Friday, December 30, 2011

Some new photos and resolutions

Hey everybody!

I really don't have anything much to talk about today.  I've been working and doing absolutely nothing when I'm not working. Okay, not absolutely nothing--mostly eating and watching Netflix.  I'm getting all of the unhealthy eating out of the way before January 1st. Yes, I'm that cliche person who sets a resolution to get healthy by eating right and exercising.  My reasoning is that I can control what I eat and how I spend my time.  I have no excuse for overeating and not exercising. Therefore, 2012 is the year when I get in shape.  I would like to lose 20 pounds.  That puts me well within my "healthy weight range" or whatever and at my exact medically recommended weight.  It's going to be difficult, but it needs to be done.  My other resolution is to get involved in a college-aged church group. I'm ready for some accountability with people my age. 

Now for those new photos...

Those adorable new boots I was talking about in my last post

Dress up!! New jeans, new scarf, new shirt, new boots
An off-centered picture of the topknot I learned how to do!

Why does pasta have to be so dang good?!! Homemade spaghetti

Monday, December 26, 2011

Family photo complete with Kelly doing her bid'ness (From left: Dad, Mom, Claudia--holding Sophie, Ana, Eric, me, and Kelly)

Christmas was such a blessing this year!  We opened presents at 6AM (yes, I'm still a child and I barely slept at all)!  I didn't really ask for anything because I like to be surprised.  I received lots of warm sweaters, scarves, gloves, and socks as well as a digital camera!  I'm so excited about the camera! I love taking pictures (even if I'm not very good)!  It was a really great time to relax with my family and enjoy food and a worship service and tradition.  One of our traditions is to see a movie on Christmas Eve (complete with drinks, popcorn, and candy).  This year we saw Puss in Boots. I was a little wary when I heard that this was the choice, but it was really cute.  It was nice sharing all of our traditions with Ana.  Ana is our foreign exchange student from Madrid, Spain.  She is so sweet and has learned SO much English since arriving in October. 
Ana, our sweet Spanish exchange student
Today, my mom and I went shopping at 8 to swipe some of those $15 jeans at Old Navy and exchange a coat I received for Christmas.  I got two pairs of skinny jeans, two long sleeved solid tees, a plaid flannel shirt, a new black cardigan, and an adorable pair of olive green wedge ankle boots for under $100!!! I played dress up all day.  I also watched a hair tutorial over at It's a great go-to style for day-after-showering hair.

I bought three new flute pieces: Night Soliloquy by Kent Kennan, Serenade by Howard Hansen, and Bloch's Suite Modale.  I'm very excited about learning some new music! And, I must confess, I finally did the ultimate flute nerd thing--I subscribed to Flute Talk. It's a magazine all about flute stuff. Super nerdy. 
Here's a recording of the 4th movement of Bloch's Suite Modale. It reminds me of The Princess Bride soundtrack

I also did some research on churches in the area.  I've got a few that I'm looking forward to visiting.  I'm also kinda scared.  I really want to get involved in a college group; but despite all of my outgoing-ness around my friends, I'm afraid of meeting new people in church settings.  I know that God will point me to the right place and will give me the courage to meet new people at these churches. I am eager to see what He has in store for me this semester!  It will be so exciting!
I am extremely grateful for this past semester.  I've learned a lot about myself and I know that I have a lot of room to grow.  I'm thankful for my family, friends, work, music, and school.  I hope that everybody else has so much to be thankful for, too!

Until soon,


Monday, December 19, 2011

Well, it's sort of been forever...

So, this semester has been super crazy. I love college and school and friends and work, but sometimes it's a little bit too much to handle.  I took 17 credit hours this semester and worked 16 hours a week.  I know that a lot of people do more, but this was a lot for me. Especially because I was waking up at 4AM Tuesday-Thursday in order to get to work by 5AM.  Needless to say, I was a little exhausted.  Being in marching band (a 1 credit hour course requiring 2 1/2 hours of rehearsal four days a week plus entire Saturdays for games) really added a lot to my plate.  If I had the option to not be in marching band this semester, I might have said no. But, despite all of the exhaustion, I still have so much to be thankful for from this past semester:
                          This is me and Emily on the tuba. You didn't believe me, did you?

