Easter Meaning

Happy (Good) Friday yall! Today is a very special day for me. I know a lot of you aren’t religious, but hopefully you know if you had read my blog at all that I am a Christian, so this weekend means a lot to me.

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I will be visiting with my family all weekend, so I won’t be around much. Bobby and I are also running the Crescent City Classic 10k on Saturday! I am really looking forward to a fun weekend and hope you are, too.

I hope you know if you ever have any questions about Good Friday, or resurrection Sunday (or anything else related!) That I would be more than happy to talk to you about it, and not in a pushy way!

Have a great weekend everyone, see ya on Monday! I leave you with the lyrics to a great song: (you can listen here)

Christ Is Risen

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely you bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heavens will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold you down
In strength you reign
Forever let your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!
Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he’s alive! he’s alive!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Rise up from the grave…

 

QOTD: Do you celebrate Easter?

Christmas 2013 in Pictures

I had a wonderful Christmas holiday, full of fun, family, and food! I hope you had an amazing one as well, and I hope you made some new memories that will last forever! Here are some of my favorite moments from Christmas.

My house decorated for Christmas

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My parent’s tree

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3.5 mile run on Dec. 23rd

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We visited my grandmother and uncle, he gave us the most amazing chocolates from this cute shop in New Orleans.

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Christmas eve was all about baking and cooking! Not sure why my dad is pointing a knife a the camera. DSC_0013

Snickers cookies for the 12th year!

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Christmas eve church service

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Jack Frost adult beverages with dinner.

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Then it was Guestures by the fire

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We laughed and laughed!

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Christmas morning!

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I have the most generous parents.

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I also have the sweetest husband.

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At my cousins house, we had lunch with extended family, aunts, uncles, etc. I finally got to hold this little guy. This is Colton, my 14 week old cousin! I think he likes me. Smile

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Merry Christmas!

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Christmas 2013

Christmas is also my mom’s birthday, so that night we celebrate! Fun fact: Her name is Mary, and her mom wanted it to be spelled “Merry”, but the nurse messed up and spelled it “Mary” (thank GOODNESS!)

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QOTD: What was your favorite part about Christmas?

***Winner of the Smile Brilliant Giveaway is Julie M comment 95! Please email heatherslookingglass@gmail.com

 

Evolving Christmas Traditions

Today’s guest post is from GirlsGotSole.com. Enjoy!

I’ve been a vegan for four years now, so this will be my fourth Christmas as a veg. Since the majority of my life was spent as an omnivore, enjoying the “traditional” holiday eating and festivities, I can still vividly recall all those years celebrating with my family and friends with certain traditions and
celebrations during this time of the year.

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Being a vegan though, isn’t that far of a stretch from my “old days.” It just takes some planning and you’re
good to go! In fact, I’ve begun to create some new traditions since being a vegan. My family ALWAYS gets together for the holidays, just as most do. Food is a big part of the holiday, so in past years, we would eat meals with meat
like ham or turkey. What my family has done the last three years (going on four) is do a spaghetti dinner on Christmas. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy some awesome pasta? The only difference is that the omnivores in the family make the “usual” meat sauce while I create a veg-friendly option.

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This way, we all sit down and eat the “same” meal together. It has proven to be a great new Christmas day meal and, we ALL love spaghetti.

Since I was young, my mom has had a tradition on Christmas morning of having a birthday cake for baby Jesus. This has continued on for as long as I can recall. Now, I make it my job to make a vegan cake for the occasion. It not only makes me feel good to make Jesus a cake, but my cakes are never sitting around long. We’re lucky if there is any left the day after!

I love being vegan and love even more that my family has slowly but surely come to embrace my lifestyle. There is really not much to the change, and I feel as though I can share my newfound care for the animals with the ones that I love. Family means a lot to me, so that’s a biggie.  I never push my way of thinking on the subject to my loved ones, but it makes me feel good when they tell me my cake or the brownies I made are the best they have
had.

