friends are coming to town!

Yay! I have friends coming to town! Chelsea and Lacey have been best friends since their time at GWU. They are fun, smart, hilarious, fashionable, sweet, thrifty, crafty and Starbucks-addicted....but my favorite part about them is that they let me join in on the fun. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to be friends with these girls?!?!

And why exactly are these lovely ladies coming into town today? Tonight is the Miss Gardner-Webb pageant! Yay! This is my favorite entertainment all year! Have you noticed how many exclamation marks I'm using?! While there will certainly be girls with poise and talent, there will also be some...well...without poise and talent. By far, my favorite part of the night is the talent portion. I just hope no one guts a fish like they did last year (yes, the whole auditorium did smell like old dead fish.)
This year we'll be cheering on Becca, Rachel and Mekina. Come join in on the fun!!


sweating with the oldies

I know its supposed to be "sweating to the oldies" but right now it really feels like I'm just sweating with the oldies. I've been heading to the gym five days a week for the past couple of months and I've developed a whole new friend group, most of them in the 50-70 year old age range. For the most part, they've been encouraging and help to hold me accountable to the frequency with which I visit the gym....but man, I really have to fight them for the TV remote! On any given day, all the TVs in the aerobics room are either tuned into Fox News or CNN. I mean seriously, can't a girl get a little TLC, Home and Garden or Style Network?!

Things have been going well so far on the training front. My friend Laura has been using PT for the month of January. I've really enjoyed the challenge of keeping up the routine while I'm on my own. At first, I thought that it would be totally overwhelming to navigate the gym without PT. But now I feel like I'm making a little headway on my own, and it feels great.

So far I've lost 19 pounds and 18.75 inches. The cardio and strength training plans that PT put me on have been amazing, but I'm learning how much the food we eat impacts the results I'm looking for at the gym. So I'm trying as hard as I can to stick to the Weight Watchers plan, with a vegan-ish twist (skipping out on animal by-products....except for cheese!)

I'm hoping to keep up with the routine without having to hire PT again. I mean really, I'd love to spend that $250 on something else! Hmmmmm, what could I spend $250 on instead of a trainer at the gym?
-new jeans
-spa day at the Grove Park
-new workout clothes
-plane ticket to visit my friends in Texas
-get my car detailed

better yet....what would you spend the money on?


weekend update

This past weekend Josh and I went to Townsend, TN for a time of fellowship and fun with some of our friends. The group was mostly folks that had been a YL leader in Asheville, NC with Buddy....and then the folks that had married folks that had been leaders with Buddy. I fell into the later grouping. We had a ton of fun eating, praising Jesus, talking about marriage and eating some more (did you seriously think you could get 15 girls in a room and not have to mention eating twice?!)

We had such a great time up in the mountains....it was so great that it came about one year after the YL All-Staff conference down in Florida. Josh and I were really soaking up the richness of the weekend. I ending up having such a good time that I didn't think to take pictures----now that's how you know you had a good time.

is that one happily married couple or what?!

our friends Matt and Leslie and their classic t-shirts they had made to commemorate the occasion. classy indeed.

**all pictures stolen, and used without permission, from leslie.


the south at its finest

Its guys like this that make me so very proud to have been born and raised in the south. Seriously. My heart is full of love right now it just might explode.

I'm going to get this guy to come in and teach my next Kickboxing class at the YMCA. Let me know what you think:


thank you jon and lauren

Lauren and Jon gave Josh this dvd for Christmas. It is hill-ar-i-ous. Seriously. The first time Josh and I watched it we had to keep rewinding each scene because we'd be so busy laughing at one part that we miss the next funny scene.

Flight of the Conchords was originally a series on HBO, but I think most folks just know the music from the band. But missing out on the show is a complete shame. Really. The first season is comprised of the adventures of Brett and Jermaine (aka Ryhmenosaurus and Hiphoppopotamus) two transplanted New Zealanders who are in a band and trying to make it in New York City. For those of y'all that already love the show--I apologize---I'm really not doing the show justice! Its just hard to explain how funny Flight is, kind of like its hard to explain how Dwight is so funny on The Office.

