What You Need to Know About the College Football Postseason

Y’all know how much I love college football, right?  Well, this is for those of you who don’t necessarily have a borderline obsession with it, but you really want to know what the heck all those people like me are talking about when you hear words like “playoff” and “post-season”.  I have a few friends who stare at me blankly when I start talking about football, and I’ve helped them, so I figured…why not help y’all too? 

Here’s what you need to know about the post season:

  • There are a LOT of Bowl Games.  To become bowl elligible, a team has to win at least 6 of their regular season games.  The College Football Playoff committee is trying to bring back the importance and excitement of football on New Years by having what is now being called “The New Years Six” Bowls, the 6 biggest and best bowl games, played either New Years Eve or New Years Day.  Every year, two of these bowls will rotate as the playoff games.  These bowls are: The Sugar Bowl, The Rose Bowl, The Orange Bowl, The Fiesta Bowl, The Peach Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl.  This year, the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl are hosting the final four teams in the college football playoff.
  • Speaking of the College Football Playoff: the four teams participating in the first ever college football playoff are 1. Alabama, 2. Oregon, 3. Florida State, and 4. Ohio State.  Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State were all pretty much guaranteed spots, but Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU were all neck and neck for that 4th spot.  The College Football committee says it ultimately voted Ohio State into that spot after a convincing B1G (That’s Big Ten) championship over Wisconsin with their third string quarterback.  The Big XII doesn’t have a conference championship, so Baylor and TCU shared it with identical records.  In the head to head, Baylor beat TCU (in a very close game at home), but their strength of schedule was one of the weakest in College Football.  In other words, the committee voted Ohio State in that 4th spot because it was easier than trying to work out the equation of whether Baylor or TCU was truly the better team…and because the Big XII doesn’t have a championship game.
  • The Rose Bowl: Oregon (2) vs. Florida State (3) in Pasadena, CA.  This year’s Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota of Oregon vs. last year’s Heisman winner, Jameis Winston of Florida State.  Florida State is (somehow) still undefeated in it’s past 29 games.  They’ve played some close ones this year against a lot of teams that a team in a national championship playoff game shouldn’t have played that closely, but somehow they’ve managed to pull out the Ws in all of them (which I guess counts for something).  Oregon lost only 1 game to Arizona this year, and then came back and convincingly destroyed them in the Pac 12 Championship game.  Most of the country will likely be rooting for The Ducks in this matchup, but Jameis Winston has yet to lose in a game he starts. 
  • The Sugar Bowl: Alabama (1) vs. Ohio State (4) in New Orleans, LA.  Alabama is still heavily favored to win the national championship (again), but this will be an interesting matchup.  Bama’s head coach, Nick Saban, and Ohio State’s head coach, Urban Meyer, have met in a couple (SEC) championship games…back when Meyer was coaching football golden boy Tim Tebow at Florida.  In the history of Saban vs. Meyer, Saban has the edge at 2:1.  Ohio State, the championship team from a non-dominant B1G this year would love to take down the most dominant team from the nation’s most difficult division in the SEC West.  (All 7 teams in the SEC West are bowl elligible for the first time in history.)  Alabama is widely heralded as being the nation’s most complete and best team as well. 
  • The National Championship: The winners of these two games will meet in Arlington on January 11th to crown the first National Champion of the Playoff Era.  The SEC is hoping to reclaim victory after losing the last national title of the BCS Era to the ACC last year.  The ACC is (probably) hoping that Florida State stays undefeated.  The Pac 12 and the B1G would love to bring some glory and spotlight back to both of their conferences this year.  Whoever we see in this game, it’s sure to be a historic game.  Best of luck to all teams.

If you like this post, let us know…we love talking sports, but we also love bringing the passion of sports to others who maybe aren’t quite as into it as we are but don’t want to be lost when all their friends start talking about it.  We are working on more sports stuff (with a new website and everything), so let us know what you want to know about…we’ll do our best to help you out.  And to quote Rachel from FRIENDS…”Honey…might I suggest a little more ESPN and a little less E!.  Seriously, ESPN, just have it on in the background.”

