Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The best of both worlds

For the long weekend, Jeremy, Amanda, and I went to my family's beach cottage in Myrtle Beach, SC. My aunt and uncle were extremely nice to invite us to spend the weekend with them and it was all around awesome and relaxing, and great to catch up with them.
One of the cottages in the neighborhood. Not my family's
cottage, but it looks just like this.

Because I'm extremely intelligent, I brought my camera but my memory card wasn't in it. Little did I know, my camera won't save pictures without a memory card. Frig! So, no pictures to share. I know that bums you out. Also, there is no internet at the cottage. I had 83 emails in my inbox this morning. The only important ones? Two from my mom.

I brought my running shoes and a couple of workout outfits to the beach with me, but ultimately I decided to take two rest days and relax for real...in the sun, on the beach, with the sound of the waves in my ear, reading a book. (Yeah, that's right. I went there :) I had a grand plan to wake up early this morning and get my workout in before work. The alarm went off. I got up. I got dressed. Aaaannnd..my stomach decided to be a pain (literally). If there's one thing I know by now, it's that if my stomach feels iffy at all, trying to have a good workout ain't happenin. So, I'll try again this afternoon. My bed was happy to have me back.

What's even better than the BEACH? Beach CUPCAKES! Ok, how did I get from the beach to cupcakes? Today is my friend, Boriana's, birthday and for her birthday, one day this week we're going to get cupcakes at Sugarland. So all I've been thinking about since I got back from the beach yesterday and Boriana and I planned to get cupcakes..is the beach and cupcakes. (Shocking). So, of course I searched for some beachy cupcakes. Get ready for some mouth-watering action!

lemon cream cheese cupcakes topped with raw sugar and marshmallow fondant
beach decorations.

Beach-themed designer cupcakes

Beach bucket cupcakes

Turtle on the beach cupcake

Octopus cupcake

(These aren't beachy, but are way too cute to not share)
Bugs and Bees

And finally...

Today's sponsored (by me) dog for adoption is "Droopy" (I hope whomever adopts her gives her a better name).
How adorable is this girl?

She's only five months old and apparently loves to bark, but look at that face!

Today the SPCA of Wake County, NC (the next county over from the one I live in), is offering $15 adoptions today, so I'm looking through all the dogs they have up for adoption. There are a lot. I wish I could take them all.

I apologize for the randomness of this post. It reflects the randomness going on in my brain currently.

Also, don't forget to submit a post for my Blog Carnival. All the cool kids are doing it!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wear sunscreen!

This video is pure awesome. I've seen it before but had forgotten about it until a deejay on the radio this morning played the beginning part about wearing sunscreen (great advice!)

Enjoy it :)


Carnival time!

According to Blogger, this is my 100th post! I guess, since they decided to delete one of my posts that one day. (You remember it), technically this would be 101, but for the purpose of celebrations, "Happy 100"! To celebrate this momentous occasion, I'm starting a blog carnival!
No, not this kind.

As I've mentioned before, I believe that motivation is important. We all need some motivation every now and then, and everyone has a different view of what motivation is, or what motivates them personally.

When it comes to working out, my main motivations are words/phrases (and, most recently, my heart rate monitor). When it comes to designing, my motivations tend to be other designs. I do a lot of Google images searches and perusing through design magazine when I need motivation to get working on a design, or to push me through a designing brain block.

For this carnival, I want to know what motivates YOU...

  • through workouts
  • at work
  • to write
  • to do something difficult
  • ...anything you need motivation for!
Here's how to participate:

Write a post on your own blog about your motivations and let me know by submitting a link to your post below. The carnival ends next Friday, June 3, when I'll post about all your posts (with links back to your blog), so that everyone can read about what motivates you. My hope is that, by reading about each other's motivations, maybe we can all gain a few of our own.

Please link back, if you wouldn't mind


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday inspiration: Summer styles

I know I know. It's not Tuesday anymore, but just for the time you're reading this post, pretend that is is. :) I'm starting a new series of Tuesday Inspirations. SUMMER STYLES! To start out, I'm featuring the number one Summer necessity: flip flops!

