Monthly Archives: December 2015

It’s New–Bear with Me!

Hi all!  As you can see, I’ve switched over to WordPress for the new year!!! Because I’m still prettifying things, please be kind while the site looks blah for the next couple of days. And if you’re looking at my old posts, the images didn’t seem to travel along from Blogger 🙁

But as Jimmy Buffet says, “Come Monday, it’ll be alright!


Happy New Year!!!


2015 Wrap-Up!

Well ladies and gents, it looks like we’ve got another year on the books!

After reading some year-end wrap-ups of some of my favorite bloggers, I couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon and sharing some of the highlights of my year!


January was a rather light month in the world of Lauren, as I recovered from the holiday season and prepared to get settled in for a bunch of cold weather. But the Ravens were doing well, so my office put on our fierce faces, and since my mom’s birthday was that month, I took her to Crepe du Jour for a delectable dinner.

Boyfriend and I always wait until at least February 15th to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but when we did, we celebrated with yummy sushi from Chopstix. Oh yeah, and I totally won the Super Bowl pool 🙂

March was quite snowy, but that didn’t stop my mom and two of our friends from celebrating Pi Day by making mini delicious pies!

In April, I finished my first 5k! It was finished in a red-faced and sweaty manner, but I still finished!

May was a ridiculously busy month, but that turned it into a ridiculously entertaining month as well. Boyfriend and I traveled to Crystal City, VA for a work trip, we cheered on Maryland (well, I did–Boyfriend cheered on Towson) at Ripkin Stadium, my mom and I met my brother in Philly for Mother’s Day, I took my first trip to Boston, I walked in the March of Dimes March for Babies and I started writing theatre reviews again!


In June, I said good-bye to my contract position at one company and headed back to another company, where I had worked a few years earlier. This also meant working with my mom and one of my BFFs again! Speaking of that BFF, the same week that I started back to work, Macy got married! I may have cried…a lot.


In July, we celebrated Independence Day with the usual fanfare, I kept working on my culinary skills, and we learned that Linus’s world ends whenever Boyfriend goes to take a shower lol.

August brought about more theatre reviews (I even took my college best friend along with me to one, as seen above) and my beginning with Weight Watchers. I actually like this picture because it works as a “before face” for me.

September is birthday month, which meant my annual birthday photo collage from Macy 🙂 Boyfriend took me out for sushi, I had my annual taco dinner and since my birthday fell on the day of the Labor Day Barbecue, Boyfriend’s family sang happy birthday at the celebration and my mom brought me a cake 🙂

In October, I was able to celebrate the impending arrival of baby Lochlyn, which meant being a part of one of the funniest pictures of all time!

Typically my favorite part of November is Thanksgiving (as pictured above), but this year I was able to travel to my new favorite city, Asheville, NC! I can’t wait to go again in the spring!

December brought about a weird virus which was unfortunate, but other than that, it was all Christmas and holiday goodness–and the celebration of losing 24 pounds!!
Alright, 2016–the bar has been set. Are you ready for the Year of Lauren???

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What’s Up Wednesday!

Hey y’all! Getting ready for 2016? As I start readying my resolutions, I’m linking up with Mix and Match Family for:

On the last Wednesday of each month, the ladies of these fabulous blogs answer these questions:

What We’re Eating This Week…

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup from Six Sisters’ Stuff

What I’m Reminiscing About…

2015 as a whole–can’t wait to write more about it tomorrow!

What I’m Loving…

My new Ugg boots, which I call my “sweater shoes.” They’re ridiculously comfortable, and I wish that it would stop raining, so I could wear them even more!
What We’ve Been Up To…

Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas! And slowly making my way back into work…(womp womp)

What I’m Dreading…

Next month’s bills–it’s always a little worrisome after Christmas!

What I’m Working On…

Planning ahead with my blog. I’m trying to have the whole month of January planned out, since I’ll be on vacation for part of it, and I don’t want to be scrambling for post ideas at the last minute.

What I’m Excited About…

Heading to the beach on January 15th! I’m taking Boyfriend to our beach house for the first time, and I just can’t wait!
What I’m Watching…

Pretty Little Liars…after a brief hiatus for the holidays, I’m SO back in! I’m hoping to be all caught-up before the premiere on January 12th!

