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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

open discussion {blogger roundtable part 5}

bonnie's blogger roundtable is honestly one of my very favorite things every month. i will be completely devastated if i ever have to miss it. she changed things up a little this time. she hosted at her house and didn't have a formal topic. it was an anything goes kind of night. it was a little smaller group than some of the other roundtables which made for really good conversation. everyone had plenty of chances to talk. we talked about comments, establishing a community, incentives/giveaways, swapping posts, and blogging partners. we touched on so many things. i came away with some really great inspiration for blogging. now if i could only find the time.

aubrey, bonnie, kimberly, melinda, chelsea
it was such a great night. we talked and talked and talked and when the davis county girls left, we talked and talked some more. thank you bonnie for another great roundtable.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

blogging the bach 9.10 {finale part 1}

i have been more tempted to read the spoilers this week than i ever have in my entire life. i didn't do it, but i really wanted to. the previews after the men tell all just about killed me.i have seriously been dying all week.  kimberly and i are back talking all things bachelor.
google image and basically the only thing that mattered in the whole show

we start off with a recap and i wonder why. we don't need to re live the season or the james biz yet again.

drew gets the explore the island date. it's never really a good sign. the bach/bachelorette never gives the explore the city date to their pick. drew is extremely confident, and i am more and more worried for him. he is more in love, and they kiss. a lot. i really feel like he is going to get his heart broken, and i'm really sad for him.

at this point antigua reminds me of my island trip back in may, and i really want to go back.
brooks goes to talk to his mom and sister. he is still all about the layers, but it's probably colder than cold in idaho so i don't blame him. i actually like his clothes and think he looks pretty cute. his poor mom looks worried...really worried. i keep feeling like we aren't getting the whole story. maybe i'm overanalyzing.

chris is up next, and i am so confused as to what was so amazing about his hometown. i thought it was weird. anyone else? they finally bust out the helicopter. where has this thing been all season? (besides the jersery shore date of course). chris is also very confident which translates to more poetry. i am seriously not even kidding for one second over the poetry. enough. it's also my bleachable moment for the week mostly because i am so sick of it. the fantasy suite talk is a little awks which is pretty norm for these two.

enter brooks. i think he's been my favorite this whole season. is it weird that i don't even know who my favorite is? brooks talks to chris, and i am once again worried. i start to wonder how in the world it happens that both people are "there" at the same time. i've been "there" before, and he's been "there" before, but i have obviously yet to be "there" with him (whoever he is) at the same time. feel free to chime in with some thoughts). chris tells brooks to "pull yourself together". good luck dude! i can never pull myself together.ever. the editing is KILLING me. for the first time this season i feel really imvested/obsessed with what is going on. i am legit sad for both of them. by this point in watching we caught up our DVR watching to what is airing live so i have to suffer through the commercials. 

this really is the breakup that won't end. i've been there before, and des is absolutely right when she says this sucks. it totally does. i started thinking maybe he wasn't really going to leave. i still have an itty bitty ounce of hope that maybe he comes back. 

to all of you who are married to amazing utah boys, disregard this next paragraph. this whole thing with brooks is classic utah dude. boy likes girl. girl might like boy a little more than boy likes girl at the moment. boy likes spending time with girl. boy loves many things about girl. boy can't commit because what if...
boy walks away from the most amazing thing he ever had
i know this certainly isn't the case for all dudes. plenty of utah dudes figured it out and got hitched, but i see this pattern over and over. brooks, do yourself a favor and don't take advice from your utah buddies.

the previews are KILLING me. i want to know right this minute what happens. i'm more tempted than ever to read the spoilers, but word on the street is they might not even be right. so...keep the spoilers out of here. kimberly and i tweeted a little throughout the show, but i still can't even wait to see what she has to say. go see for yourself.
word tally
love...102...i'm serious and not counting the song
in case you missed the previous weeks
week 1
week 2
week 3
week 4
week 5
week 6
week 7
week 8
week 9

Monday, July 29, 2013

random rambling...thoughts on running part 2

did you catch part 1 of my running story? if not, check it out here.

I never thought I would run any kind of race much less organize a relay race. After working at a few Ragnar races I decided I wanted to be on the runner side of things. Being in charge of the team was so stressful which made the running part even more stressful. I was runner 8 so I had to wait many hours before my turn to run. After my first leg, I felt a little better about the running part. My last leg was TERRIBLE (6 miles gradual uphill in the 95 degree weather), and I kind of thought I might never run again.

