Saturday, June 30, 2012


On Thursday night, my friend Katie and I went to see Kristin Chenoweth's concert at TPAC. Evan and I bought these tickets a while back but then when the show was rescheduled, we found out he wouldn't be able to go. So Katie and I went had a great time.

Read a review of the show here. She was so entertaining and SO GOOD. We heard plenty of show tunes ("Popular" and "For Good" from Wicked, "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" from Phantom, "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis, etc.) as well as some amazing covers such as the disco classic "Enough Is Enough", Sandy Patti's "Upon This Rock" and "I"m Tired" from Blazing Saddles. She also did two songs from Glee, my two favorite of her Glee songs actually: "Maybe This Time" (okay fine it's from Cabaret) and the "One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not A Home" medley. Note: I have actually heard her sing "A House is Not a Home" before, the one time I saw her perform prior to Thursday. That song was added especially for her to Braodway revival of Promises, Promises that my sister and I saw in 2010.

My favorite parts of the show were "Hard Times Come Again No More", which Stephen Foster wrote in 1854 but as KC pointed out, is still incredibly timely. She sang it with such conviction. Her encore performance was just her and her guitar player, singing "I Will Always Love you." It was a wonderful alternative way to hear her voice, which is normally orchestra backed.

But don't get me wrong - EVERY SONG was great. The notes she hit, the way she acted the songs instead of just singing them. I had permanent chill bumps from sheer awe of her talent. I feel bad posting this, because no recording was allowed, including photography but ESPECIALLY video, but I didn't take it. Thanks, You Tube. Here's some of "Bring Him Home" from L.A. in May:

She was also very funny. Lots of one-liners, several several references to GCB, which had NO business being canceled, and she even had some puppets from Avenue Q show up to taunt her about beating Wicked for the Tony Award in 2004.

Afterward, Katie and I waited with about 200 other people at the stage door. I was hoping for a picture with her, but at the very least wanted to get her to sign her book. I even brought a pink sharpie for the occasion. Well, she skipped the stage door altogether to catch a flight so that didn't happen. But, she loves Nashville so much and now that I know all her favorite places (she was drinking from a SATCO cup on stage and said it was her favorite queso!) I will have to watch for her more!

In short (pun intended), it was an unforgettable night!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


So, I had a good birthday.

On Wednesday, Evan treated me to a delicious dinner at Silly Goose, dessert at Jeni's and then a date to the movies to see Madagascar 3. It wasn't what we had planned on (Kristin Chenoweth concert was postponed due to illness, boo) but it was still so fun.

Work on Thursday was a blast and a half. I haven't been paid so much attention by a group of women since attending cheerleading camp on my birthday for four years straight. Panera treats, orange and blue balloons, lunch at the restaurant of my choosing, gorgeous flowers from my boss and her fiancé, cake and two different birthday cards, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I felt SO special all day long! The texts and tweets and Facebook messages were icing on the cake. I got to "talk" to my nephew after work and hearing him squeal what I just KNOW sounded like "Happy Birthday!" in his head was just perfect. I had a few rounds of drinks with some friends after work before heading home to pack.

I was off work on Friday so I got to Birmingham way before lunch, with plenty of time to visit with everyone. I was so glad to see my family, especially the littlest one! That night, Mom and Fred took my sister and I on a date to a special restaurant called Brio. Neither Jennie nor I had been there before; it was so yummy and we had a great time but we missed Jamie and the baby!

The next day we ran some errands and laid low. I got to snuggle with dumpling while his mommy made me a yummy homemade dinner and that ice cream pie you see pictured above (ignore the hat). The icing on the cake, if you will, for the birthday week was filling up my car for $2.99 a gallon on the way home.

Thanks to my family and friends that went through such trouble to make my day so special! Not gonna lie, that may have been the best birthday yet!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I stand corrected from what I told you earlier in the week. My favorite song from John Mayer's new album is "The Age of Worry." On the last day of my 28th year, staring down the last year of my twenties (OMG!!!???), the lyrics from this song really stuck out to me! Listen to it here.

