Because I Said So: July 2014
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Money Talk: Growing Up means Saving

I'm done being a grown up. Who's in charge of this whole getting older thing? Because we need to have a little chat. Can I go back to kindergarten and actually enjoy the naps? 

Side note: I think I say this at least once a week. Oops.

Lately, I've been doing some thinking. Ok, more like stressing. Shocker there. I'm going to be honest with y'all, so bear with me if this is a little all over the place.  I'm talking about money. Yikes. I try to stay away from these because really who likes reading about #firstworldproblems and rants with no pictures. So sorry not sorry in advance. We all have things we worry about. For me, it's future--mostly involving money.

It's like as soon as I hit 23, I'm just expected to grow up. I mean I don't want to be this grown up stuck acting like a teen going out and getting drunk every Friday (we all know THOSE kind of people, ick). But still. At 23, I've started thinking about actively putting a down payment on a house (OK that's like 20 grand), saving for retirement (ugh), and more annoying grown up stuff. I've literally been driving myself crazy trying budget and try save every penny and stretch my paycheck as far as it will go. Hint: it's not very far.

Add in the mounting pressure (mostly that I'm putting on myself) to get married, and I'm surprised I haven't broken out in hives. Oh and don't forget trying to exercise and stay healthy and lose ten pounds. Now, you've got Allison the Giant Stress Ball. Hi, nice to meet you.

No wonder the number one thing couples fight about is MONEY. I totally get it. Here's the thing, I just want to be financially safe and secure. Who doesn't? Basically, I want to continue living at the standard I'm living right now and still be able to save A LOT. Impossible? Maybe. It's good to have goals, though right? I have ALWAYS been super goal oriented--even with things like "ok I'm going to clean my room before I get a snack" (lame I know)

So, let's break it down: a down payment on a future house for our future life together when we finally get married in the future. They (experts) say that a good down payment is $20,000. Holy balls that's a lot of zeros. How do people afford this? Also if that's good, I want to be better. I've never been good at being average--over achiever probs.

My dad's advice: MAJOR SACRIFICES. No eating out. No shopping. No trips. SEVERELY cut back. No Lilly. No Starbucks. No more Jacks.

My mom's advice. Eat out LESS. Less expensive clothes (buh bye Lilly). Less expensive vacations.
Baby Carol's advice: You each only need to save $10,000 so that's not so bad, right?

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So the question of the day/week/month/year: How do you save all of the money and still be able to (kind of) get what you want? And end rant.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What To Do: When work makes you FAT

I know that "fat" is a touchy subject and that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I, however, am feeling the FAT effects not just physically. By having a horrible diet and not exercising, I've been depressed and unhappy and gaining weight. So I've decided to do what's right for my body and emotional health.

It's no secret that once you start working (or really anything new--they don't call it the Freshman 15 for nothing), your schedule is completely thrown out of whack. It can be hard to juggle work, working out, eating right, and not feeling completely exhausted (or hungry) at the end of the day. After a year, I'm STILL working on it!

I work for a catering and events company. At all times during the day, I am surrounded by food. There are tastings, the fact that my desk is literally right next to the kitchen, and menus of mouth watering food to be typed up and customized. It's so so so hard to not eat everything the kitchen says is up for grabs or taste every cake at the bridal show. So hard, that I don't actually EVER say no. Throw in the booze and goodbye skinny minny, hello cellulite.

It's amazing that I don't weigh 3,000 pounds. I have, however, put on a meaningful, unwanted 5-6 pounds since I graduated college. It's not cute. Maybe it's because I'm getting older (boo), but the weight is settling in all of the most horrible places.

The following tips are not relatively new ideas, but sometimes we (read I) need a refresher course on how to stay healthy.




1. Make a plan. I LOVE my Erin Condren planner. I use it to plan my workouts and meals. I'm addicted to stickers and colorful pens, so that helps!

