Thursday, January 30, 2014

Surviving the Snowpocalypse

 If you haven't heard, it snowed here...and people freaked.


First things first, Mike and I both count ourselves blessed to be among the few that made it home safely mid-day on Tuesday. I still cannot believe the chaos that a mere dusting of snow can cause. There's a lot of finger pointing happening after adults and children were stranded for 20+ hours. 

My Snow Bug


Here's my takeaway:  Snow is the south is actually pretty scary. I definitely didn't fully understand the magnitude of what it meant for it to snow here. I always thought the people down here just had some sort of Wicked Witch of the West type phobia of snowfall. Not the case. These people, this city, this state is not equipped for snow, period. I get it now.

On a lighter note, we had a cozy day at home. Starting with a yummy pancake breakfast:



Then for lunch we made our way to the park. Lot's of sledding and happiness there. Looks like all the ITP people were saved from the worst of it.



We ended up with just under 2 inches in metro Atlanta, and all of it should be gone by the weekend when it's projected to get into the 60s.


Sledding in Peidmont. There were a lot of unconventional sled choices :)

Wishing you all a safe and happy week!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow in the forecast, Weekend Recap, and an Itsy Bitsy BABY???

HELLLLOO! I'm feeling good about this Monday. Maybe because we made good use of the weekend...or maybe I'm just very well rested. Either way I've got positive Monday feelings enough to share. Grab a handful...or two.


Guys, guess what??? There's snow in the forecast tomorrow...with ACCUMULATION. Eeeeee! I've told Mike that I won't be happy moving until we've seen the city shutdown over some flurries. Fingers-crossed for us guys. I'd love a cozy work from home day on Wednesday.

I'm realizing as I start to write the recap that I'm a little light on pictures. Sorry. You'll have to use your noggins :)



First things first we made it to the climbing gym twice! And on trip two we hit up the work-out area. There's some seriously nice equipment up there. Mike and I have agreed that we should try to get a quick mile run in after each climb. Moral of the story, turns out it's not always a jinx to talk about climbing ;)

In DIY news...
I made the decal. It turned out really nice. I think if I make another I've got some plans to clean it up a bit, but I'm happy with this one. It was pretty cold last night too so I think it's good and stuck on the window. It was looking very professional this morning.

Sconnie Love


Drumroll please. We have an announcement to make...

Mike got the baby in my work's King Cake! Oh wait...you didn't think I was talking about a real baby did you?? Hehe haha. I know both mommies are reading this now, and I couldn't resist (hi moms!). 

Anyway if you still don't know what I'm talking about, King cakes are a traditional celebratory cake from New Orleans typically eaten on Mardi Grais. Inside the cake is a small plastic baby. The person who finds the baby in their piece gets good luck.

Let's review the timeline: The cake is delivered to work to celebrate the completion of the year-end provision. Mike interviews with the Children's Hospital. I get coerced into bringing home a piece of cake for Mike. Mike finds the baby. An hour later Children's emails for a 2nd round interview. Coincidence....or baby magic?? I'll let you decide.

Happy Monday! Let's start the week by wishing for a Snow Day :)



Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Forecast!

Whatcha doin'? Nothin', climbing at the local rock gym...(if you didn't read that to the tune of Holiday Inn, you missed out)


BAAA--AAAA---RRRRRRRRRRR! Right? It's cold here, so it's probably even colder where you are. You poor things. Go get a blankie...or a blankie cleverly disguised as a sweater. I love my work appropriate blankets :)

Besides cozy-ing up with blankets and fluffy socks all weekend, Mike and I have a few other activities planned:

1) Back to the Summit. I almost hesitate writing this here. We've tried all week to go after work, but keep getting foiled by other things. We're beginning to think that planing to go climbing is a jinx.



2) The Healthiest Grocery Run EVER...Although hopefully it will become our new normal. We going to be shopping the heck out of the perimeter.



