Because I Said So: February 2015
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The (Gym) Rat Pack

Working out is probably one of the hardest things for me to keep up with. There are days when I just want to stay snuggled under the covers in the morning or promptly snuggle back under the covers when I get home from work.

But, a few weeks ago, I did something crazy.

I joined a gym. With Josh. AND we have a "family" membership which makes me want to giggle.

At his urging, and to get my money's worth--I've started to venture back into the gym after a long hiatus. Newsflash: It's really hard to go to the gym by yourself. Now that I only see Josh like three times a week (on the weekends), that's the only gym time I get because he's there pushing me.

Obviously, I wouldn't classify myself as gym rat. Believe me. I did Pure Barre for awhile, but lets face it, who has that kind of money? Not me. I also get very bored, very easily. So, after digging back through some files from college, I found a workout plan that I paid a personal trainer to outline for me--which is helping me some, but snuggling still wins more than half the time.

While trying to find my workout groove, I can't help but people watch--the real gym rats.

There's the big, hairy, sweaty man grunting on the free weights.
The old lady on the elliptical--good for her!
My boyfriend getting his workout on across the room, winking at me occassionaly--he's such a flirt.
The personal trainer with his groupies.
The super skinny girl with impeccable taste in workout clothes.

And then there's me with these thoughts running through my head (while I should be running).
Oh, is that HGTV on? I think I'll just sit here and watch it.
But I don't want to do burpees in front of everyone--it's embarrassing.
Wait am I actually sweating?
Am I skinny yet?
Beyoncé is my jam.
Ugh super skinny girl walks by. Hate her. Love her. Where can I get her outfit?

Let's face it, I'm only at the gym so I can get a decent shower with super hot water and phenomenal water pressure.

How do you stay motivated at the gym?



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Because Josh Said So || Blogger Men Tell All

This is one of my favorite link ups because it gets Joshua involved in blogging! I'm not sure if he likes it as much as I do, but he answered the questions, so that counts for something!


These old pictures never actually get old to me--I love them!

Q: What is your favorite winter hobby?
A: Watching the NFL Playoffs (yep, you can't get him out from in front of the TV for anything!)

Q: Did you do anything special for your blogger on February 14th?

A: Wine + dine, took her to a movie, and surprised her with flowers (he spoils me)

Q: What’s your favorite kind of candy?

A: Skittles (he's not a big "candy" person so I'm shocked he even picked one)

Q: Which Rom-Com would you choose to watch while you snuggle up with your Valentine?

A: Date Night (Jeremy, I'm going to go home and fart in a shoebox--I freaking love this movie, nice choice!)

Q: Who, in your opinion, is the best US president ever?

A: George Washington (I would've chosen Kennedy, but to each his own)


Becoming Adorrable


Monday, February 23, 2015

Pale-Oh Boy

This blog has largely documented my successes and failures on the journey of getting fit and healthy. This time around, I've decided to try the Paleo diet lifestyle. My younger sister Carol has been sticking with it for about 2-3 weeks now, so I thought I'd give it a go. She's thirteen, how hard can it be? VERY HARD.

The basis of the lifestyle is that you only eat things that our ancestors, the cavemen, ate. So, in short, that means no diary, no processed foods, and no bread. Cavemen didn't have a means of sustaining lifestock or baking bread. Of course, you can choose how strict you want to be--I love my dairy, so I will probably try to sneak cheese in wherever I can. According to most blogs/books I've read, you can have cheat meals during the week. Meaning, a glass of wine with dinner would be a cheat...not an appetizer, dessert AND wine. 

It will be a HUGE challenge as I'm super picky, don't eat a lot of vegetables, don't cook, and I'm not really into trying new things. But, I'm also excited about cutting all of the junk out of my diet and interested to see how I feel after.

Pinterest is my new best friend when it comes to recipes (you can check out my "skinnyminny" board for pins). And I'll be documenting my journey, so come back and check the blog for updates, as well as, Instagram.

For now, I'll leave you with this recipe for Paleo Banana Nut Bread--it's national banana nut bread day according to Instagram. This recipe was surprisingly easy, but everything is easier when you are cooking with your mom. Originally from the book "Paleo for Beginners", but tweaked a little to make it even better.



Here's what you'll need:
3 ripe bananas (the ones we used we so brown I thought they weren't edible...turns out, that's what ripe means)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup of honey
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of coconut milk (which is the thick layer at the top of canned coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups of almond flour
3 tablespoons of tapioca flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
pecan pieces

Here's what you'll do:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil (we used Pam). Line bottom with parchment paper and grease that too.
3. In a large bowl, beat bananas, eggs, honey, coconut oil, and coconut cream together until well mixed. We used a hand mixer. Make sure most of the lumps from the bananas are out.
4. In a smaller bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients (not including the pecans).
5. Combine wet + dry ingredients and mix well.
6. Pour into loaf pan and garnish the top with the pecan pieces.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.



