Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with the baby that's growing waaay fast!

hard to believe that this child

is now this big
and while i can't cuddle her like this
she still likes to hang out with me :)
(second mommy, as her mom has named me)

sweet baby girl


Saturday, August 28, 2010

it's a great day to party

head over to cate's place where we celebrate 6 word saturday...

birthday celebrate -- party all night long!

we're celebrating our friend andy's 40th today, and while we (probably) won't actually be staying up all night long, we will be crashing there! no worries about driving with a bit o'alcohol in our system, and sleeping until the last possible moment before church tomorrow :)

i'm driving us there in my sweet new ride, which i shall return to tell you all about on monday. ish. you know me ;)

hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!


Friday, August 27, 2010

fitness friday: worth it, or not?

an email came to me the other day
that really made me think

i gave up on energy bars a LONG time ago
i just don't like them
fake chocolate, fake taste
there are a few i can stomach
and once in awhile i'll try one in a pinch

but this article came and i thought of my friends who nearly live on them
and decided to share it with you :)

here's my fitness/nutrition tip of the day for you
and it sounds simple, and common sensical
(did i just make up a word? the little red line is under it, which may indeed mean that i did...)

anyway, here it is

if i don't like it
i don't eat it.

meaning, i'm not going to waste my calories for the day
on something i don't enjoy

if a salad has a vinaigrette on it that i hate?
not gonna eat more than the initial bite
if a "healthy" meal tastes like cardboard?
i'll go to the fridge and pull out some fresh veggies that i know i love
if a cookie or chip is stale?
don't bother

i think for the longest time i ate what was in front of me under the misguided assumption that i needed to do the healthy thing whether i liked it or not

the problem was that in many cases i didn't like it

and so within a few hours of a meal, i was reaching for something that would satisfy
therefore sometimes doubling my calories

clearly that didn't work.

now that i know tricks and tips to "lean up" just about any meal
i don't even bother with the health food aisle

full-fat ranch dressing please, on a salad loaded with veggies and no cheese
reduced fat sour cream or cream cheese in recipes only (not that i'll eat sour cream on it's own...blech)
sugar in my sweet tea and coffee
water most of the rest of the day

it's SO simple
but i'm much happier doing it.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday's Ten: transitioning to morning person

so this week i started my new nanny gig

working for friends of mine
with a sweet little boy who's just.barely.1
and a start time of 6 am
(not so blissful or precious!)

it's been a long time since i routinely got up at 5 am. scratch that. i've never routinely been up at 5 am. when i was teaching i'd get up around 6:30 or 7...nannying for the family who will not be mentioned had me getting up at 6 or a few moments til.

thankfully, jes and michael live less than 15 minutes from me. so i leave between 5:40 and 5:50 on monday, wednesday and friday mornings. (tuesday and thursday are spent catching up on errands, working for other clients, or teaching at the studio)

i'm a night owl by body clock. i've always loved staying up later than the norm, and rarely had a problem getting up at a regular (and somewhat early) time.

although in the last couple of years, routine has gone out the window. i've had flexibility with some jobs, had to be at others around 8 or 9 am, and still others dragged on after midnight.

so i sort of welcome this return to a normal schedule, even though "normal" for me is going to be rather difficult to transition into.

here are 10 things i'm learning about myself, and about life before 6 am

1. right now, my body refuses to sleep when i go to bed earlier than my norm. i've been shooting for 11 pm or so, hoping to transition to 10 or 10:30 when my body becomes used to 11...but currently i literally stare at the ceiling or shift restlessly for a couple of hours.
(i stick to midnight or so on the days i don't have to get up at 5...just because i can actually then)

2. i love leaving the house before 6. mainly because all the stoplights on my route are turned on precisely at 6, so i don't have to stop at all on my way! hooray for blinking traffic lights...

3. i wake up earlier on my days "off" 6:30 this morning, with an alarm set for 7:30. go figure.

4. i'm kind of excited about that. i see morning runs/walks/hikes in my future on tuesdays and thursdays. or at least wiifit

5. there's something about waking up before the sun--or right as it's brimming--that feels powerful and right

6. i can still veg out like i used to between 9 and midnight. it just comes earlier in the evening, or in the afternoon when i get off.

7. i get off at 2:30. which is awesome. some days i have to teach at the studio after i'm off, but most days i can run to the grocery before the general public gets off, or go home with no rush hour traffic, or go meet a friend at the pool.

8. i actually (most of the time) have more energy for the day.

9. i'm beginning to eat breakfast...something i've never, ever done on a regular basis before in my life. not when i was in school...not when i was teaching...not when i nannied.

