hottest track for 2010

and this is why i love josh's family.
staring ryan, josh's cousin, who actually has a real job at duke.

and for those of you who needed to see his first video:



Starbucks, you are officially shunned. I stood by you when the local coffee shops protested, when you got automatic espresso machines and even when you got instant coffee. But no more. You are dead to me.

Why? Because on Saturday night, at approximately 9:45pm, when I requested a grande cup of the house decaf (such a reasonable request by the way) I was told by the barista that not only did you not have any brewed but that, "We don't brew decaf after 12noon." In what I can only describe as an out-of-body-coffee-deprived-rage I leaned over my husband (we were in the drive-through) and responded Amy-and-Seth-Weekend-Update-style, "Really? So you brew decaf in the morning and caffeinated in the evenings? Really? Cause that makes sense. Really." But, because the barista was just merely a fetus and couldn't comprehend my sarcasm or the wit of Saturday Night Live, he simply responded, "Yeahhhhh. You have to make a special request to brew a pot of decaf."

To which I yelled, with all the maturity of a 3rd grader, "Consider this my official request for a pot of decaf coffee!!!!!" while Josh pulled away from the call box.

my last cup of starbucks.


all dressed up and someplace to go!

Chelsea and I had a night on the town Saturday. We started at Zink for pre-show appetizers, saw The Nutcracker and finished with dessert at Mimosa Grill......and of course we've got the photo montage to share:

ok, so Zink is my new favorite place!
the atmosphere was fantastic and the decor was perfect

what else was perfect?
that would be our seats!!
we could see every freckle on Clara's sweet little face
(and we could giggle at how much better our seats were than the folks waaaaay behind us)

we tried to get a picture before the show started.....
but all you can really see is:
a) how much taller Chelsea is than me
b) how freakishly excited I am (didn't know I had bug-eyes like that!)
c) nothing much else because the flash wasn't that great.

We thought about getting dessert at the Ritz, but the menu was not that great.
What was great was the enormous gingerbread house on display. I tried to get Chelsea to eat a piece.

dessert at Mimosa Grill was delicious.
i got a chocolate-mint-raspberry something and Chelsea got pumpkin cheesecake.

Mimosa had these giant Christmas ornaments out front

ahhhhhhhhh The Nutcracker, how much we loved thee!!


vegan delights

Josh got a 'thank you' gift card for a speaking engagement. And like all gift cards that Josh gets, he felt the need to redeem it immediately. The only problem was which restaurant to choose:

Drumroll please..........
He chose Red Lobster, a vegan girl's dream
Josh went to Red Lobster one time as a kid, and in the past year almost every time we've passed a billboard with a RL ad on it he's sighed and recalled the fond memories of that visit. And now I know why.....the garlic cheese biscuits are amazing.

Nothing says tacky American quite like theme restaurants....and I love it. Give me a Rain Forest Cafe, Medieval Times (and now) Red Lobster any day. I felt like we were eating dinner in a boat.....there was even a little lobster on the glasses (please also note Josh is holding out his pinky finger)

So what did we get to eat? Josh went a little overboard: fire-roasted lobster tail, crab legs and shrimp scampi. I got house salad with steamed asparagus and broccoli. It was actually surprisingly easy (and tasty) to be a vegan at Red Lobster. Who would've thought?!?!


the argyle project: the gift that keeps on giving

Go to this website
Now do the following:

1. download (for free!)
2. turn up the volume
3. celebrate what this season is all about
4. spread the love

<a href="http://theargyleproject.bandcamp.com/track/o-come-o-come-emmanuel">O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by The Argyle Project</a>


new 'do, lots of 'tude

Just got a new hairdo. Cut and colored by Katie-the-Great at Salon Palazzo. Give her a call, she's the best!

ps, how cute is bryanna?
love her!


turkey trot 09

I ran our local Turkey Trot this year. It was fun....a great course, crisp morning and lots of friends. But the best part was all the random prize-winning categories: running stroller, dog/owner run, speed walking and costume.

