Monthly Archives: July 2016

Bloggers’ Favorite Pizza!


After the great success in compiling my favorite bloggers’ favorite donuts, I thought that I would look to the blogging world for pizza suggestions. And boy oh boy–bloggers love them some pizza! I hope that our suggestions will steer you in the right directions (which is always towards a good slice lol).


Megan from Soup of the Day and Macy from To Travel and Beyond both highly recommend Homeslyce! Megan went on to say that she loved the delicious garlic butter that’s brushed on the crust, and they’ll use vegan cheese for those who go dairy-free.



Funny enough, Macy’s favorite pizza in Texas is ALSO called Home Slice (just spelled differently). NY-style pizza in Austin, Texas? They really do have everything in Austin!


Sarah from Venus Trapped in Mars kept it real and admitted that Pizza Hut‘s thin crust pizza with extra sauce is her absolute fave, but her favorite Dallas-based pizza joint is Serious Pizza, which looks seriously delicious!


North Carolina

Christina from Carolina Charm not only suggested Pizza Peel & Tap Room in Charlotte, NC, but she recommended their One Veggie Pizza! After looking at her Instagram pics, I’m sold!


Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life digs Alino Pizzeria in Mooresville, NC! They claim to be the best pizza in town, AND the pizza is ready in 2 minutes!



Jordyn from The Fairy Princess Diaries likes made-to-order pizzas from Whole Foods, but her favorite pizza place in Seattle is Pagliacci Pizza!


Rhode Island

Even though she’s living down South now, Meg from My Borrowed Heaven still thinks about her favorite pizza in her hometown of Westerly, Rhode Island! The bacon, chicken and ranch pizza at Dunn’s Corners Pizza is still calling Meg’s name…and now it’s calling my name, too!

New York

Manhattan is known for its amazing pizza, and Kristin from Mama and Mou‘s favorite is a slice of pepperoni from Ray’s Pizza! I know that I’ll stop by there when I’m next in NYC!


Sure, Kristin appreciates NYC’s pizza, but when she’s at home in Minnesota, she goes to Red Savoy Pizza! She recommends that wherever you get pizza, you make sure to add Frank’s Hot Sauce and grated cheese on top (not a bad idea!)



Caroline from Perpetually Caroline doesn’t mess around. Her favorite pizza is from its birthplace–Naples! Pizzeria Starita is the name of her favorite place, and you can read about it here!


And my favorite? Well, if you read my Chicago updates, then you know that Giordano’s in Chicago is now officially the best pizza in my book. I’m still dreaming about it…


What’s your favorite pizza?


Thoughts for Thursday: Happy Things


Ever had one of those weeks that are just particularly frustrating? I mean, there isn’t exactly ONE thing that ticks you off, but a bunch of little things? That’s this week for me. Luckily, I had a number of resources stockpiled in order to cheer myself up when things get too “I’m gonna punch something in the face”-ish:

Sami Zayn Entrance Music

I’ve mentioned before that C and I gather friends together for major WWE events. Hey, it’s fun and nostalgic, since my brother and I used to watch together as kids. Anyway, one of the wrestlers, Sami Zayn, enters to the most upbeat music, and I can’t help but smile when I hear it.

“Life’s a Happy Song” from The Muppets

My obsession with the Muppets is well-known. This song from Jason Segal’s Muppet reboot is just chock-full of happiness. The word happy is in the name, for goodness sake!

Olde Book Purse


C sent me a link to this purse a couple weeks ago, and I just LOVED it! He then hinted that something similar to that may be arriving at our house in the near future…and that’s enough to put a smile on my face!

Colbian Flip Flops


When my mom and I were walking around Chicago a few weeks ago, I kept getting shooting pains in my ankle. They only lasted a few seconds, but after a while, my mom said, “Wear my flip flops. They’re like walking on a cloud.” They totally and completely ARE! I am in current ownership of the pair above, but I’ve already ordered a second pair because I haven’t had a single ankle pain since wearing these. And if walking on clouds can’t make me happy, then I don’t know what will!

What do you do when you need cheering up?

Linking up with East Coast Chic for Thoughts for Thursday!

And don’t forget the giveaway!

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Wedding Wednesday: First Fitting


Happy Wedding Wednesday all! With less than 80 days (eek!) left until the Big Day, I’m going to write about my first dress fitting.

