Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oops I fro yo'ed again...

Alright, we all know the feeling. You've had a perfectly delicious dinner but you're craving something more... something like frozen yogurt! Well I decided to give in to my sweet tooth and got a HUGE cup fro yo (chocolate... NOT fruit) beforeI started my homework!

Somedays I feel bad about making decisions like this, but I honestly wasn't! Not only have I been increasing the intensity of my running workouts, but also I went grocery shopping yesterday and got tons of veggies, fruits and proteins! I love the feeling of restocking the fridge and pantry- especially with healthy options.

So even though I ended my night with this:

Source: yelp.com via Casey on Pinterest

*But in a larger cup, with 3 flavors & chocolate toppings...

I'm going to start my day with this:

& I'm finally going to make this dinner I've been drooling over for weeks:

I hope you have a great day! Will you be eating healthy today?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mindful Monday-Week 3

Last night my best friend text me & said that I needed to see quote she'd just pinned on Pintrest. I was in the middle of studying for my GRE (which often makes me feel dumber than rocks) but thought I'd take a minute break... And I'm so glad I did.

This is what I'm going to be mindful of this week! I hope you will too.

Let's make this a happy Monday...XO!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Defining the Undefinable

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday my Spirituality in the Arts class was to discuss and define the words success and failure. Although we normally talk as an entire class- by the way, we sit in a large circle everyday- we broke up into groups of five. I personally think this allowed us to talk more freely and candidly because we did not have to go through the process of raising our hands and then waiting to be called on.

My group, was composed of four women (one of whom was my professor) and one man. As we orginally sat in silence, unsure of where to begin, we decided to start on a positive note and begin with success...

Originally we decided that to success meant you accomplished a goal. One student said that to him, success is defined by obtaining a "good", well-paying job after graduation. Not all of us agreed. Then we started to discuss the idea that "successes" do not have to be something lofty or prestigious...

This is where the conversation got heated. So for my sake, instead of trying to make all statements into a paragraph, I'm going to make lists of our groups' varying beliefs. I was quite interested in what everyone had to say, and of course I wanted to share it with you, so I took extensive notes.

- Most people care about accomplishing something great and large-scale
- Being successful means to be content or happy
- It's an awareness of the things we believe in
- Does success have to be external, and "approved" by everyone around us?

- It is the mindset that keeps you from moving on after an unfortunate event; unwilling to learn and change
- Submission to fear
- When someone is unwilling to take responsibility for their actions (note that responsibility is much different than fault or placing blame)
- You may not be a failure but instead have failed

Pretty intense, right? We then concluded that you simply cannot have success without experiencing failure at some point in your life. Because, without the miserable feeling of failure, success wouldn't feel so good. Therefore, we believe the two go hand in hand.

- We can't have success without failure, it's not a dichotomy.
- The two are synonymous.
- Your reaction to situations defines who you are: choose to learn from a mistake to then succeed or wallow in pity and truly fail.
- The ONLY true failure is consciously choosing not to learn from an experience.
- Defining whether you are successful or constantly failing may limit your potential- instead, you should allow misfortune and opportunity to add to your character.
- People should not press their own ideas of success and failure upon others- it's not our obligation to do things simply to please others.
- Although society conditions us to have one definition, we all may [and should] have our own ways of defining these words.
- When you accept responsibility for a failure, regardless of the size, you are then succeeding. Looking the problem or mistake in the eyes will allow you to learn, grow and be challenged, which is a success in its own.

After this heavy conversation our professor had us all go outside and use our talents to play soccer and frisbee- by the way, the weather was perfect, even a bit warm! I love this class! Did I mention Mike and I are in it together? Being the photo-loving girlfriend that I am, I had to Instagram a photo! :)

In all seriousness, I learned so much from yesterday's class discussion. I'm typically pretty hard on myself and very critical when I make mistakes. Now I realize that just getting up after I fall down is a true success- what an encouragement.