No your fight is not within
Yours is with your timing
Dream your dreams but don’t pretend
Make friends with what you are
Give your heart then change your mind
You’re allowed to do it
Cause God knows it’s been done to you
And somehow you got through it

Alive in the age of worry
Smile in the age of worry
Go wild in the age of worry
And say worry, why should I care?

Let me just tell you: 28 was a great year. And all signs indicate that 29 is gonna be even better. It's the last call, twenties - let's go wild before thirty gets here to pick us up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This just in: I'm in a fight with Pottery Barn.

Just got this e-mail blast:

Really? That's the biggest crapshoot I've seen since the Montgomery PD thought Woosie was hiding in the attic.

Monday, June 18, 2012


A few of my favorite things of late:

Saw this necklace on a pretty little blonde that I watched sign autographs for a few hours during CMA Fest. Did some super duper Googling and found out where it might have come from. I love my tiny little necklace... now, to be as tiny as Kellie herself:

John Mayer should have moved to Montana years ago. Born and Raised is his best work to date, I think. Walt Grace's Submarine Test is my current favorite song.

HOW GOOD is the new Dallas?

I was giving my mom a hard time on Facebook last week because she said she was "addicted" to the old Dallas. Ummm, I'll say. Here are the quick reasons I came up with in five minutes, in Jeff Foxworthy style, that miiiiight indicate you are addicted to Dallas:
-If your kids ask to skip Disney and go visit Southfork this summer... you might be addicted to Dallas.
-If your kindergartner can hum the Dallas theme song before she knows the Star Spangled Banner... you might be addicted to Dallas.
-If your children name their Barbies after the main characters... you might be addicted to Dallas.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I told you I wouldn't be giving up all of my favorite foods... just trying to eat them differently. Lifestyle v. diet, remember? First up: spaghetti.

Any good Italian girl cannot, biologically, go more than about 30 days without something covered in marinara, so I was due for something spaghetti-esque. My tradeoff was to substitute the beef for turkey and swap the noodles for veggies, though apparently now they do make noodles that contain vegetables but come on. Go big or go home. I bought some ground turkey at the store last week, the zucchini was hand-picked from mom's boyfriend's garden and lovingly sent north, and after a quick spin through Pinterest, I had the recipe I was after.

I have to say, skinny spaghetti was pretty tasty! As much as I am cutting vegetables now, I'm gonna have to get a mandolin slicer (or at least one of those handheld julienne ones). That will help get the "noodles" just the right thickness in this particular dish.

I will definitely be making this recipe again. And yes, I even sprinkled it with a little bit of cheese. It was filling but I didn't have that "heavy" feeling you have after a plate full of pasta... you know, the one where you just want to take a nap?

Find the Skinny Spaghetti recipe here (forgive me, pureblooded Italian grandmother).

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Last night, I went to see Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour. Here are all the reasons I could not wait to see this show:
1. I saw LOVE, which is the Beatles Cirque show, in May of last year and loved it. So clever and so inspiring.
2. This show was playing in Vegas when I was there in December and Dave and I alllllmost went to see it. Like, had Ticketmaster pulled up on the computer, ready to buy tickets. Then, we decided just to kick it around the hotel instead. The next day, of course I find out that Beyonce and Jay were there. Grrr!
3. It was playing across the street from where I work (convenient)
4. I had a $25 off coupon code for my ticket (incentive)
5. I love Michael Jackson music.

Sound like good reasons, right? My thoughts exactly.

