Friday, January 31, 2014


You guys, I did it! I made it an entire month with no sweets!! (Well, I guess technically tonight at midnight will be the finish line, but still, I'm celebrating starting now.) Another 25 while 25 goal complete!

Now, before you even think it, I'm not running to the store tomorrow to purchase all of the sweets I can get my hands on. I feel so much better without all of that sugar, but I do look forward to the chance to indulge every once in a while. I'm no fool, I know the lack of sugar has helped my training for the half, but sometimes a girl just needs a cookie!

Speaking of training for the half, my official training program begins on Monday. Even though I started my training a few weeks ago, the "Elizabeth do not deviate from this plan" starts in 3 days.

I ran two miles without stopping on Wednesday - in case you were wondering, this is what 2 miles looks like.

Feel free to judge my music choices, but uptempo music makes the time move faster for me - plus I have a compulsion to run on the beat. 

Jill loaned me the book "The Fault in Our Stars," and after watching the trailer for the movie yesterday, I knew I needed to start reading it immediately. So, that's what I'll be doing this weekend! You can watch the trailer here - but be ready to shed a tear or two.

I have really been feeling the love this week. In a planning session for one of our events, I stopped the conversation to point out just how lucky we are to do the job we do and have discussions that involve awesome & fun ways to interact with our community.

I love the times when things are truckin' and falling into place -- it's especially awesome when this happens for one of my favorite events! I. Love. My. Job.

Happy last day of January love bugs!
xoxo, E

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Work. Run. Sleep. Repeat.


You guys, this half-marathon training is kicking my booty. When 2:30pm rolls around, it takes all my strength to not put my head down on my desk and take a nap. I'm really starting to enjoy the running, but man, I'm sleepy.

Even though we aren't running together, Bobbie and I are keeping each other accountable. aka - I'm texting her random pics from my running adventures. I can't wait for it to warm up so I can take my moves to the pavement. The treadmill is booooring.

P.S. Interested in helping Bobbie fundraise for her half-marathon training? Click here! I'll be making my donation on pay day.


How early is too early to go to bed? I'm asking for a friend...

I've been making some great progress on my 25 while 25 list! Since my last update, I've tried banana peppers, capers, gyro meat, tabbouleh and pork egg rolls.

Jill and I had a lunch meeting at Ol' Gyro last week. (If you are in OKC and haven't tried this Greek establishment, do it. So delicious!) I decided to order a gyro because I'd never had one before.

Once we got in the car after our meeting, Jilly asked what I thought of the meat.
"I liked it a lot! Is it just beef? Is it how it's prepared that makes it special?"
"Well, actually, it's beef and lamb. I didn't want to tell you beforehand, but I ordered the chicken gyro in case you didn't like it."

I burst out laughing. What a mom thing to do! I had actually tried lamb before and liked it, but I loved that she didn't tell me just in case I'd decide not to give it a try.


I have 3 more days left in my month of no sweets. Yesterday was the first day that I thought, "I neeeeeeeed something sweet." Surprisingly enough, it's been a pretty easy task for me! I haven't had one of my migraines all month, and I have been sleeping so well and feeling rested when I wake. I may just keep this up!

I'm super excited for the Cooper-House Design Workshop next weekend. I'll get to check off my "take an illustrator class" goal.

Oh, also, it's January 29th and I haven't even started my Lettered Letters for January. Hashtag Eliz Fail.


Kimmy and I embraced our inner 10 year olds and saw "Frozen" over the weekend.

Yes, it was my second time seeing this movie. It's just so good! At dinner Monday night, Miss Emily told me we needed to go see the movie again. You don't have to twist my arm kiddo!

I am so amped up for our spring events. Like, seriously excited! Downtown Employee Appreciation Week is in March and Starlight Supper is in April. Start praying now for good weather on April 10th. Please?

Okay friends, this might be the most ADD post I've ever written. I'm blaming it on being tired.

Is it Spring yet? I'm in a perpetual state of being cold!! I totally ordered a sundress the other day as I snuggled up on the couch by my space heater. Wishful thinking.

Happy Hump Day! xoxo, E

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where the Buffalo Roam

As if the feeling of accomplishing a goal wasn't an awesome enough reward - total type A personality over here - I realized on Sunday that my 25 while 25 list is giving me the opportunity to create some seriously awesome memories. 

Brandi and Jilly (enthusiastically) agreed to go on the road trip with me to search for buffalo. We loaded up the car and headed out for the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. 

