Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Love with Lulu

I made the mistake of checking out my local Lululemon store last week.  Big mistake.  Big, big mistake because I fell in love with everything!  I knew it must be fabulous since it's all anyone wears at my gym despite the crazy price tag for workout clothes. 

I always thought my Target workout clothes were wonderful.  No.  Here are a few of my favorites:
Turbo Tank, $52.00

Spin Me Tank, $52.00
Spin Me Tank

Define Jacket, $99.00
(The salesperson told me this was one of the "must-haves" and most popular Lululemon items)

Wunder Under Crop, $68.00

Acro Crop, $86.00
Peacock feather (love) design actually adds a sticky grip useful for certain Yoga poses
 At least now I know what to ask for at Christmas.  Lululemon Gift Cards please!

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Cast of Dancing with the Stars Announced

DWTS 13 Celebs were just announced and include, along with their given descriptive titles...and some of my thoughts in parentheses:

-  Chaz Bono "The Most Unexpected" (will he dance with a girl?)
-  Nancy Grace "The Courtroom Queen" (I predict she will go home first)
-  David Arquette "King of the Big Scream" (Hope he is paired with Lacey.  Can't you see it!)
-  Ron Artest "The NBA Champion"
-  Ricki Lake "Daytime's Darling"
-  Chynna Phillips "The Pop Princess (Career comeback)
-  Kristin Cavallari "The Reality Sweetheart" (LC wasn't available)
-  Carson Kressly "The Fashion Guru (I expect his outfits to be fabulous)
-  Rob Kardashian - "Reality's Royalty" (The Token Kardashian - so sick of this family!  If one more family member gets cast, the show should be renamed Dancing with the Stars and a Kardashian)
-  J.R. Martinez - "Soap's Real-Life Hero" (Who?)
-  Hope Solo - "The Soccer Superstar"
-  Elisabetta Canalis - "The Italian Beauty" (that girl that Clooney dated)

Weekend Recap

One word to describe this weekend...HOT! 


 Therefore, we did everything we could to stay inside and enjoy the AC, aka movies and eating.

Friday
Dinner with The Farmers at Frank's Chop House.  So yummy!  I had the best plate ever, Shrimps and Grits.  I don't even like grits, but these white cheddar ones with a pepper sauce were amazing.  The boys fell in love with the fried chicken and pork chops. 

Saturday
Jason and I saw not one, but two movies at the theatre which of course included not one, but two meals that consisted of "theatre food."  I'm such a good wife. 

Our Idiot Brother - Great movie, so funny, love Paul Rudd and Zooey Deschanel so much!


Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Horrible movie, so stupid, skip!  Why can't Katie Holmes do a good movie?



Sunday
I met the girls for a morning workout at Define followed by, what else, food!  We had brunch at Epicure Bakery Cafe.  This was a new place for me and was wonderful.  I recommend the Florentine Omellete.  Whatever you get when you go, order a cup of hot tea...trust me!

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Tucker!

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby Tucker! 
You are eight years old today and we love you so much! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Reading List

I love "Beach Reads" often referred to as Chick Lit.  I realize this type of reading isn't going to increase my intelligence, but sometimes it's just nice to read something mindless and fun.  Here are a few that I have enjoyed this summer:

The First Husband - Laura Dave
Typical chick-lit book.  Easy to read and entertaining.
5 out of 5 stars


The Other Woman - Jane Green
I love Jane Green!  This one did not disappoint.  It's about the relationship a woman has with her mother-in-law and how that can affect a marriage.  So glad I do not have a MIL like this one.  I felt so much for this character. 
4 out of 5 stars


French Lessons - Ellen Sussman
This book is almost like 3 stories.  You will enjoy it if you have been to Paris or want to go.  Although I liked it and read in just a few days, it left me wanting to know more about the characters.  Felt a little unfinished
2 out of 5 stars


A Bad Bride's Tale - Polly Williams
Another fun read with some shocking twists. 
4 out of 5 stars


Then Came You - Jennifer Weiner
This is my favorite out of my summer reading.  Even though it's chick lit, Weiner tackles some deeper issues like infertility, alcoholism, and homosexuality...just to name a few.  Very, very good. 
5 out of 5 stars


Another Trip to Pinot's Palette

Last Tuesday I spent the evening at Pinot's Palette drinking wine and painting with my step-sisters Jessica and Nicole, step-mom Karin and Jessica's mother-in-law in from Oklahoma, Christi.  We had so much fun eating, drinking and painting Monet's Water Lillies (or some easy version of it).  Jason humored me and hung my painting up in our house..the laundry room!  Maybe I'm getting better from the last time I went?