Thanks for bearing with me, I know this was a lengthy post!

Happy Friday- have a wonderful weekend! XO

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Failure vs. Success

Today, the discussion of my Spirituality in the Arts class will be failure and success. I'm really interested to see what new ideas I learn about the contradictory and yet relatable topics. Since my time in college I've realized that the most difficult periods of life often teach me the most about myself. I also know from personal experience that defeat teaches you to overcome and surpass preconceived expectations.

Sometimes we perceive failure, when in reality it's just a changed course in our life. Or maybe, the life that we are striving so diligently to live is simply not in God's plan for us.

Tomorrow I'll write about the ways in which my class defined these two opposing ideals. I'm hoping to learn a lot from my peers and help teach them that failures can inspire us to seek greater successes.

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday! Tonight I'll be going to the UA men's basketball game with my friend who I haven't seen in a long time! GO WILDCATS! What are your plans?


PS- Thanks to my friend Jordan for the blog design help- I finally feel like this space is mine instead of someone else's! I couldn't have done it without her :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Who or what do you value? I want to take a moment to reflect upon a topic that my favorite teacher mentioned while we were discussing a novel for my independent study last week. The idea that everyone is of value and should be treated with respect is something that is imperative. Regardless of age, height, weight, race and so on, every individual should not only know they are worthy of respect, but also should strive to find value in each person with whom they come into contact.

Within the novel, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, there are countless instances that show a lack or respect for others on behalf of many characters. This week, I'm reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and it too demonstrates that some people simply do no recognize the value or worth of their peers, or even of strangers. In one instance, Amir (the main character) does not realize what he's had in a friendship until it's gone... Yes, it's cliche, but we must keep this from being true and realize this IN THE MOMENT.

Do you recognize what your peers bring to the table? Do you realize how valuable you are?

Every person is blessed with a different gift or purpose in life- it's our responsibility to acknowledge whatever they may be. We need to stand up for those who are being bullied and assist them in finding their purpose and confidence. For even if you are strong in your identity and know that you are a contributor to those around you, there may come a time in life when you lose sight and need someone to encouragement.

Respecting others should not be arduous, but instead should be enjoyable and simple.

Do you value yourself? Do you value others? Make sure to tell those with whom you interact that they DO bring something of worth to the table. Explain to them that you admire their talent, tactic or abilities.

This quote isn't exactly perfect for the topic, but you get the point!

Happy Wednesday- hurry up weekend :)

PS- If you haven't noticed, my blog looks a little funky. Don't worry, I do realize that the title is rather small and out of place. But I have exciting news... Due to a frustrated post on Facebook about my inability to design a cute layout, my friend is helping me find my "blog identity"! Yay- a friend to the rescue! I'm truly looking forward to a new, fresh look! But until it's finished, I do apologize for the boring and odd-looking background!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lost...[and hopefully will be found]

I'm sure you know the feeling... You've purposefully put something in a place to keep it safe. Then the day comes when you finally need the item and you've forgotten where you hid it. It's like a terrible game of hide and seek- except you can't call "olly, olly oxen free!" Well, this is my current dilemma- which is why I don't have much time to blog. I've tactfully placed my prescription somewhere that I'm failing to remember. I only have an hour until I have to leave for the day and I simply cannot find my package ANYWHERE. I even called my mom to take sure I didn't leave it at my parents' house over winter break.


Wish me luck! Have a great Tuesday- one day closer to the weekend!

Update- I had to leave the house & was unable to find it. But Mommy to the rescue... she called another prescription order so I can pick it up today! Granted, I'll have to pay triple the price I normally would with the mail-in company!

Moral of the story is that regardless of my age, my mom will ALWAYS be able to make things better!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mindful Monday- They're Finally Back!

Alright so this is the week that I'm committing to fully adjust back to "school life"- or so I'm telling myself, which means that Mindful Mondays are back! After a not-so-great start to my day, I found this on Pintrest and had to share it. I need to keep this in mind as I'm walking to class and passing by perfect strangers [or friends].