What I’m Listening To…

As most of my favorite radio show hosts are on vacation, I like listening to the “Best Of” compilations of Elliot in the Morning and The Kane Show.
What I’m Wearing…

My Misfit Shine! Not only does it link up with my Weight Watchers app, but its own app is so easy to read and gives me even more motivation to keep working out!
What I’m Doing This Weekend…

Oil change, picking up Mom from the airport, and cleaning up Christmas decorations (sad sad whimper whimper)
What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…

Having mimosas and brunch with my friends Lauren and Kirsten!!
What Else is New…

I have a new favorite board game, Ticket to Ride!

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Christmas Wrap-Up

Phew! What a whirlwind weekend! How is Christmas already over????

The celebrations began on Wednesday with Boyfriend’s cousin’s 9th birthday party. For years, their family has celebrated her birthday on the 23rd, her actual birthday and it’s sort of become the pre-pre-Christmas party. There were torrential downpours that night, and when I arrived at the house, I opened my car down and stepped into a disgusting muddy puddle. But at least everyone else was in the same boat, and we all lamented over our drenched selves while enjoying drinks and food.  Oh, and Boyfriend’s cousin Kim who is one of my besties knew that hugging a sloth is on my life bucket list, so she got me this:

So cute, riiiiight????
The next day was Christmas Eve. First things first was Boyfriend’s family’s Christmas party. Even though it was 70 degrees outside, I still wanted to wear my new blanket scarf. I was definitely sweaty, but hey, I was committed to the Christmas outfit.
Boyfriend’s cousins and me 🙂
After a couple hours at Boyfriend’s family’s house, I traveled to Baltimore to my parents’ house for Christmas Eve dinner. My brother, who lives in Brooklyn, brought me some amazing cupcakes from a local bakery. I somehow managed not to eat them all in one sitting.
We settled in for a viewing or two of A Christmas Story and then my mom handed out our Christmas jammies.
Luckily my toes matched
The next morning, my parents, my brother and I got up early to open gifts. My parents really went all out, and I was really excited to get a Misfit Shine fitness tracker and really REALLY excited that my parents are sending Boyfriend and me on a trip to Asheville, NC! I can’t wait to share Beer City, USA with my special guy.
Possibly the most touching moment of the morning occurred when my stepdad opened his Amazon Echo. You see, he’s legally blind and even everyday things like finding the right station on the radio can be a struggle. And forget Googling–he has to wait for one of us to look things up for him. Once he saw how his “Alexa” (the Amazon Echo) worked, he had this reaction:
(those are not guns–they are brooms)
After breakfast, I hurried home to exchange gifts with Boyfriend, who got me some really fun gifts, including Star Wars Cookie Cutters (heck YES!) and a beautiful Game of Thrones journal. I had a couple of minutes to shower before rushing over to his parents’ house for lunch and (thankfully) a little down time before heading back to my parents’ house AGAIN for dinner.
Even though it was really busy, I wouldn’t trade that time with my family for anything in the world! Until next year, Santa!

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My Solidarity Sister!

Happy Monday everyone!

Over the past month, I’ve been lucky enough to be paired with my Solidarity Sister, Jenn. Not only is she so sweet and such a great mama, she is also a fantastic artist! She really got me in the spirit of Christmas as I oohed and aahed over her daughter’s ballet pictures from The Nutcracker, and she’s given me some great advice when it comes to connecting with other bloggers.

Jenn and I traded 5 fun facts about each other, and if you click on the links after her facts, you’ll get the chance to read more from her outstanding blog, Jenn’s Mixed Media Art!

1. She is a new blogger, stay at home mom of 3 beautiful girls

2. She blogs about Mixed Media Art and her journey learning the technique

3. She loves other crafty things

4. She enjoys decorating her home for the holidays

5. She feels 2015 has been a year to learn and let go

It’s been wonderful getting to know Jenn over the past month, and I hope you’ll take the time to follow her blog and become a part of her artistic journey!

I linked up with Susannah for:


Click the link above to find out information about joining Susannah for January’s Solidarity Sisters!
And of course, don’t forget about the Amazon Giveaway!!

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Secret Blogger Club: Christmas Eve Edition!

