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wanted: inspiration!

happy memorial day to all!

hopefully you're reading this from the comfort of your own home if you have the day off of work like me!

anyway, i feel like my life has been so busy lately that i haven't been able to dedicate as much time to this blog as i would like. even worse - i feel like i'm not as eager of a blogger lately.. but it happens, right??

lilly telling me how lame i've been lately

and not like june is going to open itself up for me to blog more; the summertime is always so busy for me between family stuff and work. but it's a good busy, don't get me wrong.

i guess i just wanted to apologize for being lame lately. i'm trying to round up some interesting things to write about and share with you, so please stick around!

enjoy your day!

until next time..
<3 alaina


road trip recap

let me just say, i'm so glad it's saturday!

now that i'm finally back in the swing of things, i thought i'd share some photos from our norcal trip..

saturday we departed and drove to oakhurst, ca to watch our friends, stuart & natasha, get married..

we stayed there saturday night, then got brunch with everyone the next day. we then departed oakhurst and headed toward the bay area. we did some visiting with randy's sister and brother, and then went to a giant's game on tuesday.

we had a blast, but we're both happy to be home! i missed lilly like crazy!

until next time..
<3 alaina


10 day challenge

time for a new installment of the

8. death. but who isn't, really?
7. not being a grown-up. i save as much money as i can, but i still can't afford to do grown-up things like buy a new car or go on a trip.
6. bugs. i hate bugs! they scare me : (
5. one of my biggest fears is our place being robbed. break-ins are really scary because they just destroy any sense you have of security or safety. thankfully we live in a really secure, gated complex.
4. having $0. i constantly check my bank account and credit card to make sure i have money and that i don't miss a payment.
3. i'm scared i won't be able to have babies. it's kind of an irrational fear, but for some reason i feel like i might be infirtile.
2. looking like a boy. this one is so stupid, but it's true. i don't like to dress down too often because i feel like i don't look girly enough.
1. being annoying. i hate feeling like i'm annoying people. i always try to avoid texting too much or calling too much.

until next time..
<3 alaina


blog love: the doe or the deer

if you've never visited jessica @ the doe or the deer, you don't know what you've been missing!

the thing i love about jess is that she's very no-nonsense. i think a lot of bloggers, because their thoughts are 'published' on the internet, are afraid to be 100% themselves - and it's hard not to monitor yourself a little when you know people you don't know will be reading it. but jess (from what i can tell) is not afraid to be herself. she's super stylish but not afraid to admit that she shops mostly at target. she has some of the most kick-ass tattoos i've ever seen. and her kids are gorgeous!

so for a good read, i highly recommend the doe or the deer!

until next time..
<3 alaina


on the road..

hello all!

this morning, randy and i depart for our northern california road trip vacation extraveganza. we have a long drive ahead of us, but luckily i'm one of those people who is able to sleep in the car : )

because this is going to be a vacation in most senses of the word, i will be taking a very short hiatus from my daily posts. it goes against this blog's mantra, i know, but give a girl a break!

i will be back in a couple of days, but in the meantime - i wish you all a fantastic weekend, and know that i love you!

until next time..
<3 baby a

ps. randy's good friends, stuart and natasha, are getting married today!! send them some positive thoughts as they start their lives together as man and wife!


10 day challenge

happy thursday!

if you can remember back all the way to 1 week ago, i mentioned that i'm starting a new series, the 10 day you challenge!

here are 9 things/people/whatevers i love (in no particular order):

9. sleeping. i could sleep all day every day if people would let me.

8. photography. i would shoot all day every day if people would let me.

7. our newly renovated apartment even though it's been this way for a couple of weeks now, i still get a pang of excitement when i walk through the door! 

6. shopping. i'll be honest. i'm a girl, and i love new things!

5. awesome people. i love the friends that i've made at work and the people i've gotten closer to lately.

4. bread. carbs are the death of me!

3. my job. i really do honestly love what i do. i get to see my parents every day (which is not as terrible as you'd probably assume) and people depend on me to get things done. it's the perfect amount of responsibility, learning new things, and having fun!

2. my family. my parents and my brother, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins.. the chauran/lowe clan is a really awesome family to be a part of!

