September 30, 2013

Weekend Recap - University of Idaho Homecoming

Hello all! I promised you a weekend recap of my Moscow trip so here it is! 

Just a heads up I am posting from my phone, so it might not be as fancy and formatted as usual. Remind me next time James asks to borrow my computer to make sure I have him elaborate on "borrow." I didn't realize that meant switching out my hard drive and taking the lap top into work for the week. Oh well, that's what smart phones are for right? 

So the weekend started with driving up to Moscow with my mom. She had told me they had opened a STAX in McCall, my favorite Moscow sandwich place. So naturally we had to stop there for lunch. It was packed with all the Boise vandals heading up north. It was sooooo good, just like I remember. Oh man I wish I could have another build your own right now! If you're ever in Moscow or McCall make a point to stop by STAX!

Ok, onto the actual purpose of the trip, getting to Moscow and seeing Lise! It was so good to see her, tour her house, Alpha Gamma Delta, and catch up with all that is new in her life.

It was also nice just to be back in Moscow. You really don't realize how much you miss a place till you return there. All my memories and warm fuzzy feelings kept coming back to me as we toured campus and even drove around town. Man I love this place!

I also missed this place tons... Good old Kappa, I had to snag a tour while I was here! 

We spent the afternoon and early evening walking around campus and taking Lise to dinner at another one of my favs, Basillio's in Pullman. Then we headed back to Moscow for the bonfire, pep rally and firework display to get pumped up for Homecoming! Again, warm fuzzies came rushing back for this, and I was gushing with Vandal pride, I-D-A-H-O...

We called it an early night to be ready for the long day tomorrow (I could feel this cold coming on, so this was needed).

Saturday we met with Lise and her big sister in the house to go down to the Saturday market and parade down town. We enjoyed all the colors and fall smells of the market and indulged in some crepes.... Mmmmmm

Then we headed up to the tailgate for the football game. Some beers and catching up with friends and it was game time before I knew it. I was excited to see a new addition to the Kibbie Dome, a new Jumbotron screen!
 
We had so much fun at the game and tailgate and got to be there for the Vandals first win! 

Sunday we took Lise out to her "birthday breakfast" at the Old European in Pullman. Since we won't be here for her birthday on the 9th we took this opportunity to celebrate an give her her presents. I can't believe she's going to be 19!

Then it was the long, rainy road home... It seemed to take an eternity, and I almost ached to leave Lise and Moscow behind. I can't wait till I visit again! Mom's weekend anyone?! :-)

Anyways, that's the weekend in a nutshell. I also had a super productive Monday night, grocery shopping, dog park AND I made home made turkey meatballs! Check in tomorrow for the recipe and how to!

TTFN Friends!
Laura

September 25, 2013

Heading to Vandal Homecoming!


Hello lovelies. I know I have been extremely MIA lately. I just haven’t done a lot worth blogging about (or more in truth didn’t photo document any activities well enough to use them).

But today I want to highlight something I am so excited for and someone who is very special to me.

This weekend I get to go visit my little sister, Lise in Moscow where she is attending the University of Idaho.


There are 3 reasons that I am excited for this trip:

1. I get to see my sister.


Being 7 years apart, Lise and I were never very close growing up. However once I graduated college and moved home, I found myself connecting with her more and more. We are both opposite and similar in so many ways, but we work. And I can honestly say that she is one of my closest friends.

Her and me at her high school graduation

I was so thrilled that she decided to follow my footsteps and go to U of I. I had such a wonderful experience there and I wanted her to have one too. I felt in my heart that no matter what happened to her up there, that it would be a positive experience for her, and so far I think my feeling has been right on the dot.

We share a love of Butterbeer
Though I think she originally was skeptical about the chapter she ended up in after Greek Recruitment, I now know (and it is what I expected) that she is having an amazing time in college. Personally I think this is the bread and butter of the Greek System in schools – it provides you a place where feel you belong. It gives you an instant group of friends, and it sets up some structure during a time in your life where you are going through a lot of changes.

I had so much fun with her in Disney World this summer!
I couldn’t be more excited for my younger sister, who seems to be blossoming (for lack of a better term) up at school, and I truly can’t wait to see her in that environment!

A throw back of when she came to visit me at school

2. I get to go back to Moscow.


A part of my heart will always be in Moscow. I spent four amazing years there, I met friends that I will have for the rest of my life, and I will always feel the big house on the hill is one of my homes.

PC '06 in front of the beautiful Kappa House

Graduation with my Kappa ladies in front of the Admin Building
Though none of those people are still there, I look forward to touring the Kappa house, walking around the gorgeous campus during the most beautiful time of year, and of course eating and drinking at all the places that are never quite lived up to here at home:
-          The Corner Club
-          STAX
-          The Bagel Shop
-          Moscow Ale House

Some of my friends and me enjoying the Corner Club

3. I get to rep my Vandal Spirit.


Living in the land of the Broncos, and living with two Boise State alums, it’s difficult to wear my Vandal pride loud and proud, though I do try my hardest. (If you aren't from around here, BSU and U of I are rival schools). I cannot wait to go to a place where there is no blue and orange, everyone knows their fight song, and win or lose we always have a good time and truly love and support our team. What better time to go cheer on the Vandals than for Homecoming!? I cannot wait to tailgate, sing loud and proud and cheer on my Alma Mater!

