Friday, December 27, 2013

Taking a break.

As Christmas has come and gone, I feel like I need to take the next week or so and really get my crap in order. My house is a complete mess, and don't even get me started on organizing and planning a blog post. That is not going to happen! So I plan on taking a little break from posting on this little ol' blog. I am going to focus on getting it in order and planning stuff much better and hopefully actually make something of this. Good luck right?

So my plans for this blog in 2014 are :

*Clean it up - New layout please!
*Grow it! - I'd like to hit 200 followers by the end of 2014
*Sponsor more blogs - I love the blogging community. If I want people to support me, I need to support them, so I am going to sponsor more blogs!
*Start taking sponsors - See above
*Start doing product reviews - My mom is a small business owner, so I want to show my support for the "Little guys" If you know of any shop that would be interested in having me review their product, please send them my way!
*Plan out my posts much better - I'd rather have posts planned out instead of rushing a the last minute to post something and it end up being just fluff.
*Share some of my favorite recipes, DIY projects, travels, etc - because who doesn't want to share good ideas?

So I have major plans for the blog here! I hope that any one who follows now will remember me when I come back in a week or so! And if anyone new stops by, I will be back!!

See you guys in 2014!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

There is no way that Christmas is already over!

With Thanksgiving being so late this year, I really feel like I was super behind on Christmas, and just like that, it is over! I swear I can't believe my festive loving heart is going to have to take down my tree soon. I'm considering leaving our dining room tree up all year round though. It just works in there...

So In true blogger fashion, I guess a little recap is good right? I took very few pictures over the past few days. I'm not sure why, but picture taking just didn't happen. All were crappy iPhone pictures, so sorry in advance. One thing I want to work on next year is getting better at taking pictures. We will see how that goes.



Last year I started a tradition with C and I that a few days before Christmas, we would each get Christmas jammies, a Christmas movie, a Christmas book, and something to go with popcorn. This year we got these popcorn cups. 


C's parents came to visit on Monday, and while they were here, they started a game that they will soon wish they wouldn't have! His parents hid my nutcracker (though it was super easy to find), and now the game is on. When we went to their house on Christmas, we turned a bunch of stuff upside down, or flipped stuff over. I wonder if they have found it all yet? 



Late Monday night, C and I popped popcorn and watched Despicable Me 2 since neither of us had to get up early the next morning! 


Turns out not working on Tuesday means that I got to stay in my jams until almost 10:45 am. Please tell me how awesome that is? We don't do all day jams in our house, so 10:45 am was pretty awesome. 


Finally, Christmas rolled around. All the kids on my dad's side of the family stayed over at my dad's house on Christmas eve. We all stayed up way to late, and C started Christmas off right by giving me a foot rub! #ChristmasWin

We did Christmas at my dad's house, then we went home to grab a few things, and C ended up sick. He had a migraine, and it ended up making him actually sick. Poor guy. You could tell that he felt bad, but he wasn't going to miss Christmas at my mom's. It was either that or he wasn't going to miss her lasagna. 


We visited my mom, and his mom since his dad was at work. With all the traveling around, I realized that we didn't get a single picture of us at all on Christmas, so right before bed, I got to snap this picture. 

I hope you guys all had a very Merry Christmas!! 


Monday, December 23, 2013

We do Christmas Early in this house!

It should be no surprise by now that I love Christmas. And because I love Christmas, I make sure things are extra festive around here. Friday night, I made hot chocolate complete with peppermint marshmallows, and a snowflake mug. It screamed Christmas.


C might kill me for putting this picture up, but oh well. We opened on gift on Friday night.C hates getting clothes, so I let him open a box filled with flannel and jeans. I wanted to get the disappointment out of the way early. And it surprised me when he actually liked it. Go figure. 


