Monthly Archives: May 2015

Things I Can’t Live Without: Super Gloomy Thursday Edition

Happy Thursday everyone!

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As I look out at the gloomiest Thursday that I’ve seen in a long time, I’m realizing that I need to get inspired to run later.  So, I believe that the best way to do this is to think about the things that I can’t live without this week.

Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Clarkson has been my #1 go-to this week for inspiration while running.  Seriously, if that chica can’t get me up a hill as a quicker pace, than no one can!
Tiny Notebooks

I’m back in the world of theatre reviews, and I’m someone who takes diligent notes before, during and after the performance.  Because of this, I need a teeny tiny notebook to carry in my purse in case I get inspired to write.
I love ones like this (made by PaperJayneDebbie on Etsy) that almost look like passports, but they have subtle yet adorable designs on the front:
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I know that I was just complaining about it being gloomy outside, but I actually DO want it to rain.  My mom and I each planted gardens, which we want to thrive, so the more rain the merrier!  Now, if only there were a special type of rain that doesn’t get the dog wet…
I linked up with For Lauren and Lauren for

For Lauren & Lauren

You Can Dance if You Want To

Happy Wednesday all!

Seriously–a hamster in a top hat and monocle?  Your day just became significantly more amazing.
Anyway, on this lovely Wednesday, I’d like to take a short trip back in time to the wedding of two of my close friends.  A group of my best buds and I were on the dance floor when the song changed to a popular Black Eyed Peas tune.  One of my guy friends looked confused and the following conversation commenced:
Friend: How do you dance to this song?
Me: Jump up and down.
Friend: The whole time?
Me: Yes. The whole time.
People have the tendency to be a little self-conscious when dancing in public, unless you’re Travis Wall.  For those of you with this hesitation, the previous conversation proves that you don’t need to know actual dance steps for every song–sometimes you can just jump up and down!
Here are a few examples of “Jump Up and Down” songs (all videos via
Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”

Kelly Clarkson “My Life Would Suck Without You”

Pink “Raise Your Glass” (but mainly the chorus)

Do you know any song to add to this list?  I’m sure anyone who is scared to “jump” onto the dance floor would greatly appreciate it πŸ˜‰

Weekending–Where Did it Go???

I’m sorry, has anyone seen my weekend?  I feel like I left it around here somewhere…

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Anywho, I had a great weekend, but it went by way way WAY too quickly, since it was so jam-packed!

Boyfriend’s uncle came into town on Friday, and he has to eat gluten free, so we went to one of our favorite places with a gluten free menu: P.F. Chang’s!  And that meant I got to treat myself a little and have crispy honey chicken!

Saturday was focused on the 3 B’s: Beer, Bacon and Music (oh wait, ummmm, Beats!  We’ll say Beats!).  Boyfriend, his brother and I went to the Beer, Bacon and Music Festival in Frederick, Maryland.  It was a lot of fun, and the boys certainly had their fill of beer tastings (I was DD), but I did get the coolest (pun only slightly intended) mug ever which I could fill all day with old fashioned sodas!

When the sky looked like it was about to turn into a scene from The Wizard of Oz and I was WAY too full of bacon, we went home and examined our sunburns (my stupid sunscreen was in my mom’s car–oops), and I feel asleep at what I like to call “Golden Girls O’Clock.”
I got to review my second show on Sunday!  It was a really powerful play about the Vietnam War called Last of the Boys.  My review is here, in case you’re interested πŸ˜‰ 

I rounded out the weekend with a birthday party for another of Boyfriend’s brothers.  It was supposed to be all about fun in the sun, but instead it was huddling together in the rain.  It didn’t matter though because we still had some good Sunday barbecue food and laughed at the guys singing along with the Avett Brothers.

How was your weekend?

I’m linking up with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs for:


Friday Favorites: Busiest Week Ever Edition

Happppppppppyyyyyyyyy Fridayyyyyyyy!

Actually it’s the opposite because I’m truly exhausted after such a long week, but I’m never too tired to tell you all about my favorite parts of this week!

Favorite Meals

Hmmm, that’s toughy.  While in Boston earlier this week, I was able to partake in some rather delicious food.  However, I would have to narrow it down to two:

As is mentioned on the sign, Charlie’s is the “Double Cheeseburger King.”  Not wanting to disappoint the king, I had their double cheeseburger.  Maybe it was because I had already walked over 40,000 steps that week and it was only Tuesday, but I devoured that burger like it was my last meal.  Oh, and I put bacon on it because I was on vacation and dang it, that’s just what you do!

When it was time to be a little more traditionally Bostonian, I ate crab cake sliders at The Barking Crab, a funky little restaurant on the water that has crab traps turned into chandeliers. When I was scolded for being a Maryland gal who ate a crab cake outside of my home state, I reminded my coworkers that we were at a restaurant called The Barking CRAB.  End of story.

Favorite Statues

Make Way for Ducklings at the Boston Public Garden.  This was the thing that I wanted to see most while I was in Boston, and it didn’t hurt that the ducklings were dressed up for Mother’s Day!  Funny side story: I was so proud of myself for running to the Boston Public Garden, but I would have been late for work if I had to run back, so I took an Uber.