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The Top 10 Reasons I’m Already A Little Depressed College Football is Almost Over

Well, y’all…it’s here.  The final few days of the 2014 College Football season.  The beginning is full of so much excitement and hope. All of us, even those of us whose favorite teams aren’t the biggest and best, have hope that this, THIS, will be our season. This will be the year when we’ll get to cheer our team on to victory and all its eternal glory. For most of us, that never happens, but it’s the hope that keeps us going…keeps us coming back every year. Week by week, we all watch as our teams fall out of the race one by one, and then it comes down to just one thing. LOVE. We cheer for our team because we love our school. We love the players. We love the traditions. We love the game. Let me tell you…as a fan who has had a LOT of experience cheering for a team that is rarely in the conversation for the top 25, much less national title contention, it is love for my team, my school, and the game that keep me coming back every year. If you’re one of those “fans” who only enjoys college football if your team is winning, let me be the first to tell you: YOU ARE NOT A FAN. This season was especially great for me, because for the first time in a LONG TIME, Mississippi State was in the National Title conversation…at least for a while. Ultimately the end of the season wasn’t the way I would have written it, but we are ranked #7 in the nation, second in the nation’s toughest division, with a 10-2 record, and an invitation to The Orange Bowl in just a couple of days.

I’m sure all my friends, family, and coworkers are going to be glad not to have to listen to me ramble on and on about football every day, and even I have to admit it will be nice to wear some of the non-maroon pieces of clothing in my wardrobe. But I’m a little sad. Not because my team didn’t make it to the first ever College Football Playoff (okay, I am a little sad about that) or because my team lost to their in-state rival (okay, I’m REALLY sad about that), but because College Football is almost over. I love everything about college football: reading the predictions every week, listening to the analysts discuss it, watching College GameDay and, my new favorite show, SEC Nation, watching the upsets and the underdogs, following the reactions (both serious and funny) on twitter, watching Sports Center when I’m working at home and yelling at my TV whenever I disagree, learning about the back stories of players and remembering that they are, after all, just college kids who play for nothing more than their own great love for the game…seriously, y’all, I LOVE college football. A LOT.

But you didn’t come read this for my love letter to college football…so, college football fans, here’s the top 10 reasons I’m already depressed about the end of the college football season.

10. The ending of the regular season for Mississippi State – this had to make the list, but ultimately it’s at the bottom of the list of reasons I’m sad about the end of the season because our season was so great…just a little anticlimactic at the end. Based on how I acted after the Egg Bowl, I’m sure my parents will find this ranking a little shocking. (Sorry, Mom & Dad)  Now I think I understand why my sister will never watch this game with me. (Sorry, Kellie)

9. Not enough Kliff Kingsbury – maybe it was because I was so preoccupied with my own team this year, or maybe it’s because Texas Tech didn’t have a stellar year, but not a lot of their games were on TV up here in Tennessee, so the only time I got to watch the most stylish and attractive coach in college football (and the Red Raiders) was while I was in Texas at my Tech Alumn BFF’s house.  Y’all know her…she’s the other Petey! (Side note: we went to the TTU tailgate at the TCU game, hoping for a Kliff sighting. Spoiler alert: we failed.) (Other side note: despite not being able to watch Kilff, I did drink out of my Kingsbury #ourcoachishotterthanyourcoach mug a lot. Thanks to Audrey for one of my favorite birthday presents ever. And thanks for rubbing it in how much hotter your team’s coach is than ours.)

8. Jesse Palmer’s suits – speaking of attractive men in College Football, if you don’t follow Palmer on Instagram, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. It’s like an inside look at the best places to visit if you’re a college football fan…or a fan of good food and coffee and travel in general.  His Instagram, incidentally, is good to follow year round, but, the man has good suit game. Sure, I know, I know…they’re a bit on the, ahem, fitted side, but seriously, get over it y’all…he doesn’t come to where you work and knock the corndog out of your hand. They’re nice suits, and I love a man with style.  And personally I like a well fitted suit over one that fits like you’re wearing one that belongs to your dad and is a size too big. Well done, Brooklyn Tailors. You too, Palmer.

7. My Saturdays are wide open – I guess I should start training for another half marathon with all my free time. Seriously, what am I going to do every Saturday? No, really, I’m free for a while if y’all want to hang out.  Oh wait…have I mentioned http://www.watchlikeagirl.com yet?  That’s what I’ll be doing in my free time.  Stay tuned.

6. TWITTER – I have a terrible feeling that Twitter is about to become a lot less entertaining. People who have never met each other get in heated arguments about their respective teams, FSU fans blame the SEC for all their troubles, people hate on Jesse Palmer’s suits, the rest of the world complains about ESECPN’s bias…so much to enjoy this time of the year.

5. Sad Fans Are Sad – Thanks, Saturday Down South…that’s all I can say. Just, thanks.

4. Scout Ponder’s Instagram – If I had a 6 month old, I’m pretty sure she would be as cool and as funny as Samantha Ponder’s 6 month old.  I’m pretty sure Scout and I have a lot in common and should be friends.  No, that’s her mom, Samantha…Sam is one of my favorite ESPN sideline reporters.  And she posts cute things about her kid in a not annoying way (I didn’t even know that was possible).  I hope I can still follow Scout’s many adventures in the upcoming offseason!

