Friday, November 29, 2013

Carb coma, Thanksgiving bliss and what I'm reading this week

Yawn...I'm in a carb coma.  

It was quite possibly one of the BEST Thanksgivings we've had, oh, EVER.  Well, the only thing that would've made it the best is if Grandma was her old self but we take the blessings we have.  I know this is going to sound bad but none of my cousins on one side came and it's not because they weren't there that it was so good, it was because their SCREAMING kids weren't either.  It was calm, stress free, the dog was allowed to be up amongst the people, we did exactly what I suggested yesterday and reminisced, laughed, made memories, etc.  The food was all great (but I'm glad I made my own turkey because not to toot my own horn but dang no one else's compares to mine) and of course we stuffed ourselves into a food coma.  My light pumpkin pie was the preferred pie of the weight watchers and since two pieces equalled one normal one, we didn't have much by way of leftovers so I may start making two of them from now on!  SO yummy!  

Now on to...



The Worst Health Habits to Ditch ASAP  (As I sit here biting my nails)

Use a Shammy as a Washable, Reusable Swiffer Cloth  (They spelled it wrong, not me)

The Difference Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday  (Makes not a difference to me...I've been done for 3 weeks!  *ducking*)

Why You Really Get Sick on Planes and How to Prevent It

Why You're Doing It Wrong:  Pecan Pie  (I'm SO making this)

5 Obscure Looney Tunes Cartoons  (I VERY clearly remember 3 and 4.  I loved that they were a departure from the usual.  Though I did want to flick the owl)

Urbanites Go to Crazy Lengths for a Little Personal Space  (I don't need this but I would totally have this if I had to work at a cafe or library.)

A British Teacher's 30 Year Archive of Confiscated Toys  (Pretty cool!)

11 Iconic Perfumes of the 80's  (I saw the bottle for Poison and instantly got a headache!  My friend wore that and Exclamation! and stunk like a cheap jezebel.)

New Wave Artists Aging Gracefully  (Uh...most not so gracefully.  I wanted to cry after I read this)

What to Do with Turkey Leftovers  (In case you need some ideas!)

Animals Dressed as Pilgrims

30 Minute No Gym Bodyweight Workout  (In case you have a little extra stuffing than you had the day before)

Today I am SUPER busy!  We've got company coming for the big game tomorrow and I have so much cleaning and food prep to do today I should be a twitching heap of stress by day's end.  I'm hoping the Mr will pitch in and help where he can so maybe we can relax a bit tonight before a full day's entertaining tomorrow.  Entertaining puts me in my bliss.  Let's hope all of the recipes I'm trying all turn out or it'll be pizza from the shop up the street!

How was your Thanksgiving?  Are you a Black Friday nut?  Anything on tap for the weekend?

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Don't let this picture change

Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want
I absolutely LOVE this print from Norman Rockwell.  Part of it for me is because the woman serving the turkey looks exactly like my great grandma on my dad's side whom we lived with when I was in kindergarten right down to the apron.  As I typed that, I can still feel the soft cotton of her apron as I would try to wear it and it fit me like a gown.  This picture embodies everything Thanksgiving should be.  All generations of family coming together to enjoy a good meal and spend time with people they don't see often.  Laughing, anticipating and making memories.  If you're having a "Friendsgiving," invite the elderly couple down the street whose kids aren't coming to town this year because of the storm so they're not stuck trying to find an open restaurant or ordering pizza.  Multi-generation tables are the best.  Listen to their stories...they won't always be here to teach their lessons.

Don't let this picture change.  

Grab a basket and require that anyone with a cell phone drops it in before they're allowed to grab a plate and you can't touch them again for 30 minutes after the meal or dessert.  The first two people to grab for their phones have to do the dishes...ALL OF 'EM!  

Get back to family basics.  Bring board games.  Go through Black Friday ads whether you're going out with the masses.  (Or pointing and laughing at them on TV when the news updates traffic and mall parking lots from the comfort of your warm home with your wrapped presents.)  Bring old photos or raid grandma's picture drawer to see holidays past.  Actual pictures...not swiping through your phone.  If Grandma starts talking about not putting up a tree this year, everybody pitch in and set it up and decorate it as a family.

There are so many things you can do to make this Thanksgiving about what it is supposed to be about...being thankful and spending time with people you love.

Just in case I haven't said it recently...I'm thankful for all of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jinx! Embers! Cheese ball!

Well, as usual, I jinxed myself with the juice thing.  No dice yesterday.  But I was glad to see such a response to the subject.  We talk about it all here.

Speaking of which, I've gotten emails, comments and messages about how the weight loss coming and such.  Here's the short version...we've maintained this year.  I know that's something to be celebrated to a degree but I'll go into it more soon.  Just know I don't post weigh in's anymore because they're the same every week.  Up, up then down.  Same, same, same.  Up, down up, up, down, down.

Etc.

Not exciting, I know.  To see it in writing just reinforces we're not doing what needs to be done and I'm pissed that it's not really registering on my "things I give a sh*t about" list right now.  Sometimes embers can be re-stoked, sometimes they continue to smolder waiting for the right wind to come along.

