a steak and bleu salad from Panera or a grilled chicken panini - nothing too heavy or crazy. However, I love pizza and I hear good things about this company so I decided to go for it. I had two slices of mushroom and cheese pizza and I. was. miserable. I do not eat a lot of carbohydrates. I certainly do not deprive myself, but I just do not want to eat them. After I ate, I was literally falling asleep. I absolutely hated the way I felt. My body is clean of the grease and toxins now, so I just felt crappy after. Most days I have a vegetarian meat substitute (such as GardenIn products) for lunch and a side of vegetables. I feel extremely energetic after, I never crash or get fatigued, but I did today. Luckily, I was so miserable after that I did not partake in the desserts. I will save my treats for my mother's amazing treats on Christmas! Before this was never me. And seeing these changes are absolutely incredible.

Last weekend I decided to get groceries at Target since I was there getting a lot of other things anyway. I was so surprised, the prices are fantastic and they had a lot of items that I was not familiar with. One of them being a flat bread with brie and balsamic vinegar. Holy mother of tastebuds, it was the most delicious flat I have ever eaten! Half of it is only 350 calories and it goes perfect with a side salad. If you have a Target near you, go try it ASAP! 
That is all I have for now!

Weekend Recap: My 50 y/o Mother's 1st Tattoo & Cucumber Vodka

December 15, 2013

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was great, but definitely did not go as planned. Initially I had a couple of friends coming down from New England to stay the weekend with me. But thanks to the north getting a freaking snow storm, that was cancelled. It completely sucked, but oh well. Next, my good friend and co-worker Karen made plans for a girl's day with me Saturday then a movie Sunday. However, her son ended up getting in big trouble at school. In her words "he is grounded for life" thus she has so stay home with him all weekend to "supervise". Another bummer, but I made the best of it!

First off, how amazing is this month's Ipsy bag? I received mine Thursday night. It has to be my favorite yet! I love everything in it. If you don't know about it, it is a monthly makeup bag that you receive via mail for only $10 a month. You get a makeup bag each month along with 4-5 beauty products. It is amazing. If you want to join, please use my link; just click here!

Friday morning when I was getting ready for work, I could not wait to try my new products. I used the grey eye shadow from Pop Beauty and the lipstick from NYX. I am beyond in love with the color of this lipstick! It is a cross between brown and purple and it is absolutely beautiful. I am about to use the polish now to do my nails. 

Friday I worked all day as usual then when 5 o'clock finally came, I hit the gym with my best friend Kelly. We did 45 minutes of cardio and our ab routine. By the time we finished, I felt pretty tired. I usually am on Friday's after the week. I bought "Revenge" season 2 DVD (My favorite show ever) at Target on my lunch hour so I decided to watch that while I did things around my apartment. My washer and dryer were finally installed Friday afternoon as well. I had TONS of laundry to do - three loads to be exact, ugh!

Meanwhile, my freaking 50 year old mother and new grandmother was out getting her first tattoo! I could not believe it! Here I am "being a good girl" on a Friday night and my MOTHER is out getting a tattoo!

I still do not know how I feel about this. I mean, it's weird. I have tattoo but I was 18 when I got it and it is easily covered and hardly ever seen. Her's is on her forearm. I find it hilarious, but weird nonetheless. She is already talking about another one and I told her absolutely no way. She has to listen to me, too. Now that I am older, our roles have reversed quite a bit, ha.

The tattoo is in honor of her battle with MS.

Saturday morning looked a little bit like this:

It was so rainy and so gloomy so I decided to fold the mountain of laundry and run my Saturday errands. Groceries, Target, GNC, and Ulta. Except I forgot my Ulta coupons so I had to go today. Target has the cutest sweaters on sale for $15 bucks too! Later that afternoon I pushed myself at the gym. It was a hard work out. The weather was awful and I just wanted to stay cuddled at home. But I didn't! I did 40 minutes of cardio and an upper body weight circuit.

Then it was time to get ready for a night out!

My friend Alexis and I started out at this new spot in my neighborhood of Charlotte called "Bradshaw's Social House". We had dinner and cocktails and enjoyed life music. After we were there a while a few of my friends decided to join us!

I sipped on a on a drink called the "Caroleena". It is SkinnyGirl Cucumber Vodka and tonic water. I know it sounds kind of weird, but it was surprisingly delicious and light.

After Bradshaw's we went to my favorite place to dance; Cosmos. It is in the same strip as Bradshaw's so that was convenient. I even ran into the girls who work at the office of my apartment complex and danced with them! It was so random, but so fun.

This morning I slept in until 10:30. Ugh! I never sleep that late. But I did not go to sleep until after 3 AM so I needed it. When I woke up, I hit the ground running. I cleaned my apartment top to bottom then went out to run errands.

I was on a mission to find the perfect centerpieces to dress up my dining room table. My chairs were supposed to arrive Friday, but in true Liz fashion they're late. Since I am a "diva on a budget" I hit up Ross and Dollar tree to complete the look for dining room table.

I am super happy with how it turned out. Everything on my table, combined, was $35!

All of the candle holders in the center, plates, napkins, and napkin holders are from Ross and the tea candles and place mats are from Dollar Tree!

After spending over an hour of hunting, comparing, and figuring out what I wanted, I was finally finished. I went to the gym after. I am so thankful tomorrow is my rest day because my body is so tired. I only did 40 minutes of cardio today. It was supposed to be leg day, but my body is too sore.

I refueled with my favorite salad ever after the gym. It's the "steak and bleu cheese" salad from Panera. Yum!