Me and the Bronco boyfriend :)


Dad, and one of the best Vandal supporters I know, get some quality time with him this weekend too!!!
So here’s to counting down till Friday when I get to head to one of my favorite places and see one of my favorite people!!!!

I look forward to recapping the weekend for you when I return!

TTFN Friends,
Laura

September 9, 2013

Weekend Recap: Tri-Cities

This weekend I went and visited my best friend, Whitney, in Kennewick, Washington.


I took a half day on Friday and zipped up to Tri-Cities in the Silver Bullet (my car's nick name)

It was a GORGEOUS drive. About 72 degrees and sunny. I rocked out, sun roof open, the whole way.
Seeing the beautiful Blue Mountains on my way


I was greeted with big hugs and a stiff drink (the usual with her family).

After I got settled in we headed to Meadow CC for bloody maries, (the best ever). Then later that night we had box seats for the Tri-City Americans hockey game. It was a blast and I got to meet some of Whitney's Tri-City friends, all of which were so fun! After the game we headed to Sam's for a couple drinks and then called it a night.
Bloodies at the country club

Saturday we were up bright and early and got so much accomplished before noon!
  •   took my car to get the tires rotated
  •  gassed up and had Whitney's mom's car (convertible Mercedes) washed.
  •  dropped Whitney's bridemaid dress off at David's Bridal to be pressed
  •  took a little trip to PetSmart for a possible costume for you know who
  •  bought groceries to make homemade pizza for game day snacks (we call our pizzas "Whitney Laura Surpise" because we always use something a little unexpected)
  •  picked up my car
There was an ice cream truck at the car-wash fundraiser, we took advantage of. Here's Whit with her Spider-Man

We got all this done in time to get back to the house, put together pizzas, and enjoy the Vandal Football Game on ROOT sports! It was such a treat to have it on TV, even though it was an ugly game. Didn't matter to me though, I got to watch it with my best friend, with a beer in hand. I was a pretty happy girl!
Game on TV. We held them scoreless for the whole first quarter!
Bought this for Whitney as a belated birthday present.

Saturday night I tagged along with Whitney and her friends to a wedding. Total Wedding Crashers style. It was sort of a bust. Techincally it was just the reception of a wedding that happened back in February. The food was so-so, the music was outdated, and it was a cash bar... but we did get some cute photos.
Love this girl! My hot wedding date!

Being in Cougar Country, most of Whitney's friends were dying to go catch the second half of the WSU vs USC game. So we ditched the wedding early for Red Robin, cold beers, fries and football!

Sunday morning, after a yummy breakfast with her family, Whitney and I hiked up Badger Mountain. It is a huge hill that overlooks the Tri-Cities. It's like the Table Rock of her town. It was a little tougher hike than I had expected, or maybe I am just THAT out of shape... But it was worth it to get some exercise in before the drive home and an extra hour of Whitney time.
Attempted panoramic shot

One view from the top

Whitney's house also got "Flocked" on Saturday night. It was an adorable fundraiser one of the local girls softball teams puts on. 
"Flocked" sooo cute!


Then we said our sad good byes. Whitney is the type of friend  I don't get to see often, but when I do we make it count. I just hope our next visit is sooner rather than later!
Us at the Humanitarian Bowl. One of my favorite visits from Whitney!

The drive home was soooo long, but I made it home to an extremely excited puppy. I made dinner and James and I watched the new Die Hard movie. It was the perfect ending to a great weekend.

TTFN Friends,
Laura


September 5, 2013

My Thursday Dilemma – To Eat, or Not to Eat



As a girl in her 20’s I struggle with finding the balance of eating healthy, or eating what I want.


Last night while driving home from my volleyball game (a win!), I was trying to decide if I still needed to eat dinner. It was almost 9 PM, waaaaay too late to eat dinner as many health nuts would claim, PLUS I had had a small turkey bacon wrap when I got home from work. Normally this would just be a snack, but my “save calories” mind set was debating on if I should just call that my dinner. That’s when my internal dialog kicked in. And I went to my stand by, frequent excuse: 

“I’m only young once, I might as well eat what I want.”




I use this line far too often, considering when I look at my 25 year old body, it definitely can no longer handle “whatever I want” and still look decent. (Oh to be 16 again….)

There are a lot of factors that play into my unhealthy eating.

