“No Excuses, No Explanations”

So here I am, after a quite interesting week in the life. I can’t talk about why it was so interesting just yet, but let’s just say there are quite the stories to come.

BUT I’m sitting here, watching Julie & Julia, with the absolute queen Meryl Streep playing one of the titular characters, Julia Child.

In the movie, Streep’s character is a chef and on her show, she states that a dish is “just perfect,” and even if it’s not to say it is and offer “No Excuses, No Explanations” otherwise.

Wow. I didn’t expect that one to hit me how it did. But I feel like it’s going to end up becoming one of my life mantras. While one could argue that this line is stating to put on a pretty face even when things are not pretty, aka to lie, that’s not how I’ve taken it.  If the cake looks perfect to you, then YOU are the one who gets to call it perfect. You get to be in charge of your own narrative.

When something difficult happens, nobody gets to tell you how to feel about it. No one but yourself. So if you’re having a bad day – call it that. No excuses, no explanations. If you’re having the greatest day of your life, call it that. No excuses, no explanations.

And if you choose to be ominous about your life because you can’t figure it out because it’s LIFE – then be ominous. No Excuses. No Explanations.

PS – Amy Adams’ character in the movie is a blogger. She reads her posts out loud before posting them. We may or may not have that in common.



February Favorites!!

So two years ago, I posted this post. I was scanning through my blog posts the other day, found it, and decided to do another one! It’s kind of a fun thing to do now and again, and it works, because it’s still February…literally just for today. Maybe I’ll start posting this monthly, but I really doubt it.

In other news, my life is getting busier and less busy at the same time (yes it’s true, but I don’t know how to explain it either), so hopefully I’ll be blogging more. For now, though, here’s some of my favorites right now!

Office – Google Calendar
Google Calendar is my entire life. I have multiple categories, they are COLOR CODED, I can access it from anywhere. If it’s not on the calendar, I don’t know it’s happening. I even schedule in specific movies I want to go to. Love.

Hygiene – Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne Treatment Gel
I wash my face twice a day – or I try to. This is a spot treatment my roommate gave me and I love it. With this gel, you apply it to problem areas, big or small, spots are gone in two days (if I leave them alone). It has become part of my daily routine!

Beauty – Mary Kay Cream Eyeshadow
I. Love. This. Stuff. I am not a big makeup person, but I am slowly learning more about it and getting more into the through my friend Kylie who doubles as my Mary Kay consultant. I wear this every day – even if it’s a low to no makeup day. I’m addicted to the Beach Blonde color, and also have Metallic Taupe & Apricot Twist. It works for your only eyeshadow that day or as a primer for the rest of your eyeshadow!

Movies – Movie Pass
Movie Pass sounds kind of too good to be true, but so far, I have found that it lives up to all its promises! For $9.95 per month, I get to go to one movie, in theaters, every single day. I absolutely love it. So far, I’ve paid for two months and seen eight movies – that’s $2.50 per ticket. Plus I still get to use my rewards card and get rewards!

Music – “Tequila” Dan + Shay & 98.5 JACK-FM
I’m addicted to Dan + Shay’s newest single, “Tequila.” It’s the first song I play getting into my car, and it’s not stopped yet. I’m also really loving our new radio station, 98.5 JACK-FM. It’s such a great mix of songs. Yesterday I went from rocking out to “It’s Not Over, by Daughtry and went right into rocking out to “Carry on My Wayward Son,” by Kansas. What? Best mix ever.

Comfort – Heated Blanket
My heated blanket is the reason I’ve kept my bills down this winter (even though they’ve been creeping up lately!). I crank that sucker up to 10 some nights, and it is the best little cocoon ever. Even this week when it’s been 60+ degrees, I’ve still loved putting it on 1 or 2 just to give me a little extra coziness overnight.

Food / Drink – Popcorn w/M&Ms & Sonic Fruit Fizzes
Since I’ve been going to movies a lot more frequently, I’ve been eating a lot more popcorn. It’s not good for the diet, but I can’t help it! It’s SO GOOD. My candy of choice with it is good old plan M&Ms. I was really eating a lot, but I’ve limited myself to one per week (like that’s a lot better). I’m also digging the new Sonic Fruit Fizzes. I don’t drink soda, but sometimes need my bubbles. Enter these beauties! It’s carbonated water (which I absolutely cannot drink without flavor in it) with fruit! I get the Peach Strawberry one, no peach, and it’s just a good little spritzy treat!

