Sunday, September 27, 2009

Awesome friends.....

One of the greatest things about living in Central Florida is that people always want to come here on vacation. Whenever friends are in town, I get to zip to whichever city they're in and hang out.

This past week, some of my dearest friends were in town. Regina and I became friends several years back and since then her whole family has become close to both me and my family. They are incredible people.

On Sunday (9/20), I headed over to Orlando and went to Magic Kingdom with them. It was HOT.... like worse than when I went to Universal on July 3rd. But, we had a blast anyway. We were able to do a ton, too.

They had their cameras, so I left mine back at the hotel. This is the only picture I have until they email me theirs, lol.

Regina and I in line for 'Snow White's Scary Adventure'

While the rest of us worked (the downside of living in Central Florida, lol.... you still have to work while everyone comes to play), they went Universal on Monday and Animal Kingdom on Tuesday. They were set to come over for dinner Tuesday evening, so I came home straight from work and we got ready for them.

We seriously had the BEST time. I love spending time with friends like them. I was crying from laughing so hard. None of us wanted the night to end.... sadly it did, but with promises that we would all see one another soon.

Regina and I

Duwayne and I.... their cousin

Rochelle (Regina's sister) and I.... plus Regina and Trev being stupid in the background, lol

Trevor and Regina.... these two are a trip together.... they fight and argue like brother/sister from the moment they get together until the moment it's time to leave.

Rosemary (Regina and Rochelle's mom) and I..... one of the sweetest and funniest people in the world

Mom and Regina

Our best attempt at a group shot, lol.... Rochelle, Jeff, Regina, Me, and Trevor

Somehow, it turned into a dance party, lol

This is what Reggi does ALL THE TIME!!!! LOL, she'll tell you straight-up, "I love me."

Premiere Week.... yeah, not so much

I love Premiere Week. One of my very first posts was about how much I love Premiere Week. I literally PLAN to sit on the couch, in front of the TV, for a solid week... just to enjoy it.

Sadly, my nights of being a bump on a log didn't happen. The reasons why will cover a few posts, lol. I saw Glee and Grey's Anatomy this week. That's it. My poor DVR is about to explode.

Grey's - AMAZING. I just love that show.

Glee - Hysterical. Granted, it wasn't the premiere, but I still enjoyed watching it and pretending that it was part of my Premiere Week experience.

Last night, I managed to catch up on a few shows.....

Accidentally On Purpose - I really hope this show can keep it up. I loved the first episode!

Cougar Town - Did not enjoy this, at all. I loved Friends and try to support the actors in their endeavors. Will not be watching this one, though.

How I Met Your Mother - My cousin Heidi will be so proud. I've finally added this to my DVR schedule! Loved it, as usual.

The Mentalist - I love Patrick Jane. That's all.

Tonight is Desperate Housewives, The Amazing Race, Brothers and Sisters, and Cold Case. Hopefully, I'll get it all in and save Premiere Week!

Weekly Workout Blog....

Week 16....

Sunday - Does walking all over Magic Kingdom count? No? Well, then I didn't do anything.

Monday - Curves

Tuesday - Nothing... super fun time with my friends from out of town

Wednesday - 30 mins on the Elliptical and Zumba

Thursday - 40 mins walking

Friday - Nothing..... Sugarland Concert!!!!

Saturday - 50 mins walking

Grade for this week - C-...... I so did not even come close to reaching my goals. I swear, though, I feel like I've ran a marathon. This week has been insane and exhausting. I'm proud of myself for getting done what I did.

Goals for next week:
  • Go to Curves at least twice
  • 30 minutes on the Elliptical machine at least 3 times
  • Pilates at least once
  • Walk - either by lake or on treadmill at least 3 times
  • One Zumba class

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How I Got Through Zumba


For whatever reason, I decided that I was going to take a Zumba class AFTER I spent 30 mins on the Elliptical. I'd done a great job on the Elliptical and was feeling a little full of myself, I guess.

I've done the whole Power Mega Workout before.... I'll go to Curves, then to the Y and do the Elliptical and Treadmill. However, Zumba is in a league of it's own.

It was a 75 minute class. The first 55 minutes were awesome and SO much fun!

I couldn't feel my legs for the last 20 minutes. I swear.... prayer was the only reason that I didn't fall over and have to crawl out.

Workout.... PASS.

Smart Thinking.... FAIL.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Trying to make a 'Healthy Choice'

Since getting my full-time job, I've run into a bit of a never-ending problem.

On one hand, I go out to lunch with my co-workers/friends several times a week. Usually, we aren't concerned with the making the least fattening decision. There are a lot of yummy restaurants around my office and I frequent many of them.

