What I Wore Today: Halloween Monday

I'm taking a quick break to post the Halloween Monday photos of what my office mate Adam and I wore today. He threw in some whimsy, we'll say...

This morning, he was the Green Lantern!

Adam as the Green Lantern

Then, after lunch, he morphed into Batman.

Adam as Batman

Of course, I didn't get the memo, and left it autumn classy. Or at least, that's what I'm going to call it.

Jacket: Nordstrom Rack | Shirt: Ann Taylor LOFT
Necklace: Gifted by my sister from Etsy
Trousers: Banana Republic | Shoes: Antonio Melani

So much for a costume! Wait, I already did that... :)


Biggest Loser 12: Episode 6

It's Halloween week! Obviously. I didn't think Alison's costume was very inventive, but it was done well. I would have like to seen her as Wonder Woman or Shakira. Or something better than Mrs. Frankenstein.
Crazy stats:

  • Americans spend an average of $44 on Halloween candy each year
  • Those same Americans (us) make 20 million pounds of candy corn per year
  • We eat about 24 pounds of all types of candy a year

How's that for a shocker! I still love candy corn, though.

The initial challenge Alison gives them seems a bit lofty. Ten pounds per person? Hmm. That seems like a bit of stretch, especially for the women. *Cough*Bonnie*Cough* However, they have a change to get a pound advantage by eating a pound of candy. Somehow I don't see these contestants giving into that temptation.

All-For-One Training
Switching up the trainers is a good idea, and will help the contestants lose more weight. But 10 pounds! Wow. Can we talk about Jennifer and Bob? It's like she has an 8th grade crush on him. What a fool! If you can't take away something valuable from a training session with each trainer, you're not trying hard enough. Jennifer and Bob, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
The adoption moment between Dolvett and John was a good building block for both of them emotionally, and for the viewers of the show. We got to see a softer side to both of the rude-a-begas in the House.

Apple/Maze Challenge
5 or 10 pound advantage (if they win and gather 150 or 200 pounds of apples)
5 pound disadvantage (if they don't all make it out of the maze)

I'm glad they won as a large team! That will improve their morale...hopefully.

Quotes of Note
"Hoo-de-hoo!" Vinny (He is so country.)
"I'm not goin' in the graveyard!" Antone, about the 'frightening' graveyard.
"Antone, the tombstones are made of Styrofoam..." Sunny, about the 'frightening' graveyard.
"We never gonna get out of this thing!" Joe, about the 'frightening' graveyard.
"Do these guys not know me? I take this crap seriously." Bob, about the candy prank.
"Until you take care of him [the abused 9-year-old inside of him], this is just a weight loss reality show." Bob to Vinny, about his struggles.

So, what is this about a BL Romance already? 

I read a few rumor blogs before the show aired, and it said Ramon and Jessica were in lurve. How is that? They've been there a month and a half! Later on the show, Ramon said "I love you" on national television! During the show, I counted their kissing. Let's keep it going, whaddaya say!? Kiss Count: 6

Last Chance Workout
Jessica carrying Antone? INSANE!
Next, let's talk about that serious heart-to-heart that was Jessica's talk with Anna. Is Anna supposedly a relationship expert? Should she be asking these questions to Jessica?  Didn't she date Enrique Iglesias at one time? I rest my case.

Weigh In
John beat Moses at the first to lose 100 pounds!
Sunny gained 5 pounds...boo. She's one of my favorites, so I hope she doesn't go home. It's not looking good for her, until the rest of the players weigh in. Wow, these weight losses are terrible. Did something go on behind the cameras? Was a deal struck? There's no other explanation for these awful weigh ins. That being said, they didn't reach their goal of 90 pounds, so everyone is going to the elimination room.

Elimination Room
It looks like Jennifer may be going home, especially after Vinny said his piece. He's right though! In this game, you HAVE to be a team player. If that's not your personality, you have to work to get along with others.
The decision: Sunny put the nail in the coffin. Thank goodness she didn't go home. 6 votes will send Jennifer home, because of her 'negative energy.' Sounds like she was just a biznatch. Thoughts?

Side Note: I'm already thinking about makeover week! I can't wait! I hope that both Ramon and Jessica make it, so they'll have to tell their families about their romance! Ahh!

The Happy List

Here starts an unusual post. A happy post. A happy list, to be exact. I'm going to share not one or two happy things with you, but TEN! A lovely friend in Baltimore shared a post like this a few weeks ago, and I'm going to do my best to create the 'warm, fuzzy feeling' I got when I read her list.
Here the requirements for The Happy List:
They can be memories or just general cool things that have happened. They can also be great life accomplishments too (ex. graduating college, giving birth, etc…).