Saturday morning, we got up, I finished wrapping his gifts, and then when he got up, I decided to let him open another box because, well it had clothes in it as well. And again, he loved it. Men. But opening one, meant that it was just down hill from there. Last year, we opened gifts the Saturday before as well because we just didn't have time between then and Christmas day, and we had so much going on Christmas day that we knew we wouldn't have time. So this year, it turns out that we had to do the exact same thing. And it tuned out to be a great decision because we got to spend the entire day using our new gifts. If you follow me on Instagram (@_caitlong), then you amy have already seen this.


C and I apparently think alike. I got C the Rogue bar, and he got me the Bella bar. It turned out to be my second favorite gift. We enjoyed the afternoon together, then spent the evening with my dad and family for 1/2 our Christmas there. All in all it was a great weekend. In fact I am pretty bummed about having to go to work in the morning. Anyone else?

I hope you all have a great fun festive filled week! And Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holy Christmas Batman!

Seriously! We are less than a week from Christmas, and I am still so far behind! I can't get over how late I am this year. Thanksgiving really screwed me up. Good news is I still am going to rock Christmas, even if I am running around at the last minute doing everything!

In the Christmas spirit, C and I went to Rock City with some friends Tuesday night. It was a complete blast! I hadn't spent that much time with J in years! We were best friends as kids, and when I moved away, we went our different ways, but coming back to Chattanooga (after 2 years) has brought us back together. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet! Her and her boyfriend, AM and C have hit it off really well too, so we have already planned several more get togethers. We stuck to iPhone pictures again, so I am so sorry for the lack of quality, but here are a few pictures from that night.








It was a complete blast, and it really put me in the Christmas spirit! Today, I will be wrapping well over 100 gifts. I volunteered to wrap the gifts that the ladies in the office have bought for family. Needless to say, I am excited and I have all my wrapping gear loaded up to take with me to work!! 

I hope y'all have a great festive last Thursday before Christmas!! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Traveling and a Santa gift

This weekend, boy was it a weekend. And a busy one at that. I took very few pictures this weekend, and they were crappy iPhone pictures. Sometimes I can take really good photos with the iPhone, but not this weekend. So I am sorry in advance! 

SO let me just say what is on everyone's mind... THERE ARE 9 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! I am far beyond excited and I can't wait for C to open all his gifts and for us to just enjoy the day together! I am so excited! 

So on to how crazy my weekend was. Friday, after work, C and I decided to brave the crazy other side of town. We ventured across the river to Hamilton Place where I hit up Bath & Body Works. Buy 3 get 3 with $10 off? Yes please! I was not looking forward to him coming with me because I needed to do some shopping for him, but as luck would have it, he came in really handy when I needed the shopping bags to be carried. #worstwifeaward I know. 


Saturday we got up, got him fitted for a tux for an upcoming wedding next year, and grabbed lunch at our new favorite spot, Penn Station. Then we headed off to Bristol to visit grandparents. We got close, and I decided it was important to stop at Target to see if they had a gift I have been looking at to get C. Spoiler alert : they did. After finally getting back on the road, we made it to my Nana's house and the look on her face was priceless when she opened the door and saw us. We didn't tell her we were coming up, so it was a total surprise. Then to add to the surprise, my mom called her and told her that she was going to be coming home with us and spending Christmas with the family down here! After the excitement wore off, we ended up at Applebee's at 11:30 pm where we talked about Mudslides, dancing on tables, and partying. My nana cracks me up you guys.


Sunday we spent time with my dad's mom, then picked up my nana and her ten billion things she decided she needed, then headed home. The drive took forever, but the moon over the river was gorgeous, though the picture does not do it justice. 


And my Nana is an avid coffee drinker, and so C and I broke out our new Keurig that Santa is bringing us so that she didn't have to unpack hers. And I must say that Santa did a mighty fine job picking out our gift. We love it! Hard part is going to be putting it up until Christmas after my Nana goes to my mom's tonight. I don't see that happening. 


I hope everyone had a great weekend!! 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Seriously.

