New to Me

Happy Leap Day!!
Ever wondered why there actually is a leap year?? Watch this:
http://www.aol.com/video/youve-got-leap-years/517283509/
(I still have no idea how to embed a video :/ Sorry!!)

Pretty neat huh?? So I guess there is a pretty good reason that we have an extra day every 4 years 😉

Sometimes I’m a little late to the party. I don’t always catch on to the latest trends. I have always wanted to be on top of the latest fashion trends, but I just always feel like I look silly whenever I try out new styles. Looks like I won’t be a fashionista anytime soon. 😉

But I kept hearing about a certain show & some of my friends were raving about it.

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Revenge!
Have you heard of it?? Do you watch it??

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I just caught up on all of the episodes thanks to Hulu. I could NOT stop watching it. It is definitely addicting! I also really like Emily VanCamp, I first saw her in Everwood &Brothers and Sisters.

AWESOME show!! Can’t wait to see the new episode tonight!

So there’s also this book that I just finished that you have probably seen around the ‘blog world.’ I know Julie used this book for one of her book club selections– Violets of March.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I couldn’t put it down. It had me interested the entire time! There is a bit of a back & forth story going on and it will keep you on your toes. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a new book to read.

Now I’m reading Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life.
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I’ve read all of her books, I ‘m not sure why I missed this one. But it is just like her other ones- HILARIOUS!!!! I read every night before bed and her books always have me laughing out loud! Poor Craig can’t sleep because I can’t stop laughing. 🙂

Now one movie that I’m really wanting to see is:
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Again, I’m a little late…I know it’s been out for a while. I’m sure we will catch it on DVD soon.

What is something new to YOU? Maybe it’s been out for a while but you just discovered it.

Thoughts on Lent

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What is the origin of Lent?

The Teutonic word Lent, which we employ to denote the forty days’ fast preceding Easter. It is typically Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday.  These forty days are supposed to represent (according to some of the gospels) the forty days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry, where he endured temptation from Satan.

During these 40 days, people give up a luxury or something that they or a habitual sin. (please correct me if I am wrong!)
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Yesterday I got home & Craig asked me what I was giving up for Lent. He didn’t even realize that Ash Wednesday had already passed & that Lent has already started. He was like ‘oops! Guess I’m starting late this year!’

I’m always kind of iffy about doing this because well I had never given up anything for Lent until I met Craig. Typically each year I follow along with him, and give up something. Last year it was ice cream/ frozen yogurt/ anything of that nature and the year before that was diet soda, I believe.
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But this year I feel different. This year I just don’t really feel ‘it.’ My whole thing is that something you give up for Lent should be something you WANT to give up, or something that you SHOULD give up. Lent shouldn’t just be a forty day thing, it should be something that you want to change about yourself…for good. Lent should just be a starting point to a new positive habit. That’s just my opinion.

Now I don’t mean if you decide to give up chocolate for lent, that you should give up chocolate forever.
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What I mean is that I think that ‘giving something up for Lent’ should be a habitual sin or a habitual bad habit that you want to get out of your life. FOR GOOD.
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So what got me thinking. That’s something I would like to participate in. There are definitely things that I would like to change about myself for good. But then I realized that I actually started Lent about two weeks before Lent began. Yep, I know that sounds a little crazy, you are probably like ‘well, Holly, then that’s NOT Lent.’ Ok, ok, I’ll give you that one. 😉  But just hear me out.

Remember when I told you 2 weeks ago that I planned on giving up weighing myself daily for one month? I have done it. I have succeeded so far. It’s been over two weeks (ok, so two weeks & one day) since I weighed myself.

I’m not going to lie. It’s was hard….at first. It was such a routine. Something that I did everyday. The scale was the indicator of my mood.
I was either this:
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Or this:
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It didn’t matter. This is what I did. Every.single.day.