There you have it!! A few of my February favs!

Disclaimer: I didn’t get paid to endorse these products. I just love em’ for free 🙂 


This post is literally titled Pineapples just because I really love the new photo I found for my blog. Yes, it’s fairly springy / summery, but I don’t care, I love pineapples! Did you know they are the international symbol for hospitality? When sailors of old would come back from a long voyage on the sea, they would put a pineapple outside their front door when they wanted to entertain guests! I learned it in my first class in college, and immediately knew I was in the right field. I love to give my friends pictures of pineapples when they move into a new house 🙂 I have a pineapple in my kitchen (not a real one – like a pretty one), it’s the theme for my backyard entertaining space, and NOW it’s on my blog!!!!!! The rest of this post is just a life update because apparently I don’t know how to write about anything else…ever.

Update on New Years Resolutions?

  • Well – while the house has stayed fairly clean, Savanah & I have now completely made the living room a hot mess, and the kitchen isn’t super clean either. I have three loads of laundry piling up because I keep forgetting to buy detergent, and I still haven’t unpacked from my four day trip. I made my bed this morning though. Small victories.
  • I am on book #3 out of 31! This may be due in part to the fact that I spent five hours in an airport over the weekend, and I was on four flights – but it’s still a grand success. My friend Jeana is doing the challenge with me, and she’s fabulous, and far better at writing about books (or anything!) than I am, so check out her blog, The Drunk Quill, here. And can we just talk about how awesome that blog name is?
  • Down 4.8 pounds – still not back to lowest weight – weight loss challenge starts February 5!
  • First 5K is this weekend, and it’s going to be real cold. I’ll keep you posted, but I’m planning on wearing double layers.
  • I bought all the stuff for my bathroom renovation! The reading room is filled with tile, a vanity, vanity top…all the pretties!
  • The fitness is going well – I’ve successfully worked out every day this year! Included in those days was my first day of weight lifting. And now, I can’t get up after I sit down, I can’t lean over, and can’t lift my arms….but come Warrior Dash in June, I’ll be super strong! Right?

There you go, all. I hope if anything, you learned something about pineapples by reading this. Have a lovely day.

Life Imitates Life

Here it is, 11:04 at night – I really should be in bed as I have a full day tomorrow starting with an early morning fitness marshall workout, BUT, as I was cleaning out my car (more on that in a second), I realized that I needed to write.

Honestly, I have the motivation to write quite often. But then life happens – which is exactly why I wanted to write.

I often find myself thinking to myself (or out loud) that life imitates life. This seems like such an easy concept, but I think when it happens, we sell ourselves short and don’t remember it. For instance – have you ever felt guilty about not making your bed even though you didn’t make it because you woke up late after getting to bed too late the night before. Yeah – me too. This morning, in fact.

Yesterday, I cleaned my entire house. I was suddenly that much more motivated to come home tonight, take the trash out, and keep it clean.

Earlier tonight I was taking my trash out, I decided to finally clean the trash out of my car, because people, it was getting embarrassing. An entire trash bag full came out of my car. But you want to know why?  I’m incredibly busy and half my meals lately have taken place in my car – or I’ve been trying to clean my glasses in the car – or my sunglasses broke – or a whole other host of reasons.

I told myself to take a picture every day this year of my exercise so that I can hold myself accountable with my goal of exercising every day. I have found myself even more excited to exercise (even though that trying to figure out what to do for each picture is going to get real old, real fast).

Life imitates life! I could go on and on with examples, because life goes on and on, if we’re lucky. Some of them are harder and some are easier. Some make life the best and some make it the worst. Because that’s how it works. Overall, my 2018 life is pretty damn happy. Which means work is (mostly) happy (I say mostly because Bridal Fair is 17 days away), which means my home is happy, which means working out is happy.

Life imitates life…and right now, mine’s going pretty well 🙂

2017 Wrapped & 2018 Resolutions

It’s the end of 2017, so naturally a time when everyone reflects on the past year and makes goals for 2018. From year to year, sometimes I make them and sometimes I don’t, but this year I’m the former.

