Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: Charlie St. Cloud

Last week I was strolling through the book aisle at Target when I saw this:

Next thing I know, I'm at the register with this paperback in my basket.  I'm going to be honest with you: I couldn't resist the man-candy.  He's the reason I bought the book (I had the best looking paperback at the pool!).  I mean really, look at those eyes!

Yes, the entire reason I picked up this book is because Zac Efron is on the cover (AND he's in the movie that's debuting this weekend!!!!  I think I might have to check that one out!).  This is the first time that my hormones have dictated my reading selection.

This book was much better than I had expected.  Granted Zac's face wasn't featured on every page, but it was a pretty good read, even if it wasn't well-illustrated.  

Basically when they're young, Charlie St. Cloud and his brother Sam are in an awful car accident.  Sam dies, but Charlie learns that he can still communicate with his brother who is on "the other side."  This connection with Sam supersedes everything else in Charlies life.  Then he meets Tess and everything changes.

It kind of reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks book without all of the nauseating, lovey-dovey, vomit inducing, soul mate crap.  Well there was a little bit of that, but it was toned down.  I never once wanted to vom while reading this book.  It wasn't something I'd typically pick up, but it was a pretty decent beach read.

And I WILL be seeing this movie.  But that might have something to do with this: 

or this

But who knows?  At least now I know there is a plot to the movie, even if the delicious man candy featured above distracts me from it....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekly Weigh In and Some Food for Thought

So this week I got what was coming to me.  I gained just over two pounds.  Which isn't great, at all, but I honestly think I needed the reality check.  

Sometimes you need the scale to go up just as a reminder that you if you do eat or drink anything in sight you will see it on the scale.  Now all I need to do is take that realization and apply it to the rest of my week.  Goodbye beer, hello fruit.

I'm still down 26 pounds, so I'm not going to let this gain upset me or set me back - I'm back now and stronger than ever.

On a related note, I've been having some big problems lately with body image.  I know, deep down, that I look way different today than I did two years ago when I first started this weight loss adventure.  But I still feel as heavy and, well fat, as ever (I hate to have to use the f-word).  

I still find myself constantly comparing myself and evaluating the way I look in respect to others.  I can always tell you if I'm the fattest person in the room and always wonder who else notices when its me.  I'm always paying attention to how I'm sitting or standing - does one position make my tummy look big, do my thighs look enormous, do I have a muffin top?

I hate that I still feel this way.  I always thought that once the weight came off, a lot of these issues would have gone away.  But I'm still dealing with them, and having a harder time coping with them.  If anyone out there has any advice in dealing with body image, send it my way, because I'm so sick of constantly feeling overweight and inadequate.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Concert Week In Review

Five days.  Three shows.  One epic week.  

Concert Week Twenty-Ten came to a close Tuesday night with Dave Matthews Band. 

The whole week was exciting and exhilarating and fun and EXHAUSTING!  Seriously I am getting too old for all of these late nights so close together.  It was awesome.  Exhausting as it was, I'd definitely do it again.  

I wanted to come up with a way to rate and review each concert, so I've come up with a totally scientific way to succinctly review each one.

Jack Johnson: To the Sea Tour, June 16th, Virginia Beach Amphitheater

Level of fanness before (scale of one to ten): Five - I always enjoyed his music, but didn't own any of his CDs and I had never seen him before in concert

Favorite song(s) played (yes or no): Yes.  All of the songs I knew from the radio, stuff I liked from his new CD, and "Banana Pancakes"

Cuteness factor of my outfit:  Way cute.  Purple tank top with a denim skirt

Weather: Probably the best of the whole week.  Not too hot, not too humid

Impressions of artist: Interacted with the audience, wore normal clothes***

Highlight of event: The fact that it was girl's night.  Had a blast with the girls.  I got to act silly and laughed a lot.***

Level of fanness after (scale of one to ten): 6.5, I have definitely listened to his music more in the past week, and would buy new stuff from him.