Not anymore! Can I tell you how much HAPPIER I have been everyday??? It’s almost unbelievable. Even Craig noticed. He said for the past two weeks it seemed like I have just been in such a better mood lately & he was happy to see the old Holly back. As soon as he said that I remembered HOW MUCH the scale had impacted my mood. (He never mentioned anything about the whole scale issue) It’s amazing how a stupid scale can make such an impact on one’s life.
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NO MORE! I’m done. Now I just use my clothes to make sure my weight is on target. Now I actually feel better about myself..and my self images issues have actually been less frequent as well. My brain was just wrapped completely up in a number. How silly! So glad I finally decided to ‘see the light’ & no longer need to hop on a scale everyday.

So yes, I decided that I started my Lent two weeks ago….and it feels fantastic! 😀

Are you giving up something for Lent? What are your thoughts on Lent?

Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Well guys, I hate to say it, but it’s another one of those Mondays. Yuck. It’s true they never get easier, but thankfully once we get past today it always seems to get a bit easier, right?

Today I have a new recipe to share with you, and all of the credit for the idea even popping into my mind goes to Craig. You see he’s a Maryland boy, through & through. He was born & raised there; and most of his family lives there.

He love crabs, crab cakes, Old Bay, & Natty Boh.
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He is a DIEHARD Ravens fan. (well, we both are…but now you know where I get it from)
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(that’s Craig & his cousin Steve after the win over the 49ers on Thanksgiving night. This may be one of my favorite pictures that I have ever captured. Emotion is ALL over their faces & it CRACKS me up everytime I see it 😀 )

I mean he even proposed to me on the Ravens field!
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We are also big Orioles fans. In Craig’s vows to me, one of his lines was ‘in Orioles induced sickness & in health.’ I’m sure if you follow baseball, you will find that pretty funny as well. 😉 Even though the Orioles haven’t been doing so well for the past few years, we still love ‘em.
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Now lucky for us, we can buy Natty Boh in Florida (even though it’s difficult to find sometimes), we can still be Ravens & Orioles fans, and Old Bay is in every grocery store. But we CANNOT find good crabs down here.

If you have ever had Maryland crabs, then you know what I mean. You will never want crabs again, unless they are from Maryland.
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No more ‘k’ krab for this girl. Only ‘c’ crab will work! I guess you could call me a crab snob…and I’m ok with that. 😉

We both love crab cakes, and I hate only being able to have them like twice a year when we make a trip to Maryland. So I decided to come up with a substitution. Shrimp cakes! Even though nothing could ever replace crab cakes, these are do a really good job of satisfying my crab cake craving (say that three times fast 😉 ) …for the time being at least. 🙂 I think it’s because of all of the Old Bay that I used. Love that stuff!!

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Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Makes 8 shrimp cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked shrimp
  • 2 egg whites & 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Old Bay + additional for topping
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • EVOO, for cooking

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a chopper or food processer, take you shrimp & pulse them in the chopper until they are no longer whole. This should be pretty quick, they chop easily.
3. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Once it is well combined, add in the shrimp. Shape into 8 cakes.
4. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle EVOO in pan. Once heated, cook the cakes for about 3 minutes each side, or until slightly browned. You will probably have to cook them in two batches.
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5. Put the cakes on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them liberally with more Old Bay & then bake for about 17 – 20 minutes.
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6. Serve with sweet and spicy sauce (recipe below), if desired.

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Sweet & spicy sauce
(Recipe from Gina)

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation:
Combine all & mix well.

The sauce isn’t necessary, but it adds more more flavor to them. Kind of gives them even more of a kick. I like the whole sweet and spicy combination, and this sauce is just that!

We enjoyed these yesterday while watching the NBA All Star game, which was right here in Orlando! It was pretty cool to see it take place here- only happens like once every 20 years.

Hope you have a great Monday! And if you need a little morning pick me up, you could always stop at Starbucks. I have a few excuses that you could use.

And The Winner Is….

Good Morning! Happy Saturday!

Just popping (almost wrote pooping…goodness gracious, so glad I caught that 😉 ) in to announce the winner of the case of Chobani’s newest flavors is……

SnickerDoodle44 (sorry I tried to find your actual name, but I could not find it anywhere!)

