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 to...my 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

June 4, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: A picture of your night...

Well, I usually blog in the morning. But I already know what I'll be doing.

I'll be playing with this sweet little girl! This is Hazel Nut, my pet rat! Isn't she adorable? She's an African Soft Fur (ASF for short) rat and is about a week old. Her eyes haven't opened yet. I hold her at least once a day so that when her eyes do open (which I hope is soon) she'll recognize me and not try to escape. She's at the developmental state called "fuzzy". When they're first born, ASF's are hairless and pink (called "pinkies"). Once her eyes open, she'll be what's called a "hopper", because they do jump very far distances. This type of rat doesn't get very big and are more like mice in my opinion. I can't wait until Hazel gets older, because I'm going to train her to do a bunch of stuff. Rats are pretty smart and very easy to train. 

Hazel is very adventurous! Even without being able to see, she climbs all over my arms and loves to perch on the very tips of my fingers. She is such a sweet girl and hasn't tried to bite me once. I like to think of the marking on her back as a cute little cape...maybe I'll have to change her name to something more super villain-y. I also love the black on her ears and the very tip of her tail. From what I can tell, she loves sleeping at the very bottom of the pile her brothers and sisters make. 
Here's a video of some other one week old ASFs from an online breeder. So cute! 

And another video of a person training her ASF (a baby a little older than Hazel) to spin. I can't wait to be able to train Hazel to do this kind of stuff! 

My family is breeding ASF rats, mainly for people who want to feed them to snakes. (But since I've marked Hazel as mine, she'll probably end up being a breeder once she gets older.) If anyone is interested in buying some of these cute rats, whether as food or a cute companion, let me know! 

--Lexi Lou

P.S. If you want me to do a regular segment about Hazel, let me know in the comments!

June 3, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show...

Moulin Rouge! (pronounced Moo-lawn Rooj, for those who don't know) This show stars my two favorite actors, Ewan McGregor (middle left) and Nicole Kidman (middle right). They play a penniless writer and a courtesan who fall in love against all odds, only to be separated by a rich and powerful Duke and (eventually) a disease which neither know about. I don't want to spoil the ending, but its a tear jerker. I love it!
What I really love most about this movie is the music! The songs are compilations of songs from musicals or pop culture revamped to fit this show. My favorite is the Elephant Love Medley (named so because it is sung in a building shaped like an elephant), which are love songs remixed. The song includes "Love Is Like Oxygen" - Sweet (band), "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" - The Four Aces, "Up Where We Belong" - Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, "All You Need Is Love" - The Beatles, "Lover's Game" - Chris Isaak, "I Was Made For Lovin' You" - Kiss, "One More Night" - Phil Collins, "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" - U2, "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, "Silly Love Songs" - Paul McCartney and Wings, "Heroes" - David Bowie,  "I Will Always Love You" - Dolly Parton (and later by Whitney Houston), and "Your Song" - Elton John. So obviously, this song is a great one! The weirdest song in the show would probably be the Duke and Harry Zidler (middle in the picture) singing Madonna's "Like a Virgin".
Anyways, its an AWESOME show and you should all go out and see it! I love love love love love love love this movie!

--Lexi Lou

June 2, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: A picture with you and the person you've been closest to the longest

This is a picture from one year ago at my high school graduation. That's right! The person I've been closest to the longest is my mom!
I love my mom so much. Through the years I've been able to talk to her about anything. She has always believed in me and has laughed/cried along with me. I've loved this summer because I've gotten to spend more time with just her (and Sarah) than I have in years and its AWESOME! She is such an inspiration to me. I hope to be a mom, wife, cook, and amazing woman just like her someday. 

How's My Weight Loss Going?