September 13, 2012

Lets Talk Budget and Organization! (Wedding Planning 1)

Ok, so this has been the longest I've got without writing a post...But...
I'm getting married!!!

Yup, James and I are tying the knot. James proposed last Saturday (September 8th) outside of the Jordan River Temple. It was so perfect! Then we spent the rest of the day replicating some of our more important past dates. We went mini golfing, had lunch at Olive Garden, and got ice cream at Sub Zero (if you haven't been there, I highly recommend it. They make the ice cream right in front of you using liquid nitrogen. Its awesome!!). 
The big day is January 19, 2013! Seems so far away, but in all reality, that's not a ton of time to plan a wedding. Luckily, I got a bit of a head start, thanks to that wonderful website that everyone is addicted to, Pinterest!! (Click Here to follow my boards!) I've been pinning like mad since I first got on the website, and I'm pretty sure what my theme is to be.
I thought, "Hey, this wedding planning is hard stuff. Maybe I should try to help others out as well..." So here it is. BAM! My first wedding planning post!
What I've been focused on today as far as planning goes is the dreaded budget. Since I'm the oldest child of a family of 7, and I'm making minimum wage (did I mention I finally got a job? Hooray for me...? It kinda sucks, but its a paycheck), plus the fact that my wedding is right after Christmas, the budget is not huge. I've figured if I save 90% of my paycheck (after taxes and tithing, plus a little money left over for myself for fun) every week, I'd have about $1700 of my own money to pay for things. (YIKES! Breathe, I can do this...) So today, my mom and I have made a list of everything we could think of that we'll need, and estimating (not just guessing, we're looking up prices and such...) 
So my biggest tip wholesale!! For decorations, food serving stuffs, ect, wholesale is the way to go. For instance, I am buying 1000 styrofoam cups (I'm serving hot cocoa, since its gonna be cold outside) for $34. Not bad!!
I've also been looking into how I could get myself organized.And, once I get some ink for my printer, I'm going to be following the advice I found on this blog I found on Pinterest to set up my own Wedding Planning Binder. I've modified it a bit to fit an LDS wedding, and one for my budget. Maybe if I can get enough skills to figure out how, I'll put up a PDF for you guys to make your own. Its got tons of things I never even thought of. Definitely look into it!

Thanks guys! Hopefully more wedding planning/weight loss/my life posts to follow. Who knows though, with having to plan a wedding on top of my new job and everything else. 

So I'll see ya when I see ya again (hopefully soon!!)

--Lexi Lou

August 1, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 9 (or it should be...)

Happy August everybody! I have been working on my weight loss goals for a little over nine weeks now. I'm wishing I could have had better progress than I do, but I know that I did fall off the wagon for a while. Here's my current weight loss...

Almost 9lbs! So I guess I've been averaging about a pound a week, which is technically healthy weight loss. I should continue to lose about a pound a week, if my new program works well.

Through the recommendation of my sister and mother, I started using the Lose It! app the day before yesterday. This app is free and so amazing! It simply counts calories, but its such a streamlined, easy to use system, that I've become addicted! You begin by entering information about yourself, including age, weight, desired weight, height, sex, ect. The app then calculates how many calories a day you should be eating to meet your weight loss goal at the pace you want to lose it at. For instance, mine says I want to lose 33lbs at a rate of 1lbs a week, so I will reach my goal by March 21, 2013. 

Other features on this app include an awesome scanner that you can use to scan barcodes on packaging. This makes it easy to find and enter the foods you are eating. It also has a ton of exercises you can record, plus the ability to add your own custom exercises. Its so easy to keep track of everything you've burned/consumed. 

**Fun Fact** To lose a pound, you must burn 3500 calories (about 500 a day for 1lb a week) outside of your food intake

I have a budget of 1,718 calories a day...the problem has been sticking to it. This week (mind you, that's two days) I have gone 257 calories over my budget. Now, I know in the grand scheme of things, this isn't horrible. But it also means I need to learn to budget for unexpected meals. That, and limit myself when there are a lot of high calorie foods to be had. 

Please note that pictures from LoseIt! are not from my account
Wanna add me as a friend on LoseIt!?

--Lexi Lou

July 30, 2012

Time to Catch Up!!

Hey there fellow bloggers/family/people I don't know (if there are even any of you out there. Make your presence known!)! Long time no blog. But I actually have an excuse as to why that is which is pretty valid(ish). 
Now, I'll admit, I could probably still be blogging pretty regularly, especially during the day when I'm doing pretty much nothing. I still have yet to find a job, but I'm finally getting everything sorted out for school in the fall. But this isn't what has been distracting me, though it probably should have been.
I have lost more weight, but I'm not too focused on it as much anymore. I'm keeping up those healthy habits I developed, and I'm a little more active. I go on a walk now almost every day. And that's because...

I have the most amazing boyfriend!

Its true. Those of you who know me are already aware of the fact, but not everyone really knows who he is or how it all happened. I mentioned a certain young man in one of my previous blogs (Click here to get the story of how we met). In the post I mentioned that I wasn't sure where it was going to go, but that I looked forward to having tons of fun with him. Needless to say, its gone somewhere, and somewhere AMAZING! 
Our hike and picnic at Ensign Peak
Since that Saturday where we hiked with our ward, we've had the best time together. We defined our relationship that following Monday (? I'm pretty sure anyways. I'm terrible with dates and stuff like that), and made it "Facebook Official" July 17 (I can see that one online...). 
James is so good for me! He is sweet and caring, respects me in every way, and I can tell by the way he treats me how much he cares. He likes my family, and his is a ton of fun too. We played the best prank on them about a week ago (we pretended to be engaged. I even borrowed a ring to seal the deal. It was hilarious because his one sister was constantly telling him to take it nice and slow, and she was so mad! So fun!). I feel like we're compatible in so many ways. He's such a strong, upstanding member of the church, but he's not the kind of person who acts like he's so much better than everyone else because of that. We make each other so happy, and our time together is full of laughter. I can't wait to continue getting to know him, and growing closer to each other. 

