Tuesday, October 14, 2014

25 Before 25

Well, I made it! I am a quarter of a century old, and I had such a wonderful birthday weekend with my friends and family!
I had planned to start off my Friday morning with a nice, long, birthday run to counteract the incredible amount of calories I planned to consume throughout the day, but I woke up to thunderstorms! Which is okay because I love storms!  Instead, I started my calorie parade with a giant hotdog donut from the Merry Baker in Eleanor! YUM-O! I spent the afternoon shopping with Helen and, of course, we had lunch at Chick-fil-a. Helen and I only had one argument because she kept insisting that I needed a leather jacket even though I told her repeatedly that I already have one THAT SHE BOUGHT FOR ME.  That's a pretty good day for us! Later that evening my whole family met for dinner at Outback. You just can't go wrong there. I mean, c'mon. Two words - cheese fries.
Saturday morning started with my sweet, smiley Zumba girls! They even made me a birthday card! After a quick trip to the mall for a few things I missed the day before, it was off to Casa in Eleanor to celebrate Beth's birthday too! Then the real birthday festivities began. I don't go out. I don't go out ever. I have been there and done that. However, I was feelin' frisky, and we were celebrating Brandon Garnes' birthday too, SO we got the gang together and went out for dinner and drinks in Charleston! We had SO MUCH FUN. I was sweating so much from dancing that I looked like I had just completed the ice bucket challenge.
Sunday after church I  was happy to attend Lindsay Rotella's baby shower, but by the time I got to Matt's house, the lack of sleep had caught up with me. I had about an hour long nap while Matt watched football and Kathy made me a fabulous birthday dinner, as usual! A birthday is not complete without the infamous feathery fudge cake. I seriously wish I could share this cake with the whole world. It would change your life. 

Okay, everyone is asking, so here is the list. Stupid Camden Park was the only one holding me back from completing the list! One of these days I will go, even though everyone keeps telling me that I'm not missing much!

1. Run a 5k - I've done several and even placed 2nd in one!
2. Run a 10k - I ran the Bun Run in Huntington, WV!
3. Run a half marathon - I will be running the Marshall Half Marathon on November 2nd. I realize this is after my birthday, but I registered and paid for it, so it counts!
4. Compete in a pageant - This was probably my favorite. Not only did I compete, but I actually won the title of Ms. Bridge Day 2014. I had such a great day getting ready with Sarah Brown! I was so thankful to have my family and friends were there supporting me and cheering me on! I can't wait for this weekend!
6. Clean out and decorate spare room - The spare room is now a gym! I love it! A blog about it is coming!
7. Go to a professional game - Matt and I went to the Penguins hockey game for his birthday! Then, over the summer we took a trip to Washington D.C. with Tara and Adam and watched a Braves baseball game.
8. Try new exercise classes - Megan and I have been going to a TRX class in Charleston, and we love it!
10. Have a yard sale - Day 1 of my yard sale was a huge success! Day 2, it poured the rain. Oh well, I still made almost $200!
11. Go camping - While I truly appreciate all of the hard work and effort Beth put into our camping trip, I will never, EVER, camp again! Not my style. It was all fun and games until we had to lay down in that tent and go to sleep. No fun.
12. Have a new first with Matt - We've been together for almost 3 years now, and sometimes it seems like we do the same things over and over. We went on our first trip together to Columbus and had a blast (even if I did have the stomach virus!)
13. Go to Camden Park - Every time we tried to go, something came up! I was sick, it was closed, the weather was bad, etc. So, no Camden Park YET.
14. Do a handstand - This one came more easily than I expected! I guess it's like riding a bike!
15. Watch 3 classic movies I haven't seen - Shout out to Lindsay Rotella for letting me borrow her Audrey Hepburn movies! This will be an ongoing goal because there are still so many I need to see!
16. Read more - Another shout out to Lindsay for letting me borrow her book, Psychos! FANTASTIC! Also, my Aunt Ann let me borrow one of my Grammie's old journals to read, which has been really fun!
17. Get a tan - I had a tan for a little while, but I will stick to my spray tans! Much easier! Plus, I get to have a little girl time with my Z-gang!
18. Travel - I went to Columbus with Matt, Washington D.C. with Matt, Tara, and Adam, Charlotte with Matt, Scott, Olivia, and Josh, and Emerald Isle with Matt's family!
19. Volunteer - Aside from Zumbathons, I went to the Putnam County Animal Shelter and walked dogs with Helen. This is definitely something that I will keep up with!
20. Workout on the beach - Not as great as it seems in movies and on TV! Sand is a problem. I won't throw the cliche "sand in places" line at you.
21. Sing in public alone - I totally forgot that I have done thing! On my cruise I sang Reba McEntire's Fancy, and gave QUITE a performance!
22. Buy a car - I purchased a brand new 2015 Mazda CX-5. I'd been looking at SUVs for about a year, and when I finally went car shopping, they had the exact car I had been wanting right there in front of me. It was a sign! I love my new car!
23. Teach Ozzie new tricks - Ozzie can now twirl, speak, sit, and will come when he is called!
24. Host game night - Game Night was super fun! We played pictionary, charades, scattergories, and ate tacos in a bag!
25. Do a photo shoot - Megan and I had a photo shoot before my pageant because I needed a head shot! I ended up winning Most Photogenic, so yay!

