July Cardio Playlist

I need a change of pace in my ears...  Here's my July list.

1. Pretty Boy Swag Soulja Boy Tell'em- This song cracks me the hell up.  And it's good to warm up to.

2. Hello Good Morning Diddy-Dirty Money feat. T.I.- It's only appropriate I hear Good Morning since my workouts are typically always AM workouts!

3. Round and Round Selena Gomez and The Scene-  Great beat.  Very poppy, but I eat it up.

4. Teach Me How to Dougie Cali Swag District-  Who knew my playlist would have the word "swag" on it twice?

5.  Misery Maroon 5-  I like this song a lot.  I've always enjoyed Maroon 5's distinct sound.

6.  OMG  Usher feat Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Myyy Goshhh.. This one is overdue to make the cardio cut.

7.  My Own Worst Enemy  Lit-  Blast from the past.  You know you love it.

8.  Rude Boy Rihanna-  Even though the rest of the world is tired of this one,   I'm not ready to take it off yet.

9.  Uprising Muse-  Lance got me into Muse.  Their stuff is good for the gym because it's such a progression from kind of chill to intense.

10.  Great White Buffalo Ted Nugent-  Heck yes!  Guitar is OOC.

11. Graduate Third Eye Blind-  Another 90s gem!

12. Carried Away Elisa Schwartz-  Heard this for the first time on The Hills.  Like it a lot.

13.  Try Again (Mash-up)  Aaliyah, Destiny's Child, DMX-  This remix has a great beat and also throws a couple other songs in there, too.

14.  Day Tripper The Beatles- Classic. Maybe the least cardio of my cardio songs, but I like it.

15.  Crazy in Love Beyonce-  To help pick up the pace again

16.  Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand-  Love it.

17.  Bodyrock  Moby-  Very repetitive, but at the end so I can call it quits whenevs I want to.



"Everything's Not Lost"

I think it's only appropriate my last post detailed a hard time I was having.   What's funny this morning is how I could not feel any more opposite from those feelings today.  It's not that I'm joyous or that any of the things I worry about changed, but that counting your blessings is much more rewarding than worry.

Yesterday, I found out that two people died in separate incidents within a 24 hour period.  One was a classmate from high school who was killed in a car accident in Pennsylvania Saturday night and the other was the husband of a woman who worked at the restaurant all through my childhood and consequently, she is a close family friend.  The situations are vastly different.  One death was tragic and unexpected, while the other was more anticipated, (but still a shock), because he was sick.  Death, while sad, always manages to throw everything into perspective for me.  And while I can still be hurt/sad/worried/doubtful, it feels a lot less substantial when you think about how devastating it would be to lose the people you love.

So today, instead of letting my mind be troubled about 5000 things, I'm counting my blessings.  I have an amazing husband who adores me and I don't think I can imagine loving him any more than I do.  We have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge and water.  And AC! :)   We live in a country where you have personal freedoms and rights.  I have amazing, supportive parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  I have a brother who is one of my very best friends.  I have two dogs who possibly love me most when I am at my worst.  And great friends from all stages in life, who are better than I deserve...

I'm pretty sure I am generally luckier than I deserve.



Little Blah Moods

Occasionally, I fall into little mini-funks that last maybe one or two days.  Usually they involve me thinking too hard and worrying too much.  Usually I am sort of sad and neutral.  Sometimes these short-lived funks are triggered by an event or series of events.  Or sometimes they result from me doing too much dwelling on existing life circumstances and relationships.  Sometimes it's simply a rundown, overwhelmed explosion of emotion.  And sometimes, it's a combination of all of those things.

I am concluding day two of my latest little blah mood as we speak.  I'm done worrying about things out of my hands.  So until next time, the famous Serenity Prayer helps to pull me out of the worry well.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Do these little blah moods happen to anyone else or am I just your average excessive worrier?



June Faves!!

Aud's June Must Haves!!

1. Off Family Care Unscented Bug Spray- I used to be a Skin So Soft lover.  Well I didn't have enough time to order through Avon for my plant class.  I tried this stuff and it doesn't stink like normal bug spray.  The bugs love me and now that I'm Miss Nature Plant Identifier Queen, I have to protect myself.

