Wednesday, March 30, 2011

turbo what??

Today I finally took a turbokick class taught by my friend, Nicki, and got my butt turbokicked.  And I could just leave it at that and it would sum up my whole experience, but since this is a blog, I feel I should elaborate.

First off, I am in OK shape.  I've been in better and I've been in worse (hello? post-pregnancy anyone??).  I've always been consistent in getting my cardio via treadmill or bike or elliptical and then get my pump on with some free weights.  I like this routine because I can jam out to my ipod and get lost in my own world and not pay any attention to anyone.  I like that.  I usually don't like classes because I get distracted by what the other people in the class are doing.  But....we all need to change things up once in a while, so after urging from Nicki, I decided to try out her class.  I can now see why turbokick is the highest calorie burning workout.  It's like kickboxing/tae-bo but with zumba-esque choreography kinda-sorta.  (Great description, I know- clear as mud?).  This makes the class go by super fast, but it is not something that comes easily to me.  I would say that I am athletically talented in sports, but that gifting does not extend to choreographed moves-of-my-body/booty.  So, for the first 10 minutes I was a couple steps behind everyone else, but still moving.  Towards the end, I could say that I was "following along" although not as gracefully as some others.  All in all, I think I'll go back.  I can feel the calories burned, and at this point, that is all that matters.

Here's to trying new things!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bluebonnets: Fail

Spring has sprung in Central Texas, and that means bluebonnets are popping up everywhere!  For those of you who are not familiar with all things Texas, the bluebonnet is the state flower and the road maintenance and ground crews across the state stop mowing the grasses along the highways and roads and parks so that we can all enjoy the bluebonnets.  Also, it is a Texas tradition to take pictures in the bluebonnets of your kids, pets, etc.  Today, we tried.  I took eleventy billion pictures and this is what we got...

Me:  Jackson, go get your brother so we can take pictures

Well, technically he got him...

The only way to keep Sloan in one place is to apply your own body weight...

Jackson thoroughly enjoyed it...ha.

Jackson and Sloan: we're outta here, mom!

Another try at the two of them together...

One of Sloan taken on the run

This pretty much sums up the whole time we were kid close by, but not facing me, and the other far away not smiling.

Again, Jackson is totally enjoying himself...

a dirty look??

Finally!  A chance to play on the playground!

AND......pretty much the only decent one.  sigh.  We'll try again next week....
We'll go back for another try in a week or so when the flowers have really bloomed a lot more and thickened up.  Also, I made a mental note NOT to go immediately after naps.  Hopefully next time I only need to take eleventy million photos...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Texas Culture

This past Saturday, I went with my mom and my aunt Jodi on a mini road trip down to San Marcos and Gruene, TX.  San Marcos has a bajillion outlet stores and my favorite, Pottery Barn/West Elm/Williams Sonoma outlet too!  I used to shop there for clothes all the time when I went to college down there in the hill country. 
While we were already that far south, we decided to take the extra 20 minutes and drive down to the New Braunfels area to a historical town called Gruene, pronounced "Green"--it's German.  Gruene, is also a place I spent many fun college nights in at Gruene Hall, Texas' oldest dance hall.  I enjoyed many Pat Green concerts there!  I actually had an apartment in New Braunfels my last year of college, so I like to claim this area as one of my home towns!
This town is pure Texas culture.  It was a real working town back in the day, but the dust bowl and depression turned it into a ghost town.  In the 1970s,  group of investors bought the town and revitalized it and turned it into what it is today.  There are shops and restaurants and through the town runs the Guadalupe River, where you can throw on your swimsuit and go toobing down the river while enjoying a nice cold one! 
One of my alltime favorite restaurants sits in the middle of Gruene and overlooks the Guadalupe:  The Gristmill.  This was an old Gristmill that is now a restaurant and features Texas fare such as chicken fried steak "as big as yo head", along with burgers and other delicious items.  This is where we ate lunch.  It has been expanded onto time and time again, so that the majority of the seating is outdoors under lush shade tree, but it's been very thoughtfully done, so that the rustic, original nature of the mill has been preserved throughout.
Every third weekend of the month is market days in Gruene, where vendors sell artwork, foodstuffs, and everything in between.
Gruene is the place to go if you are looking to experience true Texas Culture!

The chair I bought at the Pottery Barn/West Elm outlet for a steal of a deal!

One of the rooms at the Gristmill.  Sigh, I love this place!

