Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Incredible, Out-Of-This-World Achievement

I exhibited fantastic self-control all week long.

For one long, long week, I withheld my intense CRAVING for a red velvet cupcake. I just wanted one. That's it. But, do you know how hard it is to work out all the TIME and STILL be craving a 1000 calorie food item?

It's tough.

Ben tried to make it better. He reminded me about how I would definitely be the "Biggest Loser" if I caved. I frowned. That deterred me for a day or two. (Okay, I'll be honest, only about 60 L-O-N-G seconds)

Then, he decided to help me. We walked through two grocery store bakeries. There was nothing. But, I was open for a alternative. I got one doughnut. Just one. That was the day Ben left his wallet at home. And, I left the doughnut at the store.

Finally, I just couldn't do it anymore. So, we got a white chocolate molten cake from Chili's. We shared one between the two of us. I ignored the 3000 calories that screamed at me with every bite. The cake and the calories did not reduce my desire.

Today, in a last-chance resort, we went to Starbuck's. I promised Ben we would only get THE cupcake if it was there.

The cupcake was there. I know the angels were singing. (que Little Mermaid "lolla-la-la-la-lolla-la-la-la" music)

Starbuck's is now my favorite place.  Ever. At the counter, I smiled like a wide-eyed-I-don't-get-sweets-deprived child. I know the Starbuck's lady thought I was crazy.

"They will be here all week." She promised as she handed us the cupcake boxes (one a piece) and I skipped out. (Yes, Internet, I just said I skipped out of Starbuck's)

Tomorrow, I will work out like a crazy woman who just ate a cupcake the night before. And, on Tuesday, to further my (pending) guilt, Jillian returns. She will be there to make me cringe that I ate that  lone cupcake. But today, right now. I have no guilt. Just good ole' satisfaction.

Remember: I was good for one straight week.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stick to PB & J

Ben and I are changing our diet. We are focusing a lot on portion control and healthier choices. It's been going well.

On Monday, for work we had to go meet a nutrition expert. Notice, I said, "For work". We met her at Sam's Club. Our goal: stroll through that massive store and have her point out good choices and bad choices while we took notes. For work. For the students, of course.
At first, it went so well; she pointed good options like walnuts, peanuts, and pecans and how nutritionally balanced the good ole' peanut butter and jelly is for you. Ben and I nodded, oh yes, oh yes.

Then she said: "Canned ravioli is so bad for you. It's basically like eating dead food."

I shot Ben the LOOK. You know the "Didn't I tell you that?" look. Ben cringed.

We strolled on.

Then she said: "Frosted Mini-wheats are not really good, either. They are so full of sugar." Ben nudged me. She continued. "It’s best to get the plain ones and sprinkle a little sugar on them."

Ben gave me the LOOK. I cringed. Don't take away my cereal!

We strolled on. Following her through the store like two little mischievous kids. He nudged me. I nudged him. All behind her back; she had no idea.
Then she said: "Marinated artichokes aren't really good for you either. They are so full of sodium."
I gave her the LOOK. The one that says, "DON'T say THAT! My husband just started eating salads! Don't take away the food that started this revolution!"

After our trip was over, Ben and I felt challenged and encouraged. We took away important information, like don't drink decaf coffee and eat all your meals before 6pm. Important information like that. Just don't touch the artichokes. Thankyouverymuch.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bathroom Buddies

My mom had bathroom buddies. They were her children. We were always running in and out to ask her a dozen questions or just to find out where she was. It's a little embarrassing to admit, but we were her bathroom buddies.

I have bathroom buddies too. I'm the reader. You know, the person who flips through the magazine rack in the bathroom or sneaks the novel in while doing business. That's me.

Recently, I've given up that habit, because I had some uninvited, unwelcomed visitors show up. At first,  I didn't notice their yellow bodies. They stayed in the corners doing their thing. And, I stayed, uh, well, I did my thing.

But that changed. Those uninvited, unwelcomed visitors made their presence a little more well known. You may be trying to figure out which bug I'm ellusively speaking of. Give up. I'm not talking about a bug. I'm talking about the mop and the broom.