The costume category was my favorite....mostly because I knew the winner would come from the Brown Family (you know, that family that dresses up every year for Thanksgiving?!?!)

that would be an indian, turkey, pilgrim and corn. classic thanksgiving staples.

the contest was looking pretty good....especially since the brown family represented 4 of the 7 contestants (one of which was just a guy in an afro):

and then out of nowhere, these guys broke the curve. and while they are super-cute, i guess no one had the heart to tell them that thanksgiving isn't really about roosters?

the brown family crosssing the finishline together. how cute are they?!?!


perfect card

I got this card from my sister. Its perfect!


run for it!

I'm not a runner. I'm a jogger. I'm a jogger who cares more about what hairstyle I'm wearing when I'm running than what my pace is.

Last spring I started jogging pretty regularly. I even jogged the Cooper River 10k with my friend Elizabeth. But it seemed that no matter how far I jogged, 1 mile or 6 miles, my pace was the same---around 12 or 12.5 minutes per mile.

A few weeks ago my friend Lindsay chellenged me to run/jog/complete a half-marathon with her in April. I've convinced some other friends to join in the insanity.....and now its time to start training!

I've been running....which actually looks very similar to my former jogging routine, just a little bit faster. And by little, I mean small. And by small I mean I hardly noticed a difference. I'd been pushing myself on the treadmill, but I wasn't really sure how that would translate into an actual race outside.

This past weekend I went to visit my friend Chelsea and participate in Concord's Santa Scramble; the 5k that kicks off NC's longest Christmas parade.

Just before the start of the race, Josh promised me new running gear if I broke 30 minutes (my previous best time was 32:30ish.) I don't really like to back down from a challenge....especially one with a prize involved! So I started the race and pushed myself pretty hard. Maybe a little too hard. My first mile was 9:30 and my second was 9 even. Who was this runner?! Josh took a picture of me around mile 1.75:

I finished the race in just under 30 minutes (29:56). That last mile was a doosie, but I managed to crawl across the line.......and win a new pair of Nike running capris from Josh!


asleep on the job

i went to the midnight showing of new moon with my young life girls last night
and got home at 3 am
and now i'm at work
yes, i know i'm going to be worthless today!


Shelby's Bizarre Foods

Josh and I were flipping channels last night when we scrolled across the Travel Channel. There was a show on called 'Bizarre Foods.' I somehow talked Josh into watching the show......which was fabulous because they were showcasing foods from all over Appalachia INCLUDING SHELBY, NC!

You can click here to see where and what all the host Andrew Zimmern ate.

Here's what he did in Shelby, NC:

Annual Livermush Festival
Andrew heads to the annual Livermush Festival. Livermush, made out of ground-up pig parts, was invented here.
Location: Shelby, North Carolina
Food Eaten:
* Fried Livermush Sandwich with mustard
* Fried Livermush sandwich with grape jelly

Here's what he had to say about Livermush (and our friend Ted, the Mayor!)
****I can't copy the video on here...........but click this link and then watch the Appalachia highlights 3 and 4

"In Shelby NC, I attended the Livermush Festival with Ted Alexander, the Mayor of Shelby as my dining companion. Freckle faced kids in the parade, bottles of locally brewed Sundrop on ice, fried wedges of livermush on white bread with grape jelly and mustard smeared on all over it. Amazing." -Andrew Zimmern


just another day at the office

i work for amaya glaze company. its a family business. i love working at a family business....there's always comeone to talk to, kids coming home from college, children running around. its like i get to be a part of this fun latin family.

this is my boss's wife. her name is marywinn. and i love her. and i love this hat.


back mountain delights

josh and i went up to the mountains on saturday. it was just too beautiful of a day to not get out an enjoy the day!

josh spent time with our friend sink. sink's getting married and had a bunch of guys go fishing for the weekend for a bachelor weekend. josh hung out with them for the day while i went shopping. i was sticking to my plan (both budgetary and diet) when i accidentally bought this delight:

it was delish!!!!


taylor on snl

i LOVED saturday night live this week.....taylor swift was hosting and was the musical guest. she totally rocked the show and now i love her even more.