10. the baby takes a morning nap, which is my savior right now while i get used to my new bedtime. right now, i take a nap too. hopefully as i begin falling asleep when i actually go to bed *i* can drop the nap...but it's always nice to know it's an option!

have any of you transitioned like this? any tips for me?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


dear friends,

i know you're just trying to be helpful, but could you check on snopes before sending alarmist emails that have already been proven false time and time again? my cell phone number won't be public, our President is not a terrorist or the antichrist (you should read this one just for the last couple of lines which made me laugh), and i am tired of being warned that there's going to be a murderer in my backseat every time i stop to get gas.

SO not worth your time or mine

dear fly

i'm not really sure why you insist on only appearing when i lay down on the couch to take a nap, and why you think it fun to land on my cheek/nose/ear. i only got 4 hours of sleep last night because i couldn't.fall.asleep. so back off.


dear emi,

i promise i'll let you play outside in the next couple of days. i feel bad that you keep looking longingly out the windows and door.

sorry about that

dear body,

could you get used to this new sleep pattern soon please? i'd really appreciate it. but thanks for losing a couple more pounds

if i have to choose i'll keep the weight loss


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

book review: the voice of psalms

The Voice of Psalms is a daily reading Bible written in literary style. In essence, I saw it as a paraphrase with a bit more attention to staying true to Biblical text. It took me several months after receiving the book to put up this review -- on one hand because of circumstances going on in my life, and on the other so that I could give the Voice of Psalms several reads in order to be a bit more objective and give it an accurate review.

The Voice translation was a bit distracting for me, honestly. In order to stay true to the original (an effort that I applaud and appreciate), the words they have added to enrich the literary and poetic aspects of the Psalms are italicized. It took me several chapters to get used to that, and while I understand the reason for italicizing I can't say I especially enjoyed it. I'm guessing since this is the book of Psalms, it probably isn't so heavily italicized in other books.

There are also devotionals and commentaries every couple of pages. They are great tools, although aesthetically I normally prefer to have devos at the beginning or end of the book -- I don't mind flipping pages if my text isn't interrupted!

As far as other qualities of the Bible, this particular edition is a paperback, so it was easy to toss in a bag when I flew to Delaware and equally easy to cart to babysitting jobs. The print is friendly, fresh and crisp, and I did enjoy the overall styling of the book.

My recommendation is to check this edition out. In no way would I use it to replace my regular edition of the Bible, but it does make a nice addition to the collection--pull it out when you just need a beautiful read. :)

I review for BookSneeze

Disclosure of Material Connection:

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their (click the button above) book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with the second anniversary :)

our first picture ever together: august 2008

our first anniversary: august 2009

visiting jack: september 2009

fall in tennessee: october 2009

nerd alert...

celebrating the anniversary of his grandpa and grandma: november 2009
titans/colts game in indy: december 2009

playing in the snow: january 2010
at the pub: february 2010

at our friends wedding: march 2010

date night: june 2010

fourth of july: july 2010

playing at dragon park

celebrating 2 years: august 2010

not every moment has been wonderful
but each one has been blessed
we've shared joy and laughter
as well as tears and pain

i think we're stronger together
than we ever were apart
and i thank God daily
for such a wonderful man


Saturday, August 21, 2010

it's a great day to celebrate 2 years

Anthony and I are celebrating -- 2!

ok, so he's sick (fever and general yuckiness)
but that doesn't mean i won't take him his anniversary card
(we're buying tickets to Les Mis for our joint anniversary gift)
and spend some time with him

likely sitting on his couch
watching 30 rock
and attempting to convince him
to eat something for dinner so that we can eat together

not exactly how we planned to spend the day
but we'll be together
and that's what matters

happy 2 years, sweetie :)


Friday, August 20, 2010

fitness friday: to process or not to process

yesterday i was in two different houses with two different philosophies on eating and nutrition

yet the meals i served the children in both families both ended up to have about the same nutritional value

hot dogs in one home
macaroni and cheese from a box in the other
fresh fruit abounding in both

processed next to unprocessed
so i started thinking
which is dangerous, admittedly

what are my foodie confessions?
yes, i prefer unprocessed, whole foods
but honestly, i don't always do the best job of providing them to myself

for example, i know that pop-tarts have no nutritional value, whatsoever
but because they satisfy a sweet craving and have less fat/calorie content than many things that i could substitute
i allow them once in awhile

and while annie's mac and cheese is organic and all
it's still processed
and the blue box is even worse

i justify it because i don't eat these things every day
just "in a pinch"
when i'm in a hurry
or when nothing else sounds good and i just need food in my body

so...what can i do
what can you do
to ensure that healthful, REAL food is what you put in your body?

