Monthly Archives: January 2012

OKC v. Tulsa – Part II

As I discussed in Part I of my OKC v. Tulsa debate, the transition from Tulsa to Oklahoma City has been a struggle for me. The good news is that I truly feel like it is getting better due in part to the following things (in addition to my job) that I’m learning to appreciate and (gasp!) even love about OKC:

1. These people:

Sister and Brother-in-Law QLC (Photo courtesy of Sister QLC)

 

The nephews on Halloween (Personal photo)

2. The Y. I have become a huge, huge fan of the Y — my lovely sister deserves all the credit for this — and I’ve even convinced Miss Dubs to get a membership too so we can sweat it out together. The Y is cheaper than my gym was in Tulsa and with a membership you have access to any Y in the OKC area! This is seriously awesome. There is a Y a few blocks from my office that I like to hit up post-work and on the weekends and I’m taking Boot Camp with my sister at the Y closest to her three mornings a week. Plus, there is a new Y by Miss Dubs where we can meet up for workouts too. I’ve never felt like it was over-crowded and it seems like there are people of all fitness levels there so it isn’t intimidating.

3. BFC. As I mentioned in Part I, Miss Agnes brought together a lovely group of women for a Christmas fete last month and we had such a wonderful time that we decided to start a monthly happy hour. So every third Thursday of the month, I get to enjoy the company of the “Best Friends Club” (I cannot take credit for the hilarious name) while sampling various OKC eateries. I feel fortunate to be part of a fun, diverse group of ladies who want to go out and do things together. I definitely think it will help me broaden my OKC network and feel more at home here.

The BFC at our Limo Light Tour (Photo courtesy of Miss Agnes)

4. My LifeGroup. I was in a LifeGroup in Tulsa and I really liked everyone in it, but I never felt really “in” if that makes any sense. I didn’t hang out with anyone in the LG outside of our regular Monday meetings and I don’t think I even had anyone’s phone number. My new LG is really active. Our leader is awesome about getting together activities outside of our meetings to fellowship with each other and with other groups. In the past few weeks this has really helped me feel more a part of my LG and like I’m developing important new friendships.

5. My closet. Trivial? Completely. But man do I love my closet! It is so big. After living for two years in what Miss H, Miss PoliSci, and I not-so-lovingly referred to as the “baby nursery” and then spending a year in “the cottage,” having a spacious abode has been incredibly nice. The thing about having a big closet is that it is truly frightening how fast you can fill it up. I also have enough space in my bedroom for the exercise bike, which I’ve never had before and I’m enjoying that too. It’s the little things right?

I know that it is going to take time for me to feel like OKC is my home and that’s okay. I also know that I need to put more effort into finding people and places I enjoy here. I think the first few months were kind of a mourning and adjustment process and now it’s time to get down to it. Good thing my spring social calendar is filling up with lots of entertaining and OKC-centric things to do! Tulsa will always be my hometown, my first love, but OKC is my home now and it’s time for me to embrace it.

Have you ever struggled with moving to a new town? What was the hardest part for you? How’d you get past it?

 

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OKC v. Tulsa – Part I

T-shirt from Must Stash Tulsa. I may or may not have bought this on Saturday. (If you can't tell, this shows all the counties in the state of Oklahoma. Instead of reading "Tulsa," Tulsa County is titled "HOME."

 

I am a Tulsa girl. Through and through and through. I love my hometown — the neighborhoods and the restaurants and the people who are important to me who live there. It was always my intention to live in Tulsa after I graduated from law school. I wanted to be close to my family and friends in a city I really like to live in. Maybe that makes me a baby or means I lack a sense of adventure and if it does, then I’m okay with that. When my current job opportunity presented itself this past June, I immediately shot it down because I did not want to move to Oklahoma City. After careful consideration, I packed my bags and headed west.

From a career standpoint, this has been a really good move for me. From a social/emotional standpoint, I won’t lie, it’s been difficult. While I enjoy all of the friends I do have in the Oklahoma City area (which is a freaking huge area), the dynamic is completely different from the groups I was friends with in Tulsa. I also don’t enjoy the time it takes to get places or the sub-par gas station and grocery store options. Recently, I was at happy hour with a new group of girls (full credit to Miss Agnes for uniting this fun group of ladies) and I half-jokingly mentioned something re my quest-to-stop-hating-OKC. I definitely wasn’t expecting the fiery responses I got to that statement. I felt a little bit attacked but I don’t necessarily think that was anyone’s intention. I understand that most of the girls at the table really love OKC and I admit I should have been more sensitive to that, but I also feel like their response to my feelings wasn’t quite fair either. I didn’t say that they shouldn’t like OKC or that they should agree with me that Tulsa is superior. I just meant that right now I’m not in love with OKC. Not even close. But, I am working on it. I really am. And going to monthly happy hour with that group is absolutely a part of me starting to feel better about Oklahoma City.