1. randy + lilly = my whole life. i honestly am the luckiest girl in the world to have them both by my side.

next week i'll be talking about things that scare me..

until next time..
<3 alaina


how to be a blogger

recently, someone i know asked me, 'how do you write a blog?'

ummmmm.. i dont know? you just do?

i had been reading various blogs long before i ever attempted to create one, but it was far different than i even expected it to be.

what am i supposed to write about? is anybody going to read it? why would people care what i have to say?

i think the most liberating and intimidating thing about blogging is the freedom you have - you can literally write about anything you want. because of this, you have to find a focus. granted, my blog as a whole doesn't really have one set focus, but one way i try to create some kind of coherence is by posting once a day. some bloggers post multiple times a day (which i love because there's always something new to read) and that can work for a lot of people. for me though, i feel like focusing on one 'topic' each day helps me stay organized. i can also take a step back and look at the things i've talked about that week or that month, which helps me integrate more variety in my posts.

there is a large part of blogging that requires you to simply, not give a fuck. i'm one of the lucky ones in the respect that i haven't gotten any hater comments on my posts (which is because i hardly get any comments on my posts, but i'll take what i can get..). but i'm sure there are plenty of people that think my blog is dumb. and that's perfectly fine with me. my blog is for me, and i use it as a way to celebrate this time in my life. you kind of have to be fearless to be a blogger. people blog about weight loss, relationship or family problems, pregnancy, illness, death, life, birth, everything. don't be afraid to write about what you want! the people who keep coming back are there to hear (or read, rather) your opinions, so don't hold back!

another thing that helps me tremendously is planning. i usually try and plan a month in advance when it comes to posts on this blog. granted, if there's something tremendous that happens and i want to blog about it that day or the next day, i will rearrange my posts so that i can include it. while there is a framework to my blog, i also try and keep it 'loose' to a degree. i enjoy sharing pictures and stories from my personal life with my readers, along with interesting articles, tips and tricks, or other topics. i also like planning because it makes me feel good to know that when ya'll go to your bookmarks and click on my url, there will be something new waiting for you every day!

even though blogging was a lot more than i anticipated initially, it's a lot of fun! you can post pictures, articles, music, art, anything on a blog! so go, be free, and blog : )

until next time..
<3 alaina


happy birthday, with love

today is a great day because:

it's lilly's 2nd birthday!

i wub you with all my heart, little girl <3

now, off to celebrate!

*psst: to see more pictures of lil, click here!*

until next time..
<3 alaina


restaurant weight loss tips

 while i have been trying to cook and eat at home more, there's still something nice about going out to eat with randy or friends. this article by david zinczenko includes some very useful tips to stay healthy when eating out:

-fancier does not mean healthier-
just be aware that just because it's being served in a sit-down restaurant, does not mean it's necessarily 'healthier' than something you can grab at home or from a drive-thru. really look at the nutritional facts on the menu and try to pick something that doesn't pack too many calories and grams of fat.

-eat off of a smaller plate-
if you pick a smaller plate, you will eat less. most people feel the need to clear their plate. if there is less food on your plate to begin with, you won't over-eat. this technique tricks your brain - if your eyes see you've finished your food, your tummy will feel satisfied.

-eat dessert elsewhere-
if you are craving dessert after a meal, take a walk. studies have shown that cravings for sweets dropped 12% in people who take a light stroll after a meal. and, if you still want an after-dinner treat after you've walked, you've now earned it!

-guzzle ice water first-
being thirsty can feel like being hungry, so dieting is easier if you stay hydrated. also, water fuels your metabolism. i try to finish at least one and a half glasses of water before my meal is brought to the table (be sure to account for ice - some restaurants serve water that is 85% ice!)

-cut up your food-
you'll feel like a 5-year-old, but at least this time you can do it yourself! why cut? because sorting your food into smaller chunks has been proven to help people eat less. *believing that you're eating a larger portion of food causes you to feel more satisfied with fewer calories!*

-start small-
 in most cases, you will be satisfied with a smaller serving and forget about wanting that extra large order of fries. and if you still want more, you can still get seconds! again, trick your brain - finish a smaller serving and feel good about yourself instead of trying to finish a large serving and feeling overly full and yucky afterwards!

look at these facts:
~7-Eleven: Gulp to Double Gulp Coca-Cola: 37 cents extra = 450 more calories
~Movies: Small to medium unbuttered popcorn: 71 cents extra = 500 more calories
~Subway: 6- to 12-inch Tuna Sub: $1.53 more = 420 more calories
~Baskin Robbins: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Kids’ Scoop to Double Scoop: $1.62 more = 390 more calories

 until next time..
<3 alaina



i am subscribed to a blog called TART, and it is absolutely fabulous.

if you're looking for a mom with style, you can find one in jessica.

not to mention, her little girl, rowan, is beyond adorable!

make sure you give TART a read!

until next time..
<3 alaina