It’s also been probably my best year in recent memory. 2017 was a year where I felt like I came into more of my true self, had opportunities I never thought I’d be able to be a part of, grew in my faith, have more stability in my life, and truly feel like I’m in a place I could be for years to come – I feel like I’m home when I drive into Topeka.

I logged my exercise from June 1 – December 31, and it’s been truly a neat thing to go back and look at my accomplishments and what I’ve done in the last seven months.

Here are my Fitness Best of 2017

  • I exercised 133 / 214 days.
  • I ran on 64 of those 133 days for a total of over 176 miles.
  • My best run was 6.2 miles (twice).
  • Counting my most recent weigh-in, I’ve lost a total of 51 pounds.
  • My lowest weight was 182. My current weight is 191 (HELLO HOLIDAYS).
  • I ran five 5K races and placed in my age division in two of them.
  • I started the year a size 20 and am now a size 16.
  • I started the year a size XL t-shirt and now wear a size L.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of good things about 2017, not just fitness. Here is my Best of 2017 (in no particular order).

  • Getting my part-time job at The Brownstone.
  • Celebrating my dad’s retirement in July.
  • Being asked to speak at the St Jude Country Cares Convention when I go in a few weeks.
  • Being part of launching a new radio station (which I personally love – check out 98.5 JACK-FM!).
  • Being baptized.
  • Getting my tattoos.
  • Luke Bryan Farm Tour ❤
  • Making a plan to renovate my bathroom & kitchen.

2017 was a good year. I’m moving forward with that enthusiasm and completely plan on making 2018 even better.

A couple of years ago, this was my opinion on New Years Resolutions. While I don’t totally disagree with my former self, this current version of myself quite enjoys making goals and striving for them. So rather than a “resolution,” these are more just goals I have for 2018.

New Year’s Fitness Goals

  • Reach & maintain goal weight of 150 pounds.
  • Run 1 5K / 10K race per month (I already have 8/12 races identified!).
  • Run 1 10K in 2018.
  • Record all my exercise and weigh-ins.
  • Go on a running streak. I don’t know how long I want it to be, or when…but I know in 2018 I want to go on one.
  • Exercise every day. Even if it’s just a 15 minute walk on the treadmill, I will do something all 365 days.
  • 365 Day Exercise Photo Challenge – this ties in with the last goal. A way to keep myself accountable for every day is to document it. I got this idea from a FB friend – he has posted a photo per day this year, so I’m stealing it!

New Year’s Non-Fitness Goals

  • Read 25 – 36 books this year. I want to complete the Full House Reading Challenge this year, ANDDDD…
  • …Attend book club 9 out of 12 months. If I use book club books for the challenge, it’ll be 25 books. If I add book club books to the challenge, it’ll be 36. These two goals are pretty lofty – last year I read 19 books and this year I read 14, but goals are for improvement, right?!
  • Develop a cleaning schedule for my house. And stick to it.
  • Pay off my car (scheduled for February!).
  • Renovate my bathroom (scheduled for June or before!).
  • Save for kitchen renovation.
  • Continue with my no-soda habit. I haven’t had soda since May, and plan on continuing not drinking it!
  • Volunteer at the Topeka Rescue Mission once a month.



There you have it! My 2017 wrapped up and 2018 goals. The thing I need to remember is that I have all year to complete these. I think New Year’s Resolutions are hard because if February comes and you haven’t met them, the guilt sets in, which is true for me too. But these are all things that will improve my life past 2018 as well! I’m excited to get started.

Happy New Year, friends!




Full House Reading Challenge 2018

When writing my 2018 New Year’s Goals, it was initially going to be a goal of mine to read 15 books. It was on par with what I’ve read the last two years. I wanted to also complete a challenge, so I got to hunting for one on the internet. I sifted through quite a few that just didn’t really work for me, and then I found this!

Full House Challenge 2018

It was set up like a bingo card, which initially intrigued me.

2018 Full House grid

As I got to looking at the list, it seemed like not only one I seemed comfortable with, but one that if I try hard enough, I’ll be able to do! A few of them overlap for book club, but I will still end up with about 30 books read in 2018, if I read my heart out and complete it all! Here are the books I chose for the challenge! Those marked with a * are those that double for book club!