2. Have someone hold you accountable. I'm lucky to have Joshua keep me on track and "be the mean guy" when I want a brownie 2 hours into my diet lifestyle change? It's helpful to have someone support your goals and encourage you to reach them.

3. Don't drink your calories. i.e. Drink water not soda. This is so hard for me. I LOVE juice. I could drink CranApple juice for every meal and snack and every minute in between. Water is so boring and when you have to FORCE yourself to gulp it down--it makes it even worse. So, jazz it up by adding fresh fruit or mint leaves. My favorite water add on is Lemon. It's so refreshing!

4. Mix it up. When it comes to meal planning AND exercise. I get so extremely bored when I do the SAME thing over and over and eat the same thing over and over (unless it was cake).

5. Exercise! My workout routine looks something like this: Jillian Michael's DVD one day, run the next day, take Laney for a nice long walk, REPEAT. After a week or two, I'll add something new like swim or go to the gym and take a class.

6. Stick with it. Progress doesn't happen over night. I'm the worst at this--I have no patience. If I haven't lost 5 pounds in the first 2 hours, I'm NEVER going to lose it and think I should just quit. So dramatic, I know. But it took more than a day or even a week to put on the weight, so it's going to take awhile for it to come off. Keep at it!

7. Eat your fruits and veggies. Or, if you are picky like me, take a multivitamin at the very least. You have to make a deliberate effort to get the fruits and veggies in. Most likely you aren't going to want to chow down on some cauliflower when you get home from a stressful day at work (if you do, can I be you?). Meal planning along will help you get those fruits and veggies in and again, stick with it!

8. Track it! There are so many apps that you can use to track your goals and success! MyFitnessPal is great for tracking calories and showing you the breakdown of carbs vs. protein vs. fat you've had in a day. RunKeeper can help keep you motivated when you run and even map where you've been!



Don't let your work schedule dictate the rest of your life. Some things you can't control, but control the things that you can. You can do it--because I said so!



Monday, July 28, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance

Well, I know I CAN'T dance. 

I was a cheerleader back in the day--6 years ago (why does this make me feel so old--that and the fact that I got carded at an R movie the other night--I'm 23.)  



Anyways, I wouldn't say I'm a great, or even a good dancer. Ask my friends, boyfriend, and/or family. My dancer friends have tried to teach me, with little to no success...I'm just awkward. Sure I danced when literally everyone else did at the age of 3 and occasionally when I'm out with friends, but my dance career was short lived.

Both of my younger sisters CAN dance. Wayy better than me. So jealous. 

This past weekend was Carol's and her entire JV team's first time away at camp at Nicholl's State University (they grow up so fast) I think I was more nervous about that then she was. You know camp: staying in a dorm, being exhausted from learning more than your brain can handle, and sub par cafeteria food. 

But hello, Baby Carol was going to camp. (everyone calls Caroline--Carol much to my mother's dismay...and now we've started calling her "Baby Carol" because she's growing up and we don't want her to)

To say she thrived would be an understatement. She did freaking amazing; I'm so proud! Go Baby Carol and GO NORTHLAKE!

Not only did she personally walk away with two blue ribbons, a red ribbon, AND an outstanding performer ribbon..her team also won:


I mean look at all of those trophies!
-the judge's award
-1st runner up in the Home Routine competition
and
-1st runner up in the competition that we saw today
AND
-(2) ALL-STARS (Carol and Autumn--go girls!)

Oh and one more tiny detail: she was named an ALL-STAR!! Such a HUGE honor as a first time camper and a Jr. High-er. Being an ALL-Star basically means: she's a great leader and a great performer/dancer (which I could've told you) AND if our dad would like to shell out $2,500 she could go to London and march in parade--which really means like $15,000 for the whole family to go. So...GO BABY CAROL! 





I'd say she/they did pretty well for it being their first time at camp! Look out, because the Jr. Wolverettes will do great things--because I said so!






