Category Archives: Fun

WIAW – Memorial Day Weekend Cleansing!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We are so blessed to live in a country that values personal freedoms, and that we have men and women choosing to fight and lay down their lives for those freedoms.

My weekend was jam-packed, to say the least. It started on my Friday off, when I drove down to Houston to watch one of my best friends and old college roommate graduate from MEDICAL SCHOOL!! That’s right, Sarah became Dr. Sarah. It was such a great moment for her, and I’m so glad I got to be there. It also was a rude awakening, that we had been out of college for 4 years already :(. Ha!

Hey graduate!

What made an amazing moment even MORE amazing, was that as soon as my best friend walked across the stage to graduate, I got a text saying that my precious little niece had been born! I am officially a first-time aunt, and I could NOT be more excited! So, after spending Friday night celebrating Sarah’s awesomeness, I woke up Saturday morning and immediately trucked back up to Dallas to meet sweet Georgia Eve.

She is the most precious gift!

After spending too short of time with my girl, we headed off to Tyler, TX to spend the remainder of the weekend with friends at the lake! Needless to say, as jam-packed as the weekend was, it was FULL of blessings and friendships and I wouldn’t of changed one thing about it!

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Speaking of jam-packed…my weekend was ALSO jam-packed full of unhealthy eating :( Between road trips, celebratory dinners, and meals on the lake, I came home Monday night craving fruit, veggies, and my healthy eating routine. I spent Monday night grocery shopping and food prepping, so when Tuesday rolled around I was ready to go.

Breakfast was amazing, per usual. It is my FAVORITE meal of the whole day. I had my own version of a McMuffin, with one whole wheat english muffin topped with 1 egg and 1/2 cup egg whites (scrambled!). I also added a tiiiny bit of breakfast sausage to give it some extra yummy-ness. Oh, and coffee. Duh!

A few hours later, I was working away and got hungry again (naturally), so I grabbed a Luna Bar. I was SUPER excited about this one: Peanut Honey Pretzel. All of my favorite things rolled into one bar. It was more amazing than I thought it could be. I highly recommend this flavor!!

For lunch, I was able to go home and put together a bowl full of some veggies that my awesome husband grilled for me, and one Al Fresco Chicken Sausage (sun-dried tomato is my favorite!). I topped it off with a little bit of cheddar and I was good to go.

I was still pretty full by the time 4:00 rolled around (heck, I was probably still full from the weekend!), but I knew I needed to grab something to eat before I headed to boot camp, so I snacked on a banana with 1 TBS of PB2
(powdered peanut butter…if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly suggest you do!).

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That snack definitely helped fuel my body for my ridiculously hot, humid, intense, cardio-filled workout. I was DYING the entire hour, but so glad that boot camp has started back up! There is honestly no better workout, in my opinion. But I definitely had to pause a few times to keep that banana down, if you know what I’m sayin’ :).

Due to my near-death experience at boot camp, I wasn’t in the mood to whip up an extravagant dinner by ANY means, so protein smoothie it was! I blended some Advocare Vanilla Meal Replacement Protein, ice, water, 1 banana, 1 TBS PB2, and 1 TBS cocoa until smooth, and slurped that bad boy down. It was so refreshing after the super hot workout.

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So, there you go! That was my first day back to normal eating. I woke up today feeling much better about myself, all after one day of eating well!

What are some ways that you “detox” from a food-filled weekend?

Talk to you soon!

-Melissa

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The Workout Challenge

In my quest to build up muscle and lower my overall body fat, I decided that I should brainstorm some sort of reward-based system to help me stick to my workout goals. I like rewards. I also like to have accountability with my workouts (hence group boot camp sessions), so I enlisted my husband to join me in this little endeavor. We decided that every week, we would plan what workout we would do each day (gym, boot camp, bike ride, etc), and if we were able to stick to the plan perfectly, then each of us got $10 to put in our “gift pot.” That means that by the end of each month, we could each potentially have $40 in our Gift Pots! Then, we would buy fun gifts for each other out of the money earned. So if I am super diligent and meet my goals EVERY week, then there will be $40 for Preston to use to buy me something special! It motivates us to work out, plus gives us fun money to spend on gifts for each other. Also, there’s a little competition in there to have more money in your pot than your spouse :)

So, I decided to share my workout plan with you guys for EXTRA accountability! Feel free to donate $10 to my Gift Pot as well, if I stick to these goals. Ha.