Mystery / Thriller: Inferno, Dan Brown
Historical: Hidden Figures*, Margot Lee Shetterly
Over 500 pages: The Host, Stephenie Meyer
Setting in a Library / Bookshop: The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan
4 word title: The Couple Next Door*, Shari Lapena
Last book added to your TBR: Capital Gaines, Chip Gaines
Classic: Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Fantasy: The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Coming of Age: The Kite Runner*, Khaled Hosseini
Movie Adaptation: Under the Tuscan Sun*, Frances Mays
Holiday: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Plot Twist: We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
Humor: Sh*t My Dad Says, Justin Halpern
Self-Improvement: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R Covey
Redemption: A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
Number in Title: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency*, Alexander McCall Smith
Under 250 pages: A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
New to You Foreign Author: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
From a Favorite Series: The Slippery Slope, Lemony Snicket
Dual Timeline: Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
Nonfiction book about a hobby: EITHER Running Like a Girl, Alexandrea Heminsley OR Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, Kristin Armstrong
Children’s Book: 
The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt
Random TBR: 
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green
Memoir or Autobiography: Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham
Reread: Ready Player One*, Ernest Cline

It’s very intimidating. But with 6/12 book club books working with this challenge, it makes it a little easier. Let’s go 2018 – I better get to reading!


November & More

Well, I can officially add November 2017 as another month of no blogging. I’m not going to lie, friends, life is pretty much non stop for me. You know you’re busy when you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think is, “Which job(s) do I have today?” I’m definitely not complaining…I truly love both my jobs and my busy life – but it is busy. I am rarely home for much longer than to come home, eat (which as of late has been not good food – more on that below), shower if I have enough energy, and go to bed. So even though I hate writing posts for the pure sake of updating you on my life…that’s what tonight’s post is going to be about.

Baptism! On November 16, my church small group completed the Rooted experience and I took the step of faith to be baptized. I was blessed to be baptized by a friend of mine whose faith inspires me every day.

Tulsa! My mom, grandma, cousin, & I all went down to Tulsa & Pawhuska, Oklahoma, for a long weekend. We got some crafting in, ate some wonderful food, and most importantly, got to visit The Mercantile!!! The Merc is Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman’s store, and I AM IN LOVE. I absolutely love her, and going to her store & eating in the restaurant was a dream. Can’t wait to go back!


Happy Thanksgiving from Rhea & Everett (grandma & grandpa) & the grandkids!

Birthday Weekend! I turned 27 on the 27th and celebrated in two ways – the first was by running my 5th 5K of the year – AND PLACING. I got my fastest time by 1:22 with 28:02 and placed second in my age division! Then I went home, put on my fancy dress, and partied…..and by partied, I mean played board games and was in bed by midnight…but I DID do it in that gold dress 🙂



Chick Chat! At my radio station job, we are focusing heavily on digital initiatives – and this is one of them! A former coworker & I had the idea for a female-led podcast called Chick Chat, and now it is a real thing! She is no longer with the radio station, but my partner in crime Danielle is a great co-host. We are simply two chicks chatting, and I am so incredibly proud of our episodes. Click here to listen!

Those are the major things that have been going on in my life. In other news:

  • I’ve gained about five pounds and found my motivation to be at an all-time low with my sweets craving at an all-time high.
  • Christmas 98.5 & Bridal Fair: Major radio station events that are keeping me busy!
  • St Jude: I get to go to Memphis for St Jude again and I CANNOT WAIT.
  • New Years Resolutions: I’m making them again this year! Can’t decide if I’m excited about it or setting myself up for failure. Time will tell.
  • It took me over a week to decorate for Christmas this year.
  • Pumpkins are still on my front porch.
  • I ate five cookies the other night in less than two hours.
  • I took a ten minute power nap on my couch the other night instead of just going to bed.
  • I actually put “clean desk” as a to-do list item and then lost the list in desk that needs to be cleaned.
  • I have 24 things on my calendar….in the next 7 days.

As you can tell – good things are happening. And as you can tell – life is also kind of kicking my behind right now. But I’m focusing on the good, playing Christmas music (& new Luke Bryan <3) every chance I get, not sweating the small stuff, remembering that four consecutive days of family time is right around the corner (which YES is a good thing for me), and reminding myself consistently that Jesus has got even my crazy life under control – so sometimes it’s ok that I don’t.