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Sam Dobson Writes: August 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Add 30 Day Challenges To Your Workout

It's that time of year again, time to get that body in shape and bikini ready! Wait, what? Summer is just about over. Oh well, now is as good a time as any to get back on the health and fitness bandwagon. While most girls were killing it at the gym for summer, I was renovating and moving into my new house. Renovating does wonders for your diet and by wonders I mean its amazing how quickly you start to pack on the pounds after countless take-out meals, delivery pizzas, and fatty fast food. I know, I know, shame on me. In my defense, the last thing you want to do after painting, hammering, sawing, tiling all day is slave away in the kitchen. Not to mention, we didn't even have a kitchen for about two months. Anyways, it goes without saying that I gained back every pound I had lost for my wedding and then some!

As I was saying, now is a good of time as any to cut the weight. I hid my pale and slightly overweight body in yoga pants and baggy tees all summer. Now that the house is almost done (just a few little projects left) and we are starting to get back into a normal routine, I want my pre-wedding body back. Scratch that. I want my post-break-up body back (I'm talking about my ex, not my husband), without the heartache of course. To jump start my fitness comeback, I decided to spruce up my exercise routine with some simple 30 day challenges. There are oodles of them on Pinterest. 

30 Day Challenges

30 Day Challenges

30 Day Challenges

Obviously these challenges on their own won't work overnight miracles. I added abs, arms, and squat challenges to my diet/exercise plan. Along with cardio, some yoga, and weight lifting at the gym, these challenges will help me stay motivated if nothing else. It sort of adds a little fun to the whole thing, sort of like a bet I have with myself. To help keep me on track, I took to writing each individual day's challenge exercises in my planner. That way there is no hiding from them. Everyday when I open my planner, there staring me right in the face will be my fitness goals, not to be ignored. Checking each one off will give me some sort of satisfaction, I'm sure. 

30 Day Challenges

Sometimes you just want to prove to yourself that you can, that you will get it done. I know I can, it's will I? That's why I incorporated these challenges, to keep myself on track and accountable. Give me a schedule, I'm more likely to follow it than to get a wild hair up my butt every day and say "let's go to the gym for shits and giggles". That's just not who I am and that's okay. I need motivation, so I'm going to give it to myself. Feel free to help keep me accountable, friends and family. Text me, call me, call me out on Facebook, anything to make me think "crap, I better get on it". I promise to do the same for you when you need it. 


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Quarter Life Crisis

The other night I was at my best friend's new house for girls' night. There we were, sitting out on the patio in the summer evening warmth with red wine in hand. The agenda was typical for girls' night: catch-up, gossip, and reminisce. "How's married life?" "Did you hear about so and so?" "Remember that night in Mazatlan on our Senior Trip?!" As we discussed our grievances with work and our personal lives, what became of some old classmates, and the handful of memories on the menu for that night, I just blurted out "man, life isn't at all what we thought it would be, is it?"

I didn't necessarily make this comment with a negative connotation, but more as a general observation. Don't get me wrong, we are lucky ladies. Take my life for example; I own a home in the recently ranked 10th snobbiest small city in America, I married a pretty cool dude, and I'm a published writer (you can see my stuff in Cigar & Spirits Magazine, in case you didn't know -- insert winky face here). Even with all these blessings, I have to admit that my life isn't how I pictured it would be back when I was seventeen.

One day I woke up and all of the sudden I was an adult. When the hell did that happen? Didn't I graduate high school just a few months ago? No, more like nine years ago, NINE! Holy crap, where has the time gone? Now it's 2014 and I'm a little over two years away from the big Three-Oh. There we were on girls' night, my friends since high school and I, carefully analyzing in our heads just how we got to where we are, where our lives veered off the path we had hoped for. I love my life, I really do. It's just that, to be honest, I could love it more. Again, please don't assume I'm a selfish bitch who doesn't know how lucky she has it; trust me, I know. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want more and I don't see anything wrong with wanting to be better, to go farther, to achieve greater.

If you're life is everything you hoped it would be, then good for you. I really mean that. But if you get this daunting feeling sometimes that things should be different, a feeling that something is missing from your life, then welcome to the quarter life crisis club. The missing piece to my puzzle is my career. I do love working with dogs and helping homeless animals, it is a job that takes a lot but gives a lot too. It's just that my heart belongs to the pen and paper, or the laptop nowadays. My dream is to build a successful writing career and no matter how many homeless dogs I place or how many good days at work I have, I still feel like that piece of my life is missing (I will always continue my work with rescue, fyi). Because I'm human, this void does on occasion get me down. Now that my thirtieth birthday is rearing its ugly head, this void is accompanied with a panic that I'm running out of time to make my dream come true, to get the last piece of my puzzle.