Here's a clip from the guys on David Letterman. They are singing "Beautiful Girl":

So go get the first season this weekend and have more laughs than you can handle.


kickboxing 101

So, the girls and I got 5th place this past week in The Fat Busting Challenge at our ymca. I think 5th place is pretty good, considering all the gym rats that are participating in the contest as well. And, we beat the Shelby Cougar Association team.

In an effort to up my cardio for some additional points this week, I tried Kickboxing 101. It did not turn out so well. Sit tight for another episode of "Really God? Does my life have to be this embarassing/crazy" starring me as the main character.

I was in the middle of my strength training routine on Tuesday when my friend Sherry walked up to me. This is how our conversation went:
Sherry: Hey Blair!
Blair: (really out of breath) Hey....Sherry.....what's.....up?
Sherry: (overly energic) Nothing much. I'm teaching Kickboxing 101, you should come check it out.
Blair: (still out of breath) Well....I.....don't....know....I'm.....not.....that.....coordinated.
Sherry: (still a giant ray of sunshine) Whatever. You're like so coordinated. This class will be so easy for you. Please, please, please come.
Blair: (trying to end the conversation so I don't pass out on the smith machine) Sure....see....you....in....five.....minutes....(unless I've passed out in the hall)

I walk into the aerobics room and notice some really fit people and the nervousness really settles in. Then I notice some bigger gals and some rapper looking guys, hear Michael Jackson's "we are the world" and feel a little better. I mean really, if I can't do the moves, at least I'll burn some calories laughing during class.

Then we proceed to learn how to jab, cross, upper cut, something else, wwf move, donkey kick....slight break because my contact was messing up.....three stooges-type punch, Hawaiian looking dance and then we cooled down. (sorry that I don't really remember the technical names, lets be honest----I wasn't really paying that much attention.)

While I couldn't really execute any of the moves correctly and always seemed to be at least 4 counts behind everyone else, I'm still considering the class a success because I didn't pass out, get punched or accidentally kick someone.

The guy standing next to me was not so lucky. About halfway through class, just after we'd learned the scissor punch but weren't quite to the acl-stetching side kicks, the man screamed at the top of his lungs, grabbed his chest and collapsed on the floor. I was amazed that this 30-something guy who looked so fit appeared to be having a heart attack. The lady next to me and I ran over and checked him out. While she checked his pulse (I'm assuming she was in the health care field) I asked him if he thought he was having a heart attack. It turns out that he had a heart attack in 2006 and had a defribrillator implanted under his collar bone. He said that he felt like his defribrillator shocked his heart. Several icepacks and pulse-checks later, his doctor came and checked him out (do we live in a small town or what?) It turns out that he was fine and that the impant did what it was supposed to do---get his heart back on track and save him from another heart-attack.

Who knew the ymca could be so embarrassing and so much like ER?


Rick Warren's Invocation

I'm not a huge mega-church kinda girl. I love small services and intimate prayer. I love old hymns and choirs with little old ladies. So, I wasn't quite sure how to feel when I heard that Rick Warren was going to give the invocation at the inauguration.

Then I did a little research on Warren. It turns out he's quite a neat guy. Sure, some folks are angry about his stance on Prop 8 (he is anti-gay marriage.) But listen to this: Warren no longer takes a salary from Saddleback (his church in California). In addition, he's paid the church back for the salary that he was paid for the last 25 years and he now lives on 10% of his income (mostly earned though his book sales) and gives away 90% of his income. He calls it "reverse tithing". He's also created a plan calling for church-led efforts to tackle global poverty and disease as well as literacy and education around the world. It sounds like this Rick Warren guy is trying to live out his personal relationship with the Lord in a way that has a meaningful and real impact on not only his community in Lake Forest, California but the all around the world. So yeah....I guess I'm kind of becoming a Rick Warren fan.

