4.18 | high five for friday!


(ONE)  i have worked hard this week and stayed on track with my food/fitness.  so far this month, i have lost two pounds.  this is after nearly two months of nothing happening.  finally i am seeing some progress!  and that’s encouraging. IMG_0375 (2)  i am going to attempt to buy paul mccartney tickets next week.  there’s a concert this summer not too far from where i live.  i could not be more excited.  it’s not a sure thing, but i’m hoping it is!  wish me luck!  :) paul mccartney (three)  i got my birchbox yesterday.  i was kind of disappointed because for the second time in a row, something busted open during shipping.  ugh.  this time it was shampoo.  luckily, i only lost a little bit of the actual product, but i had to wash off two other things in the box.  i’m excited about the CC cream and the shampoo.  the KIND bar will most definitely get eaten very soon. 20140417-172718.jpg (4) i am going to try some new middle eastern recipes this weekend.  i love cooking, and it’s been more challenging since i’ve changed my lifestyle.  so when i found these recipes in my new women’s health magazine, i got excited.  it was quite the ordeal to track down all the ingredients.  i had to go to four different stores!  but i have everything ready now.  i am looking forward to spending a few hours this weekend experimenting with the new recipes and flavors. 20140417-172727.jpg (FIVE)  and last but certainly not least… even with all of the craziness in the world, i hope everyone has a renewing, peaceful, and HaPpY eAsTeR!


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WOW 4.16 – cardio + lower body toning

20140409-184238.jpg i’m still a little sick with my cold, but it is SO much better than last week.  my food/eating has been really good.  i’ve only treated myself a few times.  i’m still counting calories and have moved my max calories per day down just a tad to see if i can jumpstart anything.  i’m just doing a little experimentation.  if i don’t see any changes after a few weeks of that, i’m going to start messing with my carbs vs. protein vs. fats ratios.  (that just sounds so tedious!!!)  i have an event coming up that is giving me some motivation to step everything up.  and just this week, i fit into a pair of banana republic pants that i’ve been waiting to wear again for months.  that’s kind of exciting.  little victories, right?

a huge part

i’m also working hard on my fitness.  last week, i alternated harder workouts with “easier” workouts.  it seemed to work well for me.  i had some variation in activity and intensity.  unfortunately, i have hurt my wrist again.  it has been super sore lately, and i had some shooting pains down into my hand this past weekend.  so i made the decision to finally go to the doctor.  i hate to do it, but i know it’s necessary.  it’s holding me back in my fitness and it hurts like hell.  it’s time to take care of it and find out what’s wrong.  i have an appointment on friday.  until then, i’m modifying my exercises, slowing down, using less weight, and avoiding pressure on my palm (i.e. planks, full burpees, down dog for too long, etc.).


workout schedule for last week.

this 44 minute workout has six circuits.  each circuit has two exercises, one cardio and one lower body toning.  they are done in a tabata format (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off).  each circuit is repeated once.  there is a brief warmup and a yoga-inspired cool down.  this is a great workout for days when you want to do both strength and cardio training.  the tabata is tiring but effective.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

what would you write on your brick?

i’ve been reading a biography of one of my favorite mma fighters, georges st. pierre.  he tells a story about a fight at the beginning of his career.  he lost.  he was caught with his guard down and he lost.

he was really frustrated with it after afterwards, so much so that it interfered with his training and focus.  his coach noticed right away and told him that he could see the effects of the frustration and anger in his body.  he said to him that he needed to get over it or do something about it.  his coach suggested that he physically carry his anger…in the form of a brick.

his coach gave him a brick, and georges wrote the fighter’s name on it.  he carried the brick around with him everywhere for weeks.  he didn’t care if he looked crazy.  he just did it.

finally, his next fight was announced, and he began focusing this new challenge instead of the fighter that beat him.  he began to forget about that brick…and the man, anger, and disappointment attached to it.  one night, he took the brick and threw it in the river.  and he moved on.