If you’re interested in trying something new this Christmas, here are a few links to check out. I’m not a huge cook, so these will pretty easy.
http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/847964-Cinnamon-Coffee-Cake
http://www.vegparadise.com/cookingwith512.html
http://www.feastie.com/recipes-course/dessert/from/fatfree-vegan-kitchen-83563/season/christmas-83420

7 Easy Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy During the Holidays

Hi! It’s Heather from Divas Run for Bling and I am so excited to be guest blogging here at Through Heather’s Looking Glass. The holidays are my favorite time of year and I am a sucker for all the presents and decorations this time of year. I am also a fan of the food. I have a serious sweet tooth so this season is perfect for me.  It’s just not so perfect for my diet. I will typically gain a few pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas and not all of it comes off when those New Year’s resolutions are made. Since I am not running 10 miles a day to work off all the calories, I have come up with a few tips that will help me stay fit and healthy during the holiday season.

1. Get motivated. I always try to find ways to get motivated to get out the door and run.  It’s not easy this time of year with all the stress and busy schedules and cold weather. As with last year, I have signed up for a spring half marathon. This way, I know that I have to get out there and get my runs in or my money will just be wasted if I can’t finish the race. I am also doing the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak in which you run at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Even one mile a day can go a long way in staying fit and healthy.

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My spring race this year will be the Georgia Publix Half in Atlanta.

2. Make a plan and be consistent. It is important that you have an exercise plan in place to keep you on track. This will help you see what events are happening on a particular day and allow you to adjust your workout schedule accordingly. I have both my training schedule and any events on my calendar so I know when I’ll be able to do those runs and cross training. It also helps me figure out what time of day is best to do those workouts.

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This is my training schedule for the winter months. It’s based after the Beginner Half Marathon training plan at digitalrunning.com.

3. Exercise early. Coming from me, this is kinda funny as I will be the first to tell you I love to sleep. A lot. However, working out in the morning has a lot of benefits.  For one, it gives your metabolism a boost for the day. Also, getting your work out in early won’t interfere as much with all the parties, dinners and family events. This allows you to stick to the fitness plan you decided on and work off some of the calories that you are putting into your body.

4. Track your calories. This is something that I absolutely HATE to do. It’s time consuming and annoying. But it is also helpful. I find that when I know I have to track my calories, I will make healthier food choices. Just looking at my food journal and seeing that 1 slice of pumpkin pie is 323 calories will make me think twice about going back for a second helping.

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I use the food and exercise tracker at myfitnesspal.com.  It’s easy and can track my calories, exercise and water intake. There is also an app for it so I can track when I’m away from the computer.

5. Eat smart. I know it is not always possible to stick to a diet during the holiday season. You can be smart and what and when you eat, though.  Do not skip meals in order to bank calories for the rest of the day. Especially if this meal is breakfast. This will slow your metabolism and cause you to overeat, adding more calories than if you just ate as normal.  Try to eat balanced meals when possible. This will ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Also, it is okay to have a taste of the good stuff (i.e. all those yummy pies and cakes). I try to have a few bites of 2-3 of my favorite desserts so that I can enjoy them without totally going overboard. Be aware of how much you are drinking. Calories from alcohol can add up fast if you are not careful.

6. Drink lots of water. We all know the benefits of water. It helps keep your body working at an optimal level as well as keeps you hydrated and energizes your muscles during the workouts you have planned. Water also will help control your calorie intake. If you are drinking water, you are not drinking other high calorie drinks that are presents during the holidays.

7. Get enough sleep. Not consistently getting enough sleep can have multiple effects on your body. A lack of sleep can slow your metabolism, stimulate your appetite and cause cravings of high carb, high fat foods. Not to mention you’ll be too tired to exercise if you are not well rested.

The most important thing to remember is to stay positive. There is no need to feel guilty if you slip up a bit throughout the season. Just relax and enjoy the time spent with family and friends.

Heather

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Heather is the creator of Divas Run for Bling, a blog devoted to all things running and fitness. She is a runner, blogger and scrapbooker living in Chattanooga, TN with her husband and 3 fur children (2 cats and a dog). She can be found on twitter @divasrunbling and facebook at http://www.facebook.com/divasrunforbling.

New You Before the New Year Challenge

I mentioned on my blog a couple of weeks ago I am now an Advocare distributor.

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Before you roll your eyes and click off this post, I challenge you to scroll down and look at the before and after photos of REAL PEOPLE who participated in the October challenge held by the advisor above me, Janeetha. Below you will fins her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners who won CASH PRIZES after completing the Advocare 24 day challenge. I think you will be as in awe as I was.

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These amazing folks saw drastic changes in less than a month, and you can jump in as well and be healthier before Christmas. Want to know more? Ok. Here are the details:

-Purchase the 24 day challenge from my website. Once you purchase I will send you a welcome email. You can email me ANY TIME for questions, help, or support during the challenge.