Every year I have a sort of flip flop wish list. Unfortunately I can't afford to buy all the ones I'd like to, but I normally come away with one or two pairs per Summer. The other day I came into work wearing "work shoes" and as soon as I got to my office, my feet hurt so I just put on the flip flops I had in my bag...and I wore them all day. Why do I even OWN nice shoes?!

The flip flops on my wish list this year are:

1. Rainbow Colored Crystal flip flops
I've never owned a pair of Rainbows, but I've heard they're extremely comfortable. They're also pricey, so I probably will end the Summer still having not owned a pair, but I really like these.

2. J.Crew Flower flip flops
I don't normally go for "pretty" flip flops, but I think these are still casual enough to wear with shorts and a T-shirt.

3. Title Nine Sun Slap flip flops
I love the name of these. Who wouldn't want to "slap" the sun a high-five? :) Plus, they seem like they'd be super comfortable for a long day of walking.

4. Reef Dream flip flops
These are the ones I really want and will most likely end up buying. If they're as comfortable as they look, I may never take them off my feet.

5. Athleta Ohana Sport Sandal
The multi-colored straps are what did it for me. I've seen these in stores, but since most of the flip flops I own are Reefs with black bottoms, I probably wouldn't buy them.

6. Loft Vlada Bow Sandal
Again, these are on the "pretty" side and I probably wouldn't buy a pair with the flat bottoms because they're uncomfortable on my feet. If they were made with arch support, however, I'd rock them.

Today's featured (by me) dog for adoption is Pippi

She's a Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix, just like Rocco. Apparently she was named after Pippi Longstocking for her "adventurous spirit". There are kids who are now old enough to drive who probably aren't old enough to know who Pippi Longstocking is. This makes me cry on the inside.

There was actually another dog, Walker, that I had my eye on yesterday (as much as I can until I have my own place to actually get my own dog), who, when I went to look him up this morning, had already been adopted. You go, Walker!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Exercises: the good, the bad, and the just plain awkward

There are exercises we love and exercises we'd rather stick a fork in our eye than do. You know what I'm talking about. Don't pretend you don't.

Let's start with the bad, since It's always good to end on a high note.  

These are the exercises I cannot stand (in no specific order)

#1: Fast feet/quick feet/football run

Why don't I like this one? It's simple. It makes everything jiggle. I don't think of myself as a..uhh.."jiggly" person, but this one surely puts a dent in my self-esteem.

#2: Planks

How can an "exercise" where you're not moving, be so freakin painful? Also, I'm sure that I'm never doing it right anyway because it hurts my shoulders before I can feel it in my abs. I know it's great for your core...blah blah blah, but still, ugh.

#3: Jump lunges

I don't know about you, but I don't hate my knees, and so I opt out of the jump part. This always screws with my knees. No thanks.

#4: Mountain climbers

I never feel it in my abs. I always feel it in my shoulders. Perhaps I'm doing them wrong, or perhaps they just suck.

#5: Ab exercises
That's right, all of them. They hurt my neck (even though I don't pull on it with my hands), they're not friendly. I just don't like them. For me, ab exercises rank right up there with having my wisdom teeth pulled (and I had all four of them pulled at once).

These are the exercises I really enjoy (no, REALLY!) (Also in no specific order)

#1: Jump squats

I used to despise squats, but I actually think I may like them now. Jump squats? Cardio AND squats. I mean, what could be better?

#2: PliƩ squat combinations

I know it sounds strange, but there's just something about the pliƩ squat combined with upper body moves that I really enjoy. Working out the inner thighs, butt, AND upper body. It's all good.

#3: Tricep exercises
Tricep press

Tricep kickback


...and all the others, too. I love when my triceps "hurt so good"

#4: Skull crusher/Chest fly combo

I don't know who named the skull crusher, but it sounds much more painful than it is. These two in combination are a great upper body workout that I dig.