2. Jack Johnson, To The Sea-  This CD has been on repeat this month for me.  It's so relaxing and personally, I think it's one of his better recent releases.  Fave tracks include: "At or With Me" "Red Wine, Mistakes,
Mythologies" "Turn Your Love" and "Upsetter".  Basically, the whole damn album rocks my summer-lovin' world.

3. Rare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser-  I actually got this stuff at the end of May, but haven't had adequate time to rave about it.  This is the best cleanser I have ever used.  It's affordable for a quality product ($18 on and foams like none other.  My skin looks a lot healthier and glowy-er since I have been using it.  Breakouts have been fewer and farther between and I feel much more comfortable with my face before I go to bed when I am bare-faced (I still try to wear foundation every day because of its SPF).  I used to use the RM Renew and Refresh cleanser, which is actually a powder until it gets wet.  While the cleanser worked, that concept didn't really jive well with me.

4.  Air Conditioning Holy Lord, it's been hot.  This week, it is forecast not to fall below 90 degrees all week.  As simple as it seems, AC has to make my list.

5. My own gym towel from home  Along the thought of getting hot, I am having to start bringing my own towel to the gym.  Normally, you can pick one up on the way in and discard it in a hamper on the way out.  The clean towels here lately have absolutely reeked.  Reeked, as in maybe they were just throw in some detergent-less, fabric softener-less water.  I know maybe some people have allergies to the good-smelling things I use in my laundry loads, but Jesus.  You have to use a good deal of detergent to cut some people's funk out of those towels.  Meanwhile if I use their towels, I'm on the verge of gagging during my workout and I end up smelling like mildew and gym.  And I typically sweat, but don't ever naturally smell like a hiker on the AT.  And the smell from the towels is not just getting on my hands!  Because I sweat gallons in the gym, I use a towel to wipe my face and arms, too.  Sick nasty.  Bringing my own from home from June forward.

6. Patience  Whether it's been sitting through math class or plant class or waiting on scores from testing, this month has largely been about being patient to start my career.  I am so close.  I just got the official letter yesterday telling me my placement for student teaching will be at East Salem in 2nd grade pending the completion of my requirements (all of which should come through).  I am so excited, but it's also easy impatient.  I have been in this program since Fall 2008.  I can't wait to meet my 2nd graders in the fall and be one step closer to a job!



Weighty Thoughts

Good morning!  The sun is shining and it's going to be a hot one.

Procrastinating getting dressed and heading to the gym for my morning routine, I have been sitting here thinking about weight loss.  I'm certainly not at a loss for motivation, but I just started thinking about the way people process their weight and weight loss goals.

Recently I have found all kinds of weight loss blogs that I like to read and follow.  It's nice to read about the journeys of others.  Some of them are where I am, in the middle somewhere moving towards their goal.  Some of them have lost insane amounts of weight and are already sitting pretty at their goal weights.  Reading these make me think that maybe I need to better define my goals and reward myself for reaching them.

People like to throw this statement around, but I want to be clear:  Losing weight is not an easy thing.  However, it really isn't an easy thing to have to lose more than 50 pounds.  People who only have ten or so pounds to lose have never grappled with what I grapple with.  When your goal is a lofty one, even when you are succeeding and losing weight, you wish you could do it more quickly.

So far, I have been succeeding.  Working my ass off, but succeeding.  I will be reaching the 30lb. mark sometime in the next week or two.  I just decided this morning rather than getting overwhelmed by long-term goal, I want to set up marked incentives for myself.  My blog seems like a good place to record these.  When I have lost 70 more pounds, I will be entirely happy.  So for all you mathematicians out there, 30 lost + 70 to lose = 100 total pounds lost by the time I reach my goal weight.  Holy shit!  See how it might be easy to get overwhelmed by that?!

Aud's Reasons to Lose 100 Pounds
1. Less risk of developing health issues
2. Healthier pregnancies
3. More energy
4. Cuter body for clothes
5. Be better than just "a pretty face"
6. Smaller boobs (YES!)

Here is my Rewards Plan, just devised.

