Because I Said So: December 2013
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year. New Me.

2013


has been a great year.


I graduated college, landed a great job, celebrated five years of dating with my wonderful boyfriend and traveled to Pittsburgh for our second annual Steeler's game. While this list is not comprehensive, I'd say 2013 has been pretty good to me. But, like most people, I can't wait to take on 2014. Out with the old, and in with the new--isn't that what they always say?


2014


With my love of lists, you better believe I have a list of New Year's Resolutions.


Most of them are ones the usually make the list--workout more, lose those last ten pounds, read more etc. etc.But this year, will be different. (and not just because I say so--although that has a lot to do with it)  I came across an old book I used to read as a preteen about making goals. And that's what new year's resolutions are after all, right? In order to make the goal stick and able to be achieved, you have to write down how you are going to make it happen.


For instance, one of my goals is to lose those last 8-10 pounds.


How am I going to make this happen?


1. Join a gym..(I've already done my research and found one that I liked, but you might add a step before this that says research gyms in my area. Then join that gym.)


2. Create a realistic workout schedule I can follow. (Ex. I will work out MWF and do light cardio on TTH and have the weekends off) Whether is trying new classes, or getting a personal trainer--I usually like to plan my time at the gym so it won't be wasted.


3. Eat less junk food & eat more fruits and veggies.


4. Plan my meals in advance, so I won't be scrambling at the last minute and be tempted to eat something bad for me.


As a lover of lists, having these extra guidelines/steps really helps me stay on track. The above, was just an example and the same principle can be applied to any resolution you make.



Make 2014 the year of YOU


Because I said so!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

All Things Merry and Bright

This Christmas was probably the best Christmas I've ever had. No really.


(getting a bike from Santa when I was 8 is a close second though)


Something about living away from home and being able to come home for two days to spend time with my crazy family, really made my day.

Usually, to me, Christmas is all about the presents and the food. Can't get enough of either one of them. How selfish of me, I know. But this year was different. I really took a moment to appreciate all of the work that everyone went through to either make/buy the gifts given to me, cook the delicious food we had for dinner, and took pride in the gifts I gave. Maybe it has something to do with getting older and growing up (which I'm still not a fan of), but this Christmas was different. But different in all ways good.

Of course I got lots of presents that I've been wanting needing.  Here a few of my favorites: (although I absolutely adore EVERYTHING I received)

Phi Mu T-Shirt Quilt-which I knew was coming, but I honestly forgot about. I was amazed at how well it turned out--I've seen some pretty awful T-shirt quilts. I highly Highly HIGHLY recommend Southern Charm Quilts if you're looking to get one done :)


Refinished End Table-Given to me by my Mom -oh i mean Santa. The table literally used to be the ugliest table and one of my grandma's pieces (no offense Mawmaw). But I really couldn't see keeping the thing around for much longer. My mom gave it a whole new life and it's fabulous!


Selena Gomez Floor Seats- I LOVE LOVE LOVE Selena Gomez and my sweet boyfriend surprised me with floor seats to one of her concerts. He showed up with a piece of poster board with a bunch of blanks on it and made me guess letter by letter. He's so creative!


Jar of Buttons- Disclaimer: I'm kind of obsessed with things that have a history/are unique. So my Mimi got me a jar of buttons that were my great grandmother's. She used to collect them. In addition to the full antique mason jar with antique buttons, she gave me four red buttons in a separate envelope. These red buttons had been on a dress of hers at one time, as well as, one of her sister's dresses. Now they are mine. I'd like to find something to put them on--if only I could sew.


Hand Painted Cross Canvas- I now have an original Bomar painting! My aunt's husband painted it for me after I saw a similar one at an auction earlier in the year. It's absolutely gorgeous and it means a lot that he would paint a similar one for me. I can't wait to figure out where to hang it!


I got way to many presents to count, but I really  appreciate each and every one of them. No matter if it was napkins (it means I don't have to buy any at the store) or pot holders/magnets/chip clips (you never know how much you need the small things until you are stranded and your chips are going stale) or an old shirt that my dad used to wear that he passed down to me (it's the little things), I'm really thankful for each and every person in my life and how thoughtful they are.