So waiting for my dress has not been easy. First, I was told that it was in stock and that it should be ready in a month. A month later, I was told that I hadn’t factored in that I wanted buttons instead of a corset on the back, so it would be at the store in early July. In early July, the store said that it would be late July. Here’s the crazy thing: the same day that they told me it would be “late July,” the dress arrived! Sheesh.

Anyway, last Friday I took the afternoon off of work and headed to the bridal shop to put on my dress. I was excited, but I was even more nervous. Since the original dress I tried on was way too big, they measured me to figure out the right size. Now I was worried it would be too small.

It wasn’t too big. It wasn’t too small. I felt like Goldilocks because it was JUST RIGHT.

When I looked at myself in the mirror, all of those emotions that I had the first day I tried on the dress came rushing back. “Wow,” I thought, “it’s finally my turn! I’m the bride!”

No, I didn’t cry. But I didn’t want to take off the dress either! Now I have to wait 3 more weeks to put it on again???



How did you feel the first time you put on your dress?

Linking up with Macy and Nikki! And don’t forget about the giveaway for a $300 Amazon gift card!

To Travel & Beyond

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Home is Where the Cow Is: Why I Love My Town

Home is Where the Cow Is-Why I Love My Town

As of last month, I have lived in Churchville, Maryland for two years. Some may ask why I chose to live in this smallish rural town. The easy answer: I moved in with C. But if you want to know some more specific reasons why I love living in this town, here ya go:



Who doesn’t love a good cow, am I right? But seriously, my neighbors across the street…are cows. They’re great! They don’t complain, they mind their own business, and occasionally, they’ll let out a big ole MOO when I’m trying to have a phone meeting 😉

Ice Cream


Keyes Creamery, the best ice cream ever IMO, is within walking distance of my house! This means that if I’ve just gone on a long run, and it’s a zillion degrees outside, it doesn’t take that much longer to run to Keyes. Not that I would do that…often.


C’s parents and two of his brothers live a few houses away from us. His other brother and his family live about a mile away. Although I’m a little farther from my family, I still love knowing that there is family nearby when we need them. Like when I was really sick a few months ago, C’s mom brought me chicken noodle soup. Cutest thing ever.



So apparently the game that helped decide where many of the Pokestops for Pokemon Go would be decided to put them in churches. I live in Churchville. Go ahead–do the math.

What do you love most about your town?

Linking up with these lovely ladies!


And don’t forget the giveaway!

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The Story Behind My Name


I’m always fascinated with how people come up with a names for their babies. Is it from a family member? Is it from a book? Or television show? If it’s from Game of Thrones, it’ll be pretty obvious right away, FYI.

My name came from my great-grandmother Libby. From what I understand, in the Jewish tradition, parents often use the first letter of a deceased relative’s name (or the full name) in order to “add years” to the baby’s life. In other words, the years that the deceased person lived are “added” to the new baby’s future. Ergo, since my great-grandmother died before my birth, my parents named me after her.


For years, my grandfather told me that my name was his idea. In his version of the story, he sat down with my parents and talked to them about using an “L” as the first letter of my name. Apparently he gave several suggestions, one of which was “Lauren.” And that’s what stuck! I may need to check with my mom on the validity of this story, but I’m fine with the thought that my grandfather put the idea of my name in my parents’ heads.

Hopefully soon, C and I will be thinking of names for our own children. And I will enjoy telling our little one the story of how we came up with his or her name. But not in How I Met Your Mother fashion–that just takes too darn long.

Do you know the story behind your name?


17 Getting to Know Me Things


Happy Friday everyone! The amazing Brittany over at A Healthy Slice of Life posted this survey last week, and I just loved it. So here are 17 things you may (or may not) know about me!

What brings you the greatest joy?

The joking part of me wants to answer “Red Pandas”, but in truth the greatest joy comes from my fiance, my family and my friends. Oh, and of course my pups. Especially when the little one stretches out like this:

What are your vices?

Carbs. All the carbs. Especially pizza and pasta…oh, the deliciousness.


What is on your nightstand?

Okay, here’s what is supposed to be on my nightstand: a book and my phone. What’s ACTUALLY on my nightstand is about 70,000 pieces of crap that get dropped there in lieu of the trash. Maybe I just need a trashcan in my room…hmmm…

Do you have a secret talent?

Ummmm…no? Honestly, if I am talented at something, I have the tendency to let EVERYBODY know about it lol.

What is your greatest indulgence?

I have 3 (insert sheepish grin): massages every other month, mani-pedis once a month and Starbucks coffee all the dang time.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 3.01.51 PM

What should everybody try at least once in their lifetime?

