Last week we crossed off another item on our list. List item #11: Go to a Broadway Show.
We were supposed to have crossed off this item about a month ago, but I was busy helping build and launch ExactTarget.com in 7 different languages that week at work.
Last week we saw Dreamgirls at Indiana University Auditorium. I must say, it was really enjoyable. It’s not the musical I would have chosen, but I was pleasantly surprised. The singing was incredible. I was also really impressed with the stage. The stage consisted of a full width/height video wall, and four more portions of video walls that would seamlessly move on and off stage creating new full environments. I had never seen anything else quite like it.
In high school, I played in the pit band for four different musicals, so I wasn’t completely new to the genre, but it was an experience to see a musical at a more professional level (not to mention from the audience and not down in a pit).
You may be thinking, I thought you said a Broadway Show? Well…we didn’t say a show on Broadway; we just said a Broadway show, and that’s what we did.
So there’s item #6 crossed off our list. Maybe we’ll have another item to check off the list soon!
A couple of weeks ago, Zach and I traveled to Nashville for my grad school spring break. It also coincided with Zach’s company new website launch that he spent an unholy amount of time working to finish (isn’t it pretty though?).
So we were pretty tired. I’d say we spent half of our four day vacation sleeping in a cushy hotel room. We needed the time to recharge.
When we weren’t catching z’s, we explored the great city of Nashville. Highlights were seeing the Ryman Auditorium, eating EVERYWHERE, and seeing some of our friends. Here are some pics.
Ryman Auditorium is called the Mother Church of Country Music. It started as a revival house then housed the Grand Ole Opry. It’s still a venue with its original wooden pews. Also shown is one of Johnny Cash’s guitars. Very cool experience.
My dear friend who was an RA with me at Purdue, Alex Chu, and his delightful girlfriend, Rebecca (here on out: Chubecca) drove from Atlanta and spent the first couple of days with us! We ate delicious tacos at Local Taco (amazing), burgers and brats at The Pharmacy (Zach’s favorite), and southern food (like hot chicken!) at Whiskey Kitchen. We drank whiskey, beer, coffee, Mexican cokes, and homemade maraschino cherry phosphates. And eventually we walked through all of kitschy downtown Nashville and toured The Ryman. Awesome times, Chubecca!
Walking downtown Nashville provided a lot of neat views of buildings. We also visited Gruhn’s Guitar and saw some insanely cool old guitars and banjos. Zach was too afraid to play any of them!
One of our college friends, Jess, is a barista at an amazing coffeehouse called Crema. Zach had a delicious mocha, and I had the best hot chocolate of my life. Of my life. We also got to spend a wonderful evening eating BBQ and wings at Edley’s BBQ, sitting on their porch in the rain. It was awesome. So proud of what you’re doing there, Jess!
We spent the last part of our trip alone, and we really loved the destination date. We tried the pancakes at Pancake Pantry (totally worth the wait; the Sugar and Spice cakes were divine), bought vinyl from Grimey’s, ate amazing pizza from DeSano, and tried super unique flavors of ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (like Bangkok Peanut with hints of red chili pepper and Brown Butter Almond Brittle).
Nashville, you were too good to us. So excited we experienced you and completed another adventure on The Roaring Twenties list. Here’s to many more!
So we’re over two months into the new year, and Zach and I have collectively lost 40 lbs! We are almost halfway to our goal (100 lbs)! Weight loss aside, we have both lost several inches around our waists, hips, thighs, and arms (to me, that’s even more important than a number on a scale).
Several people have asked us how we’re making the changes. It’s not a crash diet or pills or any other type of quick fixes. Here’s what we’re doing.
1. We are eating a lot…of good things.
(By the way, this is recipe #69, Roasted Veggie Tacos with Avocado Cream and Feta. Five stars ridiculously good. One of those great, hey I made this from Pinterest! finds. Recipe here.)
What has worked for us is following most of the eating guidelines set in the book The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper (Biggest Loser trainer). It’s a yucky title for a book, but it’s been our godsend. It even includes a whole month of eating plans, and that was the biggest help in January. The book focuses in on simple basics: Lots of fruits and veg, whole grains, and lean meats while cutting out all crap. And when I mean cut out all crap, it’s a lot. I wish I would have taken a picture of our kitchen clean out…we threw out a lot of stuff that normally I wouldn’t even consider unhealthy. It’s a real focus on eating simple, basic foods that are good for your body. We still get splurges though, and I don’t feel deprived (very often, anyway). It’s a huge lifestyle change, and I’m convinced that our weight loss has been almost all about diet to this point. You can only work off so much Taco Bell, am I right?
2. We are getting active!
These little activity trackers (that bare a striking resemblance to those Tamagotchi digital pets) help us see how much we’re moving. Activity changes every day, but we try to do different things to keep variety. I walk over 2 miles a day at lunch. Zach bikes in the morning and watch cartoons. We have a gym membership. I get my burn on at Zumba classes offered at my work. Zach runs (so jealous). I still haven’t gotten to that one push up yet, but I’m feeling stronger and can feel it coming soon. This is our big focus now that we have our diet under control!
We’ll post pictures once we’re at our halfway point, but I wanted to share our joy and tips so far. Thanks for all of the support and as always, keep roaring with us.
Zach recently found out that his delightful employer is going to send him to Sydney for a week. They have a global office location there; he’ll have the opportunity to meet the staff and work on projects in person for them. He’s also going to a one-day conference put on by his company. While he’s hard at work, I’ll explore parks and beaches and whatever else you (and TripAdvisor) tells me to see! Don’t fear for Zach though because we’re sure he’ll have some time to play, too.
I can’t believe we have less than two months to get passports and get everything else lined up. It seems like every major decision we’ve ever made happens like this: A crazy, excited, and rushed idea that turns into something beautiful.
Adventure awaits down und-ah! (Imagine me saying “under” in an Australian accent).
As you know, a few of my girlfriends and I dreamed about making all of Ming Makes Cupcakes‘ recipes. We thought 33 cupcakes was unrealistic, especially because several of them we thought sounded gross. Now I’m proud to say, we finally finished all of the recipes. We will be making our favorites one more time for “Cupcake All Stars Night” so be looking for a review of our favorite Ming cuppies. For now, here’s how we ended it:
Recipe #65: Chocolate Cupcakes with Chambord Chocolate Frosting
Recipe #66: Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Cream Filling
Recipe #67: Mango Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Recipe #68: Parsnip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. All of them were delicious! Mango was our least favorite from this batch, but it still was good. We love you Ming, wherever you are. Thanks for inspiring us to make such delicious cupcakes!
Edit: Mango wasn’t our least favorite. In fact, we didn’t even HAVE a least favorite. I should have said the mango was the one we weren’t looking forward to, and a lot of them stuck to the papers. But yum, all around. Thank you for correcting me, Aubry (the adorable blonde on the bottom left).