--Lexi Lou

July 19, 2012

Weight Loss...Thursday... Heh Heh

Ok, so I didn't get on to post yesterday. I could have, I just didn't. Man, I've got to get back on top of blogging!

Anyways, lets see how I've been doing, shall we?

I keep getting so close to breaking a 6lb loss, but haven't quite gotten there yet. 
So the last few weeks have been pretty hectic. I missed one day of counting points and just stopped. Isn't that always the way? You miss one day and all of your progress just goes down the tubes. I planned on picking WW back up, but seem to have misplaced my calculator. AH! Everything seems to be going wrong weight loss wise. 
But its all good!!
For now, my goal is to get in regular exercise and watch what I eat. Like I said in my previous post (Click here), I have created some healthy habits. First of all, I realize when I'm hungry or satisfied. I can stop myself before I get so full I'm sick, but I won't be hungry for a few hours. I'm also getting better about telling myself no. No, I don't need to have popcorn just because I'm watching a movie, and I definitely don't have to smother it in butter (even though it is SO DELICIOUS that way!). At the same time, though, I'm not depriving myself of foods I love. If I want to have a piece of cake, I eat one. I just make sure its not as big as one I would have taken in my less healthy days. 
And as far as exercise goes, I did better earlier in the week (no big shocker there). But there were at least three days in a row that I did at least a little exercise outside my normal routine. Also, I went on a hike last Saturday that really got my heart thumping (because I'm a baby, but oh well. Its a really awesome hike, I highly recommend it! Hike to Donut Falls! Its gorgeous!). My goal right now is to just keep it up. Even a little a day is more than I was doing before.
I feel healthier, and that is the ultimate goal. I want to be able to enjoy my life without restricting myself. Who knows though? I will probably start up WW again. I'll just have to see how it turns out. 

--Lexi Lou

July 13, 2012

Bucket List...Fail? Or Win?

Ok peoples... I think its safe to say that the blogging frenzy I was in a while ago has faded quite a bit. So I'll catch you up on what's been going on and promise to try to be better.

Weight loss...UGH! I fell of the wagon. Luckily my last lazy weeks haven't hurt me too bad. I realized I have developed some healthy habits. Hallelujah! I actually managed to lose a little without being too restrictive. But I am going back to WW tomorrow. (Fingers crossed for a new Weight Loss Wednesday post next week!)

A quick catch up on the other things on my Summer Bucket List. First the most disappointing... getting a job, buying a car, cleaning my room, and finishing my novel. Still looking for a job, even though the summer is half over now. And, of course, since I have zero funds for one, obviously I haven't gotten a car. The other two are more pathetic though. With all this free time on my hands, I should have time to write and clean, right? You'd think so. However, I have found so many other things to distract myself with. Like...hours sitting in front of the TV...or eating...or rehashing every situation with whomever will sit still long enough for me to talk to. I know, exciting right?! Time to be better about it. 

Hanging out a ton. This one is a bit harder, but I have been actively getting out of the house. I've gone to Family Home Evening with my single's ward a few times with some friends. I met some new people and hung out with them for a while (until the guy in the group my friend likes stopped talking to her. I'm guessing we won't be seeing much of them anymore.) I've got three Institute (Seminary for people in college) classes during the week, and I go almost every time...? And I've gone to night games and other various fun activities with a few friends. I really want to do even more though. I think its time for me to reconnect with those people I hung out with in high school, yeah? I'm trying to think up something to do, and then get everyone together. 

Now the exciting one... Getting back into the dating world...

(Annoying high pitch girlish squeal!!) 

That good enough? No? You want details? All righty... I'll start with the less juicy and work my way up.

As you know (or maybe not, I forget if I posted about it), I joined an LDS dating site a while ago. I was immediately bombarded. I guess fresh meat is an attractive quality? Anyway, I met a ton of really creepy old men and a few nice guys. I even went on a date with one of them. Not too exciting though. There was no chemistry on the date and a few days after he stopped texting me. Ah well, live and let live. (Too bad, he was super rich! JUST KIDDING! I'm not that shallow! But it was a nice plus...) I'm messaging a guy now that seems really nice. But how can you really tell that with online conversations? But I guess there's some potential there.

Now to the reason for the girlish squeal. I've had a bad case of permagrin (a disease, more commonly known as a cootie, that makes you think of a certain someone all the time causing you to smile constantly) since last Friday. **BACKSTORY** There's this guy in my single's ward that kinda liked one of my friends. He kept asking her out, but she kept making excuses because she wasn't interested. So she decided, against my better judgement, to give him my number and suggested (since I have so much free time) that he should take me on a date. He called a few awkward days of waiting later and asked me out. That Friday we went mini-golfing and got ice cream. Simple. I loved it!! We had so much fun! And when we got ice cream, we sat and talked for a few hours (until the shop closed and sometime after that as well). He then offered to give me a ride to FHE that next week. That was tons of fun too (jello fight, followed by a water balloon fight and ultimate frisbee)! Then I invited him to institute last night, and afterwards we played night games with some of my friend's friends. 

And we have another date planned for tomorrow! Plan A: Go to a hike with our FHE group to Doughnut Falls. Obviously super fun and a great way to talk and get to know each other even better. Another plan is set though. This one is necessary because he's heard the hike might be cancelled due to weather. So, if Plan A fails, then Plan B: Play in the rain together. HOW CUTE IS THAT?! Needless to say, I'm secretly hoping it rains tomorrow. 

He is so sweet and so much fun to be around! Not to mention easy to talk to. We have so much in common. He's already told me that he loves my smile and spending time with me. (Yet another girlish squeal of joy!) This totally caught me off guard, but that's fine with me. And who knows? Maybe we'll lose interest in a few weeks. Or maybe not... I'm just planning on having tons of fun and going with the flow, keeping my heart close to the Lord and letting Him guide me through my life. Still super exciting though!

--Lexi Lou

P.S. I got my patriarchal blessing last Sunday. It was amazing! SO AWESOME!!!

July 1, 2012

Putting My Life in His Hands...

