Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.”

Tagged , , , , , ,

#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

1928329_555283041265_8762_n

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

20140710-095246.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

Tagged , , ,

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!

20140708-092607.jpg 20140708-092729.jpg 20140708-092738.jpg 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , ,

HIIT IT.

20140420-150309.jpg

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

20140420-150437.jpg

Tagged , ,

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!

Tagged , ,

The Hostess with The Mostest

Image

I love having company.  No, really, I do!  Now that we’re in a house large enough to accommodate a few extra guests from time to time without everyone tripping all over each other, I really look forward to friends coming to town to visit and family coming for the holidays.  Yes, it requires a little extra cleaning and pillow-fluffing, but let’s face it, I probably needed to do those things anyway!  One of my favorite things to do is to come up with some creative ways to make my guests feel personally welcomed and at home in our home (a la “Hotel Monica” on Friends).  I’m happy to share a few of those tips with you today! (Remember, tailor these things to your personal guests. The more personal, the better!)

Personal Touches to Help Any Guest Feel Welcome 

1.)    Find a knickknack or picture that your guest will connect with.  Whether it’s a picture of the two of you together, a place you went on a trip, or even a little knickknack that represents an inside joke…having something that they recognize automatically makes it seem like it’s their room.  I keep 2 frames in our guest room and regularly rotate pictures out depending on who’s coming…a family pic when my parents or in-laws are in town, a pic of the kiddo and his cousins when my SIL visits, a pic of me and Cass from Oklahoma whenever she comes to visit.  And when she was here for Halloween, I laid out a little treat that coincides with an inside joke about a quote from a movie we always use (props to you if you can name the movie!). IMG_1574

2.)    A seasonal accent.  It may sound funny, but having some sort of seasonal decoration makes your guest room feel fresh and contemporary.  For most of us, that room is one that really only gets used when people are in town…so it’s easy for it to feel that way to them, too…like they’re staying in  that generic extra room.  You don’t have to do anything fancy at all!  I keep a classic glass vase in our guest room and fill it according to the season…mini pumpkins and gourds for fall(might cost you $5 at Michaels and these can be reused), mini Christmas balls for Christmas, Easter eggs for spring, fake fruit or flowers for summer…you get the idea.  And if you don’t want to go that route, fresh flowers are always a win (added bonus:  automatic air freshener).photo 2

3.)    Hotel-like amenities.  Of course, when you have a guest, you’ll want to make sure you have fresh sheets on the bed and clean towels in the bathroom.  And probably an extra bottle of shampoo and conditioner in case they forget theirs.  But I like to take it a step further and provide some extra little toiletries, both as a replacement for forgotten items and also as just a nice gesture.  I’ll always save my hotel lotions, mouthwash, and body wash for just that purpose.  Free samples from places like Clinique or Sephora are also great.  Find a cute glass jar, fill it with these treats, and set it next to the sink in the guest bath.  As an added bonus, this also gives them a place to store their toothbrush while they’re there.

 

photo 1

4.)    Aromatherapy.  Hear me when I say, this DOES NOT mean that you have to spend a ton on plug-in air fresheners, scented candles, or anything like that.  In fact, I’d steer clear of those in favor of something a bit more natural and subtle…have you ever noticed that most large hotels have a distinctly Lysol-y type smell?  If you have access to a good quality essential oil (my favorite is DoTerra), a little bit goes a long way and really helps to make the room feel clean and relaxing.  Five to ten drops distilled into some water and then spritzed onto linens, carpet, pillows, and voila!  Scents like vanilla, lavender, and sandalwood promote relaxation.  Peppermint invigorates.  Tea tree, lemon, and wild orange smell clean and crisp.  Choose according to the mood you’d like to set.photo 3

5.)     Special Needs.  Keep in mind any specific needs your guest might have and try to accommodate them before they come.  My FIL loves to read the paper every morning, so I try to have one on the nightstand when they get here.  Some people like to take a glass of water to bed at night…I’ll set out glasses for that purpose on the nightstand.  Consider yourself the concierge and try to anticipate what might make them feel more at home.

