Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ten on Tuesday | Fitness Gear

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Guys, it's almost swim suit season.
The good news is that I live in a land locked state far from any beaches.
The bad news is.. well, that I'm far from any beaches.

Though I likely won't sport a bikini many times this Summer, I always feel motivated to work out this time of year. I've never been one for sports but Spring time usually means a few games of tennis, yoga workouts, and hours spent at the gym. 

When we moved to Rio Rancho, we joined what is possibly the world's most awkward gym. I really wish I was kidding but who knew that so many aspiring body builders could live in one small city? Worse yet,  they all belong to the same gym.

This weekend, we got an elliptical for the house which means fewer hours feeling intimated at the gym. While that means I could also work out in just about anything, I am in dire need of new workout clothes.

In case you're in the same predicament, I thought I might share some of my fitness favorites. While just about any leggings, tank tops, and sports bras will do, I am devoted to Saucony sneakers. During my first trip to Phoenix, I purchased my first pair (also in orange). Now, two years later, they're due for replacing and these are next on my list. 

Other fitness products that you can't take away from me include my Manduka yoga mat, which is perfectly cushioned and non-slip (an important quality for hot yoga), and my Intak water bottle

While I have never tried using a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor, they are definitely on my wish list. Relying on the treadmills heart rate monitor is faulty at best and while I may have gotten an accurate reading last week thanks to the cardiologist's 24-hour holter monitor.. I think this watch is definitely more stylish and discrete. 

So tell me, what are your must have fitness items? 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Because of the Brave

Today is a day not set aside for barbecues, swimming pools or starting summer celebrations. Today is a day set aside for remembering those who have lost their lives fighting for our country, to honor those who have defended our country in the past, and to support those who continue to fight for it now.

Today is a day to remember that we live in the land of the free, because of the brave.

I am lucky to live with this guy - a veteran - a guy who gave two years of his life to jumping out of, as he would call them, "perfectly good" airplanes. I am honored to be able to hear his stories and thankful that he is here with me now. Each week, I send e-mails across the oceans to my brother, my brother who is aboard a boat for nearly a year as part of his service to the Marines. I feel so lucky to have these two, and fortunate that they have served our country without having to make the greatest sacrifice - the loss of their lives.

So many others are not so fortunate.
Many have lost family and friends, brothers and uncles, grandfathers or great grandfathers.

Between burgers and cold beers, please take a moment today to thank those who have protected and continue to protect our country, and to remember the veterans who have lost their lives in and out of the course of duty. Take a moment to realize how truly blessed we are, that others give of their lives so that we may live in peace and in freedom.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Home

Every week, I write a post promising that this little space will be back to normal the next week. Then, the next week comes and I'm overwhelmed with the same monotonous routine that I've been stuck in for much of May. I'm itching for the calendar to turn to June. I'm anxiously awaiting a long birthday weekend for the guy I love and the end to hours of commuting and long days. I'm hoping that June holds more adventures, longer weekends weekends, and more blog posts than May.

This space has been quiet, not because I haven't had things to say, but because I haven't found time to organize my thoughts or to photograph much of anything. This week, I promised myself that a post would be written. Somehow. About something. Ten on Tuesday seemed a great place to start but then Tuesday faded into Wednesday.. Wednesday quickly filled with meetings.. and soon Wednesday was Thursday. Thursday had its own agenda full of doctors appointments and laundry, a house to clean and a closet to organize. And at five o'clock, with a sparkling home and a moment to breath, I remembered what I had forgotten to share with you.

Our new home.


I suppose I hadn't taken the time to share photos because well, we are in an in between stage. Our home is furnished and full, yet we continue to rearrange and reorganize. What I mean to say is that this isn't a finished product (I hope that will have more color) and it is likely that our home won't remain this way for long.. but I decided that it was worth it to capture it now.


Our home is filled with sentimental pieces. Artwork painted by friends and family, furniture from Trevor's grandparents home on Bethany Beach. The things we purchased when decorating our living room include the couch, the rug, and the wooden bookshelves. Everything else in the room has been part of one of our lives for quite some time. Next to our couch sits a stool painted by Trevor's mom when he was a child. Now, it holds drinks and laptops. Our coffee table, a consigned find that Trevor has moved across the country twice.