This week is “off week” for my boot camp, so most of my exercises will have to be at the gym or at home. Since I was out all last week with HORRIBLE allergies, I’m fairly certain that this workout schedule will kick my hiney. Good riddance, hind quarters.  I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on my progress as the week goes on!

What are some of the ways you keep yourself motivated to workout?

Talk to you guys soon!
-Melissa

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JALEO + Last Day in Sin City

On our second night in Vegas, Preston and I knew that we wanted to go somewhere yummy and semi-fancy for dinner (I always drag him to ONE fancy dinner on vacations…they’re my thang). We browsed around the restaurants in the Cosmopolitan until we saw the menu for JALEO. I thought it looked yummy, and Preston liked the price, so we made a reservation and went back to change and get ready for the night.

Upon arriving, the place was bustling with super trendy people. Immediately we knew that this would be an EPIC people-watching night. They led us to our table, which just happened to be a one sided booth…meaning we had to live out our personal nightmare of being “that couple” who sat on the same side of the table Winking smile Like I said though, the people watching was on POINT that night, so we didn’t mind too terribly.

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Notice a theme here of Preston and his hatred of photos?

Everyone who worked at JALEO was super nice. The waitress brought over an iPad (yes, a freaking iPad) to show us what our drink selections were for the night. You better believe Preston spent forever scouring that baby for the best priced bottle of wine Smile

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The wine guy (sommelier?) even came over and helped us with our selection. I wish I could remember what we picked, because it was delicious. You can definitely tell a difference between good wine and cheap wine. But heck, I’m perfectly fine with the cheap!

Once we ordered the bottle and started looking at the menu, it dawned on us why the prices had looked so affordable on the menu. JALEO was a tapas restaurant…

…meaning small plates…

…meaning that the price we saw per plate was actually x3, if we wanted to be somewhat full after eating.

I could see Preston start to sweat, after just ordering a pricey bottle of wine and now learning that our semi-affordable meal was slowly turning into a multi-digit nightmare.

We ended up laughing it off (the wine helped that, I’m sure) and ordering just 3 small plates to share. We figured that if we were still hungry afterwards that we would run and get a burger or something. Luckily, the wine and tapas did the trick, and we left JALEO happy and satisfied and spent the rest of the night trying our luck at roulette.

v17Maybe I enjoyed the wine a little too much?

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And maybe he did too? Smile

Our last day in Vegas was very similar to Day 2, in that we spent the morning at the pool and the afternoon in the casino.

Okay, this is MY blog, and I know I’m all about fitness, health, etc. on here…but I’m also all about balance, so I suppose I should be honest and give you a preview of what our breakfast on Day 3 looked like…

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I know, I know. I’m not proud. That was all him, by the way. Mine looked slightly tamer, but still just as obnoxious:

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Sigh. Balance, right? Remember my breakfast from Day One?? So I was okay splurging on my last day in Vegas Smile We barely made dents in that breakfast, but man, was it GOOD. It was from the Hash House A Go Go in the Imperial Palace. If you ever make it to Vegas, GO THERE. It is delish.

Lunch was nonexistent (see above photos if confused as to why that is), and dinner was a casual affair at some café in the Bellagio. The rest of the night was spent at the Blackjack and Roulette tables.

We had SUCH a great time in Vegas. Seriously, it’s not at all what some people think. Yes, there is drinking and gambling and all that fun stuff, but there are so many things to do and see and EAT! I’m so glad we went.

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Thank you to the elderly gentleman who did not know how to use the iPhone camera function Smile

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One last treat before heading home

And that, my friends, was our trip to Vegas in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed Smile

What are some things that we did NOT do that you think we definitely should do on our next Vegas Vacation?

Have any of y’all SEEN the greatness that is Vegas Vacation?!?!

-Talk to you soon! Mel

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Las Vegas Day 2!

