Monthly Archives: January 2016

Five on Friday: I Want to Go to There Edition

Happy Friday one and all!

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I love to travel. I don’t get to do it very often because travelin’ ain’t cheap, but there are definitely a bunch of places that I have yet to visit! Time to start saving my pennies because as Liz Lemon says:

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1–Disneyland

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Part of my 101 in 1001 challenge is to do two runDisney races. I’m sure that I’ll do one at Disney World (where I’ve been several times and LOVE it), but I have yet to go to Disneyland. My plan is to do one of my races there so that I can check that off the list while marveling in all of the Disney magic!

2–Italy

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Doesn’t matter where and doesn’t matter when, but I need to see Italy at some point in my life. I’ve marveled for years at pictures of my friends’ vacations (including Macy’s honeymoon, which you can read about here), and the beauty of this country takes my breath away. Plus, let’s be honest, I love all things pasta, so…

3–Iceland

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I never really thought about going to Iceland until I started following Unlocking Kiki on Instagram. The shear gorgeousness of this country is definitely calling to me.

4–Umbrella Street in Portugal

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Doesn’t this seem like something out of a children’s book? I would love to see this in person.

5–Costa Rica

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Do I love tropical countries? Yes. But we all know that I really want to go there in order to hug a sloth.

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I linked up with these lovely ladies for:

 

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Love That Blog!

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Are all of you ready for some of the best posts from the blogger world this week? Well here you go!

Winter Shape Up 2016 from The Fitnessista

Have you joined up with the Winter Shape Up? Why not??? Gina and Annie have put together a great workout and nutrition program to get you ready for a super healthy 2016!

I’ve Never Been So Thankful from The Girl Who Loved to Write

Chelsea just gave birth to baby Jack, and her description of how thankful she is to be a mom brought tears to my eyes. Have tissues ready!

My Favorite Link-Ups from To Travel and Beyond

Are you ready to grow your group of blogger friends and readers? Macy has compiled a list of the link-ups for every day of the week AND special ones that happen once a month. This is a definite must-read for all bloggers!

BBQ Pulled Pork Pop Tarts from Spoon Fork Bacon

Pulled pork is delicious. Pop Tarts are delicious. Put the two together? Absolute heaven.

Reverse Bucket List from The Wild and Free Blog

Anyone can make a bucket list, but how about one that celebrates all of the things you’ve already accomplished? Annie’s list is fantastic!

 

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5 Things I Believe

In one of my favorite songs by Gavin Degraw, the talented singer croons, “Belief makes things real.” I wholeheartedly feel that these words are true. I mean, I’m not about to join The Secret movement, but I think that speaking (or in this case “writing”) your beliefs makes them real to yourself and others. So today I decided to write about 5 things that I truly believe.

1–I Believe That Wishing On Stars Works

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Jiminy Cricket once told us to wish upon a star, and so we did throughout our childhoods. Some of us, however, continue to wish on the first stars of the night. Call me naive, but I believe it works.

2–I Believe That I Will Be a Wife and Mother

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Hey, I didn’t get together with Boyfriend until I was 32, so my original plans of being married and having a kid by 25 just didn’t happen. But will I still be a wife? I believe so. And will I have a cuddly little baby? Absolutely.

3–I Believe That Pajama Pants are Acceptable Anywhere Before 8:00 am

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When I was in graduate school, I often ran to Starbucks early in the morning…in my pajama pants. Some people giggled (especially when they were Cookie Monster pajama pants), but seriously, if it’s before 8:00 am, why should I be wearing something that ISN’T pajama pants?

4–I Believe That Sometimes the Movies are Better Than the Book

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The former English teacher in me in screaming, but seriously, sometimes the movies are just better. It’s rare, but for example, High Fidelity is way more entertaining as being set in Chicago instead of in London (love Nick Hornby either way though).

5–I Believe That Everyone Needs a Guilty Pleasure Show

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Or two or three…Heck, you can watch the news as much as you want, but you still need some fun in your life. Maybe that comes from the Real World/Road Rules Challenge or Dance Moms. It just shows that you have a range of interests, and you’ll know what people are talking about when they refer to ALDC.

What are some things that you believe?

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Soups of the Month: National Soup Month Ideas

Honestly, with all of this snow, nothing sounds better right now than a nice warm bowl of soup. If that wasn’t reason enough to enjoy a bowl of deliciousness, it’s also National Soup Month!

There are some restaurants that really knock it out of the park with their soups. I’m a huge fan of Panera Bread’s All-Natural Turkey Chili.

But when it’s all blizzard-y outside, don’t you want to just make (or attempt to make) some soup yourself? Here are a few recipes that are sure to warm up those bellies:

Crock Pot Steak Soup from Recipes that Crock

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Boyfriend is VERY much a meat and potatoes type of guy. I mean, he’s an adventurous eater, but if you offer him some good ole-fashion steak, he’s a happy man. That’s why I’m definitely going to give this recipe a try…and it’s a crockpot recipe which makes it even better!