3. Talking football – Mostly just because it surprises a lot of people when I talk and actual football knowledge comes out. To quote my cousin: “Are you smarter at football than me?” Yes. Yes I am. (Side note: I’m probably not, but I’ve always been really good at sounding like I know what I’m talking about, and I have enough football knowledge and watch enough Sports Center to pull it off.)

2. SEC Nation – I can’t even come to terms with the fact that I won’t be able to get my weekly dose of Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears, and even Paul Finebaum talking SEC Football. The SEC Network did a great job with this show. I love seeing guys who played at these stadiums in recent years, guys who I watched play, highlight the traditions of each school, and I also love that this show brings an opportunity for all of the SEC schools to get a chance for some exposure and spotlight. Also, how can you not love Tim Tebow…I have watched all season and I have not once heard him say one negative thing about any school or program. Even when he says something negative, he says it in a way that it sounds positive, and I think it is important for us all to remember that these are just kids playing and we should be more uplifting rather than so critical week in and week out when they aren’t perfect. Also, he wore a maroon tie for SEC Nation in The Grove for the Eggbowl. Well done, Timmy. (I would like to note that I will also miss College GameDay, but I was really pleasantly surprised at SEC Nation this year and can’t wait for more of this for years to come!)

1. FOOTBALL – I’m sure my liver will be grateful to have a break from the amount of alcohol necessary to survive some of these games and my neighbors will be glad to not hear me screaming and/or ringing my cowbell every Saturday, but honestly…most of all, I’m going to miss watching football. Whether it’s my team or any team, there is just something so great about a Saturday spent watching a good game.

Whoever your team is…here’s to this season, next season, and all the traditions, fans, food, tailgating, hope, and love of the game that come with it.  Enjoy these last few games!  And watch for our new site, http://www.watchlikeagirl.com, coming soon.  If you think this is funny…just wait!
Hail State, y’all!
xo ~Cassie

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#tbt: Ice cream, tater tots, and Origami cranes

“A devastating ice storm cut off power to over one million people, and brought widespread damage and auto accidents to a large part of Oklahoma and surrounding states on December 8-11, 2007. Freezing rain accumulated on trees and power lines, bringing the lines down and leaving around 600,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Officials say it will several days to restore power to everyone. Hundreds of auto accidents were reported on ice slick roadways. The ice storm was the result of persistent widespread rain that fell into a shallow layer of below freezing air. This allowed the rain to freeze upon contact with exposed objects.”

Sounds pretty terrible, right?  Power outages, treacherous roads, downed power lines…crazy stuff!! And you guessed it, Cassie and Audrey were right in the middle of it!  Living in an off-campus apartment at the University of Oklahoma while on a clinical rotation at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities(which we may do a post on another day, as it is an amazing place with some amazing people!).  It was a scary and lonely time…

…except that it wasn’t.  It was totally awesome.

A little background on our Oklahoma experience.  We all knew in PT school that we’d be expected to complete at least 1 rotation out-of-town…there just weren’t enough local rotations for the whole class.  And getting outside our “comfort zone” and experiencing the clinical setting in another town offered a different perspective.  So, when it came time to choose, Cassie and I agreed to sign up for the Oklahoma rotation together.  Eight weeks in a small college town, working at a really great pediatric facility, living together like college roommates…how bad could that be??

Fast forward to our arrival in Norman.  We arrive at our LOVELY(sarcasm) apartment to find:  1.)Cobwebs, 2.) showers clearly built for hobbits, and 3.) NO electricity(i.e., no A/C).  It was a balmy 95 degrees in Norman that day.  And someone had strung these weird Oragami birds all around the apartment.  What were we doing here? WE HAVE TO LIVE HERE FOR 8 WEEKS?  My husband had come with us to help us get our stuff moved in and help us get settled.  Once he left, Cassie and I sat on our crazy uncomfortable furniture in our stuffy, dark apartment, and began to cry.  We were like college freshmen whose parents had just dropped them off for college.  So we did what anyone would do.  We went shopping.  And ate ice cream and tater tots from Sonic for dinner.

Now, with such a bleak beginning, you’re probably expecting a story about how everything was terrible but we came through it stronger because we’re such great friends.  And I suppose you could see it that way.  Our shower was horrible.  We had to turn our stove/oven on with pliers because the knobs didn’t work.  There were no outlets where there should’ve been outlets(i.e., the kitchen) so we ended up cooking our toast and stuff in Cassie’s room!  Our TV got exactly 3 very static-y local channels…and that was because we ghetto-rigged it with rabbit ears made from a clothes hanger.  We worked all day with kids who required tons of attention and supervision, and we were desperately trying to keep up and learn as much as we could.  We left work to go to the local Y and slug it out in Kickboxing to try and stay in shape.  And then we came home to a drafty, dreary apartment every night.  I usually fell asleep with Friends or LOST playing on my tiny TV in my room, just to have something familiar and comforting.  I missed my husband, and Cassie missed her family.