I promise I'll never let them die though.  I would be letting you down but more importantly we'd be letting us down and that's not happening because being almost 500 lbs again will NEVER be an option.  I'm not satisfied with maintenance but not doing much to break the cycle either.  I'll address it more in the near future.  I don't have it in me to get all deep with the holiday sitting in my lap.  ;-)  But thank you to all who have asked and expressed your concern, I appreciate it!
Tomorrow is turkey day, ya'll.  I'm making my "famous" cheese ball today to sit overnight and let the flavors settle in.  I'll try to remember to take pics and put up a recipe.  (Trust me, I know I'm slacking there too.  Embers...remember?)  Tomorrow morning I'll make our light pumpkin pie (the full sized version of these light pumpkin pie cups) and since my family doesn't really care if I slave over my delicious stuffing, I just save myself the time and dump some cornbread and onion and sage stuffing together, bake it and take it.  Crap, I need to cut and saute my veggies today so I don't have to do it tomorrow.  We're eating at 2pm which is like the worst time.  In between meal times and we'll have to get up early and do a workout which means I'll be like sludge.  I think I have Walk Away the Pounds scheduled.  I wanted something easy but uses weights too.  WATP is usually good for about 650 calories so that's fine.  I'm hoping to get a snowball fight started but with my luck, I'll get nailed in the face and get a shiner just in time for company Saturday.  *rolling eyes*

If you're traveling today, please be careful!  Get there alive not fast.  Give yourself plenty of time and have a safe holiday!

If you're celebrating Thanksgiving, do you host or bring side dishes?  Do you have a specialty that people request? 

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Not a glamorous subject

We were passing by the organic section in the grocery store the other day and the Mr pointed out this juice called GoodBelly.

I kind of dismissed it but then he said it had probiotics and I might be interested in it.
My digestive system?  Well it works good enough but it needs some improvement.  I eat a ton of fiber.  It's not like the materials to move along the "chute route" aren't available.  If I'm lucky, I go every other day.  I can count on both hands how many times in my life I've gone every day.

The Mr?  He's like clockwork.

"It's 9:43am, be right back!"

"It's 5:17pm...gotta trot!"

I've tried probiotic pills and didn't have a good reaction to them.  I loathe yogurt.  I mean...L-O-A-T-H-E.  The smell of it brings bile to my throat.  Fermented food?  Ain't happenin'.  So my quest for probiotic infestation went by the wayside...until now.

GoodBelly encourages a 12 day challenge and if you aren't satisfied, they'll refund your money.  What did I have to lose?  Nothing.  So I grabbed a carton of Pomegranate Blackberry.  How does it taste?  It tastes like juice (der) but there is an undertone of vinegar even though it's not one of the ingredients.  Maybe it's the probiotics?  I don't know.  But it's not enough to turn me off to it and I'll try other flavors.  One serving is eight ounces at 110 calories.  I can't afford to be adding that many calories into my diet so I half it and drink four ounces.  I started Sunday and am on day three.  I'll say this, there's improvement thus far, if ya get my drift.  I'll continue with the 12 day challenge and see if there is hope for a daily 'cleansing' ritual for me yet!

It's vegan, dairy, soy and gluten free.

If you want to check out their website to see more for yourself and if a store near you carries it, click here.  I'll report back at the end of the 12 days to let you know uh...how it (I?) went.

Do you like yogurt?  Would you try something like this if it helped you get regular?  Are you one of those lucky people that void daily?

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Wrong cookie, seasoned meat and Christmas squee

This weekend was exhausting.  Well, not Saturday more Sunday.

Saturday we got Chinese food for the first time in ages and I got this fortune.


I was highly irritated with this.  If I'd not had another cookie to forage the fortune from I would've felt like driving to the fortune cookie company, punching the fortune guy square in the gonads and leaving.

Because we're only having one turkey and one ham this year, that will mean no turkey leftovers for us so I cooked one up yesterday.

Hello lover.
Need a closer peek?


See, that's why I love to do the turkey with an herb butter assault before roasting.  No basting and it's already seasoned when it comes out.  Click here for the directions on how to serve this deliciousness to your family Thursday.

This year I decided to make my own turkey stock.  So I got the carcass, neck, some old veggies, the middle of the new celery, bay leaves and peppercorns and chucked it all in a pot for 4 hours.  I drained all the chunks and now it's in the fridge waiting to have the fat skimmed off before going into the freezer.  Well one will be going into the dressing Thursday but the rest will be used for a test batch of Grandma's noodles.

I was bummed that we weren't in Memphis to see the treelighting this year like we were a few years ago, especially after I saw Deacon from Nashville was the special guest.  I watched it though and if you're interested in seeing him do a little concert, click here and watch the festivities!