1. I have a 3.5 for the semester.  All As and Bs! So proud of my Bs in Biological Anthropology and Aural Perception II.
2. I made 4th chair Wind Symphony! So excited and surprised by this, but really thankful!
3. Lots of progress on the flute. My teacher, Kristen Predl, really rocked my world with tips and tricks this semester!
4. Making new friends and strengthening friendships.
5. Being a member of the tuba section in marching band. I love all those crazy boys! They made being last chair so fun!
6. Being on Care Committee for SAI. I love my committee members so much! We had a blast making cards and really showing the music department how much we love them!
7. Having an awesome job! Seriously, I got to decorate Christmas cookies for almost 2 hours one day. It's great.
                      The members of SAI Care Committee (from left: me, Kaitlin, and Emily)

As great as this past semester has been, I'm really looking forward to next semester! I'll be working 18 hours a week, but it'll be great because I'll only be working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I'll be in a challenging ensemble with two of my very best friends, Emily and Jacob.  And I'm going to find a new church with a great college ministry to get involved in. I really need to reconnect to God this next semester.  And I'll actually have time to work out this semester (this is important)!

I have so much to look forward to and I really hope to have more time to blog this semester.

How about you? How has this semester/fall been for you?

Love so very much,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Addiction to Ice Cream

Do not laugh at this title. It is not a laughing matter. My addiction to ice cream is deep-seated and unbreakable.  When I'm sick all I want is ice cream. When I'm sad all I want is ice cream. When it's hot outside, all I want is ice cream.  Ice cream has and always will be my favorite dessert. I am kind of picky about which flavors and brands I like.  I don't like Edy's ice creams because they have a somewhat grainy texture. I like almost every flavor by Blue Bunny and Ben & Jerry's.  My very favorites are:
1. Haagen Dazs Pistachio
2. Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia
3. Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath bar Crunch
4. Brahms Cherry Limeade Sherbet (not quite the same, but still awesome)
#1 Blue Bunny's Spumoni ice cream (limited edition around Christmas)

Some things I've learned about myself throughout this lifelong addiction:
1. I should NEVER buy a 1/2 gallon carton. Why? Because I'll eat half of it in one sitting.
2. Only buy the carton when there's an especially good reason (e.g. really bad day, super crazy craving, sharing with a friend, just cuz you want it, etc.)
3. I only keep the prepackaged 100 calorie Great Value brand ice cream cups in my freezer because they taste pretty good and I don't feel immensely fat after I eat just one little cup.
4. When left to my own devices, I will consume the entire container (pint or otherwise) within 1-2 days. THIS IS NOT HEALTHY (but sometimes I do it anyway)

Courtesy of Cupcakes and Cashmere blog
I recently read a post on Cupcakes and Cashmere, a lovely blog that you should check out, about her favorite ice cream.  She lives in LA and has a place nearby that sells a Salty Caramel ice cream.  Does that not sound divine?? My favorite flavor combination is caramel, chocolate, and sea salt. I learned this when visiting Two Dumb Dames chocolate shop in Eureka Springs, AR. They sell these dark chocolate caramels with sea salt that are THE BEST THING I'VE EVER PUT IN MY MOUTH (other than my mommy's apple pear cranberry pie). So, that is why I want to go to LA. Yes, just to try salty caramel ice cream. It's an addiction people. Few things make me more excited than a trip for ice cream. Okay, a lot of things make me more excited, but I'm being overly dramatic about food right now.

This whole post is revealing a whole lot of FCI's (fat child instincts). Yes, I had an ice cream cup for my snack this morning and it was so good. Don't judge me for my love of ice cream. Everybody loves ice cream, but few will ever recognize their addiction. 

What about you? Do you share in my love of the creamy frozen goodness that is ice cream? Would you consider yourself an ice cream addict? If so, what is your favorite flavor and brand? 

Have a lovely weekend! Be sure to eat some ice cream in honor of this post!

Love so very much,

P.S. Now you can laugh.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Today is the first day of my sophomore year of college.  Rather than feeling excited, I'm feeling disappointed and kinda sick.  I think I'm catching that summer cold I thought I'd avoided.  The disappointment is because of audition results.  Yesterday, I auditioned for the fall concert bands.  I was really hoping to make Wind Symphony, but I was just one chair away....again.  You see, this happened in the spring as well.  The only difference between now and then is that I practiced less for this audition and I didn't cry when I saw the results this time.

The lack of crying kind of disturbs me because I always cry when I care a lot about something. So, this leads me to believe that I just don't care as much anymore. Is this a bad thing? Am I learning to not take myself as seriously?  I didn't stress about this audition. I practiced for 3-4 weeks ahead of time. I just didn't worry as much and I take that as a small achievement even if it yielded disappointing results.  Sometimes I wonder why I'm a performance major when I'm really not that great at performing. Then I remember the other music major options: Music Theory-boring and really pointless unless I want to be a professor, Music Composition- difficult and I have no desire to write music, and Music Education- dear Lord, can you imagine me trying to conduct a group of young musicians?!! You might be thinking, "Why is she a music major at all?" I wonder this sometimes, too.  I always come up with the same answer-- I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have music.  I've been in band since I was 9 years old (almost 11 years ago).  I've always had band to help me make new friends when I'm in a new setting.  Music has been my hobby and pretty much my life.  So, when I was thinking about majors, I knew that music couldn't be left out.  Plus, I got a whole lot of scholarship money that more than covered the costs of a double major.  So, here I am, a flute performance major failing to meet my own ridiculously high standards and feeling immensely disappointed in myself. 