Vegas Day 2 started later than we thought it would. Since we were two hours behind Dallas time, I thought we would be up and at ‘em by 6 am. We must’ve been pretty exhausted though, and slept in until 9 am Vegas time. We immediately went in search of food, and stumbled upon Mon Ami Gabi, a cute French restaurant in the Paris hotel. I ordered the egg white and turkey omelet with toast and hash browns, while Preston opted for the many steak and eggs combination.

Had to get me a mimosa!

Delicious and healthy egg white & turkey omelet with tomato and avocado relish

The man meal

The rest of the morning consisted of wandering around the Paris hotel, attempting to tackle the penny slots (we were too chicken to try anything else at this point).

A shot of the Paris hotel

Dorky me :)

We then made our way to the AMAZING pool at the Venetian, where we spent a few hours (and a few dollars…drinks there cost $16 EACH!! For a SMALL!)

Preston slurping down every ounce of that $16 Pina Colada

After the pool, we just walked around and enjoyed the sights of Vegas. I’ll post some pics now, and come back and tell you all about our dinner on the next post :)

Every trip we go on involves a McDonald’s somehow. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not gonna lie about it either :) Our first meal on our honeymoon was McD’s!!

Checking out the roof of the Venetian!

Chandelier bar at the Cosmopolitan

A view of our awesome hotel

Checking out one of the menus!

What was your favorite part about Vegas, if you’ve been? If not, what would you WANT to do if you went?

-Melissa

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Viva Las Vegas! Day One

Hello, world! I’m back from a wonderful trip to Las Vegas with the husband. Actually, I’m home sick today from work…some sort of sore throat/sinus crud. Loved all the texts from coworkers asking me if it was a sore throat or a massive Vegas hangover :) I’m truly ill, I assure you!

We had such a good time on our vacation. Vegas has so much to offer other than gambling/drinking/clubbing (although those things are fun, too!). The shows, the FOOD, the hotels, the lights. Everywhere we looked there was something new to see and do. We stayed at Caesar’s Palace because we found a great deal on their website. The only other time I’ve ever been to Vegas was for work, and I stayed in a luxury suite at the Cosmopolitan hotel. If you haven’t seen the Cosmo, TRUST ME, it is out of this world and over-the-top nice. So I was a little apprehensive about staying at Caesar’s because I knew it was older than a lot of the hotels on the strip. It was in a great location though, and for Vegas that is VERY important!

So needless to say, Preston and I were pretty excited about our trip once we started researching more about the hotel and things to do in Vegas. Since my only trip was work-related, and Preston had never been, there was a LOT that we wanted to see and do.

About to board the plane! Preston is SUPER excited :)

When we finally made it to our hotel, I realized I was SO wrong about Caesars! The hotel was gorgeous…the attention to detail was ridiculous. It had so many elements straight out of Rome, from the design to the statues to the fountains everywhere!

Food-wise, our first Vegas meal was a quick one; we had time to kill before our room was ready, so we wandered over to the food court at Caesar’s to see what all it had to offer. Flying always makes me a little unsettled in the stomach area, so I decided to stick with a salad. Preston, however, was definitely in vacation mode and ordered a HEAPING pile of nachos.

My yummy custom-built salad

Preston’s instant bad decision :)

Not gonna lie, I had a few nachos of my own…definitely good-not-great, and an underwhelming start to our vacation. Little did we know the kind of wonderful food we would be enjoying soon! We then headed over to the penny slots to see how our luck was looking. Honestly, we are both not big on gambling…in fact, it made us SUPER nervous. We spent the first day on the slot machines, played it safe, and had a great time!

Our first winnings…turned $1 into $3.80! Yeaaaah!

When our room was finally ready, we took a break from gambling to call up our bags and check out the room before exploring a little more. Despite our attempts at getting an upgrade (Preston is SHAMELESS about asking people for upgrades/discounts/free stuff. He thinks it’s a game; I think it’s mortifying), we had an average room with a not-so-stellar view of a parking lot AND the air conditioning units :)

That night, it was time to get ready for our one-and-only show for the week: Phantom of the Opera. I know, I know…we should’ve gone to see a Cirque show. They were just SO expensive, and the Phantom tickets were such a good deal on Travelzoo earlier this month. I thought the Vegas production of Phantom was SPECTACULAR…the set was amazing, the music (as always) was amazing…I really, really enjoyed it. Preston, on the other hand….not so much. We now know that he is most definitely NOT a musical lover :) Oh well, newlywed lessons learned.