To anyone thinking about doing a list, I highly recommend it! My advice is to give yourself more than a few months! I have been cramming things in right and left! I am already thinking about my 30 before 30 list! I truly appreciate all of the people who have messaged me to let me know how my list inspired them to make a list, or helped to encourage them to try something new! It is so wonderful to accomplish something you never even thought was possible! I wish all of you the best of luck in accomplishing each task on your list!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The busiest lazy weekend

This weekend was the first in a long time that I didn't have a million places to be, a million people to see, and a million things to do.  Naturally I had to ruin what could've been a peaceful weekend by packing it with "list" things! Matt was thrilled.

I started my Friday off with a family breakfast at Bob Evans, which hasn't happened in YEARS. During that time I managed to talk Helen into going to the Putnam County Animal Shelter to volunteer and walk dogs! If you've never been, I will warn you, it's a little overwhelming! There are many dogs that need love and attention, and only one of you! Some energetic pups dragged Helen and me along down the path, and others were scared stiff! By the time we were finished we were covered in dirt, sweat, and well, I'll let you guess what else!  I know I can't save them all, but it feels good to know I was able to make them happy for even just 30 minutes! Helen and I were a little worried about one dog getting the veterinary care he needed. Well, I happened to be at the vet with Ozzie Saturday afternoon, and a family with two kids came in with that same dog getting him all checked out! I WAS SO EXCITED! The kids loved all over him and he didn't even care that he was in pain because he had a family! I could've cried right there in the waiting room!  So, PLEASE ADOPT! There are so many wonderful dogs that need loving homes! Entirely too many of those cards on the kennels read "Owner Surrender."  I will never EVER understand...

Next I stopped by Strand Salon to see my girl, Mary, and get a root and run!  The R&R is the best!  They put the color on and let you go home and wash it out! Sooooo convenient! Then, I decided to try Nails by Tammy a couple doors down from Strand.  Let me tell you, my nails have never looked so good! All y'all nail people, try it out!

Now that I had my hair and nails done, I was ready for the big camping trip! ;)  Beth really outdid herself!! We had a huge tent, a hammock, tiki torches, and a pretty amazing tribal council circle! ;) Tara, Beth, Jess, and I roasted weenies, made s'mores, told stories, and laughed until almost 2:00a.m. Things were going fabulous! Then...it was time to go to sleep. As we laid in the tent I became increasingly more aware of every single noise outside of the tent! Palmer guarded the tent, growling and barking off any unwanted company throughout the night. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling super ill around 3:00am. So yes, camping literally makes me sick. Needless to say, I didn't sleep a wink! I think that was my first and last camping trip.

The camping trip was over very early Saturday morning, and after a quick nap, I started my day with some sweet, smiley girls at Zumba Kids! I had originally planned to go to Camden Park with Matt, but Ozzie needed a trip to the vet (as I mentioned earlier, and I will spare you the details on that).  After the vet trip I was still having what I call my "camping hangover" from lack of sleep and lots of junk food, so most of Saturday was spent sleeping on Matt's couch. Oopsie!