ENJOY and wish me luck!




Friday, February 20, 2015

The Friday Five

It just seems like it was the weekend thanks to having Tuesday off--some people had a long weekend with President's Day being Monday; instead I worked Monday and had Tuesday off thanks to Fat Tuesday!

Still, having a break in the middle of the week was much needed and appreciated.


1. City Greens. So many people have been raving about this place and I have to say, I'm going to be one of them. I don't even like vegetables, but it's like I can't even taste them. I posted a picture of my gorgeous salad (can salads be gorgeous?) on Instagram, but here it is again.


(Salad: Bibb lettuce, seared tuna, seared tofu, bleu cheese, wontons, fig vinaigrette dressing) (Juice: tangerine, grape, grapefruit, lemon, and volcano salt). I'm not intentionally trying to go Paleo, Vegan, or whatever fad diet is out there--just trying to make healthier choices. P.S. This is lunch today!



2. I got a new domain name! Because I Said So can now be found at allisonsaysso.com (in case you didn't already use that URL to get here). I'm still working out a few of the kinks, but for the most part it was easy to set up.



3. Why do some days seem to go by faster than others? I work the same 8ish hours a day at the office, yet some days fly by and some drag. Take Monday for example. Knowing I had Tuesday off should have made the day go on forever, but then I blinked and it was 4:30. Here's hoping the same happens today!


4. Drink More Water. I read an article about drinking more water (I know, my life is oh so exciting). But one expert said to drink one water bottle every (3) waking hours and according to the First Lady (via an article I read on Facebook) says you should drink 91 ounces of water a day. Regardless of the exact number, I know for a fact that I'm not drinking enough water--I drink like a sip or two total for the whole day. So, in the past few days, I've tried to make a conscious effort to drink more. (Not pictured: the water bottle sitting next to me--so far I've finished half of it)


5. When it rains on the weekend, what's a girl to do? Go to the movies, of course! Am I the only one who keeps a running list of movies I want to see in my phone? Current list includes: Pitch Perfect 2, Cinderella, The Age of Adeline, Tomorrow Land, The Loft, and The Boy Next Door.


TGIF!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Location, Location, Location

When it comes to your wedding, location is everything.

Don't believe me? The venue is one of the first things you look to book. If they don't have your date, you may be forced to look elsewhere and/or change your date. Which is huge!

You want your wedding venue to do a few things: reflect the theme of your wedding/set the tone for the evening, reflect who you are as a couple, and be within your budget. With hundreds and hundreds of venues to choose from in the New Orleans area alone, I'm highlighting one of my favorites....

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

....The New Orleans is the Lakefront Airport Terminal. I may be a bit biased since the company I work is in charge of the space. But I'm not exaggerating when I say this space is breathtaking. Revived from it's crumbling state after Hurricane Katrina, it is increasingly becoming a very popular venue.

Art Deco. Airplanes. Recently Restored. Need I say more. When you walk in, it transports you back to a time and place where jazz bands played and life was simpler.

I've spent a lot of time in this space: working different events, eating at the cafe with my family for every birthday or special occasion we can think of, and selling it to clients. I could gush and write about the space all day long, but I'll let these fabulous pictures by GK Photography do the talking. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!


The Walnut Room

The Walnut Room


The Atrium
The Atrium

Pictures from the Grand Opening by GK Photography.
 
 

Can't you just picture the grandest of grand events being held here?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Teeny Tiny Houses

Our society is based on more, more, and even more. Maybe that's why I find the whole "tiny house" movement so intriguing. That and, I've been watching Tiny House Nation (a lot) on FYI and I'm slightly obsessed. Obsessed in a weird, I could never do that but good for you type of way.

I actually watched this episode last night! They family in this tiny house has two small children! 


All of the living is done in about 300-500 square feet (way smaller than my apartment). Most of the tiny house dwellers are families or couples, not single people! I'm still amazed at how four people can fit and function and not want to kill each other in barely any space.


This house is less 400 square feet!
I love to sit and daydream about living in one of these tiny houses: reducing my carbon footprint, being more eco friendly, and less materialistic. But, the reality of it: I'm already outgrowing my "tiny" apartment. The bathroom and lack of counter space in the bathroom and the kitchen drives me (and Josh) nuts.  For reference folks, my apartment is about 700-800 square feet. 

