Monday, February 28, 2011

To Chop or Not to Chop...

I'm sure by now you've heard the BIG NEWS... Jennifer Aniston CUT HER HAIR! 

Sarcasm aside, I love my celeb gossip as much as the next girl- but I do think it's slightly ridiculous that the above is mainstream headline newsworthy. Especially with all that is going on in the world today. With that being said, I would venture to guess there are few things that women obsess about more than men and their hair. I've found that there is a lot of "the grass is always greener" when it comes to hair as well. If yours is straight, odds are you wish it was curly, if it's short you likely wish it were long. But ridiculous headlines aside, aren't we all at least slightly envious of Ms. Aniston's locks?

I am no exception to the obsessing. I have thick, curly hair which can be quite challenging, but even on its most difficult days- I try to see the silver lining. I am thankful that it looks decent long or short and that I can walk out the door with it soaking wet and have curls spring up as it dries. Sure, it's so much to manage in the summer that I sometimes contemplate the Sinead O'Conner look, but such is life.

So, here's the point... I made a hair appointment for Thursday and I'm completely torn: leave it long or hack it all off?

I've gone from short:

To long:

Back to short again:

And now back to long:

I really do like it both ways. The one thing I do not like is the in-between stage:
It just sits on my shoulders and flips out. Very annoying.

The great thing about it being long is that I can go forever in between cuts. My guy, Ian, is a-may-zing and his cuts grow out so well that every 8-10 weeks is just not necessary- I am currently going on eight months(!) This is a major selling point from the budget side of things as well since talented stylists that can handle my mess of hair don't come cheap.

The last time I chopped it off, it wasn't really my decision. I've been going to Ian since 2004 and I trust him implicitly. I sat down in his chair with hair past my shoulder blades and said, "I don't care if you chop it to my chin or leave it long, I'm just sick of it and it needs to be cleaned up." Next thing I know, he starts at the back of my neck and with one swipe of the blade, chops a good 8 inches off the first section. It was sort of like "alrighty then... we're going short!" While that was fun and exhilarating, I'm thinking I want to be the one to make the final decision this time.

So, dear blog readers... any input? Which do you like better? And the million dollar question from this still-single girl, is the rumor true that guys prefer long hair? (note: I will not be basing my decision on that last one, but ya know, it's always good to consider)

In exchange for reading this extremely self-asorbed post (and your input), here is a little entertainment for you in the form of a picture I found while scouring iPhoto for hair pics. I give you...

My Oompa Loompa Halloween costume:
Okay, so that's a lie. I didn't really dress like an Oompa Loompa for Halloween. But I did get one hell of a horrid spray tan before Vegas a few years back (compliments of the spa at Nordstrom, fyi). And while I wish the coloring of this picture was due to a bad camera or flash, I really was that orange and it probably looked even worse in person (if you can even imagine!) However, it set off my black cast quite nicely, don't ya think?

So give it to me girls... short or long?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby You're a Firework

I saw this video today and had to share. Apparently these six guys live together at University of Arkansas and went a little stir crazy when classes were cancelled due to all the ice and snow a couple weeks ago.

Youtube + Boredom + Fraternity Boys = Dangerous.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trainers & Temptations - Sorry the size of your snow angel made you realize how badly you need to get to the gym
So last weekend I had my first meeting with Dan- the personal trainer at Lifetime that is putting together a work out plan for me. I specifically asked to be paired with a non-bootcamp-esque trainer since having some meathead yell in my face is not exactly my preferred brand of motivation.

I'm happy to report that we got along swimmingly- even while he was smushing my fat with those mean little pincher things that bring back horrid memories of middle school PE classes.

Our first meeting was to evaluate my overall fitness level. This involved:
  1. A mini cardio session/heartrate analysis.
  2. An upper-body strength analysis.
  3. Body Composition analysis.
  4. A flexibility test.
I was most concerned with the upper body strength analysis. My arms are fairly "squishy" and I prefer my push-ups to be of the girly, knees-down variety. I definitely have much room for improvement in that area. (i.e. Madonna need not watch her back..... yet.)

My mom works out at Lifetime as well and warned me ahead of time that they do these four tests and then tell you your "body age".  I had prepared myself for this and was fully expecting to be in the 35-40 year-old range considering that damn Wii fit thoroughly enjoys telling me that I'm like 85. However, I'm excited to report that according to my tests Saturday I am only..... *27*!!

Here's how it shook out:
  1. Cardiovascular Health: moderate.
  2. Upper Body Strength: average.
  3. Body Composition: average.
  4. Flexibility Test: off the charts bendy!!  Who woulda thought?!
Basically my flexibility is the only thing that saved my ass from having a body age older than my (already old) 29 years. But you know what? I'll take it! I guess that sporadic yoga has actually paid off. 