Quarter Life Crisis

During the few days since our latest girls' night where we all came to terms with our varying quarter life crises, I have battled with my own thoughts and emotions on the subject. My husband will tell you that every so often I do (ironically) throw a mini baby fit about getting older, but I have decided that I am no longer going to allow myself to freak out about passing time. I do want more for my life (mainly career-wise) and I will continue to push myself to achieve those goals. There is a good chance that I won't reach my career goal, but if I continue to try my best and work hard, then in my mind I've succeeded. I guess the point I'm trying to make for all my friends in the quarter life crisis club is this, don't be too hard on yourself because your life isn't as your seventeen year old self had planned. Just do what you can to make the life you want today.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why I Love The Great Gatsby

The other evening I was browsing through the movie channels that my husband just had to have and I stumbled upon The Great Gatsby staring good ole' Leonardo Dicaprio, who only gets prettier and better with age (perhaps he's made some sort of deal with a witch doctor or something). It was not my first time seeing the newest version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous work. When the star-studded film was first released, my fellow college English majors and I took a field trip to the movie theater. Maybe it was the few cocktails I threw back before settling in at the theater, but the drama unfolding in front of me seemed more like a Jay Z music video than a portrayal of a classic piece of American literature. Nonetheless, I was hooked.

So why is it that despite rolling my eyes at every shot of that stupid green light, I still sat there totally mesmerized? It didn't matter that I hate Daisy as a character (she's a selfish bitch), that I can't stand Tobey Maguire in any role, or that I've had to read and write about the novel over and over again throughout my educational career, Fitzgerald won me over a long time ago. How on the earth did he do that? Well, Mr. Gatsby is one hell of a charmer. That's right, it's all about Gatsby. That's what draws people in, get's them to look past stupid Daisy and that really annoying symbolic green light.

The Great Gatsby

Gatsby is the epitome of the American Dream. He's a self-made man, albeit his methods may not have been on the up and up, but I would argue that too has it's place in the American culture. He is handsome, hopelessly in love, and a very determined dreamer. Fitzgerald created a character that people can relate to, not necessarily in the shady business aspects, but more as symbol to never give up hope. I think that is the reason people fall in love with The Great Gatsby, after all, hope is a very powerful thing

Just for fun, in honor of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his dazzling Jay Gatsby, I want to share some pretty cool (and nerdy) Gatsby loot I found while surfing the web. Most of this stuff can be found on Etsy and I have listed the shop name below images. See, Fitzgerald still has fans some 90 years later. So much so, that his novel and his characters have inspired people to create all sorts of Gatsby loot.

Gatsby Button by ByTheLightOfTheMoon on Etsy

Gatsby Phone Case by CaseCaseBangBang on Etsy

Image found on Pinterest...too funny to not share. 

West Egg/East Egg Friendship Necklace
Image found on Pinterest

Gatsby Book Locket by junkstudio on Etsy

Gatsby Shirt by CrazyPrintsL on Etsy

Gatsby Clutch by chicklitdesigns on Etsy


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Prettiest Popcorn I've Ever Seen

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a popcorn addict. My husband will tell you that I can easily eat popcorn everyday. I had a popcorn bar at my wedding, for crying out loud! So, there it is. I have a strange affliction for popcorn and I don't have the slightest clue as to how it happened. All I know is that I love it and I love trying new flavors and concoctions.

The other day, I came across what looked like the prettiest popcorn I've ever seen. You see, I follow Lauren Conrad's blog or should I say "her company's blog" on Instagram. Everything they post is pretty, everything. So far, it is the only post of theirs that has inspired me to actually visit her website. I just had to get my hands on that recipe. It's clear to see what my priorities are.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the time just yet to break out my cooking tools and create this amazing piece of heaven. I still feel that it needs to be shared. Of course I will update you with my final comments once the taste tests have been completed. For now, here's the recipe and should you decide to whip the pretty popcorn up before I do...sharing is caring.

Cake Batter Popcorn
Photo Cred: www.laurenconrad.com

Lauren Conrad's Cake Batter Popcorn

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 cup melting white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dry boxed yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  1. Use your preferred method to pop the kernels. I like to use my air popper because it's easier and healthier. (Haha! It will be healthy until you slather all that goodness on it.) Once your corn is popped, spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl and then add the cake mix to the melted chocolate. 
  3. Pour the chocolate/cake batter mix over the popcorn and mix until popcorn is evenly coated. 
  4. Add sprinkles and mix once more. Let sit at room temperature until hardened (about 15 minutes).
  5. Enjoy!

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