she was funny, really funny actually and she didn't have to be crass (like the usual humor on snl) check out her monologue:

try and google the show, she had a really funny skit with penelope and her shakira impression was hilarious!


guarding the candy

I ran to the grocery store on Sunday morning. Literally. I threw on a backpack, ran to Ingles and ran home. I'm considering this a success for several reasons: a) i made it home alive, b) i had correct change and c) i only partially damaged Josh's chocolate-iced doughnut :)

While shopping for the necessities (tomatoes and english muffins) I was going to grab some trail mix (against my better weight-watchers judgement) when I realized that my mix of choice was under intense guard.

I did want the trailmix with the m&ms and the mini-marshmallows, but I wasn't about to take on a plastic dinosaur. I didn't want them that bad.


good day?

i think you know your day is going to be tough when you're at work and the phone rings and you rush to take your ear-bud headphones out and the left ear-bud breaks off into your ear.

not that anything has happened like that to me this morning......


one year later

Today is my one year anniversary with Rick. One year ago today I had a near panic-attack when Rick, my newly-hired personal trainer, asked me to weigh-in and take my body fat and BMI measurements. I managed to pull myself together and jump on his 'i-don't-want-to-hear-any-complaints-just-go-ahead-and-do-it-and-don't-you-dare-waste-my-time-i-think-you-just-cheated-on-that-so-we'll-do-four-more-reps-just-to-make-sure-you-know-what-you're-doing-and-please-don't-tell-me-about-your-life-i'm-just-here-to-make-you-thin-not-to-be-your-friend' train. And life has never been the same.

After a year of enduring burn-out workouts and weight watchers, I'd like to give a couple of shout-outs to some awesome folks:

Josh: you sweet, sweet man. You have listened to me complain about workouts, count weight-watchers points, stress over calorie content and let me fall asleep mid date-night after a hard workout. You have tried crazy vegan recipes, supported my brief 2-a-day workouts and let me buy songs on Itunes for countless workout playlists. You've been my biggest cheerleader, supportive coach and patient friend. I could not have come this far without you!

Dad: my financial backer. Let's be honest: working out ain't cheap! Thanks for the birthday money last year---I couldn't have gotten a personal trainer without it! You helped me jump start a lifestyle that I thought was out of my league. Thanks for the encouragement, motivation and for answering my million questions about sore muscles, nutrition and strength training.

My YL Girls: you have tried some of the worst recipes known to man in my attempt to make healthy sweets for women's fellowship. You've let me come to the caf for lunch in workout clothes...and still acknowledge me. You've even hugged me when I've been really sweaty at the gym (true friends!) You've run, cycled, walked and zumba-ed with me. You have encouraged me when I needed it the most. Thanks for always being there with me!

Rick, the PT: You crazy man. I am certain of two things: 1) you pushed me harder and more consistently than any coach or workout partner I've ever had and 2) i never could have come this far without a workout plan that was perfectly tailored for me. Thanks for being available even after our paid sessions were up. You've continued to challenge me and give me advice on new techniques. I really indebted to you!

Maury and Taylor: dear weight watchers girls. Thanks for being so honest about WW. It gave me the courage to try it myself. Thanks for answering my million questions about points and recipes and for ordering with me at restaurants (i need this on the side, steamed not fried, veggies not chips, etc).

So now to the fun/shocking part of the post......the before and after photos:
(sorry for the awkwardness, i was pointing at a sign in the first photo and trying to re-create the moment in the second photo)

I've lost:
51.4 pounds
8% body fat
6.6 points on BMI
40.25 inches*
(*arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs)

I don't know if I should be excited or embarrassed that I lost that amount! I never would've thought that I had 50 pounds to lose. I mean, I obviously needed to lose weight (I'm not a total moron!) its just that I didn't think I'd let myself go that far. Josh and I were happy. Really happy. We ate out a lot and I didn't really exercise that much. And the pounds started creeping on. But I didn't notice, because I was happy (and too busy picking out where we were going to eat dinner....mexican or japanese?) I recently told Maury that at least my weight-gain was 'happy pounds'....I really did enjoy every ice-cream sundae, bowl of nachos and beer.