Every Christmas I always hear that it's not all about the presents, but this year I finally realized that it's true. I'd give any to still be with my family today (growing up has it's drawbacks). However, it's not the amount of time that we spent together, but the quality of the time spent together.

So be thankful for those loved ones in your life and find joy in the little things--because I said so!

Monday, December 23, 2013

An (Almost) White Christmas

It's basically a fact that we will never have a "white" Christmas here in Louisiana.


However, last week/weekend I had the opportunity to go to Pittsburgh and was able to experience a white "almost" Christmas!


Day 1: Drove 17.5 hours from Louisiana to Pittsburgh, PA in a Prius.  Needless to say, I needed to stretch my legs desperately.  We first saw snow in West Virginia (same as last year)


Once in Pittsburgh, there was even more snow on the ground! We went out to dinner (courtesy of my parent's gift cards) and bought some last minute cold weather essentials--like gloves and headbands. (That's when I knew it was going to be a great weekend)


Day 2: We woke up to SNOW!! Lots and lots of snow --on the ground and in the air!


We drove. in the snow. super scary. don't do it.


We were lucky enough not to have hit any ice--but we thought about it EVERY TIME we went up and down a steep hill. I do not know how people drive in the mountains! Finding the covered bridges in Pittsburgh's countryside was probably my most favorite part of the whole weekend. When we got to the first one, it was snowing a lot and the scenery was magical. We proceeded to play in the snow and made our way downtown to  explore IN THE SNOW! Did I mention it was snowing!? We visited an "urban winery" in the heart of Pittsburgh which was very cool--Pittsburgh Winery is definitely a place to check out.(hello, free wine tasting) That night, we visited the Phipp's Conservatory and saw all of the pretty Christmas lights and displays they had. We also tried our luck at the River's Casino and didn't do too bad.


Day 3:  This day was dedicated to what Josh wanted to do (and arguably the whole reason we even came to Pittsburgh) The NFL Steeler's Game (which they won--thank goodness). I became famous on twitter, froze my butt off (apparently three+ layers are not enough), and then froze even more. The game was fun and we had better seats than we did last year--but it was the COLDEST game ever. Even the locals sitting next to us were sympathizing with us and agreed that this was the coldest game they've ever been to. My water bottle FROZE in the cup holder. Yea it was COLD.


Day 4: Monday, we almost couldn't find anything to do! We did everything we could think of--next time we will have to come with more of a plan. We explored more of downtown, went ice skating, checked out a brewery inside an old church (way cool), and ate at a restaurant on top of Mt. Washington overlooking the whole city! So it wasn't a boring day at all. There's always something different and interesting to do!


Day 5: Drove 17.5 hours away from the snow and back to Louisiana. Least favorite day. EVER. Especially since we woke up at 3:30 am to drive back.


Pretty sure I've said this before, but for real..Next year we are FLYING!


Because I Said So!!!!!


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Snow in West Virginia!


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Freezing at the Steelers Game!


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Pittsburgh Winery visit


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Phipp's Conservatory


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I tweeted this picture of the city and it got retweeted by the Weather Channel and I was asked if it could be used on NBC Nightly News!! #famousstatus


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Ice Skating--lasted for about 5 mins--it was in the 20s that day


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Church Works Brewery inside of an old church--it was said that the priest of the church used to come for a beer every week after the church closed.


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Thursday, December 12, 2013

And We're Off

Pittsburgh here we come!!

After a rather stressful 24 hours of making triple sure I have everything packed for the trip and squared away at work, I'm proud to report that we are on the way!

Josh made the rookie mistake of telling me to pack light. Um excuse me, but what does that even mean? Have you met me? This will be my first major snow experience so I cannot just "pack light" I NEED all 5 pairs of boots and all 4 jackets. Yes, NEED. However, I did manage to fit everything into two bags so gold star for Allison.

This is what my apartment looked like in the midst of packing!


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This is about to be the longest 18 hour drive ever, I just know it. I guess it's a good thing I'm not driving :) (Josh is such a trooper) I'm going to be in desperate need of something to do other than sleeping and eating! (Any ideas are greatly appreciated)

Also, this trip will be the first time I take my new camera for a spin. I'm hoping to get some good pictures that I can frame for my apartment!