If I could stay in a tiny house on a vacation, I'd definitely sign up for that. Otherwise, I'm not entirely sure I could do it full time.

Would/could you live in tiny house?







Monday, February 16, 2015

LOVE-ly Instagram Recap




I love when my Instagram feed is bright and cheery. I have Whitney of Heart and Arrow Designs to thank for that--ever since I took her Instagram class, I've been more conscious of what I post and I think it's been working!


These last few days my Instagram has been reflecting Valentine's Day. It's only one day, but it basically lasted the whole last part of the week, hence all of the Instagrams!

1. Josh and I during my senior pictures six (almost seven) years ago! He crashed my session, hence why he's still in his uniform shirt. These are some of my favorite pictures, to this day. We look like little babies!


2. Mimosas + Chocolate Covered Strawberries. A must have breakfast on Valentines Day. Confession: I only had one bite of the strawberries. So breakfast was mostly mimosas. #sorrynotsorry


3. These beautiful flowers were delivered to work along with this sweet note the Thursday before Valentine's. Like I said earlier, Valentine's Day is usually just a day, but it was a drug out for a few days this time and that was completely ok with me!


4. Cupcakes on Cupcakes on Cupcakes. Friday before Valentine's, I just had to get out of the office and was craving a sweet treat.  Don't worry, I only ate one (okay maybe two!).

In short, I had the best weekend and I'm sad it had to end. On another note, I have off tomorrow and who doesn't love a random day off of work?!

Friday, February 13, 2015

It's Friday I'm in Love

There's nothing like a highly anticipated weekend to make you think that Thursday is actually Friday (this actually happened to me as I woke up on Thursday morning--imagine the disappointment). But, it's now Friday (for real) and I couldn't be more excited for the weekend and to share my (four) favorite things this week.

NOTE: I'm one of those suckers who actually likes Valentine's Day. This one specifically because now that Joshua has been on the job hunt, I've barely seen him. I'm winning all of the bread and he is a stay at home dog-dad (hello, I've always wanted to be the stay at home dog parent; no fair). So for our sixth Valentine's together, we've decided not to do gifts, for obvious reasons.


1. Quality Time is the real gift here. He's already done an ah-mazing job, thus far, by surprising me at work with flowers. I don't think he's ever "surprised" me with flowers, so I kind of almost cried when I read the note. Isn't he the sweetest. Our plans (which we haven't quite nailed down yet) include a wide range of options: champagne (me), working out (Joshua), and romantic movies!

From my Instagram :)
2. No box of chocolates or oodles of Valentines candy for me this year. I am trying to win the bet here. If you are just tuning in, Josh is all kinds of competitive. So, we made a bet that whoever could lose/gain 14 pounds first gets treated to dinner of their choice. Let's just say, in eight pounds, I will be dining like a queen.
 
3. Acoustic Covers of popular songs. Here I am, mentioning Spotify AGAIN (not sponsored, but like who can I talk to about that). But like, if you haven't perused their playlists, do it. You won't regret it. It really helps the work day fly by.
 
4. This commercial. Mostly because hello it's the Robin Hood song + cute animals. Plus, I know all of the words and I dare you to not sing along.
 


 
 Have a great weekend!
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When Everyone's Getting Married but You

Currently people in my life are divided into three categories: not married, married, and married/together with kids. If you fall into the first category (like myself) and will be checking the SINGLE box on your taxes this year, this post is for you.



"Really?! She got in engaged before me??" 

"They've only been dating for ___ months/years!" 

"I didn't even know they were dating?!"

"#singleforlife"

"Help. EVERYONE IS GETTING MARRIED OR POPPING OUT BABIES OR BOTH!"

"I don't think I can handle another save the date."


Admit it, you've thought at least one of these...ok, maybe all.  So, how do you cope?

First of all, you and I are in need of a reality check. No, not everyone is getting married or having children. There's your little brother or sister, your co-worker, etc. There are millions of people not married and *gasp* not even dating anyone. 

I know how you feel. I worked in the wedding industry for two years and have been dating my boyfriend for 7 years and counting.  I'm either constantly planning/thinking about my wedding or fielding questions of if/why I'm not married yet. 

Know that anyone can get married. And consequently divorced. So don't rush it.

It's not a race. Duh.

There's so much more to life than just getting married. Learn to love yourself and accomplish your personal goals first. Getting married doesn't make you cooler and it doesn't make everything that's bad in your life disappear. It just makes you married. 



Trust the timing of your life.




