Monthly Archives: September 2015

Choose a GREAT Autobiography!

Several months ago, I was at a trivia night with Boyfriend and his brother.  The category of the next question was “Neil Patrick Harris.”  I grabbed the answer sheet and pen.  Almost everyone looked confused, but Boyfriend turned to the group and said, “Oh, she’ll know it.”

Yes, I admit it–I love Neil Patrick Harris.  I loved him when he was Doogie Howser, M.D., I loved him when he guest starred on Will and Grace, I SUPER LOVED him on How I Met Your Mother, and on the Tony Awards–perfection!

So of course, I wanted to read his autobiography, and in true NPH awesomeness, he wrote it in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, which brought me right back to my childhood!  I must admit that as the book went on, I occasionally skimmed the made-up versions of his “life” gone wrong, but only because I found his real life so interesting!

While I was most interested in his stories from HIMYM (Josh Radnor didn’t know Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”?!  WHAT?!), I also loved hearing about his relationship with David Burtka (who, BTW, orchestrated the most amazing 40th birthday gift of all time) and how he became a father to his adorable twins (one of whom wants to be a doughnut when he grows up).

Oh, and did I mention that a couple famous people wrote sections of the book?  I don’t want to spoil it–but they’re BIG names!

Do yourself a favor and give this book a read.  It’ll be legen–wait for it–dary!  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

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


Weigh-In #6: Before the Sick

Sometimes, you have a premonition of things to come.  For example, I didn’t know that I’d be up sick last night, yet somehow I thought it would be a good idea to weigh myself yesterday instead of today.  Usually, I like to give myself every bit of time to lose the weight, but since I was right by a scale yesterday evening, I thought, “Why not?”

And another pound has hit the dust!
11 pounds in 6 weeks!

It was definitely not an easy week.  Boyfriend’s grandfather’s and cousin’s birthdays were on Sunday, so we had a big family get together.  While I was happy to see that gluten-free Hawaiian pizza (his uncle must eat gluten-free) is very few points per slice, the four-layer gluten-free homemade chocolate cake with oodles of chocolate frosting was, let’s say, probably more points than I should eat in a week.  I allowed myself one small bite of Boyfriend’s slice and that is all.
Turning to meals that are super Weight-Watchers-friendly, I made two yummy crock pot recipes this week:

Give both of these recipes a try–they’re delicious!  And as always, if you know of any healthy recipes, send em my way!
Here’s to another pound that I don’t need to see again anytime soon!


My Wish List–Come Onnnnn Holidays!

We’re about to flip our calendars to October, which is yet another indicated that the holidays are around the corner.  I feel pretty proud of myself for already having bought two Christmas presents, and I’m always completely surprised by what I get for the holidays.

In case any of my loved ones are curious (and are reading this), here are a few things on my wish list (click on the images for a link to the product):
Fit & Fresh Perfect Portion Container Kit with Breakfast Chiller and Snacker
Okay, I’ll be practical for my first item.  As I’m trying to lose weight, I find that the hardest part is figuring out how large a portion size is.  I’ll look at something and think, “Oh, that’s at least 2 cups,” but then Boyfriend will look at it and say, “Are you kidding?  There’s barely a cup in there.”  I think that these containers with portion size on the sides will make my life SOOOO much easier.  Plus, the Breakfast Chiller includes a small ice pack that’ll keep food nice and cold until I get to work!
Bowknot Embellished Square Bag

Because I love bows and purses and therefore bows on purses.
i carry your heart with me Necklace

This is the title (and first line) of one of my favorite e.e. cummings’ poems.  And it’s shaped like a heart, so ya know…
Awesome Average Runner Tank

Sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to cross out the “AVERAGE” but until then, I may as well get a giggle out this shirt.

Watercolor Heart Paw Print Tee

If you know me at all, you know that I love love love my dogs.  So I’m sure that it isn’t surprising that I would want this shirt, since my dogs truly have my heart (along with Boyfriend, of course).  PLUS, if you buy this shirt, it feeds 7 shelter dogs, which just warms my soul and makes me adore this company.
What’s on your wish list?
I linked up with Bailey Jean for

Brave Love Blog

Ready to Read!

I’ve been on kind of a kick lately with reading, which is fantastic compared to the past several years, where reading had been put on the back burner.  Part of this is due to listening to audiobooks as I drive to and from work, but collaborating with Blogging for Books and being in a book club helps, too!

Here are 5 books on my To-Read List:

On the Move by Oliver Sacks

I’ve been a little iffy with the latest books my book club has chosen, as I can only handle so much war-based historical fiction.  After the death of the brilliant Oliver Sacks, I was happy to hear that the book club wanted to celebrate his life by reading one of his books.  Hopefully I’ll enjoy it as much as his other works.