Friday, July 25, 2014

BFSF (Best Friends and Sisters Forever)





Last night, Steph and I went to see our baby sister Carol dance at her very first dance camp. GO CAROL! 

They grow up so fast! 

While we were there another mom was like "y'all are the cutest sisters ever" I mean thanks..what can we say #hairflip

That got us to thinking...why? I mean we are just normal sisters who annoy the crap out of each other most of the time and are goofy ALL of the time. Maybe it's because we are loud(er) than most people? (cough cough Stephanie)

Then it dawned on us...it's because when we are all together, we all act the same age...about 14. Ask anyone in our family. It's hard to act "my age" when I'm around them and I guess that's a good thing. My parents always ask "and how old are you again?" Oh yes, that would be uh 23. 

Keep in mind we have the most bizarre age difference (thanks mom and dad) I'm 23, Steph is 19, and Carol will be 13 soon. 

When we are all in the same place for more than 1 second, we instantly act goofy. I'm not sure why and what makes us do that, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Oh and also we all kind of look the same age and are relatively close in height....people frequently think I'm the second oldest...

Anyways, here's a photo dump of sister pictures...enjoy!








Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lies my Instagram told Me

I've seen this around and think it's a fabulous idea to come clean. Yep, I've been lying to y'all.

You know what I'm talking about? No? 

Allow me to explain. No one, I repeat no one is as perfect as their Instagram makes them seem. I mean there's just no way. Not even me, I know, shocking.


Take this picture for instance.


What it looks like: Just three sisters (read BFFs) cruising on a yacht taking a moment for a photo op.


Outtake: Hair in the face, Carol mid fixing her hair.

What really happened: three sisters cruising on a yacht, yes. But we are hot and sweaty and anything but glamorous. It took about ten times to get everyone looking the same direction and for the picture to meet everyone's approval. Oh and we were starving. 

Or this one...


What it looks like: OMG Lilly and pretty name brand jewelry?!  In one picture? I just can't. This girl must really have it all figured out and is living the high life.

What is really happening: I barely have anything figured out and the high life is evading me with every rent check I have to write. oh and I wish I was a fashion blogger with all the pretty clothes given to me by designers for free. 

Next we have...


What it looks like: I'm ready to take on the day--bring it on. And who can resist chambray, iced coffee AND Jacks?! The trifecta.

What's really happening: I really need a personal photographer. Do you know how hard it was to take this picture? I literally took this picture 50x before I got it right and almost dropped my coffee. Plus I need the coffee to get through the day--otherwise I would be Miss cranky pants ALL DAY. 


There's always this gem...



What it looks like: #wewokeuplikethis 


Oh hey. Dysfunctional.

What really happened: Again 50 pictures (are you sensing a trend here) before we finally got a few decent ones to choose from. Add the right VSCO filter, adjust the saturation and brightness and BAM--gorgeous! 



What it looks like: My puppychild is the calmest sweetest thing ever and likes to pose for pictures. 

What really happened: "Laney look at mommy. Laneyyyy. Laneybug..look over here. Bugga look.at.me! Ok hold ittttt hold it..ugh Laney just stay still!!!!!" Eventually ending up with this cute picture.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm so glad I got that off of my chest. Thanks for understanding!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Catching Up

Oh hey. Remember me? My name is Allison and I have been M.I.A for the past week or so. Oops. I've been enjoying living in the moment and I guess needed a break--next time I'll try to give a little notice before I just pack up for a week or two at a time.

While I was gone, I turned 23. I had quite the spread and my family even made me a cake! 


My mom and sisters are the real cake bosses here. I basically ate the whole thing myself.



I'm obsessed with my Catherine Popesco bracelet that my friend, Rebecca, gave me!




Sorry for the picture of my ear (I mean at least I have cute? ears), but I couldn't NOT take a picture of the beautiful Kate Spade earrings that Joshua got for me! The man has impeccable taste in jewelry that's for sure!

