wonderfully made: October 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blogtober day 31 : Halloween costume reveal and a pretty cute Five on Friday

Happy Friday, y'all! And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

I'm linking up here with April for five on Friday and here with Helene and Taylor for the final day of blogtober. 


I was super anti-fit bit earlier this year, but I've recently come to see the value in some sort of pedometer. I downloaded this free app on my new iPhone a couple of months ago and I LOVE it! It's called Pacer and you can find it here in the app store. You leave it open and as long as you have your phone with you, it tracks your steps. I also enter my weight so it tracks any weight loss with a line graph. It has a ton of other features like 'couch to 10k' plans and activity graphs, but it is really easy to use if you just want a simple way to track your activity. It is a little weird when I'm grabbing my phone to run to the bathroom or to the printer and back, but I want to make sure everything is accounted for! I think I'm open to a fit bit, now!

(this was very early in the morning!)

Bar graph showing steps for the week...

...Or turn it sideways to get your trends and see activity, calories, steps, weight, and blood pressure graphs for the last month.

Plans available!


Mark and I are crazy and we signed up for a co-ed soccer team. Little back story: when we were younger, I was in band, Mark played soccer. Clearly one of us has more athletic prowess than the other. On top of that, Mark tore his ACL in his left leg during his senior year of high school. From there, he only played on our college club team and in other rec leagues. It was in a rec league 6 months before our wedding that Mark (unfortunately) tore the ACL in his right leg, bringing back bad memories and a resentment towards soccer. He hasn't played since then!

A couple of his friends play just for fun and they asked us to be in this co-ed team with them. We hesitated but they assured us that it was a super easy league and Mark wouldn't get hurt. Well, we did it. Last night was our first game and it was super fun! I am going to be super anxious this entire season about Mark's safety, but hopefully he is smart enough to take care of himself! We agreed that he would do his best not to play competitively, but I'm not sure that's possible when competition has been ingrained in him since he was 8! 

We ended up tying the game 4-4. Mark didn't get hurt, but he did cramp up and get kicked a couple times, which made me freak out a bit. I also didn't get hurt! I went knee to knee with a guy that had about 50 lbs on me and I took him down! I felt pretty good about myself, even though I later whiffed the ball about 5 times.


I've been trying really hard lately to save money and eat better and I've found that simply bringing my lunch makes a huge difference in both of those areas. We typically shop at Kroger for groceries but we have a Tom Thumb near our house (part of SafeWay) and I've found quite a few things that I've worked into my weekly lunch routine:

(sorry they don't have images I can find on the website!)

I've found two salads that are pretty similar but they are my FAVORITE! The Santa Fe Style salad and the Southwestern BBQ are soooo good. It is made up of super fresh green lettuce with the components in their own little tray on top. The dressings for both salads are super good, and they both clock in under 300 calories but you feel full after your lunch! Seriously, SO good. 

I also reallllly like their Tuscan tomato & basil bisque as well as their low fat zesty fiesta chicken tortilla soup. Both good, both relatively low in calories, and super yummy. 

And....when I'm tempted to just get fast food because I'm tired of my low calorie meals, I try to instead divert myself to Target and grab a 'treat' with this Panera baked potato soup. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good, y'all. At 420 calories for a pretty big tub, it's cheating a little without breaking the bank. Way better than a Whataburger meal! (find it in the cases next to the deli!)


As I've mentioned, I'm pretty picky. That being said, I'm trying to change my taste buds and my habits to get the nutrients I need. I finally tried out these Bolthouse Farms juices and lemme say, they are pretty good! 

Berry Boost is my favorite and perhaps the safest, but I also like Tropical Goodness and C boost. I have decided I'm definitely not a big blueberry fan because I bought Blue Goodness and while I can get it down, it's my least favorite. I also bought Green Goodness but I haven't had the guts to try it yet!


It's Halloween, y'all! We had big plans to stay home and do nothing, but they were thwarted by the offer of free lasagna, free homemade dessert, free candy (if you count stolen as free), and some good family time. We are going to go see these munchkins and hang out with their parents, my parents, and my sister's in-laws for the evening. 

I was going to show you my 'costume' of a working adult, but these were way cuter :)

You guys stay safe and have a happy Halloween!!! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blogtober day 30 - Facts about me

Blogtober day 30!!!