See a show ON BROADWAY. Seriously, even people who “don’t like theatre” can be swayed by seeing a show in its HOME.

What makes you laugh?



What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

I know sign language. I took lessons for 4 years when I was a kid and retained quite a bit of it.

What is on your bucket list?

Hug a sloth or a red panda. This NEEDS to happen!


What is on your feet right now?

Just nail polish! I kick off shoes whenever possible!

How did you make your first dollar?

I started baby-sitting my cousins when I was 11 (the perks of being the oldest grandchild!).

What superstitions do you believe in?

Wishing on stars. I do it every day!

What items in your closet do you wear the most?

My jeans. If jeans ever go out of style, I’m in HUGE trouble.

What is the best gift you ever received?

This bad boy right here:

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.58.16 PM

What is on your liquor shelf?

All kinds of stuff. Rums, whiskeys, beer…C is totally in charge of that though.

What is on your kitchen counter?

Two coffee makers (the easy one and the better one lol), a knife block, a coffee cannister, a dish drainer, and the glasses that need to go in the dishwasher.

What would you never leave home without?

My phone. I am a quick responder to texts and calls, and well, you never know if a Pokemon is going to cross your path!

Linking up!

And don’t forget about the $300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

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Looking Back on Julys and a Giveaway!


When I saw this post on Love, Fun and Football last week, I knew that Erin had come up with a great way to reminisce! At her encouragement, I decided to give it a try myself and look back at my past several Julys!

July 2009

My current MOH Leslie went to Germany and brought me back the most perfect present: Gummi Candies.

July 2010

My friends Lauren and Justin got married in Rhode Island, and our whole friend crew got together for this gem of a picture:

July 2011

My friends and I saw Wicked at the Kennedy Center. It was INCREDIBLE!!!

July 2012

C and I went on our first vacation together! We went to Vermont and Montreal with our friends Carson and Sveta. We loved the beautiful mountains (even though C had to talk me through my immense fear of going DOWN the steep mountain) and got to see an incredible fireworks festival in Montreal!

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July 2013

My aunt and cousin treated my mom and me to see The Book of Mormon at The Kennedy Center!

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July 2014

The pups and I spent our first full month living with C 🙂 Some of us settled in very quickly and comfortably 😉

July 2015

I covered a lot of theatre shows for DC Metro Theater Arts, which allowed me to spend a whole day in Georgetown. And while I was there, I ate this cupcake:

July 2016

Since I’m getting in “wedding shape,” I started my 100 Days of Exercise, which caps off right before the big day!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.01.10 PM

What’s one of your favorite July memories?

You know what help to make some fun memories…a $300 Amazon gift card! Some awesome bloggers and I have gathered together to bring you one step closer to winning one! Enter the giveaway below!


Prize: $300 Amazon Gift Card

Co-hosts: Coupons and Freebies Mom // Misadventures with Andi // SWEETHAUTE //  Splash of Teal // Jenns Blah Blah Blog // Pretty Thrifty // A Better Me // The Mommyhood Mentor® // Simone – Your Style Architect // Sweating Champagne // Fleek Week // Dorky’s Deals // Behind Blue Eyes // True Story Book Blog // A Wandering Vine // It Girl Accessories // A Noted Life // Casey At: Work, Home, Play //  Taffeta & Tulips // Surviving Mommy // Heartfully Heather // Style On The Side //  JUGGLING ACT MAMA // Blog by Donna // Smartysaver

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 8/17 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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Wedding Wednesday: Choosing the Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Happy Wedding Wednesday all! I’m linking up with Macy and Nikki, as per usual, and I’m talking about choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses!

To Travel & Beyond


Choosing bridesmaids’ dresses was not easy. I have a hard enough time choosing outfits for myself, but choosing something for 6 other people to wear seemed like an impossible task. Here were some of the issues that I came across:



I love my friends, but it would be so much easier if they were all the same size and height! Just kidding, of course. But seriously, my MOH is about 5 feet tall, and my tallest bridesmaid is 5′ 9″. So I needed a dress that would look good on those who are petite and those who are taller.


The bane of my existence was finding a dress that is burgundy. It is unbelievable how many places claimed to have burgundy dresses, when it actuality they were purple or red.


Originally, my Pinterest board held a dream bridesmaid dress that was strapless. But then I realized that not all of my bridesmaid would be comfortable in a strapless gown, so I knew some sort of sleeve or strap would be necessary. Plus it’s going to be outside in the autumn, so the more covering, the better!