The Blonder Side of Life

Is everyone in full Christmas mode yet? Well, if you need a few minutes to yourself to read some great blogs, here are some suggestions, courtesy of the Secret Blogger Club!

Why We Shared Our Pregnancy After Miscarriage News Early: Abby’s post is so beautiful and really makes you think about how every precious every moment of life is.

Finding Balance in the Busy: I feel like Macy is speaking right to me in this post about finding time for you and the ones you love while balancing work, blogging and travel.

The Softest Sweaters: Someday it will feel like winter in Maryland–and when it does, I want this sweater.

Disney Princess-Inspired Christmas Ornaments: I’m obsessed with these–someone help me be craftier!

Peppermint Brownie Trifle: Looks amazing right? Just don’t pull a Rachel:

I linked up with A Blonder Side of Life for the Secret Blogger Club! And don’t forget about the giveaway:

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Currently…and There’s a Giveaway!!!

Guys guys guys GUYSSSS! Christmas celebrations start today!!!!

Before I get all kinds of crazy busy, I thought I’d give you a little insight on what’s going on in my world.
Watching–All kinds of Christmas stuff. Last night, we watched A Muppet Christmas Carol (my absolute favorite), and I’ve been catching up on my favorite Christmas episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Friends.  Like this one:
and this one:
Reading–Oprah by Kitty Kelley. I’m reading it for the book challenge, and it’s actually pretty fascinating. And seriously, don’t we all in our heart of hearts want to be a little like Oprah?
Listening to–Christmas music (duh), “Hello” by Adele (still lovin’ it), and Oprah on audiobook.
Eating–More now that I’m not sick! Bring on the Christmas cookies (but not too many, as my scale will judge me)
Envying–My friends who are spending the week before Christmas in snowy Austria.  I mean, how perfect is THAT?!
Wanting–To start giving our Christmas gifts!  I can’t wait to see how folks like them! And weirdly, I want to start running again, now that I’m feeling better.
Talking About–Season 2 of Serial. What do y’all think? Honestly, I’m a little underwhelmed so far.
Wearing–My Ugg boots. ALL. THE. TIME.
Feeling–Relieved that my sickness has peaced out in time for me to spend the weekend with my friends and family. And happy that my girl Macy returns to work today after visiting her husband’s family for the past week.
Oh, did I say something about a giveaway? 😉 It starts at noon today (so if you’re reading this early, bookmark it and come back)!

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Prize: $500 Amazon Gift Card or Cash (via Paypal) – winner’s choice
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/20 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Weigh-In # 17: Almost Halfway There!!

That’s right folks, you read the title correctly–I’m almost halfway to my goal of losing 52 pounds! In fact, as of this morning I have lost 24 pounds!!!

Now, in all honesty, I have been suffering from a bit of a stomach bug the past week, so part of this is definitely due to food just not wanting to stay in my system, but I must say I’m glad that I lost a little more this week with Christmas coming up (and all the yummy treats and goodies that go along with it!)
I know it’s a short one today, but come back tomorrow–that’s when the giveaway starts!!


Things to Do Before Thursday Night!

Happy Monday everyone!

Usually, I would be all “grumble-grumble Monday,” but this week I’m actually excited for it to be Monday because Christmas is this week!!!! Although, to be honest, as excited as I am for Christmas, I feel like I’m still a little behind. Hopefully, I’m not the only one who feels this way, but here are some things that I still need to do before Thursday night:
Last Minute Gifts

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and remembered that we didn’t have a gift AT ALL for one of Boyfriend’s uncles. Not even an idea!  UGHHHHHH! Well, I guess that’s something that we’ll have to take care of today…
Watching Christmas Movies

Boyfriend promised that we could watch A Muppet Christmas Carol tonight since it’s one of my absolute favorites.  But I still need to watch Love Actually and Elf before the Christmas season is up, too!  Where will I find this time??
Wrap Gifts

I actually love wrapping Christmas gifts. It must come from the days when I worked in retail and took great pride in giving people their freshly wrapped gifts. The one perk to us still needing to buy a few gifts is that I still have some to wrap!
Celebrate the Christmas Birthdays

One of my good friends and one of Boyfriend’s cousins have birthdays right around Christmas. This means breaking out the ole reliable birthday wrapping paper and attending some birthday celebrations right before Christmas kicks in.
What’s still on your to-do list?