But you know what happened?  We cried and felt sorry for ourselves.  We ate junk.  We made collages of pictures and decorated our rooms like we were back at college.  And then we had a BLAST.  We went to work everyday and grew as therapists.  We loved being workout buddies and we kicked ASS in Kickboxing.  We went to the Halloween parade at JDMC.  We decorated the apartment for Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  We watched countless hours of Friends and Harry Potter while I taught Cassie how to knit, and we made Gryffindor scarves(yes, we’re dorks).  We visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and learned the meaning of the Oragami Cranes hanging in our apartment.  And when ICE STORM 2007 came blustering into town, we bundled up, grabbed takeout from our new favorite spot, The Pita Pit, stocked up on the essentials(wine and Jack Daniels…hey, we had to keep warm, right?), and battened down the hatches.

Work and town shut down, so we braved the ice-coated OU campus, bundled in our new scarves, and took a million pictures.  We had a Friends marathon in-between watching static-y weather updates complete with dramatic sound effects for the wind and ice(**WHHHOOOOOSHHHH!!**).

Before ICE STORM 2007

Before ICE STORM 2007

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After ICE STORM 2007

And as our time in Oklahoma wound down to a close, we sat on the same couches we’d sat on our first day, and cried just as we had that first day.  Except this time we were crying because we couldn’t believe we had to leave.  Wine in hand, we recounted every favorite memory we’d made, laughed at our hardships, recalled all the experiences we’d had.  And the next day we packed up our stuff, loaded our cars, and returned to life in Memphis.  And you know what?

We haven’t stopped talking about it since.

Because, if there was one thing we learned in Oklahoma in the fall of 2007, it was this:

seatmate

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The Summer Hot List

It’s Hot y’all!  It is the middle of the summer down here in the south, and it feels like I bought a sauna and put it outside.  Some how though, summer is my favorite time of year…must be the true southerner coming out in me, but there’s nothing like summer in the south…so hot you either need to be inside, at the pool, or on a patio with a big fan and a cold drink.  That being said…here are my favorite trends for this summer.  Now get out there, and be fabulous.  And remember…On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink. ~xoxo Cassie

Target Tribal Print Skirt

Target Tribal Print Skirt

Tribal Prints and Florals:

These are my favorite prints this season! If you’re afraid to wear prints, try incorporating it into just a small piece of you wardrobe, like a bag or a scarf. If you want to go bolder, go for a piece of clothing. Still a little intimidated? Pair it with something simple and neutral to keep it from being over the top.  I just bought this world print skirt at Target for under $25, and I am obsessed. I paired it with a neutral, camel colored long sweater for an unexpected casual twist. 

Anthropologie Floral Maxi Skirt

Anthropologie Floral Maxi Skirt

My sister wore this floral skirt from Anthropologie and paired it with a sleevelss flowy white top for an outdoor party. This would also look great for a festival or music event.

 

 

 

 

 

These prints are everywhere this season, so just find colors you like and shapes that are flattering on you! 


 

OPI Don't Be A Buddapest

OPI Don’t Be A Buddapest

Pastels:

Pastels are my jam this season. I love ‘em!! I wear them everywhere. I mix and match them with jeans for a casual twist or a skirt for a dressier look for work or church.  I am currently obsessed with this color that I have on my nails. My favorites this season are the purples, turquoises, greens, and corals.

 


Nude Ankle Strap Heels

Nude Ankle Strap Heels

 

 These minimalist heels are so feminine, and I love them. I wish I could wear open toed shoes at work because I would be living in these! Speaking of pastels, you can grab a pair of these in one of my aforementioned favorite colors of the moment. But my personal choice would be a nude pair. Nude heels do an amazing job of making your legs look longer, and they go with literally everything. I’m going out to buy a pair of these now…what are you waiting for?!?!


Bauble Bar Monogram Necklace

Bauble Bar Monogram Necklace

Monogram Necklaces:

I almost hate myself for saying this, but I can’t get enough of these right now. This is definitely the SEC preppy style coming out in me (you can take the girl out of the SEC, but you can’t take the SEC out of the girl). I asked for one for my birthday, and I have been wearing it non stop. (Who am I? I honestly don’t recognize myself right now.) But seriously, this is a necklace you can wear with a nice outfit for a little bit of classic elegance, or layer it with some trendy necklaces for a more casual look. A good southern girl knows you can never go wrong with a good monogram and a nice set of pearls…trust me y’all!