We stopped along the way and Brandi picked up some beef jerky for a snack. Apparently, Love's has the best jerky... ever. Y'all, I'm not exactly proud of my first reaction when she opened up her snack. (See top left picture.) I have a sensitive nose, ok?! 

Well, when I mentioned that I'd never tried jerky - and was totally fine being "that person" who said she hated jerky without ever trying it - the girls insisted I give it a try. After I adamantly refused, they reminded me it was something I could add to my "tastes" list. Darn them for using my 25 while 25 goals against me - even if they were just trying to be helpful! 

Thanks Jilly for capturing the full spectrum of grossed out faces. Note to self: I'm going to need botox if I keep making that bottom-left expression. I have to say though, I'm very proud of myself for chewing and swallowing the entire bite. Especially since I had the opportunity to spit it out when I was outside filling up the car with gas.

Moving on... 

This little munchkin was our first wildlife friend. Brandi named him Gregory - and he was a little skiddish when we tried to get close.

While we were driving through the refuge, we decided it'd be fun to venture to the top of Mount Scott. You guys, the views were unreal. Not a cloud in the sky and such blue water!!

As you can tell, it was pretty windy at the top - and you can't really see the beauty behind us - but man, that's some serious beauty in the foreground. I am so thankful for wonderfully, adventurous friends!!

I have to be honest with you guys, I was legitimately nervous we would drive all that way and not see a single buffalo. Well, imagine my sheer glee when we saw this guy off in the distance! We may have (read: definitely did) break a couple of rules to get close enough to snap this pic but he acted like we weren't even there. 

My favorite moment is when Brandi whisper-yelled "Sissy, turn off your shutter sound on your camera!!" Whoops. My phone is almost always on vibrate - luckily my loud, obnoxious ringtone didn't play while we were creeping through the field.

At this point, I was feeling pretty good about our single buffalo sighting... even if we didn't see more, at least we'd seen one! 

Well, as soon as we got past the Visitor Center, I squealed when I spotted three buffalo laying in a field on the side of the road. (Later, I joked that they were the Kardashians of buffalos - they were hanging out near all the people so they'd get their picture taken)

Once again, we were total daredevils and got really close to these guys to snap some photos. Everyone has said we were crazy for going so close, but they were incredibly calm and paid us no mind. I guess we just got lucky!! (disclaimer: we all had tennis shoes on - had "running for our lives" been necessary, I feel pretty good about our odds)

Jilly came up with the idea to take buffalo selfies - and I mean, duh! What a good idea!!

These photos are totally my favorite - not only because we look so silly taking selfies - but also because you can see how close we were!!

And yes, I absolutely wore my buffalo shirt on our road trip. In case you can't tell, he's wearing orange glasses, a la Russell Westbrook

Jilly asked if my obsession with buffalo got worse or lessened after this trip - and I can safely say, I am just as in love and more in awe of these creatures now!!

I can't wait to see the pics from Jilly's camera. (Although, who doesn't love a picture of a picture?)

I didn't check my camera's battery before the trip - and of course, it was dead. Luckily, iPhone quality pics did the trick! 

This is one goal from my 25 while 25 list that absolutely exceeded my expectations. 

Such a happy girl! xoxo, E

Monday, January 20, 2014

those pesky first world problems

It's so funny how the most random of things can trigger memories. I was fighting sleepiness really badly last week. It was incredibly frustrating towards the end of the week. I was absolutely exhausted after work and then as soon as I would climb in bed, I would be wide awake. Luckily, Pinterest and a text convo with my PIC helped me fill the hours when I couldn't fall asleep.

I tweeted that I had a really vivid dream about 4 guys from my high school who were a year older than me. I hadn't thought about them since high school. So random. Then, on Friday night, I woke up at 1 a.m. and I kept hearing this persistent humming noise (imagine an airplane engine). I realized it was a trick that my brain was playing on me, so I turned on an episode of "White Collar" on my iPad to drown out the noise. I then woke up at 7:15 a.m. (on a Saturday!!) and couldn't fall back asleep. Good news, I got so many errands done. Bad news, I just want to sleep.

While driving around during my Saturday morning errands, I remembered I had similar sleep experiences when I was preparing for my trip to Africa. Those pesky malaria pills were to blame at that time though.

This was the second time my Africa trip had come to mind in the last week. I have this gorgeous charcoal drawing hanging in my dining room, but you know how it is, sometimes we can look at something every day and not really see it.