So...long time no see! Needless to say, I have not been on top of my game as far as posting this last week.
I don't know what it was. I just lost all kinds of motivation. I missed the last week of my 30 Day Photo Challenge, I haven't wanted to post anything, and I sort of jumped the wagon as far as weight loss goes, resulting in my gain of 2+lbs this week. I am recommitting myself to it all though! 
I realized today while at church that I have been learning a great lesson over the last little bit of my life. In Relief Society, we were talking about tithing, and a sister subject of that, of course, is Faith. Our Relief Society President asked us to define faith without using the scriptural definition. (Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1) Many women said faith is putting your trust in the Lord. I wrote in my notebook, "Faith: Putting my life in God's hands and trust that He will direct it in a way that it is meant to be and what is best for me." As I sat there, I've realized that I've been blessed the last month or so to greatly increase my faith in Heavenly Father and His plan for me. 
I was visiting with a sister from my old ward. She wanted to see me to let me know how proud she was of the choices I had made concerning my last relationship. She mentioned to me that by receiving and acting upon revelation given to me from my Heavenly Father, I showed him that He could trust me to do those things he asks of me. Another sister in my ward told me that she knew that there were great blessings in my future for listening to the Spirit. I know this is true for anyone. Though it can be a scary, and sometimes painful, thing to do, when we get direction from our Lord we need to let go of what we want and give ourselves wholly to the will of Our Father. 
I found a link on Facebook (of all places! Click here to follow the page it was on. A note, the picture is theirs as well) that I really loved! This picture had a caption that read, "And finally, when you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that, as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better." This really touched my heart. I definitely feel like I've had some opportunities that I would not have had if I had stayed the course and gotten married. And I would not have ended up as happy in the end as I will by listening to the father. Another quote mentioned in RS today was, "When we turn our will over to Him, He will make more of us than we could make of ourselves."
I cannot wait for the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for me. I also testify that if you try like I am to listen to the whisperings of the Spirit and do what it prompts you to do, you can find a joy and peace in your life beyond anything people can give you.

--Lexi Lou

P.S. By the way, guess who is getting their patriarchal blessing next week?! WOOT WOOT!! The blessings just keep pouring out... 

June 23, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 23

I love this book so much! I will never be able to stop reading this book! Since being assigned to read it my senior year of high school, I have read it about a thousand times on my own!
For those of you who haven't read it, or said you read it but didn't really, I'll explain the plot. Elizabeth Bennet is the main character of this romance. She is the second daughter in a family of all girls, and her mother is determined to get all her daughters married off to handsome, rich young gentlemen. When the story opens, there is a new man who has moved into town, Mr. Bingley. With him he has brought a mysterious Mr. Darcy, a man who's gruff manners and prideful demeanor soon make him very disliked in the town, especially by Elizabeth. 
The story is one of love and how we can be blinded by first impressions. It is a satirical comedy, pointing out the flaws of the dating rituals and expectations of early 19th century England. It also highlights how a young independent type of girl might be looked upon by those around her at the time.
This book makes me laugh out loud and cry. I want so much to find the kind of love both Elizabeth and Jane experience. (Not to ruin the book for you, but I would also love to be able to find my own Mr. Darcy.)
I highly recommend this book! If you want to know the story without reading (crazy...) I would suggest the BBC version starring Colin Firth, which is almost exactly the book word for word. The newer movie starring Keira Knightly is good, but I don't feel like it reflect the book as well.

Happy reading!

--Lexi Lou

June 22, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 20, 21, and 22

Looking at the next three categories, two of them are kind of depressing. I'm hoping not to be a downer on this post, so I'll do my best to put a positive spin on them. (Besides, ITS FRIDAY! Everything should be good, right?)

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel...

I want to go to Europe so bad!!! I want to entrench myself in the romantic, historic, rich culture of it all! I want to be able to go to quaint little bookshops or cafes and try all kinds of delicious food. I want to be able to look around me and hear the people speaking in a different tongue, and maybe be able to understand them. I want to go to all the landmarks I've heard and read about and seen in the movies. I want to see the lights and hear the music. I want to be able to look at pictures and say, "I've been there. And it was AMAZING!"
When (if) I get wealthy (don't ask me how, because I'm not even sure yet), I want to be able to pick up and jump on a plane and go whenever I want. Feeling like a romantic anniversary with my one true love? BAM! Dinner underneath the Eiffel Tower. Hungry for the best pasta in the world? ZOOM! Off I'll go to Italy. I just want to be able to experience the world and let it help me grow. 

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget...

Everyone makes mistakes. Some of them that I've made I wish I could forget. And no, I'm not thinking relationships. I'm meaning things that hurt me or someone else.
Then again, some of those mistakes I've made I feel were necessary for the person I am today. Each mistake shapes me, and possibly those around me. I want to be able to use my experiences to help others. Let them learn from my mistakes instead of making the same ones themselves. I really hope this will be the case for my children in particular. Any unnecessary pain I can spare them will be a blessing, and I can't wait to help them. 

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at...

I know what those of you who know be are going to say. I'm a decent dancer. However, there is always room for improvement. I always have fun dancing (though I haven't done it in a while). I want to step onto that dance floor and have people's jaws drop when they see me move. I want to be graceful, something that I probably won't be able to pull off until I've lost some more weight (no worries, I know I don't have far to go. I'm really trying to not bash myself). 
I also want to improve my ballroom dancing. I took a semester of ballroom my sophomore year, and I LOVED IT! For that, I'm going to need to get out and find a partner about the same level as me. Then, we're going to learn more together...that's the plan anyways. 