I got there and was so confused why it was NOT crowded and also, why there was a line to get in my section up in the tippy tippy top. As I am considering rudely shouting "LET'S GOOOOOO" to whatever/whomever is the hold up, a lady tells me they are "upgrading" tickets about 10 feet away. For whatever reason, arena staff is standing there with a small stack of lower level tickets that they will trade for your high up, 3rd tier seats. I have lived here six years and been to many a show at Bridgestone and have never once seen personally or heard of via a third party this happening. But I didn't waste my time trying to figure it out! For $40 (would have been almost $70 if not for my coupon!), I got to sit in what was originally a $150 seat. I was ecstatic. I practically ran to my new seat and giddily texted all my people. As showtime grew near, I was glad that the arena filled up... I was so sad when I thought it wasn't crowded!

So, I know I oversell things on here a lot, but OH MY. What a show. I think I liked it more than LOVE, which I didn't really expect to do because a home theater in Vegas like what LOVE has vs a touring road show can't really be compared. But, I think what did me in is having lived MJ's music in my youth: I will never forget the day the Dangerous album entered our house. So, I was blown away. There is a central character who represents MJ. He's not dressed like him or anything (though others do), he's just more of a childlike spirit (wearing sequins, naturally). Well, the spirit eventually becomes the man - hat, glove and all - and it's just amazing. I was stone cold sober and I cried twice, y'all. It was just really beautiful. Lots of cool costumes with interesting technology (head to toe LED, etc), great video to accompany the performances, amazing dancing - hello, there was a ONE LEGGED DANCER - and of course, stunning acrobatics and aerial elements. I just loved how they interpreted some of the songs. There was a live band as well; the music was really fantastic. Just like LOVE, they remixed and intertwined the songs so almost nothing but his voice was just a straight pull from the albums.

I really recommend you try to see this one if you like MJ - tickets are crazy expensive but apparently Travel Zoo has some deals for the touring cities and the arena where it was showing emailed a $25 coupon to people on its mailing list. It's also opening up shop in Vegas in 2013, so there's always that. And, as I will probably be doing for years to come, you can buy "cheap" seats and hop around the venue looking for upgrades.

Long live the King!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Time to tell you about my latest project: Box 3. Or, as I have become to jokingly to call it, Operation Trophy Wife.

I'm not shy whatsoever about my love of cheese. Or wine. Or ice cream. Or chips. Or other delicious, unhealthy food. But whenever I look in the mirror and don't like what I see, I've always told myself "I'll exercise it off!... Starting tomorrow!"

Small problem: exercise didn't put it there. Food did.

Would you believe me if I said I had NO cheese... NO coffee... NO chips or ice cream or pasta or similar food for three whole weeks? I had one glass of wine on Mom's birthday and a margarita with Evan and that's it.

I have changed the way I grocery shop, the way I eat, the way I plan my meals. And the great part is: it's gonna stick!

The last three weeks, I have been on Advocare's 24 Day Challenge with a friend from work. Through a stricter diet, daily supplements and friendly support, she has lost 10 lbs and I've lost almost 9 since May 15 (update: 10 lb in 30 days). It's enough of a jump start to really incentivize me to keep going!

Along those lines, the thing I really like about the 24 Day Challenge is that you're probably going to stay on the diet even after the program ends, because it's not really a diet that's a "phase", it's a diet that becomes your diet from now on. A lifestyle.

Here's an example of my weekday: I've started going to the gym in the mornings - yes, really. I am finishing up my first meal (Zone bar - yummy!) as I pull into the gym parking lot around 7 am. Second meal/snack is fruit and at least one hardboiled egg around 9:45 or 10 am. Lunch around 12:30 or 1 pm is some variety of chicken and either veggies or fruit (this week's it's been chicken salad (made with almond butter, not mayo) on a rice cake - so delicious). Snack of veggies with hummus or all-natural peanut butter and 1 or 2 more hardboiled eggs around 4 pm. Dinner around 7 pm is chicken or a lean cut of red meat and more veggies or healthy carbs like roasted sweet potatoes. With all that eating, I'm never hungry!