it’s a straightforward story and a simple concept.  it covered just a few pages of paper.  but it made me think…what would i write on my brick?


the scale (for constantly reminding me of that stupid number and my physical shortcomings)

past church experiences (for making me feel jaded toward the church but not toward my spirituality)

alcohol (for the effects on lots of people i love)

rejection (for holding me back in my relationships)

what would you write on your brick?

teaching tip #41. don’t be a gossip girl.

teaching tips from a tattooed teacher in texas

things have been a little uncertain and weird at school lately.  we are going to have some staff changes that we already know about.  on top of that, there are certain people dealing with personal issues that seem to follow them to school.

all anyone wants to do is talk.  this is typical of schools.  teachers can be just as bad as the students about spreading hearsay.  it’s even worse when you’re friends with the teachers at your school.  i’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be friends with your co-workers.  hell, those weirdos are some of my best friends!

but here’s the thing…it’s easy to get pulled into the speculation, to gossip, to predict what is going to happen in the future.  one piece of gossip can spread like wildfire, especially in a small school like mine.  however, none of us know the real deal.  not really.  you ever played that game of telephone?  yep.  it’s like that.  the truth (or the beginning version of it) gets distorted as it spreads.  who knows what you’re hearing by the time it gets to you?!


no one’s perfect.  you’re going to hear things about other teachers or administrators (and even students!).  you’re going to want to know what is happening, who’s screwing up, who’s being a brown-noser, who’s got problems at home, etc.  it’s human nature to be curious.  however, there is a line.  it’s hard to find sometimes, but you are a professional.

so try not to get sucked into the drama as much as possible.  it’s just not worth the stress of it all.  you’re never really going to know the truth and spreading gossip just makes the problem worse.


4.11 | high five for friday!


(ONE)  my food and fitness were solid this week.  i had a severe cold ALL weekend so i had some catching up to do come monday.  i’m feeling stronger than i have in months!


(2this week happened to be the end of the fifth six weeks.  ask any teacher.  we hate this week.  this is the week when the kids actually care about their grade.  it’s annoying and stressful.  but grades get turned in today, and we start fresh on monday.  i can’t believe there are only seven more weeks of school left until summertime!  {please let them go by fast!}

me trying to save

this pin made me laugh so hard! this is such a good visual for this week for some kids.

(three)  this guy provides me endless entertainment and comfort.  when i was sick earlier this week, he was in my lap or laying beside me the entire time.  he’s such a sweetheart…even if he does annoy me sometimes by knocking everything off my nightstand EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at about 3 am.


luca was watching the birds outside upside down like this for 30 minutes the other day.

(4)  you ever have one of those moments when you look at all of the things in your closet and say “i hate you all.  you disappoint me.”  well, i felt that way every single morning this week.  everything felt old, frumpy, and ill-fitting.  SO…i think i take another crack at some shopping this weekend.  

(FIVE)  i first saw this video on wednesday, and i’ve watched it a couple times since.  it made me smile.  a lot.  it show what happens when a 7o year old young grandma decides to take her first roller coaster ride.  if that’s not pure happiness, i don’t know what is.  :)

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if it makes you feel better…do it?

the other day, i was having a conversation with a friend about plastic surgery.  she told me her cousin had gotten a boob job that morning.  she was getting play-by-play pictures and cringing at each update.  she explained the reasoning behind the surgery.  to get a man.  her mom even paid for half of the expensive procedure and encouraged her to go “bigger”.

i find this kind of funny considering my own mother encouraged my sister for years to get a breast reduction before she actually did it.  it was scary and such a big change!  but she will say that it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made.  if i asked her why someone would choose to enlarge their boobs, she’d probably have a hard time coming up with some reasons.

but people do it.  i have another friend who has actually done it.  she is very thin and never had boobs at all.  but she talked about doing it for years.  she planned and saved for the surgery.  she was happy as could be with them and never looked back. she would say it’s one of the best decisions she ever made.

