Oscar Party

Last Monday morning, I was listening to the Wild 101 morning show on the radio, like I do every morning, on my way home from taking Jared to work. 
They announced a new event they were doing that Sunday (two days ago now), where they were giving away 8 invites through the week for an exclusive Oscar Party at this nice restaurant, and each guest (and the person they brought) got a swag bag filled with $500 worth of stuff. 
I don't make it a habit of calling in to the radio stations (ain't nobody got time fo dat...) but the prizes sounded cool and I thought I'd try. 
After a couple calls getting the busy signal it rang, they asked for my name, and they put me on hold. A second later they picked up and said "we already have our caller 9, but their phone is losing signal so we might have to find someone else...stay on the line!" Then 30 seconds later they picked up and it was the morning show hosts saying I won! Woo hoo! I was really excited because I already planned on watching the Oscars, and we had watched almost all the movies up for best picture, and this would be so fun! Plus the bag of prizes...that was the real reason I wanted to win!
So Sunday night we got all fancy and headed to "Ling & Louis", and Asian restaurant. They had a room in the back with a tv set up, and we gathered with the rest of the 8 winners and their guests. 
Long story short, the radio station paid for everyone's champagne and wine, so in about 2 1/2 minutes after everyone got there, everyone was drunk, well except for the two young Mormons trying to watch the Oscars....
It was a cool experience, and the free 3 course dinner from the restaurant was awesome, I was kind of bummed, all the drunk people were so loud the whole time it was really hard to hear the Oscars, and I was especially annoyed when the entire cast of Les Miserables came on stage to perform, not only could I not hear the amazing song (we looked it up later) but one of the uncultured drunk men, who had previously stated "If Jason Statham isn't in it...I haven't seen it" (tool), commented "Who's he!?" when Ann Hathaway with her short hair came on stage. I could have punched him, she shaved her hair off with a blunt razor on CAMERA and isn't vain enough to get hair extensions, and he acted like a pig. We left shortly after that....
But it was cool to meet the morning show hosts Rick and Edina, and of course our bags are awesome, and we were able to leave around 8, and finish watching the awards at home. 
Here is a video the station did of the event...Notice ours are the only empty cups...haha
and some other pictures. I hate this one of me...but Jared looks so handsome! All the other men who were told to dress "Fancy" showed up in jeans. I'm so glad I have someone classy.
 Give me the food...

 And in this last one... we are on our way out and looking thoroughly annoyed at the drunken-ness.
But here's the good stuff....and note we got two of everything because we each got a bag...

 Aveda Hair products. Certificates for us and 6 guests to go to a wine tasting...That will make a good gift to one of our non-lds friends!
 Blue workout tanktop from Bodybuilding.com
 Sephora makeup. Free spray tan

 Free Massage. Travel mug, gift-card and coffee from the human bean (more non-lds gifts haha)

  Free manicure. Free workout classes
 Wild 101 stuff. $20 to a hair salon
 50% off for any proof eyeware. And our Oscars.

The night was fun, but I think I prefer cuddling on the couch... =]


My Valentine

I love Valentine's Day. I love the celebration of the one you love, and I also love that we got engaged on Valentine's day! Growing up, my Dad used to come to all of my school Valentine's day parties, and that always meant so much to me, maybe that's why, at an early age, I grew to love this holiday so much.
This year, however, I got a whole new perspective. As a teacher, I got to watch kids run around to classrooms giving friends, and various teachers Valentine's. I was overjoyed as kids from classes I have done a little teaching in ran into my little baby room with hand-made Valentine's and hugs for me. One little 4-year old even had his mom type up "You're So Pretty!" Melt my heart!
My coworkers and I all did a Valentine swap as well, and it was so nice to read kind words and appreciate each other. That's what I really feel like Valentine's day is all about, appreciating those you care for!
My sweet Valentine sent me a lily & iris bouquet to work, and I was so surprised! It came with delicious Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolates too. I got Jared the Mumford & Sons CD and Skyfall on Blu-ray. Then for dinner we went to the coolest restaurant, Barbacoa.

We went there last year for our anniversary and had to go again. The food is awesome, the decor is all one of a kind, and everything is for sale, it is really the coolest restaurant I've ever been to.
We both ate goat cheese & lamb enchilladas (the same thing I got last year...so good!) Our appetizer was table-side guacamole. This super talented guy comes up to your table with a cart, and whips up the most delicious guacamole right in front of you....it is so good!
Then for dessert we got a fried ice-cream lollipop tree. Disregard my ridiculous blurry face, and look at that cool tree!
  Haha, the bill comes in an envelope that says "The Damage"

I'm so grateful for the love my husband shows me every day, and I'm grateful for an opportunity to really ponder that. I was so blessed to have him get down on one knee three years ago. I'm quite a lucky girl!


We have a pretty wonderful kind of life here in the Thomas house, and I have had a week of extreme gratitude towards my Heavenly Father for our countless blessings. We really are "living the dream".
A couple weeks ago we were able to watch the Superbowl at our own house! We've never had tv before (and even now...just an antenna!) but we rearranged the living room to get the antenna to pick up CBS and got to watch the whole, pretty boring thing. I made pizza rolls and Tex-Mex dip and Muddy Buddies and peanut butter bars and the whole thing was so fun. Also I ended up loving our living room arrangement so we kept it that way!
Then, as a couple of you saw, this last week we got a beautiful Piano! It is a black 2003 Kranich & Bach and I am madly in love with it. We scored a smokin deal and paid $300 for it! So here is how my new front room looks, ahhh.

