Oh Hey, Friday!: Inauguration Day Edition

Happy Friday everyone! No, today’s post has nothing to do with the actual inauguration, but it IS that day, so….okay. It’s way too Friday to deal with all my feelings regarding politics right now, so here’s some other updates from the week!

Smuckers Reduced Fat Natural Style Creamy Peanut Butter


So, I’m trying to cut down on my sodium and fat intakes, but I love me the heck outta some peanut butter. Luckily, I found this amazing peanut butter that has less sodium AND is reduced fat! Try it out!

Chopped: Tacos and Hot Dogs Editions


Once I angrily discovered that there was NOT a new Grey’s Anatomy last night…


I turned to the Food Network and watched taco-themed and hot dog-themed episodes of ChoppedFirst of all, tacos SHOULD be included in every meal (including dessert), but hot-dog themed desserts (when one of the ingredients is corn dogs) is truly disgusting.

The New Match Game


I’ve only seen one episode of this show so far, but I’m loving it! I was always a fan of the randy original Match Game, but the mix of Alec Baldwin and some of my favorite celebs is just too good to pass up!

Tuxedo Hot Chocolate


Have you have the Tuxedo Hot Chocolate from Starbucks yet? Go do it. RIGHT NOW. I’ll wait. Ah yes, wasn’t it delicious? Yeah, it’s a bit much, but I agree that having just one is totally fine 😉

See y’all next week! Have a great weekend!


Resolutions Check In!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Have you all been working on your resolutions? I…have not.

I’m incredibly disappointed in myself, but it’s never too late to turn things back around, right?

Exercise More

So, my goal is to pack my gym clothes in my briefcase so that I have no excuse but to exercise after work. What excuse will I come up with? We can only wait and see lol!


Prepare More Meals at Home

I did make a rather awesome meal a couple weeks ago, just after the start of the new year! I used The Recipe Rebel‘s recipe for Easy Homemade Hamburger Helper, except that I used ground turkey and dairy-free cheese to help out my dairy-free hubby. He LOVED it!

Learn Lafayette’s Part in “Guns and Ships”

I know a few of the words…none of them are the fast ones though lol.



Hopefully this next week will show an improvement!

Linking up for:


Show Us Your Books: December to January

I sure did read (or attempt to read) a lot in December and the first half of January!  Linking up today for Show Us Your Books!

Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Did Not Finish)

Eh, I just couldn’t get into it. The way it is written is pretty creative, but as a whole, it just seems kind of weird.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman (Did Not Finish)

There are just WAY too many upsetting things happening within the first part of this book. I was just too uncomfortable to continue.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (3 out of 5 Stars)


People have been raving about this book, and while I was definitely intrigued, it gets a little convoluted after a while. I did enjoy how new information about the characters is doled out as the book goes along, so I found myself surprised, but overall, it’s only okay.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines (4 out of 5 Stars)


I’m much more of a House Hunters fan than a Fixer Upper fan, but I still really enjoyed this book. These two have worked so hard to get where they are and have had some amazing strokes of luck along the way. Even if you’re not a fan of the show, give it a read!

Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon (3 out of 5 Stars)


Oof, this novel deals with a really painful topic (a school shooting), but it’s pretty well done. I thought it went on for a little long, and spoiler alert, the ending is pretty heartbreaking, but I was compelled by the book.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (Did Not Finish)

There isn’t anything WRONG with this book. I think I just picked it up at the wrong time.

Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen (Did Not Finish)

Eh, I tried listening to it on audiobook, and Andy just began to annoy me after a while. Maybe it’d be better in paperback.

Siracusa by Delia Ephron (2 out of 5 Stars)


This is another very compelling novel, but there isn’t a single likable character in the entire book. And the ending is just kind of vague. But I stayed til the end because I really wanted to know more about the character of Snow, and I wanted to know what the ending would be…which is sort of disappointing.

Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (Did Not Finish)

This book just couldn’t hold my attention. It seems like a nice story, but there’s just too much exposition.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (5 out of 5 Stars)


I was SO SAD when this book was over! I absolutely loved it! And due to this book, my husband has been forced to hear Hamilton fun facts for weeks lol. But I love knowing how a show is put together, and it just made the experience of seeing the show so much more worthwhile. If you a Ham fan, READ IT!




How Lucky We Are to Be Alive Right Now

Why yes, that IS another Hamilton quote!