30lbs= New bathing suit This is mostly out of necessity, but I will be happy to hit this mark.  Most of my current swim bottoms look like I shit my pants because the butt is too big.  This summer's suit will need to be a cheap one because I don't think it will work for next summer.
50lbs=  Mani/Pedi/Facial or Massage Pampertown!  I used to do mani/pedis for myself a lot more often, but we have been cutting back a lot this year.  A couple of spa treatments would truly be a treat.
75lbs= Expensive Handbag Enough said.
90lbs= Some personal training sessions I think I might need these as I get closer to goal to increase the effectiveness of my workouts to shed those last ten.
100lbs= New wardrobe My Dad promised me a new wardrobe on him when I hit my goal.  Buttttt, I imagine my idea of a full wardrobe and his idea of a full wardrobe might be different.  I am going to save up as I approach this marker to make sure I get a good variety of pieces in addition to my staples.

Okay.  Time to go make it happen!



Back from My Blogging Hiatus

Good morning, blog friendsies! I'm back.

After a crazy few weeks of vacation/graduation/school/life in general, I really haven't had much extra time at all to come in here and dump my thoughts on my followers :) So here I am!

Aud's Updates:
1. New York
Our anniversary trip to New York was amazing.  We had a really great time.  Ate and drank too much, saw a Broadway show, shopped a little here and there, spent a lot of time in Central Park and enjoyed one another's company.  With the hectic nature of Matt's work and my school schedule, we have not had all that much time lately just to kick up our heels together.  This trip was much needed, even though we were thrown right back into the hectic nature as soon as we got home.  I finally finished my math class and am now just focusing on my plant life class...which I feel will be enough to keep me occupied.

2. My brother graduated
My little brother graduated this week from high school.  I didn't cry, but it was just weird.  I feel like I just went through all of the things he is currently going through not too long ago.  But in reality, it was six years ago.  And so much has changed for which I am thankful.  I had an amazing college experience, met my husband, and answered that question that used to constantly plague me: "what am I going to do with my life?"
Lance has orientation at Radford before the month is up, which makes me think about my Tech orientation.  I was so excited about the new direction and had absolutely no idea how in love with that place I was about to become.

3. Diet Thangs
I ate cheesecake, pizza and a soft pretzel in NYC.  I drank many a beer. I just couldn't deny myself.  And later on, I was regretful and pissed off at myself for succumbing to the temptations. However, when I weighed in with my doctor, bracing myself for a gain,  I lost almost a pound. While it wasn't much for a month's worth (three weeks of work and one week of disregard), was a victory, I suppose.  I did work out on vacation, something I have never fathomed prior to now, so that was good.  Despite how incredibly busy and overloaded I have been, I worked out four solid times this week and hiked yesterday with my class in Grayson County, so I feel a lot better than when I arrived back home.  When I got home I was so puffy and bloated from my straying.  I forgot how bad the tempting food makes you feel when it's all said and done.  I feel like I am back to my normal schedule.  This week, the goal is to push harder.  I would love to lose ten pounds this month.  New playlists are invited.

4. Cleanliness is next to godliness 
My house was grosser than I might have liked before we left.  And I really hate that.  So after the Praxis, 15-20ish hours of homework, a weekend of working and graduation were behind me, the first thing I wanted to do was clean.  Thursday I cleaned the whole house except Matthew's bathroom (I just don't ever clean in there...) and our room (which was probably pretty decently clean before we left).  It just feels so good when you do this.  And although the glass doors have doggy noseprints on them already, I don't even care.  It's so good to be home and feel good about your home.

5. Canvases are waiting
I told myself I would start painting this summer.  I must have been crazy, as it's almost July and I have yet to touch a brush to canvas.  But I have several canvases downstairs just waiting for some inspiration.  I am hoping to get into all this fun during the week this week.  I have never painted for real before, so keep me in your Ts and Ps (thoughts and prayers- you like that abbreviation action).