I felt like after that experience that I need to purge my conflicting feelings about the two cities — enter this blog post. Without further ado, here are the things I miss the most about Tulsa:

1. These people (photo not inclusive of every one I miss):

Personal photo.

Fortunately for me, I get to see most of them every month or so, but I still miss them terribly. I feel like every time I go to Tulsa for a visit, I laugh harder than I’ve laughed since I moved. I love that feeling but it’s really bittersweet at the same time. I miss laughing that hard on a regular basis. [Miss Dubs, I’m SO ready to live with you so we can laugh like that, even if it will be mostly laughing at my general ridiculousness.]

2. Quik Trip. I know this seems completely silly, but Quik Trip is by far and away the most superior gas station I’ve ever had the privilege of patronizing. And seriously, in Tulsa, there is a Quik Trip every mile, at least. It’s clean and conveniently located and come on, no one does 2 for $2 Taquitos like QT.

3. Reasor’s. I never thought I would miss a grocery store, but alas, I am old, nerdy, and set in my ways. I find the grocery store selection in OKC to be disappointing at best. The closest grocery stores to me are a Wal-mart Grocery store and a very frightening Homeland. The Wal-mart isn’t that bad but it doesn’t carry a lot of food I like — ex: arugula, Brussels sprouts, a decent selection of turkey products. I do most of my shopping at Super Target, but it is far from convenient for me and I’m more apt to overspend at Target. I have heard of the mythical Crest but I’ve never seen one in real life. OKC does have Whole Foods and Sunflower Market, both of which I like, but neither of which I can afford to grocery shop at for anything more than specialty items.

4. Being able to get anywhere I wanted to go within 12 to 15 minutes. Sometimes less than 10. Church. My parents’ house. Work. The gym. Target. Downtown. Utica Square. The BOK center. Sushi, Indian, Thai, or Mexican. I have been seriously spoiled by the midtown bubble I inhabited in t-town. Oklahoma City is spread out. Big time. I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult to get anywhere but it takes a lot longer. I worry about falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from paying a visit to Miss Dubs. Pretty much everyone I cared about in Tulsa lived between 41st Street and 11th Street (with the exception of Miss Runner) and it was really, really nice.

5. Feeling confident. This seems silly but I think some of my confidence has been affected by this move. In Tulsa, I knew where to go and where not to go. I knew (or my friends did) what was happening around town. I probably ran into someone I knew almost everywhere I went. I liked that Tulsa was a small town to me. I felt comfortable and happy. I never walked into the White Owl and felt that sense of anxiety that comes with not really knowing where you are or where to go or what to order. I feel clumsy and out-of-place here. I know that is something that is just going to take some time but it still sucks right now.

Are any of these things a huge deal? Probably not. But sometimes, when I’m feeling lonely and emotional [i.e. frequently], these little things feel huge to me because that’s who I am. I had a life in Tulsa and I don’t have one in OKC . . . yet.

Stayed tuned for Part II, bringing you the things I appreciate about OKC!

*Click on images for sources.

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These Are My Obsessions – Vol. VI

1. High-waisted, vintage/retro swimsuits. Maybe. I really like the one  below from Mod Cloth but I’m not sure how it would look in reality. I’m concerned about the long-butt-effect. I’d like to try one on but it seems like they are most widely available online….hmm….

Bathing Beauty Two-Piece via Mod Cloth -- I'd prefer the black.

This is the dress I bought for the gala. LOVED IT! (Pic from Pinterest because it is no longer available from eShakti)

2. eShakti. eShakti is an amazing online clothing boutique offering sizes 0-26W with CUSTOM SIZING. You heard me. Custom sizing. After first hearing about eShakti while reading What the Frock?, I ordered a dress for a formal work-related event. You can order any item in a standard size or pay an extra $10 (I think, it may be less than $10) for the item to be custom-sized based on your measurements. Plus, when you sign up/register for a log-in, they send you a $20 credit for your next purchase. The dress I ordered was high quality (fully-lined, with pockets) and fit better than anything I’ve bought off the rack in years. You even can include your height and the height of the shoes you plan to wear so your dress is the perfect length!