Yes, I know that most mops and brooms are kept in the laundry room or pantry or cleaning closet. But, you forget, I live in an RV. The mop and broom are large, awkward (but essential) cleaning utensils. And, the toilet-closet we have is (literally) the largest space for them to be stored.

So, everytime I'm, uh, doing my business, I feel the mop and broom heads staring at me from their place on the floor. Their long, sleek and yellowed necks are completely distracting. I don't feel comfortable toting my Real Simple Magazine with me when those two are staring at me. Instead of the olden days of hybernating while I, uh, do my business, I now RACE to get out of that closet AS.FAST.AS.POSSIBLE.

Perhaps, that was TMI (too much information). But. Doesn't everyone have bathroom buddies??

(Come on, admit it!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Operation Spruce Up

I gazed at the computer screen with wonder and awe. The image on the screen sparked inspiration for me.

 Several weeks ago, Ben and I - with much enthusaism - saw the RV as our little "Extreme Makeover Home Edition". We had great plans of removing or updating the RV installed GOLD lamps, updating all the hardware on the drawers, etc...Those dreams quickly faded. Reality set in for us. Fast. When you know a home is temporary, it makes you lose motivation of putting a little grunt work into remodeling.

Enter Apartment Therapy. I love this website. It showcases beautifully decorated homes all over the USA (except Atlanta!) that are APARTMENT size.

This past week, I stumbled across this little gem: The Janessen Family's Roving Abode. This is about a family that LIVES in an RV. I wanted to become their best friend. Right.Away.

I began to salivate over the green walls, and funky decorations littered across the kitchen. I kept thinking, THIS IS AN RV?!? I want to move in. Oh, wait. I DO live in a RV.

So, we have begun Project RV Spruce-Up. This is where I give Ben drill/paint/etc and I inspect the RV for any drabby areas that need a little encouragement.

First on the list: hang up all the frames and wall art that I've neglecting.

Second on the list: Return to RV inspection.

It will be a work-in-progress, for sure. But, dontcha have to start somewhere?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Dilemma

I shouldn't have done it. Ben even begged me not to do it. But, I'm stubborn and determined, so I did it anyway.

Yesterday, at the gym, I got on the scale. I had great hopes and visions of losing massive amounts of weight.

My hopes and visions sank into oblivion when the scale went up. UP. I GAINED weight. I was devastated. Does the scale not see and feel all my hard sweaty work and dedication?

Nope. Not at all.

Nevermind the fact that is only 1 1/2 pounds (yes, you read that right, a pound and a HALF) weight gain. Nevermind the fact it was probably muscle gain. I was devastated. AND plunged directly into the depths of despair. Just.Like.That. Thanks, you scale you.

I took it out on Ben. I got mad at him for my ridiculous weight gain.

Nevermind the fact it wasn't HIS fault.

All day long, I sulked through the day with the image of that 1 1/2 pounds in my mind.

Eventually, I pepped up my attitude. My resolve returned. I remembered why I love the gym - for Robin and George, Mr. and Mrs. Ironman,  and getting both stronger and healthier.

To compensate for my attitude, I said to Ben: "Do you want to go get cupcakes?"

Have that, you scale you.

NO, really, don't. Please.

Friday, February 19, 2010

This Marks 2 Months

Dear Ben,

Two months ago, in an old chapel bursting with friends and family, I promised you "I do". Two months later, I stand in wonder at the way time flies. Two months, already? Two months ago, I loved you a lot. Two months later, I love you more. Two months ago, I was curious to how much more fun we could have. Two months later, I know there are no limits with us. Two months ago, I wondered if I could be a good wife. Two months later, I am delighted to be your wife. Two months ago, I never noticed other people watching us. Two months later, I catch people listening to our conversation (all the time) because we are just that funny together.

Two months today, I'm so glad to be on this journey of life with you forever.


Your wife

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Honor and Obey

When I married Ben, I promised I would "honor and obey" him. I'm pretty laid-back, but extremely stubborn, so I knew the day would come when this part of my vow would be difficult for me.

It came.

I have unashamedly professed my love for The Bachelor. Each Monday, I sit captivated by Jake and the drama with each girl trying to convince him that she is the best for him.

