the chloe diaries

Its been a while since my last "Chloe post." Over the last few months, she seemed to get over her terrible twos. She stopped chewing on furniture (with the exception of my parent's patio furniture... see photo below), stopped digging her way to China in my backyard, she decided garages weren't so bad, and my kitchen floor wasn't made of lava after all. She became a relatively well behaved dog....... until now.

That little angel?!! Thats the one. This bad behavior began after spending a week in Dallas at Christmas. The spoiled brat got to be a regular ole' inside dog (I guess its true what they say about being spoiled by grandparents). Upon returning back to Okla., Chloe decided it was time to rebel. The terrible twos may be gone, but I think she's in her teenage years now.

One cold and rainy January day, I left Chloe inside while I went to work. When I came home that afternoon, I assumed she would want to go outside and pee after spending eight hours locked up... I mean, I would if I were her. I opened the door and started to make my way to the back gait (my house doesn't have a door to the backyard, so we have to go out the front door and walk around to the side gait every. single. time. Chloe knows the drill, don't be fooled). Chloe, on the other hand, didn't want to go to the backyard. Instead, she took off running down the street in the pouring rain, stopping often to wag her tail and see if I was coming, then sprinting away again. What a jerk. Luckily, I was still in my work clothes (sarcasm)..... I eventually caught her a few streets over and after a good spanking, I drug her home. I assumed this was a one time thing, giving her the benefit of the doubt.

A few days later, she got lucky enough to come inside at Cole's house for a little bit. When it was time to go back out, she planted her butt on the floor, spread her toes and had to be carried out the door. About a week later, I was bringing her back over to Cole's. When she got out of the car, she went straight to the front door, wanting to go inside. When I told her no and walked to the back gait, she took off prancing down the street, AGAIN. This has happened several more times in the weeks following...... A couple days ago, I got home from work and was planning on changing clothes and heading to Hot Yoga, so I didn't let Chloe inside. I guess she didn't like that too much. She proceeded to sit at the gait and bark her head off. How rude of me! Don't worry, it gets better.

Most people probably think the stuff seen in Marley and Me doesn't happen in real life. Well folks, I'm here to tell you that it does.

On our way back to OKC after a short weekend road trip, Chloe was acting strange. She generally sleeps in the back seat of my truck, nudging my arm to say hello from time to time. This time around, she was panting like crazy, wouldn't sit down, was drooling all over my arm and was driving me INSANE. About halfway through the drive, vomit EVERYWHERE (now Chloe has suffered from motion sickness since she was a puppy, however, I give her doggy dramamine before every trip and until now, it has worked like a charm). I cracked the windows to air the car out, sped my way to the nearest gas station to clean it up, and continued on my way.

When I got off the highway in OKC, I thought we were home free. Thinking I was being nice, I rolled the windows all the way down (she typically loves to stick her head out). At a red light, I smelled something awful. I figured she had farted. But no.... I turned around and she was taking a dump.... IN MY BACK SEAT! What the *%&@, Chloe! She then proceeded to climb out the window, Marley style. I have never been so glad to get home in my life. I still don't know what her problem was, but I pray it never happens again. I continually heard my Uncle Bruce's words going through my head, "Never buy anything with a mouth."

With that said, anyone want a free dog?? Part Great Pyrenees, Aussie, Lab, Irish Wolfhound, Maltese (yes, we got her DNA tested - her grandma was a slut). Loves to chew on metal objects and Christmas lights, attracts ticks like nobody's business, and never, EVER barks at creepy strangers. Will trade for Bernese Mountain Dog.

(juuuust kidding)


adventures in yogaland

They don't call it "Hot" Yoga for nothing.

If you like sweating like a mexican on a hot summer day, losing your balance, enjoying the smell of TOMS feet and having your body contorted into strange and awkward positions, hot yoga is for you.

For those that are curious, hot yoga is just a regular, hour long yoga class. However, you are enclosed in a room that tops off at about 110 degrees. 

Now you might be saying, "What the heck?! Thats crazy. Why would you do that? That sounds like death." But actually, the heat helps promote relaxation of muscles and nerves, which helps your muscles expand in a safe way that prevents injury. The heat also helps de-toxify your body, it increases metabolism and circulation, and it boosts your immune system. All of this = rapid fat loss and muscle growth. Doesn't sound too bad now, huh? 

