You Better Watch Out…You Better Not Cry… A Guest Post from Amy!

Hi Everybody, Alyssa here! My lovely friend Amy from Amy’s Writes wrote this post about the holiday season stressers – especially when trying to watch your weight. Amy’s been a great friend to me in Los Angeles and I often think she steals thoughts right out of my head! Read her post and chime in!

Fun fact! Amy and I once dressed as twins for Halloween. When we worked at the same company people confused us for eachother all the time! And NO, we don't usually wear sweaters like that.

Fun fact! Amy and I once dressed as twins for Halloween. When we worked at the same company people confused us for eachother all the time! And NO, we don’t usually wear sweaters like that.

I think I’m afraid of the holidays. Over the past view years, I’ve noticed a crippling anxiety that overtakes me during the holiday season, and each year it seems to get a little worse. Now as much as I pride myself on my talent for collecting obscure phobias, even I can see that this is one I’d be better off without. The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, celebration, thankfulness, and family. And while I do feel all of that, each year those warm and fuzzy feelings are overshadowed just a bit more by sheer terror!

What’s there to be afraid of? It’s just a month long orgy of shopping with money you don’t have, eating foods you normally wouldn’t touch, and fighting crowds to go to places where people you don’t know will wish you “happy holidays” through gritted teeth…oh and guilt…don’t forget the guilt! What so bad about that?

Okay I really don’t want to sound like a Grinch, because the truth is that I do love the holidays and I want to continue to love the holidays. Just like most of you, the holidays hold a precious and nostalgic place in my heart. Unfortunately, that place in my heart is already padded with a layer of winter fat from the constant parade of holiday treats being served up by my coworkers on a daily basis. I wish I could just enjoy the seasonal goodies as the goodhearted and generous gestures they are. As a carboholic though, those treats leave me tiptoeing in and out of the office kitchen as though alerting the sweets to my presence will cause them to leap into my mouth and immediately attach themselves to my thighs.

Look at what was lurking in Amy's office. I couldn't resist, either.

Look at what was lurking in Amy’s office. I couldn’t resist, either.

I don’t want to have to avoid all my favorite things. I would love to just indulge carelessly the way many of my friends seem able to. But I can’t. Eating just one chocolate truffle from the office kitchen could easily drive me into a sugar spiral where I spend the rest of the day forcing as much candy-coated-fat down my throat as I can get my hands on. That’s just how my brain works, and until I accept that, I’m probably going to spend many holidays feeling more bitter than sweet.

So the holidays ARE a bit inconvenient. Okay, they can be downright annoying, and they certainly are stressful. There’s never enough money or time to get gifts, and each year the list of people who deserve and expect gifts seems to double. The food is everywhere, and putting on a nice cuddly layer of winter fat is pretty much unavoidable. But I have to admit, the holidays are still pretty great. Okay, I said it. They’re great. I guess I still do love this time of year more than I hate it, and if anything, the holidays are a chance for me to show a little love and acceptance to the one person I always leave in the cold…myself. I can’t be perfect over the holidays, but if I just stop torturing myself for a minute, I’m pretty sure I can be happy. After all, a little chubby, a little poor, stressed out and totally neurotic, I still have a whole lot to celebrate!

A whimsical wedding: 1920′s style!

The gorgeous bride and dapper groom

Hi everybody! Hope you had a fantastic weekend! Last weekend after Matt and I time traveled to the 60′s, we headed back to Los Angeles to enter the roaring 20s! My longtime friend and twin Amy (at work we dressed up as each other for Halloween once because so many people confused us for each other) was marrying her sweetheart Casey at the beautiful Legendary Park Plaza hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I was looking forward to this wedding for a long time, because I knew lots of my MGA friends would be present, and I was so so happy for Amy to get to say “I Do” to her sweet Casey.

 

The ceremony location

The bride and groom said their handwritten vows under an ornate painted cathedral ceiling, flanked by towering wrought iron gates and a beautiful wooden chuppah draped with flowers and ivy. The bride’s brother officiated the ceremony and did a wonderful job. I really love the touch of people using people they know to officiate their weddings – our 7th grade English teacher officiated our wedding!

Dangerous curves ahead

Matt and I put on the ritz for this wedding, and I was so excited to wear my (size 16!) dress from Nordstrom’s rack. I felt that it was really flattering and comfortable, which is a rarity for curvier gals like me. Evening wear is one of the worst things to shop for, in my opinion, almost up there with bras. However, this dress is a keeper, and I only suffered minimally in my control-top briefs. (I’ll tell you, getting home from an event where you’re wearing some sort of girdle or spanx? The moment when you take them off ranks up there with like… scoring a huge raise, winning the lotto, or some other form of massive hedonistic pleasure. Let the flab fly free after being constricted all evening. Sooo nice.)

 

The gang's all here!

After the ceremony, we headed in to the ballroom, where we enjoyed appetizers, an open bar and a bandstand style band! We swing danced, ate, chatted, drank and enjoyed the vintage photo booth. Here’s a great shot of the whole group, ready to go protest the prohibition. Matt and I cut quite a rug, so I wasn’t feeling too bad about the lavendar macarons I snacked on from the dessert bar. I always forget what great exercise dancing is until I’m out there shakin’ and boogieing and sweating.

 

 

Eric Balfour and Jenny and I

One of the other cool things about this wedding was that there was a CELEBRITY there! I guess I’m still small town Illinois girl in that I get all giddy and excited when I see someone who’s on TV. Amy’s cousin is Eric Balfour, whom I instantly recognized as Gabe from Six Feet Under, one of my favorite shows ever! I very respectfully asked if Jenny and I could take a picture with him and he was super super nice and friendly. Cool!

CAAAAAAKE!

There were three types of cake – carrot, red velvet, and some sort of oreo cookie cream. Yum! I had the carrot cake but by the time we got to cake, I was so stuffed I only had a little bit. Isn’t their cake pretty? Amy’s bouquet and center pieces, and floral elements on the cake, featured succulents! I’ve always wanted to go to a wedding with some succulent touches. I had soo much fun with all my friends at this wedding, and by the time the evening was over, Matt and I had been to the 60′s and the 20′s, all in one weekend. I only wish we could have hit up the renaissance times while we were at it too (I’ve decided that clearly, the reason I’m overweight is I’m just in the wrong era. This body would have been GOLDEN in the middle ages, y’all.)

Congratulations, Amy and Casey – and thanks for letting us be a part of your special day!