My co-worker, who also loves the show as much as I do, told me about This is where you can get all the insider-information about the show that you don't get by merely watching the show.

My response to her: a satisfactory mischievous smile. My thought: This is PERFECT!

Casually, I mentioned this fantastic website to Ben. He accused me of cheating. He said, "That is exactly like trying to beat a video game by getting the cheat sheet off the Internet!"

I don't play video games, so I didn't see the correlation.

But because of loving Ben, I decided to honor and obey his wish.

It hasn't been easy. I harpoon my co-worker for additional information. I follow's twitter. And, last night, I almost ran over a kid in Wal-Mart reading US Weekly's cover story of Jake and Vienna. But, I haven't touched

I've been good. I've obeyed Ben's wishes. But after this season ends, I might need to see a therapist.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This is How We Clean

Ben is OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). He is always scurrying around the RV cleaning.

This is not something I dislike in him, I'm all like, PRAISE THE LORD! MY MAN LOVES ALL THINGS CLEANERS AND SPONGES AND MOPS GALORE!
(if I were to be honest, I love it because it means I don't have to do it...But, Internet, you didn't hear that from me, so...shush!)
The other day, Ben decided to a good thorough house-clean. Like a good wife, I decided to join him. 15 minutes later, we were finished. We had folded laundry, washed dishes, vacuumed, cleaned out the refrigerator, cleaned the bathroom, mopped...we did every single ONE of our household chores. Did I mention in 15 minutes?

Once those minutes rapidly concluded our cleaning extravaganza, I realized: I'm going to miss the day we don't live in the RV. I mean, where else can you do THAT much work in 15 minutes? Standing right in the middle of it, I got all nostalgic for the RV. We are NO where CLOSE to moving out of it, but I know there will come a day when it takes me (*cough* Ben) 15 minutes just to vacuum.
That moment of realization almost caused me to shed a tear for the love of the RV. Emphasis on the word - "almost". In the meantime, I am definitely okay if you are jealous. Emphasis on the words "definitely" and "jealous".

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feelin' Like A Movie Star

I feel like a movie star. No, really, dawrlin', I do.

Two weekends ago, one of my friends and I romped around the woods like two tree-huggin' woodland fairies for a photo shoot. It was a LOT of fun. Then, Ben and I spent a good amount of time over this past weekend looking over our Wedding Pictures. I felt so much like a glamorous model - I will even sign your shoe if you want.

Speaking of movie stars, let me tell you what being with Ben has done to me. I L-O-V-E romantic comedies. I love those movie moments you sigh at, tear up at, laugh at - those moments, when you just get all green with envy when the boy swoops up the girl and gives her a real good smack-a-roo right on the lips. Those moments.

Yet, Ben has ruined me for the feel-good, love stories. Now, I can't buy into those precious moments on the screen. Mostly because when he looks at me, I think, This is a real movie moment...those movie stars have nothing on this man I love who loves me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm a simple girl...with expensive tastes.

It was my dear ole' dad (his tagline, not mine) who pointed it out to me and warned Ben:

"She has champagne taste on a beer budget."


"She has filet Mignon taste on a hamburger budget."

Either way, I think you get the picture. I like fine, expensive things, food, experiences. I can't help it. My dad says I get it from my mother.

And, that is not a bad thing.

Fortunately, for me, I married a man who puts up with my love of all things finer and harder on the wallet.

Fortunately for his wallet, we live in a RV.

This weekend, marks a milestone in my life. Yes, I did say LIFE. This is my first time EVER celebrating Valentine's Day. I never dated prior Ben and in our whirlwind of dating, we never celebrated Valentine's Day before we got married. So, this Valentine's Day, I celebrate as a wife.

A deprived-Valentine's Day wife with high expectations for her husband.

No, pressure, Ben, no pressure.

It's caused a lot of anxiety for me. And a lot of pressure placed on Ben.

Fortunately for Ben: he knows his woman very well. Very, very well.

On Friday, as the snow fluttered down, and I was reviewing homework, Ben came and whisked away me from work early. Handing me roses and instructions to pack ("Pack, what?!?!").

My first-ever Valentine's Day weekend adventure began.