On bookshelves, movies and mementos are stacked. Photo albums from Paris. Vintage cameras from my parents. Cookbooks from restaurants in Santa Fe, New Zealand. Thrift store coffee table books on topics like Life in America and Death Cab for Cutie. A guide to peakbagging in Montana from sweet friends. The plant my mom had delivered on the day we moved in.


In two short months, many things have happened in our home. We've had our first family visitors, our first friend to sleep on the couch.. the same couch we've moved three times. We became the proud owners of a kitchen table, a real wooden kitchen table. In two months, we've had two different bedrooms and fifteen different ideas for decorating the living rooms only bare wall. We've moved artwork and failed to find curtains. We've made a list of priorities "buy a couch. hang curtains. buy a bird house." only to scribble it out and reorder it.


This little house really does feel like home.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten on Tuesday | at Target

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I have a confession to make: I have spent the past few weeks throwing my entire closets worth of clothes on the floor in frustration. Poor Trevor has had to toss sweaters and leggings aside in an effort to find a pair of socks, Buddy has made himself comfortable in a nest of scarves and tank tops.

Moving from a place where it is winter nine months of the year to a place where it is sunny and seventy daily has meant a severe wardrobe challenge. While I should be wearing sandals and dresses, skirts and summer hats, my closet is only filled with sweaters, sweaters, boots, and more sweaters.

Last week I even spent three hours shopping. Three hours at four different stores.
If you know me, you know this is an accomplishment.

I went in hopes of finding some new tops suitable for graduate school classes and my project assistantships. Instead, I left with new black leggings, two skirts, two pairs of jeans, a pair of hot pink pants, and a pair of floral print leggings. While I may have gotten the deal of the century (I only spent $50!), my wardrobe is still suffering because, well, the sweater problem hasn't been solved.

If you know of any fabulous and summery tops for sale, help a girl out.
I'm dying over maxi skirts and cropped tops this season, but who isn't?

After my failed in-store shopping trip, I thought some online browsing was in order. While I was looking for tops, I got a little distracted and instead put together this Ten on Tuesday list for you. Everything pictured here is from Target with much of it sold in stores. Lately I've fallen in love with some many items pictured on other blogs.. only to realize that they are much out of my price range. I can't be the only one who can't afford a $350 tote, right? 

Oh, and confession number two? I still haven't bought sunglasses (though you can enter to win a pair here).

Other items on my wish list right now include wedge sandals, scarves in every color and some bold jewelry. Plus, I need a new bag to carry books and binders - after all, I'm starting school in three weeks. 

So tell me, what is your favorite trend this season? Any favorite stores or sales I should know about?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I want:

I want to serve you filet and champagne for dinner, just because.
I want to never stop having picnic lunches.
I want to write you love notes in neon ink on our kitchen white board.
I want to plan your perfect birthday weeks before it happens.
I want to drive around on Sunday mornings to look at hot air balloons.
I want to hike mountains together.
I want to duck inside unaffordable furniture stores and dream.
I want to rub your hands while you fall asleep.
I want to decipher the poems you write.
I want to photograph you in every spot we visit.
I want to sit at our kitchen together every morning.
I want to argue about how to decorate our home.
I want to drink coffee and tea together at your favorite spots.
I want to embarrass you with lists like this one.
I want to bring you home heath bar ice cream on bad days.
I want to scrub the stains out of your dress shirts.
I want to be always be your baby doll.
I want to fight you for blankets every night.
I want to eat our way through Santa Fe and laugh at every celebrity we see.
I want to leave my bobby pins everywhere for you to roll your eyes at.
I want to take videos of every adventure we take.
I want to never stop taking adventures.
I want to read novels filled with your handwritten notes.
I want to go for late night drives.

I want to love you, always.

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's official!

I am officially a University of New Mexico Lobo.
I even took the uncomfortable school ID photo to prove it.

Over the past few months, I have mentioned graduate school in this space only a handful of times. I worried that sharing details or dreams to soon could perhaps jinx the application process, the waiting, the assistantship interviews. While I hoped that I wouldn’t be disappointed in my graduate school outcome, I worried even more about disappointing those of you who have kept your fingers crossed for me over the past few months.