#5: Kickboxing

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I love love love kickboxing. Working out until you can't go anymore and then finding the strength to keep going anyway. Is there anything better??

What workouts do you love, hate, or feel indifferent about?


Monday, May 23, 2011

Just what the doctor ordered

I've still got the eye twitch, but other than that, I'm feeling refreshed. I could take a few more days just like this weekend...house to myself, going to bed early, sleeping in, getting in a workout at my leisure, taking long naps along with the dog...awesome. The only thing that would have made it better is being able to sit outside in the warm sunshine without the scream of cicadas in the background.

I was going to try to find a video of cicadas to embed, but it was grossing me out. You'll just have to take my word for it. I was watching one video that was explaining their life cycle, which is long and takes place mostly underground (I sure wish they'd stay there for the whole thing). It was being explained to someone that they mate before they die. The dude's comment was, "Well, at least they die happy." Well played, dude.

And now, onto happier moments of my weekend.

I was lucky enough to be handed down a sweet heart rate monitor from Kara. She uses a fancy schmancy Garmin now, which worked out well for me :) I am now able to take my OCD to a whole new level!
(It looks like this except the watch part is pink.
Kara called it "Pinky", and so now that is its name.)

On Saturday morning I did the Jillian Michaels: Blast Fat Boost Metabolism DVD (every time I type that out, or say it, it seems strange), and used the monitor for the first time. Pretty impressive! I think I need to fix some of the settings because I think it's reading my heart rate percents pretty high, but it's still a great tool. My workouts have just been elevated.

Also this weekend, I finally got new running shoes!
We promise to be nice to your baby toes.

I thought I needed cross-training shoes since I mainly do workout videos, fitness classes, kickboxing, and gym workouts, but the guy at Dick's told me that if I was going to be doing any running other than short sprints, I should get running shoes. Since I hope to possibly sign up for a race or two this year, I decided to follow his recommendation. I tried on a few pairs, the majority of which were definitely uncomfortable (I am still unable to wear Nike shoes, even though they have great workout clothes), until I decided on these. Amazingly, they were not only the most comfortable, but one of the least expensive. Whadya know, my feet are cheap dates.

I was also able to find someone who wears my size and wants to try out the shoes I bought recently that just didn't work out for me. I mean, how am I supposed to ever get a pedicure again with blisters all over my feet?

BONUS: I went for my first run of the season on Sunday and it went so much better than I expected. I credit "Pinky" and my new kicks for the motivation. I'm currently in workout heaven. Today is either a Kickboxing class or a Cardio&Pump class. I'll definitely be ready for some yoga tomorrow! (and maybe another run :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Fill-in-the-blanks FRIDAY

It's here! Friday is finally here! My weekend will be chill and I'm totally looking forward to it. Jeremy and Amanda will be out-of-town on a family camping trip (that I couldn't make it on because I have to work today and I am volunteering at a food kitchen this afternoon). I'm really bummed to miss it. They're going to have fun, but I get the house to myself. Just me and the dog. Blissful :) My eye is still twitching, which is driving me INSANE. I'm desperate for it to go away. I'll try just about anything at this point. Voo doo? Witchcraft? Some really strange herbal remedy? Bring it!

And now, onward to the blanks

  1. People always tell me I look like  my mom. Check it

  1. Friends don't let friends  walk around with a booger in their nose or wearing see-through pants with patterned undies.

  2. A sunny day is perfect for   everything! Bring on the Vitamin D (and the sunscreen)!

  3. My favorite accessory is  probably earrings. There are so many styles and types. I mean, I have three earring holes in each ear. The possibilities are endless!
  4.  If I could afford it I would  have my own place, my own dog, and my own Mac Laptop with CS5 installed.
  5. The cure for boredom is  ...this is impossible to answer. There are WAY more than one! Just ask someone with a short attention span.

