#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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Confessions of a semi-ashamed writer.

I suppose it does not come as a shock that I fancy myself a writer.  I mean, I do have a blog so clearly I like to write.  But what you may or may not know is that this love of writing goes way back.  Like to second grade back.  That’s when I first tried to write novels.  Seriously.  There was actually a series based on the lives of these triplets — Erin, Elizabeth & Erica (FYI, I didn’t actually like Erica very much) — who were amateur detectives.  The books included some awesome drawings and vivid descriptions of the girls’ outfits, especially in the one where they took a vacation to Beverly Hills.  At such a young age, my writing lacked originality and the series was Nancy Drew meets Beverly Hills, 90210 meets my weird obsession with twins/triplets (which you could probably blame on Sweet Valley High).

Although the triplets books never made it to publication, the little writer in me pressed on.  In seventh grade, I got in touch with my inner poet.  My then bestie, Mrs. English, and I would spend hours and hours locked in our rooms writing and reading our poetry together.  (Clearly these were my more awkward years.)

In eighth grade, Mrs. English and I branched out into the world of short stories and then novels.  (Don’t worry, we never neglected our poetry.)  I should tell you that since the Erin-Elizabeth-Erica days I’ve never actually completed a novel.  But in eighth grade my family and I visited England and I began one of my more prolific works (it fills 2 entire five-subject notebooks) which was a story about a girl (read: me) studying abroad and meeting and dating and I think the plan was eventually marrying Prince William.

I used to have this pic poster-size in my room. What 13-year-old girl wouldn't want to marry that kid?

I started and failed to complete several novels in high school.  I began my second greatest work (still not complete) during a horribly boring summer school class right before my senior year of college.  For some reason, I finally branched out and started sharing my writing with my friends.  In fact, my then-roommate, KT, typed up all of my handwritten work so it would be easier for me to read to everyone at night.  Yes, you heard me.  The likes of Mrs. K2, Mrs. LR, Miss Dubs, and Mrs. B would often gather in my room in the sorority to house for a late-night “literary snack” from the work that was known as “Abbott & Kennedy.”  (I think part of the reason they loved it so much was because they all had characters loosely based on themselves.)  Sadly (or not?), large portions of the Abbott & Kennedy story vanished into the unknown after a computer meltdown.  Let’s all take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of the infamous “shower scene.”

Since Abbott & Kennedy, there have only been a couple of half-hearted attempts at writing any stories.  I’m not sure why I’ve never been able to actually finish a story.  Maybe I lack a point of view?  Or there really aren’t any original thoughts anymore?  It’s hard to say really.  One of my life goals is to write a novel.  But since I’ve never actually finished writing one before it seems like an ominous goal.

I am contemplating for your amusement and my embarrassment posting some of my writing here — you know, poems, half-written stories, etc. But I’m slightly afraid that you’ll never come back. I’m also terrified to put something out there for the whole world to see. I realize that I do this every time I blog, but sharing a work of fiction or a heartfelt poem from my adolescence feels so much more personal. When I write a blog post, mostly I’m just telling you about my every day life or my opinions on friends or relationships or losing weight. I’m sure that there are people who judge what I say and do based on my posts all the time, and honestly, that doesn’t really bother me. The idea of allowing people I don’t know (and people I do) to read my poetry and my fiction work scares the beejeezus out of me. When you tell people you write, suddenly there are expectations. Expectations I am terrified my work won’t meet. What if it’s boring to everyone but me? What if it completely cheesy or irrelevant? What if i don’t get back any feed back either way? These are the concerns that hold me back. But I know that I really want to write a novel and actually have it published, or at the very least share it with people close to me, I have to start somewhere and I’m starting to believe that somewhere is right here.

So without further ado, just a couple little something-nothings to give you a glimpse of my non-blog writing. If I can’t put it here, I won’t put it anywhere.

Letting Go 8.27.00 [Age 16]

I wanna believe you’ll call, but I can’t.  I wanna hope it’ll all work out, but it won’t I wanna have faith in your feelings, but I don’t.  And as this uncertainty eats away at my conscience I wonder where you are.  I wonder who you’re with.  I wonder if you ever think of me.  And as my heart sinks deeper in my doubt, I remember how we met, I remember how you smiled, I remember how you made me feel.  And as I decide I can’t hold on for you anymore I cry because it was special, I cry because I thought you cared, I cry because I know no one will ever be you.  And I dream of how it should have been.

How do you know? 08.27.06 [Age 22]

Sometimes there are people you meet that affect you in ways you can’t explain.  Or maybe you shouldn’t explain.  But I have found that for this person there are no words.  And yet, even in my own mind, I can’t figure out what, if anything, that means.  Coincidence or fate?  Connection or sheer infatuation?  So far, all I can come up with is that I am so moved.  And touched.  And terrified.  And melancholy.  I just can’t figure out why I feel this way.  Maybe I’m not even supposed to know yet.  The deeply romantic read way too many cheesy books part of me wants to say that there is something there that is bigger than anything else I’ve ever encountered.  The logical, shy, and somewhat cynical part of me wants to say that I’ve completely lost my mind and what I’m feeling is the result of lack of sleep and vivid imagination.  But surely, somewhere in the middle of all of my idiosyncrasies there is something real, or at least more tangible.  I can’t seem to get my hands on it though.  And maybe that’s what makes what I feel so beautiful…the fact that I can’t place it or categorize it or rein it in or control it in any of the ways I usually want to.  It has taken on a life of its own and I should be glad to know it at all.  Even when it hurts, it is still somehow wonderful.