-You will be put in a private Facebook group with other challengers where you can share ideas, recipes, and encouragement to hold you accountable.

-There will be the chance to win GIFT CARDS along the way, plus a grand prize of AT LEAST $100. I may even throw something else in of my own if one of my challengers wins. Smile

-You can complete the challenge anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so go ahead and order NOW so you have it ready to go at your house. (order the bundle with MNS 3 or C NOT e).

-Before you start, take your measurements, weight, and before photos (front, side, and back). At the end of the challenge, you will send them to me. Please note your pictures WILL NOT be shared without your permission, and if you decide in the end not to give them that’s ok too, but you will want to, trust me!

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I am in the 2nd half of the challenge myself and already seeing great results, I have TONS more energy, and my workouts are more productive. My appetite is under control as well, and I can’t wait to see the end result. Who is ready to join? It’s easy, just visit AdvoWithHeather.com/24DC and order your bundle pack to get started!

*You can also purchase optional products to go along with the challenge to make it even more effective. I take these two:

Catalyst

Carb Ease Plus

*Interested in getting a % off your own products and making money from buying Advocare or selling to others? Email me about becoming a distributor BEFORE you buy your challenge pack. If you decide to become a distributor, your 24 day challenge bundle will be 20% off! heatherslookingglass@gmail.com

Tip: If you love chocolate, the chocolate shake is yummy!

QOTD: Any questions about the challenge? Who has some goals to reach by Christmas?

Happy Halloween 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I cannot believe it is here AGAIN! (I also can’t believe how many Christmas commercials and items I have seen. Good grief). We don’t exactly have exciting plans, but we will spend the evening handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, carving our pumpkin, and watching one of my ALL TIME favorite movies: Hocus Pocus. Can you believe that movie came out 20 years old? This makes me feel very, very old. However, I watch it every Halloween and Hope I always do.

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Halloween 2012

I will be hiding the candy after tonight, because tomorrow I start the Advocare 24 day challenge. I have been using certain Advocare products for awhile now, and I love them so much I have decided to start selling them. More on that later though, but just know you can order through this link: www.advowithheather.com

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Bobby and I are going to my parents tomorrow because he needs a haircut before our trip and only trusts one lady to cut his hair and she lives by my parents house. Also, I need to do some research for a blog post while we are there as well. I will be around though, so shoot me an email or message on Facebook or Twitter if you need me.

Have a great Halloween, stay safe, and be smart….and scare as many children as possible. I kid…sort of.

QOTD: Do you have any fun plans tonight?

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I will be spending the day with my family today and hope you are doing the same, so there won’t be a “real” blog post today. These moments with family are precious and important to me, I’m sure you understand. See you all tomorrow, and don’t forget we all have SO much to be thankful for today.

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Now, go eat some turkey! Gobble gobble!

Psalm 107:1

    “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

QOTD: What is something you are thankful for today?

Finding a Holiday Balance

 

I don’t know about you, but in my house, December may as well be renamed “the month of indulgence.” I eat everything in the name of “it’s only available during Christmas” or “I worked hard all year I deserved this” or “I will start over in January” and before I know it, I feel tired, sluggish, puffy, and heavier than usual.

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I believe it is important to find balance during the holidays so you don’t end December feeling frustrated, guilt and defeated. So what can you do? Here are five tips that have helped me survive December:

Don’t make any one food “off limits”

In my experience, when you make a food “off limits” it makes you want it that much more, and if/when you do happen to get your hands on it, you are very likely to binge and eat way more of said food than if you would have allowed yourself to eat it in the first place.

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Write workouts into your schedule

This is a good year round practice, but it is even more imperative during the holidays when Christmas party’s, school plays, and Christmas shopping demand your time. Do not let your workout be the first thing to go. Stay strong and you will feel better physically and feel better ABOUT yourself.

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Make time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones

I don’t mean stressful Christmas day with 35 of your closest family members. I mean take some time to chill by the fire and the Christmas tree, reading books to your kids, or watching Home Alone, or baking cookies with your spouse while you listen to Christmas music. Something relaxing and enjoyable, you deserve it!