I wanted the Christmas tree up come hell or high water and I just didn't have much energy to deal with it.  Can't I just hire a couple of those elves on shelves or whatever the hell they are and they'll do it for me overnight without raiding my medicine cabinet and judging how long it's been since I cleaned my baseboards?  I had a lot of food prep to get done this weekend for a football spread we're doing next weekend.  I wanted to get as much done ahead of time as I could so I'm not a twitching ball of hell before our guest gets here.  Of course I'm going overboard but I so rarely get a chance to flex my entertaining gene and for a foodie whose been to top rated restaurants no less so it's a good excuse to go a little more extravagant than usual.  After doing all of that, I knew we had to workout or time would get away from us.  We did strength and yoga and I burned 585 calories then we had some turkey sliders and mashed potatoes for dinner.  (I know, I'm totally going to ruin our appetite for Thanksgiving.)

I eeked out the last bit of energy I had to get the tree up while listening to my childhood Christmas favorites.  I think it looks pretty good...


I've still got a lot of stuff to get done over the next few days but now that I can come down and plug in the tree, anything will feel more cheery because of it!  Exploding with Christmas squee!!  (A big shout out to the Mr for all of his help!)

What did you do this weekend?  Out of curiosity, how much are turkeys in your neck of the woods per pound?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

This week's reads...the pre-Thanksgiving edition



As you'll be able to see by what I've read this week, I've got Thanksgiving, cleaning and pop culture on my mind.  Workout ideas took a back seat this week.  I'm overwhelmed with all I have to do yet I don't find myself getting the motivation to do it and it's manifesting in headaches and tension.  Perhaps re-reading some of these will get me headed in the right direction!


5 Household Items You Can DIY at Home for Pennies  (I do the Febreeze thing.  Just get free samples when you see them and it's free for almost a year)

10 Shocking Secrets of Flight Attendants

10 Tips for Being a Great Thanksgiving Dinner Guest

10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling  (The first one is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves)

13 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet and Savory Latke Recipes for a Happy Hannukah

17 Secrets to Easy, Affordable Beauty from Bloggers

4 Weeks to 50 Push Ups

21 Shameful Ways We are Forcing Children to be Sissies

Holiday TV Guide 2013  (Woot!  Gotta put the don't miss ones on my calendar!)

How to Recycle Anything (the sustainable way)  (GREAT ideas here)

Fast Cleaning 101:  Get Ready for Guests in No Time  (Anele, this is for you...get off your butt)

10 Gluten Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes

The Science of Inspiration (and how to make it work for you)

What's the Best Way to Convert Cassettes into MP3's  (Don't act like you don't have a few mix tapes hanging around)

10 Portable High Protein Snacks

Who Cleans Up After Seeing Eye Dogs  (Never thought about it but very interesting answer!)

30 Things that Turned 30 This Year  (Sigh)

The Breakfast Club:  Where are they now?  (Double sigh)

What's on the agenda for the weekend?

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Should I be worried?



So, someone close to me said their mammogram came back with "teeny, tiny specks of calcification" in one breast.  They have to have a needle biopsy done.  She was told it's usually 80% benign.

Obviously the odds are in the favor of everything being fine but of course, I'm worried.

Has anyone been through this?  How can I be there for her?  (What to say, what not to say while she waits to get the biopsy)  She's actually more scared of the biopsy process than the result.  So is it like really painful or is it just over so fast that the anticipation was worse?

(If you don't feel comfortable answering in the comments, feel free to email me)

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

To kids from 1 to 92...

When we think of charitable causes for Christmas, what is one of the first ones that usually comes to mind?  If you said Toys for Tots, you're probably in a majority.

Yes, Christmas is a time when every child should enjoy a present or two under the tree so they can have wonderful holiday memories.  We helped an online friend of mine about 8 years ago when she and her husband were unemployed.  Her youngest was positive Santa would bring him the Spiderman action figure he'd been praying for.  I told her I would take care of it and wanted to get a family gift so I picked up a Simpsons Monopoly game she knew they'd like.  I went all over town for that damn Spiderman action figure but I finally found it, wrapped both presents and included a gift card to a local grocery store for them to have Christmas dinner made for them.  That kid was so happy and to this day, in his teens, he still tells people he KNOWS there is a Santa Claus because his family had nothing and suddenly there was everything he prayed for.  That is the spirit of Santa Claus and Christmas and something I will hold in my heart forever as I know he'll tell that story to his own kids when he grows up.

But what about those who aren't children anymore?  What about the forgotten ones who don't have family they see at the holidays to give them a present to let them know they're remembered?  I'm talking about seniors.  When I heard about the Be A Santa to a Senior program, I knew we had to help.  Much like adopting a family off of a Christmas tree at a local store, the paper ornaments on these trees have the name of a senior along with their wants.


I mean come on...who can't spare a couple of bucks you could probably dig out of your couch, car console or forego that morning cup of joe ONE TIME to buy one senior some shower gel and shampoo at the dollar store?  The necessities...the things we tend to take for granted would make this one woman a happy lady on Christmas morning.  So instead of buying for one...


...we bought for six.  Now you don't have to put them in gift bags, the organization wraps for them but we did because we wanted to.  We're checking back a few days before the deadline to make sure all of the seniors on our local tree have been taken care of and if they haven't, we'll grab the remaining few.

Still need convincing?  Watch this.  If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, watch from 3:00 to 4:30.  90 seconds will melt your heart.