He kept me in wonder from the moment we hit the highway, arrived at the hotel, prepared for dinner, walked to dinner IN THE SNOW, and arrived at the most perfect, most incredible, most expensive dinner of my life.

Hello, Sun Dial: you've ruined my palette for food. For ever. We wined (on water) and dined for hours to a 3 course meal as we viewed the city with fog hovering over it and the city's lights twinkling through the elements.

It was perfection.

Ben's wallet is less full. My "champagne/Filet Mignon" taste reeled in this wonderful moment.

The weekend is not over, but my Valentine's Day weekend has already been perfect.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Salad-Loving Monster's valentine.

I've created a monster.

Ben just declared that he has ended his love affair with fast food. He loves salads. And, those pop-tarts I've had as my indulgence are currently sitting on my trashcan.

Valentine's Day is coming up, and in light of that, I want to announce that this week is International Flirting Week. I've had trouble coming up with ways to flirt with Ben. So, I did what any wife would do, I googled: how to flirt with my husband.

I was so embarrassed that I actually searched THAT, that I didn't even open up any link available.

So, I did something else instead. Now, its still a work-in-progress, but at least I didn't need Google's help.

Here are a couple of reasons I love Ben. And, here are a couple more reasons I love Ben.

In the meantime, I have no idea how I managed to unleash this salad loving-monster. BUT. I like it. Oh, yes, I do. A lot.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Living in an RV is a daily adventure. I mean, it is never boring. But the most interesting twist to the entire story is that I'm the only female living on property. And, 90% of the time, I'm the only female working on property.

That provides interesting dynamics for sure. Recently, I've collected a couple of observations to make my point:

(disclaimer: Observations are made in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. In addition, I absolutely ADORE my job, and the views expressed are that of my own and are in no way connected to my place of employment or housing provider. thank-you.)

When we do fun things with the guys (Halloween parties, Super Bowl parties, etc), my idea of a fun night is slightly different. While Ben plans scary movies, pizza and nachos, I envision the cutest scary cupcakes. Or, while Ben plans nachos, wings and yelling at the TV as the quarterback make another incredible pass, I dream of fun football cake pops. Therein lies the dilemma. There have been so many times, the other staff members (including my husband) have had to remind me that the guys are teenage boys. They don't want to have a Decorate Cupcake Party. This is not kindergarten. It.Breaks.My.Heart.

The other challenge is bathrooms. (I know I've been talking about using the restroom a lot lately...) My office is in the middle of Christmas trees, but the bathroom is being remodeled and therefore unavailable. That isn't a problem for the males on property - they go hide over the hill to "mark their spot". Usually, I'll run to the RV, except last week. When I was in the back office for 1.5 hours as an interview took place in the front office. It didn't take long to realize: I had to go. There was no way out, and I wasn't about to interrupt an interview. So, I did what any person would do: I climbed out the window. I had interns and students wide-eyed, scared and amazed. But when you gotta go, you gotta go, ya know?

I could go on about being banned from the attic ("you could get hurt!"), or never being allowed to wash my coffee mug at the house (boys:"No, no, no, Bethany! Allow ME to wash your mug")...And, I could state my case like Rosie the Riveter, but really? Why would I do that?

The way I see it: as long as I'm being pampered and I can bake cupcakes, I'm not going to complain.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Water in the RV

There are moments when I forget I'm living in an RV. I'm sure that statement seems silly to you, but I've established this place as my little there are those moments of forgetfulness.
Until 3am.
Allow me to explain.
In order to use the water, you have to turn on the pump. I'm sure you were all imagining this:

(Nah...I'm a lil' more high-tech than that!)

(Do you see the red light? That is the switch for the pump)

It seems simple enough, until you have to use it ALL THE TIME. Want to wash dishes? Turn on the pump. Need to wet a rag because you spilt milk? Turn on the pump. Shower (after the gym)? Turn on the pump. See? It gets a little complicated. For the most part, I feel I have adjusted rather well. Little turn of the switch and -PRESTO! - I've got water.

The only time it becomes an issue is at 3am. You know, the 3am potty run? It is hard enough to have your bladder wake you up in the middle of the night, stumble out of bed, use the restroom..AND THEN have to remember: Did I turn on the pump?!