And then I saw that rediculous picture of me from the Virginia Creeper Trail (the 'before' picture above.) I shed a few tears, pleaded with God and hired a trainer. And the rest is history. A very sweaty, exhausting, fat-blasting history.

So. Now here I am...goal weight and all. So what's next? I'm still going to keep up with my 'diet' which has morphed into full-fledged lazy-vegan lifestyle. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought and still splurging on the occasional piece of cheese. I'm going to try and strength train 2-3 times a week and fit some cardio in every day. So there....its out there for all the internet world to see (or the 4 people that read this blog). I'm going to try and maintain this lifestyle. Invite me to a 5k, send me a recipe or join me at the YMCA....I'd love the company (and the accountability!)

So here's to another year of being happy and healthy. Cheers!


help me miley

I think I may have just lost my mind. I almost bought a Miley Cyrus tshirt.
Let me try to explain:
I was at Walmart, getting groceries on the cheap, when out of nowhere I saw the cutest tshirt:

Not being one to judge where a trendy girl shops or where she snags a deal, I grabbed the shirt to examine it a little closer. I only fell more in love. And then, when I thought things couldn't get better, I saw the price tag: $7. Could it be true? Did I just make a fashion find at Walmart?!

And then I saw that the brand was Miley Cyrus. And I threw the shirt back on the rack.

How insanely out of touch with reality am I?? I can hear it now: Seriously Blair, a Miley tshirt? I know you work with middle schoolers, but why are you trying to dress like one?

But secretly, I'm still in love with some of her pieces:


to narnia we go!

Josh was playing "Bigger or Better" at College Life last night. It was a very close finish between his team and a team with a set of walkie-talkies that doubled as Spider Man-Green Goblin dolls. (Of course the walkie talkies won---does anything get better than walkie talkies?!?!)

Josh didn't have anywhere to unload his prize, which he claimed took up the entire back of his car (big SUV.) So he brought it home.

And now I'm in love.

what a lovely little wardrobe
you will get a fresh coat of paint and some sassy door pulls
and when josh isn't looking i might climb inside and see if i can get to narnia
(just kidding....kind of)


the girl did great!

My friend Laura just dropped off a picture of my and Elizabeth from the SHS homecoming game.

Elizabeth did great! She walked out confidently, talked to her escort the entire time and smiled a ton. I was lucky that I managed to get a picture with her before she changed back into her jeans. Yes she did. Yet another reason I love Elizabeth----right after she took this picture she changed out of her snazzy outfit into her favorite jeans. Love her.



It was 31 degrees outside when I met Elizabeth at her house for a pre-work walk this morning.
It was brisk. And by brisk, I mean freezing. And by freezing, I mean I may have lost some function in my left hand due to frostbite.

And then I went to work, where my office was a steamy 58 degrees. And since my boss is out of town today, I threw all caution to the wind and turned on the heat! I'm such a little rebel. (Don't worry, the heat only goes up to 68 degrees, what the heck?!?!)


feels like winter!

It has been sooooo rainy and cold the past two days. Its beginning to feel like that's all the weather we've had-----where did those crisp fall days go?? I seem to have by-passed fall altogether and have moved into full-swing winter mode. Let's pull out the down blankets already!

The first thing I started getting excited about was going to see The Messiah in Charlotte. Josh and I weren't able to see it last year because we had to go to a YL staff conference.....and the same thing is scheduled this year! Dang it!

But, The Nutcracker is a very very very close second place holiday tradition for me. I knew Josh wouldn't be thrilled about the whole ballet idea, but I knew Chelsea would be fully on board. I called the ticket agent at the Blumenthal in Charlotte. We were able to find seats on the the third row of the right side of the orchestra section for $15! I can't wait!


deal of the day

I love finding a great deal! And I love bragging about it even more!