With the exception of having "average" body fat composition, I was pretty pleased with what I am starting with. So I (naturally) celebrated by going to brunch at Smoke the next morning for Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict and bottomless mimosas. I'm sure Dan would have been so proud.  

But oh they were worth it...

My next session is on Saturday where we will actually be working out instead of just doing 6th Grade PE testing. Hopefully he doesn't kill me.

Perhaps I can take what I learn and put together a much-needed plan for this guy:
We all know he could stand to lose a couple lb's!

Wish me luck on surviving Saturday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Moosestache Monday

I've mentioned my hatred of getting my mail here before. I can't identify exactly when the switch happened, but sometime in my 20's, getting mail turned from so exciting to something I dreaded. When you are a kid and got mail, odds were on your side that it was usually something fun... birthday cards, letters from far away friends, Highlights or YM magazine... it was always a positive experience. Now the only time I really enjoy getting my mail is Christmas card season. 

Flash forward 20 years and it's usually all bills, parking tickets, and dismal 401k statements. Blah, blah, and more blah. So whenever something unexpectedly fun comes in the mail- it really does light up my week. Such was the case a couple weeks ago when I received this brilliant mustache toy in the mail for moose from my brother and whit. It is so funny- love everything about it.  Especially the fact that it wasn't a love letter from the City of Dallas.  :)  That alone will put a big ole grin on this girl's face:

Thanks guys!  You made my day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Foodie Friday- Mushroom Spinach

One of my favorite things about cooking rather than baking is the ability to just open the fridge and start throwing random stuff together with reckless abandon. Sometimes it turns out magnificently and sometimes it ends up in the trashcan.  This mushroom spinach was definitely the former.

Mushroom Spinach
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 C white wine
  • 3 C spinach
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt & Pepper (preferably kosher salt)
  1. Heat olive oil in a large-ish sauté pan (I used one that had sides to keep the spinach in the pan while stirring before it gets wilty)
  2. Add garlic, wait a minute or two, add mushrooms and a few grinds of the peppermill.
  3. Cook until mushrooms are wilty and wet looking, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add white wine and stir to get all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.
  5. When the wine is mostly cooked off, add the spinach. Stir and cook until the spinach gets wilty, 4-5 minutes.
  6. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
I've been on a huge mushroom kick lately. If you're a Dallasite that also loves the fungi, I recommend the mushrooms at Saint Ann's. I tried them last night and couldn't get enough. (Trulucks are probably still my favorite though... so good!)

On a non-oil saturated note, I am going to my first appointment with the personal trainer tomorrow- yikes! I am loving my new gym and while I will never stop cooking with heavy cream, I am trying to eat a little healthier by consuming more veggies: 
Much better than potatoes in the form of french fries or chips, no? 

And on a totally unrelated note, happy one-month birthday to my sweet little Goddaughter!  These were taken a few days ago. I'm cracking up in the bottom right picture because my right hand was cupping her tiny bottom and she let one go that vibrated my entire arm. It was hilarious that such a big effort came from someone so itty bitty!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

January in Pictures

Um... yes, I know it's mid February. For some reason I just didn't take many pictures in January and so this post wasn't as fun as it usually is to write (hence the procrastination). I'll do better in February. Pinky swear.
Al, Jen, Theresa, E, and me at our Mad Men New Years Eve Party.
Miss Rachel, NYE.
Jodi was a champ and not only came to the party but made it until midnight! I think it's an unwritten rule that when you attend a social gathering at 9 1/2 months pregnant, dressing in theme is absolutely not required of you.
Matt, Jodi (& Madison), and E on NYE.
 E, Trey, and me ringing in 2011.
Gorgeous Dallas Sunset completely marred by Annoying Dallas Traffic. *sigh*
 One of my favorite parts of January (aside from Hawaii, obvs) was getting my first much-coveted sourdough bread shipment. Thank you to my brother & Whitney for the awesome Christmas gift!
 Moose dog snuggling up to me, post-work out. Brave guy!
Shockingly, there were even more Hawaii pictures than the ones I posted. ;)
Luau on our first night.
I was very sad because I fried my face on our first day on the island. I mean ridiculously fried. So much so that two permanent mole/freckles showed up on my forehead after we got home. The sun is not your friend, ladies.
Words cannot express how much I miss these sunrises and the whale sightings that went with them.
The most brilliant thing I've ever seen for traveling with kids. It's a suitcase, shaped like an animal, with a seat on top, that enables you to pull your kid through the airport as if it were a ride. Storage, entertainment, and a child-leash all in one? Sign me up for some of that!
My cousin introduced me to this over Christmas. It's chocolate flavored wine. Or chocolate mixed with wine. Or liquor. Or something. I don't know... stop asking me hard questions. All I know is that its chocolate and boozy and way easier than busting out four giant handles to whip up a chocolate martini. I got very excited when I ran across it at the store and had to share with all you fine people. {sold at World Market}
 A few days before Snowmageddon, Dallas had its first 70 degree day. Moose and I took full advantage and headed to the dogpark for the first time this year. It was a madhouse, as you can imagine. 
Who knew? I took the bait and tried this little experiment but he didn't just gnaw on it, he ate the whole thing. Waxy rind and all. Not sure that's how it was supposed to happen...

Hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying February!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The proverbial straw...

... that broke the camel's back.

That's what my ex-fiancé was to my relationship with LA Fitness, which came to an end over the weekend.

Backtrack to last week: my mom called me on my way to the gym to give me an update on my dad's second back surgery. So I park, check in, and then sit down on the chairs at the front to finish my conversation. While wrapping up with my mom, I look over and see the back of an extremely familiar head at the new member desk. The following conversation ensued... 

Me (to my mom, aka The Dot): Holy shit! Matthew is at my gym signing up.
The Dot: What?!? Why?!? Leave!!
Me: No! I came here to work out and I'm not going to just leave. 

He walked off before I was off the phone and I had no idea if he saw me or not. But I had driven all the way out there, so regardless of my personal desire to not give him the satisfaction of seeing me a sweaty mess not to see him, I went and found a treadmill. It wasn't a minute and a half before he was on the treadmill next to me....

M: Really?!? Of all the gyms in Dallas??
N: REALLY??? Don't you live in Denver? Do they not have gyms in Denver??
M: Well, I'm back in Dallas so much so I just figured...
N: *silence*
M: So how have you been?
N: Good, how have you been? 
M: Good. 
N: *silence*
M: Welp, enjoy your workout.

Ha... gotta love a good run-in with the ex. However, after a good four miles of pondering, I decided that further chance encounters were unnecessary. I mean, they are never fun, but of all the places to run into an ex- the gym would probably rank second to last. Only slightly before running into one at Einstein's Bagels the morning after a particularly fun, open-bar wedding when your usually very supportive and complimentary friends tell you they've never seen you look any worse in. your. entire. life. *Hypothetically*. 

So I spent a week scouting around and officially have a new gym home, Lifetime Fitness on Mockingbird. And let me just say- in addition to it being ex-fiancé-free, it is quite the upgrade. 

It's super clean, every cardio machine has a tv, they have wine fridges with cold/wet towels for your post-work out, and they gave me $300 in personal training credits just for signing up. Love it! 

So there you have it.  Hopefully, I'll be back to blogging a bit more regularly soon, but for now I'm off to kick my own butt at the gym! If you're in the mood for a laugh, here's a video that made me giggle on my way to cancel my LA membership. Gotta love Friends. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Foodie Friday - The Keg's Garlic Butter Shrimp

One of my mom's favorite dishes is the Garlic Butter Shrimp at the Keg. It basically consists of small shrimp drowning in butter that are delicious when consumed with warm, crusty french bread while sipping Sauvingion Blanc. Yes, the crusty bread and white wine are a must. Trust me.

A few weeks ago we tried to recreate it at home, and while I am generally underwhelmed by most attempts to recreate restaurant favorites, I think we did a mighty fine job.

Be advised that it is best when served in an escargot dish.  I know, I know, who has an escargot dish?! But if you think the recipe sounds tasty, I would urge you to procure one because it really is worth it. This one from Sur la Table is only $6:

Garlic Butter Shrimp
  • 12 small shrimp (note: most escargot dishes have six indentions so you can either make this in two batches or get two escargot dishes like we did)
  • 6 T butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 C Jack Cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 C Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
  • 1 Lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Clean shrimp, if necessary (I prefer buying them already cleaned, if possible). Wash with cold water, remove shell, de-vein, and remove legs. Tails can be removed or left on.
  3. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add garlic, parsley and saute for a few minutes. 
  4. Add shrimp and saute until cooked through- five minutes or so. Shrimp should be puff up and be pink. 
  5. Pour shrimp and butter into escargot dish, filling each hole with one shrimp. 
  6. Cover entire top of dish with a thin layer of shredded jack and cheddar cheese.
  7. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly, and edges are browned. 
Serve with warm french or focaccia bread, lemon wedges, and white wine. The best part of this dish is sopping up all the herb-y, buttery goodness with the bread long after the shrimp are gone! Absolutely heavenly!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Fairy Godmother

So this week, I officially turn 29... yikes! I'm not too knocked out with that number, but what can you do? However, I did turn into something else a lot more fun this weekend... a Godmother!