This week has been such a crap week. Nothing like not being able to focus on anything. I have emails that I haven't replied to, blog posts that have gone unwritten, laundry that is yet to be done, and naps that have yet to be taken. Seriously crappiest week yet! And nothing particular has made it crappy, it has just been crappy.

One thing about this year that is new to us is just how busy we have been the entire last half of the year. August, September, October, and November were all full of travels, and only a little of that was relaxing. Now December is full! Oh December I was looking forward to enjoying the Christmas season and Christmas lights. I've only watched Christmas Vacation like 4 times this year!! What is that about??? I've only had 3 mugs of hot chocolate, and I have only wrapped 3 presents! News flash, I've only bought 5 gifts!! WHAT?!?!?! I'm way too behind! Someone come shop for me?

Good news is I finally get to finish my Christmas shopping this weekend. Well, hopefully. C and I will also be traveling to see my grandparents that live 4 hours away. And I am pretty sure that we don't have a free weekend until I don't know, 2014. Yikes! I need sleep people. So in honor of needing sleep, I figured today I could post my sleep love list!


Holiday Flannel Sheet Set

1. first up is these sheets. We got a set last year around Christmas, and we love them, especially for winter. And for a King, they are just $25! You can't beat that! They are super cozy, and cozy sheets always make sleeping easier.


2. The Crane Drop Humidifier is awesome! We got it a few months ago, and we can tell a huge difference. I have really bad allergies in the winter, so this has helped me to sleep better, and a good night's sleep is what we all want!


3. I love jama pants. I am pretty sure you can just go ahead and call it an obsession. But I am super picky. I want them long enough, soft enough, warm (or cool) enough and cute enough. So when I am in need new jama pants, I tend to hit up Old Navy. In the spring/summer, they have the poplin pants which are super light, and in the fall/winter they have the flannel ones that I love! Plus they are festive, so I can always find the perfect pair for the holiday!


4. I am an avid lover of Terivs cups. I like that my drinks stay cold for a long time. I have a wonderful husband who always gets me a glass of water before bed, and he always uses a Tervis. They don't sweat, so it doesn't ruin my furniture.


5. EOS is great in general, but I always have some by my bed. I hate hate double hate chapped lips, so I use this stuff religiously! I use it right before I go to bed and first thing when I get up. I seem to always sleep better when I know I won't wake up with chapped lips!

Linking up for Five on Friday!

I hope everyone has a festive fun filled weekend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Because it has been a horrible week...

My week has been horrible, well up until last night, which is why I am finally blogging. I figure a weekend recap is a good idea. So here we go...

Saturday morning, I had a Scentsy event to do, and I sold off a bunch of the stuff I had. I was super thrilled about that. I was beyond excited about only having to take half that home.


After the event, C and I headed out to do a little shopping. We went to Ulta, Academy, Sportsman's Warehouse, and then my most favorite place at Christmas, The Pool Place. It was so great to see this place all lit up and decorated. Please forgive the awful-no-make-up-exhausted look. I had been up to midnight the night before and I was up at 5 am Saturday morning. No sleep does not look good on me.


I've been working on my 30 by 30 list, and one thing on my list is to learn a new skill. I have been wanting to learn to shoot a bow for a long time, and I finally voiced my desire to C, and he was on board immediately. We both didn't want to spend a ton of money on it because we weren't sure that we would like it, so we picked up a bow and some arrows for around $60. When we got home, the first thing we did was set up our pumpkins to shoot at. C has shot before, so he was able to hit the pumpkins just about every time where I was only hitting them once in every 7 or 8 arrows. I really enjoyed it, and I really hope that this is a skill I can pick up on rather quick. 


Sunday we headed down to GA to see my mom and sister. My sister's birthday was Saturday, and mom's was Sunday. So we had lunch with them and spent the day with them. It was nice to spend time with them.  


Mom had never seen Despicable Me, so we sat and made her watch it. I forgot how much I love that movie. 


And for the first time in quite a while, I painted my nails. I love this color. It is more of a wet cement gray than the green gray it looks like.