Source: google.com via Alison on Pinterest

And of course don't forget to check out my guest post on After We Tied the Knott! :)

My Fitness Pal- Guest Blogging

Today I'm guest blogging for Melissa over at After We Tied The Knott! Please go check out her wonderful blog. I've written about my favorite website & app called My Fitness Pal- it has completely changed my life. Let me know if any of you use MFP :)

Happy Monday! Cheers to a fresh week- and whatever that may mean for you!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Food Adventures

Although I've blogged about attempting to cook this semester, last night I skipped the food preparation and dishes to go on a dinner date with my friends. A group of four of us went to a small Vietnamese restaurant on the outskirts of campus that everyone claims is delicious. I can finally say that I'm able to truly experience Tucson and it's hidden gems now that I'm not as busy in the evenings. I've driven curiously by Miss Saigon thousands of times but last night was the first time I took in the quaint atmosphere. Care to relive my dinner adventure?

Here are two of my lovely friends- they're the Miss Saigon professionals. Sorry for the crazy lighting.

My roommate and I with hungry bellies - it was our first time at the restaurant and we came with empty stomachs to fully enjoy the food.

We got there and waited in a tiny space near the cash register for an open table- I was surprised to see so many people packed into the place. When we sat down, our two friends who'd been there before suggested we order the #28, "Chicken noodle" Pho dish and a side of steamed rice. I clearly had no objection since it was my first time and we all eagerly awaited the arrival of our plates. By the way... there was TONS of food! I'm pretty sure there could have been enough left overs for days.

We all got the same dish! Here's a photo- sorry for the terrible lighting & crummy quality!

Each dish is served with sprouts, limes and cilantro. The waiter also brought out three sauces: plum, a spicy red (I'm not sure of the name) and soy to mix into our rice & soup. The thing I loved most about this meal was the fact that you could choose the flavoring you wished to have by mixing the sauces together. I personally used the low sodium soy sauce in my soup and then I poured the other flavors on different sections of the rice so I could enjoy a variety of tastes.

Would I go back you ask? In the words of my roommate, "I'm not sure I'd jump at the opportunity," but it was totally worth the time and money. My family raised me with a pretty typical food appetite, so it was fun to try something out of the ordinary.

Do you have any genres of food that have surpassed your expectations? Let me know- I'm totally willing to try new things!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homework Overload

Alright, I clearly underestimated the amount of homework I had to work on tonight... So I'm pushing back my Vietnamese cuisine post until I can get my work under control.

But for now, here's some inspiration. This is always something to keep in the back of your mind.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Was Tagged!

That's right... I was "blog" tagged by Katie from His Diamond and Mine. Normally I'm not too big into chain emails and such, but I guess this came at the right time. I'm pretty sleepy and am lacking insight tonight. So here goes nothing...

The Rules
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've been tagged.
4. Tag eleven people and link them in your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!!

My Eleven Fun Facts
1. I'm graduating in May!
2. I love to run half marathons. I think 13.1 miles is the perfect distance, especially if you have a good running buddy.
3.When I was little, my nickname was Hollywood- hence the title of my blog. I was the girl on the soccer field doing dances, gymnastics and singing instead of being a proper goalie.
4. My best friend is engaged and it makes me anxious for an engagement of my own- which my boyfriend and I have clearly decided won't be for a few years. Paying for medical and graduate school need to come first.
5. On that note- my boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years. We met studying for finals during our Freshman year of college. True story :)
6. I love OPI nail polish but I have hard time choosing just one color to buy at a time.
7. If I could meet two musicians during my lifetime I'd choose John Mayer and Carrie Underwood.
8. My brothers are identical twins, but everyone thinks we're triplets.
9. I love Argentina and one day hope to have a second home there.
10. I'm half Mexican even though some people think I look Asian.
11. My guilty pleasures are frozen yogurt & Mexican food.