I remember a couple of stories very clearly from my time in Swaziland. But I know I have forgotten some of those smaller moments - or precisely how moved I was by my experiences.

What's a girl to do? Well, go back and look through the photos (hundreds of them) and re-read my blog posts after the trip (from my college blog).

You guys, I've got the itch! I want to go back.

I had forgotten (how many times) that I used to say this, but I remember now how I felt when I got back: I needed Africa more than Africa needed me.

If you'd care to take some time to read about my trip to Swaziland in 2010, I've included the links to the posts below. Heads up, they are very text heavy. But of course, I treasure the opportunity to read every word and relive those moments.

Swaziland: Days 1-2 
Includes the moment I legitimately thought I was going to be charged by a wort hog

Swaziland: Day 3
The day I learned that women are the same all over the world - and fell in love with the non-smile of a young man and the tough guy persona of a little boy.

Swaziland: Day 4
The day I broke through the language barrier with my love of skirts and dresses

Swaziland: Days 5-9
Includes the story of a little boy who made my trip the best experience of my life - and he inspired the drawing in my dining room

The title of this post is "those pesky first world problems" - which I would definitely include my current sleeping troubles in that category.

Poor Elizabeth, can't get a full 8 hours in her warm house on her pillow-top mattress.

::insert tiny violins playing here::

I found this post over the weekend as well, which just so happens to be the first one I wrote when I got back to the States. It's aptly titled "America, the land that I love." It's all about the first world amenities that I missed while in Africa. And of course, I take them all for granted once again.

I was honestly feeling a little uninspired last week, but I am feeling much better. There are so many things to be thankful for and so many reasons to smile!

xoxo, E

Friday, January 17, 2014

Moderation? What's that?

You guys, I've never been very good at doing things in moderation.

Take this week for example, I have put a major focus on my Happiness Project (ie exercising, getting more sleep and eating better meals) and the blog has taken a hit. Before Christmas, I was pretty good (read: obsessive) about posting daily. I was inspired and had a lot I wanted to share. But, this week especially, I am...

I ran a few times this week, and even though I get a great endorphin rush, I am ready to pass out when I climb into bed at night -- I also feel like I need to put my head down on my desk for a nap at 2:30 in the afternoon.

In keeping with my "anything but having it together" theme of this week - don't even get me started on the pile of papers on my desk that need to be filed - here are some random happenings:

My dining room and living room rugs arrived! I'm pretty obsessed with these beauties. Mucho gracias to my parents for my (very) early birthday presents - as well as my friends who came over to help move the furniture back in place. You guys, dealing with an 8x11 rug is not the most fun thing ever - especially if you're a perfectionist. (Guilty!)

I am finally done hanging pictures at my house!! Well, is anything ever really done when you own a home?

I used to be a self-proclaimed lover of winter weather. Y'all, I'm over it. The static electricity in my hair is enough to push me over the edge. So, as I wistfully dreamed of spring and summer this week, I ordered these shorts

I've also made some progress on the 25 while 25 list since my last update...
- We had our first meeting for Wiggle Out Loud this week. I am volunteering my time as the Logistics Committee Chair. Super excited to be involved with this project in an official capacity this year!
- I read this book in 2 days. I seriously identified with the character, which I think propelled me through the book that much faster.
- The girls and I are going on a road trip this weekend to the Wichita Mountains to see some buffalo!
- I also signed up to take a sushi class in April.

Alrighty kids, happy Friday! Hallelujah for the weekend. I hope it's a great one! xoxo, E

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday's Ramblings

I feel like I am finally back in the swing of things following the holidays.

8 days in North Carolina (plus one more unforeseen vacation day due to major flight delays, which led to delirium, which led to this one-woman kick-line video), 1 day in the office, 1 day off for the New Year, 2 days in the office (all this with Momma in town for 6 days), then a week to try and tie up loose ends from the holiday season - well, if you could function normally after all that, I applaud you!

This week I'm putting myself back in a routine and it's paying off! I'm checking things off the to-do list right and left for our spring events (which are going to be super fun!) + running/going to Barre3 classes.

1. City. Ballet.
I owe Em a wiggle hug, and probably a coffee, as a thank you for introducing me to City. Ballet. Each episode is only 6 minutes long and documents what it's like to go through the ranks at New York City Ballet. This series appealed to my love of dance, made me want to see a NYC Ballet performance next time Momma and I go to New York, was narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker (who I love!) and features the younger brother of one of my friends from high school. It was such a surprise to see him - and man, he got some great face time in a few of the episodes! I remember when he first went to NYC to pursue his dream. It's so crazy awesome to see his success!!