Also, while I've been gone, I went on family vacation. I only got to stay for about half a second (it feels like) because I'm a working girl now. Nonetheless, it was so fun!



Not to mention that going anywhere with Stephanie (above) is ALWAYS interesting. 


Oh hi we are just casually on my aunt's yacht. No big deal. 

I also got talked into getting my ears pierced for the second time. It was a traumatic experience when I got my first hole when I was 12 so...Insert scared to death face. 


I was a big girl and didn't even cry! #yayme I mean I am 23, but still. 

Unfortunately, before I knew it,  family vacation came to an end. But it wasn't all sad because I got to go to one of my friend's from high school's wedding! I literally grew up with this couple--they'd been dating for something like 8 years I think! Crazy!

 It was so beautiful and I loved everything about it #takingnotes 

This was the first wedding that I've been to in a while that I haven't had to actually work. 

Cue the drinks.

My favorite part of the night was probably this picture. All of the girls (minus the bride) + our high school principal. I mean how cute is this?



Now that we are all caught up, I hope to be back blogging regularly so stay tuned...because I said so.



Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy (almost) Birthday to Me

Hi, my name is Allison. 


And unless you've been living under a rock OR ignoring me, you'd know that I turn 23 tomorrow! My favorite holiday=my birthday. That and Christmas. Anyways. Maybe I'll get tired of celebrating my birthday and making sure everyone knows about it as I get older, but I hope not!

So in honor of my 23rd birthday, here are 23 things you may not know about me!

  • I love all things pink. This is inclusive of all things Lilly and other designer things that I will one day buy/receive.

  • I take way too many selfies. (with Laney and while driving) #oops


  • I don't know how to curl my hair--you know the wavy curls that are in--but I was born with realllyyy curly hair. That's why it's ALWAYS straight!

  • I eat icing for breakfast sometimes. Just a giant spoon of icing. 

  • Which is why I'm always complaining that I need to lose 5-10 pounds. At least I'm admitting I have a problem.

  • I hate to clean and don't even own a vacuum cleaner.  For the record though, I have an iron, Joshua just had to buy the actual ironing board. (Hint: I never iron and the man would iron his socks if I wouldn't tease him about it)

  • I'm addicted to Grande Iced Vanilla Macchiatos with an extra pump of vanilla
  • I love my puppychild, Laney, but will never stop trying to convince Joshua that she needs a puppy brother/sister so she won't be spoiled. He keeps saying no.



  • I (recently) love wearing red lipstick.

  • I frequently talk to Laney like she can understand me and answer me. Spoiler Alert: She cannot.

  • I'm mostly a diva, but I care about people too.


  • I can't wait to be a homeowner. Josh: you make the money and I will spend it all decorating. Ok? Sounds like a plan to me!

  • I'd love to make a business out of telling people what looks good and what doesn't. Can that be a thing?

  • I'm clumsy and drop my iPhone ALL the time. 

  • I can't own expensive sunglasses. Like RayBans (even though I want them so bad). They will likely be stepped on, sat on, or lost.

  • I really really want to go to Europe.

  • My favorite movie (this week) is Father of the Bride.

  • My mom, little sisters, and me all wear the same size clothes. It's like having four closets to shop from!

  • "BAE" gets on my nerves. Like it doesn't make sense people, stop saying it.

  • I love love love little kid movies. Give me Disney over a horror movie any day.

  • I had horribly tragic fashion sense and hair style choices as a kid growing up in the 90s. Like it was bad.

  • I'm the oldest of three (and sometimes don't look or act like it) #notsorry

  • I love LOVE--which is why I like planning weddings and can't wait to get married. Oh and plus I love Josh too, duh. 

Yay for being almost 23!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"The Mexican Disaster"

The title of this post is dedicated to the margarita that Joshua struggled to finish on our date last night. And, the fact that I couldn't very well name it SHIT STORM


----------------------------------------------------------------------


So I have braces. It's not glamorous. Eating with them, is hassle more so than not.