i think, for me, i'm going to be more purposeful in keeping healthful, whole foods on hand
actually preparing them when i bring them home, so that the temptation of fast and easy is removed
and it's actually JUST as fast and easy to have something real :)
and not falling victim to couponing--while it's AMAZING, i also think i buy more processed crap because i can get it cheap
(so now i have to somehow unify the part of me that wants healthful food with the part of me that wants to save money. THAT could be a blog project all it's own!)

what do you do?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday's Ten: The KCMO edition

we had a GREAT trip to kansas city last weekend.
and while i meant to post the trip update earlier in the week
clearly that didn't happen

and so because i'd like to comment on other blogs
and, i dunno, have a life
outside of car shopping
i thought i'd combine the weekend wrap-up with my thursday's ten this week

hey, it's my blog
i can if i want :)

it began pretty eventfully

1. the plane ride for example. beautiful.
for the first hour and 15. the last 45 minutes were spent first circling the greater KCMO area and THEN pummeling through the air in a sickening, treacherous, tumultuous, turbulance. when the flight attendant walking down the aisle immediately stops and buckles herself into a passenger seat, you know you're in trouble.
(and yes, a part of me was wishing for an island crash landing. but alas, we made it safely. all on friday the 13th)

my facebook status upon landing was:

Lora B was definitely on a flight worthy of being on friday the 13th...but she and anthony are safely on the ground in KC.

2. we had a bit of trouble with the rental car (like, we couldn't figure out how to unlock the steering mechanism and turn the key and had to go ask for help like idiots). but once we got on the road we called my brother who had assured me they would be "partying til late". it was nearly 11 when we called. i'm 80% sure we woke him up. so much for late...
so we headed to his ex-wife's, where we were staying, and ended up staying up until 2ish talking. this was the first time anthony had met any of my KC family, and they hit it off.

on our way, however, we stopped by a taco bueno (which anthony had never seen outside of texas and i had never had) and split a quesadilla. this sort of set the tone of the weekend: food, food, food!

3. the next morning, we woke up, showered, and went to oklahoma joe's for barbeque. now, anthony is a HUGE lover of all things bbq. so he had REALLY been looking forward to this one. along with karen, we ate with my niece liz and her partner melissa,
and my other niece aimee. scott (my nephew) wasn't able to join us since he was the best man and stuff.
the barbeque was awesome.
the company was even better :)

4. after lunch we quickly went back to karen's house and changed. and then ran to hallmark to grab a card (which thankfully i found on the first try). we headed to the church, taking note of one set of directions in particular which prompted the following facebook status from anthony:

Anthony N is driving towards Rainbow Boulevard... Oh, the irony.

the ceremony was tasteful and short, and we visited with "the kids" some more at the reception. headed out when the cake had been eaten :) and gave gaylen our love...with hopes to see each other again before we left.

(anthony, me, tommie, melissa, gaylen, liz, scott and aimee)

5. while we were in kansas city, anthony really wanted to see arrowhead -- where the chiefs play. several people had told us it was a pretty quick drive from where we were, and not too far out of the way. after my iphone took us through the projects and down a street that was closed, i began seeing signs that we were near the stadium -- there were street signs that had pictures of football players on them. i also noted that it was strange, there were also pictures of baseball players...but i supposed that made sense because that's the season we're in.

when we drove onto the grounds, we noticed there was a sign that said "toll plaza ahead". we thought this strange, but didn't think much of it since it was off season...until we saw that there were indeed attendants. anthony at this point said "never mind, just turn around..." to which i replied "uh...i can't..." as we both looked in astonishment as cars began to FLOOD in behind us. what the heck?

we were able to explain our situation to a nice parking attendant, who explained to US that the chiefs stadium is indeed next to the royals stadium. and the royals were playing the yankees in just a couple of hours. he told us that he'd give us a ticket, and as long as we got out of the stadium in under an hour we could get our money back.

we didn't stay an hour. long enough to take 4 pictures and speak to about 13 other parking attendants.

(this experience prompted my facebook status of:

Lora B ‎'s notes to Kansas city visitors: 1. the chiefs and the royals have side by side stadiums. 2. they share a parking lot. 3. it's ill-advised to attempt to visit the chiefs stadium on a day the royals play the yankees. Oops.