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Get in the “good stuff”

It’s tempting to ONLY eat junk during the holidays especially if it’s free. I don’t know about you, but I jump at free food all the time even if it’s unhealthy. Why do we do this? Please tell me I’m not the only one. The worst was Christmas time when I was a teacher. Baked good in the teachers lounge every. single. day. It’s ok to indulge, but balance it out with some veggies, fruit, etc. you know, the REAL food!

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Remember to do what’s best for your family

Just because grandma makes five pies and aunt Linda gives three gifts to each child does NOT mean you have to follow suit or keep pace with anyone. It’s Christmas! It’s a season of love, joy, and hope. Start your own traditions, drop ones you feel obligated to do but don’t like. It’s NOT worth you losing your mind to have the most beautiful wrapping paper or the most lights on you house if you sacrifice your sanity.

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QOTD: What is your best tip for achieving balance during the Holidays?

Black Friday Deals

 

The last day of a holiday weekend is always hard. I am sad that Bobby will have to go back to work tomorrow. Oh how I long for the days we were in college and we would go to class in the morning, play sand volleyball after lunch, and hang out all afternoon/evening without a care in the world. Boo.

Anyway, a few of you have emailed me/asked about the deals that yours truly got on Black Friday. I would love to show you, I am quite proud. If you missed my Black Friday madness post go check it out first then come back for this one!

J Crew:

White v-neck regularly $22.50 —> $9.99

Knee high boot socks Regularly $12.50 —-> 7.50

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Bobby also got some boxers regularly $16.50 for $9.99 each (3 pair) and some jeans regularly $59.50 for $35.70, so total we saved $60.84 off of the outlet price.

Ann Taylor:

Striped shirt regularly $29.99 —-> $11.99

Grey shirt regularly $39.99 —> $19.99

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Obviously, Bobby didn’t buy anything here, but I saved $38.00 off of the outlet prices.

Banana Republic:

Feather shirt regularly $49.99 —-> $24.99

Grey boot socks regularly $12.99 —-> $6.49

Dot shirt regularly $29.99 —-> $14.99

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Bobby got another paid of boxers regularly $12.99 for $6.49, a nice pair of Khaki pants regularly $49.99 for $24.99, and a polo shirt regularly $32.99 for $16.49, so we saved a total of $84.50.

Kohl’s:

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I got a dress from Kohl’s regularly $58.00 for half off. It has pockets and ties in the back.

I got several Christmas gifts for 40-60% off, and a nice area run (5 x 7) for the living room regularly $99.99 for $29.99!!! I spent $102 and saved $119! PLUS, I got $15 in Kohl’s cash to use next week.

Shoe Carnival:

I bought 2 pairs of boots, a black and a brown, they are the same brand. I got a steal on these babies, the boots are regularly $59.99 each —> $29.99 PLUS I had a $10 off coupon from the paper. My totally came up 3 cents shy of being able to use the coupon so the think thinking cashier told me to buy a 39 cent lollipop so I could use the coupon. Smile

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So what should have been $120 plus tax —-> $50 plus tax. I was one happy girl!

I still have a little but of shopping left to do for a couple family members and for Bobby, but I was pleased with my Black Friday experience. It was stress free because I didn’t go into it with anything I just HAD to have, I think that is the key!

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We are at my parents today and will be heading back to Mississippi this afternoon to start the work week again. Bummer! Hopefully our gym REALLY opens this week so I can get some workouts in, my foot is still hurting. Speaking of which I will be making a doctors appointment tomorrow so I can get to the bottom of this injury. I hope you all had a safe and happy weekend, and enjoy today.

QOTD: Now that Thanksgiving is over, what are you most looking forward to about the Christmas season?

Black Friday Madness

 

Happy Holiday weekend! Who is still eating leftovers from Thursday? Last night we ate our fourth meal off of our Thanksgiving spread from lunch. It’s so nice not having to cook! It has been a great weekend so far, I am really enjoying having Bobby home for a couple extra days.

Yesterday morning we went to bed at 3:00 after black Friday shopping. Oh yes you read that right. While some were waking up for shopping, we were just going to bed! All day Thursday I tried to take a nap because I knew I would be out late but no dice. We left about 10:00 and headed to the local outlet mall, but first we drove by Best Buy which was not opening for two more hours. I know these pictures are blurry, but you get the idea. The line wrapped almost ALL THE WAY AROUND THE BUILDING!

