Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures.

I have to be completely honest, dieting during the holidays has been extremely difficult.  Along with the rest of my family I have asked myself so many times "what was I thinking" when I decided to start this contest right before Thanksgiving.  I am completely confident that after it is all over with and everyone is starting their workout regimens at the beginning of the year, and we have a head start we will be so thankful, but in the meantime it is pure torture.  Well yesterday the sugar cravings became almost unbearable so I was on a mission to find some sort of cookie recipe that will fit into my diet.  I absolutely love Gina's Skinny Recipes website, and refer to it often when trying to come up with things to make for dinner.  As usual her website did not disappoint, I found the recipe for these cookies, and went home and made them.  I was like a kid in a Candy store, because I have missed not only eating but getting to cook all the goodies during the holidays.  I am not sure if it is because I have been deprived, but I was very impressed!  Don't get me wrong they are no Mrs. Fields, but for only 46 calories they were wonderful.  So if anyone else is insane and decided to start a diet during the holidays I would definitely recommend these for a sweet fix.  Oh and I will say I shortened the cook time to about 25 minutes because my first batch was a little stiff, but the second was perfect!


Too Good To Be True?

I ran out to Wal-Greens on my lunch break today, and as I was browsing I came across this.

I have a VERY bad habit of biting my nails, but I will go in spurts where I can get them looking really good, and I use Sally Hansen Grow Nails Now.  Normally I would think products like this are a waste but I can honestly say that it really works.  So when I saw this nailgrowth miracle I was intrigued, until I looked down at that price $10.99 for this little bottle!  I don't mind paying for things if they really work, but I couldn't bring myself to do it today.  I am almost out of my Grow Nails Now, so I am hoping to get some feedback on Nailgrowth Miracle, because if it really is a miracle like the box says SIGN ME UP!


Happy Turkey Day Eve

I know I won't get a chance to post tomorrow so I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I cannot even begin to starting naming the things I am thankful for this year, but I feel so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing husband, family, and friends.  Tonight we are going to watch our friend Alex's band play, and are sure to run into lots of old friends since everyone is in town for Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow we will be up bright and early, because Luke is running in a 5k and I will be starting on all my goodies I am making for Thanksgiving.  I have been nominated to make one of the turkey's this year, since I have a convection oven my family thought that was good enough reason to put my turkey basting skills to the test......wish me luck!  Friday is the big IRON BOWL this is always a huge deal for my family because both of my parents grew up in Alabama so we are big Auburn fans.  We are planning on having a get together at my aunt and uncles house to cheer our team on.  We are doing Thanksgiving with Luke's family on Saturday, and Sunday is our next weigh in.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend!


First Weign In

Yesterday was our first weigh in!  I am so proud of my family for sticking with this, and I know that after last week everyone will be very motivated to keep it going.  This week is going to be very hard with Thanksgiving, but we have all committed to keep each other on track, and only allow ourselves to eat Thanksgiving dinner.....no leftovers for this family. We have all decided that we will not be hard on ourselves this week we will just workout harder, and as long as we don't gain we will be proud of ourselves.  I won't keep you in suspense any longer here are the results.....

Mom-9 lbs
Dad- 8.5 lbs
Connie-3.3 lbs
Jake- 12.5 lbs!!!
Ashley-2.5 lbs
Marc- 7.8 lbs
Brittany- 3 lbs
Michael 1.9 lbs
Luke- 9.4 lbs
Amber- 5.1 lbs

Everyone did a great job, but I have to say that I am so incredibly proud of my parents.  I know they both worked very hard and it definitely paid off!  We are all on the right track, and I cannot wait to see how everyone looks at the end of the contest.


Happy Friday

I have to say that I have been in a much better mood and just feeling better all the way around this week.  I am 100% sure its because I have been working out and dieting, I am officially back on the train, and with $800 at stake I have lots of motivation.  I am so proud of Luke he has gotten up and gone to the gym with me in the mornings, which really helps motivate me.  We have big Friday night plans let me tell ya, we are cleaning house, and putting up Christmas decorations!  The sad part is I could not be more thrilled about it, I am so excited to get my house all decked out for the holidays.  I ordered my Christmas cards this morning, now if I could just get motivated to get started on my shopping.  I tell myself every year I am going to get started early, and end up waiting until the last minute, which is OK with me because unlike most people I thrive on the hustle and bustle of shopping during the holidays.  Tomorrow we are getting up bright and early to hit the gym, and then I am helping my sister get everything ready for Macy Kate's 2nd Birthday party!  I cannot believe my little princess is already two.  It is going to be a circus theme complete with a space walk, face painting, balloon animals, and a cake walk.  I will be sure to post pictures next week.  Saturday night we are heading over to my friend Leigh's house for dinner and I am FINALLY going to meet her boyfriend Gregg!  This has been a long time coming, because he is in the Air Force and lives in Destin, so I have heard all about him and feel like I know him so it will be great to actually meet him and hang out.  We have our first weigh in Sunday, and I will be sure to post results....I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Christmas Cards