I sure hope everyone had a great weekend!! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Moving forward, not going backwards.

Y'all remember Valentine's Day? Yeah, I do too. I remember the passion I had for losing weight. I had hit rock bottom, and that changed everything for me. I was well on my way to losing weight. I knew that the actual number didn't matter, and I knew that all I wanted was to be healthy. So I stuck to it. And I lost quite a bit of weight. I lost inches, and I was feeling great about myself. I stuck with it through July going at least 3 times a week, and usually doing a lot more on my own at home.

Then I added up the cost. 6 months = $6,000. Between a gym membership and personal training, I was seriously spending way too much money. Sure you can't put a price on your health, but I firmly believe that you do not have to spend a thousand dollars a month to get healthy. So I ended that. No more gym, no more training.

And I still worked out at home. I maintained the inches I lost, but not the weight. Because I was limited as far as equipment goes, I didn't get to continue the strength training that I wanted to. So my weight inched back up. And I got comfortable. I had lost a pants size and shirt size, and I am still wearing the smaller size. But I got comfortable again. I know that being healthy is going to be a life long battle with me, but it is one I am willing to fight. I may take a season off, but I will always get back to it. That is why I am here.

Starting today, my blogging schedule is changing. Usually I post my Love Lists on Thursday, but I am moving that to Friday, and I am not using Thursday as my Fitness posts. I'll post workouts, recipes, weigh ins, motivational quotes, along with other tips and tricks that work for me. I am in no way an expert, and I don't claim to be. I am just simply going to post what is helping me in hopes that it helps someone else. What I do may not work for everyone.

That being said.

Hi, I'm Cait. I weigh 210 lbs. I wear a size 14 in jeans/pants and a large in most all shirts. (There are a  few extra large shirts that I still wear.) I have a desk job where I sit all day. I do not have a gym membership, but I have access to several tracks, trails, and other equipment (treadmill, 2,4,10,25 lb dumb bells, jump ropes, 6 and 8 lb medicine balls, gymnastics rings, yoga ball, OLY bar, 10(2), and 15(2) plates for the bar, yoga mats, a balance board, along with a few other items.) I know how to preform several body weight exercises, and I know how to write my own workout.

My goal is not to be a size 0. My goal is not a number weight. All I am focusing on is getting healthy. I want to be strong and beautiful. I am not focusing on a size for my clothes. All I am focusing on is being healthy. I am not setting goals for myself that are weight or inches related, but instead performance related.

I am not looking at this move as starting over. I am not where I was 10 months ago, I am further along than that. I am looking at this move as a move forward. I am setting my goals, and I plan to achieve them. I don't expect instant changes. I know it will take time. I know that It won't happen over night. I know that I am going to need to work for it, and I plan on it.

I am going to keep myself accountable by posting on this blog. I hope that those of you who read my blog will help hold me accountable too. If anyone else is working towards getting healthy and needs motivation or accountability, please let me know. We can help hold each other accountable. Just let me know!

This time of year is a hard time to focus on getting healthy because of all the goodies that people will be making, and I plan on enjoying a few of them, but I know to keep things in moderation. Healthy eating is going to be my toughest hurdle. I love food, so I am going to have to find some great healthy food to eat. If you have suggestions, send them my way!

I hope everyone is having a great week!! It is time for me to go do some squats!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cruise Recap : Days at Sea


So after being back from our cruise for over a month, I finally got my laptop back and I feel like I can finally get this recap going! You can see other posts in this mini series here.

This post is going to be about the days at sea! Those are probably my favorite!

First off, this cruise that we went on had 3 days at sea. One was in between 2 ports, and then 2 days back to back at the end of the cruise. It was bittersweet having 2 days at sea before we docked back in Port Canaveral, FL.