i don’t know if i could really do it, the surgery part at least.  i know at some point i will reach a crossroads at which i can no longer change my body without either drastic food/fitness changes or surgery.  i don’t really want to do either of those things again.  or ever.

i’m not going to lie… if i can afford it, i will totally get some injections in my face way down the road.  wrinkles be gone!  but we all know that’s a temporary fix for a permanent issue.  and there will always be things that i want to change about myself whether it’s major or minor.  but, “vanity surgery”?  i don’t think i have the guts to do that.  i definitely don’t have the money. i’ve never even had anything more than wisdom teeth removal done.  surgery scares me.  and maintenance surgeries are even more scary.  think of the bills!

i guess surgery (or any other physically-altering activity) is a personal issue for everyone.  but there has to be a difference between a nose job or breast reduction versus a boob job or lipo, right?  or does it just come down to – if it makes you feel better, do it?

WOW 4.9 – butt and thigh cardio workout


this week has been super tough so far. i caught a cold that has been kicking my ass since last week.  i didn’t workout at all over the weekend and pretty much camped out in my bed for most of it.  i struggled monday.  so i compromised and found a strength workout to do that wouldn’t suck the air out of me.  i’ve got some catching up to do, but i think the rest did me some good.  i still have a cough and some stuffiness, but it’s so much better.  i also food prepped on monday evening.  yes, it’s a pain, but it makes the week so much easier.

i actually went shopping on monday.  i didn’t buy anything, but i tried on quite a few things.  for me, that’s big.  i usually look online first and then just target a few things in the store, get discouraged, and leave feeling sorry for myself.  i was patient, but i just couldn’t find anything that i just had to have.  i might try again this weekend.  i’ve been on the lookout for a new dress for my cousin’s wedding in may.  i found a few black dresses, but i refuse to wear black.  it will be may.  summer will be around the corner.  i will be wearing something other than black (but not white, right? :).  so maybe things are really getting better for me in the area of shopping confidence.

never get discouraged

this fitness blender workout is 56 minutes long.  don’t let the title deceive you.  yes, it will work your lower body, but it is total body.  and this thing never stops.  it’s exhausting but worth it.  a warmup and cool down are included so you don’t have to worry about that.  when i tried it the other day, i did pause it once in the middle for a brief break.  it’s pretty tough.  be prepared!

happy rex manning day!

rex manning day

i think i first saw “empire records” when i was in middle school.  if you’ve never seen it, it’s about one day in an independent music store and all the secrets that come out as they set up for a signing by an obnoxious singer (rex manning) and attempt to fend of a big chain trying to buy the store.

rex manning day 3

i was immediately obsessed.  i loved everything about it.  it was kind of a cult favorite so not a lot of people knew about it.  i bought it on dvd in college.  every few months, i watch it just to remember how awesome it was.

fave quotes:

“Damn the man. Save the Empire.” – Mark

“Well, Sinead O’Rebellion. Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior.” – Gin

“Actually, [Rex Manning’s] new album tested well among teenage males.” – Jane

“I don’t feel that I need to explain my art to you, Warren.” – A.J.

“They’re my special recipe…and you know what that means… Lots of sugar.” – Eddie

“Let me explain it to you. Mitchell’s the man. I’m the idiot. You’re the screw-up. And we’re all losers. Welcome to music town.” – Joe

“Well you can’t kill me ‘cause I’m already dead. And I talked to God, and she says, ‘Yo, wassup?’ and she wants you to lose the gun.” – Debra

rex manning day 2

10 things…i thought during the Academy of Country Music Awards

1. all that confetti in the opening number REALLY pissed off some of those women in the front rows.  their faces… :)

2.  that lee brice is a class act.  he pushed the songwriters to the mic to accept the song award.  and that song is amazing and deserved the award.