You can find the trees at the Home Instead care facilities and/or participating CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.  To find out if there is a tree near you, click here and enter your zip code.  In our area, they are collecting gifts until December 9th.

If they're not in your area, call a local low income senior facility and see if they do something or want to start.  If they don't do an official program, bake them Christmas cookies to take over.  (Maybe do a regular batch and a batch for diabetics.)  I did this last year and the looks on the faces of the staff and residents was well worth the time to make them.  It doesn't take much to put a smile on the face of seniors who may be or feel forgotten this holiday season.

It not only makes them feel good, it makes you feel good and the karma Gods will smile upon you in wonderful ways.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mental Health Day well spent

Yesterday morning, the Mr was resting on the couch after breakfast and before it was time to put on his clothes.  He's got a big work project to work on today and it's been weighing on him because it shouldn't be this hard but of course it's getting to be a pain in his side.  He mentioned he thought about taking the day off but he probably shouldn't.  After knowing him for almost 22 years, I know this is code for "if you say I should take the day off, I will."  It took a gentle nudge to talk him into a mental health day since he'll likely be a twitching, hissing mess when he gets home tonight, assuming he's home tonight and not the wee hours of the morning. 

I suggested we go to the park for our workout since it was a nice day so off we went.  It was a nice day.  The sun was shining, not many clouds in the sky, leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of scat wafting in the brisk air.


I decided that we should alternate between push ups and tricep dips for every park bench we passed.  So we'd do ten push ups, then the next bench, ten dips.  It was a nice way to get in a little extra pump.


The Mr, of course had to run up the stairs.  I followed behind knowing that is never in the cards for me.  Run on Mr, run on.


We enjoyed holding hands going downhill so if my ankles decided to seize up on me I'd have him to catch me if I fell.  Ahh to feel crippled in your 30's.


We enjoyed the tippy tap of the woodpecker...


...and watching the squirrels frolic near the water and on the logs.


We took in all of the surroundings and felt thankful to be alive.


When we were done, it was time to hit the swings.  The Mr enjoyed swinging high and later jumping off the moving swing thereby satisfying his inner 10 year old.


I didn't bother hooking up the HRM so I know I burned 600ish calories based on previous burns.  This was about being together, getting in some exercise and enjoying the last whispers of fall before the snow falls.

Do you get out to your local park for a walk?  How often?

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Wah wahhh weekend

All weekends can't be glamorous and that about describes this one.

You know how one person can just start the domino effect of feces on your whole day?  Well, we went to Home Depot Saturday morning before running a few errands and we were waiting for some person to finish pulling out of their space.  Our car butt was hanging out into the main lane just a little bit, not much at all and certainly enough room for two cars to still pass.  But some douchewad thought it appropriate to honk at us.  Um, what would you have us do, block the guy in so he can't reverse?  We parked in our space, not the one the car came out of because we don't landshark but one row over.  The aforementioned douchewad was in the row just across from ours.  When the guy was getting ready to retrieve his son from the backseat, he apparently shot the Mr a death stare.  )Nice example for your son, sir)  Well, the Mr is pretty laid back except when he thinks someone is unnecessarily targeting him for no reason.  As we walked in, he walked a little close for my liking to the dude and I told him to let it go.  He fumed as we walked the store and I was giving him a little gentle ribbing offering to poop on the guy's hood before we left or we could stand with our arms crossed and wait for him to come out and just stare at him.  He said no and then he had his undies in a bunch which put MY undies in a bunch.  There were periods of snippiness, not speaking to each other, short fuses becoming shorter and just an all around crappy day.  I went to the grocery to get meatloaf fixin's and this one particular bread they ALWAYS have wasn't there and honestly I wasn't into the work involved so I said eff it and left.  A myriad of other things went wrong and it was just one pile of crap on top of the next.  I didn't want to let that guy ruin our day but it all just came back to one jerk's action changing our entire mood and it was impossible to get back on the right track after that.

Since I work from home, the weekend is my only time to get out of these four walls and us sitting home on a weekend made me bounce off the walls.  When we left the comfort of the unpadded cell and went to the mall.  I was quickly reminded why I have all of my Christmas shopping done by November 1st.  There were so many people, all completely annoying, walking at a snail's pace, stopping in the middle of the walk space like 500 people aren't surrounding them and crap like that.  I knew once I made it to Sur La Table, Pottery Barn and Anthropologie I'd be in less chaos but getting there was a real test in keeping me out of jail given how bad the day had gone.  Oh well, they can't all be winners, can they?  I did get a chance to check out the bedspread I'd been frothing over...

It's pretty but in person, it just didn't wow me over the one we bought last year.  The Mr flat out said he didn't like it.  I had to agree so I'm glad I didn't just order it online and then be disappointed when it got here.  So we've got last year's duvet in the laundry so we can change over to the winter set.  So excited.  It's like sleeping on a cloud.

