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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014, Ya Done Good

Today marks the last day of 2014. My how this year has flown. It really is true.. time flies when you're having fun!

This year has been full of so much love and many adventures; big and small.

January started off with Mike's birthday and surprising him with a trip to New York City! We had talked about going for the longest time and I was ready to take action! The trip was an absolute blast and we talk about going back almost every day. (we took the trip beginning of February)

In March I went on a Women's retreat with my mother-in-law and our church. The love I felt that weekend was enough to last a lifetime and has changed me still to this day. It inspires me to keep learning and leading and showing those around me who I live for.

May, June and July were wedding months for us! We traveled to Arizona in May for my best friend's wedding, traveled to Tyler, TX in June for the Mize wedding, and stayed closer to home in July for our friends Justin and Amy's wedding. Each wedding was unique in it's own way, but the love for the bride and groom at each was so alive.

{i wore heels during the wedding. i promise}

{same dress- two weddings! i call that a great bridesmaids dress}

Also in July I ran my first 5k. This was a huge deal for me at the time because I was not a "runner". I over thought everything about running, which made going the distance really hard. Since then I have become stronger and now set a 5k run as my standard when doing cardio. Thank you, July, for helping me grow!

In August, Mike and I celebrated our one year anniversary in Cabo San Lucas. I remember it feeling like yesterday that we got married! Everything was perfect and the resort was incredible even while there was a hurricane not too far from us! I am still dreaming of their Miami Vice's and Pina Coladas. 

September was a huge month for us. We had talked about paying off our student loans here and there, but never really put a solid date to it. Mike and I sat down during this month and decided that we were going to pay off our loans by the end of the year. Now transition to October. We are student loan debt free!!!! We want to scream from the roof tops at how free we feel. This took persistence, dedication and us both being on the same page. We made sure to transfer as much as we could each paycheck and eventually that added up. Our families were huge resources for us. They have been there and learned many lessons along the way, so we really leaned into them for guidance. We are (student load) debt free!!!

*September was also the month when I tried Whole30 and fell in love. This led to me eating Paleo and changing my outlook on food. HUGE month for us:)

October was wrapped up with a girls trip to NOLA! This city totally blew all the stereotypes in my mind out of the water. I was expecting total filth, crime everywhere and drunks stealing things off my person. WRONG! It was beautiful and completely full of life. Everyone was extremely nice and I never once felt threatened. My friends and I lived it up and explored as much as we could in the 4 days we were there. I can't wait for our next girls trip!

**October was for dressing up. 

November=Thanksgiving and Black Friday Domination. Mike and I loved spending 4 whole days in Sugar Land with my Mom. Normally we are there late Friday night and leave mid-day Sunday to get back before traffic hits. It was so nice to be able to relax and be with family for so long. 

December flew by way too fast. I can't believe today is the last day of 2014. This last month was full of family and friends. Just the way we like (love) it. Christmas came and went, but every single second was soaked up. We are welcoming 2015 with open arms and ready to see what new adventures we take on. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New You- Whole 30

I definitely thought I was over eating crap, but boy was I wrong. The holidays did a number on me, so because of that I am hitting Whole 30 again which will more than likely turn into a Whole 60. I am going to kick all of those delicious foods I ate these past two weeks in the face.

The past couple of days have been spent re-reading It Starts With Food and prepping at the store and at home. I am so excited to get my body back to where I was and even better. While reading I remembered why I love this plan so much and how glorious I felt after my first round.

This lifestyle is about rebooting your body and canceling out all of the crap that society says is "good".  Our brains have created connections with all of these processed foods that trigger when we feel certain emotions. Stress is the worst and typically always triggers a negative food reaction. Our brains remember how last time the bag of cookies "helped" our stressed level. Not good! Whole 30 helps erase that connection and turn it into whole, healthy foods. You are what you eat.

I am really looking forward to the happiness I felt last time I did this. Joy was spilling out of me because I was confident and happy. In my opinion, a healthy lifestyle really is all about what you eat. Working out is a must for me and Mike, but if we would skip a day here or there I still felt strong and healthy.

If anyone wants to do this plan with me I would be more than happy to be part of your support system! Two of my friends are doing it as well, which helps so much! I recommend buying the book for reference, but if not I can help guide you:) This is a huge passion of ours and we love being there for people who need it. Everyone starts somewhere and we would love to help out in your journey and you ours:) Just let me know!

Our kitchen has been rid of anything that contains sugar, wheat, legumes, dairy, alcohol, and anything processed. We have restocked on veggies, meats, healthy fats and loads of sweet potatoes. I eat those with EVERYTHING. I also made sure we had more coconut oil because that is a must for me. Make sure you read all of the labels and ingredients when grocery shopping. It takes a little more time and it can be frustrating when you find that most everything has added sugar in it. Stick with it and you will start to build up your go-to's.