Sunday was another early day, as they usually are! Our Marshall Half Marathon training is underway! 7.5 miles and all before 10:00! We are about a month away, and getting excited to run it...Or excited to get it over with! The answer you get depends on whether you're talking to me or Sarah! ;)

My 25 Before 25 to-do list is shrinking each week! Only 5 left! This is good because my birthday is fast approaching! I've realized a couple of them won't be completed by my birthday, but that's okay! The point of the list is to do them, AND I WILL. I have to brag on my friends and family because they have been so supportive and helpful in getting this list completed! I absolutely couldn't do it without them!


Friday, September 5, 2014


I don't typically get sappy with you guys, and if you're not in the mood, I understand! The X is in the upper right hand corner.  This entire blog may not make any sense to you-but it does to me, so just go with it!  I have a lot of thoughts jumbled up in my mind, and I need to get it out.
I can be emotional.  I cry all the time.  Happy, sad, mad, tired, frustrated, you name it.  My feelings get hurt easily. I know this.  As tough as I try to be, I hate confrontation and will avoid a fight at all costs. At the same time, I know when I am wrong, and I am not to proud to admit it and apologize. With that being said, I recently had an altercation where I truly feel that I did nothing wrong and was treated very poorly by a friend. My feelings are hurt - so hurt that they are about to drive me to make a big change. I am taking some time to cool off, soul search, and pray on the situation. Stay tuned.
The deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers have stirred up a lot of feelings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  All of the talk got me asking myself - What will my legacy be?  What will I leave my friends and family with when I'm gone? How do I want people to remember me?
I have wonderful memories of Robin Williams, and I am genuinely saddened by the way his life ended.  He made millions of people laugh, cry, and laugh until they cry.  I can't think of one negative thing to say about him.  Then, there's Joan Rivers.  If I'm being honest, I think of a mean, crude woman who would say anything to get a laugh, no matter whose feelings got hurt in the process.  I couldn't watch Fashion Police on E! because of the things she said about people.  It is one thing to poke fun at an ugly dress, but it is quite another to make mean comments about a person's weight or face. That doesn't make her death any less sad to her loved ones, but that is just a recent example of two very different legacies.

I love the saying "Be the type of person you want to meet."  I try to live that each day.  I know it's not possible to be nice ALL the time, but as they say, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. In some cases your first impression could be your only impression.  Something to think about the next time you don't hold a door or decide to flip someone the middle finger in traffic.  I'm not perfect.  Every one has bad days.  I only strive to wake up each day better than I was the day before.
Life is tough, and I'm not even into the big things yet!  I still have so many battles ahead of me.  Right now, I'm finding some comfort in Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  It's nice knowing that God has my back no matter what.  I hope that He will be happy with whatever legacy I leave behind.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2014 Vemmy's

I wasn't sure about writing this, but by request - here it is!  Since the VMA's and Emmy's were back to back this year (and I don't want to write two separate posts) I am doing one big Vemmy's post!  I feel like I should mention that these are two very different award shows! In my opinion - the goal of the VMA's is to be stylish and sexy, yet quirky.  Again, just in my opinion - the goal of the Emmy's is to be beautiful and elegant, but with a little twist.

As always, my Best Dressed comes first!

For the VMA's - Can you really pick anyone else but Beyonce?  She had an incredible night and her body is bangin' in that black lacey number!

For the Emmy's - I have to go with the blingin' baby bump, Hayden Panettiere!  I am always so disappointed in how the pregnant women wear these frock-like maternity dresses! Thank you, Hayden, for showing women that you can still be beautiful and not hide your bump!

I loved Ke$ha, and I normally think she looks like she fell into a recycling bin.  I love the muted multicolored hair with that white beaded dress.  I just think she looks beautiful and for once, shes not trying too hard to be weird!

Can we just have a moment for the one of my favorite couples? Awhhhh....  I love Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo together!  That white dress (although you can't see it that great) fit her body like a glove! She was classy and sexy!

Demi Lovato and Iggy both looked incredible from the neck down.  The only thing I disliked about Iggy's dress is the little open part on her torso.  They lost me on the hair.  The only two hairstyles I can't stand right now - shaved and greasy.

Of course Sofia Vergara looked perfect.  When does she not look perfect?  So jealous...