I thought this penguin statue at the New England Aquarium was just precious.

Favorite Artistic Experience

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This week, I started my new part-time and soul-fulfilling gig as a theatre reviewer for DC Metro Theater Arts!  Last night, I went to see my first show performed by the Stillpointe Theatre Initiative, Avenue Q!  Not only did I have a great time, but Boyfriend truly enjoyed it as well, which meant the world to me since theatre has always been such an integral part of my life πŸ™‚

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

I linked up with Meet at the Barre for:


All The Tears–Review of “A Letter to My Mom”

It’s May, which means Mother’s Day.  This month makes me emotional anyway because of how close I am to my mom (who is my best friend) and how attached I was to my grandmother (who passed away 5 years ago).  When I was in college, I would watch the Mother’s Day specials on shows like Live with Regis and Kelly and would get teary-eyed.  But if you compile a list of letters to mothers together, you just need to cue a deluge of tears.

This book includes letters from writers, actors, singers, and even regular ole kids who are expressing the amazing things that their mothers have done for them.  One writer talks about the bravery of her mother to leave her stepfather who was abusing her (the daughter).  Another actress who suffers from skeletal dysplasia lauds her mother’s attentiveness and strength.  I knew about Kristin Chenoweth’s mother from reading her autobiography, but it was great to see Kristin write directly to her adoptive mother.

Just as beautiful as the letters are the photographs included of each author and mother.  They’re so touching and truly allows readers to feel as though they better understand the letters’ subjects.

If you need a Mother’s Day present, pick this up.  Even if you don’t need a gift, pick this up for yourself.  It’s totally worth it.

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


What a Weekend!

Happy Sunday, y’all!  Have you enjoyed your weekend?

This weekend has been a busy one for me, but it included 3 awesome events, each involving some heroes.

Hero Event #1: March for Babies

I’ll never forget the moment from 6 years ago, when I was standing in line at Starbucks and saw a Facebook status that took my breath away.  One of my best friends who was pregnant with twins had given birth…15 weeks early.  Each of the twin boys weighed less than 2 pounds and were immediately rushed to the NICU.  They had less than a 20% chance of survival, and yet, thanks to the March of Dimes, they are here today, finishing up their first year of kindergarten.
Starting when they were less than 1 year old, I started raising money and walking with the family at the Baltimore-area March for Babies each year.  This year, since I was supposed to be training for the next race, I thought that I would run the March, but I couldn’t because there were way way way too many people there for me to run comfortably.  This made me smile, as I was so touched that so many people of all ages (including some four-legged friends) would join together on a rainy Saturday in order to save tiny babies.  Both the strong preemies and their parents are truly heroes.
Hero Event #2: Avengers–Age of Ultron

For the second time this year, I saw a sequel without seeing the preceding movie.  Oh well, that’s what Wikipedia is for!  Anyway, since I’m leaving for Boston today, I wanted to have some quality time with boyfriend before departing for Beantown, and that also meant some time with some superheroes!  The movie was great, although I must say, any amount of time watching yummy Chris Hemsworth is just fine with me πŸ˜‰
Hero Event #3–Mother’s Day in Philly

Being that it’s Mother’s Day, I was able to spend the day with my hero: my mom.  My brother came down from Brooklyn and met us in Philadelphia, where we did tons of walking, including a self-guided mural tour.  This was one of my favorites, a mural called “Evolution of the Faces of Nursing”:

My brother took us to his favorite cheesesteak place and was only slightly horrified when I added sauce to my sandwich (hey, I still got it “wit whiz”!).  My favorite part of the day though was the 20 or so minutes that we took a Starbucks break and just sat around to talk.  I love my family, and it doesn’t hurt that my mom is my best friend.
How was YOUR weekend?


Favorite Favorites!

Happy Friday everybody!

I’ve got a super busy weekend coming up, but I’m not too busy to tell you about some of my favorite things from this week!

Favorite Song for Running–“Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce

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As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been all about the Glee covers this week, which is why I chose to add that video to this post. However, I have both this version and the original Queen Bey version on my Spotify playlist, and they both make me feel empowered and want to run faster.

Favorites from Modcloth

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Favorite Adorable Animals

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Favorite Binge-Watching Moments from the Week

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How was your week???
I linked up with Meet at the Barre for


What I Can’t Live Without This Week: Lauren on the Run Edition

Happy Thursday all!

I’m calling this week’s edition “Lauren on the Run” because not only am I back to training for my next 5K, but I am also crazy busy with a ton of plans before I leave for Boston on Sunday night.  Yep, work is sending me to Beantown for a few days, and they’ve scheduled a lot of fun stuff to do, so expect some pics next week!

Anyway, here are a few things that I have desperate needed this week:

Glee Covers

Hey now, don’t judge.  Sometimes you just need a little Glee in your life (no pun intended).  Anyway, I’ve been listening to their versions of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “The Scientist,” and my absolute favorite, “Teenage Dream” (oh the lovely voice of Darren Criss).