I’ve met a TON of fun new bloggers through this linkup and I think Helene and Taylor came up with the perfect prompt at the end of the month. If you’re new here, I’ve gathered some facts about me in an effort to re-introduce myself! Here we go:

Hey y’all, my name’s Diana!

These are the facts:

-I was born and raised in Texas and I will never leave (except for that future vacation home in Colorado. I’ll go there)
-I have one older sister who is hilariously shorter than me. People say we look alike and I was called "little Bennett" all through high school (she was 3 grades ahead)
-I have one niece and nephew from my sister and one niece and two nephews by marriage
-I come from a LARGE extended family and we really like tex-mex. No, REALLY. We eat it on Thanksgiving. It’s the best non-tradition EVER.
-I went to two different colleges : Stephen F. Austin State University in east Texas for 3 semesters, and then transferred to Texas Tech and finished in 2010. Read all about my transfer and love of Tech here. (Let’s not talk about last weekend, though.)
-I met my husband (who is Canadian born) in class during my last year in college.
-Mark’s an architect and I’m a designer, hence why we had class together. No, we would never work together.
-Mark’s family lives in McKinney and mine lives in Arlington/Mansfield so we are able to see them fairly often, plus it was easy for us to meet up while we were dating and home for holidays, summer, etc. (the two towns are both in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex but about an hour apart)
-Mark and I were married in McKinney in 2012 and honeymooned in Hawaii. I FINALLY attempted a recap of our honeymoon here this week! We loved it and suggest Kauai to anyone that asks!
-We each brought a cat into the marriage (although I’m the cat person) and adopted our dog Motley a few weeks before we got engaged in 2011. She’s the apple of our eye!

-We didn’t live together until we got married, and we had the cutest little tri-plex in an up and coming part of Dallas. It was perfect and we miss it so much!
-We surprised our friends and bought a house last year, which is when I started this blog! It’s a 1960 ranch style house in the Dallas suburbs and I’ve done as much as I could on a limited budget to make it our home, including a Thanksgiving weekend kitchen remodel!

These are the quirks:

-I’m extremely sarcastic and try to make everything funny
-I’m a planner but also a dreamer and I hate having plans changed!
-I’ve recently become obsessed with Netflix and it’s pretty much all I watch. Scandal, New Girl, and Gilmore Girls are my favorites. I also LOVE me some Homeland.
-I love doing things. I can stay home and be a homebody, but I have to plan for it. I love getting out and having adventures!
-That being said, a large concert (at any place other than billy bob’s) sounds like the least appealing thing to me.
-I have an addiction to Dr. Pepper and all things bad for you. I love fast food, junk food, high fructose corn syrup, all of it. It’s a daily struggle to try and live a more healthy life!
-People describe me as picky, but I'd say I'm only slightly picky. I eat salad and spinach! 
-My favorite restaurant is Abuelo’s.
-Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year
-I love driving and road trips
-I eat macaroni and cheese at least once a week. Picky or not, that’s God’s gift to humankind.
-I was in band from 6th grade through my second year in college and I miss it sometimes!
-I also grew up playing volleyball and soccer on rec teams (like YMCA). I went to the first day of volleyball tryouts in 8th grade and did pretty well, but I didn't go back because they made us run a mile. Um, no thanks. 

Happy Hallows eve!!! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blogtober day 29 : most embarrassing moment

We are SO close to the end of Blogtober, I can feel it! I’ve loved this series but I can’t wait to get back to my normal  blogging routine and share some updates from around the house!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Today’s prompt is ‘most embarrassing moment’…

When I hear this, the first thing I think about is a time in 5th or 6th grade in the girl’s locker room during P.E. I was never considered a ‘cool kid’ although I longed desperately for full-priced flared Limited Too jeans and Doc Marten sandals. On this day, we were getting changed and I spotted a small spider (I’m talking super tiny) near a bench. I’m not sure why, but acting dramatic and overly girly (read:stupid) in this moment made me think I would earn some sort of ‘cool’ points. Anyway, because of my desperate cry for attention, I screamed shrilly and jumped on top of the bench. All I got were stares. My cool factor dropped steadily after this moment.

these were THE COOLEST!