2. Christmas Gifts
I have to admit, I was pretty darn spoiled over Christmas. My parents did an awesome job with the gift giving this year. I didn't ask for anything in particular, but I am obsessed with all of my gifts! My two favorites were definitely my new Burberry bag and my green agate & diamond ring.


We gave Nanny her 80th birthday gift (a year early) - pictured on left. And then Nanny pulled out all the stops for a surprise that brought me to tears. She gave me her pearl and diamond ring - pictured on right. My Nanny is so important to me and a blast to be around. She is so funny, caring, loving and easy to talk to. Having this ring is so special to me!

3. Lettered Letters
So far so good on the Lettered Letters front -- even if I did send out all of December's letters on December 31st. Eek! Nothing like waiting until the last minute. It has been really fun for me to see my friend's reactions to receiving the letters. Here's to not waiting until the last day of the month for January's mailing!

4. Sweet Thank You Notes
I seriously have the best job on the planet -- one of the best parts is getting to work with awesome community partners. Another is getting to work with groups who go above and beyond in appreciating something "tiny" that we did for them. Case in point, I received a large stack of hand written thank you notes from a group of kids who got to run in one of our races at a discount. My favorite one said that I'm a "politeful" person.


5. My Brother's New Pup
My brother texted over Christmas to say that they were adding a new member to the family - meet Dooley. I'm in love. I just want to snuggle his chunky little body! My brother sent this picture and I immediately checked the cost of flights to LA.

Happy hump day you guys! I can't believe we're already half-way through January. Oh! But that means I'm half-way through my month of no sweets!! It actually hasn't been as bad as I thought it'd be. Only 16 days away from another 25 while 25 goal being completed.

xoxo, E

Friday, January 10, 2014

We're all Human

Sometimes I get really overwhelmed with all of the noise that the internet/electronics bring into my life.

Did you see what so and so posted on Twitter? Have you read that article on The Huffington Post? Have you ever heard of (such and such) blog? Ding - another email. Vibrate Vibrate - 3 more text messages. 

Most of my exposure to this noise is completely within my control - and while I'm trying to tone it down, sometimes I am so unbelievably grateful when something comes across my path that stops me dead in my tracks. This week, "Humans of New York" did just that. 

An "about" from the photographer:
"HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs."

The other day, as I scrolled through the many pictures, some of the stories literally moved me to tears. Now that may just be because I've been a tad emotional this week - I'm blaming it on this gloomy weather! But, I decided to share a few of my favorites with you.

"I want to be a ballerina"
What’s going to be the best part about being a ballerina?

What’s your favorite thing about your mom?
"She’s beautiful"

"Bring it on"

"She can turn any ordinary moment into an adventure."
Can you give an example of that?
"When Hurricane Sandy destroyed the bottom floor of our house, 
she decorated the rubble in Christmas lights."

Seen on the Upper West Side

"I wish that when I was young, I’d have absorbed more of the world. And less of my world."

"Hold on. Let me get sexy!"

"He teases me!"

“I grew up on a rice farm in Guyana. We didn’t have running water or electricity, or anything like that. I didn’t come to America until I was 14. My friend has been struggling lately because she can’t get a job she wants, even though she’s really talented. She’s lived in New York her whole life and hasn’t traveled very much, and she said to me: ‘I don’t understand why anyone would want to immigrate to America.’
 I told her: ‘Trust me – if there’s a heaven, this is it.’”

"She's a little diamond."

I asked her for a piece of advice, and she reached into her mom’s purse and pulled out a whiteboard.
“She has laryngitis,” her mom explained. “No talking for a week.”

I asked: “What is your greatest struggle right now?” He made a confused face and began speaking to his girlfriend in Thai. Then, suddenly understanding, he turned back to me and said: “English.”

"I’m the original John Lennon! I was born 18 months earlier."

"I can beat him up."

"Sometimes when I’m going home to see her, I think: ‘Nobody should be this happy on a Tuesday.’"

What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you want to be a fireman?
"I said Ironman!"

I highly suggest clicking over to the site to scroll through and find your own favorites. But be warned: you'll fall into the rabbit hole and before you know it an hour will have passed!

My favorite thing about this site is the raw emotion that comes through in the stories and the pictures. I have such an appreciation and respect for an expression of the authentic human condition.

How's that for something to send you into your weekend?

Happy Friday! xoxo, E