Monthly Archives: March 2015

Suck It, Fun Run!

Growing up, I was not a huge fan of gym class.  Ooh, except for when we had the gymnastics unit or the trampoline unit because seriously, life is WAY more fun on a trampoline.

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But I digress.  
The WORST day of the school year in gym class was the day of the Mile Run.  Depending on what school I’ve gone to, this was sometimes referred to as the “Fun Run.”  As someone who was not a natural runner (or runner at ALL), this run was far from fun.
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I would start out running but I never made it even a quarter of a mile without having to walk.  I distinctly remember at least one gym teacher telling me to pick up the pace, but I wasn’t a runner and was now embarrassed on top of everything, so no, I would not and could not pick up the pace.
Yesterday, I had training for my 5K at the end of the month.  My C25K app told me that I would be doing a 5-minute warm up walk, then run for 20 minutes and finish up with a 5 minute cool down walk.  
Hold up–run for 20 minutes straight?!?!
I should point out that before I found out that day’s training requirements, I had decided to take advantage of the pretty weather and run in my hilly neighborhood.  Oh yeah, with wind blowing in my face.
Believe it or not, I did it!  I ran (okay, jogged) for 20 minutes straight with the exception of 10 seconds when I had to tie my shoe!!!  And at the end of the workout, I looked at my MapMyRun results, and it alerted me that I had run 1.89 miles.  What’s that?  You mean I completed the Fun Run and then some!
Well, then, in my most dulcet tones possible, I shall say, “SUCK IT, FUN RUN!  I OWN YOU!”

Weekending: Philly Style

Welp, it’s Monday again.

Mondays are especially hard when you have been going going going all weekend, although I will say that all the busy weekend was totally worth it πŸ™‚
On Friday (actually Boyfriend’s birthday), we went to his parents’ house for sushi and scrabble.  I got to have my new favorite sushi roll, the Spiderman roll, which has soft shell crab and shrimp tempura in it.  Technically, it’s a two-bite type of sushi, but come on, if you can’t fit a piece of sushi into your mouth in one bite, then you’re simply not a winner.
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Despite having eaten my weight in sushi the night before (not wise, but hey, there are no calories on birthdays, right?), I got up Saturday morning to train for the 5K.  Saturday mornings are supposed to be spent sleeping, but hey, I’ve only got a few weeks left!
I spent Saturday afternoon with one of my best friends Macy, helping DIY fun things for her wedding.  If you don’t read her blog, BTW, it’s  It was great to spend some time with her, and I’m always in favor of being crafty.  I couldn’t stay too long though because it was time to go to…
Boyfriend and I accompanied a group of our friends to Philly for further birthday celebrations.  Our first stop was Mac’s Tavern.  Boyfriend’s favorite show is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so we went to the tavern owned by two of the shows stars.  They weren’t there, but it led to us quoting the show to a hilarious extent.
Following our delicious food and drinks at Mac’s, we decided to be kids in the only way adults can–with beer and old school arcade games.  That’s right, we went to Barcade, a 21 and over bar with actually arcade machines from our youth!  We definitely rocked some X-Men and Gauntlet, and I was mostly happy because it allowed Boyfriend to act like a kid for a little while, even though we were celebrating him getting older.
Finally, on Sunday, we had another dinner with his family, but my mom got to join us, too, and she brought Boyfriend the coolest present–a sushi making kit!  We’ve already started planning out what type of sushi we’re going to make.  Okay, he has been planning serious sushi, and I have been going more Gilmore Girls style, meaning Oreo sashimi with Red Hots wasabi.
How was YOUR weekend?
I linked up with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs for:

Friday Favorites: The Boyfriend’s Birthday Edition!

Happy Friday!  And Happy Birthday to my amazingggggg boyfriend!

Monday’s blog post will recount the fun birthdayness of this weekend, but for today, here are my favorites for this week:

Favorite Song of the Week

“Shut Up and Dance with Me” by Walk the Moon

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Favorite Modcloth Items I Want in My Closet (all images via

Favorite Adorable Internet Animals

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Favorite Funnies

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What are some of your faves this week?

I linked up with Meet at the Barre for:


What I Can’t Live Without This Week: One Month Til 5K Edition

Happy Thursday everyone!!

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It’s exactly one month until my first 5K!!!  In preparation for this (and in my serious attempt to get to a healthy weight), there are several things that have been SO needed this week:

Lose It! App

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I have been using this app as a way to count the calories in order to lose weight.  Everyday I log in what I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Tons of foods are already in their database, so they already know how many calories are in the meal, but if not, you can create new foods and scan barcodes to other foods.  You can also add exercises, which will take away any burned calories so that you know that you’re allowed to eat a little more πŸ˜‰  The app takes your age, gender and current weight into account when suggesting how many calories can be consumed in a day in order to lose weight.