I kind of like the idea of having a theme for my blog titles. I wonder what I’ll do next month… Anyway, back to the topic at hand. According to the glorious Facebook, there are many many people who thought that 2016 was just the worst, and they don’t have the highest hopes for the upcoming year. As I read these posts, I thought about how much better it is for your body and soul to focus on the positive things happening in our lives. Sure, not everything can be perfect, and sometimes some truly awful things happen. But after a friend of mind suffered from a horrible medical emergency last week, she said that she just felt lucky to be alive. And so here are some of the things that make me feel lucky:

My Family

Some people really don’t get along well with their families, and that makes me sad for them. My mom and I are ridiculously close, and anytime my brother comes to town, I spend almost the entire time laughing. And then there’s the little family that I live with: my precious husband and our adorable pups. Corny as it may sound, I do tear up a little bit thinking about how lucky I am to be married to the love of my life.

My Rights

When Eliza sings “How lucky we are to be alive right now,” she is talking about the excitement going on with the revolution. However, later in the show, Aaron Burr encourages the women onstage, “Tell your husbands ‘Vote for Burr!'” Because the women couldn’t vote themselves. Wow. It’s so hard to believe that it wasn’t always our given right to play a part in our democratic process. I’m so lucky to live in a time when I don’t have to rely on my husband to vote on our behalf.

Modern Medicine

In the past few weeks, several of my friends have reported that their babies have come down with a case of RSV, all of them having to be rushed to the hospital. It blows my mind to think that if they lived even 50 years ago, these babies might not have recovered. We are so lucky for all of the medical breakthroughs available and that more and more are coming about each day.


Okay, the first three were pretty serious topics, so here’s my latest bit of luck. I saw Hamilton on Broadway last week!!! I was a little worried that it could never live up to the hype, but boy oh boy, it lived up to it and then some! It was one of the most marvelous shows I’ve ever seen, and everyone around me was crying after the final song.

What do you feel lucky about right now?


Where I Buy My Jewelry

I’m not exactly an overly-blingy gal. I love love LOVE my engagement ring and wedding band, and I have some signature pieces that I’ll wear from time to time. But because I don’t wear jewelry that often, when I do wear it, I want it to be unique. Here are some of the places I find my favorite pieces:


True story: my husband bought my engagement ring on Etsy, and that’s also where we bought his wedding band. Wedding jewelry aside, Etsy really does have an incredibly wide variety of items available, including this necklace I bought for my Harry Potter loving friend:



If you want truly unique and adorable pieces, Modcloth is your answer. I’ve never been disappointed by a purchase from this company, and I always receive compliments when I wear their jewelry. I’m definitely buying myself this robot necklace soon:



This story makes me smile every time I walk through its doors. Also, I can’t remember a time I’ve walked in and walked out without having made a purchase…hmmm…nope, I buy something every time! As I am a proud Virgo, I’d love for someone to buy me this bracelet for Valentine’s Day (hint, hint C!):


Where are your favorite places to shop for jewelry? Linking up with Kristin and Jordyn for:


Look at Where We Started

Happy New Year! Fair warning, folks, as I’m going to see Hamilton in TWO DAYS, I’m going to be using a lot of lyrics from the show in posts this month (just like the title). Just sayin. Anyway, today’s post is about my New Year’s Resolutions. I chose the quote “Look at where we started,” because I’m thinking about where I’m starting from now, and what I would like to accomplish throughout the year.

Exercise More

Yes, this is a fairly typical resolution, but I really want to do this. I’m not ever going to run a marathon or bench-press a zillion pounds, but I would like to exercise at least 5 days a week.

Prepare More Meals at Home

C and I received SO many great kitchen things for our wedding, and I really want to put them to good use. Plus, while it’s often easier to order food, it’s definitely not the healthier option. So it’s kind of a three-in-one resolution: I’ll use my gifts, learn to cook and be healthier.

Learn Lafayette’s Part in “Guns and Ships”


Years ago, I buckled down and learned all of the lyrics to “La Vie Boheme” from Rent. Not only did I learn them, but I can still sing along to the soundtrack at the proper speed (which is super fast). If you haven’t heard “Guns and Ships” from Hamilton, it’s ridonkulously fast, but hey, it’s gotta be good for my brain to learn this, right? And fun, too? And honestly, if James Corden can do it, why can’t I (skip to 1:27)

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? I’m linking up with Amy and Nadine for:


Friday Favorites: Best of 2016

Happy final Friday of 2016! Today, I’m talking about my favorite books, movies, and TV moments of the year!