The rest of my evening has been spent prepping food and getting things organized for the week that is about to ensure. I will say though, this upcoming week is the last 5 day work week for 2 weeks. That is something to be celebrate!

Who else is SO excited for the "Revenge" mid-season finale tonight?! I cannot wait to see how this wedding goes down!

I hope you guys had a great weekend!
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Weight Loss, Wine, Best Friend, Table, and a Book. How's that?

December 11, 2013

How has everyone's week been? Mine has been fantastic. I am absolutely head over heels in love with my new home! Work has been busy, but in a good way, I was able to get out of my Direct TV contract and get cable (there is no where to put a satellite dish at my new apartment and Direct TV were being complete assholes about it), my washer and dryer are being installed tomorrow, and things are just great.
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It truly feels good to say that. I pray that they stay this way and I don't jinx myself.

As I wrote this post, I realized it is basically the "Friday 5" - you know the awesome link up's where you about 5 different things about your week? Well, I guess you can say I am starting the party early! Be sure and check out my "link up's" page so you can too!

1.) 3 pounds lost last week!
I was off of work Monday, thank God. It was so rainy, cold, and gloomy. I spent the day cleaning, unpacking, and organizing. I went to the doctor to get my B12 injection and I was down 3 pounds! I was very happy to see that. It was a complete surprise. I did not work out Saturday or Sunday because I was moving, and since my grandmother was in town, we ate out both nights as well. However, I did keep my meals healthy and moving is hard, hard exercise, so I suppose it makes sense. I am now down 10.2 pounds in two weeks. I cannot wait to write all about this!

I bought this shirt last winter because it was so cute. I could not pass it up. However, it was way too tight on me, especially around my stomach. But now it fits perfectly and is even loose around my stomach area. Total score!

2) Girl's night
Mine and my best friend Kelly, girls nights on "school nights" are really fun. We hit the gym for our work out's then come back to my place for dinner, wine, and girl talk. However, since I am working hard on my weight loss, I have not been drinking at all. But last night, when Kels came over for our girl's night, I decided to indulge. After all, we were celebrating my new place - it felt appropriate! 

3) New table!
My new dining room table was finally delivered last night as well. It was supposed to come Saturday, but in true "Murphy's Law"... sh** happens! And I have to say, does your best friend put together your new table? Mine does. While she is tipsy. Hilarious, but she totally did it! Go Kels! 

I lucked out on Amazon today and found two chairs that I think will go great with my new table. I bought them slightly used and was able to have both of them for only $43 bucks! The best part - they will be here Friday, hooray for free two day shipping!

4) Healthy but delicious dinner's
I always keep thinking cap on to make delicious dinners. Healthy and clean eating does not have to be boring and tasteless. I have been making a simple meal this week for dinners, but it has been SO delicious! The ingredients: ground turkey cooked in a frying pan via stove top with mushrooms with low sodium taco seasoning over a bed of fresh spinach topped with fat free cheddar cheese and crunchy onions. It is super easy and simple, but so good!

4) "There is more to life than this"
I consider myself to be a part book worm! I love to read. I do not have a Kindle or Nook, I prefer a cold, hard book. I do not know why, I just do. I am a huge fan of Teresa Caputo and her show, so I was excited when he new book was released. I picked a copy up at Target and it is such a good book. I read every night before bed to help get my mind tired and at ease, and this is a great book to do just that. It is an easy read with a lot of information and her background and other stories. It's definitely worth a pickup! 


December 10, 2013

I am the Office Manager and President's assistant.

He assigns me tasks to complete on a daily basis. Some of them are typical and administration related and some of them are "unique" and interesting. 

Last week I was told to purchase 60 "holiday" cards for our employees.

Fun, right? And easy enough I thought.

I go to WalMart (gag) because I had other supplies to get for the office and I picked up "holiday cards". They had "Christmas-y" pictures on them; you know like a Christmas tree, Santa, things like that, but nowhere on the box did it state that the inside of the card read "Merry Christmas". I thought they would be safe enough.


Some read "Merry Christmas" and some read "Happy Holidays".

I go back to WalMart, wait in line for 46 hours to return the cards, and proceed to go find another two boxes of "holiday" cards.

One box includes 32 cards, I bought two. One box has a picture that reads "Season's Greetings" and another box reads "Happy Holidays". Great.


I open them to begin working on them and they are assorted. Some say "Merry Christmas", so say "Happy Holidays", and some say "Season's Greetings". Unfortunately, majority of them say "Merry Christmas" so I have go return them.

For a second time.

Who would have ever thought buying freakin' "holiday" cards would be so hard!

SO then I hold the staff meeting to draw for "Secret Santa". 

We all write our name, three gift ideas, fold the paper, and put it in a bowl to be drawn.

First round, I was the last person to pick a paper and guess what?

I drew myself.


Everyone puts their papers back in the bowl to go again.

I picked my paper last again.

Guess what? I drew myself.

For the second time.

I can't.

Finally, the third go round, I drew someone else.

I am officially over this holiday mess.

All I can do is LOL. Story of my life, friends. You would think I am making this up, but with God as my witness, I'm not. 

PS: Join me over Kristen's blog for "Tell All Tuesday's" - a weekly link up and yours truly is the co-host this week!


Scenes from a move!

December 9, 2013

Whoo hoo baby, I am all moved in! My gosh what a hard freaking week last week was and the whole weekend. I worked nonstop. It was my first time using movers to move me and I am so thankful I did. My wonderful grandmother also came and stayed the weekend. We have everything almost set up! 
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I just need my dining room table which is coming tomorrow and my bedroom curtains to be hung, which will be done tomorrow as well. Thank goodness!

Home sweet home.