The Prayer 03.05.08 [Age 25]

“I don’t know you but I want you all the more for that…” – Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

I know that you’re here somewhere.  There is something inside of you and something inside of me that will draw us together.  I know it will not be easy or simple or perfect.  But it will be our story.  I know we will write it together for as many years as it takes for us to get it right.  There are parts of the story that I play in my head even though I don’t know your face.  I know that when I happen upon it, the chapters I’ve dreamed of will come to life.  We may change them or delete them but it will be us together.  I know that when you come into my life I will stop living inside my own head.  We will make a life together.  Somehow that comforts me and sometimes it terrifies me.  Sometimes I cannot wait to know you.  Sometimes I’m not ready for you to know me.  But I know that when the time comes I will let you in.  I will let you know my very soul because I know that you already love me; because I already love you.

* Old works have not been updated/edited in any way.


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Life List/30 Under 30: Update

I’m contemplating changing my Life List to a 30 Under 30 Project just to give myself greater accountability. 30 Under 30 is pretty much what it sounds like — a list of 30 things to accomplish before I turn 30. I’ve got a little less than 30 months until I turn 30 and I think it would be a great project for me to accomplish 30 goals by then. I won’t be able to move everything from the Life List over to the 30 Under 30 project (there is no way I’ll get in that much international travel any time soon!) but some of the goals can co-exist. Here are a couple of things I’ve managed to cross of the Life List lately (that I’ve been completely negligent about blogging about!):

1. Attend an opera. I saw Don Gionvanni in February at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. It was in Italian. (Duh). There were subtitles. While I was incredibly impressed with the mad vocal skills of the performers, I can’t say I was converted to a life-long opera patron.

2. Renters Insurance. After my horrible bike theft experience last summer, you would have thought I would have been on the renters insurance train asap. But I am tool and I never got it in Tulsa. After moving to OKC and discovering that Mrs. Preppy’s hubby could help me get a policy, I took care of business. Seriously, it was so much easier to do dealing with someone who I know. So now my belongings are covered, which is good considering I’ve been borrowing my sister’s bike for quite some time.

3. Read The Help. I did this in like January or February! I can’t believe I never blogged about it. I listened to the book on my iPod and thought it was absolutely phenomenal. The characters were incredibly well-developed and the story is beautifully told. Mrs. B and I went to see the film on opening night and thought it was fantastic too. I thought the film truly honored the book, which is incredibly rare, and that it was well-cast. Bryce Dallas Howard was the perfect villain as Hilly Holbrook.

I’m really happy that I crossed several things off of the Life List (without even really realizing it). Now, for my 30 under 30:

1. Make macaroni and cheese from scratch.

2. Try 50 new recipes. (0/50)

3. Read the Bible cover-to-cover.

4. Read 10 Classic books. (0/10)

5. Buy a new (or more likely new-to-me) car.

6. Complete Couch-2-5k.

7. Buy OSU Season football tickets.

8. Serve at church.

9. Design, make and hand calligraphy address my own Christmas cards.

10. Join one OKC-based organization.

11. Go on two trips. (0/2) (This doesn’t sound like much, but the Miami trip was my first in 3 years so if I plan to go on two more before I turn 30 that will be an accomplishment!)

12. Furnish/Decorate my bedroom – Nightstand, bookshelf, paint dresser, reading chair, curtains. (0/5)

13. Go on a weekend getaway trip solo.

14. Run in 10 races. (0/10)

15. Have a quilt made out of all my old Kappa Delta t-shirts.

16. Grow my own pepper garden.

17. Take at least one tennis lesson.

18. Attend a musical.

19. Practice yoga 2x per week for 3 months.

20. Meet with a financial planner.

21. Go camping.

22. Buy a new (or new-to-me) bike to replace the one that got stolen last year.

23. Read a book written in French.

24. Host a dinner party.

25. Back – up all music and pictures onto external hard drive.

26. Print pictures and put in albums from 2008 to present.

27 . Replace my lost (super sad face) Kappa Delta badge/pin.

28. Donate/contribute volunteer to/at least one event/cause/charity per month. (1/28) (This month I donated to the WW Lose for Good Campaign and the Thomas Family Puzzle Project!)

29. Read 60 books. (0/60)

30. Reach my goal weight. I don’t know what that exact number is yet (I want to find a happy, maintainable weight), but I know I want to start my 30s feeling healthy and fit.

I’m really excited about this project and I hope I will do a much better job of blogging about it than I have been doing on my Life List lately!

Have you ever heard of a 30 under 30 list? What is/would be on yours? Do you have anything you want to accomplish before a milestone birthday or event?