Thats what I thought, too. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous throughout the day leading up to my first yoga experience at Yoga at Tiffany's. I came prepared with a yoga mat and towels, dressed appropriately in leggings and a light, baggy tank, and seated myself next to a tan, blonde twenty-something girl who looked nice enough and like she knew what she was doing. 

As the class began, I was really thankful for all the hours I had logged on Wii Fit Yoga. Luckily, I knew what Child's Pose, Downward Dog, Warrior 1 and Sun Salutations were. The rest was easy enough to follow. 

After about ten minutes, the sweat was pouring. Thirty minutes in, my hair (which was in a pony tail) went from straight to curly because of all the sweat and my fingers were so wrinkly it looked like I'd been swimming all day. By the end of the class, the towel on my mat was soaked through and my feet were slipping every time I went into a lounge. The forty-something guy next to me smelled weird, like peanut butter and chocolate, and constantly made sexual noises.... that was interesting. We went into downward dog position a lot, in which your butt is high in the air, and I couldn't help but wonder how many people had to fart...... I also smelled a lot of body odor and often questioned whether or not it was me (it wasn't, I checked, but still, yuck). I came to really appreciate the Jillian Michaels workout DVDs I've been doing lately. Who knew all those squats and time in plank and stork position would be useful?! I had to reach way back in my muscle memory to my days as a ballerina when it came time for the one-legged balancing act, but don't worry, I dominated it. 

Overall, I think Hot Yoga was a success. It was challenging, yes, but just the right amount. I never found myself saying "I can't" (except when I was supposed to balance upside down....), but I was still really glad to hear the words "Namaste," meaning class was over. Afterwards, we lay on the floor of the studio with our eyes shut as our bodies cooled down, and all I could think of was laying out by the pool and the refreshing feeling of diving into the cool water (I think the last time I was that hot and sweaty, it was the hottest summer on Texas record and I was determined to get a good tan). Luckily, the Oklahoma winter came to the rescue as the cool air hit me walking to my car. I'll take what I can get.

I was really proud of myself, I kept up with the class, managed to not embarrass myself by toppling over, I didn't suffer from a sports induced asthma attack, I didn't look like a contestant on the Biggest Loser, and best of all, I don't think I stuck out like a yoga newbie. Good for me, right?!
All that aside, the phrase "I'm drained" has never applied so perfectly. Last night I literally felt like my body was drained of all energy, but my mind was at peace and emptied of stress; a workout success. Today, I'm feeling it. Every muscle in my body is noticeably sore, but not to the point of being painful. I also feel incredibly energized, refreshed, and healthy. I definitely think I'll be making Yoga a regular activity. I'll be balancing upside down in no time. If you're wanting to change up your workout routine, try something new thats challenging but not deadly, give Hot Yoga a shot! 

Amanda's Tips for Hot Yoga Success:
  • Don't stuff your face with carrot cake cupcakes beforehand (lesson learned).
  • Savor your water, make it last!! (And drink LOTS of H20 before and after class).
  • An extra application of deodorant before class never hurts (especially with all that downward dog, your head is in your pits a lot....) 
  • Do not wear TOMS or UGGS for long periods of time beforehand. Sweaty, bare feet are prevalent, and I know you'd hate to be THAT PERSON who makes the whole room stink.
  • Girls, shave. Especially if you're sporting a tank and cut off leggings. No one likes hairy pits and legs.
  • Guys, no matter how sweaty you are, don't take your shirt off unless you are rocking some Channing Tatum abs. Not everyone wants your sweaty flab in their face. However, if you have said abs, be my guest!

ready or not, here i come

I miss being the age when I thought I would have my shit together by the time I was the age I am now. (At least I'm kinda close-ish). Another birthday has come and gone; I'm officially twenty three.  

My birthday weekend was wonderful. It was also Chloe's first birthday, for those of you wondering. She celebrated by tossing the puppy chow for the real deal. Hey oh! 

Friday night, Cole and I got all dressed up (sort of) and went on a birthday date. I ordered a cucumber strawberry limeade instead of a cocktail... Not sure if that makes me seem old or young. 