So, in case you missed it yesterday, here's Rick Warren's invocation.

Let us pray,
Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can't see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you; it all belongs to you; it all exists for your glory. History is your story.
The scripture tells us, "Hear of Israel the Lord is our God the Lord is One ." And you are the compassionate and merciful one, and you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time; we celebrate a hinge point in history with the inauguration of our first African-American President of the United States .
We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership; and we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.
Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity.
Bless and protect him; his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet and everyone of our freely elected leaders.
Help us oh God to remember that we are Americans united not by race or religion or blood but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all .
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other when forget you--forgive us
when we presume that our greatness and prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. And may all people of good will join together together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a more peaceful planet and may we never forget that one day all nations and all people we will stand accountable before you.
We now commit our new President, and his wife Michelle, and his daughters Malia and Sasha into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the One who changed my life Yeshua, Esa, Gesus, Jesus--who taught us to pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen."


the inauguration

This will be the only time I ask this....but why the heck are you reading my blog?!?!

Go watch the Inauguration!!


the diamond empowerment fund

Founded in 2007, The Diamond Empowerment Fund™ (D.E.F.) is a non-profit international organization with the mission to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.*

DEF was founded by a businessman after returning from a fact-finding trip to Africa. He found Botswana to represent the model for diamond extraction, processing and production. So what makes Botwsana such a great role-model for the rest of Africa? In addition to the diamond industry, Botswana has public schools, hospitals, orphanages, HIV/AIDS clinics and training centers that were all funded by the diamond endustry. But why stop with the diamond industry? Using Botswana as a model, the businessman proposed ideas to transform all of Africa's natrual resource extraction sites and the communites surrounding them. After returning to the US, it was the businessman created DEF in hopes to help Africa and raise worldwide awareness for the diamond industry in Africa.

So who's this businessman anways? None other than my favorite: Russell Simmons. fabulous.

Watch these videos for more information on DEF:

Are you wondering how you could support the DEF? Well, you can purchase this lovely malachite bracelet here for $125. However, only $20 actuallly maked it back to the DEF.

For any donation made directly to the DEF that's over $99, you'll receive this beautiful diamond and saphire bracelet. Click here to donate today!



my first Etsy purchase

I check it out weekly and make my secret little wish lists, but I've never actually bought anything on Etsy.....until today!!

I've heard a ton of great things about 4th Ave Soap Co, but the comment that really got my attention was, "I think their eye-cream is as good as what I use from Bobbi Brown." I then proceeded to drop my glass of water and totally give away the fact that I had been evesdropping on my mother-in-law's conversation. Oops.

Yes, I've been paying $45 per pop for the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. It has worked wonders for me. I wear it day and night. But....I always have a near-heart attack when I have to go out to Nordstrom and buy some more. I mean seriously....$45?

And then I met Sarah at 4th Ave Soap Co. Besides selling some of the most beautiful soaps I've ever seen, Sarah offers a wide variety of lotions, creams, toners, lip balms and floral waters. (I got some of her Lavender Water for Christmas and it is amazing.)

I don't how she works her magic, but I'm glad she can do it. Because she lists the Antioxidant Face Cream for only $10 and the Under-Eye Cream for only $8. Be.Still.My.Heart.

I will literally be waiting by the mailbox every day until it comes in the mail.


christmas time

One of my favorite new things this year has been College Life. Josh and I have spent a lot of time with the folks at GWU over the past couple of years, mainly because that's where the majority of our Young Life leaders come from. Its been on hearts to spend time in the community where our leaders are invested. About a year ago, at the Young Life all-staff conference, the Lord gave us a vision for what Young Life at GWU could look like.

And yes, I know this is all a little late since its January and everything...but I just had to share some of these fun pictures from our last Young Life College Life event last semester.