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I’m in Miami Bitch! (Well, I was, two months ago….)

First picture of the trip! Waiting at TIA to board our plane to Dallas.

Did you really think I could get through my Miami recaps without a Snooki reference? 😉 First of all, I should tell you that we had a fantastic girls trip to South Beach this year. We drank too much, danced too hard, wore too little sunscreen, and shed a fair amount of tears. And it was everything I needed this summer. It was truly wonderful to spend quality time with fabulous ladies before the mayhem of moving truly commenced. I hadn’t been on a true vacation since I took the bar exam in August 2008. To say this trip was long over due is the understatement of a lifetime. Without further ado, Miami…#sorryforpartying!

The night before the trip, J and I schlepped all of our gear (I wish I had a picture of the amount of luggage we took on this trip — completely absurd!) over to the casa de Miss Runner and Miss PR for an old-fashioned pre-trip slumber party. It was really fun to get ready for the trip together, but in reality probably not the best idea — we only got about two hours of sleep before it was time for Papa PR to drive us to the airport. No one can make you laugh like your favorite Frenchman at 4 a.m. Everyone quickly learned that I am a real piece of work in the pre-dawn hours. After some intense F-bombing and a comment about “clogging the arteries of the terminal” we were on board and I was asleep. I’m sure my traveling companions rejoiced at the 45 minutes of relief this provided from my crotchety morning antics.

We arrived in Dallas in plenty of time to get our “official vacation breakfast” – airport McDonald’s. I know, gross, but oh so good. And we found the lovely L waiting for us at our gate! Before we knew it we were on board and I was napping again. After a pretty quick (or it seemed like it to me!) flight we arrived in Miami! We collected our bags, snagged a super snazzy mini-van cab and rolled to the Marriot South Beach. (Part-two of my recaps will include reviews/pics of our hotel and the restaurants we visited!)

First of many drinks at the poolside bar!

We enjoyed a few cocktails poolside and hit up the hot tub. Our waiter, Tony (I might have totally made that up but I feel like we did know his name at one point — Ladies?) recommended a club for us to try out that evening, promising it was “very Miami.” After getting dolled up, we hit Ocean Drive to check out Mango’s Miami. (Fun fact: The ladies of TLC’s Big Sexy were recently there as well! I love it when I see places I’ve been on TV!)

  Mango’s completely lived up to its billing. They have incredible half-dressed bartenders/dancers, including a Michael Jackson impersonator. He was fantastic. It was definitely touristy but still highly entertaining. I taught J how to pick out foreigners based on their footwear and we befriended two Aussies, or so they said. 😉 Miss Runner and I completely had our doubts but they came through…but I’m getting ahead of myself.  The lack of pre-trip sleep and the day of travel caught up with us rather quickly and we called it an early night.

Unfortunately, it was cloudy/rainy when we woke up the next morning. Miss Runner and I headed to the S’bucks in our hotel (best.thing.ever) to caffeine up for the day and we saw ADAM SHANKMAN! I was ridiculously excited but I totally nerded out and didn’t talk to him. I didn’t even try to slyly snap an iPhone pic. I know, totally lame, but Miss Runner can vouch that this did actually happen. And for all you SYTYCD fans, he had a roast beef sandwich and two iced teas and was rolling a black Volvo.

Since the weather wasn’t cooperating with our beach-going plans, we decided to shop….and by shop I mean drink. Okay, okay, I think we did kind of have the intention of shopping but we

L and J enjoying their 44 oz. Margaritas! (I don't know how many ounces they really wore, only that they were seriously huge!)

got hungry and stopped at a yummy Italian restaurant that was advertising 2 for 1 drinks. Done and done. Fortunately the rain stopped and we were able to hit the pool/hot tub at our hotel again for some afternoon relaxation before getting cleaned up for a fancy schmancy night out!

We had dinner reservations at Michy’s Miami, Chef Michelle Bernstein’srestaurant and I was ridiculously excited about trying the super tough Top Chef Judge’s food. I’ll break it all down for you later, but you should know that every single thing we ordered was fabulous. Our waiter, James, was excellent — he obliged us by taking several group photos, recommended lots of restaurants and bars for us to try, and hooked us up with the best cab driver ever.

L and Miss Runner enjoying our classy evening at Michy's Miami

Best.Cabbie/DJ.Ever.

Our cabbie was rolling a mini-van, not unusual for our group-size. When we told him we wanted to go to the Clevelander, he asked if we wanted to jam on the way to the hotel/club. Of course, we said yes and the cabbie proceeded to drive and spin on a mini-turntable in the cab. Seriously, turntable in the cab. Oh, and he was excellent. We danced and fist-pumped our way across town (and fortunately didn’t die) and were completely ready to party when we arrived at the Clevelander… Unfortunately, it was raining and the “club” is really an outdoor bar/stage/dance floor by the pool. Don’t worry, we figured out how to have an epic Clevelander experience. It was a trip highlight. The details are coming up next!

Have you been to Miami? Or have you been on any fun girls trips? If you were planning a girls trip, where would you go and why?

*All pictures personal.

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