Homemade Bean and Bacon Soup from Taste and Tell

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This soup has the best of both worlds: beans and veggies for the angel-dieter in you, and bacon for a special treat!

Stuffed Pepper Soup from Cooking Classy

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Why limit yourself to the size of the inside of a pepper? Now you can enjoy the amazingness of stuffed peppers but in a big bowl!

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from Averie Cooks

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There’s nothing wrong with the classics, especially if they can be made in 30 minutes!

Do you have a favorite soup recipe? Or just a favorite one? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Weekending: Linus Talks About Snowzilla!

Hi all! It’s me, your furry pal, Linus! My mom is pretty exhausted from shoveling and snowblowing over the weekend, so I thought I’d do her a solid and talk about how much I LOVE THE SNOW!!!!

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My mom and dad worked from home on Friday because we just weren’t sure if they’d be safe driving home from their offices, but that was fine with me because I got extra snuggles while they worked!

Once the snow started falling, I was so excited to romp around in it, but afterwards, I curled up in front of the fire, while Mom, Dad and our roommate ate spaghetti and meatballs with Texas toast to keep warm.


On Saturday, the snow was really coming down and was blowing all over the place. Mom and Dad let me play, but first Mom insisted on bundling up.


Snow covered everything!


And I was happy to play far into the night!


But Dad finally said it was time to go in and warm up again. Luckily, we still had the fire going.


Yesterday, Mom and Dad had to clear out a bunch of snow. In the evening, Dad made some delicious soup (at least they said it was delicious) and Mom made chocolate chip cookies. After all that playing, I was ready for some sleep.

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How was your weekend? I linked up with Biana for Weekending!

 

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Five on Friday: Best TV Moms

Happy Friday everyone!

Today is a very special Friday for me because is also happens to be my mom’s birthday! I’m so sad that I’m not with her to celebrate today, but we’ll have a great birthday dinner with friends next week. I love you, Mom!

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In honor of Mom’s birthday, I thought I’d talk about five of my favorite TV moms!

One: Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

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Seriously, there is no TV mom as amazing as Lorelai. Sure, she got knocked-up when she was sixteen (no judgment, it happens), but she really exemplifies how you can be both a role model and friend to your daughter.

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Two: Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show

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A lawyer and a mother of five? Well done. And even though she and her husband aren’t hurting for money, she still makes sure that her kids know the value of a dollar.

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Three: Ashley Marin from Pretty Little Liars

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She’s not the squeaky-cleanest of moms, but Ashley Marin is the epitome of the mom that would do ANYTHING for her daughter.

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Four: Kristina Braverman from Parenthood

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Dealing with 3 kids is hard enough, but when one of the kids has Aspergers, one is rebelling (probably from the attention her brother gets) and the last is a toddler, life certainly can get more challenging. Oh, and did I mention that she has cancer? This woman is a saint!

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Five: Marge Simpson from The Simpsons

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I mean, have you seen what this woman has had to deal with over the years?

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Do you have a favorite TV mom? I’m linking up with these lovely ladies for Five on Friday!

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Florida Vacay–Part 2!

For those of you who didn’t read yesterday’s post, I just got back from a trip to Alligator Point, Florida, where my parents own a beach house. After driving across the state of Florida on Friday and seeing gators and manatees on Saturday, we’ve arrived at Sunday.

Sunday morning started with a walk on the beach (as did every morning, really). Sunday was a little warmer than the day before, and the water was just gorgeous. My parents’ Bernese Mountain Dog (jokingly referred to in Florida as the Bernese Beach Dog) found a new friend in a horseshoe crab.


Mom knows that Boyfriend is an adventurous eater, so she decided to accompany our omelets that morning with beer-battered alligator! Typically, I’m slightly more cautious about my eating habits, but this morning, I was willing to try it. And honestly, the alligator tasted like pork chops!


After breakfast, my stepdad and I went for a kayak ride while my mom showed Boyfriend how to throw a cast net in order to catch shrimp. He was a natural and loved it! He even caught 4 shrimp, which for a first-timer is pretty impressive.


That night, we celebrated my stepdad’s 60th birthday with seafood kabobs (yes those scallops were wrapped in bacon by Boyfriend). Somewhere between the grocery store and the house, we lost the number 6 candle, so we just dubbed my stepdad as ageless and put the “0” candle on the cake.


Sadly on Monday, my mom had to return to chilly Baltimore in order to work. After having chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (yummmmmm), Boyfriend and I drove Mom to the airport and then visited my alma mater, Florida State University. I was excited to do a little shopping in the store where I worked for 4 years and see my beautiful dorm, where I met one of my dearest friends.