Favorite Books

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik


Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling


Favorite Movie

Finding Dory


Favorite TV Moments

WARNING: There will be some spoilers here!

Sansa Stark getting revenge of Ramsey Bolton on Game of Thrones.


Uncle Jack’s enormous hands on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


The Season 12 Finale of Grey’s Anatomy


The Life and Death Brigade coming to Rory’s rescue on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life


What were your favorites of 2016? Linking up with Amanda!



2016: A Year in Review

Can you believe that it’s almost 2017?! I feel like this year has just flown by. It’s been the greatest year of my life, and I think 2017 has a lot to live up to! Here’s how 2016 looked in the life of Lauren:


C and I joined my parents in Alligator Point, Florida for a visit to the beach.

There was a CRAZY blizzard!


My niece and I spent a day in Philly, eating the world’s most delicious donuts at Federal Donuts and seeing adorable animals at the Philadelphia Zoo.

C and I spent Valentine’s Day eating Mexican food and seeing Zoolander 2.

We had a game/stir-fry night with a group of our friends (something we seriously need to do again).


I saw She Loves Me on Broadway!

We celebrated the wedding of my friends Jared and Karen!

I got to hug a baby goat!!!!


C and I got engaged!!!


My Mom and I visited my brother in New York for Mother’s Day!

My engagement ring arrived!


My parents’ new dog Salty joined our family!

One of my bridesmaids threw an engagement brunch for the bridal party!

We celebrated the wedding of Carson and Sveta (and took this lovely picture with my relatives-to-be)!


Mom and I visited Chicago!


My mom and my bridesmaids threw me the most amazing bridal shower!


I turned 36! (oy!)

We attended two beautiful weddings!


My bridesmaids threw me an awesome bachelorette sleepover!


We went on our honeymoon in Asheville, North Carolina!


We celebrated Thanksgiving with our families!


Mom and I headed to Chicago again for a beautiful wedding reception!

And we celebrated the holidays with our friends and family!

What were some of the perks of your 2016?



Wedding Wednesday: Getting Ready with Mom

Today’s post is going to be photo-heavy, but these are some of my favorite pictures from the wedding. My mom helped me get dressed for the wedding, and it was the first moment of the day when I started to feel completely at peace. It was almost as if my body NEEDED to be in that dress. Once it was on, however, I felt a surge of joy and never felt more beautiful in my life. In fact, when C and I reached the hotel that night, I looked at myself in the mirror and said sadly, “I don’t want to take this off!”

Enjoy these pictures of my mom and me, preparing for the big day.



Christmas Recap

Happy Tuesday one and all! Sorry about the lack of posts from the last week. As you can imagine, the holidays were crazy busy, but today I’ll give you a Christmas recap!

Friday Night: Birthday Celebrations

My adorable flower girl’s (whose pictures you’ll see in upcoming Wedding Wednesday posts) birthday is December 23rd, so every year, C’s extended family gathers together to celebrate her birthday. It’s also the unofficial start to all of the holiday celebrations. We got her the HedBanz game, and I think that we’ll probably all play it on New Year’s Eve 🙂

Saturday: Christmas Eve

Being that this was our first Christmas as a married couple, C and I didn’t want to do any of the events separately, so we had to split them up. While we might change things up for next year, this year, we decided to join his parents for their Christmas Eve party. It’s always a good time, filled with great food and games. There’s a White Elephant gift exchange, and I came away with this beauty:

C and I decided to exchange our presents that night because we knew we’d be so busy the next day. He got me a few different things, but I was most excited about an under-the-desk elliptical machine! Watch out Fitbit Challenge–I’m going to start dominating!

Sunday: Christmas Day

We got up bright and early and headed over to my parents’ house for Christmas morning. We opted to try the present formula of Something You Want, Something You Need, Something to Wear and Something to Read. While I was worried about finding things for each category at first, I ended up feeling so satisfied with the presents that C and I chose. One highlight was that C and my brother both got each other bourbon for “Something You Need.” But the biggest highlight of all…is that I’m going to see Hamilton on Broadway next week!!!!!!

After brunch and a walk, C and I went back up 95 and returned to his parents’ house for more food and more gifts. We were so touched that C’s siblings pooled together and got us an amazing grill! Come on, summertime!!!

How was your Christmas? What was your favorite gift?