Questions for those I've tagged:
1. What's your guilty pleasure?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
3. Do you crave sweet or salty?
4. What's your favorite brand of make up?
5. What's your ideal Saturday afternoon look like?
6. If you are at a bar, what drink do you usually order?
7. What color is on your nails right now?
8. Do you prefer to write in blue or black ink?
9. What's one thing you hope to see change in the next year?
10. What is your favorite song of all time?
11. Have any books changed your life? If so, what are they.

Questions from my tagger:
1. If your friend was asking you to be in her wedding, how would you want her to do so? (This may or may not be for my personal use ;) )
I think a cute monogram notepad or anything from Pintrest would be great! I was also asked once with a blank photo album that said fill this up with memories from our wedding...
2. What are you opinions on Facebook and Twitter?
I love them both but I think people should filter what they put on both sites. Employers truly do take a person's online identity into account when filling job positions. But it's been a great way to keep in touch with all my friends from Argentina.
3. What is your favorite place to relax?
I haven't truly relaxed in a while. But I do enjoy pedicures.
4. What do you want to name your future children?
Whitney, Bradey, Ellie... Yes, I have a Microsoft Word doc with names!
5. Dog or cat?
Dogs, although I've never had one in my life... I'm super allergic to cats.
6. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
My favorite Holiday is Christmas Day- I love gift giving and watching people's reactions, the reminder of Christ's birth and eating all the homemade Mexican food with my wonderful family.
7. What is your favorite quality in your significant other? If you don't have one, what is the most important trait you want a future significant other to have?
Mike has such a big, caring heart. He had AML Leukemia as a child and I think it's enabled him to value everyone and everything, each day.
8. What TV are you upset if you miss?
So You Think You Can Dance!
9. What is your biggest fear?
10. What do you use to stay organized?
My 8.5 x 11 agenda from Target. I've used the same brand since freshman year of college. Everyone knows it's my life! :)
11. If you could buy anything in the world under 500 dollars, what would it be?
Tickets to an amusement park (Disneyland, Six Flags or Knott's Berry Farm), a hotel room & gasoline for the car! Mike and I are in need of a fun vacation!

I'm Tagging:

Monday, January 16, 2012

"If you aint first, you're last..." FALSE!

This weekend I ran my fourth Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon in Phoenix. Normally I run it with a competitive mentality, but this time I ran it with my boyfriend- it takes a lot to get him to work out. Okay and one quick interjection, as much as I wanted to use "Ash" as his pseudonym, I just can't- it reminds me of Pokemon. So anyway... Mike (his real name) and I ran the half marathon together [at his pace- unfortunately he didn't have much time train]. But race time aside, I came to some really meaningful realizations. In fact, the easy run enabled me to be more observant and encourage others along the way.

One of the things I noticed is that running attracts people of all types- and I LOVE that. It doesn't matter what size or shape you are, this sport allows you to free yourself mentally and physically. Also, I realized that pace doesn't always matter. As much as I love to run 8-minute miles and compete against my own personal records, sometimes it's more important to enjoy the journey, rather than pushing yourself to beat a record. You define running- it doesn't have to define you.

I value the fact that people of all kinds can find common ground because of this sport. It was so nice to meet tons of people from all over the country before and during the race- I can't wait for my next half marathon in April with my little sister from Chi Omega.

Here are some photos of race day:

Pre-race... hello sleepy heads! Yes it's still dark!
*The cool thing about this race is that they allow you to wear extra layers until you get warm and then you can throw your extra clothes to the side of the course. Then, the race coordinators donate all the clothing to various shelters and such! So great!

Post-race! He did it :) Although he only ran 3 times before! There were so many yummy freebies afterwards.

A little motivation... free beer at the end!