3.  the douchiness of florida georgia line.  3 terrible wardrobe changes, 3 shitty performances, so much fire, and fumbled lines during an award announcement.  i. can’t. handle. it.

4.  keith urban still looks like a lesbian or as my cousin texted me – ellen’s jacked up sister.  seriously, dude.  get a man makeover.

5.  taylor swift didn’t try to take over the show with her shenanigans.  and her outfit was so cute and understated.

6.  you can really tell which singers use auto tune when you make them sing live.  i’m talking to you, jason aldean and tim mcgraw!

7.  luke bryan has the legs of a woman.  total thunder thighs.  stop with the skinny jeans.  it’s not a good look, girl!

8.  there were some great performances.  eric church is amazing, and i’m a converted fan.  george strait still has it.  and he always will. <3

9.  are we ever going to see the second brother’s face in the band perry?  move that hair, boy!

10.  george and miranda’s tribute to merle haggard was great.  i love them both, but what i love most is that they didn’t stray too far from the original music.

4.4 | high five for friday!

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(ONE)  by some miracle, i didn’t cheat on my food or fitness all week.   i took my april measurements on tuesday with mixed results.  but i’m not letting that define my work.  it’s more that what i make my body do each day.  it’s more than what i put in my mouth.  it’s about all the changes i’m making no matter how slow the progress. 20140401-204651.jpg

(2)  i saw this thing posted this week.  i love the idea of this collaboration.  i love music, and i’m excited when people mix it up.  (my cousin and i even talked about songwriting together soon!)  plus anything on cmt entertains me.  sometimes it’s for the right reasons like this collab and sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons like terrible music videos and reality shows.


(three)  i had a stomach ache on tuesday, didn’t want to eat anything, and just felt crappy at school.  so the next day at lunch, one teacher was giving us an update on her pregnancy.  the one guy that eats with us instantly asked me “so…are you pregnant?”  i said “no, of course not”.  he asked me if i was sure.  i accused him of calling me a whore or something like that, and we all laughed about it.  about an hour later, he sends me this email.  i laughed so freaking hard.  i passed him later in the hall and he asked about the baby.  i wouldn’t let too many people get away with making fun of me like that, but he’s one of them.

(4)  this image off pinterest made me laugh out loud and for longer than it should have.  i know it’s dorky, but every time i thought about it this week, i started laughing again.  what can i say, i love corny jokes. 20140401-204520.jpg

(FIVE)  i had some great conversations this week and some tough ones.  we never know what the future holds but i’m beginning to really understand that if we can be silly, honest, and kind we have a chance at happiness each day.  the person who shows me that all the time is my niece lylli.  she is always silly, really honest, and very kind.



my niece showed me her luke bryan “Facebook” this week. it was literally a little book with pics of luke bryan’s face. made me laugh. a lot.

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the ol’ bucket list

several years i started writing all of these things down, marking some off and adding more.  i don’t expect to do all of them in my lifetime, but i like to think about it and actually go after some of them.  i will come back and mark things off when they are complete.

travel to Scotland (the motherland!)

get married and have children

take a painting class

zipline in the rainforest (or any forest)

take a spin class

tie dye something

go to the MOMA

drive Route 66

watch the Beatles “Love” show in Vegas

write my name in wet cement

climb the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

go on a rafting trip in Colorado

get a curly hair dry cut at the Deva Curl salon in NYC

do a solo road trip  (you can read about it HERE)

take a cooking class

pet a tiger

get a Beatles tattoo  (for more info, click HERE)

climb a mountain over 14,000 ft.

take a dance class

eat Pad Thai in Thailand

attend a black tie event

visit Dollywood (i drove past it last summer but didn’t get the chance to stop.)

go on a mission trip for a really great cause

go to the drive-in theater

bar hop on 6th street in Austin  (i attempted to when i was 18 but that didn’t work out very well…)

go to a UFC fight (attended UFC 150 in Denver two summers ago – amazing!)