Yesterday was an active day to a degree.  The previous night at the mall I stepped in a sunken part of the sidewalk and it shot pain through my tendon into my ankle.  It was not pleasant.  Last week I worked really hard on my balance board and my legs have been sore and hurting ever since.  I told the Mr I have no choice but to take an active recovery week this week so strength and yoga for me/us.  We worked out during a tornado warning yesterday, I'd call that dedication.  We figured we were already down there so, you know, make the most of the time.  We also donated about 2 big boxes worth of stuff to Goodwill.  The small appliances I'd been meaning to donate along with other stuff that I said "I can't justify keeping this or that anymore...donate it before I change my mind."  I got a good amount of the shelves organized again and it doesn't feel as paralyzing as it did.  I was able to move some of the items ready to ship from my shop down there which frees up some office space.  I was excited to score two mid century Christmas finds in our own neighborhood on Friday.  A Mr and Mrs Santa and a cute Santa decoration.  I worked on a few projects for our own Christmas decorating too so I'm getting excited.  I'm pretty sure everything is going up Friday.  I want to be done so I can sit back and enjoy the magic.

So while Saturday wasn't one for the win column, Sunday made up for it with productivity and watching our first Christmas movie of the season, Home Alone.

What did you do this weekend?

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, I will get a nominal kickback to help keep this long train runnin')

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Happiest of Fridays to you and what I'm reading this week

Friday happy dance commences in 3...2...1...

I think this is the first time we don't have anything concrete planned.  Well, the Mr has an afternoon date with college football so that puts any damper on getting out of the house in the daylight.  This week went well.  Sunday was the first Sunday in like two months that we didn't go over our calories by a hefty meal's worth.  Water was better than the previous week but can improve.  I still had trouble chugging it down over the weekend but I think some of that had to do with being out of town so I don't have excuses.  But enough of that schtuff, let's get to




20 Times the Cast of Sleepy Hollow Proved They Are Utterly Adorable  (If you aren't watching this show, you are missing out.  Tom Mison is SO great and the writing is extraordinary!  But it's great to see the whole cast is so funny off screen)

Cut Sugar and Fat From Your Diet  (If I must)

Eat Your Way to a Fast Metabolism  (I hope so.  I think mine turned off)

Jennifer Lawrence Walks Off Red Carpet to Comfort Crying Fan  (Video has no sound but you don't need it to see the compassion this woman has.  She is a class act)

Stay Healthy This Winter  (Back off, germs!)

How to Make the Airport Less Crappy and More Fun  (Thankfully we seem to do all of these!)

6 Unexpected Ways Writing Can Transform Your Health  (I'm SO down with this!)

Should Students Learn Cursive?  Some States Say Yes   (And so do I.)

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight  (For the runners.  No idea if this applies or not since I only run when chased by a lumbering bear or hockey masked man)

Jennifer Lawrence Reminds Everyone It's Dumb to "Be Hungry to Make Other People Happy"  (Yes, another Jennifer story...I can't help it if the girl is awesome!)

Car-a-mel or Car-mel?  3 Reasons for Syllabically Ambiguous Words  (Everyone knows it's car-mel.  LOL (I'm kidding for all of you car-a-mel weirdos.  HA!))

Get out the tissues  (Video)

3 Pretentious, Foodie Thanksgiving Recipes Revised So That Your Family Will Actually Eat Them  (No disrespect to the original recipe authors since I do recipes myself but this is funny)

35 Obsessively Specific Gifts for Every Person on Your List  (Pretty funny, interesting stuff)

56 Delightful Victorian Slang Terms You Should Be Using  (I hope you chuckaboos don't have any collie shangles this weekend and have one helluva benjo!)

Hypnotic Video of Molten Lava Cooking Then Consuming a Can of Ravioli  (We can attest it's 100% more hypnotic in person.  There is nothing like watching lava a few feet from your hair singed face)

15 Lame Outdated Pop Culture Tattoos  (HA!  That's what you get!  Maybe in 20 years it'll be cool again)

19 Wonderfully Silly Items Stocked at Hooper's Store on Sesame Street

What's on tap for your weekend?

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Physical and emotional decluttering

Well, the Mr's work project that seemed to go smoothly blew up in the afternoon which meant I'd be on my own for a workout again.  I hate that.  It's different when you know you're going to be working out alone and you can plan for it but when it's hurry up and wait and no ETA as to when he'll be home, it throws a wrench into things.  I went ahead with the workout planned for the night, Turbo Fire 45 and made dinner.

Fish taco and brussels with 1/2 slice of bacon.

The past few months have been quite a whirlwind.

I have taken on so much with trying to keep up on many things that I feel I'm failing at many of them, including here.  I opened an antique shop on Etsy and part of that requires that I keep the items I sell all boxed up and ready to ship.  That beautiful office I redid looks like a box and craft store blew up in there.  I do crafts on the table in the dining room so there's a constant presence of Mod Podge, glitter and string which makes the Mr twitch.  I look at it all and I get overwhelmed and I don't want to do anything.  I want to clean but there is nowhere to put it all that doesn't make it look horrible.  I sometimes want to shut the door to the office.  I did that once but fully expected that if I peeked in, it would be like Carol Anne's room in Poltergeist where all of her crap was floating around.