Tales from the Back Row: An Outsider’s View from Inside the Fashion Industry by Amy Odell

Remember when LC and Lo worked in the fashion world for a while on The Hills?  As I watched (no shame, folks), I did find it interesting to have a backstage look into the fashion world, and I think that Odell’s book will give me all of that and MORE.  Plus, it’s supposed to be really funny, and I’m pretty sure I heard that Kanye is mentioned.

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpoint

You gotta love a story where everyone in a family seems happy (or is at least faking it really well) and then BOOM!  Box arrives with info that will change everything FOREVER.  Did the capital letters get you intrigued?  Then you know how I feel about reading this book.

My Life as a Mermaid, and Other Stories by Jen Grow

It’s always been a dream of mine to have a book published (le sigh…maybe someday), so when I found out that one of my old friends published a collection of short stories, I practically jumped out of my skin with excitement!  I can’t wait to support my old kayaking buddy who is now a published author!

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta von Trapp

As someone who obsessively watched The Sound of Music film as a child (okay, also as an adult…okay, and I also watched the Carrie Underwood version and cried when Audra McDonald sang “Climb Every Mountain”), I cannot wait to read this book.  It will probably become one of “My Favorite Things” (see what I did there?)
What are you reading now?  What should I read after these 5?
I’m once again linking up with Bailey Jean for:

Brave Love Blog

Five On Friday

ROh wait–it’s FRIDAY????

Ready for my 5 things that I experienced or discovered this week? You better say yes, or else face the wrath of Mr. T!

This is a Pick Up!

I happily used my Starbucks app to preorder my nonfat salted caramel mocha frapp on Wednesday!  As someone who HATES waiting in lines, this new addition to the app is going to make my life so much easier (and my wallet so much lighter…)

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As I believe that I am more than half Muppet, I definitely tuned in to the premiere of The Muppet Show this week.  And by tuned in, I mean that I sped home from dinner, walked straight to the couch and didn’t speak to anyone in my house until the first commercial break.  Apparently some people are upset by the adult humor on the show, but it’s a primetime show that has always been tongue-and-cheek.  Just because the show stars huggable-looking creatures doesn’t mean that it can’t have a sassy vibe.  Oh, and if you saw the episode, how hilarious were all the scenes with Tom Bergeron?

Step it Up!
After a week of being injured and then being sick, I went back to Step Class on Monday.  There was a substitute instructor who was super peppy and made sure that we were really challenging ourselves, but it felt really good to be back to working out.  P.S. I never thought I’d be one of those people who said things like that, but it’s awesome to be among the workout tribe now ๐Ÿ™‚
My cousin is getting married in a few weeks and wanted to surprise her fiance with a pre-wedding gift.  So she rented out a movie theater (well, one of the rooms), invited all of their friends and family, and showed his favorite movie, Old School!  Her fiance was adorably surprised, and I finally got to watch the entire movie (although it probably would have been a little less awkward had I not been sitting next to my mom).

Your Personal Bodyguard–in App Form

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Have you heard of SafeTrek?  This app has you hold down a button as your walking home, and then once you’re home safe, you type in a pin and all is good.  But if there were danger as you walked home, all you need to do is release the button and the police are automatically called.  As someone who often reviews shows at night in Baltimore City, I think that I’ll be downloading this ASAP.

I hope you all had a great week, too!!


Blogger Shout Out!

It’s sometimes hard to believe how many blogs are out there!  One of the things that I love about Bloglovin is that I seem to discover new ones all of the time and then become completely obsessed.  While I’m starting to get hooked on some newer blogs like Life with a Side of Wine and Coffee Break Travel, here are 5 blogs that I have been following for quite a while and never fail to entertain me ๐Ÿ™‚

To Travel and Beyond

The entertaining writer behind this blog is also one of my oldest friends.  Macy and I have been friends for over 10 years, and when I started reading her blog, I thought about how much I loved to write and realized that this would be a great way to give myself the time to write regularly!  Macy is a DIY-master who travels the world and had a BEAUTIFUL wedding.  This blog is full of entertaining posts and gorgeous pictures.

I am anxiously awaiting the time until I become a wife and a mother, so until then, I live vicariously through one of my favorite blogging mamas, Brittany.  Not only does she offer up great recipes and adorable stories about her gorgeous little girls, but she also introduced me to the idea of Baby-Led Weaning, which I have told my current mama friends about and is something I know that I will use once I become a mom.  
There are some people in the world who just EXUDE fun–Helene is one of them!  I love reading about her adventures (including a recent move and the decision to take on blogging full-time!), and she gives out some of the best advice about how to maintain a successful blog.  Oh, and her pictures are unbelievably gorgeous!

As I mentioned earlier, I cannot WAIT to be a wife, which also means that I cannot wait to be a bride.  I’ve basically been planning my wedding since I was in diapers, so I just drool over the posts about magnificent weddings on Emmaline Bride.  In addition to showing pictures from actual weddings and engagement photo shoots, there are so many great ideas for DIY projects or items that I can order from Etsy in order to make my day perfect.  Now all I need is a proposal ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gina ia a BOSS!  I am enthralled by how she keeps in such good shape, and she has definitely become one of my fitness spirit guides.  On a personal side, she shares stories about her family, including the challenges of her second pregnancy.  She is absolutely strength, both in the fitness world and in her home life.
Do you know of some other blogs that I should follow?  Share share share!
I linked up with Bailey Jean for:

Brave Love Blog

Weigh-In #5: A Perfect 10!