Christi, Jessica, Karin, Nicole, Me

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Erin Condren Life Planner - Part Two

Read Erin Condren Life Planner - Part One

It's HERE!  My Erin Condren Life Planner was delivered on Thursday afternoon.  I had an event after work that day so I swung by my place beforehand to pick up the delivery (yes, I was stalking the FedEx online tracker).  I was so bummed at 6pm (when the office closes)that the FedEx truck had not arrived.  I couldn't take one more day of waiting! 

As I was pulling out of my parking garage I saw the FedEx truck!  Yes, I pulled over and asked if I could grab my package.  Slightly psycho?  At least someone else was doing it too..a newlywed wanting his wedding gifts, I learned. 

Stalking the FedEx truck
Even the box is cute!
 Ta Da!  My new Life Planner!  Erin Condren is so great.  The staff was really great after the hacking incident in notifying me and sending updates.  My planner came with so many extra goodies.  Personalized gift labels, calling cards and stickers.  I even received a coupon for $25.00 off my next purchase as an apology for the delay.  So sweet (and smart)...I will definitely be ordering more items soon. 




I had a hard time choosing which pattern to go with.  All of them are so cheerful.  I almost ordered the peacock print since I'm slightly obsessed with all things peacock, but since I do work full-time in a professional, male-dominated setting, I wanted something a little less "cutesy."  This one is perfect for me!

You can read all about the new features on the 2011-12 planners online, but some of my favorite features are the monthly tabs, pocket folder, clear zipper pouch and stickers for marking your various events.  There are blank stickers for personalization and printed stickers that read things like: Hair Appointment, Vegas, Vacation, Wedding, Baby Shower, etc.  All of these are perfect for me!



So happy!  Jason still thinks I'm weird for getting so excited for a planner.  Oh, and don't judge my appearance!  I was just home from an outdoor happy hour in Houston...hello 100 degrees!

Has anyone else ordered an EC Life Planner?  For my Teacher friends out there, EC also has a personalized Teacher's Lesson Planner.
I'm linking up with Meredith so everyone can show their Life Planners! 

Happy Planning!
~Chels

Bragging

Jason recently filmed a promo for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau.  He's so cute! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Reader



I just finished the book, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.  It was wonderful.  I'm looking forward to watching the movie now.  I just requested it on Netflix so I will hopefully get a chance this weekend. 

5 out of 5 stars for the book. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Erin Condren Life Planner - Part One

If you are a regular blogger, blog reader, or tweeter, you have already heard the hoopla over the 2011-12 Erin Condren Life Planners.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Erin Condren is a great company who creates bright and cheery custom planners, calendars, stationary, and more. 

Her fabulous team unveiled the new 2011-12 "Life Planner" about a month ago.  I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered a planner (using my 50% off Plum District coupon of course), but was unfortunately affected when her site was hacked and hundreds of orders were lost.  No worries.  I reordered and my planner shipped yesterday!  Just a few more days of waiting!!!

My husband thinks I have literally lost it for being this excited over a planner.  Last night he said he has never seen me so excited for anything before.  I think this is a slight exaggeration, and told him I was slightly more excited when we got engaged and married, but this may take third place...

I will tell you all about the new planner as soon as I get it.  Until then, jump on over to the official Erin Condren site to order yours or to Meredith's Life Planner Link-Up Party to see everyone's planner (this also makes me feel less crazy). 

Here's to a more organized year!  Just a few cute samples...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Recap

Can't believe it's already Monday again.  This weekend was way too fast. 

Friday
An important restaurant to me and Jason is closing in a week so we decided to go have one last meal at Americas on Post Oak (for you Houston folks, the other locations remain).  We went with Jenni and Chris since they love this restaurant too.  Jason and I had our second date at Americas and Jenni and Chris had their first date there!  I also used to work right next door so this was the place to go and unwind after work.  We paid tribute right by absolutely stuffing ourselves.  We ordered everything from the lobster corn dogs as a starter, to their award-winning steaks, and famous tres leches for dessert.  Good thing I worked out like a maniac the week before. 

Saturday
We all got our butts up early and headed to Matagorda for the weekend.  Jason and Chris fished while Jenni and I shopped and napped.  We went down to the beach at sunset and then headed to dinner. 

I think the Gods were punishing us for eating too much the previous night, because two hours after arriving at the restaurant, we still didn't have our meal and had lost interest in waiting any longer, so we went home dinner-less.  Don't feel too sorry for us though, we brought enough food with us to last for weeks including some amazing tamales. 

We hung out on the deck until way past my bedtime playing games.  Around midnight we were visited by a few raccoons who were the cutest things ever and enjoyed eating our fishing bait and tostitos!  We were dinner-less while the raccoons dined on fish and chips.   

Sunday
Typical Sunday after leaving Matagorda, I did my normal chores while Jason rested.  I'm almost finished with The Reader - such a great book! 

Hope you had a great weekend too despite the unbearable heat! 