Me and the girls rocking out to the musical stylings of Jack Johnson

***I may or may not have had too much to drink before and during the show (as evidenced by my beer eyes in the above picture); so whatever I said about this show may need to be taken with a grain of salt...whatever, I had a blast!

John Mayer: Battleground Studios Tour, June 18th, Virginia Beach Amphitheater

Level of fanness before (scale of one to ten): 7.5 - I had (and loved) all of his albums, loved him, knew all of his music by heart (ok, so maybe closer to an 8) but had only seen him one other time in concert (at the concert for VA Tech in Blacksburg, VA)

Favorite song(s) played (yes or no): Most, but not all.  But I liked and knew a lot more of his music.  Plus: he played "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room."  Minus: he didn't play "The Heart of Life" or "Gravity."  I guess I'll have to see him again......

Cuteness factor of my outfit:  Cute, but not as cute as for Jack.  Denim skirt (same one, so shoot me) and navy blue tank top.  I was having an awesome hair day though.

Weather:  Warmer than Jack with a little more humidity.  My hair looked like crud by the time the show was over, but C'est la vie....

Impressions of artist: Talked to the audience a lot, which I liked.  Turns out he was kind of weird, which was kind of weird.  Also he wore man-pris (that is capris for men) which majorly counts against him.

Highlight of event: That I got to see John Mayer.  I had a great time and he was awesome.  I would DEFINITELY go see him again!

Level of fanness after (scale of one to ten): Solid 8.

Me and my friend before...I was having a BEAUTIFUL hair day!

Really John?  Man-pris?!?
That's more like it!

Dave Matthew's Band: Summer Tour, June 20th, Virginia Beach Amphitheater

Level of fanness before (scale of one to ten): 4.5 to 5-ish, knew his stuff from the radio, but not much else; saw him with John Mayer at Tech, but we actually left early.

Favorite song(s) played (yes or no): Yes!  He actually played "Everyday" which I seriously still love just because I've always loved the music video where the fat guy goes around hugging everyone he meets

Cuteness factor of my outfit:  Cutest one of the three.  New blue dress, but I was constantly worried about my tummy and how it looked in the dress.

Weather:  Hot.  Too hot.  And humid.  Too humid.  Made my hair wilt like someone on a summer day (oh wait, that's EXACTLY what happened!)

Impressions of artist: Friendly, but not overly so.  I think he knew his audience, and played crowd pleasers, but it also helps that this wasn't an album tour.

Highlight of event: It was an awesome night.  I had a great time and would definitely do it again.

Level of fanness after (scale of one to ten): 5-ish.

So that's my recap of a week highlighting the men in my life: Jack, John and Dave!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hmmmmm, This is New...

Something happened to me today that has never (and I mean ever) happened to me before in my life.

I was at the YMCA doing my arm work-out when I ran into someone who I know from spin class.  Due to my whole toe fiasco, I hadn't seen him in a while.  First he told me that I've "really trimmed up," awesome compliment...I don't care how many times I've heard this, its wonderful.

Then he asked me what I've been doing, how I've been losing the weight.  Really?!?!?  He asked me for diet advice!!!! 

I just told him diet and exercise, but look at me turning all role modelly!   

Speaking of the weight loss thing, here's my weekly weigh-in from last week.  I stayed exactly the same, which I was totally alright with.  To be honest, dropping a little more than eight pounds in two weeks kind of freaked me out.  I never lose that quickly, it made me nervous, I thought something was wrong.  So if my body needs to take a break for a week to catch up, fine by me.  

Still down 28.2 pounds, which I couldn't be happier about.

John Mayer Music Monday

Since its smack-dab in the middle of Concert Week Twenty-Ten, I'm going to hold off on talking about the Jack Johnson and John Mayer concerts, at least until Concert Week Twenty-Ten is over.  But I will say this: they were awesome!

And I guess I'll say one more thing.  I love John Mayer.  I really do.  I know he's supposed to be kind of a douche, but there's just something about him that I can't get enough of.  Artistic genius maybe?