 


 

Side Braid How To

Side Braid How To

Braids and Side Pony Tails:

I like to combine these two for a nice side braid. This is especially handy on “dirty hair” days or days when I just can’t get my hair to do anything else. It’s appropriate for work (as long as it’s not too messy) or for an outdoor concert (wear it as messy as you want). A low side pony with curly hair and some pieces pulled out can look a little bit more stylish than just pulling hair back, or do one of those trendy face framing braids for a festival look. The possibilities are endless with these styles, so you’ll never get bored!

This is one of my favorite and fairly easy side braided styles to do for work. Make sure to pull and stretch the braid after you secure it to make it look fuller and thicker.

 

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Paleo Granola Bars

 

Homemade Paleo Granola Bars

Homemade Paleo Granola Bars

I love clean eating, but I also love granola bars. It’s so hard to buy them at the store, because most of them are loaded with all kinds of sugar and other random things…which kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think? If you’re in a pinch, as I usually am when I travel, KIND makes great granola and granola bars with all ingredients you can pronounce and they come in just about every flavor you could imagine. But if you’re able to, making homemade granola bars is so much better. You know what is in them and you can add whatever you want! All these ingredients aren’t cheap, but I’ve found that I usually have enough to make at least 2 batches, so really, I can get about 30-35 granola bars out of them…in which case, it becomes really cheap. this recipe is pretty basic, so feel free to play around with it and add whatever sounds good.

Paleo Granola Bars

 

  • 3 cups assorted nuts (I used pecans, almonds, and pumpkin seeds)20140708-092626.jpg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment or wax paper
  2. Mix assorted nuts in a large bowl
  3. Take 1 cup of the nut/seed mixture and place on a cutting board. Chop the nuts/seeds into smaller pieces with a sharp knife.

    coarsely chop 1 cup of mixed nuts

    coarsely chop 1 cup of mixed nuts

  4. Place the remaining 2 cups of the nut/seed mixture into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into much smaller pieces than the first cup.

    finely chop the remaining 2 cups of mixed nuts in a food processor

    finely chop the remaining 2 cups of mixed nuts in a food processor

  5. This assortment of sizes and textures will work well for the bars.
  6. Add all the nuts back into the bowl and stir to combine.
  7.  Add the dried cranberries and stir until well mixed.
  8. Add the shredded coconut and mix well.
  9. In a small saucepan, add the coconut oil, almond butter, honey, vanilla, sea salt, and cinnamon and heat over medium-low heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Remove from heat. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning/sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

    heat until melted, stirring constantly

    heat until melted, stirring constantly

  10. Pour the liquid mixture over the nut mixture and stir to combine, making sure the nut mixture is evenly coated.
  11. Pour the entire mix into the baking dish and use a second sheet of parchment or wax paper on top to firmly press and pack the ingredients together.
  12. Let the mixture set and settle on the counter at room temperature for 2 hours
  13. Cover and place in the freezer to set for 1 more hour
  14. Cut into whatever size bars you like and enjoy! I cut mine into a typical “granola bar” shape and size. This recipe makes 16 typical granola bars.
  15. I wrapped mine individually and put them all in a Ziploc bag and stored them in the refrigerator for freshness. 
  16. ENJOY!

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On Wednesdays We Wear Pink! Anniversary Edition

on wednesdays we wear pink

Welcome, readers, to a VERY special edition of On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink! Today, April 30th, just happens to be the 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the movie that inspired this segment…Mean Girls!! I can’t believe it came out 10 years ago today!!  Big ups to Tina Fey, one of the wittiest, funniest, and most courageous comediennes of my generation…truly an innovator, great performer, and a huge empowerer (what, it’s a word) of women everywhere!

Cassie and I literally quote this movie on a weekly basis…and usually within the context of an actual conversation.  And so, today, I will run down our Top 10 Favorite “Mean Girls” quotes and how they translate into everyday conversation.  You’re welcome.

10.) “That’s why her hair’s so big…it’s full of SECRETS!!”  For that incessant gossip in your life.  Or that chick you know that always has really big hair.  I mean, I live in the Metroplex…Dallas is the captiol of big hair.  And gossip.secrets

9.) “How was your summer?” “I got divorced.” “My carpal tunnel came back…” “…I win.”  Perfect for that one-upper who always seems to have to have the last word in the conversation.

8.)karen “I have a 5th sense…it’s like I have ESPN or something.”  Oh, Karen.  Honestly, I use this one a lot of the time whenever I flip to ESPN…but it’s also funny when you actually do have a feeling about something.  Or when you’re making fun of late-night TV psychic hotlines.