Well, there you have it! Don’t be intimidated and think that everything you do has to be Pinterest-perfect.  The important thing is just to put some thought into each guest that comes to visit…whatever you do to accommodate them, the fact that you took the extra time to ensure their comfort will mean a great deal.  Having some stand-bys at the ready helps to make changes for each guest a little bit easier.

What are your favorite things people have done for you as a guest? What little tips do you have for welcoming company? We want to hear from you!

Update from The Peteys…

Hey, y’all. We’ve been talking about this blog for a while now and we got started in January, but it has been a busy (and cold) winter, and all of a sudden it’s spring, and the warm weather has inspired us to get moving again. We have some things we like to talk about more than others. We spend lots of time talking about college football, how awesome it would be if I moved to Texas, sharing clean eating and fitness tips with each other, and generally relating life to a FRIENDS or Mean Girls quote and making each other laugh. We feel like we have a pretty entertaining take on these things and life in general, so that’s where the idea for Kind of a Big Deal came from (see our home page for the story behind “The Peteys” and “KOABD”). So, what can you expect from us now that we are ready to really make a go at this? Travel advice and monthly spotlights on a cool restaurant or travel location and packing tips for a week’s worth of stylish clothes in a small suitcase from Cassie. Clean eating, fitness, and health tips from both of us. Sports…SEC or Big XII Football…pretty much anything Mississippi State (Dan Mullen has the best “I’m pissed at you, don’t talk to me or look at me” face ever) from Cassie and most definitely anything Texas Tech related from Audrey. We both love DIY projects, recipes and crafts from Pinterest, and generally trying anything new. So, you can expect anything and everything related to all of the above. The main thing you should expect is to laugh (we hope), and learn how to live life to the fullest without taking it too seriously. We would love to hear what you want to hear about. Namaste…or whatever.

Namaste On The Road

Image

The whole reason we have a page named “Namaste, or Whatever” is because as much as we try to live clean and healthy lives, neither Audrey or I would ever sacrifice fully enjoying life for the sake of being the healthiest person on the planet.  Have I mentioned that we don’t take ourselves too seriously?  If you haven’t already figured that out about us, it won’t take you much longer.  We try to be healthy, but we try to be real.  I love Whole Foods as much as the next person (and probably more than I should), but if you don’t have access to a fancy, expensive grocery store that makes you want to drop everything and start doing sun salutations immediately, you can still eat just as healthily as those of us who are lucky enough to be able to spend twice as much on our produce.  Namaste…or whatever.  Translation:  Health is just as much about making sustainable healthy choices that you feel good about as it about what you eat or don’t eat.  Stressing over the perfect diet, exercise regimen, calorie intake, etc. does nothing to improve your well-being.

Let me start this by saying, in no way am I anywhere near perfect with sticking to clean eating when I’m on the road and traveling.  I do my best, but when you’re traveling to new places all the time, you get lots of “You have to go here…they have the best pizza/cupcakes/fries/margaritas ever”.  And I am never one to turn down the best pizza, cupcake, fries, or margarita.  So some weeks I do better than others.  (More on all of these places with the best “fill in the blank here” coming soon, so you’ll see how much splurging I really do on a regular basis.)  Obviously, travel in the spring and summer when all the vegetables are fresh and there’s tons of good fruit around is easier…but so is eating healthily at home.  I try not to splurge too often when I travel because travel is more of a way of life than a vacation for me, but if you travel a lot and are looking for a way to keep from packing on the pounds, I’m here to tell you it can be done! I am anywhere from 10-15 pounds lighter after my first year of traveling for work.  Even if you don’t travel all the time but want to stay healthy on your vacation, more power to you, but remember to allow yourself to indulge and enjoy things outside of your normal routine…not every meal, but whenever you want to.  And then when vacation is over…get right back to it.  If you get yourself a good base of eating clean and healthy before your trip, you’ll probably find that you have less desire or appetite for those splurges, but when you do, indulge them.  You only live once.  (I’ll spare you the sarcastic hashtag remark here.)