Saturday, we drove down to Davis, Okla., (halfway between OKC & my homeland of Denton, Texas) and had lunch with my parents and brother at Smokin' Joe's Rib Ranch. It was pretty darn tasty, plus they had cool t-shirts, (for those of you that don't know, I have a slight obsession with collecting random t-shirts.) it was a W in my book. We then went to the Chickasaw Cultural Center (I may have gotten "Just Around the River Bend" and "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas stuck in everyone's head). My only regret is that it was too cold and rainy to take pictures of the pretty building and the life-size Chickasaw Village. On our way out of town, we grabbed some Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies (hi, hello, delicious); I highly recommend the pecan and blackberry. Mad props to Brooke Clay and Chickasaw Country for helping me plan the day's activities!

Saturday night, we hit the town with some friends: played some pool, had some drinks, sang some karaoke.... It was a swell time. I even came out 100% hangover free - that's quite an accomplishment for my aged body. The celebration continued into Sunday when Cole and I went on a double date with my dear friend, co-worker, and previous roommate Chasity and her boyfriend Justin. We had a delicious lunch at Yucatan Taco Stand in Bricktown (I highly recommend it!), fed the ducks some candy, took some pretty adorable pictures on the River Walk, and saw Gangster Squad (Ryan G., you never disappoint). Big thanks to Cole for putting up with my picture taking obsession, and also for the b-e-a-utiful Tiffany's necklace! I'm feeling pretty darn spoiled right about now.

What's next for this 23-year-old? Its time to get real, ya'll. One of the worst parts about getting older is that you have to work twice as hard and eat twice as healthy to be half as in shape as you used to be. Ugh! Long gone are the days of living off of beer, fun dip and cheez-its. I'm not satisfied with my current workout routine; I've hit a major plateau. Its time for a change. My parent's got me a Nike+ Fuel Band for my birthday, so I'm hoping that setting a daily goal and being able to easily track my progress throughout the day will help me push myself more and more. 

My long term goal is to go from running 5ks to running 10ks. I plan on running the Remember the 10 Run in April. I have over 12 weeks to get ready, but you and I both know I need all the time I can get, especially when I'm doubling my usual distance. Ready or not, here I come...? Wish me luck!! I'm gonna need it. In addition, to battle the boredom and repetitiveness of running, I'm going to try out Yoga. I plan on starting with some Hot Yoga & Sweet Sweet Abs classes later this week... My adventures as a yoga newbie will be covered at a later date.... stay tuned. 

I have to say, 22 was a wonderful age. An age of growing, changing and starting a whole new chapter of life. I truly grew to love myself and to love the life I am blessed with. Maybe I have my shit together after all.... Here's to 23, ya'll! 

two thousand twelve

2012. I think this can be called, "The Year Amanda Grew Up."

I started the year off with a midnight kiss. I told Cole, "Start kissing me at 11:59, and don't stop until 12:01, so that way I have the perfect ending to 2011, and a perfect beginning to 2012." Cheesey, yes. Stollen from Pinterest, maybe. But it worked! We became "official" that very day and every day since he has given me something to smile about.

Ok ok, enough of the mushy stuff. Back to 2012.

I turned 22 (little did I know that meant I would no longer be able to drink more than three beers and not feel like death the next day). I went to my first NBA game (and several more after that - Thunder Up!). I finally got a puppy. I was nominated for 2012 Student Employee of the Year. I GRADUATED college! I moved to Oklahoma City. I got my own house. I got a big kid job. I started drinking coffee on the daily. I got my first credit card. I got a plant (and have kept it alive). I ran some cool 5ks. I spent a lot of time working in Tulsa at horse shows. I read several good books.... for pleasure! I got great seats for [almost] every OSU home football game. I got to go to Little Rock for an Arkansas football game. I made a lot of Pinterest foods and crafts. Melissa Rycroft, who I adore, won the All Star season of Dancing With the Stars. I talked my way out of several tickets. I decided to give vegetables such as sweet potatoes and green beans another try, and liked them (my four-year-old pallet is starting to mature... slowly). I found out who Gossip Girl was. I started paying off my student loans. I also started saving. I fell for an incredible guy who has made me laugh 365 days in a row. I grew up.

Besides several huge milestones and changes, this year seemed pretty routine: wakeup, go to work, workout, eat, watch TV, sleep... Yes I'm getting OLD! But there's something about that routine-ness that is comforting. Life is not all about how many cool and exciting new things you get to do. Its about loving the life you have, enjoying the little things, and being happy with what you are given. I can truly say that I am happy with my life, and that's something I'm proud of. So, 2012, thanks for showing me what growing up is really about. Here's to the new year, ya'll!
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