Mine are in no particular order.
1. Cooking: I should change this to "cooking for others" because there's no sweeter feeling than making a meal for appreciative diners. Of course, I always have to preface it with a disclaimer, "Well, I hope it's tastes right...It's a new recipe and..."
2. Losing Weight: I never thought I needed to lose weight until my clothes didn't fit the way I wanted them to. That's when I knew I wasn't as healthy as I wanted to be. Also, I had to buy a larger size dress for a formal event, and was thrown for a loop. Now that I've been taking my health into my own hands and making MUCH better choices about eating and exercise, I feel SO good about my weight...and that it's going down! :)
3. Hot Tea on a Cool Day: Need I say more? There's just something about sipping tea and letting the steam bathe your face, while enjoying a cool day.
4. Jetta: Or, shall I say Hetta? (That's her name, and all.) I could not have been more proud of bringing home my first car that I had purchased, and had haggled all by myself. Yes, I've purchased all of my past cars, but I had never WORKED to get the priced I wanted. For me, this was a big accomplishment. Does that make me from Sherman?
5. MAC Makeup: I'm someone who takes pride in how I look, and I love the way makeup changes your appearance AND attitude. It just makes a girl feel good to wear some new eyeshadow that compliments her natural eye color. You know you look your best.
6. Winning the APO Presidential Election: It's weird to look back on things in your life you consider accomplishments, because it may pale in comparison to more recent ones. That being said, when I ran for President of my Alpha Phi Omega chapter at Texas Tech, I never wanted anything more. I was running against a more than qualified opponent, and knew I'd have to step up my game to beat him. When all was said and done, I was overwhelmed with the confidence the voters had in me. I won! It was a hard semester, but I'm so thankful I was able to serve as a leader.
7. Doing Something For Others: I talked about this before, but it's a small accomplishment for me each time I am able to help someone else personally. I remember the first time I chose to volunteer. I folded baby clothes for the Pregnancy Care Center, and helped young women 'shop' for their newborn. It was fulfilling, and empowering at the same time. I could make a difference in someone else's life! Other service projects over the years has reaffirmed what this first one taught me.
8. Drive-In Movies: Cramming several of your friend into a small sedan, turning up the AM radio station with the movie's audio, and munching on homemade treats. Recipe for a deliciously fun night.
9. Graduation: I knew it would happen one day, but didn't really see it coming until it was right in my face. Such a bittersweet time.
10. My Third Anniversary with Husband: I could have written "Marrying Husband" instead of our third anniversary, but I think the anniversary means more. We've been through a lot in 2011, and I feel like we're more understanding of each other. Now I know what experienced folks mean by "You never really know someone until you marry them." They weren't talking about laundry habits (or lack thereof)!

What will make it onto your list?


What I Wore Today: Work Costume

Don't be alarmed.
This is not an animal that escaped from a zoo, only me, in makeup!
Friday was our staff meeting for work, and we were allowed to dress up in the spirit of Halloween.
I was a lioness.
Finishing things before work

Michael was not a fan. He kept saying "Bring my wife back!"
I guess that means the makeup was pretty good.

Yes, I did my daily 25-minute commute in this getup. Complete with tail.
Arriving at work - It was chilly!
I used a combination of that cheap, grease paint (in yellow and black),
then supplemented with MAC eyeshadows in Carbon and Embark.
In the contest, I tied for second place!
What do you think of the look/costume?


Birthday Bonanza

In my family, you're allowed to celebrate your birthday week

In my case, it's a birthday month. But, that's another story.

This year we celebrated Michael's 26th birthday at Meddlesome Moth (as EVERYONE knows, now that I've said it 347 times.) 
Enjoy the photos! 

James, Nicole, Robert (Hobbes) and Christine

Keum, Ryan, Lisa and Jake

Wife and Birthday Man

Another, for funzies

Michael, Amanda and Grant
What a fun night! 

The next day we celebrated Amanda and Michael's birthday with dinner at Meso Maya
I went there for the first time with the Best Friend, and have enjoyed each time since!
Michael's Mom, Dad and Grandpa were able to come down to Dallas to have dinner with us, which was super nice!

Roy (Dad), Michael and Tom (Grandpa)

Martie (Mom), Me and Amanda

Me and Amanda (We match!)

Cake & Michael

Now, It's cake time!

I made a Triple-chocolate Mocha cake, based on this recipe.
Not a bite was left.
True story.

Amanda, post-dinner.

The super awesome cake

Unfortunately, I didn't write the recipe down.
One Hit Wonder!


Chicago! Parts 3 & 4

This will be my final post on Chicago. Don't jump for joy...or cry. 
I hope you've enjoyed reliving the trip with me.

Day three started with a photo.