3) Bug Luv. My little bug-a-lug is going to get some lovin' in the form of a new rear window decal. I got a bunch of adhesive vinyl from my sis-in-law for Christmas, and I'm dying to put it to use. The project will be loosely based on these instructions, EXCEPT that I have a handy-dandy digital cutting machine :) The design will be something like this:




Happy Friday! Try not freeze out there!





Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Juice Cleanse Review!

Sound the Trumpets! We made it through our 3-day juice cleanse!




I've got a multimedia review for you today, words, pictures and VIDEOS! I know you are dying to get all the deets so let's get right into it!



We got our juice from a local Arden's Garden location. For information about ordering the Love Your Liver cleanse for yourself, check out their website: http://www.ardensgarden.com/. Or if you live in the Atlanta area, just stop in your local store.



Included with the juices were instructions on what to drink when. We also made ourselves a countdown for the fridge for motivation. And of course nothing feels better than crossing things of a list!

How's it Taste??

This is probably the MOST important thing to consider when choosing to do a cleanse. You won't feel any of the benefits if you can't stomach the juice. And how did our juices taste? To find out, watch us try them for the first time:


How Do Ya' Feel??

Hopefully if you're able to stick with the cleanse, you'll be feeling pretty good, but with all detox-y type things there can be some bumps along the way. Some detox symptoms can include: headaches, nausea, or fatigue. All are signs that you body is kicking out the bad stuff, but that can be hard to remember while your in the midst of it. So how were we feeling during the cleanse? Check out our Day 1 & 2 Recaps to find out:



To see how we were feeling at the end of Day 3, check out the video below:



Results??

We are on Day 2 post-cleanse and are feeling pretty good. I'm feeling lighter and have got an extra pep in my step. I've lost my holiday food feasting blah feeling and am energized to make healthy decisions.Though it wasn't our goal, Mike and I are both down a few pounds. Of course, it's probably not anything permanent, as cleanse weight-loss can often be attributed to water weight.

More important than the physical results were the mental. The cleanse acted as a great re-set for us. We realized how much of a role food plays in our daily "entertainment". Instead of thinking "what's for dinner" we are trying to think about "what can we do for fun tonight" and hopefully joining the climbing gym will help with that. 

Another exciting result of the cleanse came on Monday morning when Mike and I found ourselves in the kitchen tossing out anything with sugar in it. I've talked about trying to kick my sugar habit for a long time, and I think 3 days without the white stuff was just the kick in the butt I needed. Now before you freak out, know that we still have natural sweeteners in the house like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dates, and agave. 

Tips for First Time Juice Cleansers:

1.) Find a Juice Buddy. It was a million times better having Mike in on this with me. Misery loves company, right?!  Anyone you can convince to try this out with you will help, but convincing the person you spend most of your meals with will be best. Think outside the box. Maybe your co-worker would want to try it out too.

2.) Try to Find a Local Juice Bar: To maximize nutrient content and detox effectiveness, juice cleanse juice is not pasteurized and does not contain preservatives. In addition, 17-18 bottles of juice per person can be pretty heavy. All that can add up to some pretty hefty shipping costs. If you can find a local juice bar, you can save some money. Bonus: you might find a cool new alternative to the coffee shop!

3.) Consider Taking Time Off: This one depends on your specific situation. If you have busy days with lots of activity and excitement, you might be better off keeping your normal routine. If you are like me and sit at a desk all day, it might be nice to do the cleanse on non-work/school days so you can go out and do something fun...like rock climbing for example :) We used the MLK holiday to take a 3 day weekend without dipping into my PTO.

4.) Do Some Pre-work: I think my MUCH improved cleanse experience might be due to my cleaned up diet. Dairy, meat, processed food, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol are all contributors to the toxins in your body. Taking a breaking from these foods in the days leading up the cleanse might help to reduce the negative detox-y feelings.

Would Ya Do it Again??

Totally! I can definitely see this being an annual post-holiday thing for us. I know people who do week-long cleanses every 3 months. After having such a positive experience, I'm definitely open to doing juice cleanses on a more regular basis.