A lot of my inspiration comes from Instagram and these are some of the people I follow that help motivate me:
@melissa.of.whole30 (one of the authors of It Starts With Food)
@thislittledrum (shameless plug)

I can't wait to start this journey January 1, 2015! Bring on the new year!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Post: 19th-21st

Happy Monday and Christmas Week, friends! This is seriously my favorite time of year, I know I say that in every post, but I can't wait to be with family and sit by the fire. Everything during the Holidays is so nostalgic and I LOVE it! I also love the new traditions Mike and I are creating for our little family of two.

Here is a quick look back at our weekend:

After hanging out all day at work dressed like a Christmas tree, I picked up my boo-thang from the airport. He was in Atlanta for training and a week was a REALLY long time. But I could not be more proud of him!

{Christmas trees:)}

Saturday was spent shopping. Madness! Mike and I always have such a hard time waiting to give gifts, so naturally I pre-maturally gave him one of his presents. Because of this decision, I wanted to go shopping for another. I can't go to the mall and not stop at Anthropologie, so I did so, and found these beautiful plates. I might be going back to buy myself a present.. hehe. 

{my obsession with owls is still alive}

Normally we spend Christmas Eve at Mike's Mom's house, but this year they are building a new home! We are so excited for them. On Sunday, to celebrate Christmas, the family went and had brunch at the Menger hotel and took pictures afterwards. The food was delicious and the company was even better!

{cheesing with the siblings}

The weekend was wrapped up with us hanging out with my Grandmother. We all went over to her house and decorated for the Holidays. It was a house full of love as we celebrated the memorial of my Great Grandmother.

{family time}

I hope you are having a great start to one of my favorite weeks!! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's Friday, I'm In Love- Christmas Edition

Christmas is next week! I can't wait! I am so excited to spend time with our family and enjoy this time of the year.

I thought I would do my obsessions this week based off what I am craving for Christmas!

Sultra- the Bombshell: My hair is board straight and really doesn't have much body to it. For example, I got a perm a few summers ago and it lasted two weeks. TWO WEEKS!! And I know they put enough chemicals in it because that smell was deep in my nose for longer then the perm. But everything changed when my friend used this wand on my hair in New Orleans. The curls are beachy and last all day. HUGE craving.

Ashley Brooke Designs: This is a must! Everything she does is precious and I am a daily reader of her blog. She inspires me with her thoughtfulness and love for those around her as well. I can't wait to get my hands on one of her mugs!

Naked 2: I don't know what it is, but these makeup palettes just makes me feel sexier. I have Naked 3 and I make sure I have extra time in the morning just so I can play with the colors. Naked two has more gold colors that I can't wait to play with.

Yes Please!- OMG. Amy Poehler is a queen. I wanted this book before it was even a thought in her mind. Luckily for me, my Secret Santa got it for me and I can't wait to dive in. I haven't even read a sentence, but this should be on everyone's Christmas list:) Also add on there Mindy Kaling's book and Tina Fey's. Thank me later.

I hope that everyone has a great Friday and good luck to those shopping this weekend!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Friday, I'm In Love

We wanted to create a new weekly post about our current "Obsessions" because we come across things we love all the time. Every Friday we will be posting "It's Friday, I'm In Love" showing the loves we have found that week.

To start this thing off, here are our current obsessions!

May Designs: So these have definitely gained popularity, especially since The Oprah put them on her  list of favorites. Slowly with age, I believe I have started shifting from "bag" lady to "notebook" lady.  Can you ever have too many notebooks? I have to have at least one for each of my bags:) But in all seriousness,  I love how cute and personalized their journals are. There are so many options to choose from and available in all colors, fonts, and patterns! These make the perfect little gift for any occasion!

Taylor Made It Paleo: I stumbled upon her Instagram page a couple of months back from following one person that led me to another, then to another, then her:) I loved seeing her posts on what she has been up to and the delicious food she cooks/bakes. Recently, I started checking out her blog as well and now I am hooked and want to make everything. I get a little overwhelmed sometimes when I find recipes that have 20+ ingredients for one dish, so I love that hers are simple deliciousness. There seriously is not one recipe one her blog that doesn't look good to me. I tried out her Maple Mug Cake this week and not only was it super simple, it was equally as delicious and put my sweet tooth to rest.

FitBug Air: We all got these at work, so I have been trekking around town with this baby on my hip. I used to have another type of pedometer, but it died on me randomly. These seriously make you aware of how little you walk a day (that's coming from someone with a desk job). I thought it would go through the roof at the gym, but we haven't been doing as much cardio lately with our new plan. They synce with an app on your phone and sends the data automatically. I have been loving this little tool and it reminds me to get up and keep moving!