--Lexi Lou

June 20, 2012

Feeling Write-y

I know, I haven't written my Photo Challenge post for today... but honestly, are any of you really upset by that? I'll be sure to post it tomorrow, along with tomorrow's picture as well.
I just wanted to let you guys know how everything is going. 
So its been a month since the big break up. And I know, I should still be healing and dealing. But in all honesty, I'm not. That is just a bigger indication to me that I did the right thing. 
And I feel somewhat liberated. Lately, my motto has been, "REINVENTION!" (I haven't said it out loud, but I say it in my head a lot...) I'm really trying to look at myself and decide what I want to change. 
I know that most of what I want to do has to do with my bucket list (See that post here). But I'm even more determined to do it! There are some things on it that I haven't really gotten to, and that bums me out. But I've been really focused on my weight loss (but you all knew that) and the social aspect of my goals.
In fact, I loved the lesson I had at institute tonight! It was called "Becoming Socially Perfect." My first thought was, "Perfect?! I can't be perfect!" But being socially perfect has more to do with becoming Christ-like and reaching out to those who maybe need a friend. Also, by receiving Christ's image in your countenance, you attract other Christ-like and amazing people into your life. 
Something my mom has told me for years was reiterated to me in a scripture tonight. "For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things." (D&C 88:40) Simply put, you will attract people who are like you. So if you are sitting there wondering why you can't find that perfect person, wondering why you are surrounded by jerks (I'm writing this from a women's perspective guys) and there's "no more nice guys in the world"...STOP IT (said in the words of one of my favorite apostles). Its time to listen to Michael Jackson (wow, mentioning Uchtdorf and MJ in the same paragraph? This is a weird post!) and start with that person you look at every morning when you're brushing your teeth!
Sorry, I'll stop being preachy. But that is my personal goal. Like I posted on FB the other day, I am going to change something about the world, and I'm starting with myself!

--Lexi Lou

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 3

Needless to say, last week wasn't a very good one. I gained .7lbs. Not bad, but not very good either. I know exactly why all that happened though.
First of all, last week was just a lazy one. As far as being active goes, I always seem to do really well at the beginning of the week, then slowly taper off until by Thursday I'm not exercising daily. I've turned that around  (so far) this week. I didn't exercise Monday or Tuesday, but I've already done my exercise for today. Hopefully I can stick to it. 
And eating last week...woof! Just like the exercise, I usually do really well at the beginning of the week. However, last Thursday I went to my friend's wedding reception. She was having me help with all the delicious sweeties in the kitchen. As her mom left all of us to get ready, she told us we were free to try whatever we liked... And I did. I can proudly say I stayed away from the cup cakes and the mini mousse cups. Sadly, that's about all I stayed away from. There were this mint brownies that were heavenly! And the melt away cookies were so yummy!! Not to mention that, since my family and I got there early to help, we were given burgers (from a restaurant that I hope to stop going to at some point in my life... Starts with a great big yellow letter M) from the grandfather of the bride. He bought FIFTY burgers! His family ate about ten, maybe fifteen. Then he left the rest in the kitchen for us to enjoy... Can you see why I slipped up?! Not to mention this was the night before my weigh in, a fact I remembered about half way through the night. But even when I finally came to that realization, I just threw my hands up in the air and gave up. I ate like a pig!

But NO MORE!! 

I am rededicated to losing the weight! I feel like everyone going through their weight loss journey has to hit a wall like this. A day where you slip into your old ways.. and then realize you're the only one you have to answer to. I could have had someone there slapping my hand every time I reached for something yummy. But in the long run, they're not going to care if I eat myself to death. There is me and me alone. And I am done taking my own crap!!
So here we go, the new (and hopefully improved) Lexi!! 
Today, I made up my own work out routine. Yeah!! Kickin' butt and takin' names! 
Now, though I will be walking on the treadmill daily (hopefully) this routine is one I will do at least once a week. You should try it! It will probably be a little...strange(?) for some people's tastes. But I love it! And, if you wanted to,  you could personalize it to yourself!
I call it...

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Workout!!

If any of you have seen the mini movie Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, you know why I'm super excited about this routine. If not... WATCH IT!! It stars Neil Patrick Harris as sad, socially awkward citizen Billy, who moonlights as Dr. Horrible, the villain just wanting to be taking seriously and blogging about his desires to get into the Evil League of Evil. He is also secretly in love with average do-gooder, Penny (played by Felicia Day), who is dating his arch nemesis, Captain Hammer ("corporate tool" played by Nathan Fillion). This movie, directed by Joss Whedon, is my second favorite of all time!
I have created a running routine having to do with the music in the show. All you need to do this yourself is:
  1. A treadmill
  2. A TV visible from that treadmill
  3. A way to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog (I use Netfilx, personally)
Then, its pretty easy from there... First, determine your normal walking speed. Mine sits between 2 and 3 miles per hour. After that, just follow the synopsis below. Simply put, you will be increasing speeds during songs. Some are faster, so you will increase your speed more. Its kind of like interval training, only musical!

What to do:

ACT 1 Warm Up (don't worry, each act is only about 14 minutes long) 
  • Walk at normal walking speed
  • Song "My Freeze Ray"(1:38)- increase speed by 1mph (so 3mph for me)
  • Decrease back to normal speed
  • Walk until Dr. Horrible finds the letter from Bad Horse
  • Song "Bad Horse Chorus" (0:33) -increase speed by 2mph (so 4mph for me)
  • Decrease back to normal speed
  • Walk until you are introduced to Penny on the Street
  • Song "Caring Hands" (0:28) - Do nothing! But make sure to take a drink!
  • Keep walking until Billy finishes talking to Penny
  • Song "A Man's Gotta Do" (2:11) - increase speed by 1mph. Then during Captain Hammer's solo increase again by 1mph. Decrease by 1mph when Dr. Horrible talks to Captain Hammer. Continue at that speed for the rest of the number.
  • Song "My Eyes" (2:45) -Maintain speed from "A Man's Gotta Do"
  • Maintain speed while Billy talks to Penny at the laundromat and after when he is blogging again.
  • Song "Bad Horse Chorus (Reprise)" (0:14) -increase speed by 1pmh (I would be at 4mph) or take a drink break
  • Decrease to normal walking speed. Maintain this speed until Penny starts to sing
  • Song "Penny's Song" (1:12)- increase speed by 1mph (I'd be at 3mph)
  • Maintain speed through Billy meeting Captain Hammer
  • Song "Brand New Day" (1:46) - Increase speed by 2mph (or your top speed. I cap out at 5mph). Maintain this speed until the end of the act.
ACT 3 Cool Down
  • Song "So They Say" (2:03) - Decrease speed by 2 mph (back to 3mph for me) Maintain this speed until Captain Hammer is making his speech.
  • Song "Everyone's a Hero" (2:46) - Decrease speed by 1mph (you should be back to your normal walking speed)
  • Song "Slipping" (2:06) - increase speed by 1mph
  • After slipping, decrease back to your normal walking speed. Maintain this speed through the end of the movie (including the song "Everything You Ever")
What I really like about this (besides the fact that I made it up) is that you can customize it to any movie or television episode. During more exciting parts or faster songs, increase your running speed. 