I was so proud of myself yesterday because I went to Shutterfly and started working on designing my Christmas cards, and I felt like I am actually a little ahead of the game.  I came up with my layout and picked out a design that I loved, and got sidetracked and didn't end up ordering.  Boy am I glad that I didn't because I came across this blog post.  I always use shutterfly when ordering and printing my pictures so this was the perfect deal for me since I already have my cards designed and ready to order!  This will be my first year sending out Christmas cards, and I cannot wait to keep up the tradition.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I love the Christmas cards that have pictures on them!  Click here to check out all of Shutterfly's photo cards.  They also have a lot of great ideas for Christmas gifts you can make a personalized calendar or a photo book, and give it as a gift.  My sister made me a photo book for our wedding and I absolutely love it!  I cannot wait to get my Christmas cards and start sending them out. 


Biggest Loser.....family style

A few weeks ago I was complaining to my mom that I was having a hard time getting back on the workout/diet wagon, after my best friends wedding, well she said that she was having the same problem  I have realized that I have to have a goal to work towards when it comes to losing weight,  I worked so hard to lose weight for the wedding, and then kept it up for my friends wedding, and now I have this down time, and I need a challenge.  So I started thinking and I came up with the idea for us to all to have a weight loss competition.  I really want my family to be healthy and make a lifestyle change so I thought this would be the perfect way for us to all motivate each other.  The original plan was for us to start last Sunday but several of us got a virus and were sick all weekend so we postponed it until this Sunday.  So this is how the contest is going to work.  We are going to weigh in every Sunday, the person with the highest percentage of weight loss gets a free pass, the person with the lowest has to pay $10, and everyone in between pays $5.  If for some reason you don't want to or can't weigh in you have to pay $10.  The person who has the highest percent of weight loss at the end of 16 weeks wins all the money!  The people in the contest are my mom, dad, sister, brother in law, aunt, uncle, my best friend Brittany and her husband Michael, and if course me and Luke.  I know we are crazy for starting this right before the holidays, but I figured this would be a good way to keep each other motivated through the holidays and not over indulge.  The men in my family have been doing so much smack talking, and are so competitive it is going to be fun to kick their butts.  We are going to take before and after pictures, and I promise to keep everyone updated on how everyone is doing.  If you have been wanting your family to get in shape this is a good way to get everyone on board and make it fun, because who doesn't like a challenge and winning money?


It's about the little things....

I have to admit I am OBESSED with anything and everything to do with the holidays.  I will say I did start to get a little anxiety when I went into Hobby Lobby at the beginning of October, and they already started putting their Christmas stuff out.  Is it just me or does it seem like people are putting Christmas stuff out earlier and earlier every year??  I think that Thanksgiving often gets overlooked, but for me it is just as important, because it revolves around one of my favorite things to do, and that is cooking.  I went grocery shopping the other day, and got so excited when I went in and they had all the baking goodies out.  I started thinking about what I was going to make for my family's Thanksgiving a while back I came across this recipe, and thought it looked amazing, so that is going to be by dessert contribution.  I am going to head out this weekend, and try to snag up as much Christmas decor as I can, because I know it will be time to put my trees up in no time!


Pumkin Carving Contest

As I mentioned before we had our annual Pumpkin Carving Contest last weekend, and it was the best yet!  This started 4 years ago on a random Saturday night in October, we were bored and my sister suggested that we have a contest.  There were only three pumpkins in the contest that day, and we had a blast!  We decided to keep the tradition up, since it has grown so much we decided to have it out at our office, because, there is plenty of space to spread out, and boy was it a good decision.  This year we had 15 pumpkins in the contest, and the competition was stiff!  These are not your ordinary carvings, we get really into it and everyone usually comes up with some really creative ideas.  My dad had a hayride for the kids, and we had some arts and crafts for them so they had a blast as well.  Here are some pictures from the night.


Now some after pictures

and the winner is.........

You can't really see the sign but it says "How pumpkin pies are made".  My brother in law and I have been partners since we started the contest and are very competitive.  After losing last year we started working on our idea right after the contest, and it paid off!

The little orange thing you can't really see is the grand prize.  It is a pumpkin and the team that wins signs the back, and keeps it until the contest next year. 