Sidenote:  Last weekend, we saw The Change-Up with Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds.  Although I thought it dragged some, it was really funny and Jason LOVED it.  Great date night movie.  Warning though- lots of potty humor, excessive cursing, and some nudity...the family next to us didn't appreciate this and left huffing and puffing halfway through. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Still Missing/A Stolen Life Book Reviews



I recently read Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.  If you haven't read it, run to your nearest book store and pick it up!  I read this in one weekend and could not put it down.  When I did put it down I couldn't stop thinking about it or talking about it with others.  The book is fiction, but feels very real.

Description:  On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.


Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

My review:  Loved it!  This would make a great book club read.  Lots to think about.  The book is told through the main character's therapy sessions (instead of chapters) which I loved.  Although sometimes hard to get through because of the horrific events, the first part of the book is better.  The end dragged a bit for me.  There are twists at the end - don't want to give anything away, but some of the ending seemed a little far-fetched, but maybe not, we do live in a sick world.  5 out of 5 stars. 


Immediately after reading, Still Missing, the Jaycee Dugard memoir, A Stolen Life was released and all over the media so I had to read it.  Even though Still Missing is fiction, there are many similarities in the two books.  Jaycee was only eleven years old when she was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido.  Everything she went through is truly horrific and sad during her eighteen years being held captive.

While a lot of the book is literally hard to imagine and wrap your brain around, this is an amazing story about what a human being can endure.  Even more amazing is how well Jaycee seems to be doing today.  This book makes you thankful for what you have and appreciate every single day.  5 out of 5 stars. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Always Something There to Remind Me

I just finished Always Something There to Remind Me, the latest book by Beth Harbison.  I recommend it to anyone looking for a light, chick-lit book.  Perfect beach-read.  The story is about Erin, an event planner and single mother who starts reminiscing obsessing about her estranged high school boyfriend the second her current boyfriend proposes. 

The book is unique in that every other chapter takes places in the present, while the others are flashbacks to her years in high school.  It is almost like reading two different stories, but it keeps you wanting to read more.  I finished it in about a week.  4 out of 5 stars from me!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pinterest Bandwagon




I know by now you've heard of Pinterest.  I joined a while back, but didn't use it much.  With the ever growing popularity, I logged on this week and started adding boards and pinning more. 

You can follow me if you feel compelled. 

Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Borders Closing Sale: Proceed with Caution

Two weeks ago I received an email from Borders Bookstores about the store closing sale (sad day for them, happy day for me)!  The email advertised 40% off!  So off I went on a Saturday afternoon with a Starbucks in hand ready for some intense book browsing.  Imagine my extreme disappointment when I found out that ALL books were only a measly 10% off!  What a rip off - I can do better at Target, B&N or iBooks.  So I left immediately!

One week later, another email popped in my inbox saying prices have been slashed even more.  You can't fool me Borders...not going...no way...

Until today during my lunch break when I had an extra 30 minutes to kill and a Borders store was in the same shopping center calling my name.  I can't say it was a total waste, but I would proceed with caution.  Most books are 20% off now and they were slightly picked over.  The worst part was that the air conditioning was off (it's 100 degrees today) and so was the usual background music (making it seem eerie).  That mixed with the disheveled look of the store, the disgruntled employees and the long lines (of other suckers like me) made me feel depressed.  The only saving grace was that I found a book I've been wanting to read for $5.00. 

Falsies Mascara



This is my new mascara love: Falsies Volume Express by Maybelline.  The slightly curved brush makes my lashes really long, thick and fanned out.  I've learned not to use too much (just few strokes) or it will clump a bit.  I'm usually not very loyal to my mascara.  I will try the latest on the market, any brand, each time a tube runs out and this one is hands down my favorite!  Hope you like.  Any other great mascaras out there that I should try? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Romantics



I watched The Romantics last week when Jason was out of town and LOVED it.  The movie came out in 2010, but I had never heard of it even though it has an amazing cast: Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Adam Brody, Anna Paquin, Dianna Agron, Candice Bergen, Elijah Wood and my fave, Malin Akerman. 

Plot:  Seven close friends reunite for the wedding of two of their friends. Problems arise because the bride and the maid of honor have had a long rivalry over the groom.


Although some parts are a little slow, I thought it was great.  One to watch with the girls or like in my case, when your guy is away.  Great music too.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Favorite Things


I am getting so much use out of this tote lately!  Some days I use it as a purse, but I've also used it to tote around work projects and for a road trip bag.  It's cute on it's own, but can be monogrammed with your name or initials.  It fits on your shoulder perfectly and is lightweight, but sturdy...trust me, I've loaded it up!

Ashley gave me this for my birthday, but you can order one for yourself at Ribbons and Rickrack.  Only $30.00 which includes the personalization! 

 

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