We had a Christmas-theme club which included fabulous yule-tide music and of course, Reindeer Olympics. We had Plinko, Pictionary, a sack race, bowling, Name That Tune and a sing-off. And of course, a group Christmas card photo.


Team Skinny

Our YMCA is hosting a 6-week fat busting challenge. Teams of three will collects points for cardio, free weights, machines and group cardio classes. There will be prizes given out (to us of course) for the teams with the highest point totals each week, as well as an over-all prize at the end of the six weeks.

I am on a group with my friends Elizabeth and Rowena. Our team name is Skinny; which is hopefully where I'll be in 6 more weeks! I've still got PT's cardio and strength training schedule working for me; so I'll just turn all that information in for my daily points.

But Elizabeth and Rowena are a different story. Elizabeth is a strength-training-could-be-a-personal-trainer-power-walking extraordinaire. For example: she walks, with Anna in a jogging stroller, so fast that I seriously cannot keep up....I would much rather run 4 miles than have to walk with her. I remember the first time I walked with her I kept asking her question after question because I was so out of breath that I couldn't actually hold a conversation with her; meanwhile, she was just chit-chatting away and hardly breathing at all. She's also worked with a personal trainer and can keep up with the meanest of the gym rats. And then there's Rowena. If Row wasn't on my team I might have to figure out a way to take her out of the competition. This mother of 3 just ran a marathon. You know, because she wanted to try a full one after running all the half-marathons she'd done. She's that girl in the gym that looks better than we all did the beginning of our freshman year in college. Row's also had her time with a personal trainer....although, her trainer was an ex-marine. To say she's got a slight advantage is an understatement.

So watch out Shelby Cougar Association (yes, that's a real team in the contest) we're going to win this thing!


meet my new friend named canon

Josh, aka "the-best-husband-a-girl-could-ask-for", got me this beauty for Christmas. (applause, applause)

I had taken a photography class from Sharon at Smitten Photography last fall and had been drooling over everyone's SLRs since then.

And then dear Josh surprised me at Christmas....I mean a Canon and earrings from Forever21....does marriage get any better?!?!

I've been practicing and practicing.....waiting on good lighting....and then it happened....my first good picture:

I know its not professional quality---but hey, I just started at this! Sharon, I hope I made you proud!

By the way, I took this picture while we were playing "Mexican Train Dominos" up at Windy Gap this past weekend.


your mama!

Its been about, oh, 15 years since I've heard a "your mama" joke....until yesterday at the gym.

Two guys were joking around in between sets. We'll call them Paul and Guy 1, because I know that one of the guys is actually named Paul and I have no idea what the other guy's name is. Also, Paul is around 65 years old totally ripped---kind of like a body builder....and the other guy is this bald, mid-30's, slightly overweight man with big glasses. (note: I have nothing in particular against body builders or prematurely bald guys....I just needed to give you a description of them because it makes the story so much better.)

Here's the conversation:
Guy 1: "hey paul"
Paul: "yeah?"
Guy 1: "your mama's so old her birthstone is dirt"
Paul: "what?"
Guy 1: "get it? dirt!"
(now it starts to get awkward between the two guys and I'm trying my hardest not to bust out laughing)
Paul: "huh?"
Guy 1: " 'cause, you know, they didn't like have stones back then....they just had dirt....get it?"

Nothing is worse than a joke that bombs....unless its a "your mama" joke that bombs....there's no recovering from that.


oh redbox, how much do i love thee?!

Meet my friend RedBox:

Whatch out Netflix, you've got some serious competition!

Sorry if I'm being really late on the uptake, but Redbox is the latest (and greatest) in DVD rental. They have the newest releases and only cost $1 (plus tax) per day to rent.

I was feeling a little under the weather yesterday, so I headed over to the grocery store for some soup after work. And there, standing just beyond the checkout girl, was it: Redbox. (By the way, I rented Eagle Eye, which is kind of a sucky movie---put that's another post for another time.)