Josh loves this pair of Patagonia shorts. They're fairly indestructible, which is awesome since they're pretty expensive. So, by the time these shorts are worn out, he's usually had them for several years.

Unless he wears them to Young Life. Which he did. And they got messed up. Great.

So the search for a reasonably priced replacement pair began. I love a challenge....especially a shopping challenge!

I found the perfect pair on Ebay. They fit perfectly and Josh is in love (with me and the shorts):

Patagonia Stand Up shorts
retail: $55
Ebay: $3.99

Go and find a deal today!!


just hanging out with joe

As Josh and I were going over our schedules for last week (to plan meals, dates, laundry.....oh the fun of married life!) we ultimately got to Thursday's plans.

me: So, what are your plans for Thursday? Ride bikes with the boys and then YL at Gardner-Webb?
Josh: No, not this week. I've got to do some stuff with Joe.
me: (wondering) Joe? Who is Joe?
Josh: (casually) Oh Joe? You know my good friend Joe. Me and Joe Gibbs go way back.

Josh was doing a couple of skits and games for the Young Life fundraising banquet in Lake Norman. His character was Coach Kenny, the football coach from the local middle school (Burns Middle, home of the Fighting O'possums!) He was in the middle of a motivational speech when he got 'interrupted' by Joe Gibbs.

I mean really.....what are the chances of Coach Gibbs showing up at a YL fundraiser?!?! The chances are actually pretty good, considering he loves Jesus, Young Life and the YL staff at Lake Norman (and of course, Josh!)

I wonder how long Josh is going to pretend that he's best friend with Coach Gibbs?
Probably forever.

PS: I totally stole this picture for Sharon Clark. She is an AMAZING photographer. Book her for a session NOW!


Elizabeth for Queen!

My younger sister Elizabeth is going to be in the homecoming parade today!

Ok, she's not technically my sister, but I certainly feel like she's family. (I'm totally freakin out about her 'talking' to this guy that's a junior at SHS, but that's a whole other story.)

When Josh first moved to Shelby seven years ago I used to spend the night at the Lampley's house when I'd come up to visit; which is how I was able to slowly infiltrate the family. Laura's now my friend (not Mrs. Lampley) and Elizabeth is like my younger sister. It helps that Laura will perpetually be 32-ish in my mind, since I'm rapidly approaching the 30 mark. And I have so much fun with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was just a wee-little babe when I moved here

Sarah, Elizabeth, Sidney
spring 2005

and now she's tearing up the halls at the high school

Elizabeth, Sidney, Sarah
summer 2009

oh elizabeth!
you're going to be great at the parade today and the football game tomorrow....and not because this whole homecoming thing is a big deal, but because of who you are.
you are fabulous. i love your spunk and your heart!
if i could bottle your passion and zest for life, i'd be a freaking millionaire (and not to mention a genius, because how would you even attempt to bottle all of that anyways?!)
you have such a sweet spirit and gentle heart
i love how you love your friends, the environment and Jesus; and how you aren't afraid to try something new
you're smart and bold, but also unbelievably compassionate, and i like that about you
you can't be put in a box or stereotyped, because you're just too dynamic for all that (unless its in the box of "people blair loves" or the stereotype "awesome")
i love you girl!!!!!
*ps* i definitely did NOT have Elizabeth's permission to write a blog about her----she would've been way too embarassed to have me going on and on about her. But that's another thing I love about her....she's fabulous AND humble. anyone jealous of her yet?



leftovers can make the best meal. seriously. well, my leftovers can!

let me introduce you to the fabulous world of leftovers at the jones' household:

That is a piece of Light Italian Flatout Bread, topped with a tinesy bit of goat cheese (i said i was a lazy vegan), balsamic onions, sauteed green and red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro and southwestern black beans (made from scratch!).

Roll it all up (long ways, so it looks like more!) and place it in a frying pan for a few minutes on each side to get it all warm and gooey. And voila:

yummy burrito(?) with a side of apples and spicy southwest black beans
a vegetarian meal that makes even the biggest carnivore drool!

Images by Freepik