6.  School Thangs
As I have alluded to a few times in this blog, school has been sucking me dry.  My math class was a life-ruiner.  I had so much homework to make up after our trip knocked me out of two classes.  Luckily, the test we took upon my return was on matrices, which I understood a hell of a lot better than logs and exponents.  He let us work in partners and my partner and I swung a 104, including our homework points.  So I figured I could bomb the final and get a 60 and still get a B in the class.  I don't think I did bomb the final that bad, but it could have been close because I just did not care anymore.  My plant life class is different.  It's a science with a lab, but the lab portion is all fieldwork outside, which I think is better than being in a chem lab.  We had an all-day field trip yesterday to Mt. Rogers in Grayson, specifically White Top Mtn.  It's actually a very beautiful community, but I was way more into the scenery than keying plants.  I got a really attractive sports bra/tanktop tan/burn (sarcasm).  On an exciting artist note, I caught this little guy on the wildflowers yesterday (below).
I took the Praxis II a day and a half after we got home from NYC.  It was pretty easy for the most part.  I hope I passed.  Standardized tests stress me out.
I am starting to see my teaching career become more and more of a feasible reality.  This makes me elated.  I am ready.  Student teaching is just around the corner and really only depends on my passing the Praxis and passing this plant life course.  I can't believe it's almost here.
I also had a lot of time on the train to think last week.  And I thought about my thesis.  My department hasn't prompted me to start brainstorming on my topic yet, but I think I want to write about Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (for all you education guys and gals out there who know what that is).  It's one of my favorite theories involving lesson/unit/curriculum planning, particularly in the elementary school classroom.  I just need to explore what the existing research is and choose some sort of angle.  I feel like I am getting ahead on Mr. Thesis by even selecting a direction, so that feels good.

Okay enough for now!!



Blanche Deveraux

Golden Girl Blanche Deveraux is absolutely one of my favorite characters of all time.  Her sass and wild Southern belle ways have always made me laugh out loud.

This morning, the actress who brought this character to life, Rue McClanahan, passed away at the age of 76.

In memory of Rue, here are a few of my favorite Blanche moments:

Blanche: [Blanche and Rose have had a fight and Blanche has gone to a bitter Rose to say "sorry"] Now, Rose, I'm about to say two little words and they are the hardest words for me to say... 
Rose: [cutting Blanche off] 'Not tonight?' 

Blanche: What was your first impression of me?
Rose Nylund: That you wore too much make-up and were a slut. But I was wrong. You don't wear too much make-up. 

Blanche: You know what I always hate doing after a party?
Rose: Trying to find your underwear in the big pile?
Blanche: [offended] Cleanin' up the dirty dishes! You twit. 

Blanche: You, sir, are nothin' but a lowdown, carpet-bagging, scallywag! And as God is my witness, I will never shampoo your hair again!

Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Honey, aren't you forgetting something? Rose dumped you.
Blanche Devereaux: That's right, she did. I hate being dumped. Just hate it! I haven't been dumped since Wade Hunnicut threw me over for Rebecca Wilkinson, a girl who did not value her reputation.
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Did you let him get away with it?
Blanche Devereaux: Hell, no.
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: What'd you do?
Blanche Devereaux: Slept with his brother

Blanche Devereaux: [Storming into the kitchen] I am stunned, just stunned! Stunned is the only way to describe how, stunned I am

Blanche Devereaux: I cannot believe they lost all our luggage! Now I'm gonna have to go an entire weekend without underwear! 
Sophia Petrillo: Yeah. You usually slip into a pair by Sunday afternoon. 

Blanche: This is strictly off the record but - Dirk's nearly five years younger than I am. 
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: In what Blanche, dog years? 

Blanche: Oh, why would he want another woman? After all he has dipped his toe in the lake known as "Blanche."

Blanche: Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a long, hot, steamy bath, with just enough water to barely cover my perky bosoms.
Sophia Petrillo: You're only gonna sit in an inch of water? 

Blanche Devereaux: [re: Rose's birthday gift] I can't take it back. I payed in advance.
Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak: Can't you get a refund?
Blanche Devereaux: Well, no. I payed with nature's credit card.
Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak: You never leave home without it 

Blanche: I can't wait to hear that crowd gasp, when they lift up the sheet and see me there.
Dorothy: I'd think you'd be used to that by now Blanche. 

Blanche Deveraux: Well, sure. And I wrote him that I wanted to make passionate love to him in a hammock suspended between two Magnolia tees. You know that couldn't possibly happen!
Rose Nylund: Well, maybe if you lose a few pounds.
Blanche Deveraux: [obviously miffed] Shut up, Rose. 