3. My Erin Condren planner. One of my co-workers turned me on to Erin Condren and I fell madly in love. I ordered a 2012 planner for myself and one for my sister for her birthday. It’s colorful and fun and has plenty of room to accommodate my obsessive list-making ways. She sells tons of cute stationary and labels and all kinds of other personalized goodies.

Erin Condren Planner - I had mine done in custom orange.

4. Old Navy Boyfriend Jeans. You have no idea how much I want these jeans. They look so comfortable and effortlessly broken in and shock of all shocks, Old Navy actually got the wash right for once! Completely love them. Unfortunately, my Old Navy was out of my size. And they’re out of my size online. Someone please buy a pair and tell me that they are as awesome on as I imagine them to be.

Old Navy Women's Boyfriend Jeans in Dusk

5. I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston Pandora Station. Seriously, make one. You won’t regret. It’s my go to Friday jam session. Whitney, Michael, Janet, Journey – I love it all.

* Click on images for sources.

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#2012ismyyear

Near the end of 2011, I had a fabulously long lunch with Miss PR, and we talked about our lives and the ways we’d grown and changed over 2011. And Miss PR boldly declared that she really believed 2012 would be our year. If you follow me on twitter (@Qtrlifeconfused) you may have seen me use the hashtag #2012ismyyear lately. I’ve adopted it as my mantra for the new year and I’m really using it as my touchstone for my ever-present weight loss quest. I want this to be the year that I really get after it. I haven’t lost a significant amount of weight since 2008. Since then all of my attempts have pretty much been stop-and-start-again to lose the same 5-7 pounds. I need to get over the 5-7 pound hump! I personally need more momentum than that to stay focused. With all of that in mind, I am currently 9.2 pounds down from my highest weight ever (September 2011) and pushing forward towards that 15 pound mark. Here are the things I’m doing this year to help me continue to succeed in this area of my life:

1.  Accountability. Mrs. B has become my weight loss accountability partner so to speak. We text each other our weight every day — talk about keeping you honest! And try to text each other what we eat throughout the day. It really helps to have someone encourage you, help you strategize, and call you out when you are making excuses.

2. Boot Camp. My sister and I signed up for Advanced Boot Camp at the Y and so far, my attendance record is far exceeding my attendance the last time we did this. We meet Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 5:30 a.m. I won’t lie, getting up and getting there is a huge struggle sometimes, but knowing that my sister and our trainer, Rachel, will be on me if I’m not definitely helps me get out of bed. I like boot camp because Rachel makes me doing things I would never make myself do — like crab walk. I also think sometimes she just makes up crazy exercises off the top of her head. I am very elliptical/treadmill/stairclimber/weight circuit regimented. I think it’s good for my body to be challenged and to do different exercises every time I’m there.

3. Stationary Bicycle. My parents had a stationary bicycle in their room at the lake for several years but usually when we are at the lake we ride our outside bicycles or run so it wasn’t getting a whole lot of use but it was taking up quite a bit of space. So last weekend while they were in town for my nephew’s birthday, they brought me the bike. And it is in my room. Right next to my bed. Taunting me. “Psssst…..did you work out today?….Do you think that you moved enough to work off that handful of Valentine’s Day candy corn?…..What would Bob Harper say about you watching Biggest Loser like a bump on a log?” I’ve ridden it three times this week — twice as my primary workout and once as a bonus to boot camp — and I actually really like it. The thing is crazy hard, no lie, but I feel really good about pumping out 10 miles in 30 minutes while catching some boob tube.

4. Goals Board. I took all my 2012 goals and wrote them out in brightly colored Sharpies on a big piece of poster board. I hung it on my wall. Now I have to look at them every day. In the past I’ve been guilty of writing goals at the beginning of the year, saving them on my computer somewhere, and ignoring them until the end of the year when I realize I haven’t accomplished 87% percent of them. Not this year. This year I have to look at them every day. Hopefully this will be a good motivator/reminder to stay after it too — on all of my goals.

5. Going to bed. This seems kind of silly but for me 9:30 p.m. is my optimal bed time. It’s what time I went to bed in high school, and it’s what time I have to be in bed if I’m going to get up for boot camp. I believe getting adequate sleep is really important for weight loss and for my overall health. So lately, I’ve been watching less TV and getting in bed early. So far, I really like how it makes me feel and I don’t feel like I’ve been missing out on anything.

What steps are you taking to meet your 2012 goals? How’s it going so far?

 

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Bringing it Back: These are my Obsessions – Vol. V

I know it’s been many moons since I did an obsessions post, but between Pinterest, my online shopping addiction, and my new-found love for style blogs, I thought I’d bring back my Obsessions series. Enjoy!