We are busy working all day every day, (except for the few rare mornings I get off...love those!) Jared learns more and more every day he goes to his semi-new job, and I think he is so great they should promote him to CFO right now.
Last weekend we went out for lunch at Cafe Rio and afterward there were about 5 cars in the parking lot with trunks open full of PUPPIES! So we each held a few chubby lab puppies (the youngest were 5 weeks...!) They were so cute I thought I would die...but I was so glad I could give them back and walk away...no puppies chewing through all our stuff here, one dog is definitely plenty...for now.

We are happy, and love our calling as the CTR 5 teachers, the kiddos crack us up.
Oh and lastly, I am super grateful for this...
the weather forecast for Boise this week. Hallelujiah.


Shannon Transformed

I've been debating about writing about this for a little while. I'm always afraid someone will see my "after" picture and think "Man she still has a ways to go..." but go ahead and think it people, because today is a good day. Here is a quote from a post I did on my cooking blog about a year ago...
"After high school and entering college, within the space of 3 years I got married, got pregnant, miscarried, and graduated. All of these stressful, and sometimes painful, events led to even worse unhealthy eating habits, and *cringe*...weight gain."
When I wrote that I was 167 pounds. *cringe cringe cringe*. Let's look at how un-awesome that weight looks on me...
Now. 8 months later. I have lost 20 pounds! I'm now 147! I have about 5 more to lose before I'm the weight I was when we got married. It was slow going, but I did it! I'm not done...I'd like to lose another 10, and I'm on my way! So here are some pictures of me today, in the same couple outfits as the *shudder* before pictures.


No more fat face!
So how did I do it? No diets, no excessive workout regiment. No counting calories. Just common sense.
I essentially stopped baking. I haven't given it up (especially with my gorgeous acquisition of my kitchen aid) but no more making treats every other day, now I'm done to about every other week, because I love baking so much.That played a huge role. Because I would eat entire pans of goodies in just a few days...hey I can't help it that I make such good stuff... ;)
No fast food. I can count the amount of times I've had fast food in the past 7 months on one hand (most of them were when we were traveling). We still go out to eat, something I love to do, and I get what I want, but we go to sit down places, and because those places cost more, we eat out less. Eating fast food means wasting calories on nasty bad-quality meat that makes you feel sick after you eat it, and it is just not worth the guilt, and more, the pounds.
Severely limit soda. Not that I had a big problem with this before, but I make it an even rarer occurrence now. That stuff is all poison!
Portion control. That's probably the hardest one. I know how to stuff my face, and thoroughly enjoy doing so. So, instead of loading up my plate, and just fill it to a small/reasonable amount. I don't restrict myself on getting seconds, or thirds, but I eat what's on my plate, and get more if I'm still hungry. This trick totally works! I notice when I get full, because I'm not worried about cleaning my plate, and I don't let myself go hungry, because not only is that miserable, but it doesn't work.
Things I've eaten and know help in the weight-loss process:
Oatmeal. One of those instant packets for breakfast fills me up for a while. I get the kind with the least amount of sugar (and no sweeteners...poison!) and just use water. They are so yummy. Plus they have a ton of fiber, anything with fiber helps so so so much.
Atkins RTD shakes: I know it sounds silly, and I in no way was on the atkins diet, but these are so yummy, they don't have a lot of sugar, and they fill me up when I drink them for breakfast. Tons of fiber and protein, and totally delish.
Almond Milk: As some of you know, I've had chronic sinus problems my whole life. Something I've recently changed is my dairy intake to try to help this problem. I really limit dairy milk to try to help with this sickness, and I've changed over to almond milk, and noticed a difference in my weight too! It is totally delicious,  you can get it unsweetened, and it's creamy like milk. I will still cook with dairy milk, but I only drink almond.
I really didn't have any other hard and fast rules. I don't work out every day, I know I need to implement that in order to tighten and tone, but up until now I was more worried about the weight itself. The only thing I really up-ed was the amount of time on my feet. Standing, walking, strolling, you burn so much more if you are just off the couch.
I eat pretty much what I want, but over the past 7 months my wants have changed a little.
Yes, last week, I bought (and ate) a medium bag of peanut butter M&M's. I ate chips and dip for the superbowl, and I still eat and lot of cheese (I need to work on that). But I really notice a difference when I eat the junk vs. eating salads and other whole foods. It slows me down, and makes me almost groggy. I still love to eat those foods, but to realize the difference goes a long way.
Oh also, especially women, expect to yo-yo. I can experience up to a 5 pound weight swing every day. The trick is to not think you've gained the weight back and give up. Just expect it! Water, food, salt, and exercise for the day can all affect that number on the scale, but pay attention to how you look, that is what matters!
I'm so happy. I've never been able to lose weight before, I've always just given up. I still struggle every day, and freak out when the scale creeps up to 152 (it happens...) But this post is for me, and anyone else to look at and say hey, I can do that, just a little at a time.