My mom and me at the Gristmill.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I don't have many house beautifying projects going on right now, and I'm not feeling very inspired by anything, so here's a little update about my little one.  Sloan is 15 months old and every bit the toddler.  These are bittersweet moments in our house because he's growing up so fast and learning new things everyday, but he's fast becoming a boy and no longer my baby.

What I love about Sloan is that he is a momma's boy.  He prefers me always over anyone else and clings to me when I try to hand him over to his daddy.  Sometimes it can be a pain, but I secretly love it.  He is also a mess-on-wheels.  He is into anything and everything.  I daily pick up pots and pans, tupperware, trash, toilet paper, kleenex, pretzels, milk, etc.

He is a little scared of the vaccuum, so I either have to hold him and his bear in one arm while vaccuuming, or set him on my bed. 

He's such a big helper:  Here he is trying to whistle like me for our dog, Brodie, to come back.

His new favorite foods:  hotdogs and beans. Thus, his new nickname is Frank'n'Beans...  And yes, he insists on using a fork now, so atleast Frank'n'Beans is refined!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Making the most

I told myself the other day, "Self, you only get one shot at today, so make it good."  I was inspired to be the best mommy and the best wife, etc.  Then, life happened.  It's not that I've been the worst mommy or the worst wife, but I got tired.  Sleep would definitely help me make the most out of my one shot at today.

So, while I may have inspired myself with that little quote, I also discouraged myself because there are little things that make me frustrated or things that just have to be done (like laundry) that makes it hard to have a gangbusters day.

 Living life to the fullest everyday is a bit daunting...especially when you have responsibilities: work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, driving to the store, or whatever it is that needs to be taken care of today.  These little things don't seem to fit into the idea of living life to the fullest and making the most of today.   Laudry just does not fall remotely into the category of "perfect day".  But, why does making the most of a day have to mean perfect?  I think what I should be aiming for instead, is to make the most of the task at hand.  Do the laundry to the best of my ability (which wouldn't seem like much, but I despise doing laundry). Organize the toys to the best of my ability.  Play with my children more instead of finding something else around the house that needs to be done.  Go get frozen yogurt after naptime to reward Jackson for helping me sort through toys to keep and toys to give away. Etc, etc.

I just need to remember that making the most of today can be something as simple as looking for cool rocks with my boys.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A baby shower

Yesterday I hosted (with the help of a couple of ladies) a baby shower for my dear friend who is having her third baby (second girl).  This mama is not only a good friend of mine, but our sons are sweet friends too who love playing together.  I can't wait to meet her new little girl in just a few more weeks!  It was fun to decorate with pink and girly things like flowers since I don't have any girls myself.  The theme was Gerbera daisies in red, pink, and yellow (with a touch of orange and blue too).  I took a couple pictures, but my friend, Molly Winn, who is a photographer graciously took my camera and snapped most of these photos.  It just goes to show, you can have a decent camera, but you still have to have some skillz to get great shots. 

The mama to be of 3.

I made the cake using my no-fail chocolate cake recipe.  I've never met anyone who doesn't love it.

One of the ladies who helped me throw the shower, made the cutest diaper cake, which sadly, I did not get a picture of, but you can see it here in the background next to the tulips and the canvas painting.  I hate that I didn't get a picture of it!

Jelly Bellys in coordinating colors, of course! and a picture frame with an "A" for Anna, the new baby's name!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Drum roll please....the Picnic table!

Hallelujah!  The picnic table is done!!  I like to do things quickly and immediately.  This picnic table would not let me do either of those things.  I bought the darn thing on Craigslist back in June or July and finally finished it a week ago.  WOOHOO!  It took so long because I had to sand off the top layer of polyurethane and bad wood so that I could stain the top of the table and benches.  Normally, I would just paint over the entire thing, but the table is made out of a Brazilian hard wood, so it was too beautiful NOT to refinish it. 

Enjoy the fruits of my labor:


I didn't mind the original green legs, but they totally clashed with the green color of my house, so they had to be painted as well.

The table had been left outside in an uncovered area, so the wood was weathered.

If you'll notice the baby monitor and the sandpaper on the table.  One reason this darn thing took so long was because I could only work on it when Sloan was asleep!


My dog is trying to take some of the credit for the table...he did keep me company some days, I'll give him that.

I painted the legs Cottage Black, which is not a true black, but more of a charcoal.  It goes well with my patio furniture that is a black metal finish.