Monday, February 9, 2015

What's My Age Again

Growing up is optional right? Because I'm not sure I'm ready for it. I'll be twenty-four this year (let's just let that sink in for a hot second). I'm due for a life crisis soon, the future scares me, and I just  don't think I'm ready or qualified to be an adult. 

Don't believe me? Read on.



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I only eat chicken if it's in the form of dinosaurs. (seriously, lately I hate any chicken that isn't in nugget form--the dinos only make it more fun)


I don't eat vegetables.


I have no earthly idea how to do my taxes + I'm not a very good money manager.


I can't keep my room (much less my apartment) clean for more than a few hours.


I'd rather buy new dishes/clothes than wash them.


I'm a terrible cook (even though I've had some small successes lately).


I still watch Disney movies.


The thought of having to care for another human being terrifies me.


Cake for breakfast sounds a lot better to me than eating healthy + working out.


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

So don't mind me, I'll be over here coloring in my coloring book and refusing to grow up.  Have a nice day.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Review of "ReVieux"

This is NOT a sponsored post even though it is a review of my cousin's Etsy store. All opinions are my own, as always.

My cousin Jessica, owner of the Etsy boutique "ReVieux", has always had impeccable taste. Ever since I was a little kid, I've always looked up to her. If she had markers in a Global Wildlife cup, I was going to put markers in that over-sized cup. (actually I still do). Her room was super colorful, so was mine. Random, I know, but: her style left a lasting impression on me.

She has now put her love for all things vintage and creative to work for her: her Etsy shop "ReVieux."

Which is really perfect because I'm always looking for something different when it comes to jewelry. I don't like to have the same earrings or necklaces that thousands of other people have. I want jewelry that has a meaning; that has a past.

I recently bought these earrings and a necklace from her and absolutely love them! I could wear the necklace everyday--it's perfect for layering (as are a lot of the necklaces she makes).

The earrings are a perfect length (and weight) because I'm picky about "dangly" earrings. And they are such a classic color and design that they can really dress up any outfit.

Now, it's your turn for a chance to win a piece from ReVieux! In all honesty, I had to stop my younger sister, Carol, from buying the piece so I'd be able to give it away. Also fun fact: the button on this necklace was actually part of my great grandmother's button collection!







a Rafflecopter giveaway






Friday, February 6, 2015

"Insta"nt Inspiration

Everyone has their favorite Instagram accounts. The ones where no matter what they post it's always beautiful, has a witty caption, and causes you to double tap almost out of necessity.

This week I've been on a roll putting all of my favorites (of anything) into a list. Here are my top accounts to inspire your weekend! (And while you're at it, follow me!)

@chateaugudanes: I love a good renovation and this one is the ultimate. It's basically an account dedicated to documenting on family working to restoration/cleanup a 17th century Chateau in the French countryside. It's really, really neat the things that they've been uncovering! History + DIY = Heaven.



@WomenIRL: ("women in real life") Monitored by the people of Real Simple magazine, this account is as real as it gets. No fancy staging and no fancy filters to be seen. It's mostly disasters that kids and pets get themselves into. Think: kids with markers all over them, wrecking the house--everything that actually happens in real life. It's a good laugh and always 100% real. 



@WhitV/HeartandArrowDesign: Ok so, technically two accounts...Whitney owns Heart and Arrow Design and recently redesigned my blog! I look to her for all inspiration. She just bought a store front for her store "Heart and Arrow" and I can't wait to see how she styles it! #girlboss


@SouthernWeddings: Of course a wedding account had to make it on the list, duh! Can you have more than one wedding? Because this account definitely makes me have all the feels and want to plan 5 different weddings.

@brightonkeller: My favorite thing about Brighton is that she's a fabulous fashionista, but stays grounded. She posts Bible verses and blurbs from devotionals she's reading and is very inspiring in her faith, as well as, her #ootd posts.

@carly: (The College Prepster) She's the first blogger I ever followed. She continues to be inspiration as her brand grows. Plus she lives in the greatest city ever and has the cutest puppy ever!


@thegrovestreetpress: I still have yet to visit the shop here in NOLA, but if you like stationery, things arranged neatly, and cute dogs, you'll love this account!



P.S. I'm always looking for new people to follow! What are your favorite accounts?





Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Favorite Wedding Planning Resources

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming and very stressful. But, it doesn't have to be. There are so many wedding tools out there and today I've made your search a little easier by rounding up my favorites!


Southern Weddings: If the whole layout of their website doesn't make you want to swoon, then you're doing something wrong. They have pages on pages of real weddings, interviews, and tips. I literally read four pages straight of weddings and was slightly sobbing by the time I got through (the engagement stories really get me). So much inspiration and they are a magazine too--I have yet to get my hands on it, but if it's anything like it's website, I'm sure it's fab.