Signing up for my first Wasatch Back made me actual train for the race. Teresa invited me to come run with her running group, Generation Gap. I knew for sure I needed people in order to stick with the training. Before running with the group I had never run more than a 10k and never thought I ever would run more than that. The first time I met up with the group they had a 14 mile run planned. That's 8 more miles than I had ever run in my life ever. Teresa reassured me I would be fine (don't ask me how she knew) so like a crazy person I decided to do it.

I thought I would run with the group to get ready for the relay race and then stop running. That's also complete crazy talk! I ran with them for a little over a month before the relay. I survived Wasatch Back, and I actually really liked it. I also liked the running group so much I just couldn't stop. They all run many marathons a year, and before I knew it they convinced me to sign up for my first marathon.

that's basically part 2. i'll be back to continue the story very soon...

as a completely random side note...happy 1st birthday to my nephew kyler. i have no idea how a year has already gone by.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

graduation table

celsey, shawn, and alicia graduated from the university of utah back in may. somehow this party never got blogged. we have pretty much been planning the party ever since we met. we have been so excited for them to get done with school so we could have more time for cake, crafts, and whatever else. (we're still waiting for that to happen, but that's whole different topic). we were in charge of the dessert table and decided on a red, white, and black theme since they graduated from the U. true to form, we had minimal time throughout the week to work on anything. we ended up baking and baking and baking the night before the party. luckily we had a lot of help from basically all of celsey's family and shawn's sister with the cupcakes. we were so happy with the end result and everyone loved it.

here are some mini tutorials for the dessert table

homemade oreos & hot tamales with black ribbon
2. frost with cream cheese, buttercream, or your favorite frosting
3. roll in red sprinkles

 chocolate dipped marshmallows
 this seemed really easy to make BUT it wasn't
1. carefully put stick in marshmallow
2. dip in melted red dipping chocolate
3. roll in crushed oreo pie crust (much easier than crushing regular cookies)
4. turn upside down and hold for several seconds while it dries a little

 graduation caps
1.  make a tiny hole in the reese's cup with a toothpick and carefully insert stick (be careful not to shove it in or it will break)
2. set square of hershey's chocolate on top with a little frosting
3. use another dot of frosting on top of the square for the tassle (airhead extreme cut into small pieces) and a red hot
4. serve in styrofoam circle enhanced with ribbon

class rings
 ring pops (buy at the dollar store) in a vase with black ribbon

 pepperidge farms pirouline cookies

chocolate cupcakes with white buttercream frosting, red shimmer dust, and silver beads

planning and executing the party was so much fun. i'm definitely adding party planning to my list of things i'm dreaming about someday doing when i'm a stay at home.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

California Recap

i had the week of the 4th of july off work so i went down to california. i was really good about using my camera on the 4th and never pulled it out again. it's so much easier to use my phone. besides celebrating the 4th, we did a few other fun things.

chelsea, karlee, and i got pedicures. we thought karlee was just getting her nails painted, but they gave her the full pedicure...for the full price. lesson learned on that one, but it was still really fun.

we went swimming at night with glow sticks. the kids thought it was so cool. since i'm the favorite aunt (kidding...kind of), i just sent them a package with tons more. hopefully it gets there today so they can do it again.

we played in the yard (well mostly in the pool and the tramp, but the kids did play a little baseball with jeff).

chelsea and i did a few craft projects (actually jeff painted the numbers on this growth chart).

chelsea's making a gallery wall. i love all these fun colors. i keep forgetting to ask if she ever finished it.

as always i was super sad to leave. i looked out the window of the plane, and saw the most amazing sky. i would still rather have been playing with the kids than flying home, but it made me an itty bit happy to be on a plane.

i was really sad when they moved to california thinking i wouldn't be able to see them as much. so far i've been lucky enough to go to california twice besides the move and just booked another trip for september.