  6. I am currently "in like" with  Pinterest :)

 (courtesy of thelittlethingswedo)

Today's featured (by me) dog for adoption is Marigold

She's a Basset Hound/Lab mix and OHMYGOSH so adorable. Supposedly her mom was the Basset Hound and her dad was the lab. All I have to say is Ouch.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Look, Kara, I switched up the design again! (and don't be surprised if it happens again soon :)

I want to share something I found pretty amazingly awesome yesterday, the website Pinterest. I was looking for inspiration online and came across it. What is it? You can find the explanation here.

I tried to get an account because I was hooked in about five seconds, but had to first receive an "invitation" (I know, kind of weird). I dug around a big and was able to get in and "invited" two other people. I still have some invitations left, so if you're interested, let me know your email address. My page is here.

Other than that, life is a bit frustrating these days, so I won't post about that nonsense. I've had an eye twitch for over a week now. I think that means I'm losing my mind.

Today's featured (by me) dog for adoption is Daisy

...mainly because I'm in love with the patch of black over her eye and ear. It reminds me of Petey from The Little Rascals.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Have you noticed? Up ^ there, my new tab, Motivations?

I've decided lately I'm in a bit of a rut and it would be nice to have some words and pictures to up my motivation. Yesterday, I found this quote


and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, it helped me through that point in my workout when my brain started to go to the place of, "if I stop now, no one will care!"..except that I would later on, when that feeling of failure hits me smack in the middle of the head. I remembered this quote and focused on reaching that line between comfortable and "ugh". It's one of those things you don't understand in the moment, but later on you just feel so accomplished knowing you pushed through. And it was awesome.

I even decided that, this weekend, I WILL run! It will probably only be two miles, but you have to (re)start somewhere!

 I also found another favorite, to motivate me through work today


"Beautiful" may be going a tad overboard, but there's always the thinking of, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." I have no idea who to attribute that quote to, but I've heard it so many times it must be true. Although, stars are prettier than the moon. What happens if I shoot for the stars and miss?

Anyhow, happy hump day! Any current motivations to share?

Also, guys, I've had seven followers for like, well...ever. I appreciate the time you all take to come watch me ramble and sputter out words. Do me a favor? Talk me up? ;-)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The ex factor

This is probably a faux pas thing to post about, but I'ma do it anyway. Livin' on the edge, my friends.

I know you're not supposed to regret anything in life because you learn from every circumstance...blah blah blah. But lately I'm realizing something I never should have done, all those years ago...start dating someone who is friends with someone I'm close to (like my brother). It's true that, from every bad relationship you learn something. I've learned tons (literally) of things that I don't want in a relationship this way. The only problem with this logic is that, after you realize this person isn't "the one," their friendship with your brother is still in tact, so you still get to hear all about them AND sometimes see them, too. Yippee!

I don't mind talking to people I've dated, don't get me wrong. I've never had a breakup that resulted in hatred. It's just that I don't want to hear about random tidbits of their life (like who they're dating, have dated, or hope to date). Unfortunately, because of my circumstances, I get to hear these things all the time. I normally excuse myself and go somewhere else. The hint hasn't been taken yet. You know what's also fun? When two of them show up at a party that your brother is having.(Hi, rock. Mind if I crawl under you?)

And now...awful dating stories! (because they're just fun...only because they're in the past)
  • I once was dumped by a guy because, according to him, he was moving away for the summer. We worked at the same place and he was there the whole Summer.
  • I had the boyfriend with all the friends that were girls, but I couldn't talk to a guy friend without him thinking something was going on.
  • There's the guy who took longer to get ready to go out than I did
  • The guy who would ask me to come over and then spend all his time watching ESPN
  • I had a boyfriend who would talk about "our future" and then discuss with me all the reasons why marriage and having children are a bad thing.

Any bad date stories to share?

And now, today's featured (by me) dog for adoption is Roxy

I told Jeremy and Amanda about her, and they have decided I need to adopt her or another dog named Roxy, since their dog looks really similar and is named Rocco.

She was found in the middle of a busy intersection and was taken in. I'm pretty sure I'd adopt them all if I had the money, space, time, and help.