Let me know what you think about juice cleanses in the comments section below. Would you give try? Happy Slurping!



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Climb and Climb Again!

Welcome back to the work week! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend regardless of it's length!


Mike and I had a super awesome amazing weekend. AND it ended up being a 3-day weekend as I had hoped! Woot Woot!

Arden's Garden 3-Day  Love Your Liver Cleanse


First things first, the juice cleanse went GREAT! I'm seriously a little shocked by how well it went. I'll be doing a full review later this week so stay tuned. Also, I want to note that as of my writing this post, I'm still kind of on the cleanse. We ended up with some extra juice, so I'm still enjoying the lemon wake-up and the breakfast Carrot-MultiMax mix. Nom nom nom..or maybe that should be Slurp slurp slurp :)

The other exciting activity of the weekend was climbing...and then climbing again. We might be addicted. 

Repping the Sconie teams...didn't even plan that.


On Saturday we met up with our buddies Kayla and Kyler at Stone Summit for a belay lesson (cheaper than a day pass and you get open climbing after the class is done). This gym is amazing! They say it's the nation's largest indoor gym, and I believe it. They have some seriously gnarly walls. Watching the experienced climbers scurry up to the ceiling like lizards was pretty inspiring...and a wee bit intimidating.

Look at those lizards! Totally jeals.


No sore muscles the next day meant that we were both itching to go back, and we did on Monday. The gym was less packed, but still bumping. 

After climbing we made our way to Atlantic Station. We got Mike some fancy new shoes to go with his fancy new suit for his big deal interviews on Friday. Positive thoughts are welcomed :) 

After a quick car nap in the Target parking lot (juice cleanse + climbing = exhaustion), we popped into the movie theater to check out Anchorman 2.

My Hero!


It was meh. I was mostly excited to pick out all the ATL locales that were used for filming. Other than that, it was a pretty standard sequel. I say wait for it to make it's way to Netflix. You won't be missing anything.

I've got carrots and hummus ready for lunch, and for dinner Mike and I will be resisting the urge to seriously chow down at Moe's. We've already agreed to skip the chips and salsa, and I'll be getting a Jr. burrito for sure.

Happy Monday Tuesday! Wow this week is flying by ;)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Forecast: Juicing, Belaying, and a 3-day Weekend??

Woot woot! Friday is here. Work is quieting down. Life is good.


This weekend is shaping up to be a fun one. Though I haven't gotten the official ok to not come in on Monday, I've got a good feeling about it. And hopefully it does work out because one of our plans was made with the long weekend in mind....

3 Day Juice Cleanse!

What better way to bring in the new year and repent for our holiday food transgressions than by doing a juice cleanse?? That's what I keep telling myself at least.



Tomorrow marks day one of our Love Your Liver Cleanse from our local juice bar, Arden's Garden. I've tried juice cleanses in the past and have never been able to make it to the end. Looking back I think there were two major factors leading to my demise: 1) I was going it alone, and 2) The juices didn't taste good at all.

Well this time I did some research on different cleanses and even got the hubby on board. To learn more about the Love Your Liver Cleanse check out the info sheet here. Make sure to check in next week to find out how we do.


Belay Lessons

You may remember back in my resolution post that I mentioned cultivating hobbies, and we'll be doing just that this weekend. In addition to chuggin' down the juice tomorrow, Mike and I will also be meeting up with our newly married buddies, Kayla and Kyler, for belay lessons at Stone Summit Climbing Center




Mike and I both have some limited experience with indoor climbing. I even took a belay class a loooong time ago. We've gone climbing together a few times and always walk away from the day thinking, "Why don't we do this more often?" 

Last October we cancelled our gym membership because we had started running outside and because we were looking for places to save some money. When it comes to exercising, I think it needs to be something that above all else you LOVE to do. I hate when working-out feels like work, and I'd much rather just try to stay active throughout the day than to spend an hour or two killing myself in the gym.