7.)  “You can go shave your back, now.  Bye Jason.”  Classic “GET LOST” line for that pesky guy at the bar.  Or that co-worker who’s been a total troll.  And Rachel McAdams just nails the delivery…so sweet…yet so nasty. LOVE IT.

6.)  “Is butter a carb?”  Referred to whenever examining the carb count for a food.  Duh.butter

5.)  “ I have a nephew named Anfernee, and I know how mad he gets when I call him Anthony. Almost as mad as I get when I think about the fact that my sister named him Anfernee.”  Let’s just admit, there are some people out there with some ridiculously hard to pronounce names.  And I can’t help but think of this line whenever I meet someone named Anthony.

4.) “You go, Glen Coco!”  Kind of an “Attaboy” phrase.  This one is everywhere now.  It’s the new, “You go, girl!”glen coco

3.) “And none for Gretchen Wieners, bye.”  Basically like saying that someone got the shaft.  Also usuable when turning someone down for something.

2.) “Boo, you whore!” Expressing displeasure with someone. It’s harsh, but it works.  boo

1.)  “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”  I mean, come on.  Inspired this page.  Rules of feminism. Totally an excuse to wear pink. Obvs.pink

Happy 10 years, Mean Girls!! Thanks for the laughs and the lessons!  What are some of your favorite quotes? And let’s see your PINK!!!

Namaste.  Or whatever.

Audrey

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HIIT IT.

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Y’all…I have been getting frustrated with my workouts lately. I work out regularly, but I feel like nothing ever comes of it, so I’ve been wanting to take my workouts to the next level. I don’t want to pay for an expensive membership to a gym or a boot camp, and with traveling all the time I don’t always know what I’m going to have at my disposal. It’s true that just being active is really great for you, but to see changes in your body, you are going to have to do something at least semi-challenging. If it was easy, everyone would look like Giselle, right?

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is nothing new, but it has been gaining popularity recently. Especially as we tend to seem to have less time for exercising. If you don’t know what HIIT is, it is mixing intervals of high intensity activity (if 1 is sitting on your couch while you read this and 10 is the hardest you’ve ever worked in your life, think like 8 or 9) with low intensity recovery periods (say a 3 or 4). Look up HIIT on the internet and you’ll find a wide variety of options. You can pretty much do it with any cardiovascular activity, and the beauty of it is that it can be specifically tailored to your fitness level. I personally get really bored doing the same workouts all the time, so HIIT is appealing to me just because I can mix it up so that I’m never doing the same thing twice.

So, what is so great about HIIT?

  • Highly effective calorie burner: According to research, it is very effective at changing your body because it burns more calories than a typical 30 minute workout. Why? Well, when you are pounding away at the pavement, or pedaling along on that bike, or working away on that elliptical machine at a steady pace, eventually your body adjusts to that activity, so your heart and lungs don’t have to work as hard to keep going. The beauty of our bodies is that they are really good at being as efficient as possible. Not that running 10 miles isn’t a big calorie burner, because it is, but basically, your body adjusts to it (which you want it to…trust me…if you haven’t run 10 miles, you definitely don’t want to spend the whole time out of breath and feeling like you might pass out), and it becomes the new norm. (This probably also explains why I gain weight every time I train for a half marathon.) When you do HIIT, you are constantly changing the level of exertion your body is challenged with, and it never knows what to expect, so it has to constantly work to ramp up its efforts to sustain you while you are sprinting up that hill and then to cool down once you get to the top and start walking…and just about the time it has gotten back to normal, guess what…yep, you take of sprinting again.
  • Continues to burn even more calories: Some research has even shown that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 24 hours after performing a HIIT workout, and that women who performed HIIT regularly (3 x a week) for 12 weeks showed an increase in body fat and total weight lost than women who did a typical cardiovascular workout (like a 5-7 out of 10) for 12 weeks.
  • Maximal results for minimal time: Evidence shows that even a HIIT workout as short as 15 minutes is enough to ramp up the calorie burning effect. I typically aim for 30-45 minutes, but it is nice to know that on a day when I’m really crunched for time, if I can squeeze in 15 minutes, I can at least do a little good.

Get Started: I can’t say that I always get 3 HIIT workouts in a week, although that’s always the goal, but I do shoot for at least 2. I typically do my HIIT exercise as some form of running, but you can do whatever floats your boat. Just find a way to change the intensity!