Please note! I am not responsible for injury occurring during the "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Workout". Use this routine at your own risk! Please be sure to take it at your own pace. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for all. Please use common sense. If you feel pain or cannot breath, stop using this routine immediately and seek for medical help.

Thank you for the support guys! Until next week! (Let's hope the weigh in looks better!)

--Lexi Lou

June 19, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 18 and 19

Whoops!! Darn, I missed again! That's alright though. Two days isn't too bad...

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity...

Obviously, with my current weight loss goal, my biggest insecurity is my biggest part of me. My gut. The rest of my body (besides my second biggest insecurity, my double chin) is pretty shapely. My legs are killer, my arms are slender. Its just my belly. I'm both grateful and upset by this. I am glad that its only my stomach that looks gross. However, if my fat was spread all over my body, I might look thinner than I do now. 
This worries me more than just my looks though. Its a sign of diabetes to carry all your weight on your stomach. I've considered going in to get checked, but I want to get my weight under control on my own before I do that.

Day 19: A picture of a letter(like a letter you receive in the mail)...

I've taken the names and places off of this picture. This is one I'm going to be sending soon. I don't really get much mail besides ads... So... yeah.

--Lexi Lou

June 17, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 17

Day 17 : A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently...

This is a special post, seeing as its Father's Day. During my break up, I got two father's blessings. The first one was mostly one of comfort. I was told to be patient. During my second one was when I realized what I needed to do. 
I am so grateful for my dad! I am so thankful that he lives in such a way that he is worthy of his priesthood and can give me a blessing whenever I need one. I love him so much! 
Happy Father's Day everyone!! But what are you doing on the internet? Go spend time with those special guys that raised you!

--Lexi Lou

June 16, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 16

Day 16 : A picture of someone who inspires you...

William Shakespeare is such a huge inspiration to me!! You all know who he is. But did you know that he wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and others? I want to be a writer just like him.
He also contributed a lot to the English language. He invented 1700 words!! He created words like: gloomy, hurry, baseless, auspicious, assassination, majestic, and many, many others! He also created phrases we still use today. He wrote about "catching a cold" and being "heartsick". 
Shakespeare is an inspiration to writers everywhere. I hope that someday my work will make at least a small contribution to the world. I could never hope to do what he has done, but I can try. 

--Lexi Lou

June 15, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 15

Halfway through! 
Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die...

I know, it seems silly. I am a nineteen year old who wants to go to Disney Land before I die. But I have never been!! I was going to go for my honeymoon...yeah. Since that's not happening, its starting to look more and more like I won't be going until I take my own kids there. And by that time, it will look pretty weird if I'm jumping onto rides, especially if my kids don't want to ride them with me.
I just want to do something Disney related. Whether I go to Disney Land or Disney World, go on a Disney Cruise...heck, I'd love to just work at Disney at this point. I just want to be able to enjoy the magic while I'm still (mostly) young. 

--Lexi Lou

June 14, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without...

This is me and my bestest friend in the whole world... and no, its not the Little Caesars guitar guy. Sierra, I LOVE YOU!! (Not even sure if you read my blog, but just thought I'd let the world know.) 
Sierra and I met in eighth grade. She was friends with my friend's friend. We got to know each other then, and were friends ever since. That's when we came up with our inside joke. Nylons! That's kind of our way to say I love you now. We started getting closer in high school, but lost contact our junior year. Then, senior year rolled around. I'm not even sure how exactly it all came together, but I'm so glad it did. We got really really close, and have been since. 
Sierra is the best friend I have ever had. I can talk to her about EVERYTHING! And I'm there to listen to her too. We can have tons of fun, but then we need to get serious its no problem. I love bouncing ideas off of her. She was going to be co-maid-of-honor (along with my sis) at my wedding, and she will be at my next one too. 
Words cannot describe how much I love her! I feel like we are long lost sisters (funny, because we're really different too). Even though we don't get to see much of each other (she and I went to different colleges and she's in Cali for the summer), I know we'll always be close. And no matter how long the distance or time, we will always be able to pick up where we left off. 
Again, I love you Sierra!! Nylons forever and ever!!

--Lexi Lou

June 13, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: A picture of your favorite band or artist...

Wow, picking my favorite band or artist is like picking a favorite family member. I can't do it! I love music so much! Its a part of me. It gets me through stuff I wouldn't be able to get through on my own. So, instead, I'll pick my top 5 songs and post pictures of those artist...
Problem is, trying to think of five of my favorites, I can't think of any! There are so many songs that I love! So I guess I'll post the songs that mean the most to me right now.

5. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
Its kind of obvious why this song would be in my top five of right now. Its all about overcoming relationships and the fact that you're probably better off once its over. My favorite line is "Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone." I really feel that way about my situation. I feel like everyone is holding on. They keep asking me if I'm ok. When I reassure them that I am, they look me like they're saying, "Are you sure?" 
I am grateful for the time that I had with my ex. Now I am looking forward to the future, and I'm not going to let the past ruin that. All it will do is make me stronger.

4. Raise Your Glass by P!nk

This song has been one of my favorites since high school. I always felt like I was on the cusp of being "socially acceptable". Sure, I stand out in a crowd and do crazy things. This song is like an anthem to me, as it is to all my fellow weirdos. 

(I didn't post the official video because of language and some...weird and somewhat inappropriate stuff in the video. But you are, of course, free to look it up on your own)

3. Honey Bee by Blake Shelton
Honestly, this is the only song of his (that I know of) that I listen to. Though I like country, I don't listen to it very often. This song has captured my heart. Its so sweet! (Not to mention the music video is adorable!)
I want a man who will love me like this. We will be complete on our own, but together we'll make something even better.