At dinner with the boyfriend, I start half brushing/half picking at them. which is gross OK I know--this actually spurred the story I'm about to tell you. Anyways. 

It all started with Joshua ordering the "Mexican Disaster". See below. Me, being the ah-mazing girlfriend I am, started asking how his day at work went. You know the usual date type of question. He told me he felt like superman, like "the man"--meaning he had a great day. I would say he can be a little arrogant, butttttt, OK no he can be. That's why I love him and apparently the people love him, too.

Pictured above **the Mexican disaster** which took him like 10 years to finish

After about half of the "Mexican Disaster" was gone, he remembered. Something about tequila, makes you remember things you are trying to forget? Or is it the other way around...

He remembered the tragic, degrading incident that happened that day at work. And I wish he hadn't told me over dinner. Brace yourselves people. There's really no easy or gentle way to say this...


Apparently, someone shit in a dressing room at work. Like there's no sugar coating it. I can't sensor it because that's what happened. I really can't make this up. And it was too funny/shocking of a story not to tell. 

First of all, who the heck HELL does that in a dressing room.... In a PUBLIC PLACE!?!? 

*I'm sitting across the table from him, at this point, with my jaw on the floor*

Second of all, if for some reason that does happen to you, do NOT keep shopping and trying things on. I will now forever wash everything I buy before wearing it...just in case.

Like I'm sorry what? 

I'm suddenly thankful for all of the crazy people I deal with at work. Because, hey, at least they don't use the bathroom in places other than...the bathroom!

And the kicker is, guess who had to clean it up? Yep, that's right Joshua. 

*at this point I'm trying not to throw up--literally gagging* 

...at least I know he will be good with kids? 

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With no other way to wrap this up and nothing else to say about the matter (because I'm in still utter shock) 

People everywhere,  please do not shit in dressing rooms--because I said so oh and because IT'S COMMON SENSE NOT TO. That is all.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Art of Mastering the Tube

Tubing is not a summer time activity for the faint of heart. It takes skill and muscles. Lots of muscles--and if you have none, believe me, you will always be sore for an entire week after.

It's been a weekend thing (basically for every weekend this summer) to take Josh's brand new boat out for a tubing trip. So I consider myself an expert of sorts. Except I'm really not an expert at all. I'm a big weenie--like I'm so scared of being eaten by sharks (in the river) and being abandoned in the water (them not realizing I fell off and never coming back--then getting eaten by sharks). 

Regardless, I have some tips to share.

1. Brace Yourself for Impact.



2. Look out for inclement weather (i.e. funnel clouds).
It doesn't look like much here, but before I thought to snap a picture of it, the funnel was stretching down towards the ground! So scary.
3. Have a driver you trust.
Great driver, good looking, and a cute four-legged side kick. Perfection.

4. Hold on tight. (I mean look at the concentration on those faces)



With legs, elbows, abs, everything. Like I said before,  you WILL be sore.


5. Have fun!
P.S. That's my mom. She's having a blast!
Have a great holiday weekend..
Because I said so!

Friday, July 4, 2014

An Evening at the Park

Happy Fourth of July! 

I actually celebrated the fourth yesterday at the park with my family. Food, music, good company, and fireworks at the end: the perfect way to end the short work week and the perfect way to start the long weekend. One thing I will say, it was very HOT--typical Louisiana summer night and not for the faint of heart.

Like Father like Daughter



Trying out the self timer. Take one.


Sister Pic! #summerinlilly


There were tons of people at the park--a sea of people in each direction. Usually crowds make me slightly nervous, but I was enjoying myself too much to worry about anything really. Plus when you get my family together, anything goes. We are loud, silly, always laughing--yep we are THAT family. 






I'm still trying to learn how to use my camera, so this is the only semi-decent picture of the fireworks that I got. Today we will be hanging by the pool and not doing much of anything--just the way I like it! I hope your fourth is filled with family, fun, and all things America (because I said so).