29 April 2012

Due to the passing of a wonderful and inspirational little friend of ours, blogging will be on hold until Thursday. We are spending the majority of this week with friends and family, celebrating the life of a very special 7 year old boy who lived a bigger and fuller life than most of us ever will.

{The Stud Muffin} Eat Mor Meat

28 April 2012

 I like chicken. Micah likes cow. 

Since I refuse to eat anything that once had eyelashes, every once in a while, he cooks a non chicken meal to prevent him from growing feathers and beak. If you ask him, too much chicken could be disfiguring and every man needs a good steak and beer once in a while.
Rib-eye steak
1 Tsp Coarse sea salt
1/2 Tsp Cracked pepper
3 Springs fresh rosemary
3 Cloves garlic
Pat of butter

1/2 Lb brussel sprouts
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
3/4 Tbsp coarse mustard
1 lemon
1/2 Can light beer
 2 Tbsp Parmesan
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees
2. Heat cast iron pan on stove until 'screamin' hot with EVOO
3. Season steak with salt and pepper to taste
4. Brown garlic cloves in hot oil until browned on both sides and remove
5. Sear steak until carmelized on both sides ~1.5 minutes each side
6. Place garlic and rosemary on steak with pat of butter
7. Place in oven 

Medium Rare: 5 minutes
Medium: 7 minutes
Medium Well: That's just wrong.
Well Done: You wasteful showboat.

8. Remove from oven and plate
{Brussel Sprouts}
When steak is on stove, combine all veggie ingredients (minus parmesan and lemon) into pan and simmer until beer reduces down and sprouts are carmelized. Finish with squirt of lemon and parmesan to taste.

Liebster Blog Award

27 April 2012

 I haven't prepared anything, and my beauty queen wave needs some tweaking, but I have my faux 'pretty cry' down pat. Here it goes.
Bonnie of Mini Me Style recently awarded me the Liebster Blog award! The German word "Liebster" translates to English as "beloved" or "favorite", and this award is given to new, up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. I was so excited to get the award and can't wait to pass it on!

 Meghan at The Magpie

 Kym at Bitty and Bunny

  Becca at Love Always

Kelly at Enter Kelly

Candace at Mint Blush

In order to accept the award:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

Stately Design

26 April 2012

Shirt: Old Navy (2012)  Skirt: Gap Outlet (2012)  Belt: Forever 21 (2012)
Wedges: Payless (2012)  Necklace: Forever 21 (2009)  Bangles: Forever 21 (2012)
I saw this wall while heading to my neighborhood Goodwill a few weeks ago, and decided I needed to make it mine. 

So I headed over to the Texas Department of Public Safety and took these photos. Yes, behind this wall, tickets are processed, ideas for snazzy new street signs are composed and a cop mannequin stands in all his glory, scaring the living daylights out of innocent photo takers. Like Micah. 

To cut costs, it seems that the DPS has employed a dummy cop (no pun intended) to stand guard at the front, scaring off the baddies who have come for justice in the off hours. Or girls in skirts wanting to take a pretty picture. I think even in wedges I can outrun that guy.

{Beauty Mark} Tree Hut Sugar Scrub

25 April 2012

I think I can speak for most everyone when I say spa treatments are heavenly.

They're also expensive.

As much as I've begged, pleaded and cajoled Micah into being my personal masseuse and spa boy for the day, I still haven't got my wish. I find myself alone in my homebound spa adventures, so I have had to get creative with my product use. My rules are:

They have to smell good.
They have to actually work.
They can't cost more than $10.

Well I have been poking around Target, Walmart and my local drugstores and have come up with quite an array of products that are just as heavenly at home, and  get the job done without actually costing us the visit of a spa day.
One of my favorites is a sugar scrub. It can be used in the shower and gently exfoliates, which lays the foundation for lotion to do its job, as well as leave your skin glowing. Tree Hut Sugar Scrub is a great way to clear off the dead skin left behind by winter and kick start your adventures in the sun. It smells insanely good, and I may have experienced some mouth watering during my shower. It makes me crave dessert every time I open the container, and it leaves my skin incredibly soft and smooth.

Win, win. 

They can be found at retailers nationwide, as well as online retailers such as CVS, Amazon and

The website lists the scrubs, the ingredients and what each scrub is made to do.
They are all great quality products, so the decision is up to you!

Disclaimer: This product was not given to me nor was I compensated for this review in any way. This product was purchased by myself with my money because I felt like it. That's how I roll.

{Giveaway} Everyone Gets a Humpback Whale!

24 April 2012

Well, not quite.

That'd be pretty inhumane, dontcha think?

But I have something better. Much better. My friend Angie has a gift. And that gift, is the gift of design. Web design to be more specific.