On the other hand, if I don't have a lunch date, then I tend to forget to eat lunch. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at the clock at 3pm and realized I'm starving. After a few times of that, I've tried to keep light snacks in my office, so that I make it until dinner. However, if you add in my workout routine in the past few months, I *need* to eat something throughout the day or I won't be able to make it through my workout.

Enter frozen meals. "The Guy" used to work at night, when very few people were here (if any) and ate them almost every night. I would make extreme fun of him (and would usually offer to bring him real food if I was going to be going up there). He got the last laugh when I started doing the same thing, only during the day.

Anyway, I've found that my brand of choice is 'Healthy Choice.' They just seem to taste more real and less like cardboard mush.

As I was eating today's, I found myself wondering what other "flavors" there are that I would like. If any of you have any suggestions, please let me know!!! I thought I'd review the ones I've eaten and do so for future eats, as well.

I'm also linking you to the nutritional information, in the title.

I was a little nervous about this one. I've LOVED the pumpkin ravioli I've had at restaurants.... it's not something you find everyday. However, I wasn't sure how it would translate to a frozen meal. Overall, it was really good!!! Clearly, not as good as Wolfgang Puck's or The Rainbow Room, lol, but still really good. Everyone in my building about gagged when I told them what I was eating, so I'm taking it's not for everyone, lol.

I absolutely LOVE these!!! I had been craving Chinese food for several days when I came across these in the store. The potstickers are substantial enough to feel like you're actually eating something.... and, there's three of them, so you almost feel indulgent!! There's enough of a spice in there that the sauce has a tangy sweet flavor to it.

Portabella Spinach Parmesan

Eh.... this one wasn't my favorite. It's not awful, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I like the penne pasta, as something to change it up. The sauce wasn't exactly what I was expecting and the cheese got stuck to the bottom of the dish... kind of hard to enjoy it that way, lol.

Sweet Sesame Chicken

This is another ok for me. Not horrible, by any means.... just not what I think of when I want "Chinese" food.

That's all, for now. Do you have any "healthy" frozen meals you like?

*** FYI - I am in no way being paid by 'Healthy Choice' to review their food. I just like it when compared to other "healthy frozen meal" brands. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather eat Marie Callendar, but her stuff is way too fattening.... as are California Pizza Kitchen and Hot Pockets. That being said.... if anyone out there knows someone who works for "Healthy Choice", I'd gladly accept compensation for eating and reviewing their food! ***

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New hair and a concert at The Music Ranch

This week has been INSANE! Dear heavens, lol.

A few things, maybe worth mentioning (or not, lol).....

1) I got a haircut!

I already had one scheduled and thought I needed a change, as I mentioned last week. It had basically been the same cut (just varying lengths) for about 3 years. Now, it's a little less layered and more of a bob. I really like it..... I'm still trying to figure out how to get it to look as good as my stylist/friend made it look (above), but it is super easy to take care of!

2) Another concert at The Music Ranch.... this time Justin Moore. We're actually hosting a series of concerts, so there will be more of these coming up.

The gang with Justin, before the show

He put on a GREAT show! The crowd loved him, too.

Best moment of the night..... when Justin sang his latest single "Small Town, USA" the entire room sang along with him. At one point, Justin got choked up and had to stop.... everyone just kept singing for him. It literally gave me chills.

Justin and I.... please excuse the shiny face, slightly running make-up, and gross hair. This was at the very end of the night. But, hey, at least I remembered to get a picture.

3) Jordan won 'Big Brother'!!!!

I was so flipping excited! Jordan was one of my favorites the whole time. It always makes me a little sad when the season is over. 'Big Brother' is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekly Workout Blog

Week 15....

Sunday - Nada

Monday - Curves

Tuesday - Walked around the lake

Wednesday - 30 mins on the Elliptical and 30 mins on the Treadmill

Thursday - Had an event that lasted until 10pm... so, nothing

Friday - Nada

Saturday - 30 mins on the Elliptical and a walk around the lake

Grade for the week - C

Goals for next week:
  • Go to Curves at least twice
  • 30 minutes on the Elliptical machine at least 3 times
  • Pilates at least once
  • Walk - either by lake or on treadmill at least 3 times
  • One Zumba class

They've got Zumba at the YMCA... I've been meaning to try it, so we're officially adding it as a goal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rudeness personified.....

Seriously, Kanye? Was that really necessary?


You go, Taylor.

And, Beyonce....... way to be a class act.

And the winner is.......

Happy Sunday! Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! I'm going to make my way over to all of your blogs, in the next couple of days.

