twenty-six point two

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again now… I love slash hate running.  I love running outside along the lake front. I love the endorphins. I love taking care of my heart. I also love the trendy running clothes (lululemon. what up Vince). The love definitely outweighs the hate.  With that said, I hate running on the treadmill.  It is so boring. Running for thirty minutes on the treadmill can seriously feel like an hour. Or more. Yikes. But I do it anyway. Usually no more than five miles whether it be outside or inside.

I was not born a runner. Let’s just say I saw some of those friendly freshmen lbs pop up during college. What was to blame? Hmm… I have no idea. It could have been margs & queso at the Rio, Cosmo’s pizza multiple times a week, scotch-a-roos galore (those are in my blood). Regardless, I realized I needed to make a change and that change included running my booty off. Literally. When I first began jogging, one mile at a twelve minute pace was about my VO2max, if you will. Over the years, that number whittled down to a proud 8 minute and 30 second mile that is my current comfortable pace. My goal is to make that a flat 8 minute mile. I am a firm believer that anybody can achieve fitness. It’s 90% mindset and dedication.

Now, what is the point of this post? Twenty-six point two. You all probably know that 26.2 miles = a marathon.  My big bro, Vince, suggested (on Thanksgiving day, mind you.. the one day that we are suppose to indulge in a copious amount of food and not even consider exercising) that we do a marathon together. Um. A marathon? How ridiculous. I said I would do it. Keep in mind Vince has been known to come up with grand ideas that don’t always materialize. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, for example. I’ve been hearing about that one for years. Tonight I got a text from him saying that our cousin is joining in on the marathon fun this fall. Perhaps he’s serious about actually pushing our bodies for 26.2 grueling miles? Should I do it?! Part of me thinks a marathon is too extreme to be healthy for the body. Part of me thinks it would be a fun challenge. Any readers interested in participating in this madness? I’m speaking to all 5 of you. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is on Sunday, October 7, 2012. Registration opens February 1st. Our training regimen will begin  if  when we register and this becomes an official feat.

The year of the marathon?
And the year the world doesn’t end.
And the year I actually learn Spanish (better get started on that one).
And the year we go to Napa (hopefully). 

xoxo, ltw

Do you love someone?

If so, then you should make them this poppy seed bread. It’s so good. I got the recipe from my momma. And I think she got it from a friend.  It’s seriously delicious.

3 eggs
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 & 1/3 c. veg. oil
1 & 1/2 c. milk
1 & 1/2 t. baking powder
1 & 1/2 t. salt
1 & 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 t. almond extract
1 & 1/2 t. butter buds (aka Molly McButter next to the spices)
3 T. poppy seeds
Mix together eggs & sugar; cream with electric mixer. Add flour, oil, milk, baking powder & salt. Mix until well blended. Stir in flavorings and poppy seeds. Pour mixture into 2 loaf pans that have been prepared with crisco and sugar (no flour).  Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
1/4 c. orange juice
1 & 1/2 t. butter buds
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
3/4 c. sugar
Mix in small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Pour over warm loaves. You cannot omit the glaze. It is divine.
Remove from pans when cool. 
I made some this morning and the apartment smells amazing. I used our kitchen aid mixer for the first time! Mixing made easy… can’t go back to a hand-held now. I love the kitchen aid! Almost as much as I love the bread. :)

xoxo, ltw

Hello bangs!

 So. I haven’t had a new hairstyle in years.  I add the occasional layer and that’s about as adventurous as I get.  The last extreme thing I did with my hair was in Jr. High.  I went crazy and chopped it all off… and so began my boy phase. I’ve debated getting bangs for a couple years now (yes, years).  But the last time I had bangs was in kindergarten so I guess part of me associates bangs with children, which is pretty ridiculous. I actually vaguely remember being very excited to grow out my bangs in first grade. I’ve come full circle.
Today I pulled the trigger. Bang! My inspiration was Lea Michele’s haircut in Glee this season. I have hair envy. I will say that her hair appears to be much thicker than mine so I was a little nervous that my bangs would look stringy. But with the approval of the big frijol and my trusted hairstylist, I did it. And I like it! What do you all think? Is anyone actually reading this thing?

 Here I am leaving the salon. Hairspray in hand.
Swiped to the side
Lea Michele. Photo from

xoxo, ltw

Yes, I’m still obsessing over the wedding

But can you blame me? I’ve already exhausted this topic on other social outlets (twitter, facebook.) so it’s only fair that I post about the wedding here, too.
The day: December 16, 2011
The weather: chilly but sunny
The venue: The Chicago Temple & the Trump International Hotel
The dress: Ramona Kaveza
The Rehearsal
The event started with an amazing rehearsal dinner at Frontera Grill.  We ate comida de Mexico. We drank margs. We listened to music. We shared stories, which lead to laughs… and tears.  It was a wonderful evening to kick off the most wonderful weekend.
 Getting serenaded.
 Two gorgeous ladies. Haylie, my maid of honor, and my momma.
Susana and me.
Bros. Best friends.
The Day
Our wedding day was the best day ever! I woke up in the bridal sweet with my BFF from college, Haylie.  The other girls met us for a light breakfast in the room.  I was so calm all day.  Everything felt natural and right.  After breakfast, we started the process of getting beautified…. which lasted well into the afternoon. It was fun to be with all my girls and my momma. The only one missing was lil Molls.  But she was busy doing this:

Anyway, Lu and I had our first look in the hotel.  We then proceeded to take hundreds of pictures (including some outside, which were freezing but worth it).  1500 fabulous pictures to be exact. And I love every single one of them. Below are a few of my favorites.

My dress was fit and flair with ruffle detailing on the bust and the bottom.  When can I wear it again?

Best bridal party ever.

Bridesmaids in the church.

The ceremony.  Lu may or may not be wiping a tear…
Family shot.
My favorite.

Our first dance.  Song: That Sunday That Summer by Nat King Cole


Jeremy made me feel like a celeb for the day.

The Ken Arlan band was amazing.

A lot of moves were busted.

 Our wedding pictures by Jeremy at Studio This Is were featured in his SOTA blog, here, and on the Chicago Style Weddings blog,  here.Thanks for indulging me… I just love sharing wedding memories and pictures. Next up is Katie D!! I cannot WAIT for her wedding this August! It’s going to be magical.Happy Monday.xoxo, ltw

I’m a blogger

I love reading blogs. I harass my friends who have blogs to post more often (Abby Waldrip). I tell friends who don’t have a blog to get a blog. I read strangers’ blogs.  But I never thought my daily life was anything blog-worthy. I still don’t. And on top of that, creativity is not my strong point so captivating a reader… we’ll see about that one.

The start of this year has reminded me how quickly life passes us by. The past year of my life has been the most exciting and swiftly-passing year yet (moved to Chicago, started a new career & got married to the love of my life).  I am richly blessed these days. But in the end, what are we left with in this dynamic and messy world? Our memories, our family and our friends. This blog will serve as a space where I can not only share with you but also a space that I can look back upon and be reminded of the everyday, mundane activities that are my life.  Of course there will be some not-so-mundane memories, too. 

Welcome to The Beanstalk.  A place where two beans are starting the journey of life together.  

 xoxo, ltw