6. we left the madness that was the baseball game (by the way, yankees won that night, royals won the next day) and headed down to the plaza. now, kansas city is known as the city of fountains. my mom tells me stories of going to college back in the day and ice skating on them when they froze. something i think is *way* cool, and i totally canNOT picture my mother doing!

i was excited to see some of the fountains, but mostly i was excited to be spending time with my wonderful boyfriend. although our 2 year anniversary is the 21st, we decided to spend saturday evening as our "anniversary date" for two reasons. 1, we were in a new city and thought it would be fun. 2, his birthday is the 17th, and we decided to celebrate his birthday over our anniversary weekend so that he could celebrate in nashville :)

(even starbucks has a fountain...)

7. our first stop? the apple store. the real reason was for me to get a new cable for my iphone (my cable was shot). however, that didn't stop us from playing for awhile. which prompted THIS facebook status from me:

Lora B is out celebrating her anniversary with her wonderful boyfriend...currently playing with ipads at the apple store in the plaza. Dorks? Nah...

8. we took liz and melissa's recommendation of a tuscan restaurant, and went to brio to eat dinner. omgoodness, y'all. if you have a chance to ever eat at a brio (or it's sister restaurant, bravo) please do yourself a favor and GO. i can definitely say that anthony and i plan to go back there next time we visit kansas city!

our waitress was amazing. when we told her we were flying out of town the next day she immediately said "and you don't want leftovers, right?" and suggested not only a meal that we could split, but a soup/salad to go along with it to stretch it out some...and her favorite dessert to top off the night. we LOVED her.

our menu that night consisted of minestrone (me) and lobster bisque (him), both of which we shared--just kept passing the bowls between the two of us
gorgonzola lamb chops

and a dessert trio with chocolate hazelnut cannolis, chocolate chip brad pudding and caramel mascarpone cheesecake

after our dessert we asked her to take our picture. she obliged, and then said

"ok, this kind of looks like your first date. get together or something."

and took another.

(yeah. we hearted her)

after dinner we walked around, took some more pictures, and headed back to karen's (which was an adventure in itself). a couple of fun pictures to note:

there was a diamond store being built or remodeled on one of the streets. on it's temporary walls was a simple question: "kansas city, how do you know you are loved" and surrounding it were answers that people had texted or tweeted in. i thought that was SO cool.

my favorite

anthony's favorite

the one i think is "us"

and us in front of the wall

we also found these romantic streetlights on a bridge, and i decided to snap a picture of the city street just as an older couple strolled by. i LOVED the way this shot turned out. yes, i had romance on the brain, but it was still sweet :)

9. the next morning we went to church with karen, then to lunch at her family's favorite tex-mex place, jose pepper's. the choices were endless!

we both ended up with amazing things (anthony, by the way, chose barbeque chicken quesadillas. told you the boy likes his bbq) and enjoyed chatting with karen, her brother kevin, his wife mary, and their cousin paul.

sadly, we returned home only to throw things in a bag and have a fun little photo session. then we were off to our last stop.

10. my brother had invited us to brunch, but since we were going to church we asked if we could meet later. he then suggested lunch, but i thought that might be a little too much for him to eat brunch AND lunch, so we suggested dessert or coffee. i called him as we were packing and he suggested a gourmet ice cream place. considering the kind of food we had packed in over the weekend, ice cream was about the ONLY dessert that we could have added to the mix, so we gladly agreed and set out.

we ended up at a place called glace, right off the plaza (which we had already fallen in love with). i loved this place--because it had iced lattes, first of all, and i hadn't had any coffee that day. considering it was already 2 pm, i was all set to be pretty grumpy if i didn't get any in me soon!

but the ice cream flavors...omgosh. i settled on strawberry thyme mixed with lavender. and while you may be gagging on the other side of your screen...let me just tell you it was AMAZING.

gaylen and i laughed, because we matched that day...

we really, really enjoyed our visit with gaylen and tommie. since they had been rather busy the day before, anthony hadn't really been able to properly chat with gaylen, and i hadn't been able to size tommie up :) he won me over though, just with his attire. ireland shirt? gets me every time :)
my final status of the weekend was:

Lora B is preparing to board a plane back to nashville...kind of wishing she could stay longer or bring a few people with her...

anthony's the next day was:

Anthony N's weekend was complete Saturday by lunchtime when he got to eat at Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City, where Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food visited for that very show. Add on to that celebrating two years with Lora B.. yes, it was a good weekend :)

so that was our kansas city trip. definitely different, exciting, crazy, wacky, and wonderful. all in all...pretty much the perfect weekend. we're already planning our next trip up there :)