Anyways, my pick for Music Monday is John Mayer's album Continuum.  Even though the concert last night was for his new album Battleground Studios, Continuum is my favorite.  I think this album tells a story, which is why I love it.  This one talks about a break-up and what it takes to get over it.

My favorite tracks are "The Heart of Life" and "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." 

If Continuum isn't your style, check out Battleground Studios.  'Cause it's also awesome.  

Just do it.  You'll thank me later.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Its FINALLY Here!!!!

Today kicks off a week that I have decided to name, Concert Week Twenty-Ten.  

Actually July was supposed to be lovingly nicknamed Concert Month, but I never got to blog about the first concert of the month, Michael Buble (I'm swooning in my desk chair just thinking about it).  

So now its Concert Week.

Tonight I'm seeing Jack Johnson with my BFF Mere and a co-worker.  I'm so excited for girls' night its not even funny.  We're going out for wings (and beer) beforehand and I can't think of anything else I'd rather do tonight, unless it involved me going out with Michael Buble....then I'd have to reconsider, sorry girls!

On Sunday I'm seeing John Mayer with a friend of mine from work.  Of the three concerts I'm going to, I like John Mayer's music the most, so I'm most excited to hear him play for a few hours.  I've already seen John Mayer in concert - he opened at Virignia Tech for Dave Matthews,  and he was amazing then, and I think he'll be more amazing now.

On Tuesday I'm going to see Dave Matthews with another friend from work.  He's a big Dave fan, much more so than I am.  Like I said, I saw Dave Matthews with John Mayer at Tech, but I'm pretty excited to be seeing him again.  Fun fact: Dave Matthews got his start in Charlottesville! 

I think its going to be a legen-(wait-for-it)-dary!  I'll post reviews and pics and updates as I can.  Hope everyone out there has an awesome summer fun-in-the-sun filled weekend!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things I Hate About Summer

So one of my favorite bloggers, The Sassy Curmudgeon, posted a list like the other.  I had been thinking of my own list for a few days (when you see it you'll know why), but her post encouraged me to write my own.

If you'd like to check out Sassy's list, you can find it here.

Before I start, I would like to say that I do, honestly, love summer with all of my heart.  It is far and away my favorite season, but if I'm not kvetching I'm probably not breathing.  So please don't exile me for writing this, but do feel free to remind me of the things posted here when I start kvetching about the cold in January.

1.  Mosquitoes  - I have such a love/hate relationship with these little guys, as in they love me and I hate them with a fiery passion that consumes my soul.  My brother tells me that I'm the best bug repellent around - if I'm there, the mosquitoes annoy me and leave everyone else alone.   

They love my legs.*   And I don't handle itch well.  From the end of April into October, my legs look like I have a mild case of chicken pox.  Which I wouldn't mind, except they still itch, I still scratch and my legs wind up having more band aids on them than can be found in your kindergarten classroom.

*I just did a quick check, and I have at least five bites on the three inches of skin that can be classified as ankle.

2.  Humidity - One of the worst things about living in Southeastern Virginia is the humidity; well that and the fact that it will be 90+ degrees with 100% humidity for weeks on end.  The air is hot and heavy.  It either deflates or frizzes your hair and sometimes taking just a few steps outside can be enough to make you sweaty enough to NEED a shower (or it means that I am an unusually sweaty person).  

Either way, heat indexes that hover near 115 degrees are not fun.  I don't care how hot you like it, that is too hot.

I know, it makes me want to cry too

3.  Watermelon -  This one was on Sassy's list, but its so true.  I can't stand the stuff.  It doesn't live up to the hype.  Its not that sweet, its not that refreshing, and it leaves a weird filmy texture in your mouth.  While I do love the fact that I get to spit when eating watermelon, its just not enough of a redeeming quality to make me tolerate the fruit.  