hug a lion

soak in a geothermal lake in Iceland

buy something at Tiffany’s

own a pair of very expensive shoes (like over $500 – i love shoes.)

be an extra in a movie

see a show on broadway in NYC

buy a macbook

write a book

be in the studio audience of a late night show (maybe Chelsea Lately or Jimmy Fallon?)

meet Harper Lee (that’s going to be a tough one!)

fly first class

buy a house

hike up to machu picchu in peru

take a trip with my youngest sister

drink a beer in an Irish pub…in Ireland

throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

go to the Olympics and watch all of the swimming events

ride an Icelandic horse in Iceland

see Paul McCartney in concert

have Martha Stewart teach me how to bake a cake her way

go on a safari in Africa

go to the Texas State Fair and eat something weird fried  (fried Thanksgiving dinner balls anyone?)

curtsy in front of the Queen (or Princess Kate) and give her flowers

hike down into the Grand Canyon

WOW 4.2 – upper body strength workout

i messed up some this past weekend, but i got back on track immediately.  i am somewhat excited by my recent measurements.  no, there wasn’t a ton of change, but there was some!  and i’ll take it!  i’ve gotten a couple of compliments in the past couple weeks and that’s nice too.

i’ve been reading “master your metabolism” by jillian michaels.  i’ve been taking notes as i read so that i can soak in the information.  some of it is still way over my head, but i’m learning a lot.  one of the first things i wrote down was “the entire journey to health is about power.”  she goes on to say that you can give up your power by failing to make the necessary changes OR you can claim your power by learning how to make it happen.

that info really resonated with me.  the fact is that the average american woman has tried to lose weight at least ten times.  i’m definitely counted in that number.  but this is the first time that i’ve done it the right way, the healthy way.  this is the first time that i’ve done the correct research and actually absorbed it.  the first time that i’ve been consistently working toward my goals.  and that makes me feel powerful.  it pushes me forward and keeps me going.  it gives me more confidence each day.  so i’m curious about the rest of the book.  it’s slow going, like i said, but it’s great information. this 35 minute workout is purely an upper body strength workout.  there’s no cardio involved, but this workout definitely pushes your muscles to the limit.  i’ve been trying to focus more on strength training.  there is not a warmup or cool down in this workout so be sure to do some dynamic stretching before you attempt this workout.  i like to do this workout and then a quick bootcamp circuit to finish.

measurements and goals | april 2014



i feel that i stayed really focused in march.  i did great over spring break on my “spring fix”, but may have over done it a little bit. i fixed that situation quickly the next week.  other than that, i think i did really well this past month.  i stayed motivated and tried to let my slip-ups go.  i gave up on my plank challenge because my wrist is acting up and because i kept forgetting to do it.  i don’t feel bad about that though.  i’m doing other good things to challenge myself.

i began counting calories during spring break (mid march), and that gave me a good idea of what i was eating each day.   it wasn’t fueling my workouts, which i realized when i went back to school the next week.  i then discovered that i was eating too many calories so i have cut back a little bit.  but not too much.  i know that i’m doing good, consistent workouts, and i need to fuel them.  i’m now shooting for around 1600-1800 calories each day with 4-6 workouts a week.  if i eat any less than that i feel like crap and am super angry about it.

here’s my measurements from april 1st:


here are the changes in inches from february to march:

  • chest = -1
  • bust = 0
  • waist = 0
  • arms = -.5
  • midway = -1
  • hips = 0
  • thighs = 0
  • knees = +.5

*i use the measurement chart from this post.

*february 2014 measurements and goals

*january 2014 measurements and goals

*march 2014 measurements and goals

overall, i’m satisfied with my march progress. of course i’d like to see the scale move, but the pounds don’t mean so much if i lose inches.  progress is progress no matter how slow.


1.  to lose an inch around my midsection and tone it up more.

2.  to only weigh once a week.  (this will be surprisingly hard for me.  i think i’ll put my scale in the bathroom cabinet so it’s not so hard to just step on it each morning.)