I want to move stuff to the basement but the basement needs cleaned.  (Seems like we just did that but nope, it looks like crap again.)  So yesterday I went down and cleared off two shelves on a bookcase.  One whole shelf was taken up with this huge boom box my grandparents got me a few years ago.  We had one in our bedroom that had detachable speakers and when it died, we wanted to replace it.  My grandparents got it for me that Christmas and then we found something a fraction of the size the following year.  I felt horrible and it was probably the last gift they got me that Grandma picked out on her own before people had to start helping her shop.  I kept it out of guilt even though it was taking up valuable storage real estate.  I've had to let go of that guilt and appreciate that she wanted me to enjoy it, we did and I know she doesn't even remember getting it for me.  I will keep handwritten notes and cards but something I don't use?  I can't do it anymore.  My sanity is more important right now.  I got the shelves stocked with smaller items waiting to ship and it made the office look better....not tons but progress.

I wish I had the patience for a garage sale but I don't.  We just donate a ton of stuff and hope someone else gets use out of the stuff we don't use anymore.  I want to work on this stuff over the next few days to get a sense of organization and try to make room for things to go in their new home.  I only have so much space to display things but I have such attachment to things because if I get rid of them, it's inevitable I'll need it right after I do.  Some things, no.  Like the black octagonal serving bowls I got when we first got married.  I've upgraded since then and while they're in a donate pile, they haven't made it to Goodwill yet.  It's baby steps when you're dealing with a pack rat.  I'm looking at about 100 CD's in our armoire and I will probably move them to the under the bed storage we have with our other CD's.  I want to maybe put shelves in there or something so I can put something decorative instead of using it to display our dinosaur discs.  I know the likelihood of me following through on that is somewhat low though.  Or if I do it'll be when I repaint them in the spring/summer.  (I know the Mr just cringed reading that.)

I think cleaning up some of the physical clutter will go a long way in cleaning up emotional clutter.  There's no doubt that when you come home to a clean house, you feel less stressed.  I want that to trickle into all aspects of my life.  I know this isn't the time of year to be digging into the closets and getting to that point of "it gets worse before it gets better."  We'll have people coming over periodically and I want to keep the place as clean as possible so I'm not having to do a big clean sweep every other day. Day 1 down.

Do you have clutter you need to tend to?

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tomfoolery, workin' the plan and pot fillers

Yesterday we were on our own for workouts.  I did just as I predicted and put off working out until later.  I had some photos to take and the sun was just too good for this time of year for me to be wasting an hour of it in the basement.  Well, not wasting but you know what I mean.

I did some weird hybrid of strength and what I call tomfoolery.  It's basically dancing like a fool since no one's watching.  I look like Amy from Fright Night.

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Not that particular scene but the one where she sees Dandridge is a vampire because she doesn't see his reflection in the mirror so it looks like she's dancing with herself.  Yeah, when the song Suit and Tie comes on, I sometimes bust it out ballroom style with the air.  You'd be amazed how much it raises your heart rate over twerking the Blurred Lines.  I'd do that more often but with all the fat reverb back and forth it just feels like pigs wrestling under a lycra blanket so I refrain from making it a regular move.  I did some free weights on the balance board.  That always makes things interesting.  My ankles were not pleased but tough poo, they need to get used to being worked.

I planned out my meals for the rest of the week and I'm very happy to say that this past Sunday was the first one in a long time where I wasn't a meals worth over my calories.  I did better on my water yesterday which seems to be a lacking area lately and I'm aiming to match or beat it today.

I also spent the day obsessing over a house we saw over the weekend.  It's $50K over our price range so it's not an option but I also know they bought it for $100K less 2 years ago.  I'm not paying for your kitchen remodel that has me so obsessed.  But if they drop down for what the other homes are selling for, I will seriously sell this place for less than I ever would've considered just to get the down payment for the new place.  Why?  Besides the fact the kitchen is 3x our current one's sizes, it all boils down to these two things:  commercial stove and pot filler.

For those who don't know what that is...


I die.

What dance moves do you throw into your routine?  What features would make you swoon in a new-to-you home?

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Start'er up, lights hung and repeat lesson learned



Yesterday we took my car to get a remote starter put in.  With the first flakes of the season flying, I knew I'd need to bite the bullet to give the car a run from time to time like I used to with ol' Blue.  Of course that was so the battery didn't die since Intrepids were known for their electrical issues, one of them being battery draining if not driven every day.  But still, need to keep the new car hummin' without having to go out in 20 degree weather to start her up.  I know I won't do it but pressing a button from the kitchen window while cars still have half a foot of snow on top?  I'm there, dude.

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The Mr put up the Christmas lights.  No, they're not on.  Those don't turn on until Thanksgiving night.  We just like to get them up so he doesn't have to do them in crappy, cold weather.  I remember quite a few years holding the Mr's ladder while he climbed up to do the gutters.  Snow, sleet and slowly sinking into the flower beds is not awesome.  What is awesome?  These little gutter clippy thingies that the Mr just twists on a broomstick and latches onto the gutter with the lights attached.  No ladders, no sinking into the flower beds and I don't even have to be out there anymore!  WOOT!  I've noticed a lot of people have their lights up and a few have full blown decorations up so I think I'm not the only one with the fever.  Of course there are some people who are already doing their holiday bitching on Facebook or other social media and I had to hide them because I can't take 2 1/2 months of Grinchiness.  Get over yourselves and think about the meaning behind the holidays, yeesh.

I am trying to figure out what workout I'm going to do today and if I'm smart (I'm not), I'll do it earlier than later.  I need to do see how the legs are feeling today.  I'm such an ass.  I slacked on my leg exercises AGAIN for physical therapy and my legs are giving me the what for.  When will I understand that this physical therapy is for LIFE.  I don't have a choice.  I think this happens to a lot of people.  You just start feeling better and then you slowly start to slack because you feel better so you're cured, right?  Nope.  These strengthening exercises, stretches and deep massages are now required to walk without pain.  Not just build it up for a month, then go a month without doing the things and have your legs go to crap all over again.  I hope I'm not the only person foolish enough to keep making this mistake.  I'll get it one day.  I just know last night's Powerstrike workout was supposed to be "light" and my left foot was like "you SUCK...ZING."

I'm having the Mr take the test desserts I made last night to work.  I'll wait for feedback and if you're cool with it, I'll post it next week so you can perhaps make it part of your Thanksgiving food coma table.

Are you a Christmas freak, fan or Grinch?  Do you slack on physical therapy exercises you know you should be doing and pay for it later?

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, an elf will deliver me a nominal kickback.  Or was it a Keebler cookie?  I can't remember.)

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekend full of antiques, animals and finding the perfect tree

What a weekend!

It was time to road trip and we hit some antique stores on the way.


It took a lot for me not to buy this Strawberry Shortcake clock.  It was berry, berry grand.  (Shortcakers could hear her voice in their heads)


One of them even had a sweet kitty who wanted some lovin'.  We found her twice and she came right up to us both times.  I'm like the 3 year old obsessed with the roaming animal and always seeking it out.


So true!  Buy it when you see it because you're not the only person who thinks the item is awesome.


Yuletide festivities aren't the same without some hot chocolate!


Oh and the item of squeeworthiness this trip?


We finally found a ceramic tree that we like and it warmed the cockles of mah heart when it was all plugged in over the fireplace.  I'm going to have the Mr rewire it though because the plug isn't polarized and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

We're working on getting the house cleaned up today and trying to get some order to the house before we start decorating.  I hear we could be in for some snow soon...at which point I will load my drawers or explode with glee.  Not sure which option I'm rooting for!

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Rest, merriment and what I'm reading this week

Happy Friday all!  This week went by kind of fast for me.  I'm not complaining though...welcome weekend!

I'm looking forward to a light workout today and a friggin' rest.  My muscles are spent.  I think I'm ready to change over to the winter scheme in the bedroom.  The temps are getting ready to take a plunge and I can think of nothing more lovely than to curl up in that beautiful, plush duvet I got last year.  It makes me feel all fancy pants.

Enough about my pants.  Lets get to...



Why My Hamstrings Are Always Tight  (This makes a lot of sense given the three things they mention are weak on me!)

Illustrated Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving

Secrets of the Super Fit

Foam Rolling Exercises You Should Be Doing  (The leg one made me laugh but I bet it would provide some relief)

Working Long Hours is Like Working for Free  (For the workaholics out there)

Why Tea is So Good For You  (I lurve me some tea)

How to Prevent Winter Weight Gain  (No extra blubber layer required this year, thank you!)

9 Simple Ways to Prevent Alzheimers  (Good info)

How to Build an Autumnal Centerpiece  (Very pretty.  I wanna make one!)

Rethinking Cancer Recovery  (This is absolutely right!  Something to think about!)

Easy Thanksgiving Crafts  (Break out your punkins and squash!)

Vive Le Rock: Adam Ant Looks Back at His Classic Videos  (What a cutie back in the day)

5 Tips for Managing Curly Hair  (Good tips!)

10 Minute Fat Frying Workout  (This is a really good one.  Video starts on landing)

Customers to Kmart:  "Shame on you!"  (I worked retail in my teens and if I had to work Thanksgiving I'd quit.  But shouldn't the people that should be "shamed" be the people who are demanding these stores are open almost all day on a family holiday?  No demand, no supply needed.  I'm not knocking people wanting to shop but come on, can't we let those poor retail people spend a friggin' holiday with their family if they want to??)

This Guy's Wife Got Cancer, So He Did Something Unforgettable  (Tissues)

Is It Rude to Ask Guests to Take Their Shoes Off?  (It's funny because we don't wear shoes in the house and in Hawaii it's a BIG no-no to wear shoes in the home due to the red dirt dying the floors.  We keep our shoes by the front door and our guests have always taken it as a cue to take theirs off.  We don't ask them to but it's nice they show enough respect to do so.)

This weekend we're going on a little road trip to make rather merry for the first Christmas event of the year.  I need to remember to charge my camera.  I've got yuletide bursting from my pores and I need to get it out in a place they don't Christmas shame you for being ready to celebrate the second week of November.  :-)

Whatchu guys got on tap for the weekend?