  • Treadmill: If I’m stuck on a treadmill (which I hate), I’ll alternate a minute of brisk walking with a minute of running at a fairly high speed (pick a speed that at the end of a minute, you are having to work to keep from falling off the treadmill, but not so fast that you actually will fall off).
  • Outside: If I’m outside (which I love), the possibilities are endless. If I’m in a hilly area, I’ll sprint as hard as I can to the top of a hill and walk until I get to the next one. If I’m in a fairly flat area, I’ll alternate sprinting and walking every block, or tree to tree, mailbox to mailbox…you get the idea. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to do until I get out and start going!
  • Warm Up: I always warm up before starting HIIT. Usually I’ll jog a mile or two and then do my HIIT workout.
  • Cool Down: Don’t forget to cool down after that last high intensity interval! At the end of a HIIT exercise, you should be struggling to go further or faster. My last sprint looks nothing like my first…In fact, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t look like much of a sprint at all. The crazy thing is, I’ve been more fatigued after jogging a mile and then doing HIIT for 2 miles than I have after running 10!
  • Enjoy the Results: And after 2 weeks, I have a few skirts that are noticeably not as tight in the hip area as they were 2 weeks ago. I can’t tell you about actual weight because I haven’t been home in a couple weeks to weigh myself, although, I don’t rely solely on the scale because I know people who have drastically changed their body shape without changing much on the scale. The more important thing is I can tell a difference in my endurance level and strength when I do other exercises or long runs…which is really what matters most.

Start at whatever level works for you. If jogging is hard, alternate jogging and walking, add in hills or up your speed to make it harder. If you’re on a machine at the gym, increase the resistance. Just know that at the end of your high intensity interval, you should be really struggling to breathe and or keep going at that current pace. If you are still reading your magazine while you are doing it, it probably isn’t hard enough. Always make sure you warm up and cool down before and after any workout and always listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, never keep going. If you are new to exercise, you should always consult your physician or a licensed professional first.

I found this great article that highlights the benefits of HIIT…and has a sample 8 week program I just might try out!
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ultimate-8-week-hiit-for-fat-burning-program.html

What are some of your favorite challenging exercise routines? I’m always looking for new stuff…I’m sure I’ll get bored soon enough!

Namaste…or whatever.

XO ~Cassie

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Live Like No One Else

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“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”  Ever heard that expression before? I love that expression because it’s true in so many facets of life…whether it be your job, your workouts, your healthy lifestyle…it applies.  The truth of the matter is that nothing of great value just happens by accident…it’s the result of planning, dedication, and the refusal to let failure derail your progress.  A habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency, especially one that is hard to give up.”  Wouldn’t it be amazing if, with some good old fashioned hard work, a boatload of determination, and some great support(that’s us!), you could make your habits things that made you healthy, happy, and productive? Here are a few things to remember as you start(or continue) your journey in that direction…

Do this for YOU.  At the end of the day, you have to know why you’re making these decisions…these sacrifices…these changes.  So that others will perceive you a certain way? So that you’ll be better than someone else? No way.  Because ultimately that motivation will fade.  Set your intentions and goals with reasons in mind that have personal meaning to you.  Feeling good in your own skin, being healthy for your family, setting a good example for others…now THOSE reasons keep you on track.

Shake the Haters off.  There will always be critics.  Always.  People who haven’t made choices that lead to them being their best selves.  People who have tried and failed and given up.  People who always need something to bitch about and some reason to complain.  They’ll do their best to sabotage your efforts simply to make themselves feel better.  IGNORE THEM.  And if you can’t, cut them out.  Minimize their influence in your life.  Sometimes making lifestyle changes means eliminating the negative influences in your life, as well.

Own your weaknesses.   We all know where we fall short.  You can sabotage your own efforts  by swearing to yourself that you’ll beat it this time…or you can ELIMINATE the temptation.  Trying to go gluten-free? Dairy-free? Eliminate processed foods?  PURGE your pantry.  Donate those boxes of crackers to a food bank.  Make your shopping list.  Challenge yourself to eat only foods with one ingredient.  Know where YOUR pitfalls lie and map your away around and away from them!

Tell the world.  Ok, maybe not the world.  But your friends that you trust, your family, your support system…tell them about the changes you’re making! Let them know what you expect of yourself.  Write down your goals and keep them somewhere that you can see them everyday.  And SHARE your success!!  Nothing fuels the fire more than encouragement and accountability!

The title of today’s post is from one of my favorite quotes from Dave Ramsey and refers to how we have to live somewhat counterculturally sometimes in order to succeed…he says, “Live like no one else, so that one day, you can live like no one else!”  What he means is, sometimes we’ve got to buck the norm and make decisions that aren’t necessarily easy or widely accepted in order to set up a great future for ourselves!  Make the decision to take charge of your life, your health, your well-being.  You won’t regret it.  And in fact, you’ll probably meet some pretty cool people on the road there.