3.  to focus on getting healthy and not skinny.  (see number 1 and 2.)

4.  to continue to stay focused on my personal mantra daily.  (if you’re interested in why and how i choose this personal mantra, check out this post)


5.  to continue to remember this quote…


teaching tip #40. take care of yourself.

teaching tips from a tattooed teacher in texas

it took me a while to figure this one out.  my first few years, i was just trying to survive another day.  i was taking home work all the time.  i didn’t understand that i needed to carve out time for me.  i didn’t get it that i needed to take care of myself, emotionally and physically until i had to.  several years ago, my anxiety caught up with me along with what my doctor called “situational depression”.  he was very adamant, almost forceful.  he told it to me straight – i had to make some changes.  i chose to make those changes and it helped me a ton not only in my personal life but at school.

it’s very easy in the beginning to get consumed, to forget that you are a real person and not just a teacher.  i was really young when i first started teaching at twenty-two.  i wanted to do a good job and give it my all.  but the thing is… you just can’t be everything to everyone.  you have to put yourself first. then, you can take care of your responsibilities in the best way.

so here’s my advice to you:

eating right.  your food is your fuel to get you through your day.  if you consume healthy and real food, you will feel better and have more energy.

fitness.  try to set aside 30 minutes a day at least to some kind of physical exercise.  i choose to do mine in the afternoons since i get up so early.  but if you can, try to do it in the mornings.  that way you know you can get it done and not be distracted in the afternoons.

mental health.  teaching is stressful and difficult.  there will be times when you will be overwhelmed.  don’t hold it in.  find someone to talk to about it and let it out.  it’s not healthy to set the stress sit inside of you and fester.

going out and having fun.  speaking of that stress… you’ll never know how much stress you can alleviate just by laughing and having fun with some friends and/or family.  don’t forget your passions.  for me, i let go with a game night, happy hour(s), reading a book, hiking, going out to see a band play, playing some beer pong (poorly), or simply sitting on a back porch listening to music with my friends.  whatever makes you happy, do it and don’t stop doing it.

3.28 | high five for friday!

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(ONE) i’m doing new measurements sunday.  i know that i have worked my ass off for the past month.  i’ve been super focused on my food intake and fitness but am still not dropping any lbs.  but that’s not such a priority anymore.  i can’t say that i don’t care about it because i do.  but the work and the measurements are giving me more info lately.  i’ll put an update here with a link to my measurements after i’ve taken them.


i found this image on pinterest a few weeks ago. i might actually need to take a paint pen to my scale and do this. sometimes i need to be reminded…

(2)  i had a great week at school this week.  strangely, i had some extra time, which is always awesome.  we’re testing next week (not my subject yet) so everyone is a little stressed.  but the kids were pretty great this week and made me laugh.  a lot.

(three)  every once in a while a girl needs a wild night.  and i got mine this past friday.  it wasn’t meant to be a wild night, but it ended up that way.  a little drinking and laughing on a back porch turned into prank calling.  prank calling turned into meeting up with other people.  meeting up with other people turned into going to a country bar.  and it spiraled out of control from there.  lots of dancing, some shots (NO.), someone getting left at the bar, some 2 am whataburger, a mysterious bruise and one killer hangover.  but it was worth it!  :)




the next night, my cousin and i cleaned ourselves up, calmed ourselves down (or were forced to by our hangovers) and went out to see a band.

(4)  i got some lovely mail yesterday.  the baby announcement was for my baby cousin, gavin.  so adorable.  and i also received my invitation to my cousin justin and his fiancee hillary‘s wedding.  probably the cutest invitations ever.  i can’t wait to see those two get married in may.


(FIVE)  you know, the week wasn’t the greatest.  i had a little anxiety, some worries, and a bit of hurt from my friends and family.  if i’ve learned anything in the past year, i know that those things will pass.  and i do have the strength to start all over again.


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