And she wants to share that gift with one of you.
So, in celebration of my little blog having over 100 followers, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading along, leaving sweet comments and Tweets and spreading the word!

I collaborated with Angie from Angie Makes to give away a free blog design! Satisfied with your current design? Well, she can assist in adding buttons, links, blog tweaks, etc! Your wish is her command.

Angie just transitioned into full time design work and I always believe in helping out an ambitious small business owner! She helped redesign my blog header, photo and link buttons this past week, and with such a quick turnaround time! I gave her some ideas and colors that I wanted to see used, and she made this beauty for me! Oh what? There's more? Yup.

She also has offered to design your personal or blog Facebook page! Yeah, she's awesome. I know.

This is a great opportunity for newbie and seasoned bloggers alike. I was hesitant to change my design, but once she got me started on new ideas/colors/things to change, I was like a boulder rolling down a hill. Unstoppable.

To enter, you must be a follower on either GFC or Bloglovin, and leave a comment here for each of the following that you do:
  • Follow me on GFC (+1 entry)
  • Follow Angie on Facebook (+2 entries)
  • Follow Angie on Twitter (+2 entries)
  • Follow me on Twitter (+1 entry)
  • Follow me on Facebook (+1 entry)
  • Follow me on Bloglovin (+1 entry)
  • Mention the giveaway and link back to this post at the end of one of your posts this week (+2 entries)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (+2 entries) *For this, you must include both @secondhandmagpi and @angiemakes in the tweet, the link to the post, as well as include the link to the specific tweet in the comment*

    That's a total of 12 entries!

The giveaway will stay open until April 30 and the winner will be announced May 1!

A New Chapter

23 April 2012

So I got me a job. 

It's been seven weeks since I passed my boards, and the job hunt has been more than a little grueling. Austin is a great place to live and work, so competition for a job is tough, especially for a new grad! I'm excited to be starting this new chapter in my life. 

This week will be orientation overload, so bear with me as I learn to balance 10 hour days with blogging. I may have a bit of scheduling whiplash, seeing as how I have a completely open schedule now and I will have around 3 hours a day once I finish work. 


So, if things are spotty or I misspell every third word, hang in there. My brain may just be filled with the screams of children, concerned parents and billing codes.

In other news, notice anything different?? Stay tuned for the mega-giveaway I'm doing to celebrate 100+ followers!! It starts tomorrow :)


I just ordered the cutest little bag from Lulu*s for my new camera case!

I also just ordered this fantastic camera bag insert from Darby Mack's Etsy shop to go in said purse. It's a great alternative to buying a designated camera bag, as this can double as a purse, and I can switch this out to any other bag of my choosing!

Plus, the mint and coral go so well together, no?

Instagram Pics of the Week

22 April 2012

What a fun week! Some big changes are coming to my life and to the blog this coming week, so get excited! Here are some of the things I manage to capture on the fly!
Clockwise from top left: Shape Diva Dash race gear | New glasses! | Celebration flowers | It's back! My favorite magazine of all time! | We had Zilker Park all to ourselves | Race morning | Amazing sunset (no filter used) on the drive home |

{The Stud Muffin} Peruvian Beer Can Chicken

21 April 2012

Those poor chickens. We kill them, pluck them, and then stick a beer can in a compromising place. To add insult to injury, we set them on the grill. All of that, and they didn't even get to make the trip to Peru.

And yet, they reward us with amazing flavor.

Taking one for the team
This guy... so uptight.

1 Whole Roasting Chicken (2lbs)
2 Dried Ancho Chilis
2 Dried Smoked Chipotles
1 Tbsp Cumin
1.5 Tbsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
4 Lg. Cloves of Garlic
1 Dark Beer in a Can
1 Lime (Zested and Juiced)
1 Tbsp EVOO 

{Dipping Sauce}
2 Cups Greek Yogurt (Plain)
1 Lime (zested and juiced)
1 Jalepeno (seeded and chopped)
1/2 Cup Cilantro

**If cooking on charcoal grill, light coals 1 hour before cook start time**

1. Blend all spices, chiles, oil and lime juice/zest together to thin consistency (We use Magic Bullet)
2. Pour mixture into gallon Ziploc bag
3. Place chicken into bag with marinade and massage marinade into chicken through bag
4. Let chicken sit for as long as possible before cooking (2-4 hours min.)
5. Blend all dipping sauce ingredients together in food processor (or Magic Bullet)
6. Cover and refrigerate sauce until chicken is finished
7. Open beer can and enjoy 1/4 of can before inserting into chicken (no epidural available)
8. Chicken should be able to stand upright awkwardly with drumsticks facing down without touching grill
9. Roast chicken until interior temperature reaches 160 degrees with meat thermometer
10. Outside should look carmelized and evenly charred
11. Rip and dip! Enjoy!