These days are some of my favorite if you ask me. You can sleep in without fear of missing out on anything happening in port. I suggest you have breakfast delivered to your room on these mornings. Something about sleeping on a cruise ship is amazing. The rocking back and forth can easily put you to sleep in my opinion. So it only seems right to sleep in and have breakfast delivered. We usually just got coffee, pastries, and fruit. To me there was no sense in getting a huge breakfast when there is always food available.


There are plenty of things to do on board. The shops usually open much earlier on the days at sea, and so does the casino. But if you are looking for something more relaxing, check out the spa. Slots fill up fast for all the treatments for these days, so I suggest booking beforehand if you can, though the spa offers daily specials. I have had the pleasure of getting a massage while at sea, and it is truly a great experience. Like I mentioned before, the rocking back and forth of the ship can put you to sleep, so getting a massage while on board is extra special because it is so relaxing. Be careful to not be out in the sun after a massage though. Since they use oil, you can burn much easier. If you plan on heading to the pool, or laying out, I suggest jumping in the shower and washing off the oils first.



Speaking of pool, early bird gets the worm. I know I said sleep in, and I stand by that, but if you are one of those people who love to lay out by the pool, and not the upper deck, then get up early so you can get a lounge chair. They ask you not to save chairs, so please be in or around your lounge chair, or in the pool. As the day goes on, the pool gets overly crowded. The Cruise staff usually has activities planned for around the pool. I have seen everything from pool volleyball, a belly flop competition, a sexiest man competition, a hairiest man competition, giant Jenga, and movies. The kids seem to overwhelm the pool area during the main part of the day, so I try and hit the pool either early or late. The Freedom of the Seas had a kids area where there were a bunch of the smaller kids were, and there was an adults only area which a lot of the older people were, so the main pool is usually full of everyone else. There are a ton of lounge chairs, but not near enough for everyone.



Other than the pool and shops, most cruise ships offer a lot of other things to do. Freedom of the Seas has a mini golf course, a basketball court, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, and so much more. C’s favorite was the Flow Rider. C loved this! We spent quite a bit of time here. It is a unique experience that is for sure. I personally did not surf, but C sure did. He started off at the beginner level which was body boarding or sitting on the board on your knees, and worked his way up to the advance stand up surfing. It was a lot of fun to watch. Several of the larger RCI ships had the Flow Rider, so if you are on one of those, please go check it out!!





For those who aren’t into the spa, shopping, pool, or other activities, there are usually movies showing throughout the day, along with other things. I have seen everything from Art Auctions, to dance classes. C and I actually went to the swing dance class which was super fun and has sparked a new love of dancing. We are looking into taking dance classes because of it. But there are also lectures and other educational talks. Usually there are activities that you have to pay for, like cupcake decorating classes, classes teaching you how to make Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, etc.


The biggest part of days at sea is the food. There is almost always some kind of food to eat, and there is so much! The Windjammer Café has just about everything. For lunch one day, between C and I there was a burger, stir fry, pasta, and nachos at our table. The variety of food is crazy, but it because they are accommodating several cultures.



Days at sea can be a little overwhelming though, because everyone is on the ship looking for something to do, so just be prepared for that. There is almost always something to do, so you shouldn’t ever be bored.



Up Next : Ports of Call

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I promise...

I promise that the Cruise recap is coming. It might be tomorrow because I am traveling for work today, and I am not sure I will have internet on my laptop, but I will get it posted.

I promise I will also post gift guides for guys and ladies. I will also be posting stocking stuffer ideas for guys, ladies and those extra special pups!

I promise that I am working hard on getting together a giveaway in honor of my 100th post, you know the one that was super lame?

I promise that I am going to get this little ole' blog straightened out! That means a new layout  I plan on adding an option for sponsors/PR when the new year comes!

I promise that there will be plenty of holiday cheer on this blog for everyone!

I promise this won't turn into a fitness blog, but I am going to start a fitness series-ish. I plan on doing them weekly ranging from everything like recipes, workouts, weigh ins, motivational words, etc. I'm serious about my health, and I am going to hold myself accountable through this blog!