Inevitably, it is at 3am that I remember I live in a RV. And, that just like those pioneer women of old, I have to use a pump to go to the restroom.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Restaurant Review: Fox Sports Grill

On Saturday, Ben and I had the opportunity to join friends for a birthday celebration. It was a lot of fun to swap stories and catch up. Our dining choice was Fox Sports Grill. I should probably preface that I'm not typically a fan of sports grill restaurants. Actually, not at all. The menu usually consists of burgers, wings and nachos, plus add in loud TVs screaming the latest sport statistic...simply put, not my type of place.

But last night, my stereotypical assumptions were challenged. We enjoyed buffalo chicken nachos as an appetizers which were not doused in cheese, but actually had great flavor. Then for dinner, I had Cajun pasta - penne pasta with crab, shrimp, and andouille sausage sauteed in a spicy mustard sauce. It was wonderful! Ben ordered a bleu cheese burger with a SIDE SALAD. I don't know what has happened to this man, but I LIKE it!!!

Aside from the incredible food (we brought home leftovers!), I really loved the fact that while there were TVs scattered all around the dining room, they never took away from the conversation.

I never thought I would say this, but I am so happy to say that I hope to return. I really enjoyed it. So, come NBA playoffs, I might just ask Ben if we can go back to the Fox Sports Grill. I mean, Ikea is just down the street and if we go there before, we could both have our cake and eat it too! ;)

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Grand Tour

I was completely absorbed in my magazine when Ben casually says, "Aren't you going to give the grand tour?" It took me a minute to come out of my Southern Living realm, only to realize: Of course!

It has definitely been a challenge to decorate such small spaces. But, thankfully, I came across Apartment Therapy which proved to me that it is not impossible to take small spaces and make them incredible! It also helped that I keep a running mental inspiration board just waiting to be implemented.

I am extremely excited to give you the grand tour of our humble RV abode.

The dining room
The bedroom.

The living room. Doesn't it look like the Crayola box threw up?! I love it.

My table display. Soon it will have flowers in each of the bottles.

The kitchen.

Well, there you go! I hope you enjoyed looking at our little home.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Artichokes Saved The Day

While Ben and I were dating/engaged, we knew we would have one particular huge hurdle to compromise on: food. Our taste bud differences are as opposite as day and night.

Ben: meat lover extraordinaire. Hates all things vegetables and lover of all things processed and packaged.

Bethany: vegetable lover (aka, let me set up my home in the produce aisle, please!). Not a huge meat fan and grew up with everything-made-from-scratch (translate: processed WHAT?).

Upon entering into marital bliss, we set out to the grocery store. I was nervous. Ben was excited. Amazingly, we managed to compromise, save money AND walk away with our own favorites. It seemed to be working - I had my spinach, tomatoes and favorite salsa; and he had his HotPockets, Fruitgushers and favorite cereal. Then enters the ARTICHOKE.

I've gone over with Ben (more times than I can count) the vegetables he WOULD eat. Amazingly, artichokes were on the list. So, I made him a salad of spinach, artichokes, bacon bits and cheese. He loved it. No, I don't think you understand, he L-O-V-E-D it. Last night, I served it again - he gushed on and on about the wonders of artichokes and why were they withheld from his childhood?

I stand amazed. Artichokes have merged one meat lover and one vegetable chick tastes buds into one. To this forgotten and often overlooked vegetable, I say: Thank you. Internet, if you know of any artichoke recipes - send them my way!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reality TV, how I love thee.

I have a confession. I love The Bachelor. A lot. I'm completely HOOKED. (Don't even get me started on Vienna!) Ever week, you can guarantee I will be curled up in front of a screen maintaining my own running commentary of those girls, their tears, guessing Jake's true interest and always questioning his decisions. Oh, yes I do. Its exhausting, but I MUST join the rest of America on providing Jake with my $0.02 cents. Oh, yes I will.

I also really love The Biggest Loser. I love Jillian with her sassy temper. And, I have favorites. Oh, yes I do. I yell at the Red Team winning... AGAIN?!?! I will always note Allison's wardrobe, and I will most definitely push myself a lot harder the next morning at the gym. Oh, yes I will.