2. Elephant Love Medley from Moulin Rouge
This is another great love song that is just amazing! Technically it is a compilation of many great love songs. I think that's why it is so great. It takes all the best and puts them into one place and one story. (For a list of the songs in this beautiful song, click here.) These two characters are a perfect example of true love, and this song fits them.
Sorry for the Spanish subtitles

1. We R Who We R by Ke$ha 
I know, I know. Ke$ha's lyrics are not always the best. Her songs are so fun and addicting though. I struggled to pick between this one and "Your Love is My Drug". I figured since I've already done two love songs this one would be fine. Its all about just getting out there and having a good time despite what people think of you. I myself am trying to let go of my inhibitions. This song is a good way to warm myself up to that.

I didn't post the official video for this song for the same reasons as the P!nk one. Again, feel free to look it up on your own if you'd like. 

This list will probably change tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day! Pinning down these five as my favorite (right now) was really hard. Maybe I should post songs regularly? I think that might be fun! Let me know in the comments if that's something you might be interested in.

--Lexi Lou

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 2

Another week has come and gone. This week was full of ups, downs, and all sorts of temptations. Let's check on my progress...

Its true! My first week I lost 4.8lbs! I was so excited, mostly because I felt like I had done really bad. Tuesday night I got home late and just ate whatever I wanted. Then Wednesday (after I posted) I went to a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. I ate pizza! And yet, I still lost weight. I think the drop this week was just due to the fact that I am watching what I eat compared to the last few months of eating whatever the heck I wanted to. 

Since my weigh in though, I've had more rough patches. Friday was my five year old sister's birthday (she's so cute!). For her birthday dinner we went to an Asian buffet (I love Asian food! Click here for my post about that!). It was pretty hard. I wanted to share how I handled it.
First off, I've told my self on birthdays and other important holidays (like Thanksgiving and Christmas. No worries, there will be no excuses on smaller days) I will not count points. At the same time, I am not going to go crazy. So yes, I had a few plates at the buffet and went home and had cake and ice cream. I was careful though. 
I followed the Weight Watcher's tips for buffets. In their Dining Out Companion, it has two pages of what to do and what not to do. I've paraphrased them here:
  1. Take a lap around the buffet. Look at all of your different options so you can avoid grabbing something not as worthwhile as something you may find later. If you do that, you'll be sure to get what you really want most on your first plate. That way when you get full you feel like you got the best stuff at the buffet.
  2. Fill your plate with mostly good foods. Every plate should be half fruits and veggies. That way you'll get fuller on things that are good for you. Meats you get should be lean or small portions. 
  3. Focus on foods you can't make yourself. If you're craving that high calorie food, but could probably make it at home, just wait. Home cooked meals are usually better for you than the stuff you find at restaurants anyways. 
  4. Listen to your body and stop when you get full. Take breaks after you've finished a plate. You'll be able to more easily recognize that you are satisfied if you aren't finishing a plate and then jumping up to get another. 
  5. Get rid of the idea that you must eat a ton to get your money's worth. The extra money you've paid is a small price to pay for feeling confident. Also, if you go overboard, its just pushing your goal off to a further date. 
  6. If you think you can't control yourself, consider ordering ẚ la carte. With this option you get built in portion control.
  7. If you want a dessert as well, be careful. Pick one favorite, and take half of a normal portion. Slice that cake in half or get half the pudding you normally would.
I followed all of these steps (except #6). I think what helped most was walking around the buffet. I really looked at everything and chose out things that I really wanted to eat instead of making impulse decisions so I could get back to my seat. I also filled half of my plate with fruit every time. I thought the fruit was really refreshing after the denser foods I was getting. I also got my most favorite...SUSHI! Loved it!
Then when I went home I had a small piece of cake and a scoop of raspberry sherbet (compared to the chocolate ice cream the rest of the family had). 
This week I'm really working on getting more active. I've exercised every day since Monday (three days...WOO!). I really want to start getting up early and exercising before I do anything else. I've been doing fun stuff. Mostly playing Just Dance and walking on the treadmill while watching upbeat shows (yesterday I watched Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was way upbeat and I caught myself sort of dancing while walking. Great way to up the calories burned). I feel more motivated to do it if I'm having fun. 
We'll see how successful I am at the weigh in this week. Wish me luck!

--Lexi Lou

June 12, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: A picture of something you love...

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love sushi! I love all food, of course. That's where my weight problem has come from. Sushi, though, is my absolute favorite of all time! 
What I really love about sushi is its simple, delicious, and (usually) good for you! My favorite place to go to get sushi is Sushi Monster, by a mall near my home (if you live in the Utah area, let me know and I'll get you the address). Absolutely amazing! Their Vegas Rolls are so good!!! I usually get a Dynamite Roll and a Sushi Rock, along with a Vegas Roll to share with whoever I'm going with (you can't go to sushi by yourself!!).
In all reality, I love all Asian inspired foods. In college I lived off of Taste of Thai microwave meals. So yummy! I love wasabi and ginger. I absolutely love a good plate of walnut chicken or shrimp. 
LOVE LOVE LOVE me some Asian food! 

--Lexi Lou

June 11, 2012

Ask Me Your Questions!!

Hey there! This will be a short post, I promise. Then you can get back to all the other...interesting(?) posts on my blog...
I want to get to know my audience (the whole five of you!), and I want you guys to get to know me. So here's the scoop. Post comments, questions, queries, whatever to any and every post. I will go through them and select a question to answer. I'll be answering questions starting biweekly on Mondays, maybe progressing to weekly depending on your response!
Now please, there are no dumb questions!! Ask anything you'd like to know! I can't wait to hear from you!

--Lexi Lou

30 Day Photo Challenge: Days 10 & 11

Darn! I missed it again! I got out of rhythm once and now I've got to work my way back into it again. I'm not too worried about it though. Except for the fact that my brother just started playing one of his favorite computer games again and I may have limited time with the computer. Ah well...

Day 10: A picture with the person you do the most crazy things with...