ps...if you saw my picture on instagram sunday night of my extremely chipped nails, you'll know i'm kind of a brand snob. i'm hanging out over at just jacq today talking all about it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a lot

there's a lot going on around here today/this week
today is pioneer day. unless you are mormon or live in utah, that really might not mean a thing. i love what i posted about last year so rather than try to create something even better, i'm sending you straight back there. my thoughts on this day or essentially the same as a year ago.
hop till you drop is still happening for a few more days. come find some new friends.
the ad space giveaway over at life of a sports wife goes until the weekend. it's a lot of exposure for your blog for FREE so really, go enter.
and finally...
It's time for some Summer fun! 
I am teaming up with these lovely ladies for a $120 PayPal Cash giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

i know there's a lot going on over here, but it's all such good stuff. i couldn't just couldn't leave anything out.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

blogging the bach 9.9 {men tell all}

typically the men tell all episode isn't really my fave. it is usually the week before the finale, and i am usually ready to know who she picks and move on. this time it was a week early, but i am still ready to know who she picks and move on with life. before the show started kimberly and  i were afraid the whole thing would be about how james and mikey are going to find tall beautiful women and go boating in chicago. i legit thought i might have to tell you all the lessons i learned the first time i went to chicago. luckily, i have plenty more to talk about (are we surprised?), but you can still read all about my chicago trip here.
we start off with the viewing parties. aside from monday night tradish (which has been pretty out the window this season) and watching with kimberly once, i have watched most of this season by myself (which is pretty lame by the way). i would way rather have a giant viewing party. i started thinking of all the bach people i would want to crash my viewing party. the list got pretty long. was anyone else confused how/why des wore the same outfit in the LA and NYC parties?
onto the talk about bad boys. i love these girls, and seeing them/what they wore was prob my fave part of the whole episode...well, juan pablo is also in the running. i seriously want to hangout with them. 
now onto the guys...does anyone remember 1/2 of these dudes? i still can't remember dan although i think he did have a comment or two.
brian made a good decision not to come. he would have been ripped apart by everyone (as he should be).
juan pablo seems to be one of the only ones who actually gets it. getting sent home doesn't mean you are a horrible person. it's just not meant to be. he was so mature about it. they seem to be prepping us for juan pablo to be the next bach. the recap from the season makes it seem like we did know about his daughter the whole time. where was i for all of this? the tweet about giving new meaning to soccer mom was perfect. he's super hot and just adorable. i vote juan pablo for next bachelor.
ben gets in the hot seat, and i honestly don't care what he has to say. i was happy when she sent him home, and i was happy when he got out of the hot seat.
james gets his turn in the hot seat, and i am scared. the whole james/mikey/kasey thing is a little much for me. talking about being the next bachelor is just dumb. at this point i really should have counted the use of the words integrity and character. emily maynard's tweet was my favorite "went to put ricki to bed...came back and they're STILL talking about this". amen sista...enough. i am also thinking someone in chicago (or anywhere else for that matter) needs to introduce me to tall successful men.
on a serious note (is that possible in the middle of a bach cap?), there was a lot of talk about plan B. i have tried to get that out of my vocabulary. plan A is what is happening right now, and it is what is supposed to happen. it might not be how i thought life would go, but it is how life is supposed to go.
onto zak...bless his little heart. he obvi hasn't found love YET, but i guarantee he will. he starts talking about being 31 and all his friends being married. i can totally relate. the same is true at 33.
des is up last and clearly watching the show has been enlightening to her. she's pretty irritated with several guys and rightfully so. although zak's song was a little awks, it was also a little cute. i am feeling pretty sentimental and emotional right now, and i really almost starting crying.
america got it right when they picked jonathan's fantasy suite entrance as the most bleachable moment from the whole season. i have to agree, and it seems like he does too.
i wasn't planning to count words tonight, but i changed my mind. i def might have missed a few.
right (or wrong) reason...6
i can't wait to see what kimberly has to say about this. i also can't wait to see what happens the next 2 weeks. chris harrison promised the most dramatic episode ever so we'll see.

Monday, July 22, 2013

let's connect

i probably sound like a giant broken record, but i seriously really really love connecting with other bloggers. instead of random ramblings today, i have a few opportunities to connect. come join in the fun!

blog hop hosted by mybeautifulcrazylife33

Hello Hello, I have a treat for you guys while I am gone that comes in the form of a blog & hop :)   I didn't want this little space of mine to fall off the face of the planet while I was gone so I put together a fun little hop to keep some interaction going on between now and whenever I might return. Who knows if it is a success I might keep it going, but that will be determined at a later date but for now let's hop till you drop!
+Frankly the only rule I care much about is to visit at least 2 or 3 other links and follow them :)
I want you guys to connect and make some friends that you might not have found otherwise.
+It's always an added bonus if you care to follow me as well as all the lovely co-hosts for the week because well we want to be your friend too! 
+If you feel like it please share the button below on your page so others can join in too! 
Meet the lovely co-hosts :)
GRAB A BUTTON & SHARE THIS HOP WITH YOUR FRIENDS :) Hope you have a great time hopping!

