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

Legacy

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!
#cupthebutt
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)

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Running Peeves

I've been running on a regular basis since the spring.  I keep myself motivated to run by signing up to compete in various 5k races in the area.  I'm not an expert, and I am by no means fast or great at running, but I have only 1 rule for races - I don't care if I come in first place or last place, NO WALKING.  In each race I run, I encounter a new Running Peeve.  I've learned that no matter the race, location, or cause, there are always going to be "those people."

1. Those people who hop around at the starting line and stretch their necks side to side as if they are about to exert some major energy.  The gun sounds and they take off in a...brisk walk.
2. Those people who take off as fast as they can go after the gun sounds...that you pass at .25 miles as they are staggering around, gasping for air with their hands on top of their heads.
3.  Those people who wear silly sunglasses or hats, tutus, and tall socks.  I just think they are only appropriate for "fun runs." (Dirty Girl, Color Run, etc.)  All of that stuff would get on my nerves and distract from the race!
4.  Those people who have run the race before and like to hand out advice at the starting line about what we are about to encounter on our run.  Also, the people who like to tell you what stretches you should be doing or how you should warm-up.  Mind your own biznazz, dude!
5.  Those people who stand at the starting line and say things like "I can't believe you talked me into this, Marge! hehehehe" or "I hope someone knows CPR!" or "If I collapse, someone call 911!"  Each time I want to say, "HAHAHA - Haven't heard that one before!" *abruptly stops smiling and laughing* -_-.
6. And then there are THOSE PEOPLE.  The people I like to call "Ralkers." These people frustrate me more than any of the others.  The "Ralker" is a person who is clearly out of shape, not ready for a 5k, but wants to do it anyways...and win.  They walk until they can hear your steps creeping up behind them, and just as you think you're about to pass them, BAM! They take off in a sprint!  After about 60 seconds of running they slow to a walk again, but you'll always see them peek over their shoulder to gage how close you are.  It never fails; I always seem to be behind a Ralker at some point in each race.  I am never competitive in my races - until I encounter a Ralker.  I just can't stand it if they beat me that way!
On Saturday morning, I competed in the Bun Run 10k in Huntington, WV with some of my friends.  This was my very first 10k, and my main goal, as always, was to finish the race without walking.  I didn't care about placing or getting a certain time as I normally do in 5ks because this 10k was uncharted territory.  At the starting line, I noticed a woman in a brightly colored t-shirt committing running infraction #1, #3, and #5.  After the gun sounded, she committed infraction #2.  I was running along, trying to focus on the music in my ears instead of the 6.2 miles I had ahead of me, AND then BAM!.....#6.
Normally when I encounter a Ralker in a 5k, I can let off a little more energy to pass them because it is a shorter distance.  This was a little different.  As I mentioned before, this was my first 10k, so I was unsure of what was ahead.  For 6 MILES I had to stare at the back of her head as she continued to run, look at me, walk, and then run, look at me, walk.  After two very long, very hot, very tiring laps around Huntington, we had finally reached the last .2 miles of the race.  As we neared the giant blue, blowup finish line, I knew what I had to do.  My poor little legs were tired and aching, but I somehow found it within me to work up a sprint.  Or at least what felt like a sprint to me.  After 6 miles, it was really more of an upbeat jog.  I could hear Sarah, Krista, Tara, Jess, and Andy cheering over the music in my ear buds as I passed her.  Then, the unthinkable happened...she started sprinting too!  Several phrases ran through my mind, as my feet pounded the pavement in my efforts of beating her to the giant inflatable.  It was a race to the finish, BUT I GOT'ER!!  Tara captured it all on video, and I must say that it is completely ridiculous and embarrassing. (It felt like I was going MUCH faster!)
After the race I gave her a high five and congratulated her, but apparently it wasn't enough to make up for my bad race karma.  Now, I have planter’s fasciitis.  Oh well, the bottom line is that I finished, I didn't walk, and I really did give it my all!  I guess there are always going to be "those people" no matter what you do, but from now on I will try to ignore them and concentrate on running MY race.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Helen's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Hahaha you really thought I was giving away that little golden nugget of info!?  I know that all of you who clicked on the link won't admit that I got you, but you know I did!
I know, I need to get a life....Anywho, now that you're here, you might as well keep reading! ;)

I like to walk around the room while I am teaching Zumba.  Sometimes I just like to show everyone that they know the dance and can do it without me.  Sometimes it's because I've done the song so many times that I just can't bring myself to do it anymore.  Sometimes it's because I'm hot and need to walk by the fan in the back.  And then sometimes - I just like to mess with people.  Thursday night I walked to the back of the room where Helen stands (even though she's been coming to Zumba for almost 4 years and could do it blindfolded) to mess with her.  I stood beside her and watched in the mirror as we moved EXACTLY the same way.  Each step, each shake, and each shimmy was identical.  For the first time, I saw what everyone else has been seeing, and telling me, for all these years.  I...am...Helen.