If you read my tweets, you know I love OITNB, especially Crazy Eyes! I have to give Uzo a shout out mostly because she looks so much better out of character.  And Taylor was in the running for my best dressed! I love the dress.  I just wish it was a different color!

I normally don't go for a crop top, especially with a full skirt, but I actually loved Sarah Hyland in this!  She looks her age, which I really, really like!

And rounding out the best dressed section, Kate Walsh.  I LOVE THIS YELLOW ON HER.  I love the little cap sleeve, I love the exaggerated peplum, I love the fit, I just think she is to die for in this dress!

Now, for the worst dressed.
I really can't pick a worst, but we will start with the sister of the Best Dressed, Solange.  I just can't get on board with the over-sized suit look.  I wish she had pulled her hair back into a tight bun and thrown on a red lip because that could've made a huge difference!

From the knees up, I love this look, but then..."Pants on the ground, pants on the ground..."  I have to be honest, I don't know who this is, but it kind of looks like she dropped trou and her pants around her ankles.  Nothing sexy about that. :/

These two....the opposite of Jordin and Jason. They march to the beat of their own drums, and are always a little scandalous.  I'm sure her...chains?...were all very shiny and polished!

I know everyone was all abuzz on social media about J-Lo, but I did not like her dress AT ALL.  Especially with those shoes!  A strappy sandal, Jenn, a strappy sandal!  Of course it's still THE Jennifer Lopez, so she is incredible and gorgeous, but this look just missed the mark for me!  I'm sure she will redeem herself in no time!

I like the bob, and her face is stunning, but Sarah, honey, this dress looks like something you would use to scare teenagers into practicing abstinence.  I would like to see less of the red nonsense.

I LOVE Mayim Bialik and Big Bang Theory, so I hate to put her on this list.  I love the blue, the lace, the necklace, BUT the style and cut just isn't flattering!  It looks like it was made for a Golden Girl.

Kerry Washington has really been letting me down.  She is a gorgeous girl, and she used to kill it at every red carpet show.  Kerry, I need you to pull it together, girl!  I feel that as women, we are born with certain instincts.  Most women know that in MOST cases you should never wear red and green together, and never wear orange and black together.  I think it would have been fine without the black panel in the slit.

Lena Dunham.  I have to be honest.  She is kind of making me mad at this point.

Taylor swift has officially made the switch to pop music.  You can't show your face in the country music world after showing your CT all night in a bedazzled romper!  I do love her new song and video though!  Her performance was super cute!

And last, but not least...
I think Katy Perry is one of the most beautiful women in the biz right now.  Which is why I have to say from the neck up, gorgeous.  Also, her body looks amazing.  Unfortunately I have to address the unfortunate situation that is her dress.  I mean...I get what you were doing, Katy, but whyyyyyy?  I loved all of the "Who wore it best" polls about this!  Are you kidding me!?  Its a denim patchwork evening gown! Nobody wears it best!

I realize I left a few good and bad ones out, but we would be here all day if I mentioned everyone!  As always, let me know what you think! Who were your best and worst? :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thank God for Helen stories and answered prayers!

I realize it has been awhile since my last post, and for that, I apologize.  I have been incredibly busy.  (That's an understatement.)  The first week of August was spent in Emerald Isle, NC with Matt's family!  We ate tons of delicious seafood, shopped, and of course, spent plenty of time in the sun and sand!  When I returned from vacation, I was smacked in the face with the reminder that my pageant was just two weeks away! AHHHH!
Let me just start by saying, nothing about preparing for a pageant is easy.  NOTH-ING.  The "to-do" list is incredible.  Gowns, make-up, hair, walking, standing, posing, interview, shoes, jewelry, nails, tan, and then my most important task - to eat right and workout.  I have so much respect for the girls who do this on the reg! So much hard work and effort goes into competing!  Not to mention, my poor little feet couldn't take much more in those heels!

Being new to the pageant world, I wanted to be completely prepared (although there is no way you could be!)  First, I enlisted the help of one of my best friends, and former Mrs. WV International, Sarah Brown.  She knows all!  I absolutely could not have done this without her!  I got back on track with my Isagenix nutritional cleansing and added some workouts to my routine.  A couple of months ago Megan wanted to try a lunchtime TRX class, and now we are both hooked! So, the past two weeks were spent Zumbaing. Tabataing, Yogaing, TRXing, Running, Lifting, etc!  My social calendar went out the window.  If you weren't in one of my fitness classes, we probably didn't see each other!