Since my birthday falls on a Wednesday this year, I went out with friends on Saturday night to celebrate. {more on that later when I get pictures from everyone!} Much to my surprise, Jodi and Matt made it out to dinner with us even though their little girl, Madison, is only two and a half weeks old. Before we sat down for dinner Jodi gave me a card "from Madi" wishing me a happy birthday and asking if I would be her Godmother!! Of course I said yes... there is no resisting this little face:

Being in my late twenties, I have helped many friends celebrate weddings and loved every second of it. The excitement, the shower-throwing, the bachelorette party- there really is nothing better to me. I've definitely got the bridesmaid thing down pat. And I feel like I've always sort of known when a friend gets engaged if I would be in the wedding party before she even asked. However, this Godmother business caught me totally off-guard!

Jodi is one of my very best friends, but even throughout the shower planning and excitement for Madi's arrival, the thought of being asked to be her Godmother never once crossed my mind. I was honestly just hoping to one day be trusted enough to get asked to babysit! I am NOT a crier, but I definitely teared up a bit. Even though there isn't really any specific, big responsibility, it is still such a neat thing to be asked to be such a permanent part of her life. What a wonderful birthday gift!

Since everyone is sure to still be on a football overload from yesterday (and also just bc I think it's pretty much the cutest thing ever), here is baby Madison saying "TOUCHDOWN"!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snowmaggedon Continued...

It was my understanding that most of the icy weather in Dallas would be cleared out by Friday at the latest. So as I was heading to bed to rest up for the inevitable return to work tomorrow, I took one last glance outside to check on the melting progress:
Um, yeah... It's snowing so hard that the white snow is making it look like dusk instead of midnight. Guess there's a chance we might be going on Day Four of staying snuggled up at home! Thank goodness for laptops and forward-to-cell!

What's funny is that four consecutive snow days in North Texas is very out of the ordinary. All these people that are in town for the Superbowl experiencing Dallas for the first time are probably going to think they hopped on the wrong plane and ended up in Denver. I'm sure Jerry Jones is freaking out right about now.

On that note, I am headed to bed... I can't wait to see what sort of winter wonderland we'll be waking up to tomorrow! I think I'll be making a big batch of french onion soup to warm up the house. With that and my faux fireplace, I'll be all set!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bridesmaids gone Hollywood

I love a good wedding movie and just saw this trailer today for one that I hadn't even heard of! It seems like the girlie equivalent to The Hangover, which lets face it- was pretty brilliant. I'm sort of on the fence about Kristin Wiig- sometimes I think she's hilarious and other times she grates on my last nerve, but as a new Damages addict- I can't wait to see Ellen Parsons as the stuck-up bridesmaid. 

I think every girl in her late-20's has a "27 Dresses" section of her closet, so I have no doubt there will be lots of funny situations we can all relate to:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Days!

I'm one of those weirdos that likes inclement weather. Sure, I'm not going to turn my nose up at a 70-degree, sunshine-filled spring afternoon, but I also love Love LOVE the rain. And snow for that matter.

Dallas went from sunny and gorgeous on Sunday to icy sleet on Tuesday and I've loved every second of it. If my lack of driving talents have done anything for me, it's ensure that if the roads are even a touch icy- it's a work from home day for me. And after watching my neighbor get stuck just trying to back out of their garage, I'm very thankful for that.

In preparation for Snowmaggedon 2011, or whatever the overly dramatic metroplex journalists are calling it, I made sure I had everything I needed here and wouldn't have to leave. And I haven't since Monday night. I have, however:
  1. Cooked chili, sloppy joes, tomato soup, breakfast tacos, herb bread and many a panini. 
  2. Cleaned out two shopping bags full of clothing, shoes, and purses from my closet.
  3. Caught up on my DVR'ed episodes of three shows. 
  4. Showered once. :) 
  5. Found five new blogs. 
  6. Gave myself a mani, pedi, and hydrating face mask treatment. 
  7. Stalked ebay and bought myself a cheaper-than-retail early birthday present from Lululemon (or Lu's Lemon, as Bossdad likes to call it.)
  8. Researched and found a half marathon training program.
  9. Drank more hot chocolate than any human being should in a 48-hour timeframe. 
  10. Found this lovely little mac app to lessen my fireplace envy:
Hope everyone is keeping warm!