Namaste.  Or whatever. 😉

Audrey

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You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas. ~Davy Crockett

 

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Davy Crockett is on of my favorite Tennesseeans.  I feel like it’s appropriate that Audrey and I are such good friends and we live in Texas and Tennessee respectively.  If you don’t know the history of how these two states are connected, you should check out a history book.  Maybe we’ll do a Petey history lesson some day.  Until then, just know that Audrey and I have a friendship that was literally hundreds of years in the making.

Audrey and I had so much fun last weekend and we wanted to share some of our favorite parts with y’all. Audrey already shared a little about preparing for my arrival, and I can truly say I feel extremely at home whenever I visit the McCartys, so now, I want to share my top 5 favorite things from last weekend in Fort Worth, TX.

5. Rosa’s Tortilla Factory: Rosa’s is one of the reasons I want to move to Texas. Think really fresh, really good Mexican food…that is fast…and has a drive thru. This is NOTHING like Taco Bell. For starters, their handmade, fresh tortillas are the best you will ever eat (saved one for my Sunday cheat day), and their chips and queso are delicious. I would walk to Texas to eat at Rosa’s.

 

 

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 4. Sundance Square/Bird Café: Downtown Fort Worth is uber cool. It’s the perfect mix of big city buildings and western Texas cool. Sundance Square is an amazing place to sit and have a drink and enjoy all the goings on around you in front of the fountain. There are several restaurants on the square if you want to enjoy some food while you take in downtown. One of the restaurants situated on Sundance Square is Bird Café. It has a very cool vibe and the menu is mostly small plates for sharing. Audrey and I had several small plates: the all night happy hour (house chips with pub cheese and onion dip and mixed nuts), moth balls (a kind of cheese ball in a light gravy), bangers and mash (elk and wild boar sausage over mashed sweet potatoes with spicy mustard…by far the best bangers and mash I’ve ever eaten…and the most creative), and zucchini ribbons. All of the items were creative takes on simple foods and delicious. If you are in Fort Worth, I highly recommend trying Bird Café!

 

  

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3. Revolver Brewing: About 45 minutes from Fort Worth, near Granbury, TX is Revolver Brewing. On Saturdays from 12-3 pm, you can pay $10 for 4 beers and a tour. There is a great outdoor space for sitting and enjoying the live music…and there is plenty of stuff for kids to do as well. My favorite beer was their seasonal Sidewinder, a southwest pale ale. It was bright and flavorful with a really great finish. If you like Blue Moon, you will also probably love their Blood & Honey, made with blood orange and a local honey. All in all, there really is something for everyone at Revolver.

 

 

 

 2. Four Day Weekend: When Audrey first suggested an improv comedy show, I’ll admit I was skeptical. I’ve watched some that are really dumb. This is not one of those shows. The Four Day Weekend comedy troupe has to be one of Fort Worth’s best kept secrets. The audience helps write and direct the show based on ideas and suggestions written on cards before the show starts that the cast draws randomly and works into their skits. Audrey and I had 3 of ours make it in! This is a totally reasonable show, the ticket was under $22. There is a bar inside that is extremely reasonable too. You could spend easily $30 on a few drinks at a bar where you can’t hear the person next to you, or you can spend $30, have a drink and quite a few laughs. Check out Four Day Weekend at www.fourdayweekend.com. GO!! You won’t regret it!

1. Petey Time: I’d go back to Texas and not do any of the stuff I just listed above if it meant that I got to hang out with one of my best friends. I have been lucky enough to know Audrey for almost 9 years now (is it possible that we are that old?!?!), and I know I can always count on her to shoot straight with me. I also know I can count on her to beat anyone up who hurts me…and I totally believe that she’d do it if I asked. I’m lucky enough to have lots of good friends, and the more I travel, the less I’m able to actually spend time with them. Thank God for cell phones, and Facebook, and Instagram that help us all stay in touch, but none of those replace being able to chill out in your yoga pants and have a glass of wine while watching episode after episode of FRIENDS and giggling over things that no one else in their right mind would find humorous.

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So, my favorite thing about going to Texas? Getting to hang out with someone who I know has my back through thick and thin. Here’s to many more trips to Texas…and great friends!!

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Kliff Kingsbury is cooler than your coach.

Okay, y’all…Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury wins the internet today. Just when you think the dude can’t get any cooler, he goes and does this.

If I was a football player, I’d want to play for a coach who did this at practice. Kingsbury gets it, so for that, Kliff, you get the official #gunsup from us…because you’re obviously #KindOfABigDeal. #wreckem Good Luck to Kliff and the Red Raiders this season!

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