Also like Sassy, keep the general melon family away from me.  Cantaloupe, honeydew?  No thank you!  I'll take summery berries any day over a piece of melon.

keep your filthy filmyness away from me!!!!!

 4.  Short Shorts - Who loves short shorts?  Girls with nice legs!  Who HATES short shorts?!?! ME!!!!  While a lot of words could be used to describe my legs, slender and sexy don't quite make the cut. 

BTW...I think that Bermuda shorts were the best thing to happen to me in fashion since, well, ever.  Hide my thighs AND still look kind of trendy?!?!?  Yes please!!!  

But in all honesty, I don't want people seeing all the way up to my leg-butt ( that's the technical term for the part of your body where your leg turns into your butt)!   Somethings should be private and your leg butt is one of them.

My point exactly.

All of this brings me to....

5.  Shaving - If there are any guys out there reading this, I offer up my apologies now.  Most of the guys I know seem to think that shaving is disgusting (but they also think that hairy legs are nasty, come ON guys!  You can't have it both ways).  

I'm a regular shaver, but my times per week frequency goes way up in the summer.  It makes my showers longer which makes my mornings more hectic which stresses me out which means I drink more coffee which means I'm more jittery which means I don't sleep as well which means I get going late and start shaving my legs late which just restarts the vicious cycle all over again.

The only time I find myself wishing for pants is in the summer when I have shaved my legs for the 4,000,000,000 th time that month (like today for example).

Well that's the long list (literally, I had to pull that last one out of my ass).  If you have your own things about summer that you can't stand from sunscreen to bug spray to fireworks to frozen yogurt feel free to complain about them here, even though I'm pretty sure its impossible to hate that last one.

Within the next few days weeks, I'll try to post the things I love most about summer, which is a long list - for real, part of me even likes sunburn!  

As always thanks for reading!

P.S. I just noticed that most of this is about my love/hate/uber complex relationship I have with my legs....maybe more on that one another day?!?!?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Owning the Mona Lisa

George Steinbrenner used to say that owning the New York Yankees was like owning the Mona Lisa.  

Here's to George, The Boss, the man who revolutionized (and arguably saved) the Great American Pastime.  

Thanks for all you've done for New York, the Yankees, and Yankee fans including my family and myself.

Rest in peace George, we'll miss ya.

Monday, July 12, 2010

As If!

I think its really ironic that now that I'm moving away in less than a month (yikes!) I have gotten to be so, so, so busy.  But its fun busy, so its all good!

This past weekend, I went to a bachelorette party for a friend of mine who's getting married July 24th.  I haven't been to too many bachelorette parties (not yet anyways), but this one was really fun.  

First we played laser tag.  Now I've played before, but I think I may have taken myself too seriously before to enjoy it.  This time I acted like an idiot, but had a great time.  All of us girls had heart highlighter "tattoos" on our arms.  Basically we dominated, and made friends with these little girls.  They got tattoos too and played on our team.  I'm not good at laser tag.  Not even a little bit.

After we owned at laser tag, we went out for Mongolian.  Laser tag makes you hungry, and Mongolian is delicious.  I had more than I should have, but it was yummy.

Once we were done with dinner, we went back to my friend's place where we had a slumber party.  Movies, junk food, and a mini dance party - it was great.

We watched Clueless which I can honestly say I haven't seen in years and years.  Man that is one crappy movie.  But I did decide that I'm going to try to bring back the famous Cher Horowitz "As if!"  So I'm working on that one now.

Something else exciting!  One of the girls at the party told me that she reads (and loves) my blog!  I didn't even know she read it!  So if you're reading this, hey Amanda!  It made me feel pretty optimistic - maybe there are more people out there reading this.  If you are thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Review: Best Friends Forever

One of the best things about not being in college anymore is that I can read whatever I like, whenever I like.  I loved being an English major, reading great works of literature and discussing them, but sometimes nothing is better than a break from some heavy reading material.

Usually I saved my summers for some serious reading, well I guess its only serious if you count Harry Potter and chick lit serious.  