Fast forward to pageant day...
Interview Outfit
I woke up feeling SO nervous, which is SO not me! I couldn't even think about eating!  I think it was a "I'm clueless and new and everyone else has been doing these forever" kind of nervous!  We arrived, registered, settled in, and went to orientation.  Immediately after orientation, we went back and started preparing for interviews!  Now, I've done plenty of interviews, and even placed in FBLA states in the interview competition, so I know I can do it.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I was freaking out in my head so badly that I was about to work up a cry. Ridiculous! I texted my mom and asked her to pray to calm my nerves, and she of course texted other people and asked them to do the same. As I was waiting to go in (praying for everything I could think of that would help me) it hit me that I was being so silly. I don't know why I would ever be nervous about talking about me? I love talking about me! Who knows me better than me?  To my surprise the judges were actual people, not monsters trying to get me! They were very friendly and I felt completely at ease.  They asked me about my job, my community service, my favorite song, and so on.  THEN they asked me about Life with Helen!  I could've talked about it all day!  When my time was up they were still laughing! Thank God for Helen stories and answered prayers!
Sense of Style Outfit
Next, it was time for the big show! I stood backstage and prayed and prayed, and prayed some more! Walking out on stage for the first time with the lights and music was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time!  I couldn't see anything but bright lights and a microphone.  As soon as I introduced myself, I heard my family screaming and I immediately felt better! I met Sarah in the hallway to head back to the dressing room after my "sense of style" walk, and she was absolutely ecstatic!

I was relieved and feeling better about walking in my evening gown! Sarah laced me up and gave me a pep talk, then it was up to me! I wouldn't see her until after the crowning!  I waited backstage and chatted with the girls about various pageant things that I know nothing about.  It somewhat helped to get my mind off of what I was about to do!

As I stepped out in my blue gown, a million thoughts were running through my head! "Smile, walk slowly, move your arms, suck in, shoulders back, eye contact, Ouh I love this song, just keep smiling, just keep smiling, smiling, smiling..." I wish I could say I was relieved when that part was over, but the toughest part of the competition was still to come.

On-stage question.

Dun dun dunnnnnn!

I definitely wasn't the only one backstage who was nervous about this part of the competition because everyone was sweating bullets! We had no idea what the question would be until we walked out on stage and drew it from a fishbowl!  I took a deep breath, walked out, chose my question, and waited anxiously as she read the words, "What is your favorite childhood memory?"  I shuffled through some blog posts in my head as quickly as possible and decided to tell The Scrubby Bubbles story. Yes ma'am, I did!! I think the audience and judges loved it (or it could've just been my family cheering? I'm not quite sure!)
They must have liked something because a few minutes later, this happened!!!
I am so honored and excited that I was chosen to be Ms. Bridge Day 2014!! I am looking forward to a fun year! I hope to meet tons of new people and experience tons of new things!
This completely exceeded my expectations! My "25 before 25" goal was just to compete, not win! I am so thankful to Sarah for helping me, to family and sisters for coming to support me, to Megan for taking my picture and helping me win Most Photogenic, and most of all to God because he truly helped me put my best foot forward on that very long Saturday!  He had to listen to me all day!

I am absolutely overwhelmed with all of the good luck's, congratulations, and support I have received from everyone via text and social media! I have to say that competing on this pageant was a wonderful experience! It was not at all what they make it out to be in movies and on TV! The girls were encouraging and friendly, and I never once felt uneasy about leaving my evening gown unattended in the dressing room! ;)  I met some beautiful, fun, fabulous girls, and I can't wait to spend the next year getting to know them better!

My new friend, Amber!
We had so much fun!
Cannot thank this girl enough!
He's a good boyfriend! My pageant trumped a Fantasy draft! ;)
One of my favorite people in the whole wide world!
Helen and Jeff! They're the best!
All of the Bridge Day girls
My AMAZING cheering section!

The sign Beth made! #obvichoice.. So funny!
My amazing, beautiful, awesome sisters!

And finally eating for the first time all day!! (I was too nervous to eat! lol)