I tend to embarrass myself on a daily basis but those are usually cringeworthy moments that I dare not share here on the internet…so I’ll leave you with that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

travel diaries : honeymoon in Kauai (two years later)

I'm skipping today's blogtober to recap (loosely) our honeymoon. It's been a while so unfortunately I don't remember all of the details, but I wanted to get it down on paper while I can! Also, please excuse my photo quality. This was pre-iPhone for me (yes, in 2012 I didn't have an iPhone yet) and my camera wasn't the best. 

But first! A quick PSA following up on my post last week regarding Ebates. I've only had Ebates for one month and check out my cash back :

$103 cash back to me just for using their service and shopping online. Go here to www.ebates.com, sign up, and then recruit your friends and you can earn a referral bonus for each one! This is perfect if you're an online shopper to begin with. Seriously, y'all, it's worth it! :)

Ok! On with the show...

Two lonnngggg years ago (just kidding!) Mark and I got married and honeymooned in Hawaii!

I wasn't blogging back then, but it was our VERY favorite trip ever and I want to share some of the things that we did after I talked about it so much in my travel tips post. 

Long story short: we booked on Priceline, stayed at the Sheraton on Kauai. I don't have the breakdown in cost, but booking our flight and hotel together saved a TON! We ended up spending about $4,000 including food. (Hawaii isn't cheap, y'all!) If we go back, I would stay at the Hyatt or St. Regis (fancy) on the north side. 

Here are some details, along with pictures to jog my memory! ;)

We hit up all sides of the island. Kauai is pretty small so you can drive around it in about 2 hours. The northwest side is called the Na'Pali coast and is not drivable, so you don't drive in a full circle. The picture above is me at a beach in Lihue (I think?) where the cruise ships dock. It was pretty touristy around here!

Our one BIG thing we had to see was the Na'pali coast. This is where they filmed Jurassic Park and lots of other awesome movies. It has these GORGEOUS mountains that plummet into the bluest water you will ever see. These pictures were taken on a simple point and shoot camera and were not edited. It was really that color!!!

Although we really loved seeing this part of the island, I would NOT recommend the boat tour. We did it because it was significantly cheaper than the helicopter or plane tour, but it was 4 hours on a boat with lots of sea spray in the eyes and lots of ocean sickness going on. I say spring for the air tour because you HAVE to see this part of the island!

We also went to the North side, where Hanalei and some nice hotels are located. I think you should definitely see this area too. Hanalei is a famous beach and was one of the most picturesque ones we saw. They had these fields as well and it felt like we were in Asia for a bit!

Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea......in a land called Hanalei! Anyone?

We hiked up through the Na'Pali coast a bit but weren't really prepared for a long hike so we only did about 3 miles round trip. It was beautiful though and really cool so if you're into that, come prepared!

We had breakfast every morning and it was definitely a highlight. We were 4 hours behind so we typically woke up wide awake by 4 or 5am! Plus, their juices there are sooo good! Fresh squeezed and local fruits are delicious!

This day, we went west out of Poipu to Waimea canyon. It is the biggest canyon outside of the Grand Canyon and it was beautiful! It was windy and chilly too!

We kept going, wanting to take the road as far as we could to the coastline. We ended up going high into the mountains and I felt like we were in Montana or something, it was totally different! 

It was in the 60's and rainy up here, so this was the best view we got.

Jo-jo's shaved ice is a must!

We had a great view from our room. Heaven! You've GOT to catch the sunsets in Hawaii.

A seal on the beach!

We went back to the north shore on another day and visited the Kilauea lighthouse. It is the most westerly lighthouse in the United States (nerd facts). It was super cool, despite the fact that the lighthouse was under construction.

We were there at the tip of whale season so I lingered a bit trying to spot one, but they said they hadn't seen any yet at that point. This was mid-November.

We took in the views and headed to Secret beach, one of our favorite beaches on the island. I had to google directions to this and it seemed like the information was only available through yelp reviews. It's about 1/4 mile walk/hike (we did it in flip flops) down to the secluded beach. It was awesome!

On our way to the airport on our last day, we took some detours to drive by some waterfalls. This was the beauty further in on the island. 

We had a great time and will always remember our honeymoon on Kauai! We can't wait to go back.