Strawberry Smoothies from Starbucks

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I’m back on the healthier eating bandwagon, and this time I don’t plan to get off (unless there’s pizza…just kidding…hopefully).  Anyway, the nonfat milk version of the strawberry smoothie from Starbucks is not only delicious, but it also has tons of vitamins in it (not surprising, as there’s a whole banana in it).

My Running Shoes

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Even though I had my doubts, it was pretty awesome to step back into my running shoes this week.  Not only did I go on two runs and one really long walk, but I’ll need these shoes on Saturday when I do the March for Babies for the March of Dimes (if you’d like to donate to my walk, feel free to click here), and Sunday I’ll be walking around Philadelphia with my mom and brother for Mother’s Day.
What have you needed this week?
I linked up with For Lauren and Lauren for 

For Lauren & Lauren

The Buddy System…For Coffee

At a very young age, we’re taught to share and to take turns.  Big Bird and the Sesame Street gang hammered these rules into me pretty hard as a child, and I’ve remembered these tenets into my later life.  They come in handy…especially when it comes to coffee.

This all started when I was in graduate school.  At the time, I was living in an apartment in the same house where my mom had her office.  Since I was in Baltimore and my classes were all the way in College Park, I tended to schedule classes for late morning/early afternoon to avoid the rush hour traffic (curse you, 495).  Because of this, my mom and I got to have coffee together most mornings!  We learned that the best way to do things was to take turns picking up coffee from Starbucks–it got to a point where the Baristas knew our orders (sigh, oh the Starbucks addiction).  Not only did this allow for each of us to get a treat, but we also felt good about treating the other.

Fast forward several years to my current job.  I sit at a computer basically all day, and the antsy part of myself NEEDS to get outside for a few minutes, so one day, I asked one of my friends if she wanted me to grab her something from Starbucks.  She was so excited to get this mid-day pick-me-up and offered the pay the next time.  Since this day, I travel to the ‘Bucks twice a week with me treating the first time, and my friend treating the second time.  Side note: I went to clean out my purse over the weekend and found several post-its with her orders on them.  They look like they’re written in code, but I know my Starbucks slang.
Remember what Big Bird and Elmo taught you: Sharing means coffee, I mean caring.


Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 4

It’s that time again, folks!  And in a reference to the scariest character on the show:

Because of the incredibly disgusting snack that Bronn and Jamie Lannister chowed down on, this week our acrostic will be SNAKES.

S is Snake Sisters

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Incredible handsome Oberyn (whose head was smashed in a battle last season) has 3 daughters, none of whom are too pleased with the way the Lannisters did in their father.  Since the majority of the Lannisters are across the sea, the rather frightening girls are going to deal with the Lannister on hand: Marcella.  Yup, Blondie is going to be in for a world of hurt if her dad (uncle?) doesn’t get to her in time.

N is for No Lovin’ for Tommen

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Remember last week when the world got more than a little grossed out at the thought of Tommen being some kind of serious lover?  Well, apparently he still wants some of that good lovin’, but Margery isn’t going to give it to him unless he can get her brother out of lock-up.  So he runs to Mommy and tells her to let out Ser Loras.  She feigns surprise and says that she didn’t have him arrested and he would have to see the High Sparrow.  Welp, the High Sparrow was praying and couldn’t be disturbed and Tommen didn’t want bloodshed, so he told Margery that she would have to wait.  Which means he has to wait (womp womp).
A is for Artificial Hand FTW

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Well, it seems as though Jaime Lannister doesn’t need a hand (sorry, inappropriate joke) when it comes to swordfighting.  The man once known as the Kingslayer had been out of commission since losing his hand, but this week, he realized that his artificial hand also works as a vice of sorts, allowing him to trap his opponent’s sword, rendering the man defenseless so that Jaime could stab him with his own sword.  Sure, the opponent’s sword was temporarily stuck in his artificial hand, but the point is that the former Kingslayer is overcoming his handicap quite well.
K is for Kidnapping Gone Wrong

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Oh Jorah Mormont, did you forget to ask your prisoner where he was headed before kidnapping him?  Because seriously, it takes all the fun out of a kidnapping if you’re taking Tyrion to the place he was originally headed for.  
E is for Evil Enchantress

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I think we all knew that once Melisandre asked Jon Snow if he was a virgin that it would only be a matter of time before she’d be getting naked in front of him in order to keep Stannis happy. It turns out that Jon Snow has enough willpower to turn away the Mistress of Darkness in order to stay true to his vows and to Ygritte’s memory.  It was all well and good until a spurned Melisandre turned around and muttered Ygritte’s famous words, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”  Spooky…
S is for So Long, Selmy

As if the Khaleesi didn’t have enough blood on her hands, she basically sent Barristan Selmy to his death.  Selmy offered to accompany Daenerys to the throne room for a meeting, but drop dead gorgeous Daario said, “Nah, I’ve got it.”  Because of this, Selmy found himself walking past a battle between the Unsullied and the Gold Faces.  Seeing Grey Worm in trouble, Selmy stepped in and did a fair bit of damage.  That is, until he was fatally stabbed, despite Grey Worm’s best efforts (also, we don’t know if Grey Worm made it).
Your thoughts on this week’s episode?