Needless to say, I'm super excited and wish we could be there already (and we've only been in the car for about 30 mins)

Next year we are flying--BECAUSE I SAID SO!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pittsbrrrrrgh

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Yep that's the forecast for Pittsburgh this weekend..the weekend we will be there!!! It's time for our 2nd annual road trip to watch the Steelers play!

Last year on the way up, we first saw snow when we got to West Virginia. But it was way up in the mountains so we didn't get to actually experience it. This year, I think we will be seeing snow a lot sooner and a lot more frequently because of all of the recent snow storms.

With snow in the forecast, this southern girl is having trouble figuring out what to wear!! I mean, what does one where to sit through a football game in the snow (possibly) and actually still look cute? My guess is I'm just going to end up looking like a big puffball and still freeze. Oh the things I do for my football obsessed boyfriend. Just kidding, but really.

The only time it's actually snowed in Louisiana was my senior year in high school and that was, let's face it, about 5 years ago.

So here we are about to go on our road trip (yes, an 18 hour road trip--those are fun right?) and I have no cold weather clothes....it was pretty much 70 degrees last week here. Regardless, I'm so excited that I could care less if I freeze. If worse comes to worse, then I'll just buy a parka once I get up there. Yep, that's the plan and I'm sticking with it.

In addition to the Steelers game, I hope to go see the many covered bridges in Allegheny County, as well as, visit the Phipps Conservatory. Josh wants to eat the famous "Roethlis-burger", visit the beer barn, and start tailgating the moment we get there.

Thursday needs to hurry up and get here BECAUSE I SAID SO!

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love Love LOVE Christmas! Everything is better at this time of the year for some reason. The air is colder, Christmas movies are on TV, and people are generally nicer and more caring.

I'm most excited about this Christmas because I get to decorate my apartment. At first, the thought was too daunting. How was I going to pick out, buy, and transport a live tree (because to me that's really the only way to go)?! Thankfully Josh was able to come through on the "manpower" front--I just told him which one and where to put it :) He drew the line at decorating though haha

Buying almost every decoration and starting from scratch really wasn't the way I wanted to spend all of my money...at first. But now seeing how cozy everything looks, makes me glad I did.

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TA DAAAAA!!! Still a work in progress, but it's turning out FABULOUS!


I'm especially loving my fleur de lis ornament, which is only fitting for my first Christmas in NOLA :)


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A few more shots from my apartment. I managed to grab some decorations from my parent's house that my mom wasn't using! I'm glad I'm not the only one who goes over the top for Christmas (here's looking at you mom)


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I can't wait to wrap presents and put them under the tree, watch the 25 day of Christmas on ABC Family, and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas.


Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays..Because I said so!

Five Years and Counting

Five years is a long time. I know people who have been in and out of too many "relationships" to count In five years or are even married with a kid or two by the time they know each other for five years. While I'm not in either of those boats, I wouldn't have our relationship any other way :)

Five years ago, I never would have thought that I could love someone so much. When Josh first asked me to dance at our Senior Homecoming dance, I didn't know I'd be his be his girlfriend soon after. Though honestly, I was hoping. After a few dates to various Saints games, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend (in the parking lot of our old high school). Romantic I know.

Our relationship had quite the dramatic start and many people didn't think it would last and were probably hoping that it wouldn't. Boy were they wrong.

For our fifth anniversary a few weeks ago, Josh took care of all of the dinner reservations. This was quite the lesson in trust. I have notoriously high standards--but not in a bad way of course. Plus I love HAVE to be in control of most everything.

Needless to say, the man did good. He did really good. The evening surpassed my expectations!
We ended up eating at Sun Ray Grill in downtown New Orleans. I'd never heard of it, but it was definitely a good surprise. Complete with white table clothes, candlelight, and a bottle of wine. Sun Ray Grill has some of the best food I've had in awhile (seafood and grits and bread pudding were ah-mazing) and a very cool atmosphere with exposed brick walls and original artwork for sale on the walls around us.

From now on, I think I'm going to let him pick the restaurant every time we go out (bet he didn't know what he was getting into) :)
He's certainly paid attention to every time I've said I liked this or that or because I said so!




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