I feel like I could write so much more, but right now the Bachelor & wine are calling my name. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Connecting the Dots: Pilates to Life

Often times in life we are inspired by something but forget to find ways in which that idea can be applicable to our own lives. When we became aware of this lack of application and change our ways, we are fortunate enough to grow more than we never imagined.

Yesterday was the first day of my pilates class- and yes I get college credit for it! After we went over they syllabus and introductions we all stood before mirrors and were instructed to find our center. The instructor told us to show our natural tendencies and then explained how to correct those instincts and stand so that your body is stacked accordingly. She spoke of words like magnets, energies and such- of course these words I need to master for the final exam, but what got me thinking was the idea of having a "place" or zone that enables you to better your daily life.

Even though we only began to learn the idea of finding your center, our teacher explained that standing in the "right" manner can enable you to have more energy and be better to your body. I can't wait to see my posture improve, but also the way in which my life will too.

And as cute as this photo is... this is not the correct pilates stance :)

The thing I'm realizing is that you can have many "centers" or safe places with your own life that motivate you to act it certain ways. For example, you may focus your mind on God, positivity or peace... Whatever it may be, acts as the largest factor for your inspiration and determination to accomplish certain tasks. I've decided that we can have different centers for our mind, body and souls.

I can't wait to dive deeper into this unknown idea of changing my stance to create more energy! I know that there's so much more I'm going to find out about my self, body and mind.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I am totally failing to be healthy right now. Okay, not completely failing, but definitely not succeeding. With my half marathon just a few days away I should be eating well and cross training to be better prepared. But I'm in a slump... I'm sure some of you can relate?

I'm hoping to find a quick solution before it carries on for to long. The problem is that if I fall into my typical cycle I'll end up being upset about it for far too long and then lose sight of what's important- a healthy & happy life.

The reason I love this picture so much is that it truly inspires me to think about how I'm fueling my body. With the little nutrition information I do know, I should be trying to put food into my body that will help energize me, not pointless calories that cause me to regret my decisions. All I want to find a balance between eating healthy & rewarding myself with my favorite foods (Mexican, fro yo, wine...) that will satisfy my mind, body & soul.

So I plan to use these words from the image above to motivate myself. Hopefully it will help me get back on track...

But I'm not going to throw in the towel or give up on myself if I hit a few more roadblocks. Thanks to my roommate who is a new blogger over at To Whom It May Concern, this Jason Mraz song helped remind me to keep the faith when times are difficult... Even though the song seems to be about relationships, I feel lyrics can always have multiple meanings if one finds them applicable. :)

Hopefully I'll be able to report some progress soon- I hope this picture and song motivate you in some way!

Happy Thursday- XO.

New Coffee, New Semester, New...

Alright, so not everything is "new" starting today, but I am very excited for the few things that are. First, allow me to say for the millionth time that I can't believe this is my last semester of undergrad- somebody pinch me!

But all shock aside, I'm staring my last, first day of school with a new type of coffee (Starbucks Natural Fusions Vanilla Ground Coffee- thanks to a coupon I found while grocery shopping) and a new mentality, in terms of blogging.

As much as I'd love to promise that I can wake up, type an amazing post, get dressed, pack a lunch and be ready for the day, all before 7 a.m., I simply can't. One thing I'm going to allow myself to do this semester is get some extra ZZZZs, since my hectic life has kept me from doing so in the past.

So here's how I'll make it all work:

-I'll create my post the night before
-Wake up in the morning
-Have my coffee and read/comment on all of your wonderful posts....

Because the reality is that even though I love coming up with something thought provoking to write about, I love reading what everyone else is up to just as much. I don't want to rush my words on my own blog, or even the comments to others- so I'm hoping this new process will make my mornings and writing/reading more enjoyable.

Happy Wednesday!