Here’s her comment: “I just love the new passion fruit flavor too! :)

CONGRATS!! Please email me your address & contact information.- everydayholly@gmail.com

And here’s a picture to make you smile:

That’s my nephew, Nathan, he’s ready to go home today!! Steph sent me that picture this morning, and it made my day! We got him that little outfit, I thought it was too cute! I’m so happy they picked that one to bring him home in 🙂 I just love that little guy SO much already.  He’s going to be quite spoiled by his Aunt & Uncle 😉

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Craig & I are going to a fundraising event tonight with some friends, so I’m looking forward to that! And now I’m off to get ready for the gym.

Welcome to the World!

Good Morning! Happy Friday 🙂

Guess what?! I messed up yesterday…and today is actually my brother in law’s birthday. Oops! I felt like such a loser because I texted him right when I woke up with a ‘Happy Birthday Brother!’ text…only for him to text me back and say ‘Thanks, but you know my birthday is actually tomorrow, right?!’ HA!! Guess I should of checked Facebook before sending that text 😉

BUT in other news…my sister in law, Stephanie, gave birth to my adorable nephew yesterday afternoon!!!! Nathan is his name, and I CANNOT wait to meet him. I hate that we are so far away, but we will be up there to visit them soon though & I CAN’T WAIT!

Hopefully this is one of his first outfits:
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I know you can’t really read it, but it says ‘My Aunt Is Awesome.’ 🙂

I’m also looking forward to seeing him in this onesie:
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And I KNOW Steph can’t wait to see him in this:
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(how cute is Steph pregnant?! She was ALL belly)

Anyways, I suppose you’ve had enough of my bragging about my new nephew. 😉 So here is another workout for you…for Fitness Friday. I guess I’m sticking with the name, as lame as it might be.

It is a full body workout, and it will leave you feelin’ pretty sore once you are done. I know it looks pretty intimidating when you first look at it, because it is long. But once you get started the time will fly by because you are constantly changing exercises. It takes me about an hour to complete..if I add in the cardio, then it’s extra. This is a great workout for the weekend, since you might have some extra time to spend at the gym.

Full Body Weight Workout

Warm up: 10- 15 minutes of cardio (optional- if you have time, I would do this, if not just go straight for the weights)

All of the following exercises are done circuit style, meaning one right after the other. Finish one circuit and then move on to the other. Each circuit focuses on a particular body part.

All exercises are done in 3 sets, 12 reps unless indicated differently.

Leg /Glute Circuit
Barbell Walking Lunges (12 reps EACH leg)
Stiff Leg Barbell Deadlifts (go heavy!)
Wide Stance Leg Press
Calf Raises (Standing or on calf machine)

Chest/ Back Circuit
Barbell Bench Press
Single Arm Dumbbell Row (12 reps EACH arm)
Cable Crossovers
Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

Shoulders
*Iron Cross Exercise (<—KILLER)- just do as many as you can each set
Barbell Upright Row

Bicep/ Triceps Circuit
EZ bar curl
Straight Bar Cable Pushdown
Alternate Hammer Curl (12 reps EACH arm)
Seated Overhead Triceps Press

Ab Circuit
Hanging Leg Raises
Incline Sit-up- holding medicine ball or weight
Incline Side to side sit-ups (for oblique’s)- holding medicine ball or weight (12 reps each side)

STRETCH!

Now I just want to talk about that Iron Cross Exercise for a minute.
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These things are KILLER & I suggest that you use a LIGHT weight, especially if you have never done them before. That’s why I recommend just doing as many as you can. I know they might not look hard, but you will see what I mean if you try them. They are now one of my favorite exercises; not only do they work your shoulders, but it’s really a full body exercise.

Let me know if you try this workout, I’d love some feedback!!

Last but not least, have you tried this vodka yet??
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If you like vodka & you like Swedish fish, you will LOVE this stuff. It’s kind of dangerous though because you don’t even know you have alcohol in your drink. That’s a good, but bad thing at the same time. 😉

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!! Any fun plans??