After making some big changes to how we spend our money, I'm starting to see areas where we can afford to spend a little more, and I think rock-climbing could be a great investment: it's active, we can do it together, there's room for growth and development of new skills, and it's such a bad-ass hobby! Bonus: we can totally justify having a rice bucket for the living room.


Looking forward to giving you the update on Monday! HOLD tight til then! (hahaha, hehehe)




Tuesday, January 14, 2014

From Frozen Pipes to Sunglasses and Sweatshirts to Drowning in Work

Oh Hi! Is it not Monday?? Ooops...


Well it's year-end and that means it's crazy time for me and my sistas in accounting. I'm beyond busy and trying to fit 80 hours of work into the next 4 days. Luckily we had a beautiful, sunny Sunday. Here are the highlights:

Sunday walk..out in just a sweatshirt!

Puppy time in the park. Nice view of the Midtown skyline.

Watching Greek and feeling goofy.

Soaking up the sun :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITE! Whole Foods Bar

Willkommen! I thought that for a special Friday treat I'd share one of my favorites. Maybe this could be a thing. I'll tell you about cool stuff. You can tell me about cool stuff. Together we can unlock the secrets of the universe!


For my first ever Friday Favorite I want to tell you about my favorite bar for dinner and drinks...Whole Foods! If you don't have a nearby WF, don't distress. Check out your local natural foods store for prepared food options or even the salad bar at your regular grocery store. If you aren't finding the options you'd like to see submit a comment to the store manager. You never know until you ask :)


Our Neighborhood WF

Without further ado, why I love WF dinners in list form. Enjoy...

The 5 Awesome Things about Whole Foods Bar Dinners (and one bad one):

1.) LOTS of Vegan Options: When it comes to having a wide variety of vegan options, Whole Foods can't be beat. Beyond the salad bar, there's always a wide variety of cool grain and pasta salads, roasted veggies, and hot tofu and tempeh based dishes. Sometimes they even have vegan mac n' cheeze, WIN!

2.) Quick & Easy AND Healthy: I think everyone has those days where by the time you're hungry for dinner, you're energy stores are completely drained. It's always tempting to order in a pizza or Chinese or hit up a drive-thru, but that often means trading health for convenience. Whole Foods bar to the rescue! Now that's not to say that everything in the bar is healthy, but you can balance out your plate with a salad or veggies of your choice. Plus you have complete control over portion size!

3.) Multitasking: Have you ever heard the advice to not shop on an empty stomach? Well, what better time to pick up a few things from the store than after a hearty, healthy meal? We usually take some time during the meal to game plan our shopping list. Sometimes we even find inspiration for meals from our dinner choices.


WHOLE-y Hipster Alert


4.) Fun for the Whole Family: The first time we ate at Whole Foods was right after I went vegan. I was looking for a place with lots of food options for me AND Mike. If his always heavier plate is any indication I think we found a winner. As an extra bonus, they do an amazing job with their food labels. In addition to the name of the item, all of the ingredients and allergen info is also listed. So whether you have dietary restrictions, allergies, an intolerance, or just want to know what's in the food you're eating, you can make an informed decision.

5.) Kombucha! Have you had Kombucha yet?? Go try it. I la-la-love it. But it is on the expensive side and can have a lot of sugar in it so I try to keep it as a once in a while treat. That means that Whole Foods bar dinner is a perfect excuse to enjoy a bottle.

One Bad - Cost: It's not called Whole Paycheck for nothing. On average our plates cost around $10 each. Toss in a $4 kombucha and it's starting to get pricey. However it's still less than our average delivery tab and it get's us out of the house!

Do you have any quick and easy dinner tricks? Share in the comments!

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy Friday. And may your kale salads not taste like grass :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Last First Day

Today is Mike's last first day of school...EVER!


Well maybe not EVER, but at least for the foreseeable future. In just 4 months time he'll have his Last last day, and within the next couple months we'll find out where we'll be living next year. I've certainly said it before, but it's really amazing how fast time has gone. 