We left the show famished and ready for a good meal. Luckily, the show was in the Venetian hotel, so food options were aplenty. The Venetian is my favorite hotel in Las Vegas; if it wasn’t so darn expensive, we definitely would’ve stayed there. Check out the view of their Grand Canal Shoppes area; it looks JUST like something you’d see in Venice (trust me, I’ve been there :))

There are gondola rides and everything; it’s beautiful! After walking around and taking in the view, we found a yummy pizzeria called OTTO by chef Mario Batali. Holy moly, did it taste amazing. We split the pancetta and goat cheese pizza, and decided that we had to try the gelato sundae for dessert. That gelato was some of the BEST gelato I have ever had, and I’ve had it straight from the heart of Italy! Fairly certain that I will be dreaming of this gelato for many months to come.

At OTTO in the Venetian

The view during dinner

Best. Gelato. Ever.

Honestly, by this point, it was 11:30 Vegas time and 1:30 Dallas time and we were pooped. We rolled our full bellies to our hotel room and called it an early night, saving up as much energy as possible for the next day!

Day one was relatively healthy and active for me, which is normally not how I do vacations. I was all about enjoying myself, but not eating so much that I felt insecure and unhappy with my body. Plus, pool time was in order the next day, and I definitely wanted to feel good about myself then!

Have you ever been to Vegas? Where did you stay? What was the best thing you ate?

More to come soon!

-Melissa

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Ole!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! After a successful morning boot camp session, I’m off to spend the day at the pool with friends, but I thought I’d leave you guys with some yummy treats to make today (or ANY day, in my opinion!)

Last night, hubs and I had our own “Quatro de Mayo” party to celebrate him landing a huge job at work. He’s been at his company almost a year and is already kicking butt and taking names…I couldn’t be more proud of him! After I got the good news, I went straight to Whole Foods to pick up items to make some of his favorite things: guacamole, homemade tortilla chips, and chicken pizza. I also grabbed a 6 pack of one of his favorite beers, Shock Top.

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Now, I am NOT a beer drinker. I’ve tried to be, trust me. Drinking beer is not only cheaper than most other alcohol options, it’s also available pretty much everywhere. Plus, girls who drink beer are super cool in my book. Sadly, despite the apparent perks, I just can’t bring myself to drink it. So I whipped up my own beverage in the form of a frozen Strawberry Daiquiri!


Simple Strawberry Daiquiri for One

3-4 oz of frozen strawberries

1 3/4 oz of Sweet & Sour Mix

1 1/2 oz (or 2, if you’re feeling it!) of rum

1/2 TBS of sugar (I used unsweetened strawberries, so I found that this added a slight touch of sweetness to the whole drink)

Handful of ice cubes

Directions: Throw it all into a blender, blend until smooth, then enjoy Smile

Following our drinks, I put together a quick appetizer of DIY Tortilla chips and guacamole (for two!). Guacamole recipes always come in such large quantities, but when you’re only making it for two, and leftover guac is nearly impossible to keep fresh, it’s nice to have a quick and easy recipe available to throw a small batch together.

Date Night Guacamole for Two



1 large avocado (I prefer Hass) halved, seeded, and peeled

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 cup of chopped onion

1/2 of a lime, juiced

1 small Roma tomato

Scant 1/4 tsp salt

Optional: 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/8 tsp ground cumin, cilantro

Directions:  In a medium bowl, place the avocado pulp and the lime juice and mash together (I used a masher similar to what is used for potatoes). Add in salt, mash until blended. Fold in onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Taste it and season to your liking; I always add a little more lime and salt at the end.