{If you roast corn in the grill with the chicken, wrap in foil and corn will take on smoked flavor of chicken.} 


Coloring Outside the Lines

20 April 2012

I have been trying to expand my shopping arena. 

I shop like I order food. I may peruse the menu, but I always go back to my original order. The one I get every time. Same with shopping. I go to the same few stores over and over again, and neglect glaringly obvious ones. 
Take Kohl's for instance. I knew they had 'celebrity lines' but I usually find those a little much, and ridiculously overpriced because there's a famous name on the tag. I walked into Kohl's the other day on the hunt for a navy and white striped maxi dress and ran across the LC Lauren Conrad line. Once I started looking at the styles (and the prices!) I wondered why I hadn't stopped at Kohl's before?

I have always liked her style, and she never has an unflattering moment. She is the perfect balance of the girl next door and the girl you always wished you could be, and her style is relatable, approachable and translates to real life flawlessly.
As for the product, the quality is much better than I would have expected, and the colors and prints all translate well in real life. The pink dress above actually has a faint cream polka dot print, and the florals are all very detailed and richly colored. The fit is questionable with many of the items, namely the dresses, but then again, Lauren Conrad I am not :)
As I wandered through the pastel and floral infused selections, I started getting a little overwhelmed with all the items I would buy with an unlimited budget. I reigned myself in and chose a few items to try on, hoping for a miracle. 

It so happened that most everything I tried on needed to be sized up or down, so I went to the interwebs, hoping for more luck. I ordered a few of the pieces seen here, and fingers crossed they work!
Check out more of her style and tutorials on beauty, decor and food on her website, as well as Pinterest! There are a ton of things I want to try, and no better time than the present to get started.

Glutton For Color

19 April 2012

Dress: Issac Mizrahi (2008)  Sweater: Target (2009) 
Belt: Forever 21 (2012)  Shoes: Payless (2012)  Bangles: Forever 21 (2012)
Nail Color: Jaded by Revlon
I love this dress. 

It caught my eye the minute I saw it on the rack, and has been one of  my favorite pieces ever since. There are so many different ways to wear this, and pairing it with this short sleeved sweater and bright belt add more dimension and allowed me to work it as a skirt.

This was my Easter Sunday outfit, and I felt like a technicolor Easter egg. And it felt fantastic. I actually paired it with raspberry heels once I got to looking at it more, and decided that I just needed thismuch more color. 

I'm a glutton for color. Sue me.

{Beauty Mark} Loreal Sublime Bronze

18 April 2012

Summer is fast approaching, which means shorts and bathing suits are on their way as well. And we all know how much I love that idea.

Not sure about you, but I tend to keep a pretty pasty pallor during 9 months (ok, 12) of the year. I am completely incapable of getting a tan. I step into the sun, turn pink, burn, peel, repeat. So my idea of being 'bronze' is with 6 layers of self tanner topped off with SPF 85. I'm a regular Brazilian beach bum. 

I don't quite have the cash to get airbrush tanned every 10 days or so (but if I did, I would!) so I use this stuff. 

Loreal Sublime Bronze is pretty spectacular. I get compliments on my 'tan' every time I do it, and it's pretty much foolproof to apply. The Sublime Bronze is a quick dry formula, which means it can tend to dry out your skin if applied on its own. It also increases the chance of streaks.
I buy the Deep Natural and mix it in with my regular lotion. The beauty of this is I get a medium color while moisturizing. Using it with lotion also allows me to layer it gradually to prevent that Oompa Loompa orange that too much tanner can cause. 

This product is also sold in wipes, gels, and sprays, as well as temporary color options. I am a fan of the wipes as well. If I'm going for a really dark look and don't want to spend a week building up the color, I use the wipes to buff on the color first. I use 2 wipes (1 for legs and stomach, 1 for back arms and chest) and rub in circular motions to make sure I have completely even coverage.

I let that layer dry for around 10 minutes, and then apply the lotion on top.

You can find this at most grocery stores, drugstores, Amazon and mass retailers such as Walmart and Target.

Disclaimer: This product was not given to me nor was I compensated for this review in any way. This product was purchased by myself with my money because I felt like it. That's how I roll.

My First Child

16 April 2012

I don't think I have quite explained to you the depth of my love for my dog, Corky.
He is essentially my child with wavy black fur. No, not the 'dress your dog up in clothes and marry it off to the neighborhood mutt' kind of child. No dog would be good enough for my precious... 