I did the tried and true names-on-slips-of-paper-and-pull-out-of-a-hat system.

The winner of the new blog makeover by Krystyn at Krizzy Designs is.....

Mrs. Potts!!

Congratulations! Email me and we'll get everything set up with Krystyn.

Thanks, again, everyone!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekly Workout Blog

Week 14.....

Sunday - Nothing

Monday - 30 mins Elliptical and 30 mins Treadmill

Tuesday - Curves and walk around the lake

Wednesday - Nothing

Thursday - 30 mins on the Elliptical

Friday - Curves and a walk around the lake

Saturday - 30 mins on the Elliptical

Grade for this week: A-...... met everything but that stinkin' Pilates. I need to join a class or something. Clearly, when I get home, I get lazy.

Goals for next week:
  • Go to Curves at least twice
  • 30 minutes on the Elliptical machine at least 3 times
  • Pilates at least 2 times
  • Walk - either by lake or on treadmill at least 3 times

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New blog year.... new blog look!

So, what do you think?

Krystyn from Krizzy Designs did such a good job, I think! Not only does she do awesome work, but she's a gem to work with.

It is only right that if I'm getting a new look, so should someone else! Take a look at Krystyn's work.... if you'd like a redesign, I'd love to give you one!

Taking that into consideration, I'm extending my giveaway until Sunday, September 13 at 5pm est. I'll announce the winner that same night!

Here's how you can enter:

One entry - leave a comment
Two entries - leave a comment and become a follower (or if you're one of the 6 I already have.... well, I'll know who you are, lol)
Three entries - leave a comment, become a follower, and post a link on your blog

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Random Thoughts

1) I should be working.... I just would rather not, at the moment.

2) I have just now noticed how much I like to use exclamation points. I was typing out an email to a charity group our station is working with and I had to actually go back and take out exclamation points. I had ended every sentence with them. Then, I was updating one of our stations' Facebook pages and I used about four in one status update.

3) I'm a little stressed about the new TV season. We used to get TV Guide and they always had the handy "ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FALL" edition. It had the whole TV schedule for you. However, I don't have that now. Is that issue already out and gone? I really need to plan out what I'm going to watch this Fall.

4) Piggy-backing the TV schedule........ I am both thrilled and distressed that 'So You Think You Can Dance' is moving to Fall. Thrilled because, well, I love it. It means that I get two seasons in one year. Distressed because this means one less "summer show" next year. Plus, it's cutting into all of my Fall shows.

5) Clearly, I watch too much TV.

6) I've been blogging for a year, tomorrow. That's crazy.

7) I don't know how it happens, but October has to be one of the busiest months, EVERY year. It's only the beginning of September and I'm already trying to carve out some time for myself in October.

8) I have 14 sticky notes stuck to my desk/computer. That's ridiculous.

9) Tomorrow, I have a hair appointment. I'm thinking of chopping it off (it's shoulder length now... I'm thinking of chin length) and going with a slightly different style. Yesterday, I actually called my hair stylist (one of my best friends) and told her of my thoughts..... "I'm thinking I want to do something different with my hair. Be thinking of my options."..... Being the awesome stylist and friend that she is, she called me back to let me know that she would figure something out before tomorrow. If you aren't best friends with your hair stylist, can you call them and tell them that you want something different and that you'd like them to think about it? I don't know because she's been doing my hair for the past 10 years.

10) You would think that "The Guy" moving to Minne-frigging-sota would make be instantaneously get over him. Nope. Not happening. He finally made contact. I say finally, but it was literally a week. However, we hadn't gone more than 2 days without some sort of contact in over 6 months, so it just felt like forever. Anyway.... yeah, unfortunately, I like him just as much when he's 27 hours away as I do when he's sitting in my office. Clearly, I prefer him in my office. Don't worry, I'll get over him. It's only been two weeks.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ice Skating, Baseball, and more

Work was so crazy this week! We're gearing up for our Fall Book (ratings period), so I'm about to pull my hair out. I ended up coming in early and staying late, more than once, throughout the week.

I did, however, manage to squeeze in some fun!

On Wednesday, I met my friend Susan for lunch. Susan and I met during her first year as a teacher.... I subbed for her a couple times. Then, she went on maternity leave when she had her ADORABLE twins. I subbed for her class for 12 weeks... I loved those kids. Besides her trusting me with "our kids" for that length of time and then seeing her around school, we also worked together when I did another long-term assignment for 6 weeks last Dec/Jan.

Anyway, she took a virtual teaching job this year and I have my new(ish) job, so we are able to meet for real lunch. By real lunch, I mean one that is more than 20 mins long and doesn't include a cafeteria full of 2nd and 3rd graders, lol.