Once you get into chick lit, it doesn't take long to realize that Jennifer Weiner is considered one of the giants of chick lit.  And for good reason too.

I had previously loved her novels like In Her Shoes and Certain Girls.  So I knew I was in for a treat when I picked up one of her newer novels, Best Friends Forever.  Cheesy title aside, this was a really good read.

One of the things I love about Weiner's writing is that it is both realistic and enthralling.  She creates characters that are familiar but still captivating.  Maybe its because I feel like I know these women that I feel so compelled to read their story.

I knew I was going to like this particular book from when I opened the cover.  The dedication of the book was a Bruce Springsteen quote.  It was win win.

This book was about two childhood best friends who grew apart after something awful happened in high school.  At their 15 year high school reunion, life circumstances throw them back together.  

One of the other things I love about Weiner's writing is that yes its chick lit, but it has a serious side.  Like in her other books she deals with heavy and important themes, including but not limited to self-discovery, loneliness, and the value of friendship.

So if you're looking for a lite-ish book to read on a rainy afternoon or on a sunny day at the beach, pick this one up - it will entertain you - it will make you laugh and parts of it will make you want to cry.  It will lift you up and make you thankful for the forever friends that are a part of your life.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Down two more pounds!!!!! I'm down 28.2 pounds!  I never thought I'd be here again!  Only .4 pounds left in this "weight decade" then I'm back to a place that I haven't been since my junior year of high school!!!!!

I'm not really sure at all what I'm doing, but whatever it is, its apparently working.  The biggest difference in my diet of late has been a pretty significant increase in the amount of beer that I'm drinking.  

And if beer is helping me lose weight, by God, I think I've found a diet I can live with for forever.

I have to be honest, I haven't really been following the prescribed Weight Watchers plan lately.  I eat when I'm hungry and I try to make smart choices, like having a piece of fruit rather than a Snickers bar.  And its only taken me twenty-three two years to figure that out.  

I know I'm a genius - I figured out that eating when you're not hungry is not good for your waistline. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I've Accomplished Today!

Your registration is complete!
You will receive an email in the next few minutes confirming your registration.
Purchased at: July 07, 2010 06:18 AM
Event Confirmation #: 49314362-070710061856
Event Name: 2011 Disney's Princess Half Marathon - INDIVIDUAL
Date & Time: February 27, 2011 06:00 AM
Location: Walt Disney World® Resort (map)

Event Name: 2011 Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Commemorative Pin
Date & Time: February 26, 2011 07:00 AM
Location: Walt Disney World® Resort (map)

Disney here I come! 

Scratch that, I'll be there in February!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Last night could be called a legendary weigh in.  I lost six pounds.  Yeah, you read that right - SIX POUNDS!!!!

Ok, so its not as legendary as it sounds.  Last week I was up four pounds - four pounds that came from a combination of not being able to exercise at all for a few weeks; a crazy, food-centered graduation weekend; and just a little bit of bloat.

But it was still pretty epic.  I dropped two more pounds in addition to the four I had put on the week before.  I've lost 26 pounds.  

When my family was in town they raved about how thin I looked.  I still think I look the same, but I feel a billion times better: I have energy, I can move more easily, I need less sleep, and all of the exercise has really pumped my system with endorphins, which I think may or may not be turning me into a perky, peppy individual (not 100% sure about this one, but I feel more optimistic).

I think its also important to note that this week marked my two year anniversary with Weight Watchers.  I hate that I've been paying for this program for two years now, but the first year was pretty much a wash - I lost for 6 months then gained it all back when I stopped paying attention to what I was eating and exercising.  

So I know 26 pounds isn't a ton of weight - especially when it has taken me two years to lose it - but I'm proud of what I've accomplished.  I know I'm far from perfect and that I still have just over twenty pounds to lose and I still hate my thighs, but I'm getting there.

In two years I've gone from looking like this:

To looking like this:

Which really isn't too shabby.