Here are some great ways to keep eating clean on the road, or if you are just learning what “eating clean” means, try implementing one or two of these into your lifestyle and see how great you feel!

  1. Drink water…a lot.  When I am dehydrated, I feel like crap.  And when I feel like crap, I eat like crap. 
  2. Find a clean, healthy on-the-go option for when time is short.  Lara Bars are the most amazing thing ever.  Well, probably not really, but they are pretty tasty and come in a variety of flavors and are great to grab and take with you to eat when you get hungry.  They are vegan and gluten free and have only natural ingredients. 
  3. Find an alternative to dairy.  Almond and coconut milk are awesome.  More and more coffee places and delis are keeping these for lattes and such, so I always ask.  If they don’t, I’ll ask for soy or non-fat milk.  I try to stay away from too much dairy, but a little non-fat milk in your latte probably won’t wreck your whole day.  But, then again, I like my coffee black.
  4. Opt for healthy sweet treats.  Dark chocolate or fruit are great for when you are really craving something sweet.  It may not be exactly what you want, but most of the time it does the trick.  You can grab these on the go just about anywhere.  I try to stick to greater than 70% dark chocolate if possible. 
  5. Gorge on veggies.  A salad makes a great, filling, but usually clean  and low-calorie meal, and salads are available at most restaurants, so, yes, you can go out to eat…just watch the croutons and the cheese.  And high calorie salad dressing.  If you have to have these, try picking one and asking them to leave the others off.
  6. Be a cheese snob.  If you must have cheese, make it a strong cheese with really rich flavors.  I’m not a big fan of blue cheese, but I do like feta and goat cheeses.  If I’m going to have cheese on a salad, I make it one of those.  You can get bigger flavor and usually less calories.  Trust me…try leaving your cheddar/Monterey jack off your salad.  They don’t add much flavor, and I bet you won’t even notice.
  7. Go NUTS!!  If you really need to munch on something crunchy, nuts make a great snack.  Almonds are the best, just because they are the most nutrient dense, but I like cashews and pecans also.  I try to eat mostly raw or lightly salted/roasted almonds, but if you’re really hankering for a flavor, I still think eating flavored almonds is better than a bag of chips.  Try roasting them at home tossed with some coconut oil.  Most airport shops or gas stations have some form of almonds you can grab if you’re on the go and can’t get to a grocery store for supplies.
  8. Cheat Wisely.  If you really want some chips (and trust me, sometimes I do), there are some great gluten free options out there.  Garden of Eatin’ for one and Way Better for another.  They are made from mostly corn or beans.  I wouldn’t get in the habit of eating these all the time, but on occasion with some fresh salsa or guacamole they are perfect.  I have seen Way Better chips in more and more airport shops lately.
  9. Go Local.  Local restaurants tend to have more fresh, less processed foods than chains.  Don’t get me wrong, chains are all well and good, but they order things in bulk and they serve the same thing across the country, so how fresh can it be?  Local restaurants usually source local meats and produce and are much more likely to cook things that are in season and easily obtainable, thereby reducing the amount of processing and preserving that has to be done.  Besides, you can eat at Olive Garden anywhere…try somewhere local…be a part of the culture you’re in.
  10. Give Yourself A Break.  When you eat like crap, own it and move on.  We all do it.  Sometimes, that greasy slice of the best pizza ever and 2 (okay 5) margaritas just happens.  You’ve done it, and you can’t undo it (and please don’t go throw it up, and if you do, please seek help), so just own it, enjoy how delicious it was, and go back to being awesome.  Don’t let it send you spiraling into more unhealthy eating just because you did it once, and don’t let it take away your enjoyment of the rest of your meals.  You are not going to get fat from one unhealthy meal.  And no vacation (or day at work, for that matter) is worth ruining over feeling bad about yourself.

Do you have any tips you think are worth sharing?  We’d love to hear and I’m always up for trying new things.  Keep being your awesome self, and we’ll keep loving you!

Namaste, or whatever…

~Cassie, KOABD