Favorite Story: Burying the Bourbon (A Southern tradition that I didn't even know existed!)
Favorite Tool:  The Planner
Obsessed with: Their Shop (my sister got my mom the Tshirt "Oh my stars" for Christmas and she loved it!)

Pinterest: Duh. Show me any girl and I will show you her "Dream Wedding" Board (or something a long those lines). So many pins, so little time. Here's mine, for example. I'm almost positive this is the board with the most pins on my Pinterest!



Borrowed and Blue: This website is unique because it allows to you see actual weddings from your area. Locally inspired weddings = their slogan. Thinking about getting married in Central Park? There's likely already been a wedding there and you can draw inspiration from it (what colors they used, what local vendors they used, etc.) I could spend hours (and actually have) reading about the New Orleans ones.

The Knot: What doesn't this website have? Dresses, Real Weddings, Local Vendors--it's a one stop shop!  You do have to make an account, which makes it a little like Pinterest, but only for weddings!


It's always a good idea to check out the local wedding magazines in your area. They often have bridal shows and are stuffed full of information specific to your area. I work with "New Orleans Bride Magazine" and "N.O.W magazine" on a professional level and they are just the best. They each have a different take on the same city. You can even submit your wedding and it could be published!

P.S: N.O.W (short for New Orleans Weddings) has a bridal show coming up on February 25th!



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Real Winners/Losers of Super Bowl XLIX

The Patriots and the Seahawks weren't the only winners and losers of the Super Bowl. Possibly even more important and more anticipated than the outcome of the game were the commercials.

This year, the commercials were all about the feels. All of the feelings. Dads with kids, kids by themselves, puppies. I mean come on. Killing me, smalls.

The winners:

#Like a Girl. I've seen this one before and it is oh so right. "Like a girl" can mean great things!



Fiat: Blue Pill. I'm glad I don't have kids that I need to explain this one to. If you were watching with a bunch of adults you probably smirked as I did. Although, for the record, I thought the priest was going to end up taking the pill.



Bud Light Pac Man. If this existed in real life, I might actually drink Bud Light. A giant, life-size Pac Man? My inner nerd just jumped for joy. Even the boyfriend got excited about this commercial.





The losers:

McDonald's. Enough with the feels. By this time, I was over it. So let me get this straight, McDonald's has money for this Super Bowl ad, but no money for decent bathrooms or money to fix the broken ice cream machine inevitably in every single McDonalds you go to? Where is the justice. Plus, it makes you fat and you will die. (Hello, SuperSize Me--scarred me for life.) Clearly, I'm not a fan of Mickie D's.




Nationwide: OMG THE WORST. Just no. When it first came on, I thought, "oh no, not another commercial with a kid in it." Then it got worse. It's a good message and all, like I don't want kids to die, but the Super Bowl was not the place or time to show this. Talk about a buzzkill. Especially when there were so many sobering commercials before it.






Monday, February 2, 2015

Getting through the Super Bowl #LikeAGirl

The Super Bowl. You either hate it, love it, or moderately tolerate it.

I fall under the category of: moderately tolerating. 

Confession: I had no intention of actually paying attention, but when 4+ guys are yelling at the TV, it's kind of hard NOT to get involved.

What I thought was going to be a party of 2, turned into a party of 8. What I thought was going to be a relaxing afternoon after a long morning of work, turned into stress the minute Josh's mom suggested that I help cook (for the now 8 person party). I don't cook. I can help you burn down the kitchen, but I don't cook. But I decided to embrace my inner #girlboss and take on the challenge.

Not only did I NOT burn down the kitchen or start any fires for that matter. I actually made buffalo wings! They were way easier to make than I thought!


Here's what you'll need:
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Chicken Wings
1/2 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup of hot pepper sauce

ADD: Some confidence

Super Easy to Follow Instructions:
1. Pre-Heat Oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Line pan with foil and grease with cooking spray (highly important)
3. Mix flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder in a plastic bag.
4. Add chicken wings + shake.
5. Mix melted butter and hot sauce. Then dip wings (so they are covered with sauce).
6. Place wings on to greased pan and put in the oven for 45 mins. 
(Note: Flip wings half way throughout)


And viola! Buffalo Chicken Wings.

The perfect Super Bowl (or any kind of party) snack. Not only did I cook #likeagirl, I cooked #likeaboss and everyone loved it!

P.S. My favorite Super Bowl ad, hands down, was #LikeAGirl.