Every Last Crumb: This cookbook came out this week and I have been dreaming about when I get my hands on it. It is a cookbook all about Paleo breads and more. We are not the biggest bread eaters, but I think some of that has to do with it's original form not being Paleo. I have also seen some Instagrammers posting her PMS Brownies. They look devine and the name says it all! I am planning on tearing this up this weekend! PS.. the writer's blog is awesome too.

Wild: Mike and I are dying to see this movie! We have been obsessively looking for a showing, but it hasn't made it's way to San Antonio yet.

I hope some of these "loves" find your fancy! I would love to hear what your obsessions are! Let's be obsessed together:)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Let's Play Catch Up!

Hi, friends! How have your holidays been so far? I am writing this post while listening to Christmas music... this song is my yearly go-to :)

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of delicious food and family. We spent it in Houston and were so relaxed. Thursday was spent at my Aunt and Uncle's house and I finally got to meet my baby second cousin. I could eat her up!

Normally Black Friday shopping is just me and my mom, but Mike and my two sisters joined us this year. I went into it thinking someone was going to have a melt down, but we all did awesome. We hit our first store at 7:30am and didn't home until 4pm. That is called "domination".

My favorite thing I got that day was this wood block from William Sonoma. My mom has one in her kitchen and I couldn't stop obsessing over it. Next thing I know, my mom comes up to me in a store and says "Merry Christmas"! I have the best mom!

One of my favorite things was going on long walks with our dog. The weather was beautiful and our neighborhood was full of trees with their leaves changing. I was craving those walks last week. 

It's never fun leaving my Mom's house. Mike and I recapped the long weekend our whole drive home and are looking forward to our next trip.

Last week was a short and sweet one. Mike got a new job, so he was off last week before he started his new job today! I took off Thursday and Friday so we could have some time together to do whatever we wanted. It was nice doing some of the things we normally do, but at different times. We also wanted to check out some neighborhoods to get an idea of where we want to live when we get a house. I kinda felt like we were on House Hunters, minus actually going in. It was cute to hear Mike's excitement and it definitely made us think about what/where we want to live.

Thursday night we went to Wassel Fest with our friends, Bryan and Sydney. We have been wanting to go for a few years now, but could never make it. Most of the stores in downtown New Braunfels had wassel out for everyone to come by and try and vote. At the end of the night they choose a winner of who had the best. We had a blast and I loved all of the Christmas lights. I am seriously in love with this time of year.

Friday night I had my company Christmas party. It was such a fun night and one that Mike and I look forward to every year.

We topped off our weekend with the Liederkranz Christmas concert! It is an all mens German choir and Mike's Opa, Dad and Brother are all in it. We loved seeing them up there!

I hope you have had a wonderful Monday full of coffee:)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Post- Nov 21st-23rd

I can't believe it is the Monday before Thanksgiving! This year has flown by, but I am so excited for this week. Mike and I are heading to Houston on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with my family.

This past weekend was all about getting ready for the holidays. Christmas music was blaring (with a little T Swift action mixed in) and the deep cleaning carried over from last weekend.

Friday night I had a little surprise for Mike. He drummed in high school and craves playing everyday. A while back he got rid of his drum pads and sticks and has been wanting new ones for a while now. I wanted to get him these for Christmas, but he told me once that picking out sticks takes time and you have to find the perfect two. It sounds to me like an imprinting situation.

So we ended up at the music store and spent about an hour in there. It was cute seeing him act like a kid in a candy store. Successful surprise!

{get it}

Saturday morning was spent running errands in the pouring rain. We took on the rain like crazies, but the stores were totally empty. #winning

Mike headed to a friend's wedding shower (with his friend) while I stayed home, deep cleaned, Facetimed with my baby sis, and hung out with my friend, Rach. We ran a few errands and then came home and watched The Office. I can't stop watching it!! It is a major addiction.

{caught in the act}

Of course, Sunday was spent watching more of The Office and planning out our Black Friday attack. Last year we raked in on Black Friday and the crowds were minimal. This has kind of turned into a tradition for me and my Mom. We are such deal hunters, so we are really looking forward to it!

We also stopped by Mike's dad and went on a long walk while waiting for my car. Six months ago, some crazy broke into my car and stole my radio and other things. It has taken me those 6 months to get over my bitterness, but I will say having my tunes back in my car is great. Right in time for Christmas music 24/7.

{fall trees on our walk}

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Came In Like A Butterball!!