Yum, guacamole is definitely one of my favorite foods. When it comes to what to eat with it, I always try to make my own tortilla chips. Packaged brands always tend to overdo it on salt, processing, etc., and can get pretty pricey for just two people. Plus, if you buy a whole bag for one occasion, then you’re stuck with that bag for a loooong time…and it will sit there, mocking you, until you eat the entire bag while sitting on the couch watching BravoTV reruns (not that this has happened to me before or anything). Try this easy, easy “recipe” for tortilla chips (if you can even call it a recipe, it’s so simple)!

DIY Tortilla Chips

Corn tortillas (I prefer La Tortilla Factory yellow corn tortillas) – for this occasion I used 2

Olive oil (I used my Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer…love this thing!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas into desired since/shape:

Spread them out on a baking sheet, and mist on both sides with olive oil (or Olive Oil cooking spray if you have that):

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes…it’s important to keep an eye on these to make sure that you don’t overcook them (i.e. burn them). Everyone’s oven is a little different! Mine came out looking like this:



Yummm, warm tortilla chips and fresh guacamole!!

I’ll save the Chicken Pizza recipe for a rainy day…or maybe just for tomorrow :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Cinco de Mayo, or even just a wonderful Saturday!

What are some of your favorite Mexican foods?

Talk to you soon!

-Melissa

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Post-birthday post!

You guys, I had such a wonderful birthday! Normally, I am not a big fan of my birthday. I love celebrating everyone else’s big day, but the attention that comes with my own birthday always makes me just a little uncomfortable. My husband knew this and set out to make sure that I had the best birthday yet, and he definitely succeeded (although I told him the ONLY thing that would have made it any better was if we had a four-legged friend joining us…but maybe next year :)).

It started when I came back from Florida to a SPOTLESS house, a car that had been cleaned and detailed by Preston himself, and a kitchen counter full of balloons, gifts, and cupcakes (my favorite flavors even!)

Please note the Justin Bieber balloon. It wouldn’t be like my husband to not do something funny when trying to be sweet :) His gift was also in a JB gift bag, too. That’s why I love him.

Yesterday, April 30, was my actual birthday, and it was truly a wonderful day. I had to work, but my department took me out to lunch and my wonderful coworker Sally got be the cutest apron from Anthropologie! I have been wanting this yellow apron for MONTHS, so needless to say I was excited (and didn’t take it off for the majority of the day)! After work, I came home and was finally able to open my gifts! I got workout tops, makeup & shoes from the families, and new tennis shoes from Preston! He bought be two pairs, and I can’t decide between the two. I have to make a decision soon, though, because I DESPERATELY need new ones!

After gift opening, it was time for my surprise dinner. Preston took me to Bob’s Steak & Chop, which is one of the BEST and nicest steakhouses (and restaurant in general). I was so excited! Bob’s was located inside of the new Omni Hotel, which Preston worked on last summer while it was being built. The hotel was gorgeous, and we got there a little before our reservations so that we could grab a drink at the hotel bar and look around for a bit. We stumbled across this cute outdoor patio with great views of downtown Dallas, so we decided to stop there and enjoy our drinks.

My sweet husband :)

Our view while enjoying our drinks

Then came dinner, which was phenomenal! I didn’t take any pictures because it was SO dark in there (gotta love ambiance), but trust me, it was delicious. We got Caesar salads, steaks, potatoes, and a surprise Birthday dessert that was some kind of Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sundae wonderfulness. We almost had to be rolled out of there, we were so full, but man was it worth it!

My 26th birthday could not have been any better, and I owe it in large part to my awesome husband. He really made me feel special :)

Today, it’s back to the real world…can you believe it’s already MAY? That’s crazy to me. I started the day off with a late breakfast consisting of coffee and a Dark Chocolate ThinkThin bar, because I was still fairly full from dinner (I’m not kidding, we ate a lot). I also just polished off lunch, which consisted of a random compilation of 2 eggs, a whole wheat seeded English muffin from Whole Foods, and some leftover chicken and brie from my birthday lunch yesterday. Delicious (despite how it looks!)

Tonight, it’s back to the workout grind at boot camp, followed by a fun birthday dinner with some friends from my old job :) It’s so hard to stay healthy on your birth-week, but I’ll do my best!

What was the best birthday you ever had? Do you like celebrating your own birthday?

Talk to you soon!
-Melissa

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