I find myself scheduling things around both shows. Sad, I know. But nothing comes in between me, Jake and Tenley, and the Gray Team.

I love those shows for more reasons than the drama they provide; and, Internet, if you have been watching either show you KNOW about the drama! Haha. I love how those shows bring Ben and I together. They are just another way for us to spend time together. For us to have fun.

Every week, Ben joins me as we sit glued to the screen. He rubs my feet (a MUST). And, together, we maintain our own commentary of Jake and his multiple girlfriends and Jake's intentions. And, together, we debate over which Biggest Loser Trainer we like the best and who will win this week's challenge. And, together, we push ourselves harder at the gym the next day. Oh, yes we do.

Come Monday and Tuesday, we anticipate those shows. Then we lament over how in the WORLD we will survive until next week. Oh, yes we do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Ironman

We are very dedicated to the gym. No, seriously, we are.

Every morning, Ben drags me out of bed and we make our way to the local gym for an intense 45 minutes -to- hour work out. Every single day. Oh, did I mention we get out of bed at 6:30am? Oooohhhh...yes. That time of day DOES exist. Sadly.

It may seem like we are regular stalkers, but there is one couple at the gym that we see every single day. We've never been formally introduced, so we call them Mr. & Mrs. Ironman. Appropriate nicknames because they are participating in the IRONMAN competition (we know this because Ben eavesdrops).

Anyway. Back to Mr. & Mrs. Ironman. They are absolute BEASTS at the gym. For instance, Mrs. Ironman runs on the treadmill EVERY SINGLE DAY. Which is admirable enough, except when you note that she ALSO reads a magazine WHILE she runs. And I thought I was a multi-tasker. I'm telling you, I've got nothing on her. To be honest, I try to avoid being on the treadmill beside her. I mean, I can handle an incline of 6 and a speed of 4.0 while watching Good Morning America or listening to Country Music videos, but I can NOT read, speedwalk and watch GMA at the same time!

So, while Mrs. Ironman trains for the Ironman competition, I have decided to compete against her. Yes, all I want to do is achieve "Mrs. Ironman" status. I think the best way to accomplish this is to get Real Simple magazine on iPod. That way I can beat her at her own game! :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

RV Cooking

This weekend, we were overwhelmingly blessed by gifts from a bridal shower hosted for me. While it was incredible to see all the gifts packed neatly in our car, they are now strewn across our living room waiting to be unpacked and organized. Hence, I will need to postpone giving you a tour of my little abode until organized peace has returned.

But never fear, there are always new adventures to share!

Cooking in an RV is a challenge that Martha Stewart - though she conquered jailhouse accommodations - has never experienced. Let me tell you, I had no idea what a roller coaster ride I was in for. The stove runs off of gas, something I have never used. Apparently, in order to use the stove, you have to light the stove each time. Ben and I knew we were in for it when I couldn't even get the lighter to work . Gimme a break! I HAD NEVER USED ONE BEFORE! Ben, of course, started worrying about how I would ever be able to cook if I needed him to light the stove every.single.time. This doesn't even mention his concern about my safety. Thankfully, he found a lighter with a safety device which means I can cook and he doesn't have to worry about a RV fire!

Once we overcame the lighting challenge, I set off to cook on a gas stove. Let's talk about the oven, for a minute, shall we? Last week, I decided to make brownies for the young men. This is not a difficult task - I've made brownies before. Follow the directions on the back of the box, pour into a baking dish, bade and eat. Simple, right? The box said to bake at 350 for 36 minutes. I did exactly what the directions said, but 15 minutes later, I checked the brownies. They were done, in fact, the bottom was burnt. I have never heard of a pan of brownies burning within HALF the time needed to bake at the CORRECT oven setting. I have a lot to learn. Needless to say, my pride prohibited me from giving the guys the brownies. Maybe another time, boys, maybe another time...

My endeavors to cook on the actual stovetop have been a success. I've managed to make scrambled eggs, pad thai, and chicken alfredo (not together, of course!). I'm slowly branching out to try other recipes, but really, the gas stove has made me so nervous, I'm extremely thankful for the 7 boxes of cereal we have right now.