Now that I've typed out all of my feelings of inadequacy and depression, I'll end with a good thing, bad thing overview.  Good thing, bad thing. Good thing, bad thing.
Good thing: I have Criminal Procedures class next which I'm looking forward to.
Bad thing: I didn't do as well as I'd like on my concert band audition
Good thing: I'm about to go get some coffee. I love coffee.
Bad thing: I'm getting a summer cold.
Good thing: My boyfriend brought me orange juice, cough drops, and sorbet yesterday just because he loves me. : )
Bad thing: It's a long wait til my next class.

Any ideas on how to see the good in a disappointing situation?  How do you avoid setting ridiculously high standards for yourselves?

I hope everyone else's day is going well and that you're not disappointed about anything.

Much love,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Potato Chips

Yesterday, I ate potato chips. Not 10 of them like I'm supposed to on my diet. I ate probably 30 chips. Why would I break the diet for potato chips, you ask? Well, I blame it on Theo from The Cosby Show. I was watching the show on Netflix yesterday and Theo poured a bag of chips into a bowl.  I thought to myself, "Mmmmm, potato chips would be delicious right now..."  So, I went downstairs in search of the greasy, crispy things. Lo and behold, there they were, sitting on the shelf, calling my name. So, I brought the bag upstairs and munched on them until the craving was satisfied. They were delicious!

Despite the deliciousness, I still feel a little regret. I shouldn't have eaten them (or at least not that many of them). I don't usually like potato chips; I prefer pretzels (especially with ice cream!). In other news, I have exercised three days so far this week.  On Tuesday, I did a little running. I did yoga on a dog hair-covered rug in my living room on Wednesday. And, on Thursday, I jogged six whole laps around the track behind Root Elementary. This may seem like a small achievement to you; but, to me, I may as well have conquered the world! Today, I'm too sore to workout and I wanted to sleep in a little bit. I still need to weigh myself.

I hate the scale.  I hate stepping on its cold surface and watching as the dial inches past the mid-100s into the dismal range that is my weight.  I hate the sad sound the springs make as they struggle to contract under my bulk.  I really hate scales.  I know people who weigh themselves every day because it makes them "more accountable" to what they're eating.  I am not one of those people. I prefer to go months without weighing myself. The only thing motivating me to step on to that small box of torture is that I'm on a diet.

I'm not sure if I've talked about my diet yet. Why am I on a diet, you may be wondering?  Well, you see, I'm overweight. Only by a little, but still overweight.  I have always been very self-conscious (as you may have been able to tell by my hatred of the scale) and I am tired of not liking my body.  So, I'm doing something about it (plus, I work at a bakery AND I can't afford bigger clothes).  My diet is called the Change One Diet (or the Reader's Digest diet).  The way it works is each week you work on a different meal or aspect of your life.  The first week was breakfast, then lunch, then snacks, then dinner, now exercise.  I skipped the eating out week and holiday week because there aren't any holidays now and I can't afford to eat out.  I've really liked how it's set up so far. Everything is really manageable.  I don't feel like I'm depriving myself.  That's what I usually hate about diets--the feeling of deprivation.  On the Change One diet, I can eat whatever I want, just smaller portions.

The thing I've struggled most with so far is the snacks. I'm a snacker and a boredom eater.  I love snacks, whether I'm hungry or not. Especially night.  I will follow my diet perfectly all day, but right before bed I get a terrible sweet tooth.  I don't know how to cure it! Despite the difficulty snacks were to me, I've lost 8 pounds so far! I'm pretty dang proud of myself!

Any tips for beating the late-night munchies? Do any of you feel the same animosity towards the scale? Are you on a diet, too? If so, is it working?