This one.
 Today was going to be our "finish the City Pass" day. We'd done a little lollygagging, and now it was time to get serious. We walked to the Shedd Aquarium first, but after we grabbed our daily dose of coffee. :)

The biggest lobster you've ever seen. He was at least 1.5 feet long.
Afterwards, we headed next door to the Field Museum. What a HUGE museum. 
We were only able to see about 40% of it, because of time constraints. 

Yes, that's a life-size whale.

 As we walked back to the hotel to get changed for that evening, we stopped and bought some gourmet popcorn. There's quite a few popcorn stands and shops in Chicago. 
Yet another reason to absolutely love Chicago.

That night we dressed up for dinner.
At Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse
We had to have the three
There are three notably Chicago foods.  Deep dish pizza (check), hot dogs (soon to be checked), and steak. We chose to have our big, nice, schmantzy dinner at Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse. Soon after we were seated, the waitress welcomed us with this platter of goodness. 

Lobster and various cuts of beef.
 Michael and I ordered the top cut (on the plate), the Chicago Cut. When in Rome, right? 
He ordered his peppercorn-crusted. I opted for a small pat of butter.

Michael's Peppercorn-Crusted Chicago Cut Steak
 We ended the night by strolling through the Gold Coast, window shopping and holding hands like an old married couple. (But full of delicious steak.)

Day four began with grabbing coffee and heading to the Lincoln Park area to visit the Chicago History Museum. For some reason, this museum wasn't listed in our fabulous guidebook on the top things to do in Chicago. Considering this was my first visit to Chicago, I think the city's history museum is a must-see.

Michael at the Chicago History Museum
We worked up an appetite exploring the CHM, so we were ready for lunch. 
Public transit time! 
(Note: I LOVE public transit. I'm pretty sure that's not normal. It must be because of the lack of legit public transit options here in DFW. Yes, we have DART and TRE, but it's not the same as the L!)
Waiting for the bus
 We caught the bus to Wrigleyville, and stopped at The Wiener's Circle. 
We ordered two types of hotdogs, completing our Chicago three

The Wiener's Circle
Unfortunately, my hotdog photos didn't turn out. 
We all know what a Chicago dog looks like though, right? I would hope you do.

We grabbed another bus and headed to Wrigley Field, intending on having a tour. However, since they were super pricey tours, we opted for taking tons of photos outside. I'll only subject you to two.

Michael outside of Wrigley Field

Me outside of Wrigley Field
We caught the L back to Downtown, and packed up our stuff to head to the airport. 

What a fabulous vacation! As I've recounted the details to friends, I keep saying it's a perfect city for whatever you're looking for. Romance. Foodie finds. Family fun. Shopping. In whatever form you like to have fun, Chicago has it. For as much as we did on this anniversary trip, we weren't able to do it all. Definitely in my top 5 vacations EVER.

 I would go back in a heartbeat. 

What I Wore Today: Eye Makeup Version

Occasion: Michael's 26th Birthday Dinner at Meddlesome Moth.

Don't worry. There's a blog post to come on that!

Note: Since I'm a MAC girl, all of the eyemakeup featured here is part of their collection.
(Ignore the slightly bloodshot eyes and contact lines! It was a crazy night!)

Eyebrow: Lingering | Highlight: Naked Lunch

Crease: Pro Longwear in Weathered
 Liner: Beauty Marked Eye Shadow


Biggest Loser 12: Episode 5

Let's start off with the challenge! Is this Plunko? Plinko? Where is Bob Barker!? This is not a challenge, it's a game show!
I'm glad Sunny won the 'challenge/game'. I like the idea of one teammate pulling the weight of the team, but just on paper. In reality, that's not such a good idea. Leaving the fate of others in their teammate's hands is a scary thing. That must be why John is crying like a baby.
As Sunny wins, she does a little happy dance. Good for her to be happy to see her family after a month of being in LA. That's tough on a wide-open-spaces Texas gal. (Did I just say gal?) Then things change. Wow. Bob. Can he bring Sunny down any more? That's not the positive Bob I know.
That being said, Sunny, you better not let Texas down.

Quotes of Note
"It's not my job to be, you know, cuddling her!" Anna about Bonnie. So true.
"Texas is in the HOUSE!" Bob about coming to Frisco, Texas.
"You got it Bon-Bon!" Vinny about Bonnie in the string challenge. (String Thing, anyone?)

While in Texas, Sunny's family takes Bob to Rudy's. Yes, a barbecue joint. Brimming with juicy meats, sweet sauces and sides the size of your face. Delicious! (However, if you want a good barbecue sauce, this is my favorite.) All Bob can say is, "What are we going to eat?" He orders the lean turkey, lean brisket and throws in some ribs for fun. No ribs for Sunny though, and he snaps at her husband to move the tray of ribs away from her end of the table. Serious stuff! Then, Sunny says she has a surprise for Bob. Revenge, in the form of riding the mechanical bull! Bob held his own though, lasting WAY more than 8 seconds.