looking to grow your blog but don't want to pay a lot of money?!? head over to life of a sports wife to enter a great ad space giveway
just jaq is starting a new program to send a little not of support in the mail. who doesn't love mail?!?
and finally i just heard about another amazing opportunity to connect through the bigs and littles blogging network. check it out here.
on the subject of connecting, i would love to know who you are and how you got here. leave me a little note in the comments, and let's connect. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

kettle bell kraze

I just got home from another edition of the blogger roundtable. As always, we talked and talked and talked the night away. More to come on that hopefully very soon. I have said it over and over again, my very most favorite part of blogging is the connections I make. Who doesn't like to make more friends?!?

Speaking of friends, Jacquelyn is starting a cool new letter exchange program. The thought of a real letter in the mail sounds like all kinds of fun to me. Head on over to find out more.

Speaking of other friends, I have Carrie here today. We met doing the May 30x30 fashion challenge. The whole group instantly connected over fashion, but it got even more fun when we started learning more about each other. Carrie is a runner too, and she lives in St. Louis. We already have plans to get together next time I go visit the parents (whenever that may be). Back in the day, I was a Crossfit die hard, but then I had hip surgery and never really made it back. I first learned about kettlebells there, and I have really missed them ever since. Carrie is giving us the full rundown today.

Hi! I am Carrie visiting from Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird and today I am going to share with some basic knowledge on kettlebells. Now, I am a runner by heart and I do run 3-4 times a week on average... But, I wanted to add some weight lighting into my weekly workouts, since running is mainly just cardio. Did you know that kettlebells and running are both forms of ancient exercise? Kettlebells were first used in the 1700's by Russian strongmen and humankind has been running as long as they've been around. Intersting, eh? My goal is to work out with weights a couple of times a week and run 3-4 times a week. I know that sounds like a lot and when I am training for some longer races, I usually do drop my weight lifting workouts first. BUT, I try to make the weight lifting workouts fun and on rough weeks I may just do a 30 minute session, but it is better than skipping them. 

Are you ready to cover Kettlebells 101 with me?

1. What do you do in a kettlebell workout? 

The kettlebell is a cast-iron weight with a handle that you do repetitive exercises with to build strengh and endurance and it works several muscles at once.

2. What do I need in order to do a kettlebell workout?

Kettlebells. I would buy 2-3 different weights. I started with a 7 and a 10 lb. kettlebell, but realized the 7 is wayyy too light. I think a 10, 15 and 20 would be a good to start with. You only use one kettlebell at a time, so you only need one of each weight (unlike some dumb bell exercises).

Grip Gloves. These serve two purposes: (a) they protect your hands from getting sore or developing callouses. (b) it will give you a little extra grip on the kettlebells as you are handling them.

3. What is a good beginner's workout to start with?

Iron-Core-Kettlebells dvd
I highly suggest Iron Core Kettlebells with Sarah Lurie if you love to workout to DVD's like I do. I first read about working out with kettlebells in one of my magazines (can't remember which) and I thought it would be wonderful to workout to something other than dumb bells for a change. 

I love that this DVD contains 4 different workouts and that one of them is only 30 minutes for those days that I don't have a lot of time. It takes a couple of times doing the videos to get a good rhythm going.

There are also a lot of great websites and you tube videos on how to work out with kettlebells, such as these kettlebell exercises on Womens Health Magazine.

Now for the MOST important kettlebell tip:

The best way to get the most out of your workout is to use the appropriate size weight. If you are using too light of a weight, you won't get nearly as much out of your workout.

Also, remember...

Since the weight is concentrated in the body of the kettlebell, your muscles need to work harder to stabilize and counter the weight’s momentum.  

Hope you are all geared up to do your first (or to get back into it!) kettlebell exercise. I love to talk about exercise (oh, and fashion, DIY/crafts, travel, recipes... my babies... ahh, what else?) over at Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird. I would love to see you over there, please stop by soon. :) A big thanks to Aubrey for letting me guest post!