Webcam Craziness
Oh my... My roommates and I have done some pretty funky stuff...
When we were first getting to know each other, we decided to order pizza in a really crazy way. We all dressed up, first of all. Savannah and Jill were dressed up as homeless people and  hid in a dumpster. Janee looked super gangster and had a roll of money to give the delivery guy. I was dressed up as some weird creature in short shorts that yelled like a wookie. Dragon was upstairs to take pictures of it all. Sadly, we didn't realize that Little Caesar's doesn't deliver. RATS! We still had a lot of fun setting it up and then going to pick up our pizza in costume. 
And that was just the beginning of the year. We went to Walmart and were crazy all over the place on our first monthiversary of being roomies. We had a frolic in the park late at night...and that's as far as I want to go with that story! We had a Denny's run (so fun! But I guess not so crazy...) We had tons of fun at dances as well! Janee and I made up a dance that included dance moves from a girl we both know that dances pretty funny, along with "The Creep" at the end. I've already mentioned our sleepover on the pirate ship (Click here for that post). Jill and I locked out Savannah and made her do a scavenger hunt to get back into the dorm while we hacked her computer and put a bunch of pictures of ourselves as her screen saver. Once we got totally hyped up on caffeine (three 8oz RedBull's and a vanilla cola for me...WOO!) and got hypnotized with people in the dorm. Well, I got hypnotized. Everyone else just watched. We were constantly jamming out, especially to our song, "I Just Had Sex" by Lonely Island ft. Akon.
I miss the good times I had with these girls. We had so much fun!!

Day 11: A picture of something you hate...

I HATE HEIGHTS!! This picture makes me dizzy. I want to throw up just thinking about being that high and ON THE EDGE?!? This person is crazy! 
I have dreams where I'll be sitting somewhere up high...and then I just push myself off the edge. What the heck? 
I don't know where this fear came from, probably from me being smart and not wanting to die. Yeah, that's gotta be it. Either way, I'm not a roller coaster fan, I don't ever want to bungee jump or sky dive (NEVER EVER EVER!!!), and I won't go very close to the edge unless I feel 100% safe if I'm anywhere up high. I get nervous standing on tables. It'd be just like me to slip and crack my head open. So nope, not a heights type of gal...

--Lexi Lou

June 9, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 7,8,9

Whoops... surprising how fast two days can slip right by you. I don't know why I didn't get to it Thursday. Yesterday, though, was my little sister's birthday. She is such a cutie! She just turned five. I spent all day yesterday running errands and cleaning the house for her little family party. By the end of the day when I could have time to blog I was so tired!
Anyways, so I'll just put three days in one. I'm sure those of you who aren't a huge fan of this picture challenge won't mind. 

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item...

Ok, so I don't really treasure items. This one was kind of hard to think of at first. If we're talking about the item I miss the most though, its my iPod!! Its been lost for almost a week now, and I feel so deprived without it. This week has made me realize how addicted to it I really was. I still catch myself reaching for it every once in a while, and it really sucks once I remember its gone. I have a pretty good idea where its disappeared mess of a bedroom. So I probably won't find it until I've cleaned my room. It was my plan to clean it this last week, but my sister and I just haven't been motivated. Maybe this is what I need to actually get it done. 

Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh...

Ok, first I have to explain some things. For those of you who don't waste your entire life on the internet or have friends/family/kids who do, you probably don't know what a meme is. Basically its pictures (or sometimes animated pictures) that are either: 1. quirky/funny, 2. pathetic things that fill you with vicarious despair, or 3. really gross pictures that result in shock laughter. (Click here for Urban Dictionary's definition of it, but be aware that the language is not very clean.) There are certain faces or pictures that have come to mean something specific. The picture I'm going to be sharing has a face named "Forever Alone Guy". This guy is crying because he thinks he will never find anyone to love or even be friends with. He hacks himself on Facebook, falls in love with everyone that gives him even a little attention, and despises people who have what he never will. Ergo...this picture...
OH MY GOSH! This picture makes me laugh so so much! I think this is so hilarious! Apart from Forever Alone Guy, I think this is the best prank ever! I'm fine with a little PDA, but if you are openly making out in public you deserve to have this happen to you. I think if I saw this in real life I would fall to the ground laughing. 

 Day 9: A picture of someone who has gotten you through the most...

Now to a serious note. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my family and friends, and they have always been there for me. However, they can't feel what I have felt. Christ has, and I know I can turn to him when no one else understands. Christ is always there, waiting with open arms for me to fall into. Whether I need help, or comfort, or just the knowledge that someone is always watching out for me, He is there. These last few weeks (almost a month now) have been really hard for me in some ways. But I'm surviving it. I'm actually really okay. People keep asking me if I am, or walking around me on eggshells because they think I'm not, but I am. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are on my side, and they are proud of me for the decisions I have made. And that's all that really matters. (Of course, support from others doesn't hurt, and I am grateful to those individuals who have been there for me. THANK YOU!)
I know that Jesus Christ loves me and every other person on this earth. He sacrificed His life for us... Not collectively, but separately for every single person who has ever lived. If you were the only one coming to Earth, He still would have done what he did. He loves us that much! And I know that if you reach out to Him, you will feel His love.
"For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."
2 Nephi 20:4