As a bonus here is our little pumpkin all ready for bed.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!


We made it to the blog!

Even though I am married I can't help myself from continuing to look at Cedarwood's blog, really all wedding blogs for that matter.  Well the other day as I was making my daily visit to the blog I saw that our wedding was featured, I was so excited I immediately called my mom and told her to log on and check it out.  Going through the pictures I am still so amazed at the wonderful job they did, and how perfect everything turned out.  You can check out the post here

I don't know about everyone else, but the weather here in Nashville is putting me in the best mood.  I think I am a little late, but I am finally getting in the fall mood.  I have done a little decorating around the house, but I plan to add to that this weekend and I cannot wait!  We are having our annual Pumpkin Carving Contest that my parents host this weekend, and I will be sure to post pictures next week.


Fabulous Find

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Yesterday my newly married best friend and I ventured out to Sam's Club to get our monthly essentials.  I have to admit Sam's club is one of my guilty pleasures, if you shop there I'm sure you can agree that once you start buying in bulk you get so spoiled.  I don't really buy a lot of food, but laundry detergent,paper towels, and TP are alwayss a must for me.  It is so nice to stock up and not have to worry about running out for a few months.  As we were browsing through the produce I came across these little guys (sorry the picture is bad I took it with my phone).

They are called kiwi berries.  They have the skin and are the size of a grape, but you bite into them and its a kiwi!  I feel like I have came across a gold mine, why you ask?  I LOVE kiwi, but never buy it because I hate peeling it.  So you can just pop these guys in your mouth with no fuss of the fuzzy skin.  The taste is almost identical to a kiwi except they are not as bitter.  Has anyone ever seen these before? If you like kiwi you must try them!


Blogging Break

I have to admit I have been TERRIBLE at blogging lately, however I plan on getting back on top of things very soon. I have taken on a lot more at work, so unfortunately that has been the demise of my blogging. The good news is Comcast will be out to our house to fix our internet so hopefully I can get caught up on my blog at night. In the meantime I have recently become interested in cooking with butternut squash, for someone who cooks very often I am ashamed to say I have never cooked with these autumn beauties before. I think every cook has things that they are intimidated by in the kitchen, and I have to say butternut squash and artichokes are mine. I plan to win this battle and add butternut squash to my winter menu this week. With that being said I would love for you all to send me any butternut squash recipes you have, I have found some online that I would like to try, but I would rather try something that I know has been tested and approved first. Thanks so much, and it feels good to be back in touch with everyone.


Its All in the Details

I am a very detail oriented person, so after looking at several venues for my wedding I knew Cedarwood was the place for me.  I loved every minute of wedding planning, but what  I loved the most was being able to go to a few meetings with Karen and Linda, taking a handful of pictures, describing my dream wedding, and seeing it come to life.  I really wasn't sure what to expect I just knew that I had complete faith in these two ladies, and whatever they came up with I would love.  That does not mean that I wasn't a nervous wreck on the way, because it hit me that I really didn't know what I would be walking into.  I was so overcome with emotions when I walked up and started surveying everything, because not only did they nail it, but it was more than I would have ever dreamed of.  When people get married they always have their one "thing" that is the most important to them, and my "things" were the flowers.  I am more than obsessed with flowers, and that was what really sold me on having my wedding at Cedarwood. It didn't matter if the colors were mine or even if the wedding was my taste I never saw a blog post of a wedding that I was not blown away by Karen's floral arrangements.  I told them that I wanted lots of color,fun, and overstated flowers, and I think it turned out pretty much perfect.
I was so nervous as I walked in..

Then I saw the guest table and started to relax

This is what took my breath away....

The food was all set up inside the house

The cake was one of my favorite aspects of the wedding.  I wanted something different, rather than your typical square or round cake.  In college I was a Phi Mu and our badge was in the shape of a quatrefoil, and I thought how neat would it be to make that the bottom of my cake??  I was so blown away at how great it turned out, and it was just another personal touch that made the day so special.
Until the next wedding post I hope you all enjoy!


Wedding Day!

The night before the wedding me and most of my bridesmaids stayed at my moms house.  We woke up bright and early the next morning to start getting ready for the wedding.  I had my hair stylist and make-up artist come to my moms house that way we could all just relax, and not feel rushed.  I was surprisingly really calm the whole day....of course with the help of some champagne =). 

                             Jill getting her hair done                            

First things first...can you tell we just woke up?

Tab was up next

Waiting to get my hair done

Let the teasing begin!

The back of the final product


All ready to go

No turning back now ha ha!