I've got a few tricks up my sleeve to make this blog a little more meaningful, complete with DIY projects, recipes, and tons of other fun stuff, so please bear with me. I hope y'all will stick around. I plan on making this blog a 100 times better!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Curly Hair, Mimosas, and a Lighted Boat Parade

Anyone else feel like Thanksgiving just flew by! It was crazy here. I apologize in advance for my crappy iPhone pictures. I didn't think to use my actual camera this weekend. Good news though, my laptop is finally fixed!!! I'll finally be blogging more! Wednesday, I only had to work half a day, then I was off until, well, today! Needless to say, this girl was not ready to come back to work! Wednesday night, we celebrated my step-mom's birthday, and since I had half the day off work, I attempted to curl my hair. I was actually successful! It was about time! I love my hair curly, and now if I can ever get my lazy butt out of bed in time to curl it for work, I will, but I don't see that happening any time soon!


Thanksgiving Thursday! We kicked off our day with mimosas, cinnamon rolls, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It was the first year I actually sat down to watch it. A Chattanooga area high school band was preforming, so we made sure to watch it.  



The pup even enjoyed laying around all Thursday morning. Though the laying around didn't last long. We get lights out and started putting up our Christmas lights.


C insisted that we should "Griswold" our house, and you would be surprised at how close I was to saying yes. Only thing stopping me is our neighbors. We don't know them very well, and I don't want to make anyone mad. So just a few strands of lights and a few icicle lights. 


We enjoyed our first Thanksgiving dinner to ourselves. We usually spend it with my mom, but she was just getting in from work, and I knew she would probably be sleeping, so C and I cooked for ourselves. 

Friday we were beside ourselves. We didn't go Black Friday shopping early like we usually do, instead, we slept in and enjoyed the day. We ventured out later to pick up a few things, and the most important purchase of the day was our first real Christmas tree! C has been begging for one for a while, and I finally caved and we got one. I hate cleaning up after them, though I love how they smell!



May I present you the Long Family Christmas Tree!! "Little full, lotta sap." #namethatmovie


And Friday wouldn't be complete without C making me overly nervous. I was terrified he would fall off the roof. Good news. He didn't.


Friday night, Chattanooga kicked off the Christmas season officially. The annual lighted boat parade was downtown, and for the first time in the 3 Christmas seasons we have been here, C and I made it! We sat by the riverside and watched the boats in all their Christmas light glory. They even had Santa and Mrs. Clause in a canoe. 



No lighted boat parade is complete without a fireworks display. So C and I curled up in the trunk of the car and waited for them to start. Once they were complete, I swear you could just feel the Christmas spirit! Especially since the "tree" was finally on by the river front. 




Finally, the day I look forward to all year round. I love Christmas Saturday! C and I always spend the day together. We make a festive breakfast, hot chocolate, and we watch Christmas Vacation for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time of the season! We decorate the living room Christmas tree and mantle, and we finish up any other Christmas decorating that we need to! I was so thankful to be able to spend the day with C. The Christmas spirit was really in our house!! 




Last year, after Christmas, we bought an Elf on the Shelf. We don't have kids, but I love the idea behind it, so this year, we brought out the elf and he is now sitting on the mantle. C named him Buddy, and that will be his name until our first child names him. C and I plan on hiding Buddy around the house for each other through out the season. 


Normally C and I don't go out on Christmas Saturday, but I had to pick up a last minute gift for my sisters for our Sister Christmas Gift exchange, and C and I decided to go to the movies at the last minute. It was a great impromptu date. He makes me laugh like no one else can.

Sunday, my sisters and I continued out tradition of getting Santa pictures done. We were also lucky enough to have all the kids at my mom's house for Thanksgiving. I hated to leave, but C and I knew we had to get back to get some sleep. 


It was a great almost entire week off work. I am so thankful for everything God has given me. I am blessed beyond measure, and so happy to have such an amazing family. I hope y'all had an amazing Thanksgiving!! 

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