--Lexi Lou

June 6, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 1

Well, here goes my first weight loss post!
First of all, this is my weight loss ticker. There will be one at the bottom of my blog, as well as in every weight loss post. My first goal is to lose 30lbs. I'm going to take my time at first, but I'd like to have this goal met by August 31. 
I'm planning on losing the weight by following the Weight Watcher's PointsPlus Diet. I'm not going to the meetings they have available. I've bought the kit online and have friends and family who have done it before who are helping me. To sum it up, depending on a bunch of different variables you are assigned a number of points to eat each day. Every food is given a different point value, based on carb, protein, fiber, and fat content of the food. This excludes fruit and most vegetables, which you can have as much as you want of. You have to eat all your points every day. You also get 49 FlexPoints to use each week. They recommend using all of these points, but its not required. You can also earn more points by exercising. 
I am allowed 29 points a day. I started on Saturday. I've been sticking to it pretty well so far. I'll admit, I had a rough night last night. I wasn't very hungry around lunch time, so all I ate was a banana. Then I went out with friends until 8:30ish. I hit the house and was STARVING! So I didn't count the points of what I had for dinner (apple brats and sauerkraut with potato chips...probably not great). Other than that though I've been doing really well.
I plan to weigh myself every Friday morning. That way the weekend doesn't kill my weigh in. I'll update my ticker then. 
I wanted to share two of my point friendly meals today. Maybe I can inspire some people out there needing help picking out healthier foods?
Mock Abalone with quinoa and brussel sprouts
The first one is a dinner I LOVE! Abalone (pronounced ah, baloney. Oh the pun!)  is a type of sea snail that is excellent fried. We make ours by marinading chicken in clam juice. Its so yummy! 4oz of this chicken is 4 points, which is not bad considering its fried. 
Quinoa is a berry that my family has recently discovered. We served it boiled in chicken broth. 1/3cup of quinoa is 2 points and very filling.
Last, but certainly not least, are the steamed brussel sprouts. You can have as much as you want of them. At first I didn't love brussel sprouts, but I find as I get older that I can't get enough of them! They are so delicious!
So this dinner came to a tiny total of only 6 points. That's about 20% of the points I'm allowed daily. Not bad considering how full I was. And, even if I was hungry, I could always go back for more brussel sprouts.  Yum!
Egg, sunny side up, with buttered toast and a banana
The next thing I wanted to talk about was breakfast. Sadly, when I go back to school this may be a hard one to stick to. I know when I was at school I usually didn't eat breakfast, or went for a package of PopTarts (which turns out to be 12 points and always left me hungry. Yikes!). The past few days, I've been having this little number...
Large eggs are 2 points a piece. (Unless you fry them. Then they're 5 points for two... don't ask me to figure out the logic, I don't get it either.) I happen to LOVE eggs sunny side up with a runny yolk. And all I garnish it with is salt and pepper. Simple, but so good! 
What goes better with eggs than toast?! The brand of bread my family buys is 2 points a slice. Add 1tbs of butter (which is a lot more than it sounds and only 1 point a tablespoon) and that makes buttered toast 3 points. 
Then to get some more bulk, I add a pretty big banana on the side. Since its a fruit, this sucker doesn't cost me any points and I can go back and get another one for a snack later.
So this breakfast's total point value only adds up to 5 points. When I made this the first day I was pretty skeptical to how much food it was. I used to eat two eggs, two pieces of toast slathered in butter, and then feel kinda snackish about an hour later. But this fills me up pretty well now. 
I already feel better about the healthier choices I'm making. I've been sporadically walking on the treadmill, and (if I can ever get up on time) am planning on going on early morning walks with my family. I'm hoping to work from walking to jogging to maybe long distance running someday. I also feel like it already takes less food to satisfy me. I'm actually stopping myself before I get so full I wanna puke. That's probably due to the fact that I have to stick to portion sizes and drink lots of water.
If you want to know more about Weight Watchers, visit their website! To get the best stuff you have to be a member, but they do have some pretty great information as well. Click here to visit the site!
Until next week! Wish me luck!

--Lexi Lou

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 6

Day 6: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day...

For those of you who don't know, this is Shirley Temple. She was my idol when I was a child. I made my mom put me in curlers every night so I could look like her. I had a sing a long tape with just her songs on it. I told people that I was going to be the next Shirley Temple! 
Shirley led an awesome life. She was in her first film, a series of what they were calling "Baby Burlesks", when she was three(1931)! Her first big movie was Stand Up and Cheer. Her acting and dancing career sky rocketed and lasted until 1961. She starred in a total of 43 feature films, not to mention the 14 short films and 25 story book movies she also starred in. In her later years she became involved in politics, being a representative to the UN, ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and the first woman to be U.S. Chief of Protocol. 
Shirley always made me believe that my dreams could come true. I wanted to be an actress on the big screen. Since I'm older, more realistic, and realize that's not going to happen, she still inspires me to do my best and sing my troubles away. 
This is a video of one of my favorite songs of hers. I wish I could get the video of me singing it when I was really little online. Maybe I'll have to make that a project for another day. 

--Lexi Lou

June 5, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory...

Ok, so picking a favorite memory is so hard! Especially since my very best memories there wasn't a camera around. So I'll pick a few...

 #1: Pirate Ship Sleep Over! 
"Call me a liar..."

Down at Snow College, one of the professors (he retired this year) has an AWESOME pirate ship. He originally built it for his grandkids, but he lets the college students use it every once in a while. We slept in the "Captain's Quarters" and played Liar's Dice. We also told "scary" stories. It was one of the best bonding moments my roommates and I had. 
Captain Will Lubber
 (Bill Lubber or Blubber for  short...)
When we woke up the next morning we found a tub of pirate costumes and messed around in those. The boat had a cool sound system, so we hooked up my roommate's iPod and rocked out to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. Such good times! 
I loved getting to know my roommates this year. We had so much fun, and I love them a ton! This isn't even the craziest thing we did! We once had an elaborate scheme to order pizza in the most bizarre way (two of us were in a dumpster dressed as hobos), we locked one of my roommates out and sent her looking for clues to get back in, and we all played our share of pranks...or maybe we didn't... I love and miss these girls so much!

#2: Any and every memory I have with my family...

Sorry to inform you, but my family is the best one there is! Sure, we're not perfect. We all have had our share of disagreements. But at the end of the day, we're all laughing and having fun together. When I was at school I came to miss and appreciate the days when I got to see my family everyday. I am so happy to be living with them again this summer. I know that the day will come when I will move out for good, but for now, I love being with them and sharing in the joy only family can bring. 

#3: Good times with my Friends

Since going to school, my friends and I have all drifted apart, but we're still pretty close. My very best friend is spending the summer in California, but we may end up going to school together in the fall! (Fingers crossed!) I still see my other friends every once in a while. 
We have all had such good times. Whether it was night games with my friends in my ward or a girls night or sleepover with my friends from high school, there was always tons of laughter and fun. 
And there still is. This summer, I'm hoping to reconnect with everyone! It may be difficult, because of people's schedules, but I'm willing if they are. And I can't wait to make more memories with them. 

--Lexi Lou

How's My Weight Loss Going?