Since my dress is mostly lace, I want some sort of lace incorporated into my bridesmaids’ dresses. But remember how I said finding burgundy was impossible? Finding burgundy lace was even more impossible. I found one dress that I liked with which lace on top of burgundy, but that just looked weird.

After a great deal of searching, I found a dress for my girls! Since I’d like for it to be a surprise, I won’t say exactly which one. But I will tell you that it’s lace, has one should strap, is burgundy, and looks great on all of my bridesmaids!

Did you have trouble finding bridesmaids dresses?


Tried and True Recipes from Pinterest

Tried and True Recipesfrom Pinterest

Happy Tuesday! Today, I want to tell you about some of the great recipes I’ve found on Pinterest. These aren’t just ones that I think look delicious–they are ones that I make on the regular. They taste great, and more importantly, they’re fiance-approved!

Pizza Bubbles from Pillsbury


Yes, it is well-known that I love pizza, but this recipe calls for pizza with a different texture. The airy texture of the biscuits is a great treat, and I’m all for a dinner that only needs a few ingredients and not much prep time.

Chicken Taco Chili from Delectably Skinny


Since starting Weight Watchers, I’ve learned that having a meal worth a ton of points at the end of the day is not the best for my weigh-ins. Luckily, this Chicken Taco Chili is low in WW points but still fills me up like a jumbo meal!

3-Ingredient Crock Pot Tacos from Frugal Foodie Mama


I love Carrie from Frugal Foodie Mama SOOOO much for this recipe! I am a huge fan of tacos, but I’m even more of a fan of meals that can be made in a crockpot. Put the two together and voila! Lauren’s perfect dinner.

Crockpot Beer Chicken from Skinnypoints


When your fiance brews his own beer, it’s only natural that you try to use it in your cooking (especially when he brews a batch that is WAY more than he expected). I made this Crockpot Beer Chicken with a side of rice and veggies, and everyone loved it

Do you have any tried and true recipes that you found on Pinterest? Feel free to share!

Linking up!




10 Songs from my Workout Playlist

10 Songsfrom myWorkout Playlist

Happy Monday everyone! Need some new tunes to get your workout going? Today I’ll share some of my favorite songs from my Workout Playlist!

“Any Way You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ Mash-Up” from Glee

via Youtube

Yes, I was a fan of Glee (and you can admit that you were, too 😉 ). The particular competition where the Glee Club performs this mash-up is one of my favorites. Their performance has so much energy and spunk that it keeps me motivated when I’m trying to speed up during a run.

“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj

Bang Bang — Jessie J. ft. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj from Kevinmeneses on Vimeo.

This is another upbeat tune that’ll speed up a run (especially Nicki’s part).

“Bye Bye Bye” by *NSYNC

N Sync – Bye Bye Bye (OFFICIAL VIDEO) from misael on Vimeo.

A little throwback never hurt anyone! In fact, while I’m running, I mentally perform the choreography. Dancing in my head is a lot less embarrassing than performing the moves in a bagel shop in college. Yes, that happened. I don’t know how I still have friends sometimes.

“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry and Juicy J

dark horse – katy perry full (lyric video) from belen on Vimeo.

This song isn’t exactly the most upbeat, but it does have a steady rhythm which really helps during longer runs.

“Geronimo” by Say Hey to Single Life

NBC’s Marry Me Promo | “Geronimo by Sheppard” from gyroe on Vimeo.

Okay, this song really does have a great beat for running, but I love it because it reminds me of the following video above.

“Good Morning, Good Day” from She Loves Me

via Youtube

This is one of those songs that just brings a smile to my face. It has a great beat, and it is just so cheerful and lighthearted that I find myself grinning while running. Well, I’m grinning until the sweat drips into my eyes.

“Holy Grail” by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake

via Youtube

Because, you know, it’s Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake. Do I need more of an explanation?

“Girl Next Door” by Saving Jane

via Youtube

Having a female-empowerment song is always helpful when you feel like you’re about to give up on a run.

“Marry You” from Glee

via Youtube 
Before getting engaged, the simple thought of a proposal would get me all giddy. This song inspired giddiness and therefore helped me keep running.

“Alexander Hamilton” from the Hamilton soundtrack

via Youtube
This is my official “End of a Race” song. When the end is in sight and I’m totally exhausted, the cast singing about the greatness of AH just gives me that extra boost to the finish line. Also, the song gives me chills every single time.

What are some of the songs on your playlist?