You can see that eating more protein/fewer (and better) carbs is a big part of it, which I don't think is rocket science, but having frequent small meals is also another part of it. You keep your metabolism going by fueling it, just like keeping a fire going by throwing logs into it.

I had always been really skeptical of companies like Advocare because they were always rumored to be unhealthy or didn't work or overpriced. Do your homework on this company: they have great science behind the supplements, reputable people that believe in the product, and of course - RESULTS from their products. It's also an easy way to transition yourself from eating more or less whatever you want into a balanced, healthy eating plan without feeling too overwhelmed.

Since the 24 days concluded last week, I have definitely slipped up here and there (damn you, free Jeni's ice cream at work) but the difference between a month ago and now is that I know and believe my next meal is the perfect time to pick right back up where I left off. No more "well, since I had ice cream I may as well have pizza... and a glass of wine... and another... and I'll make up for it tomorrow!" I am learning to stay one step ahead of my body (you should see all the stuff I tote into work each day). It's hard, but it is worth it! I used to be really mad at myself and resentful when I thought about losing weight. Now I am just like, it is what it is. One of those things like having to go through airport security or sit in traffic... just gotta grin and bear it.

I can have results, or excuses, but not both. I am definitely still learning a lot, but have done so much research over the past month and am so excited about where I know I am heading! I love going to the grocery store now and trying new food. Who knew how good rice cakes could be? And of course I plan to eat cheese and drink coffee again... no one wants to completely abstain from the things they enjoy most. It's all about moderation and balance.

Moral of the story: Advocare, plus consistent exercise, and a new way of eating, has turned things around for me! If you are looking for a healthy jumpstart and want more information on Advocare, e-mail me!

Monday, June 04, 2012


I did not watch the MTV Movie Awards last night because I no longer have MTV, but I may have to get it back because I am apparently out of the loop. Is THIS a pose?

I've never been a Paris Hilton fan, but come on. That's just stupid-looking.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


HUGE REALIZATION!!!!!!!! How has no one figured this out before now?!

Today, I left the TV on and went into the kitchen to put away groceries and cook dinner. Independence Day came on - fine by me.

I was listening to Will Smith's girlfriend fuss at him for leaving her at the house when IT HIT ME!

Jasmine from Independence Day

is really Jasmine from Troop Beverly Hills?

So what if Troop Beverly Hills came out in 1989 and Independence Day came out in 1996. Just go with it.

To celebrate her troop's victory at the Wilderness Jamboree, Jasmine's father, James "the Jackhammer" Shakar, takes the family to Vegas. While there, he loses several bets in the sports book and defaults on a few loans as a result. Before he knows it, he's late on payments for the Rolls, the Jag and the Range. The family is forced to sell the Beverly Hills mansion to make ends meet, but the bills continue to pile up. Desperate to save her family, young Jasmine holds concert after concert on the corner of Rodeo Drive, but it just isn't enough. Her family officially goes broke.

Despondent, Jasmine turns to her boyfriend for support. She winds up pregnant, but there's no money to pay for a wedding. With no hope and no husband, she is shamed out of Beverly Hills forever. Jasmine flees town on the 405 South and never looks back to the plush childhood she once knew. After an hour in the car, she arrives in Irvine, CA; home to El Toro air station. To keep herself and her son off the streets, she turns to the only thing she knows: performing on stage. She trades in her khaki and badges for lace and sequins and gives exotic dancing her best Wilderness Girl effort. One night, a group of Marine pilots come in for a night on the town. Among them is the young, handsome Captain Steven Hiller. He sees Jasmine as more than just a stripper and against the advice of his peers, pursues a relationship with her. They fall madly in love and he becomes like a father to her child. Six months after they move in together, Jasmine's son notices an alien ship parked over the city. Captain Hiller is called to duty, but pauses saving earth long enough to finally put a dolphin engagement ring on Jasmine. The alien attacked is thwarted and the newlyweds live happily ever after.

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