Back at the Ranch, it got real with Dolvett and Vinny in the gym. Apparently you're not allowed to make jokes in the gym. I get that. But to cut out room for personality? I'm not sure if that's what working out is about. Don't kill Vinny's personality!

Bonnie and Anna. Can we just leave it there? Wow. I feel like this episode was mainly about their beef. They're really not working well together at all. Anna is trying to go deeper, and Bonnie isn't letting her. Bonnie just doesn't like Anna for some reason. I'm sure this will surface again.

Last Chance Workout
Pan back to Texas. Sunny is working out on a legit farm. Really, Bob? Is that all Texas is? I guess near the wilds of Frisco, that could be partially true. Later, Bob reveals that he and Sunny both grew up on farms. Okay, I'll give it to you, Bob.
Can I get a shout out for the cowboy with a black and mild? Cessation! It works!

Weigh In
Bonnie and Anna's squabble comes out. Again. Bob backs up Anna, of course. Pan to Bonnie. She's looking like a wet hen.
Shining moment #1: Becky pulls an 8! I'm proud of her! She's really a gem on this show. Too bad she's ruining Bonnie's life.
The Black Team weighs in last. As much as I dislike John, I am impressed by his weight loss. However, I hope he doesn't win, mainly because he's a jerk. Reformed jerk? I'm not so sure.
Antone lost only 4 pounds. Interesting.
Shining moment #2: Sunny loses 14 pounds! That's incredible! It's double what she needed to keep the Black Team safe. Great job!

Decision Room
Red Team squabble! Like we didn't see this coming. Alison comments on how thick the air is in the room. Next thing we know, Vinny and Courtney are at each other's throats. Civilly, but still adversaries.
Courtney was voted off, but her 'afterwards' segment was uplifting. Courtney's sister getting the prize was bittersweet, as it was almost like she was giving up her time at the Ranch for her sister. I hope to see her finish well at the marathon.

Scenes from the next week: HOLY CRAP! Someone GAINS 5 pounds?! Seriously? That has got to be some sort of sabotage!

Side Note: Did anyone see the Marc Anthony collection commercial at Kohls? I might check it out for Michael, because it may be styled for a skinnier man. Marc Anthony = Skinny Minnie. Or Mickey. Thoughts?


Thank You

Michael's "thank you' to me for putting together his birthday soirees for the last week.
Such a sweet thing for him to do!
I appreciate the appreciation! :)

Autumn Bouquet

Sideways! (Flowers in a pumpkin!)

Dining Out in Chicago

Michael and I ate at Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse for our big anniversary dinner on the third night we were in Chicago. It was delicious, and I'll talk about the food in my next Chicago post. 

For now, let's talk about my outfit.

Purse: Michael Kors | Bracelet: Carolina Herrera
Jacket: Nordstrom Rack

Dress: H&M | Belt: Target

Tights: Target | Shoes: Michael Kors

It was a windy, cool evening. Perfection!


Chicago! Part 2

Day two started with a bit of a setback. I had arranged for a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's home, studio and surrounding homes in Oak Park for what I thought was 8:30am. Turns out, the tour was actually for 10:30am. So, we woke up early, grabbed coffee and rode the L (train) out to Oak Park/Harlem. We were 3 stops away before realizing this. We ended up riding the train for an hour. But it was nice to chat over coffee and see the sights of the green line.

Once we got back, we walked past Millennium Park, and explored Grant Park and the Buckingham Fountain. Now, I'm not one for fountains, but this one was spectacular.

Statue outside of the Art Institute of Chicago

Southern-most point of Grant Park

Husband and I in front of Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain
After spending the morning by the fountain, we rode the L back to Oak Park. We viewed the surrounding neighborhood homes Frank Lloyd Wright designed first, then finished with a tour of his home and octagonal studio. This is a must-do in Chicago!
Home designed by Wright

Frank Thomas House (My favorite home on the tour)

Gorgeous art glass
 We headed back into the city after the tours were over, and shopped for a while on North Michigan Avenue, or the Magnificent Mile. Coming from Dallas, which could be considered one of the best shopping destinations in the South, it was somewhat of a letdown. We didn't encounter any stores that we didn't' have here at home. Not that I need a dress from Escada.

As we walked, I noticed a building that really stood out to me. And in an architectural city like Chicago, that's something. I stopped to read the plaque.
Plaque on the Carbide and Carbon Building
 Evidently, this 'champagne bottle' of a building was built by one of the main characters in the book I was reading at the time. How timely! :)
Carbide and Carbon Building

Carbine and Carbon Building
 For dinner we took it easy and had a burger and a Chicago area beer. Then we went on a City Lights cruise of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. What a windy trip!

The architecture was highlighted by (no pun intended) the lights. Gorgeous!
View from Lake Michigan on the City Lights cruise