Oh & please don't forget to look a few posts back if you have any simple recipes to suggest for my new hope to cook more often, and also if you have any favorite novels I should read as I create my own class for an independent study with my favorite professor!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mission Possible: Cooking with YOUR Help

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things. I've (halfway) unpacked all of my bags... MANY bags... and my apartment is starting to feel like home again. Because classes don't start until tomorrow, I made it my goal to completely clean my room & grocery shop. I want this semester to be different- I'm ready to start with a fresh & clean slate. As you may know from one of my previous posts, recently I've passed a few torches and responsibilities onto other college leaders, which will enable me to enjoy the last semester of my undergraduate career. Finally, some extra time to relax and spend time with those that I love before we graduate.

One of the many promises I've made to myself and to others is to successfully navigate my way around the kitchen. This is going to be the first time I'll be able to cook dinner for myself almost every night of the week, or so I hope! I'm crossing my fingers...

I've done some Googling but I'm still a little stumped. I'm looking for healthy recipes that are feasible for a college student. Let me remind you that I share a refrigerator with three other girls and am on a small college budget. Just as I asked you all for novel suggestions, I'm at it again, hoping that you'll have some delicious & healthy recipes I can try during this next week. I'm going to make this cooking mission possible!

So please post any suggestions you may have for me, as a rookie chef! Maybe something like this...

YUM! But really it can be anything you enjoy eating on a regular basis that doesn't drain your bank account. THANK YOU!

And not to worry, I'll be back to my usual (and more thought provoking) posts shortly! :)

Happy Tuesday! XO

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fearing the Unknown

There's a bittersweet reality to the phrase "the rest is still unwritten." As much as I love the "Unwritten" lyrics by Natasha Bedingfield, tonight I'm over-thinking it all. I'm inspired by the fact that nothing is set in stone, but yet challenged by my inability to pre-plan each detail. I'm a living, breathing contradiction.

My boyfriend is currently applying to medical school. He's already had one interview and two more to follow in the next two months. Although I'm trying to stay calm and be the supportive girlfriend, it's hard to keep from wondering where destiny is leading us.

Because he only wants to stay in Phoenix, I will only be applying to one master's programs at Arizona State. But what if he gets in elsewhere, or not at all?

It's far too late to try and sort this out online, so I'm just going to refer to a calming Bible verse so I don't go crazy...

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

To be frank, I'm not so sure how great of a job I've been doing, in terms of submission, but this verse does help to ease the worry.

I think I'll try this in the morning...

Book List

The semester starts in just a few days, and although many students are dreading it, I'm very excited! Not only will I graduate in May, but I'll also be doing an independent study with one of my favorite professors. My task is to read 12 fiction novels and create my own "mini class", full of essay topics, discussion questions and more. This is where you all come in...

My teacher is very flexible about the books I can read, but in case she turns any down, I want to have a lengthy list. Please help me out and suggest your favorite fiction novels so I can make this semester the best one of my undergraduate career.

Thank you- Happy Saturday!

Source: google.com via Deniz on Pinterest

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ready to Rest

After about 8 days of non-stop Fiesta Bowl Game week activities, my duties have come to an end (sort of). This past week was so incredible but I'm ready to rest. After running from event to event, and even waking up at 3:30 a.m. for a TV interview, I'm SO ready to sit back and finish The Help- which I started a month ago!

And as much as I'm ready to start blogging again, it's hard for me to want to get back into a routine because I have a few more days off of work and school. I'm sorry if I don't post everyday, but I'm going to take advantage of the next couple days... I going to be selfish with my time for once!

Here's a few (of hundreds) photos from game week! Have a wonderful day!

Team arrivals- we welcomed each team for the Insight & Fiesta Bowls at the airport!

The Fiesta Bowl Trophy! So cool!

Attending the Insight Bowl!

Our amazing float for the Fiesta Bowl Parade!

Fiesta Bowl New Year's Eve Invitational- our date was our driver/security guard! :)

On the sideline before kick off!

On the field during half time- view of the scoreboard/screen!

My wonderful family!

Such a wonderful game- congratulations to the OSU Cowboys!