I had such a lovely time catching up!

An annual tradition in my town on Labor Day Weekend is 'Disney On Ice.' Every year, they begin a tour in our city..... they use our local arena for their rehearsals. I LOVED going as a kid and have managed to go a few times since becoming an adult. I still love it, lol.

Part of the perks of the job is getting to promote things like this. We received tons of DOI goodies and had leftovers. What was I to do but gift some of my favorite kids? I treated Evan, Emma, and Abby (and, their mom Mia) to the show. We had such a great time!

One of the cutest moments?..... When I first got to their house, they were just sitting down to dinner. I put their gift bags on the couch and went in to join them. Emma finished first and was instructed to go to her room to get changed for the show. As she started walking towards the living room, I quietly started counting down.... 5.... 4.... 3... "What are you doing?" Mia asked....2..... 1.... *GASP* from Emma. LOL, she walked slowly back into the dining room...."Miss Jessica... who are those presents for? Us?"

She was SOOOO patient waiting for her siblings to be ready, so they could all open them together. Poor Evan was so nervous about all the loot that I had to explain to him that it's part of my job to get the goodies and find "cool kids" to give them to.

Emma and I waiting for the show to start. She wore those ears and held Minnie for the ENTIRE show.

Abby, Minnie, and I waiting for the show to start.

They were so fun to watch! They loved it! The show itself was great, as well. I just adore Disney. Earlier in the month, we all went to Disney Live! at the same complex. That was great, too, but there is nothing like 'Disney on Ice.'

As much as Evan enjoyed it, the girls couldn't stop talking about it. Well, until they got in the car and promptly fell asleep, lol.

Out for the count.....

Asleep and STILL wearing the ears and holding tightly to Minnie.

Evan getting silly, for a minute, lol.

Another perk of the job is getting to go to the occasional Rays game. We do a lot of promotion with them, so we were offered a suite for tonight's game. There also happened to be a Beach Boys concert after the game.

I was actually kind of excited, lol. They are legends, in their own right. Plus, as a full-fledged 'Full House' devotee, I love me some Beach Boys. I can name, off the top of my head, at least 3 episodes that they were in. Secretly, I hoped that John Stamos/Uncle Jesse would be with them tonight, lol.

I knew that I knew a lot of Beach Boys songs. However, I didn't realize just how many songs there were or how many I knew until tonight. Dear heavens, they have quite the playlist!

The view of the field, from our suite.....

E and I....

LA and I

Billie Jo and I, waiting for the concert to start.

M, R, and a few others joined all of us. They were too wrapped up in the game to take pictures, though, lol.

I plan on chilling Sunday.... I have to work part of Monday. Hopefully, the work week won't be too insane.

Weekly Workout Blog

Week 13....

Sunday - Unless you count walking up and down the Nashville airport (3 times.... seriously), then nothing.

Monday - Curves

Tuesday - Walk around the lake

Wednesday - Nothing

Thursday - 30 mins on the Elliptical

Friday - Nothing

Saturday - 45 mins walking and 15 mins Pilates

Grade for this week - We're going to go with a C-.... MUCH better than last week, but not nearly my goals.

Goals for next week:
  • Go to Curves at least twice
  • 30 minutes on the Elliptical machine at least 3 times
  • Pilates at least 2 times
  • Walk - either by lake or on treadmill at least 3 times

Thursday, September 3, 2009

One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

Next week, I will have been blogging for one year. That's craziness!

Since I'm a year older, wiser, more mature.... or, at least a year older, I'm getting myself a new blog look. Krystyn from Krizzy Designs did an awesome job on my current look. I love her work so much.... I'm on her waiting list for an update!

This is where the giveaway comes in.....

It is only right that if I'm getting a new look, so should someone else! Take a look at Krystyn's work.... if you'd like a redesign, I'd love to give you one!

From now until 9pm EST on Sept 9, I'll take registrations. The winner will be announced on September 10, 2009 at 4pm.

Here's how you can enter:

One entry - leave a comment
Two entries - leave a comment and become a follower (or if you're one of the 6 I already have.... well, I'll know who you are, lol)
Three entries - leave a comment, become a follower, and post a link on your blog

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

.... and now the good (Part 2)

.... previously on All-American Jess...

Jess was surprised with a trip to Nashville for her birthday. After two days of exploring the great city, it was time for the MAIN EVENT........

Oh, yes. That's right! Keith Urban and Sugarland!! I've previously posted about how much I love both these groups. So, how amazing was it to have them in one concert? AH-MAY-ZING!