Wii U Fit Meter

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In addition to running, I also want to track how many calories I’m burning by walking so that I can log it into Lose It.  This meter tracks my steps and how many calories that I’ve burned, so on a day when I am not running, I can sync this up with my Wii U Fit to find out how many more calories I need to burn in a day in order to lose weight.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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On days when I’m training on the treadmill, I need a distraction and Kimmy Schmidt is the best one possible!  She also taught me that anyone can endure something for ten seconds, and once you’ve endured that, just started the ten seconds over.  I now do that during tough parts of my run and it REALLY helps!
The Kane Show

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On days when I’m running in my neighborhood, I listen to the podcasts of one of my favorite morning radio shows.  You can listen to replays of this hilarious and heartwarming show on IHeartRadio.
Once again, I linked up with Lauren and Lauren for

For Lauren & Lauren

Wedding Wednesday: Chuck and Blair

Okay, I won’t exactly brag about the fact that I used to watch Gossip Girl (which, for a while at least, was really awesome), but I have zero shame about admitting that Chuck and Blair are a beautiful couple.

Chuck and Blair’s relationship is (to say it lightly) tumultuous. There were many many MANY break-ups and make-ups, but happily they finally realized that they should get married.  But in true Chuck and Blair fashion, even THIS decision wasn’t typical.
In self-defense, Chuck had to kill his father (long story).  Blair witnessed this, but she was the ONLY witness that Chuck killed his father, so the cops could technically have her testify against the man she loves.  Unless, that is, the two are married.  They are originally going to get married quickly at the courthouse, but Chuck Bass will not marry Blair Waldorf in a frickin courthouse.  So they get married in the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.
Even on short notice, Blair manages to get a designer dress (a gorgeous blue gown by Elie Saab) and Chuck finds a white tuxedo with powder blue accents to match.
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With their best friends and family by their sides, the gorgeous couple become man and wife, leading towards a happy (well, at least wealthy) life.
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My favorite thing about Wednesdays is linking up with Macy and Meg for:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Childhood Books I Would Like to Revisit

Who doesn’t love going into the children’s section of a bookstore?  You get all nostalgic and remember when you used to go to the library every day as a kid.

Oh that was just me?  Never mind πŸ˜‰

Anyway, whenever I do travel into the children’s section, I like to think about books that I have loved in the past and would happily read again.  Here are 10 that I would gladly give another read:

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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I did a talk on Maurice Sendak a few years ago, so I was able to revisit this book at the time.  Not only does it have a fascinating backstory, but who doesn’t love a story where you get to swing from trees with monsters?

2. Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak

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Another Sendak, but this is a book (and a song) that will always stick with me.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Anne Shirley taught me that girls deserve a healthy dose of spunk, and if you are true to yourself, you may end up with Gilbert Blythe <3

4, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

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I have very clear memories of sitting in my third grade class as we read this book.  Much like Anne Shirley, Ramona teaches little girls not to conform and to be free-spirited.

5. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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I love all of the Little House books, but this one is my favorite because Laura finally marries her Manly πŸ™‚

6. Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #6: New York, New York

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I was obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club, but this one was always my favorite.  I can’t really remember why, but I guess I’ll have to reread it!

7. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

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Full Disclosure: I buy this book for my adult friends sometimes.  It really hits home.

8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

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The other day, I saw a picture of my friend’s daughter dressed as Fern and I was SO happy that kids still love this book (as they should).

9. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

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Maybe it’s because my beloved grandfather’s name was Harold, but I have always always loved this book.

10. The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

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Grover is always funny, but it’s hard to beat Grover basically being afraid of…himself.

I linked up with The Broke and Bookish for


Weekending: How to Make a Birthday Last a Week Edition

Happy Monday!  Wait, it’s already Monday?!