Today is our office Thanksgiving lunch and my friend and I decided to bring Paleo-friendly side dishes. We are having it catered with delicious food, but wanted to bring some options:)

She and I talked and agreed that I would bring this sweet potato recipe. It was a quick and simple and tastes like $1 million bucks. This WILL be happening again next week!

Yesterday, my friend brought me her old Christmas tree because she got a new one. I have not been this happy in a while haha. There is no feeling like the Holidays and our apartment is now complete and ready for the season! I threw on all of the ornaments Mike and I have collected over the years, but I might be taking a trip to Hobby Lobby for their 50% all Christmas decor. Holler!

Thanksgiving always reminds us to stop and think about what we are thankful for. I am thankful for my friends and family who are always so supportive and giving. They are my happiness and I am forever thankful!

Here's to a thankful season!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Post- Nov 14-16

Hey friends! I hope your Monday has been swell. Here is a look back on our weekend:)

Friday night we were extra lazy. We went and got curry at our favorite Thai place and then went home and watched Dallas Buyers Club. Wow. Such a great movie and I 100% understand why Matthew and Jared (we're on first name basis) won Oscars. Bravo!

The weather was totally blah on Saturday. When we got home from the gym I was really craving a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. Those used to be my go-to, but I didn't want to drink my calories. SO, I decided to make one at home and it was 10x better. 5x better because I knew what was in it and the other 5 because it was homemade and delicious:) I posted the ingredients on my Insta page.

Mike and I were supposed to go to a high school football playoff gave with our friends, but last minute the girls branched off and went shopping! Christmas decorations were 50% off at Hobby Lobby, so we tore it up! I know it is a little early to bring out the Christmas decorations, but that's how we roll.

{Christmas decorations and this awesome Paleo find from Hoome Goods}

The guys got a $10 coupon at the football game, so naturally we went there for dinner. Afterwards, we hit up a newly renovated bowling ally. It was like a hipster version of Main Event. There was a rope course, games, a bar, bowling with a wall of screens, and a cool lounge seating. Our wait was forever, but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was nuts because it was opening weekend.


Sunday morning we watched "online" church and cooked for the week. We went and had lunch with Mike's mom and Warner and went by their new house that is being built. It is crazy how fast they can get homes up these days. I can't wait till they move in!

Our night time was filled with football, cooking, and cleaning. Holiday decorating got me in the mood to deep clean, so I topped our weekend off with lots of it.

We sure are getting ready for the Holidays!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let's Get Caught Up

I don't know why, but I have gotten off my blogging game and I deeply apologize!

It's time to play catch up here on TLD. For starters.. it's freezing. And I'm not ok. I really don't function during the winter and my attitude sways a little more sassy. It is definitely a personal problem, but when the wind it cutting through your jacket are you supposed to be 100% happy?

Enough of that. We have a day to celebrate. On Sunday, it was the one year birthday of This Little Drum. It has been so fun filling this space with pieces of our life and watching it grow. Becoming part of the blogging community has been such a great experience and having people say they read the blog has been so fun and rewarding. Thanks goes to you for being such a huge part of TLD!

Last week we had my sister and step-mom's birthdays too! Lots of love last week. I get to celebrate my little sister's birthday in a few weeks when we go home for Thanksgiving:) But on Saturday, we had a surprise party for my step-mom. We tricked her into coming home because my brother "broke" his hand and then BAM! SURPRISE!! I think she might have had a feeling that something was going on, mainly because my dad was cleaning. Can you say, "Rare Sighting"? I love you, Dad!

In other news, Mike and I found a new 6 week workout routine from Muscle and Fitness and are LOVING it! I used to do a lot of squats on the squat rack, but started switching them out for body-weight squats. This routine has us doing all kinds of weighted squats and let me tell you... there might be a little more junk in this trunk now. It has only been two weeks and I can already tell a huge difference in my overall tone.

I have been spending a lot of my time cooking and trying out new recipes. We are getting so excited for Thanksgiving and I am searching for the perfect Paleo side dish. I have been adding some new things to our "Cook It" page on Pinterest and can't wait to try them all. Pumpkin should be a year round thing.

Tonight I made a frittata for breakfast for the rest of the week. I got this out of It Starts With Food. All you do is add all ingredients together and bake.

Ground Beef (turkey)
9 eggs
sweet paprika

Set the oven to 400 degrees. In a oven-bake pan, cook the ground beef. When the beef is almost done, add in the onion and spinach. While that is cooking, in a bowl, mix together the 9 eggs and seasonings. When the onions are soft, pour the eggs over the meat. Stir it around until it gets a little thicker. Then make sure it is all mixed (without the eggs being fully cooked) and put in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Cut and serve.

That about sums up we have been up to. Just add in a few episodes of The Office, Nashville, and The Voice. I hope you all are having a great week!