I am realizing it more each day.  A few weeks ago we went to see the movie "Jersey Boys."  Helen actually saw them in concert at the Charleston Civic Center twice while she was in high school, and I saw the Broadway show while I was in high school.  In typical Kellie fashion, I quickly developed an obsession with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  This was really exciting for Helen.  We have always had the same taste in music, and we especially love the "oldies, but goodies."  When I was a junior in high school, Helen checked me out of school to go watch one of Tara's softball games in Fairmont.  On the way back we heard "December, 1963" on the radio and decided we had to stop at the Meadowbrook Mall to purchase their greatest hits CD.  We listened to it on repeat the entire way home.  I know it doesn't seem that spectacular, but it was a really, REALLY fun day.  SO, needless to say, we loved the movie!  It's nice to find something that you and your mom both love.  This is especially easy for me because Helen and I love a lot of the same things.  As much as I try to deviate, I always end up right back in her footsteps.

I think we all go through that phase where our moms don't know what they're talking about, and they're so annoying, and you can't believe she'd go out in public wearing THAT, and she just doesn't get it!  Then we go off to college and something magical happens.  Suddenly you realize your mom is smart, and cool, and fun, and she tottttallllyyy gets it!  It wasn't until my freshman year at Marshall that I realized just how much I needed my mom!  Helen didn't baby us, and she always made us do things on our own.  We made our own snacks, packed our own bags, did our homework without being asked, etc.  Even though we knew how to do things, sometimes it's just nice when your mom does it, especially when you're on your own.  You miss the little things like when we were sick, Helen would always make a trip to Video Madness and Dairy Queen when she went to pick up our medicine at Fruth.  Since I moved out, I don't get to see or spend as much time with Helen, but we still talk everyday and manage to find some time to do our favorite fun things together!

I love baking and cooking with Helen.  I thought since I had my fun with the cookie recipe earlier, I should at least mention them.  I have indeed mastered the Helen Lewis chocolate chip cookies.  Not to brag, but I got it on the first try.  It's in the genes!  Although I should be able to do it with one hand tied behind my back after having been her sous chef for all these years!  I've come a long way since the days of sitting on the counter watching her bake, while begging to lick the butter wrappers.  Yes, I said butter wrappers.  I know, so gross now, but delicious at the time!

I love shopping with Helen.  We can always count on each other to be brutally honest.  We have completely different ideas of what looks good and is in style, but we've learned that if it's not a train wreck, just go with it!  Helen can sniff out a deal better than anybody I know!  Our number one rule of shopping:  Never pay full price. (And we came up with that before Marshall's!)

I love sewing with Helen.  Well, actually Helen likes to sew, I like to design. I just didn't want to mess up the flow I have going. When we put our heads together, we come up with some great stuff!  I will draw something up and show it to her, which always leads to a JoAnn Fabrics trip to find a similar pattern.  We will modify the pattern, and then begins the search for the perfect fabric.  This is the only part where we usually don't agree, but it always comes out just right.  She's made countless outfits for me, including my prom dress!  I don't know how she does it, but she's a wiz with that sewing machine!

I love to exercise with Helen.  Helen loves Step and Tone with Gilad.  She has done this same exact workout on a regular basis since I was in pre-school.  I thought it was hilarious that we worked out on "the isle of poopoocare."  I laughed and joked with Helen about them caring for our poo every single time.  (I was little, give me a break!)  I loved going to Helen's aerobics class when she was an instructor, yet another thing we have in common.  I would slap on my leotard, grab my barbie water bottle, and off we went!  Just like a couple of Denise Austins!  Now, Helen is a regular at Zumba.  She has given up the leotard, but she still rocks a sweatband on her forehead!

I love singing and dancing with Helen.  Whether it's Reba McEntire or LMFAO, Helen will give the lyrics a shot and come up with some killer moves.  Helen does this thing we call "microwave dancing."  She can't just stand there or walk away until whatever she is cooking is done.  She has to watch it while she does the pony, or the mashes the potato, or does the twist, or vogues, or whatever dance she's feeling that day.  I catch myself doing that all the time now.  It's ridiculous.

I love backseat driving with Helen.  Helen and I are both terrible drivers.  (If you remember from my previous blog, this is where her phrase "slingin' em around like sausages" comes from.)  We both tailgate, which is especially bad because we have the attention spans of gnats!  However, when we are riding with other people, we are expert drivers and navigators!   We always know the best route and when to "STOP" and "GO!"  Poor dad...and Matt.

I love spending time with Helen, period. Yes, it's hilarious and I always come out with a new word or phrase that is completely ridiculous, but there is nobody else like your mom! I think it's nice to appreciate all they do for us! Not just on Mother's Day or their birthday, but every single day.  I love you, Helen! :)