There was one more surprise..... Jeni got us backstage passes! What a month, lol.... meeting Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. Too much!


Mom and I.... and Keith's chin, lol....

The Backstage BBQ Experience..... basically, we went into this backstage area where there was food, drinks, and a small stage area. We then went into another area to meet Keith. After everyone met him, we went back into the first area and Keith came in. He sang a couple of songs and then had a Q&A time. Such a neat experience!

Keith, my, my mom, and two very nice ladies that I don't know, lol. No, I wasn't trying to hug up on the lady to my left. Keith had his hand on my shoulder and I was trying to get closer, lol.

He was SUPER friendly. Granted, there wasn't a whole lot of one-on-one time. However, he shook each of our hands, looked us in the eyes, asked our names, and asked us where we were from. When he found out we were from Florida, he apologized for not coming down there in the last two tours, lol.

Once the BBQ was over, it was time for the concert!

Mom and I waiting for the concert to start. If you only knew how many pictures we had to take to get this one. It's a well-known fact that I have virtually perfected the art of the "arm picture." I didn't get this from my mom, lol. She can't do it to save her life and always makes these horrid faces in the picture. We usually have to try about a dozen times to get a decent shot, lol.


I didn't waste too much time taking pictures of them, lol. They're coming to Tampa on September 25th, so I knew I'd see them again.


He puts on such a great show. He sang for two hours, straight. I just loved it.

Unfortunately, the night had to end. We slept in on Sunday. Before heading to the airport, we went to the Wildhorse Saloon (haven't downloaded the pictures, yet) and drove around some more.

Then, it was time to go home. :(

I had a great time and can't wait to go back! Hopefully, it won't take two years, again, lol.

... and now the good.

So, you've heard all about my slightly world-imploding news. Yeah, not so much fun.

However, with the bad, came the good. It was quite the bipolar week, lol.

First of all, my 26th birthday was Tuesday (August 25th). I went to work and was treated a bit like a princess, with "Happy Birthday!!!" being spread all around. A couple of my friends gave me some lovely cards and presents. SOOOO nice of them! J bought me lunch. My mom even stopped by with flowers and cookies from the Great American Cookie Company (a favorite of mine and several of my work buddies).

Throughout the day, I received several text messages, phone calls, and "Facebooks" from my friends. It was awesome.

After work, my family and I went out to dinner (so yummy). Then, we came back home for cake and presents.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cake.... delicious!

With the craziness of my new job, my mom told me she wanted to take me on a trip for my birthday. I knew I was going somewhere, just not where. I found out on my birthday that I was going to one of my most favorite places ever.... NASHVILLE!!

I posted just a couple weeks ago about how much I love that city!

Before leaving on my trip, I also got to visit with one of my best friend's... Meg and her precious baby, David. It was literally right after saying good-bye to "The Guy" and she was so helpful and supportive. Once she let me talk and talk, then we got to move onto other things. David is such a sweet baby and was flirting with me the whole time!

Friday came and we were leaving on a jet plane!!! Once we arrived in Nashville, mom and I decided to drive around and look at the houses. They are incredible.

Don't be fooled by these "townhouses".... they are over 3,500 sq ft each and will cost you a cool $800,000, lol.

How would you like to live in this monstrosity? It was only set you back $4,000,000.

As we were driving around, we found this gem....

LOL, my mom was like, "This is awful!!! Look at those gold notes! Look at the gate with those lions? How gaudy! Who would do this to their house?!"

"Little Jimmy Dickens, Mom."


"Look at the mailbox, this is Little Jimmy Dickens house."

She goes, "Holy crap!!! Take a picture!"..... lol!

After driving around and then checking into our hotel, we went out for dinner. If you're ever in Nashville, go to Demo's. It's FABULOUS!

Ask for Maurice..... he's the best there is....

So, yeah, Luke Perry was sitting in the booth next to us. Did we notice? Nope. Not until he got up to leave.

Maurice sure noticed, lol. He got an autograph and note from Luke and was nice enough to let us take a picture with it.

We walked around for a while. Some drunk people let a street performer jump over them. Clearly, I was sober and thought it best to take a picture.

Karaoke-singing bartenders......

On Saturday, we explored some more.

I thought this was amusing and inventive, lol. Yes, that is a Little Tykes bumper.....

Have I mentioned just how much I LOVE snow cones? I thought this was genius, lol.

We also ate at The Pancake Pantry. The best friggin pancakes on the planet!

See this line? This is at 1pm. You should have seen it at 11am, lol.

Isn't this gorgeous? I thought it looked like something out of 'The Notebook."

Saturday night came the REAL reason we went to Nashville........
.... to be continued, lol.