After a stop by FSU, Boyfriend and I visited Bald Point State Park, which apparently has many walking trails, but we stuck to the shoreline, as neither of us were ready to give up on beach life quite yet.


Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the beautiful beach on Tuesday. I will admit that there were tears in my eyes as I looked at the water for the last time 🙁 But luckily Boyfriend felt the same way as I do about this small secluded beach town, and we’ll hopefully be back in March!

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A Weekend Amongst the Alligators…Kind Of

Look, I know that I shouldn’t complain. It’s Wednesday, and it’s my first workday of the week but if you had experienced the AMAZING weekend that I had, then you’d be all sad and whiny, too!

So it all started last Friday, when Boyfriend and I caught a flight from Baltimore to Jacksonville, FL. The flight was a little bumpy since it was pouring rain when we left, but I sucked it up as best as possible, and we were on the ground before we knew it!

Even though the Tallahassee airport would have been closer, it was WAY cheaper to fly into Jacksonville and drive across the state in a rental car. But this meant a 3.5 hour drive starting at 11:00 pm. Luckily, Starbucks, Twizzlers, Arby’s curly fries and my amazing boyfriend kept me awake until we pulled into my parents’ driveway in Alligator Point, FL at 2:30 in the morning. I thought they would be asleep, but they were awake and my dad thought that he and boyfriend should share a beer to start the trip off right!

Saturday started with a breakfast of blueberry waffles and fruit salad, and then our first walk on the beach!


It was a little cloudy but that wasn’t stopping us from going on a cruise at Wakulla Springs, where we saw tons of the natural wildlife, including gorgeous birds and alligators! The very very best part was when we saw some manatees slowly making their way along, and one of them even gave the boat a little bump to say hello!


  
We made sure to get to the beach again at sunset, which was…well just look:


Saturday’s happy hour included stone crab claws, which we had to open with actual hammers!


There’s wayyyyyy too much for just one post–come back tomorrow for more!

Today is the last day for the $500 Amazon giveaway–don’t miss out!!!
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Saying Good-Bye to a Celebrity

Eight years ago, I was in my apartment in Baltimore City when I got a text from my brother that read, “Heath Ledger found dead in his New York City apartment.” My first response was anger, and I almost replied, “Not funny, dude.” I mean, my brother has a dark sense of humor at times, but he knew that I had loved Heath Ledger since his portrayal as Patrick Verona in 10 Things I Hate About You.

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So before scolding my brother via text message, I flipped on the TV and turned to E! News. It turned out that my brother was in fact correct: Heath Ledger was dead.

Tears sprung to my eyes, as I thought about how Michelle Williams and his young daughter were handling this news. And then I thought about how much I was going to miss him…followed by me saying to myself, “Wait, how am I going to miss him? I’ve never met him!”

But really, there was no reason to admonish myself in such a way because that’s how it is with celebrities–we become attached to them through their interviews and television appearances but even more, we fall in love with their characters. Sure, I had never met Heath Ledger, but I adored watching him and Michelle Williams talk about their relationship on Oprah, and as I said, I was a huge fan of Patrick Verona.

These same feelings came upon me again twice this past week: once at the news of David Bowie’s death and again when I heard of Alan Rickman’s passing.

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As a child, I was obsessed with the movie, Labyrinth. You know that I’m a huge fan of Muppets, and when you add in a mystical story, then it just makes a film that much more incredible. I thought that Bowie was amazing as Jareth, possibly the more fascinating villain of all time. And his movie, of course, was the work of a pure mastermind–heck, even Chandler Bing is a fan.

And then Alan Rickman…sigh.

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Sure, he is known for often playing the “bad guy” in such films as Robin Hood: Prince of ThievesLove Actually, and Die Hard, but we’ll all remember him for playing the ultimate bad guy-gone good in the Harry Potter series, as Professor Snape. Those of us who love Harry Potter empathized with Snape as we read the books and watched the films. Spoiler Alert: When we mourned the death of Snape, it was hard enough, but then losing Rickman felt as though we were losing him all over again.

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So sure, I never had the opportunity to meet Heath Ledger, David Bowie or Alan Rickman, but I will miss having them as a part of this world.

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Quote Me On That: Some of The Best Quotations

When I was younger, one of my favorite books to peruse was my grandmother’s copy of Bartlett’s Book of Quotations. I loved being able to use the index and find just the perfect quotation for any situation. Well, now that there’s the internet, it’s not as necessary to break out the big ole book that now sits on my own wooden shelves, but sometimes it’s still just as important to find the right quote for the moment.

When you need an excuse to spend the day reading instead of doing chores:

 

George R.R. Martin quotation

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When you just can’t stop the tears:

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When you just can’t follow Elsa’s advice:

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When you’re told that you’re weird:

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And when all else fails, just look to Phil Dunphy. He’s got life advice for every situation:

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Do you have a favorite quote? Please feel free to share!

And don’t forget about the giveaway!

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