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We of course did not stand in line. That was one of the great things about our shopping trip, there was nothing we just HAD to have so it wasn’t stressful. Ok so back to the outlet mall. Half the stores opened at 10:00 and the other half at 11:00, and I was NOT anticipating the masses of people that we encountered. The line of cars trying to pull into the parking lot was quite indicative of how the stores were.

We first hit up J Crew and the line was wrapped halfway around the store. Bobby got some boxers and went ahead and got in line while I finished shopping. Then I handed him my clothes and headed to the next store to start shopping and trying on, and then he met me there. It worked out really well for us and he was so sweet to stand in line for me.

After J Crew I headed to Ann Taylor and then we went to Banana Republic which didn’t open until 11, so we had to wait in line outside.

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It opened about five minutes later, and we shopped and then I headed to Gap while Bobby stood in line again. I found a really cute shirt I liked and saw the line had about 40 people in it. I immediately put the shirt back. Saving 25% on one shirt is not enticing enough to make me stand in line for 30 minutes!

We headed to the food court and got a snack and rested for a few minutes. We soon had to shop more because I was getting very sleepy just sitting. (Remember, we got up at 6 that morning and ran a 5k turkey trot!) We walked around a couple more stores but the lines were just getting longer and longer so we decided to leave. Bobby wanted to go to the other Best Buy (there are two close to our house) so I agreed because I was curious to see just how crazy it was.

The parking lot was crazy (shared with other stored like Target, Dick’s, Kohls, etc.) and there was still a short line outside. We only had to wait about five minutes, and it made me think about the TV shows you see where people are waiting outside of a club to go inside, ha. Anyway, we finally got inside and it was very crowded. The line to check out wrapped around half the store then looped back again. They had aisles blocked off by TV boxes to create makeshift lines.

Bobby, started talking to an employee about picking up an item he had bought and paid for online. (Apparently when he bought it the site told him he could pick it up in store.) So then I find out this is my main Christmas gift, and so I was going to get it now instead of Christmas morning because logistically it just wouldn’t work out any other way. Ok, I didn’t really understand, but I went with it. We were given a pick up slip and told to drive around the back to get the item. We were SO happy we didn’t have to wait in the two hour line to pick it up!

So the item gets put in the back of the vehicle, and then Bobby tells me I can turn around and look.

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Wwhhhaaaa? a 60” smart tv?! Crazy! Apparently he got it for 50% off. We had been talking about getting another TV because the one in the bedroom is an old box TV I had when I graduated high school. So we put the flat screen from the bonus room in the bedroom and the new one in the bonus room. So, I got my gift early, and we got it all set up yesterday before the LSU game.

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Do I have the best husband or what? I can’t believe he was able to get it for 50% off. What a great deal! Ok so let me back track a little. So we get home with the TV and have to get it out of the car and up the staircase that has two turns in it. That box was so heavy (one of the reasons he had to tell me about it, so I could help him get it inside.) As we were trying to drag the thing up the stairs, I kept yelling “PIVOT! PIVOT!” from the Friends episode where Ross and Rachel are trying to get the couch upstairs. It was a riot, so funny, and at 2:30 in the morning everything is funny.

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So we finally fell asleep at three and I was so hoping to sleep in, but I woke up wide awake at 7:15. After a little over 4 hours of sleep. I decided to get up and go do a little solo shopping. I hit up Kohls and did some Christmas shopping and also got some new boots at Shoe Carnival. The stores were crowded but not as bad as the night before. Luckily there were enough workers at the stores so there was no waiting. I did get annoyed when I saw a woman in Kohl’s with a Target shopping cart. Really? Target is in a building way away in a separate parking lot. Girlfriend really wanted a buggy. (yes, I call it a buggy. No laughing, please.)

I of course watched LSU destroy Arkansas yesterday afternoon, and then Bobby helped me start on the outside Christmas decorations. It got dark so I didn’t get to finish, but plan to this morning. I can’t ait to show yall the decorations they are really looking great. It was a fun, relaxing day with my little family. Later we are driving to Louisiana to see my parents for some more fun!

GYMBOSS INTERVAL TIMER WINNER

A big thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. If you didn’t win, you can still buy your own timer on the Gymboss website. The winner of the giveaway is

Bonnie!

Comment 45: I Tweeted about it! (@bonnielang) Thanks!

Bonnie, please e mail me at runningwithsass@gmail.com to claim your prize!

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QOTD: Did you go Black Friday shopping? Any good deals?