Here’s a recap of some of the smaller things that I did this weekend before I get to the focus of today’s post:

  • Since it snowed on Friday, I spent Friday night cuddled up with some Maryland crab soup and The Office
  • Saturday was a day for some chores and my first outdoor run of the season, which also marked my first run ever in my new neighborhood.  This also marked the occasion of me discovering how many hills are in my neighborhood, but oh well
And that brings us to Sunday, or the first day of Boyfriend’s Birthday Week.  Boyfriend’s family is really big on making sure everyone gets together to celebrate birthdays, and if they can’t all do it on the same day, it gets broken up into several different occasions.  Today was the celebration for his mom’s side of the family.  We ordered four different pizzas from a local pizza place.  I’m usually a plain pizza kind of a gal and will maybe get adventurous with some bacon or green peppers, but the four pizzas today were Hawaiian, BBQ chicken, buffalo chicken and meat/veggie lovers special.  I stuck with Hawaiian–seemed safest.
After we ate, there was ice cream birthday cake (seriously, this day has been murder on my diet, but hey, it’s Birthday Week):
After cake was a game of Uno…one that required 4 shuffles of the deck and a bending of the rules towards the end of the game so that Boyfriend’s cousin could get back to College Park for her spring semester.
How was your weekend?  
I linked up with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs for:

Book Review: Lighten Up, Y’all

While I’ve been a Maryland gal for most of my life, I did go to college in Tallahassee, Florida (Go Noles!).  So for four years, I left crabs and Old Bay behind and headed south for sweet tea and biscuits.  And oh man, do I miss it.  The other thing that I miss is my college metabolism, where I could eat biscuit after biscuit and my waist would stay nice and trim.  Not so much anymore πŸ™

Luckily, Virginia Willis wrote a cookbook that teaches me how to cook those delightful southern treats while watching calories.  And the name is (get ready for adorableness) Lighten Up, Y’all!

The minute I saw the cover, I dove right into the book, scouring the pages for that recipe.  It’s called Makeover Broccoli Mac and Cheese–holy moly, it looks absolutely amazing.  I only had to turn one page to see what I will be making for dinner on Sunday night: Sweet Potato Gratin with Herb Crumble (yummmmm).

It isn’t just about starches though–Willis includes excellent appetizers, salads, poultry dishes, seafood delicacies and beef, lamb, roasts…oh my stomach is rumbling!  And the desserts include a buttermilk pie that I can’t wait to prepare!  My favorite (and most Southern) thing about the book is that Willis includes a little story before each recipe, making it feel like I’m reading the words of my sweet, Southern-twanged boss in Tallahassee.

Hurry up, get to the bookstore and get cookin’ y’all!

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.


Friday Favorites: Snow on the First Day of Spring?!?!?! Edition

Happy Spring everyone!  Wait…

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Well as I watch the spring-snow fall outside my window, here are a few of my favorite things for this week:

Favorite New Show

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (if you grew up during the 90’s and you’re not watching this show, stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and go watch it)

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Favorite Cute Animal Pic

These hippos

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Favorite Future Wedding Ideas

This bride and bridesmaid pic

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This engagement ring

Favorite Recipes I Need to Make (clearly I’m having a sweet and salty craving)

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe here

Layered Peanut Butter Pie with a Graham Cracker Pretzel Crust

Recipe here

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pie

Recipe here

Favorite Funnies

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Any new favorites for you this week?

I linked up with Meet Me at the Barre for 


“And I…was…RUN-NING!”

I have some friends who are AMAZING runners.  They run marathons, complete Ironmans (Ironmen?), and just basically are the objects of my total and complete awe.

Heck, even my big pup runs like the wind!

(okay, not so much running here, but look how cute!)
When I was dating a guy several years ago, he was a runner and got me to run with him.  However, I didn’t enjoy it at the time because it became a requirement and he always made me feel like I wasn’t doing well enough.  Oh, and then there was the day when he told me that we would go for a “quick run” and it ended up being 7 miles.  In the rain.  In November.
Since then, I’ve tried running off and on, but I haven’t truly committed in the way that I would like.  Finally, I sat myself down and said, “Lauren, it’s time for you to run a 5K.  If Michael Scott on The Office can do it, so can you!”

I downloaded the C25K (Couch to 5K) app on my phone and joined a local gym since it’s still pretty cold out there, and cold weather+running=a bad time.  I was really dedicated for a couple of weeks, but then, as per usual, my running slacked off.  I knew that I was tired of this pattern and I had to do something to keep myself on track.  This “something” happened yesterday.

I sat down with my Google Calendar and my C25K app.  I scheduled days on the calendar for each of my training sessions, lasting another month.  I figured that if it’s on the calendar, then it’s official and I will need to train.  Next, I went onto the interwebs and searched for just the right 5K.  I finally decided to do the Women by the Bay 5K on April 26th!  It’s not too far from my house and I’ll get to run along the water (beautiful!).  The final step was telling my mom, my boyfriend and one of my friends about it–once I had to be accountable for that date, I know that I’ll do it!

Today is my first calendar-appointed training day for the 5K.  I’m at Week 4, Day 1 of my training officially, but this will be the first day of my new more serious training regimen.

I’m really excited about this 5K and would love some words of encouragement!  Luckily, here’s my plan for how to be successful in the 5K: