Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Words, 1 Weekend

Hey there friends!  Can you believe the weekend is over already?  Two days is just not enough weekend time for me.  But at least we can look forward to linking up with Sami to share our weekend shenanigans when it's over, right?

I took no blog worthy pictures this weekend.  Blogger fail.  But you know what?  I'm okay with it.  I enjoyed my weekend at home in yoga pants watching season 2 of Grey's Anatomy while reading blogs.  In particular I was reading one new blog I found thanks to Sami mentioning she met up with Mallory from Mal Smiles in this post here from last weekend's shenanigans.

I'm not sure what it was that caught my attention but I found myself clicking the link to Mallory's blog and have been hooked ever since.  I've definitely been inspired to get back on the Skinny Train {as Mal says} since reading Mal Smiles despite the imprint of my ass in the recliner that I made this weekend that would tell you differently.  Here's to hoping the inspiration sticks around and I can start making some changes to my life so I can start living a healthier one.  But more on that in the coming week(s).

I mentioned Friday that I had a mole removed Tuesday morning and that I was waiting to go back to the doctor a week later to find out the results from pathology.  Turns out I didn't have to wait because they mailed the results and everything was all clear.  Telling my BFF Chelsea the good news sparked the following conversation.

C: I am glad! Last person I would expect to have cancer is you. Me first.  {She tans more than I would like sometimes.}
A: Shush. I need to wear sunscreen tho. How many times did I burn last summer? {Really shouldn't harp on her tanning habit if I won't wear sunscreen, right?}
C: Haha way too many!! Ya vamp
A: Haha yes I am very white. I should go live in Washington where it rains a lot.
C: Lol you should!
A: Kasey Kahne is from Washington. Maybe I can find myself a hot race car driver then...
C: Lol umm yes! Get on that shit. And I get to go to all the races

For all of my readers who are not NASCAR fans here is a visual for you...

Kasey Kahne
Are those blue eyes not gorgeous?!  And speaking of Mr. Kahne, he finished 2nd in the Saturday night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  I was rooting for him to pass Matt Kenseth {a driver from Wisconsin!} in the final laps but he just couldn't pull it off.  It was an exciting finish at least!

To put it in a nut shell you can sum up my weekend in 5 words: Grey's Anatomy, NASCAR, Mal Smiles.

What 5 words can sum up your weekend?
Sami's Shenanigans

I will see y'all back here tomorrow when I link up with Mal for my first ever Curing #NOtivation!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

My Second Favorite F Word

That ecard about sums it up for me right now.  It's only my second day back at work this week so that makes it an extra happy Friday.

On the downside I don't really have anything planned to share on the blog today.  So I'll make a little list of what's going in my head this morning.

:one: I made the switch from Passionfruit to Adproval last night. I don't make enough from ads to make the monthly fee worth my while.  Adproval is very similar but different from Passionfruit but the biggest difference is it's free like Passionfruit used to be.  And I get paid whenever an ad is purchased so no more waiting for pay day. {Be sure to check out my sponsorship page!}

:two: I had a mole removed Tuesday before heading to Minnesota. The area is itching like crazy lately which I'm told means it's healing.  I go in Tuesday to have the stitch removed and hopefully find out that everything was all good with it.

:three: Why are clothes so expensive?  Shopping Tuesday and Wednesday I kept finding stuff that was full price and I was definitely not buying that day. I'm waiting for the price to come down / Christmas to get the items I found while shopping.  I did make a haul at Victoria's Secret though so it's not like I came home empty handed.

Well friends that's really all I have for ya this morning. I hope to plan out posts for next week that include something on Thursday and Friday.  But until then I'll see you Monday with some weekend shenanigans!

Of course I can't pass up the opportunity to link up with Whitney for #backthatazzup. Friday at 5 6 all i'll want to do is put a drink in my hand!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm it! 6 Things You Should Know About Me

Thanks to the lovely Kay, whose real name is actually Kristen, from Best of Intentions for tagging me to share 6 things you should know about me.  I always love reading "about me" type posts from bloggers but I struggle to come up with my own posts.  By answering 6 questions it takes some of the guess work out of it for me so it's a win-win situation all around!

1. How did your blog come about?  This current blog has been around since August of 2012 but I was blogging long before that.  I started with Wordpress before moving to Blogger and then moving back to Wordpress and then back to Blogger.  I decided I wanted to blog way back when as a way to record my life and my journey to a healthier one.  I've never lost sight of that goal but I have certainly struggled to stick with it.  This last year I have been the most consistent with blogging but not the healthy lifestyle.  I don't have plans of giving it all up any time soon, especially since my journey to a healthy lifestyle hasn't even begun yet.

2. If you could meet any blogger in person, who would you choose?  Gosh I have a list of people that I've "met" through blogging that I would love to actually meet in person.  At the top of my list would have to be Alexis from Life by Lex {She's currently on a break from blogging as she recently purchased her first house with her new fiance and is super busy!} because I've known her for about as long as I've been blogging. We may not talk all the time but when we do it's like we picked up right where we left off.

3. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?  It's a big ol' tie between reading and watching TV.  For as long as I can remember I have loved to read.  I also really enjoy watching a good TV series like NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, or The Vampire Diaries.  Thankfully either of these activities mean I can spend some time snuggled up with Bo.

4. Name one good deed you did that went unseen.  Whether this counts as unseen or not I'm not sure but I did pay for someones coffee behind me in the drive thru.  I have no idea who they were but I hope they enjoyed their coffee that morning.

5. What's your biggest struggle in life?  My weight has always been a struggle.  I have always felt like I was the bigger girl no matter what group I was hanging out with.  Now looking back at pictures from high school I wish I was that size again.  It's been 5 years since high school now and I've tried losing weight over and over again without ever really sticking to the plan long enough to see real results.  And now maybe it will become a real need to lose weight because of my health which scares me but maybe it's what I need to push me through to see the real results.

6. Tell us something we don't know about you.  I have am missing 2 of my 12-year-old molars and have no wisdom teeth.  I also am missing one of my adult teeth which led to having surgery to have an implant put in so a fake tooth could be attached.


Now the fun part!  Tag, you're it!

Choose 6 of these questions to answer yourself!
1. What's the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
2. If you could meet any blogger in person, who would you choose?
3. Blogs you're loving right now?
4. What's your biggest struggle in life?
5. How did your blog come about?
6. Name one good deed you did that went unseen.
7. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
8. Tell us something we don't know about you.
9. Who inspires you?

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gone Girl [Book Talk]

I finally, finally finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Sunday night.  It took me almost a month to read this book simply because I could not get into the story until I forced myself to sit down and read it this weekend.  It was around the half way mark that I actually started to want to read to find out what would happen next.  After all of the amazing reviews I had seen for this book, including Jen's {read it here}, I was surprised at how not in love with this book I was.

Here's a little about the book from Good Reads.
Marriage can be a real killer. 

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. As The Washington Post proclaimed, her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit with deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick Dunne isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but hearing from Amy through flashbacks in her diary reveal the perky perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister Margo at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was left in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Employing her trademark razor-sharp writing and assured psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

That description sounded so good to me and after reading reviews of people loving this book I thought I would love it too.  But I guess it's true what they say about us all being different because I liked the book but it definitely wasn't one of my favorites.

It's hard to say what I didn't like about the book without ruining it for everyone reading this review.  Maybe I am holding a grudge because it took me until I was about half way through the book before it pulled me in and had me wanting to read more?  Or maybe I just felt like there was no justice at the end of it all?

I rated the book 3/5 stars because I liked it overall.  About a quarter of the book I really loved because it was packed with some more action and had me excited to see what would happen next.  The ending had me thinking, "Womp womp, that's it?!"  But despite my feelings about it all I would recommend this book to someone looking for their next read.  Maybe they will love it like so many others have!

For those of you that have read Gone Girl, what did you think?  Am I the only one that was left feeling a little let down by the way it all ended?

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Tons of Weekend Shenanigans!

Wow has it been a hot minute since I've set foot in blog land to actually do some blogging!  After unexpectedly taking the last week and a half off from blogging I'm back with two weekends worth of shenanigans for you.

Weekend one is the more exciting of the two since I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at Fudd Fest, a country music festival about 30 minutes from my home.

:one: People camp out all week at Fudd Fest.  These campers built quite the deck while they were there!
:two: Wednesday night I was able to see The Lost Trailers perform.  They put on a great show!
:three: Thursday night was Steve Holy.
:four: Our favorite part of seeing Steve Holy was hands down this guitar player! Ow ow!
:five: While hanging out in the pavilion (amazing bar on the festival grounds) we were lucky enough to spot the hottie guitar player and get a picture with him. {Not sure who the extra dude is, there was a miss communication as he was supposed to take our picture not be in the picture.}
:six: He was nice enough to take pictures with each of us individually as well!
:seven: Ronnie Milsap performed Saturday night while I was at the festival with my mom. My aunt who gave me the tickets (for free!) requested pictures so of course I took a few for her.
:eight: I ran into my friend Saturday after the show and ended up hanging out for a couple of hours in the pavilion with his group of friends and had a blast.

Now this weekend was spent at home helping my dad with our DIY home repair project.  We didn't get too far in the process because once we poured some cement and mortared some blocks back in place we couldn't do much.

Please excuse my poor photo skills, it was a spur of the moment decision to take some pictures.  And since all of this is way over my head this will not be a step-by-step how-to guide to fixing your garage.  Sorry guys!

Besides garage repair I also spent a good amount of time this weekend with my nose in my Kindle.  I was notified that my library loan on Gone Girl was up so I had to finish it soon.  Come back tomorrow for a review!

In addition to being notified that my loan was up on one book I was also notified that I could finally borrow Requiem by Lauren Oliver.  I am really excited to see how this story ends as this is the final book in the trilogy.

The best thing about this weekend is that mine isn't over!  I have today through Wednesday off from work.  I don't have big plans for today but tomorrow my mom and I are traveling to Minnesota to do some shopping and enjoy some good food.  We're spending the night at a hotel so we won't be back until Wednesday some time.  It will be nice to get away for a little while and have some girl time with my mom.

Be sure to head on over to the lovely Sami's Shenanigans as she is the host of this fun link up!
Sami's Shenanigans
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now!

Disclaimer: I was compensated in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions stated are my own.

This December will mark one-year post undergrad graduation for me and there are definitely some things I know now that I wish I knew then.  One of them being the best way to get my textbooks.

In my four and a half years of undergrad I received my textbooks in almost every way imaginable.  I paid an arm and a leg for them through the school's bookstore and then sold them back for a fraction of the cost at the end of the semester.  I rented through a website, paying a fraction of the cost and being able to return them for free.  And finally I rented them through my university free of charge {it was included in my tuition costs I believe} except for having to drive to pick them up and return them.

In my opinion, the best way to get textbooks is through renting.  In my situation driving to my university to rent wasn't ideal since I didn't actually attend classes on campus and it was sometimes a struggle to find a time around my work schedule that I could visit the bookstore while they were open.  So, renting through a website is the winner in my book.

That's where Campus Book Rentals comes in.  Not only can you rent your textbooks and save 40-90% off of the bookstore prices but you can participate in their new Rent Back program and make some money back by renting textbooks you own to other students! {2-4x more than what you'd make through buyback options!}

With Campus Book Rentals you get free shipping both ways, you can highlight in the books, and they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rental.  Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity that provides reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.  For more about Operation Smile click here.

Sounds like a winning situation all around to me!  So, if you're in college or know someone in college I would definitely recommend this amazing website.

**The website I rented textbooks from during my college career was not Campus Book Rentals.**
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Walk to Remember [Book Talk]

Last week I shared with you my review of Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby.  Go check it out now if you haven't already.

This week I'm back to the land of Nicholas Sparks and sharing my thoughts on A Walk to Remember.

Here's what Good Reads had to say about the book.
There was a time when the world was sweeter...when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats...when something happened to a seventeen-year-old boy that would change his life forever. Every April, when the wind blows in from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he'd fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town's Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter's life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood. No other author today touches our emotions more deeply than Nicholas Sparks.
Illuminating both the strength and the gossamer fragility of our deepest emotions, his two New York Times bestsellers, The Notebook andMessage in a Bottle, have established him as the leading author of today's most cherished love stories. Now, in A Walk to Remember, he tells a truly unforgettable story, one that glimmers with all of his magic, holding us spellbound-and reminding us that in life each of us may find one great love, the kind that changes everything...

Try as I might to read books before I see them as movies this one didn't work out that way.  I've watched the movie many times since it came out in 2002 {When I was 12, now I feel old!} and I only just now got around to reading the book.  That being said, I definitely think falling in love with the movie has swayed my thoughts of the book.  As in, I love the movie rather than the book. {Side note: I own the movie on both VHS and DVD. That seems crazy to me.}

I still enjoyed the book but to me the movie is much easier to relate to since they adapted the story to occur at any time.  I would definitely recommend the book to anyone looking for a good read.  Despite my deep love for the movie version I did give the book 4/5 stars, I really liked it.

Hopefully I finish Gone Girl before next week otherwise I'm going to need to take a break from the book talk posts.  I've heard more than one person has struggled to get into this book but sticking it out is worth it.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

ABC's of Me

Usually I would be linking up with Sami to share my Weekend Shenanigans but I have no shenanigans to share.  I enjoyed a chill weekend at home after some weekday shenanigans.  The only pictures I took this weekend were from Sunday afternoon when I was outside enjoying the awesome weather with Bo.

.one. Finally started reading Gone Girl.
.two. Bo thought he was king of the mountain.
.three. I think Bo enjoyed my company outside with him even if we did our own thing most of the time.

Now since I don't have shenanigans from the weekend to share with you I decided to hop aboard the ABC's of me train that has been going around blog world lately.

A: Attached or Single? Single like a Pringle and ready to mingle.
B: Best Friend? Chelsea - even if she is a couple hundred miles away
C: Cake or pie? Definitely cake.
D: Day of choice? Saturday - the weekend is just beginning and I can sleep in!
E: Essential item? iPhone + charger because what good does a dead iPhone do you?
F: Favorite color? Red
G: Gummy bears or worms? Meh I prefer some Sour Patch Kids to just plain gummy bears or worms.
H: Hometown? Wausau, WI
I: Favorite indulgence? Pasta!
J: January or July? January - I would rather be wearing layers to keep warm than sweating my ass off because it's hot as balls.
K: Kids? Some day but definitely not right now.
L: Life isn't complete without? A furry friend.
M: Marriage date? No freaking clue. How about I worry about finding a man before I worry about my marriage date, eh?
N: Number of brothers/sisters? One younger brother who turns 21 in November - watch out world!
O: Oranges or Apples? Either Cuties or Granny Smith Apples.
P: Phobias/Fears? I am afraid of heights - the repelling wall in 5th grade had me shaking so bad I almost didn't make it down on my own.  But I can fly and go on the roof of the house no problem!
Q: Quotes?  "Don't be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be.  But don't be afraid to be willing to pay the price." ~ Lane Frost
R: Reasons to smile? You never know who could be falling in love with your smile.
S: Season of choice? Fall!
T: Tag 5 People. All of my readers!
U: Unknown fact about me? I write and use a fork with my left hand but everything else I do right handed {throwing, using scissors, kicking, etc.}
V: Vegetable? Broccoli or corn {even though corn does absolutely nothing for us :( }
W: Worst habit? Letting my emotions show on my face.  Whether I mean to or not you can most likely pick up on what I think of something or someone.
X: Xray or Ultrasound? Never had an ultrasound {thank god!} and I've had dental xrays and one xray on my finger in middle school.
Y: Your favorite food? Love me some seafood and I love it even more when it's paired with pasta.
Z: Zodiac sign? Gemini.

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