Craig has been out of town this whole week, so I’m looking forward to him being home tonight. I think we may have a date night!! Should be a fun night 🙂

My Crohn’s Story- Part 2

First things first: Happy Birthday to my Brother in Law!!! 🙂

This is a continuation of my Crohn’s story. This post picks from where I left off in my previous post. I was just finishing up talking about my experience with Crohn’s disease in high school & moving on to life in college.

College was actually REALLY good! I never had a flair up once..and I was on really light medication.(Pentasa)  Everything involving my stomach was actually ‘pretty normal,’ and I was really lucky! Adjusting to college life is hard enough, let alone throwing in stomach issues.

During my whole college career, I think I only had one not so good experience but it lasted only about a month

Once I graduated college, the flair up happened…that I’m still experiencing. It was about 3 months out of college. I graduated in December 2009 & the flair up hit March 2010; I will never forget that month. It was a mess.I can even pin point the day that it started- I just remember being in SO much pain one night while out at dinner, I actually had to leave the restaurant. At first I thought it was from the food that we ate (sushi), but later I found out that it had nothing to do with the food, it was just a flair up.

My whole goal right now is to try to control this flair up that I’m currently going through, and to do that I have had to adjust what I eat. Yes, sometimes it sucks…but I would rather change a few things rather than constantly be in pain. If you have Crohn’s or know someone that has it, you could try these suggestions! They might help you control the disease.

Dairy.

This is the hardest one. Sometimes Crohn’s disease can cause lactose intolerance. One of the suggestions that I have is to use those lactose pills. I have found that they tend to help a bit.

Sugar Substitutes.

These things are now the devil to me. I had NO idea how much they affected my stomach until I stopped using them. I always swore by Splenda- I used it in coffee, baked goods, anything that needed sweetening. Now I stay FAR FARaway from it. It just caused a lot of gas/ bloating and I honestly think it’s a good idea to stay away from sugar substitutes in general, even if you don’t have Crohn’s disease.

Instead of Splenda, I have now turned to Truvia or Stevia to do my sweetening!

It is an all natural calorie free sweetener!

Coffee.

I LOVE coffee. Like really LOVE it. I’m sure you can tell after my post yesterday.  As much as I love it, I PAY for drinking it everyday. Coffee is a diurectic, it makes you GO! (& by go, I don’t mean pee!) You see, even though I should probably give it up completely, there are some things that I just refuse to give up to this disease. Yes, I do know I might feel better if I stop drinking it, but I just really love it. If you aren’t such a big coffee drinker like me, I suggest trying tea. I guarantee you will feel better than drinking coffee.

Alcohol.

This one is the easiest for me! Honestly, the past couple of months I have really stayed away from alcohol in general. I just don’t like drinking it that much anymore. Now if you offer me a glass of wine, that’s a TOTALLY different story! I LOVE wine..but no so big on the alcohol anymore. It just really makes me sick to my stomach..and I REALLY feel it the next day..even after just ONEdrink. Eek!

Other things that I have also tried to avoid eating as much include salads- too much ‘roughage’ , popcorn (hard to digest), oatmeal (high fiber), and spicy foods. (I swear the spice goes STRAIGHTto the stomach!)

These are just some of the things that I have found that work for me. I know everything is different for everyone, but I think staying away from these things (Or having less of them) has really helped me.

If you have any questions about Crohn’s, or need someone to talk to, please feel free to email me: everydayholly@gmail.com. Oh, and happy Friday eve!!

Picky Pants

I think we all have our certain quirks. Weird things that just make us..well, us!

I happened to notice a few of them lately, and they just made me laugh. Just for your own humor, I thought I would share these quirks. Maybe you do the same things?? Or it’s quite possible that I am just a weirdo.

1. I will only buy ONE brand of hair spray. & only once TYPE of hairspray from that brand.
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Tresemme Extra Firm Control. Yep, the ONLY kind I will buy. I have tried all different kinds, from the expensive stuff (around $20) to the super cheap stuff. (Like Suave) But, nope I keep coming back to this brand. I love it; it doesn’t leave my hair weighed down..and it does not make it all chunky. & the best part is it’s only $4.