Now that I am officially enrolled, registered and simply waiting on assistantship contracts to be drafted, I thought I could share a little more of my excitement with you. After a month of interviews, held breath and wishful thinking, I can say that I am going to be completing my master's degree with full funding. I still can't believe it. 

Though we lived in Montana at the start of my graduate school application process, I chose to apply to schools scattered throughout the country. The hardest part of the process was knowing that I didn't have the resources needed to visit most of the schools on my list.

As the acceptance letters began to arrive, I began to feel worse and worse. Decision making has never been my strong suit and as I tossed over options, I grew frustrated. Next came the assistantships, the stipends, the scholarships - funding for every single school I had applied to except for this very university. Worse yet, I was carefully warned that assistantship funding was most often reserved for those who earned their BBA at UNM, for those who were in the second year of the program. I took a chance. I turned down great offers (like a funded PhD) for intuition.

Despite wanting to move back East to friends and family, despite loving Flagstaff and Northern Arizona's campus, something drew me to New Mexico. I knew that we couldn't stay in Montana and with a month's notice, we moved nearly 1100 miles - from the snowy mountains to the vast desert.

When I received an e-mail asking me to interview for an IT based assistantship, I nearly replied saying that I had already found a full-time job position. After the first interview, and talks of CSS and HTML5, I was terrified. Then, I spent hours preparing a design portfolio and a week worrying that I had blown my chance at funding. But somehow, I was hired as the newest project assistant for the Web Development Team for the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. (It's a mouthful, isn't it?)

I have so many thoughts to share with you, thoughts on moving, on New Mexico, on trusting your self to make the right decision - too many thoughts for one post. I just couldn't resist sharing my news with you, sharing my excitement for a new opportunity, and my satisfaction for having made the right decision. Over the course of this summer, I hope to share more details on the MBA application process. A timeline to follow, tips for choosing a school. The process was terrifying but already so worth it.

I hope you can understand why it's been a little quiet here. I've been well, distracted. That being said, I have a feeling a lot of things will be changing over the next few weeks.

I hope I can keep up.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Giveaway | Firmoo Sunglasses

I can't possibly be the only one who hates shopping for sunglasses, can I?

Living in Pennsylvania, I never learned to love sunglasses. Rather than being a necessity, sunglasses were a fashion statement and one that I wasn't interested in. After all, every pair that I've owned have either been lost or broken... Bringing me to my current problem - living in one of the sunniest cities in the country without a single pair. 

You see, Albuquerque is sunny 76% of the time. Really, they measure these things.

Now that summer is just around the corner, I have noticed myself squinting at traffic lights, fumbling with the flimsy visors in my car, and cursing myself for not being able to decide on one simple accessory. It's not that I haven't tried to find a pair of sunglasses since arriving in New Mexico - instead, despite the dozens of pairs I've tried on in the last week alone, I haven't been able to settle on a single one. Too big, too dark, too square, too circular. 

Luckily for you though, Firmoo is giving away $20 gift cards to six Live Beautifully readers.

I always feel silly standing in the store shuffling pair after pair of sunglasses on and off of my face. I quickly grow embarrassed, the embarassment then turns to frustratation and I leave without a single pair. That's why being able to virtually try on Firmoo's glasses is perhaps my favorite part of the online store. Furthermore, in addition to offering a wide variety of regular sunglasses, Firmoo also allows shoppers to purchase tinted glasses fit with their prescriptions.

If you've never shopped for glasses online, rest assured knowing that Firmoo makes it easy and hassle free. I had a great experience ordering prescription glasses this winter and I'm trying to narrow down a pair of sunglasses to order this Spring. Plus, you can even get free shipping

I'm crushing on this pair in tortoise but I'd love to know which sunglasses are your favorite. 

To be entered to win a $20 voucher to Firmoo's sunglasses shop, leave a comment here telling me which glasses you'd buy. 

As a bonus, if this giveaway receives more than fifty entries, Firmoo will be giving away an additional prize - a pair of sunglasses with free shipping - so be sure to tell your friends! 

This giveaway begins May 9th and closes at midnight on May 27th, 2013. 
Winners will be announced and contacted shortly there after. 
(Please make sure to include an e-mail for notification purposes)