I remember when we moved down here. It was very exciting at first. Moving to a brand new city. Finally living in the same place as my wonderful fiance. New apartment to decorate. New neighborhood to explore.

Our first place!


Too quickly the excitement of the brand new wore off. I missed my friends. I missed my family. I missed my old job. And I could not wait for Mike to graduate and for us to move back home. 

Fast forward a year and I found a new job and new friends to hang out with. I love our new apartment. I love our carpools in to work/school. I love our Moe Mondays. We've made a nice little life for ourselves down here in the ATL.

It's amazing that this time that we've been looking forward to has arrived so quickly. I can't believe that we could be moving in just 5 months. Or maybe we won't be...just have to wait to find out.

And Dave with the photobomb win. It's ok. It's his last first day too.


Happy Last First Day, Mike! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meet Our New BFF

Hi Hello! Warm greetings to you on this very chilly Monday.


There hasn't been too much excitement in our house.

We saw Saving Mr. Banks. Two thumbs up from me. Mike's only comment: "It didn't touch me emotionally"....well sorry Mr. Fancy Pants. Didn't know The Hobbit was so emotional for you.

We also watched yesterday's Packer game. Two thumbs down from me...and it was also a little too emotional for Mike. BUT we did get to use our snazzy new coozies from my parents. Cheers to next season!

Extra points for drinking Wisconsin brews!

Keeping in line with my New Year resolutions, we spent the weekend munching on semi-raw dishes. We even tried a new fruit: the Pomelo. It looks like a massive green grapefruit on the outside and a nice pink grapefruit on the inside. The taste was like a less bitter version of grapefruit. So yeah...it's basically just a massive grapefruit. Cool beans.


"Big ones, small ones, ones as big as your head"


On to the exciting part of this post. Mike and I made a new best friend...

His name is Elliot.




He's really cool and blows mist out of his trunk.



He's an elephant.



Oh, and the best part:  he's got GREAT personality! Packaging at it's finest.

You had me at Elliot 

In all seriousness, this dude has been a totally lifesaver as the temperature drops and the air in our house gets dryer by the day. Thanks Elliot!

That's all for today. Try to stay warm and cozy tonight!



Friday, January 3, 2014

No Rules Resolutions 2014

It's that time again. Time to take a look back at all the things you've done in the past year and make some goals for the year ahead.


I have always been a fan of new year resolutions. Something about a clean slate and the promise of a whole new year ahead of you, it's refreshing. 

I've been tossing around some ideas in my head for the past week or so and haven't had too many that have really stuck. In the past, my resolutions have almost always been health/fitness based. Grand plans to exercise everyday and eat super healthy food and stop worrying about the scale (while still magically losing 10 lbs.). Since these ideas keep popping into my head year after year, I think it's safe to say that I've never been particularly successful in achieving them. But maybe successful completion isn't the point.

Maybe more important than the outcome is the process of taking stock of all the things in your life, both good and bad. Taking a step back to think about what you want your priorities to be and comparing all that to how your life is looking right now. Then coming up with new habits to get you back in line with how you want your life to look.

In the past, I've focused on specific, actionable resolutions. Things like: eat a salad every week or work out at least 3 times every week. These are what the HR folks call SMART goals, meaning that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. As an accountant, I love the idea of a perfect goal making formula. But I think it's time for a change.

No more rules. No more formulas. This year is about ME. I'm resolving to throw caution to the wind. Follow my whims. And enjoy the adventure. 

My accounting brain is mumbling in the background right now with ideas like: New Resolutions each Week... or Monthly Themes, but I'm shushing it up. Quiet down you! I've got adventure ahead of me :)

So instead of a year-long resolution, here's a list of things that just sound fun. A 2014 Bucket List of sorts. Enjoy.