I don't know about you, but I'm dying to get my hands on some kettlebells again. Thanks so much Carrie. Now head on over to her blog and say hello.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

I did a quick little post on the 4th of July with the intention of coming back in the next day or so for a full recap. Well, a day turned into a week, and or so turned into more weeks. I can't really get on top of anything these days so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that I'm just getting around to this.

My friend Laurann hosted a family party. She is such a great hostess and had the cutest food and decorations. She ordered the patriotic sugar cookies from a neighbor. The drink is made by variation is sugar content. How cute are the plates and wrapped silverware?!?

I spent the 4th in California. Chelsea's friends had a breakfast at the park and bike parade. She signed up for fruit so we went straight to Pinterest. The strawberries turned out pretty cute, and Karson loved them.

We had such a fun day between the breakfast, swimming, matchy matchy nails, and swimming again/BBQ. I really really love the 4th of July a lot.
 Sorry for the picture overload, but I really just can't help it #sorrynotsorry

 Even Kyler got to be in the parade a little in his stroller.
 We needed a few pictures in the patriotic headbands from Grandma. You can tell how hot it was by looking at Karlee's face.

I love America! It was such a fun day full of celebration.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

blogging the bach 9.8 {hometown edition}

no one is in california this week so kimberly and i decided to resume our regulary scheduled bach caps. that was a great idea until i didn't start watching until almost 9:00 and spent the past 30+ minutes dealing with computer problems. enough with the complaints/excuses/blah blah blah. let's get down to business. 

google image
hometown #1...zak
i like zak. i really do, but i have never really liked zak for des. that stood out even more this week.
zak starts talking about some crazy dream he had. des says "i can't even follow it", and i'm wondering if anyone can follow it. i'm completely lost.
zak's family is the cutest. can we make his brother the next bachelor or just bring him to utah or something. such a cute little thing, and how adorbs was the sister?!?
the sister brings up the friend zone. i have a theory about that...
if a girl puts a guy in the friend zone, he can definitely get out.
if a guy puts a girl in the friend zone, she's done for. give it up now sista.
zak's sister is scared and doesn't want him to get hurt. i'm pretty scared for him at this point as well.
no comment on the family song except des had such a guilty this is sweet, but you're not sticking around look on her face.
lots of kissing. lots and lots of kissing.and kissing noises-my favorite
the whole scene with his sister just melts my little heart. i have such a special place in my heart for people with disabilities and that brother/sister relationship just about made me cry. so tender!
when des talks about things being effortless i feel surprised. this season feels like a huge effort to me.
i'm also a little distracted wondering how long the hometown dates actually last...
drew busts out like literally busts out the L word
holy awkward!
the last few weeks i have been pretty convinced she picks chris, but i am totally unsure now.
the baseball playing makes me think i NEED some sports lessons ASAP! i wish i like playing sports more than i do.
that whole eye love you biz was just too much for me.
i'm super confused why des copied zak's sketch idea from last weekend. pretty sure zak's not too happy about seeing that.
everything about the family part was awkward...everything.
based on all the sob stories/lack of i totally thought chris would have the most normal hometown. i was wrong. 
according to his mom good girl+good guy=magic. if that's all it takes, seems like i should be married by now. i'm a good girl, and i've met plenty of good guys over the years.
the opening scene had me all sorts of excited for this date. i live within a couple of miles of the park, and i go there all the time. one of my most favorite long runs ends at liberty. 
love love love the list of memorable moments. that is totally my kind of thing.
brooks is so happy to be with his family which is actually really cute.
des is definitely super into brooks. brooks seems to be getting there.
is anyone else confused why they are showing so much love talk about brooks? they never ever do that. it makes me think he probably isn't the one in the end, but who knows.
do i really even need to comment on the brother?!? 
best tweet of the night i want to "high five him. in the face. with a chair"-so true
the rose ceremony comes and we're left with 
chris...i was a titch worried about him
drew...i knew it.
poor zak is shocked. i am really really sad for him.
i changed a few of the tally words
journey...1 brooks
connection...1 also brooks
romance...3 not even brought up until chris
family (for kimberly)...44
i did forget to count in her chat with chris harrison so i might be off a little
and tonight's bleachable moment...
chris and his booger nose during his nose adjustment. i tried to find a picture and just couldn't.
we're down to the wire. who is your pick? brooks is still my #1. go find out what kimberly has to say.