Now, I've known that they had the Redbox in Shelby for several months now, but I haven't had to try it out. See, we use Netflix at our house (thanks Lauren and Jon!) and haven't really had the need to rent movies from anywhere else. However, we just got "Wanted" in the mail on Tuesday. The movie is so violent that Josh and I didn't even make it through the first three minutes. So, there I was.....sick and tired and just wanting to lay on the couch and watch a movie (no, I'm not 12)....and so I took a risk on Redbox. And my life hasn't been the same since. (Ok, life has been the same since....I'm still sick and now I have a DVD I have to return by 9pm to make sure that I don't rack up another $1.07 on my debit card.)

I was lucky enough that there was a movie that I wanted to rent at the particular Redbox that I went to. My friends Lauren and Matt were complaining the other day that the Harris Teeter's Redbox doesn't ever have good movies. Well, Redbox has added an online feature where you can actually reserve a copy of a movie to pick up at the redbox of your choice....a company that actually listens to the people? What?!

Click here to find a Redbox near you!


move over beyonce

move over beyonce, little arianna is stealing your moves!!

i do have to thank my friend ryan for this amazing video


boots, boots, boots

Its rainy. Again. At this rate (two days of rain) I'll never be able to handle living in England. Which is really a pity, because I was hoping to introduce the British to a whole host of American traditions....mainly color and flat-irons. Oh well.

These are the shoes that I need to wear today.
Reason#1: they'll keep my feet dry
Reason#2: they have just the right anount of color to jazz up a dreary day
Reason#3: They are soooooo spunky
get a pair!

Well, not that we're talking about footwear, lets talk about more shoes that I like:

I love these boots! They remind me of my childhood---I hated the riding pants and stupid helmets, but boy did I LOVE the boots!
get a pair

These are the shoes that I'd wear if I lived in Colorado.
Of course I'd be single, since there's no way Josh would ever put up with these shoes, but boy would I be styling.
get a pair

These would help me get in touch with my Indian roots.
Ok, so I'm about as Anglo as they make 'em these days.
I guess I should say "these would help me have the Indian heritage I wish I had"
get a pair!

I do actually like these boots.
They are a little Peter Pan-ish, but they are still cool.
Of course, I'd have to dress more like Chelsea to pull them off!
get a pair!

How much do I love these boots?!?!
These are the perfect shoes for my I'm-from-a-big-city-dont-mess-with-me outfit!!
get a pair!


weddings, weddings everywhere!

Here are my friends Kenny and Holly. They got married two saturdays ago.

Here are my friends Joe and LindseyLee. They got married last saturday.

I love the girls a ton and had a blast at their weddings. I'm so glad that we'll get to be a part of their married life. blah, blah, blah.

I'm obviously not jealous about being married, because I've got the hottie on the right. Duh. I'm just really wanting another honeymoon.

Now, non-married folks might think that a honeymoon and a vacation are similar. They are not. A honeymoon is so much more....its a tropical location you thought you'd never travel to. Its lounging around, without cell phones, internet or other people. Its enjoying an "all-inclusive" resort without worrying about what you weigh. Its buying new clothes and one-hour massages. Its drinking pina coladas at 11am because they are kind of like a smoothie. Its forgetting that you have a budget and buying everything. Its eating your first chicken wing or bacon-cheeseburger (ok, maybe that was just me.)

So here I sit...at work...on a dreary monday. While two of my friends are enjoying their honeymoon. Ugh.

some pictures from our honeymoon in st. lucia


hello 2009!

ahhhh, what a sweet new year.

I rang in 2009 with my husband and some great friends. After the ball dropped and we attemped to sing Auld Lang Syne, we brainstormed.....that's right folks. We put our heads together to create a catchphrase for 2009. I feel like its going to be a great year....and every great year needs a great catchphrase. Here's what we came up with:
Lookin' Fine in '09.
And here are some pictures to prove it:

So start spreading the word....this is the year to look fine.
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Images by Freepik