Until next time, have a great weekend!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Adventures in Cooking

Since my mommy just had surgery and is recovering, I made the holiday meal (with a little help from my papa). We decided on grilled chicken, a big fruit salad, basil infused fresh squeezed lemonade, sweet mint iced tea, potato and veggie packs, and corn on the cob. For dessert, I made a no-bake marbelized cheesecake. Here's a link to the recipe:
I hope it tastes good! It's chilling in the fridge right now. It's allergen free (for my mom) except for the graham cracker crust. The basil infused fresh squeezed lemonade is DELICIOUS!!!! A lady from my church posted the recipe for basil lemon syrup to use in lemonade and I knew I had to try it! Here's a link to the recipe for the syrup:
Then I added the syrup to Paula Deen's recipe for lemonade. It's a perfect blend of tart and sweet with that unique basil flavor. Super tasty!! Here's the link to the lemonade (really easy to make):
Yesterday, I made a caprese salad for dinner.  Super tasty, but my balsamic reduction didn't reduce enough. It still tasted great and left a nice dipping sauce in the bottom of the dish. Any tips for a great balsamic reduction?

Those are my adventures in cooking for the holiday weekend. Happy 4th of July, friends!!!
How did you spend your holiday?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

To Exercise or Not To Exercise? That Is the Question

It's 11:15PM and I'm STILL in my pajamas. Laziness? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. So nice to lay down and do nothing for a few hours? YES!  I don't know what the psychology of a Saturday is, but it just makes me want to lay in bed lazily until I have to get up and make myself presentable for work.  I woke up at 8:30 thinking, "I think I'll get up and go running!"  Then I took my adorable puppy, Sophie, outside for her morning business and it is HOT!

The summer heat in Arkansas is AWFUL! The hotter it gets, the more I want to stay in air conditioning as much as possible! Or swim. I'd like to swim. Wait...No! I hate swimming (at least in public pools) because I HATE bathing suits. I don't care if I'm "not fat" or "still young." I have always hated being bigger than all the girls my age (and I don't mean height-wise). I have never been comfortable enough with my body to wear a bikini even though I desperately want to be hot enough to wear one!

This is where the crucial question comes in: To Exercise or Not To Exercise?  Obviously, if I am not comfortable with my body, I choose not to exercise more often than not.  I have a few reasons I don't enjoy exercising. I will list them for you:
1. I sweat like a man. Not glistening, but red-faced, drenched in perspiration sweating.
2. I hate exercising alone.
3. I feel like EVERYBODY is watching me whether I'm in a gym, running in the park, swimming in a public pool, etc. (I know they're not, but still)
4. I don't like showering in the middle of the day or at night because of my hair--it's unruly and curly.
5. Everything jiggles. I hate the jiggling. Arms, thighs, tummy. Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle. Like a nasty jello person.

I realize that #5 could easily go away if I got off my lazy behind and exercised.  I am not a reasonable person when it comes to exercise. I don't want to be panting in a gym full of in-shape people. On this topic, I heard that the HPER (the gym on the UofA campus) has now banned girls from wearing only a sports bra and the tight exercise camis.  They've also banned guys from wearing muscle tanks and those ridiculous cut out t-shirts. The person who told me this was very angry about this decision. I sat and nodded while they ranted about how the University was becoming "too conservative" and that "it should be the individual's choice if they want to wear those things to the gym." Even though I was nodding in agreement, I was really thinking, "Hallelujah!! Now, when I finally do go to the gym (haha!), there won't be girls with their perfectly toned abs exercising on the elliptical next to me.  My inferiority complex will be dwindled a little bit!"

What do you think? Do think it was fair for the UofA to make this new rule? Do you also avoid exercise? What are some reasons why? And if you enjoy exercise, please share your motivation!

Thanks for reading! Happy Holiday Weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Post Jitters

I've been reading blogs recently. It's becoming an addiction. I need to stop. But, I can't because everything I'm reading is super inspiring.  I figured I'd join in the fun! I've always been a touch-and-go journaler (is journaler a word?), so writing a blog should be sorta similar, right?  Bare with me as I learn the ins and outs of this blogging world.

Now I can talk about work, family, school, my diet, my boyfriend--all kinds of stuff! I'm excited to see what kind of response I get (even if it's just my friends or mommy).

I totally forgot my introduction! Here it is:
Hi, I'm Anna. I'm 19 years old (too young to blog? Nah.) and I'm a sophomore at the University of Arkansas.  I'm double majoring in Criminal Justice and Flute Performance.  I know, I know; odd combo, but it works for me (and NO, I will not be playing my flute for all the inmates. I'm so tired of that joke.).  I love fashion (even if I dress like a lazy college student), food, my family, my puppy, my friends, and my job! I'm a deli worker at Briar Rose Bakery & Deli in Farmington, AR.  I want to go to law school (one day....hopefully) to become a prosecuting attorney. I'm blessed with great friends and awesome opportunities. I wouldn't trade who I am for anything!

There's me in a nutshell. Glad to meet you!