1) Travel...to Europe! This is first on the list because it's happening. We've already started planning. We started saving up money last fall with no real idea of what we were saving for. Perhaps a someday house. Perhaps a someday nicer apartment. Perhaps we'll get a nice nest egg started for our someday children. Never did travel even cross our minds, not even "someday travel". Well that's changed. We are going to Europe...in May...first stop Finland. Second and third stops TBD, but I've got my eye on London and Paris.

Source

2) Experiment with Whole and Raw Foods. Ok, this one is health/fitness based BUT I'm not being very specific and I'm not being restrictive. Going vegan has opened my eyes to a whole world of food that I didn't even know existed. I want to keep exploring this year, and I think my first trip will be into the land of Raw. Scary :)


I got this book with some Christmas money. Already enjoying the cauliflower soup. Source 

3) Cultivate a Hobby. Notice I didn't say start or find a hobby. I've done that a million times with a million different things. This year I'm going to clean out my figurative closet of hobbies and pull one out to really focus on developing.  At this very moment I'm thinking sewing might be it, but things like pottery, music, foreign language, and knitting are all stuffed into the closet begging to be let free.






The best part about my bucket list Resolution? I can totally changed this list whenever I want :) No rules, remember.

Happy New Year! I've got a great feeling about 2014.





Thursday, January 2, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Married Christmas Recap

Well hello! It's 2014! YAAYYYY!


This post is going to just be one big ol' recap, mostly done with through photo highlights. Let's dive in.

A Mike and Allie Christmas

This tradition started a couple years ago when Mike and I wanted to have a Christmas gift exchange of our own. At the time, I was living in NYC, and Mike flew in the weekend before Christmas to visit. I bought a cheap-o fake tree from the Duane Reade below my apartment and did my best to make my little place feel homey. 

It's fitting that the tradition started that year becuase that was also our last Christmas as boyfriend/girlfriend. A little over a week later we were back in NYC and Mike proposed.

Last year was our first and only engaged Christmas. Living in Atlanta and traveling home for the holidays we once again opted to exchange our gifts in our home under our tree. This year we did the same, and it's safe to say a tradition has been born.

Nativity handed down from my grandma and grandpa. That was a fun surprise to unwrap.


SNOW Place Like Home for the Holidays

That's right guys. SNOW!! I could not have been more excited to wake up to the sound of plows. It took me right back to my school days. The anticipation the night before a big storm. Rumors of school being canceled. The absolute quiet the swallows up the world when it snows. And then, waking up the the rumble of a plow coming down the street. I'd lie there for a few seconds imagining the winter wonderland that waited outside my window. 

When I peaked out by bedroom window on Sunday morning I was not disappointed. I suppressed a small eeeee! (Mike was still sleeping) and scurried out to the living room to watch the snow fall by the lights of our tree. 

Not too much later I was outside shoveling a path to the hot tub. Nothing beats a hot tub in the winter.

Doodle wanted to join in the fun.



Oh look a wintery clip for you...

video


Mike and I got lucky with our pre-existing holiday traditions. They fit together beautifully with the only downside being a 4 hour drive on Christmas day, but hey, I bet we miss a lot of traffic that way. My family has always been a big Christmas Eve celebrations house. We open our gifts on Christmas Eve. Our traditional holiday meal is our Christmas Eve Reuben. We always, ALWAYS, watch the Grinch (old-school, animated version) after dinner and before present opening. And the first gift to be opened...PJs!

The more matching the better!


Even the pups got in on the action.

video


Socie Winter Olympics

Inspired by the real-life Sochi Winter Olympics happening this year, I thought it would be super fun to have our own Socie Winter Olympics made up of Minute to Win It -style games. We cued up the Olympic anthem, did a quick opening ceremony with team photos, then got into the games.

Finland, Ireland, and USA


We had 6 events: Clothes Pin Drop, Caddy Stack, Speed Eraser, Face the Cookie, Nutstacker, and MarBowling. 



Face the Cookie was pretty hilarious to watch.


video


Sorry to have to say this, but Team USA was not victorious. 



Congratulations, Finland! Olympics well played.