2. I have an excuse for every.single.day of the week as to why I need to go to Starbucks for my coffee.
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Monday: Well, I’m sure we can all figure this one out. Mondays SUCK. Plain & simple. Pretty good excuse, if I do say so myself. 😉
Tuesday: Ew. Tuesday. What a boring day. Nothing happens on a Tuesday, it’s not like a Wednesday, since Wednesday’s mean I’m half way through the week. I need something to cheer me up.
Wednesday: YAY! It’s hump day. But, oh wait…that means that I still have HALF of the week left. Yikes. Better get some caffeine to power me through this day.
Thursday: I love Thursday! Some of my favorite shows come on Thursday nights. Better get Starbucks to make sure I stay awake for those shows. (mind you I’m drinking this coffee at 8am, how in the WORLD is it going to help me at 8pm?!)
Friday: WOOOHOO! It’s Friday. I made it through the week. I deserve a treat. (treat = coffee) And don’t a MILLION people out there celebrate Friday with a Starbuck’s coffee?! I can’t be left out, I have to get mine too.
Saturday: believe it or not, Saturday is the LEAST likely day that I will get Starbucks. I am always up way before Craig, so I just typically make a cup of coffee in the Keurig (& it’s usually a Starbucks K-cup) while I wait for him to get up. BUT, if I do happen to head to Starbucks, I totally have a reason 😉  –> It’s the WEEKEND!!! That in itself is a good reason!
Sunday: Sunday is the day that I get Starbucks for Craig & I. He loves his special ‘Sunday coffee.’ I think I secretly started going to Starbucks every Sunday so that I could get coffee.
star (LOVE the S-bux Valentine’s cup!)

Umm, I think I have an addiction. But I can guarantee you that I have an excuse for my addiction 😉

3. I like adding the word ‘pants’ to the end of names (people, pets, whoever) & to adjectives. (hence the title of this blog) Examples include: picky pants (most used), pretty pants (& I don’t mean when I’m describing actual pants 🙂 ), Holly Pants (not referring to my own self though), and many others…but you have probably had enough of all of this pants talking.

4. I realize this is such a typical girl thing. But I love shoes. I have way too many pairs. & I can’t stop buying them. I love all of the new colors for the upcoming season. All of the cute pastels & bright colors.
Prime example:
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I’m in l.o.v.e.
The good thing about my shoe addiction is that most of them only cost between $15- $45. I’m not big into buying a bunch of designer shoes. (well, unless you think Jessica Simpson is designer. Her shoes are my favorite)

5. I like my water EXTRA cold. I always have to have a TON of ice in it. I feel like the colder it is, the more I drink. I’m sure it’s all mental 😉
ice-water-6 ice ice baaaaaaaby!

6. I’m a picker. I pick at everything. Scabs, pimples, nail polish, etc. Any of that. It’s kind of gross, but I can’t help it. Lucky for you, the one thing I don’t pick is my nose 😉

7. Speaking of picking…I’m OCD about cleaning my face & moisturizing. I asked ‘Santa’ (aka Craig) for a Clarisonic Mia for Christmas.
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I adore this thing. I HIGHLY recommend one. I have noticed a HUGE difference in my face. Less breakouts (if any), fewer blackheads (gross!) & just overall much more soft.
Well, I use this at least twice a day..and then I moisturize at night. Wanna know what I use for moisturizer? (& I swear by it!)
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Yep, good ol’ fashioned Vaseline. It’s the best! Wanna see fine lines disappear?? Try this!!!! (& it’s SUPER cheap. Way better than paying like $70 for some name brand stuff!)

8. I get really annoyed when people don’t replace the last roll of toilet paper or paper towels. Drives me nuts! (& it happens all of the time at work. Grr!)
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9. I’m not a big flower person, but I LOVE sunflowers. Like really love. So I guess that kind of makes me a flower person..?
284321_10100535985692222_5122109_58298043_3532740_n wedding day flowers 🙂
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My girls ❤

Heard enough of my strange ways?! 😉
Please tell me you can relate to at least one of them.