Blanche Devereaux: Oh, Kendall is sitting down with Posey MacGlinn. She is my main rival for that assistants job. Oh, look at the shameless way she's flirting with him. Disgusting!
Rose Nylund: You flirted with him.
Blanche Devereaux: I'm from the South. Flirting is part of my heritage.
Rose Nylund: What does that mean?
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Her mother was a slut, too. 

Blanche: [Abot Rose's recent behavior] I am abhorred!
Sophia: [Overhearing] We know what you are, Blanche, I'm glad to hear you finally admitting it.
Blanche: Sophia, I said abhorred.
Sophia: A whore, a slut, a tramp - they're all the same. 

Blanche Devereaux: ...there was a time in my life when I tried quittin' somethin'.
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Blanche, you don't mean...
Blanche Devereaux: Sex, Dorothy. I tried quittin' sex.
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Obviously you fell off the wagon.
Sophia Petrillo: And onto a naval base. 

Hopefully we'll get a GG marathon soon on cable TV.  Hollywood has truly lost a gem.



The Small Touches for a Nautical Bedroom

Here are some pics of the upgrades I made in our bedroom!  I'm pretty excited about them.  I feel like it's still really livable for us without being over-the-top staged.  For instance, there is a reason why there is nothing decorative on Matt's nightstand.  He told me he'd rake it into the floor when he reaches over to turn off his alarm clock.  We had to make it work for us.

       Basically the bed already looked like this.

The fabric I decided to go with on the window seat.

Part of the window seat!  Basket was a gift, nautical potpourri from Stein Mart, $12.99 for a bag.
Tass taking a nap.Iv snoozin'

There I am in the mirror! Ha!



The Pumpkin Patch Formally Known as Our Backyard...

This spring, the hubs wanted to start a produce garden.  And I was all for it!  Now it has become a great outdoor activity, that he so adorably calls one of his hobbies, which makes me giggle.  Makes me giggle mostly because I can remember a time not so long ago when Lance and I had to be bribed with 10s and 20s to pull weeds for Dad.  And now Matt and I have freely chosen to have a garden together.

My man's got a mad green thumb.  These plants are green and have literally grown as fast as I have ever observed before.  I know I have a tendency to exaggerate, but I am for real this time.  Check this...


Can you tell which one was taken a week ago and which one was taken this week?  I know the angles aren't the same, but can you see the crazy progression??  I told Matt that I am affectionately going to start calling the garden "The Pumpkin Patch".  Reason being, my dear husband purchased pumpkin seeds without reading that they, in fact, were GIANT Pumpkin Plant Seeds.  And rest assured friends- they are becoming giant.  Vining down into our yard, wrapping itself up the small retaining wall between our neighbor's property and ours.  The Pumpkin Patch is not only growing, but showing the beginning signs of several starts of pumpkins.  Let's hope they don't get to be 200 pounds, as the packaging that was neglected so warned is possible.

Below is Matt's attempt at staking the vines to train them in the Pumpkin Patch.

Don't get me wrong...  I am jazzed the plants are doing so well.  We have been constantly laughing at our extremely low expectations being exceeded.  But today, something has to happen with our pumpkins.

There is actually a young fig tree beneath those expansive leaves that likely isn't getting enough sun. That poor little fig tree has been to hell and back.  This young fig tree that was not originally planted there, but Matt really wanted to move it from the original spot we chose, fearing we had it too close to the concrete patio for the roots to grow.  In his first attempt to transport this little guy, he accidentally cut our neighbor's cable line and felt hugely horrible and scared to see them for days (even though they were both really cool and laid back about it and Cox had a temporary line up and running a couple hours later).  And well, long story short, the fig ended up being replanted beside the pumpkin plants before they decided to go ape shit.

I told Matt last night that it's too bad Palm Sunday has come and gone; we could have donated lookalike palms to churches. (Blatant Distasteful Sarcasm.)  Anyway...

I threw in a couple other pics, too...
The Pepper Plants are a favorite of insects/forest animals behind the house.  The leaves have become pretty holey.
Our first little broc peaking out!
Summer Squash- can't wait to cook with this!

I think I'll stick to my flowers and let Matt handle The Patch.