Corky has been my dog for almost 5 years now. He's a 6 year old border collie/golden retriever/sometimes human mix. He is not only my loyal companion, he's my shadow. If I take a shower, he lays by the the door. I can't cook without tripping over him, go for a quick errand without him in the front seat or leave town without taking him with me. He looks at me like I hung the moon, and I simply can't get enough of my handsome guy.
Keepin it classy
Keeping close watch on the garbage man
Corky came from a shelter, where he was placed after he was found beaten and chained in someone's backyard. He was 6 months old when he was removed from the property, after the original owners moved and left him abandoned in their yard. They beat him with brooms, hoses and left him to starve. Luckily, someone found him before it was too late and took him to the shelter. I found him at 10 months old, and we haven't been apart for more than 10 days since. 
He is a calm and gentle guy that is a complete gentleman indoors. He doesn't bark unless someone knocks on the door, is very careful with people, and actually worked as a therapy dog when I was in college. Hopefully we can get him back into the swing of things soon. Outdoors, he's a beast. He loves hiking, kayaking, jumping on trampolines, the snow and his most favorite thing is paddleboarding. No joke.
He's impossibly soft, and loves nothing more than to lay next to me on the couch with his head on my lap. He adores cats and will frequently share his bed (totally platonic) with one of our kitties, or let her clean his face and ears.
Corky and his best friend, Kitten
We got another dog 10 days before Christmas and she is high maintenance, to say the least. Micah wanted a dog that was more 'his' and that worshiped him like Corky worships me. Mission accomplished. She is a lot of crazy in a petite package, and drives him nuts. There are many times he has looked up at me with her hanging from his collar, tugging and growling, with eyes that say 'Are you serious with this? Why mom, why?'

I love him so, and have dog mom guilt every day for getting another dog that steals even an iota of attention from him. So, today, I have dedicated this post to my Corky Bear.

Corky in the mountains in Idaho
Paddleboarding in Austin

Instagram Pics of the Week

15 April 2012

Spring has sprung! And so has Instagram for Android! All of this beautiful sunny weather has brought us out of our winter hiding, and has been keeping us pretty busy over the last couple of weeks!

Here are some photos of the week's happenings.

Clockwise from top left:  Bonfire at the ranch | Micah and the pups paddleboarding | Orchid Nail Lacquer in When Lightning Strikes | Spring mushrooms | Confetti egg attack | Spring fields | Finally back to climbing | Zilker Park for doggy play day | Paddleboarding date night

Spring Showers Bring Summer Swimsuits... Eek

13 April 2012

Well people, spring is here. 

While I love the signs of the world waking up with the green leaves, endless flowers and pollen dusted cars, a small part of myself cringes. Spring and fall are my most favorite seasons. So why cringe?

Summer is my least favorite. By far. And it's on its way in a hurry.

Summer in Austin is like living in a humid sauna with a bunch of ridiculously tanned and fit people, all wearing tiny clothes. Right when we moved to Austin last summer, all of the health stuff kicked in, and I was incredibly uncomfortable (and insecure) wearing shorts, tank tops, really anything summery. I was having insane hot flashes and would sweat profusely in the air conditioning, so venturing out was out of the question.


I was also 30lbs heavier. And feeling pretty low about myself. Now, I am on the up and up and trying to shake the fat girl feeling. I am shrinking slowly, but definitely still have lots of lumps and bumps, as well as some really weird extra skin hanging out in very visible places.

With cooler weather clothing, I have been able to artfully disguise the parts of me that are still changing, and I have grown very accustomed to being more covered up. Now that the temps are rising by the day, I'm having to come to terms with a lot more of this new figure being exposed. 

I also realized that I beefed up my fall and winter wardrobe, and nothing from the last two summers fits. By a long shot. 


Outfits like this aren't going to fly for long, as I was already a little toasty in this in the 80 degree evening. I know shorts, shorter skirts and tanks are going to be essential to survive the hot summers. And swimsuits. Even typing that word made me a little dizzy.

I guess there is a part of me that thought by this time, I would be back to 'normal' and I wouldn't be worrying about buying a whole new crop of clothing in larger sizes. There is a little bit of embarrassment, a little bit of defeat and a lot of determination to return to my normal size. 

Zebra print? Or Crazy squiggly line print?
Shirt: NY&Co (2008)  Skirt: Old Navy (2012)  Belt: Forever 21 (2012)
Sandals: Charlotte Russe (2011)  Bangles: Forever 21 (2012)
Aviators: Gas Station   Purse: Thrifted (2012)

So, I will be venturing out to find some more transition clothes for the upcoming heat and humidity, as well as a very cute one piece that I can wear shorts with. Excuse me, I believe I just threw up a little.

Pray that I don't have a completely unhinged moment and that the shop girl doesn't find me rocking in a corner in the dressing room. Drunk and crying. Because right now, that's what my Saturday is looking like.

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