The first factor is the lifestyle of a 20 something. I am busy, go out a lot, and like to drink beer (a lot). I find it very difficult to turn down a night out with friends due only to the unhealthy calories I would be consuming. Is there a way to go out and have fun with friends and not indulge? If you know how, please fill me in! Again I justify the girls nights full of fatty snacks or the weekend night out on the town with one or two (haha) too many drinks, with that saying in my mind, “I’m only young once…”

The second thing that makes healthy eating difficult is the eating habits of my boyfriend James. As he is solid muscle, he can seemingly eat whatever he wants (Coscto bags of M&Ms and peanut butter cups, 2 large size meals at Chick-fil-a in a sitting, etc) and not gain unwanted fat. I know this is the result of two things:

1. Males have a different metabolism and body composition
2. He goes to the gym much more regularly than I do (thus his Hercules muscles)

But I still find it hard, when his fast food or Olive Garden cravings kick in, to say no. And I justify tagging along with that overused line in my head once again; “I’m only young once, I might as well eat what I want.”

So am I too old to keep telling myself this? Am I too old to go out and have beers with friends, order a pizza or buy cookie dough just to eat?





I want to say no. NO, at 25 I am still YOUNG, alive, active and should enjoy all life has to offer.

This is the dilemma though, can I truly enjoy being young, if I am unhappy with my body?

The answer is no. No, I cannot be truly happy if I feel insecure in my own skin.

So how do I find balance? How do I still have fun, live my life and lose weight at the same time?

This is the struggle I deal with every day.


I know going to the gym a few days a week, or eating healthy about half the time isn’t going to do it. 
In order to change myself I need to commit fully to changing my lifestyle.

Maybe someday I will do it. And maybe that day is closer than I think.

For now I continue with my inner battle of the decisions I make, good or bad for me.

I hope soon I will find that balance I crave so much. Of healthy AND happy with the “young” indulgences and the body image I am proud of.




If any of my friends out there have found this mystical balance please share!

That’s all for now friends. Off to eat my HEALTHY snack of a sliced cucumber :)

Here's to being YOUNG (check out for a laugh) 

TTFN,
Laura

September 3, 2013

Making it Home

This Labor Day I worked on making my house a home.


To me, this means adding little things that reflect my style. It also means filling the blank spaces to make the house feel lived in. There's nothing I hate more than empty shelves and walls.

Before I indulged in decorating I cleaned the whole house. Vacuumed, swept, mopped, dusted....whew now I earned the fun part!

My dad came over and helped me hang this mirror in the master bedroom.


He also worked out how to mount this shelf/hanger in the foyer, which I then added little knock knacks to :)





My mom bought me this decal right around the time I closed on my house and I finally got around to getting it up. It was a HUGE pain, but it looks cute now!


I also hung up this little sign above the oven.


And a few frames in the hallway.


With a little retail therapy I also got this star for the front step.


I scored on this plant at Savers which is perfect for one of my raised ledges that was empty.

.
..and I bought an orchid to replace the one that died. I feel it's the finishing touch on my mantle.



That's all for now folks! (Sorry the photos aren't the best quality... but I hope you get the general idea)


TTFN Friends!

Laura

September 1, 2013

Thrift Shop Finds

Happy long weekend all!

I found some goodies at the thrift shop/consignment store this week so I went a head and did some DIY this holiday weekend.


The weekend didn't start as planned, and my cabin and rafting trip was cancelled. I was super bummed. However, trying to look at the bright side of things, this did allow me to get a lot more done around the house this weekend, including a pitcher make over.

The other day I scored at a furniture consignment store with these perfect little stools, to be painted eventually.

They turned out to be the perfect height!
Then I crossed the street to the Youth Ranch and found all these goodies, and the pitcher that is part of the DIY project below. Everything for about $14!!!! Woohoooo!

Fall wreath, a pumpkin serving plate and some cute candle holders (pitcher not shown)

I was excited to find this for about $4 at the thift store. I needed a little more kitchen decor, and I thought this would fit the bill. It wasn't pretty to start with, but I saw the potential.


I went to Walmart and bought some spray paint, based on this little tutorial I found.


First I primed it. Here it is with about 2 1/2 coats of primer. Make sure you get even coats. I got the spray can too close to the pitcher a couple times, and it got all globby. Follow the directions on the can!!!


Gunner was not impressed by the spray paint in his backyard.


Then went the color. I was very happy with how the color turned out. I was going to do a little glaze to make the texture stand out, but I thought it looked good as is. Same thing here, make sure to follow the directions on the can, and do nice even coats. I did 2 coats of the color!



So I went ahead and put the clear sealer on it.

Here's the finished product! It's not perfect, but I still love it. I'll have to keep you posted on how I use my other Thrift Shop Finds! More to come.



For now it found a home up on top of my cupboards, which are in need of some knick knack fillers. But it may turn into a vase or a utensil holder at some point.

Also hit this pool this afternoon and saw this little girl with her wearable mermaid tail! SO COOL!! Where was this when I was a kid? Hope it puts a smile on your face too!



TTFN Friends!
Happy Labor Day!

Laura