Okay, I could tell you the story of this past week.

I could tell you about the nonfat salt caramel mocha frappaccino which has changed my life and will most likely take more than $20 out of my wallet every week.

I could tell you about how difficult is was to say “no” when my friend came by with donuts the night before weigh-in.  A little selfish being inside of me wanted to say, “Hey, bro, could you just put my weigh-in days on your calendar so you know when I’m DEFINITELY going to say no to a donut?!”  But that was probably the lack of sugar talking, and I luckily kept it to myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

But what I REALLY want to tell you about is that I lost 3 pounds this week which means….


I’m so incredibly happy, and this just means that it’s working and I want to keep seeing the pounds fall away!

10 pounds down–42 to go!


Weigh-In #4: Another One Bites the Dust

You know the feeling you get when you find that hidden gem of a store that nobody knows about?  You know the one–it has such cute items and amazing sales?  Well that’s how I feel when I discover delicious treats for a small about of Weight Watchers points!

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As I am a human, I love me some Starbucks, but a lot of their especially delicious drinks come with a hefty amount of WW points.  As I scanned the menu last Saturday, I realized that I had never tried their Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte (I mean, if Oprah recommends it, then it must be good!).  I ordered a tall nonfat iced version–and it was only 3 points!  AND DELICIOUS!  As I took my first sip, I felt like Oprah was shouting, “You get a latte!  You get a latte!  Everybody gets a latte!!”
Before I get into this week’s weigh-in, I have a question about Cycle (Spinning) class.  I took my first one last Friday, and I found that not only was it a difficult class, but I felt like there was no “break” in the workout because the seat was SOOOOO uncomfortable.  My mom suggested getting padded shorts or a padded seat if I were to try it again–has anyone else done this?
Anyway, this week I lost…1 pound!  Frankly, I feel as if I had eaten dinner earlier, then it may have indicated that I lost more, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
7 pounds down–45 to go!

Weekending: It’s Already Over?! Edition

Happy Monday everyone!  Well, maybe not HAPPY Monday, so let me rephrase…

Hey, it’s Monday everyone!

I’m sorry–I know I should try to be perkier on a Monday morning, but I just feel like my weekend was so busy that I could use a weekend to recover.  Add on the fact that Boyfriend was sick for the majority of the weekend, which put me on nurse duty, soooooo yeah.  When’s the next weekend?

Anyway, Friday night started with my first Cycle (other word for Spinning) class, followed by some Turkey Chili from Panera.  That’s right folks, the turkey chili is BACKKKKK!!!

Saturday morning, I joined my mom for Zumba with my favorite instructor.  She’s awesome because almost all of the music she uses could be found in my Spotify library, and that makes so much of a difference!

After Zumba, I went to an event that benefitted the Harford Family House, a local home that helps those who need emergency housing.  They were having a purse sale and auction, and I could not believe some of the adorable bags that they were selling.  I was also touched to see how many people donated items that went towards the silent auction.  My best find was this Coach purse that was hand-painted by a local artist (I’m SO in love with it and want to see if she has a shop!):

Saturday night, Boyfriend had a burst of energy, so we went out for Mexican food!

On Sunday, I got up super early and drove down to D.C. to meet one of my best friends and her little boy for a trip to the zoo.  As a semi-expert on the National Zoo, I played tour guide, and my friend’s toddler especially loved the “roars” (lions).  I did get to see an Andean bear, which has been a rare occurrence on my trips there.

How was your weekend??

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


What I’m Up To: Embracing Fall

Once my birthday rolls around each year, I know that Fall is just on the horizon.  Technically, it doesn’t start until late September, but there’s so much about the world that just screams, “HEY!  AUTUMN IS ALMOST HERE!!!!”

Of course, there’s the changing leaves.  The minute I start seeing the leaves start changing colors, my heart gets that same little thrill that you get the minute you first see a snowflake in winter or a budding flower in spring–it’s the feeling of change…of new possibilities!

And then there are the pumpkins!  When I was a child, one of my favorite memories was trekking to Butler’s Orchard each Fall to choose our Halloween pumpkins.  I was never the most artistic, but I still felt as though I could unleash my inner Monet to place on our porch…even when they ended up looking more like Picassos.
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With pumpkins comes one of the world’s greatest creations–the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Yes, it’s completely cliche that I enjoy these fabulous treats, but I think that fact that they’re only available in the Fall makes them even more delicious. Trust me, I get just as excited about the Creme Brulee lattes that come out around Christmas.
Are you a Fall Fan, too?
I’m linking up with the Brave Love Blog for:

Brave Love Blog