1. Eloquii. This is Limited’s new plus-size clothing line. Even though I haven’t actually ponied up the money and bought anything yet, I stalk their website constantly and drool over beauties like these:

Belted Tweed Jacket

Open Drapey Striped Cardigan

Curvy Fit Skinny Jeans in Cobalt

How cute would that cardigan be with a skinny belt? Now only to decide whether to get the skinnies in red or cobalt blue….

The Fun Bun

2. The Fun Bun. This has become one of my go-to hairstyles, especially when I over sleep. =) It’s really easy, fun, and chic. For me it works best when my hair is partially air-dried. I have more control over my crazy layers when it’s still kind of wet. I can’t make it work when my hair is completely dry because it’s too fine. I love the illusion of volume without having to tease it! Oh, and if you aren’t following the beauty department, you should be! So many awesome tutorials and tips. Definitely worth checking out.

3. Warby Parker. I’m sure I’m late to the party on this but I am in love with Warby Parker glasses. Their home try-on program is completely genius. I tried on five fabulous pairs last month and plan to order a pair next week.

Preston in Whiskey Tortoise

4. Brussels Sprouts. In the last year or so, B-sprouts have become my absolute favorite vegetable. I think they’ve been underrated and overlooked for a long time because our parents and grandparents didn’t cook them in an appealing way — steamed = bleck. I prefer mine roasted in olive oil with fresh ground pepper and sea salt and then drizzled with Balsamic vinegar. I made them a la The Pioneer Woman for Christmas (I realize I already told you about that but it’s really worth mentioning again) and have also tried them sautéed with pancetta. Delish. Click pics below for recipes. Seriously, do it.

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta via SkinnyTaste.com

5. My fitbit. I got a fitbit for Christmas and I think it’s awesome. The fitbit is essentially a pedometer, but oh so much more. It tracks my daily steps, mileage, and calories burned. I can also wear it on my wrist at night to track my sleep — how long I slept, how many times I woke up, etc! It wirelessly syncs all the data to my account on their website so I can see what I’ve been up to lately. And unlike traditional pedometers, it can be worn on your bra so you don’t have to worry about it falling off every time you sit down. Total win.

FitBit

*Click on images for sources. I am receiving no compensation for the endorsement of any of the above — these are things I just like! 

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T-minus 25ish Months: 30 Under 30 Update

Here’s what I’ve accomplished since I last posted about my 30 Under 30 List:

(2) Tried 6 new recipes:

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole by SkinnyTaste.com

Love the Tuna Noodle Casserole. A little labor-intensive, but not terrible. The recipe says it makes 6 servings for a WW Pts + value of 8, but I split mine into two 8 x 8 foil pans so I’d have 8 servings at 6 pts+. I also gave a pan to my sister because there is no way I could eat 8 servings of Tuna Noodle Casserole in a week no matter how much I loved it. But seriously, delicious. And it doesn’t call for canned soup so I think it is much more wholesome and flavorful than a lot of similar casseroles.

Slow Cooker Potato and Bacon Chowder

I liked this soup but for some inexplicable reason didn’t eat much of it. Perhaps it was the oregano — not my favorite spice. The texture was really good for a healthy-ish potato based soup though. It felt really hearty which I always appreciate.

Chicken Ropa Vieja from SkinnyTaste.com

Mrs. B and I enjoyed this piled on to taco salad. Really easy to make but it is a lot liquid-ier than I expected. I would not put in all of the “reserved broth” it calls for if you want something less soupy, which is what I prefer for a taco salad topping.

Slow Cooker Angel Chicken

This recipe has been blowing up Pinterest lately but sadly, I was less than impressed. I wanted the sauce to be thicker, which I’m sure could have been achieved with cornstarch or a roux but that would have increased the WW pts + value and I wasn’t up for that. I didn’t end up eating all of this, which is pretty unlike me. I don’t think I’ll be making it again.

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries by The Pioneer Woman

I saw the Pioneer Woman make these Brussels Sprouts, which are totally my favorite food, on her Christmas special on the Food Network. I knew we had to have them as part of our Christmas dinner, which unconventionally for us featured Cornish game hens (I’m a fan!). The B-Sprouts were easy to make and really similar to how I usually prepare mine. They turned out really well and my mom told me that she and my dad ate all of the leftovers, which was a serious shock.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip by Jamie Cooks It Up!

I made this dip for a Christmas snack at the recommendation of Miss PoliSci and it was a HUGE hit. I didn’t de-seed the jalapeno so it was really spicy but that’s how we roll chez moi. Seriously, it’s awesome. Make it. Stat.

(8) Serve at church — I’m attending an orientation for this on Saturday night. My lovely sister’s nagging finally wore me down. =)

(12) I’ve accomplished hanging curtains and getting a night stand — my sister found an awesome reclaimed wood one and gave it to me for Christmas. Total win.

(29) Read (actually listened to on my iPod via audible.com) 8th Confession by James Patterson.

I used to be a huge fan of Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series but the last couple of books have disappointed. The story line about the hermaphrodite was just too outlandish and didn’t contribute to the story at all. Not a bad listen, but not on my recommended reads list either.

In-progress: Game of Thrones, Dragonfly in Amber, and Cutting for Stone.

Have you crossed anything off your to-do list lately?

* Click on photos for credits/links to recipes.

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Well hello, long lost love…

Oh, my dear, sweet, sweet blog. How I’ve missed you. I miss writing. I miss sharing. I miss the sense of community I get from blogging and reading the blogs of others — I can’t keep up with my google reader these days and it makes me sad panda.

Honestly, I don’t know why I’ve stopped blogging since I moved. Sure, the demands of my job have changed and I have become more focused, but I wouldn’t say that I’m actually any busier than I was in Tulsa. In fact, I have far less to do on a day-to-day basis without my book clubs and kickball and all of my previous Kappa Delta responsibilities. Part of me feels like I haven’t been writing because writing things makes them more real for me and there are things in my life that I don’t want to be real — like the dull ache in my heart of missing home. Maybe I haven’t written because I haven’t had anything to say that isn’t whining. Maybe I haven’t written because somehow in moving you lose part of yourself and then reincarnate into something else in a new place and this new self hasn’t found her voice yet. Maybe I haven’t written because I feel like I say the same.exact.things.over.and.over.and.over. And no one wants to hear them anymore. I’m really not sure what brought on the writer’s block but I am determined to shake it off in 2012. After all, I’ve boldly declared that #2012ismyyear. (All credit owed to Miss PR for inspiring my 2012 mantra/hashtag.)

Last January I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t really set any concrete goals. I merely said that in 2011 I would focus on my health. You may or may not be surprised to hear that that was a flop. And I probably shouldn’t be shocked by that — I am a girl who likes lists and checks marks and stickers and crossing things off. I love to accomplish things — even if that accomplishment is merely crossing “make bed” off my daily to do list. If I write something down, I am 87% more likely to actually do it. (You know I completely made that percentage up, right?) So I made goals in 2012. And I plan to write them on a poster board and hang them in my room and cross them off. That has to be how I get it done. But I also feel like sharing them here can’t hurt. So in 2012, here’s the game plan:

1. Stop being a bitch. (This one probably requires some explanation…I’ll get to it, promise.)

2. Get to ONEderland.

3. Visit NYC with Miss Dubs in celebration of her graduation from nursing school.

4. See Mrs. Preppy’s precious baby at least 6 times.

5. Save $5,000.00 towards a down payment on a new car.

6. Visit Napa for Miss Runner’s Dirty Thirty.

7. Run four 5ks. –> This year is about getting to a pace I feel good about before I start reconsidering distance running.

8. Pay off one small debt.

9. See my college roommate’s soon-to-arrive baby boy at least six times.

10. Start a Kappa Delta Supper Club with Miss Dubs.

11. Visit Las Vegas for Miss Agnes’s big 3-0.

12. Read 30 books.

13. Head south to hang out with Miss K2 in her new town.

14. Serve at church — I started this process today!

15. Blog x 2/week.

16. Go to a Thunder basketball game.

17. Buy OSU season football tickets.

18. Replace headliner in my car.

19. Wash and vacuum car once a month.

20. Visit Mrs. Bookworm (and Mr. BW) in Chicago.

The two things I’ve thought a lot about in relation to my goals are being a better friend and being a better steward. I spent the last six months completely absorbed in myself — my new job, my move, my new town, me, me me. I let people I care about deeply slide into the background. That’s not the kind of friend I am so this year I will make the effort to see my friends (and their little ones!) more. To be the one who makes the catch-up calls and plans to visit. God has given me more friends than I could ever deserve and I need to treat those relationships with the reverence they deserve. In terms of stewardship, I want to take better care of the resources I have been given. I want to take better care of my clothes and my car and my money. I think it’s part of growing up and I think God has put it on my heart this winter.

Obviously, I will also be focused on my health – as the overweight perpetually are. But I think discussion of that mission is another post for another day.

It feels good to be back. I hope you’ll have me!

PS – Feel free to ask me about my goals any time! I need the accountability! What are your goals/to-dos/resolutions for the new year?

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