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Random Ramblin's

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You'll have to excuse me if this post contains typos...I'm typing on my new laptop and it's taking some serious getting used to.  The keyboard is completely different and is off center from what I'm used to.  I see carpal tunnel in my future and a potential rectangular frisbee throwing contest.  This post posted right in the middle of me putting it together so that was awesome...not.  Time will tell if I'll keep it or just get a solid state drive and stick it in my old piece of crap Dell.  The Mr got his new tablet yesterday so he was setting up all kinds of crap.  Kind of made his hooky day feel like work.  I don't mean this to sound mean but watching him gleefully whiz through his tablet makes me want to flick him in the forehead.  If only he could be as equally frustrated with his new toy as I am with mine.  We'll just say I'm not getting rid of the box within the next week.

We got in an early workout which is always nice but we were both so sore from the kettlebell workout the night before that it was a bit on the painful side.  The kind of pain that you know you need to go through to loosen things up and stretch your bits out.  But I'll take almost 1100 calories worth of bit stretching.  I was a little bummed to find out the heart rate monitor we've relied on for years is discontinued or if it's still out there, I can't seem to find it.  So if we need to replace ours at some point, I'll need to do some research.

I need to get some ingredients for a Thanksgiving dessert recipe I want to try.  It's been brewin' in mah brain for a few months and I might make it Sunday night so we can have a slice and I'll send the rest to work with the Mr.  Ooh, I've said too much.  I hate that Thanksgiving is late this year, it's throwing off my whole schedule.  We kind of lose the whole first week of December since the first Saturday is the 7th.   I need to get the rest of my projects finished up and we have to clean some spots in the basement to put these projects there so I can get my office looking like an office and not like Staples threw up in there.  I don't know why I'm telling you guys all this, maybe it's like if I type it out, I have to do it?  HA!  That's funny.  Because it's worked so well in the past.

I was informed not too long ago that we wouldn't be having two turkeys for Thanksgiving.   This translates to no leftovers which sucks because hello, the best part of the weekend after Thanksgiving is leftovers!  So I'm going to do our own turkey all fancy pants the way *we* like it since the family's idea of seasoning is salt.  I have to say the thing I'm going to miss the most is Grandma's noodles.  The past two years have been a no go with her condition and hats off to my aunt and uncle for trying but they're not the same.  I may try to give them a go in secret because I don't want to be saddled with the work but I'm hoping the noodle tutorial I taped with her when we realized something was wrong will help me out.

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet?  What two things (other than turkey, too easy) makes you look forward to Thanksgiving dinner?

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, I'll get a nominal kickback toward blog expenses.  Like Bartyles and James back in the day...I thank you for yer support)

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Twas movie night y'all!

After we got in our kettlebell workout, it was time for din-din.  Chicken tacos and candied roasted brussels sprouts were on the menu.  So we had a lot of stuff to cram into one night!


It was movie night last night so the Mr swung by the video store and we got our flick on.  (Why did that sound dirty?)

I suppose a dirty inference is in order due to one of the movies we watched.  Out of sheer curiosity, we rented Lovelace and out of sheer need for stupid comedy, we rented Grown Ups 2 .

I find it interesting that when Lohan was going to play the lead in Lovelace that there's likely no way I would've watched that train wreck.  But when Amanda Seyfried signed on, I wanted to see it.  Any time I really like an actor, I tend to follow their career regardless of whether or not I like the show.  I liked her and Ginnifer Goodwin in Big Love so I begrudgingly watch Once Upon a Time when I remember and I'll watch anything Amanda is in.  I did my research on the life of the real Linda Lovelace because I wanted to be able to separate fact from Hollywood fiction.  I mean I didn't go rent a bunch of her movies or anything though we did see the infamous one and laughed our asses off.  I don't know how anyone could get turned on by that farce but I digress.  Actually, it would be helpful to have seen it because you think they're taking ridiculous liberties with the dialogue and if you've seen it, you know it's as stupid as the words you're hearing.  Oy.  It's a sad movie, I mean it's not going to be a comedy.  It's about this woman's life and things that she had to do just to survive.  The cast were all really amazing (lots of decent names signed on...Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria, Chris Noth, James Franco, etc) and while I wouldn't say it's some feel good movie but if you're curious, give it a rent.  It makes you want to remember her as an opponent of domestic violence and feminine empowerment and not what this guy made her do.

One thing I love about renting movies on indie labels is the previews.  I get to see previews for movies I wouldn't otherwise hear of.  Now on my radar is Cutie and the Boxer and 20 Feet from Stardom which I forgot about but The Voice viewers will remember Judith Hill.  Neither are out yet but when they do come out, you can bet I'll be watching them!

Then it was on to Grown Ups 2.  We thought the original was decent so thought we'd go for the second one.  I used to be a King of Queens fan early on until the Dad and the wife got on my nerves too bad to bear watching but Kevin James has really grown as a comedian since that show ended.  So I tend to rent stuff he's in just because I know there's a good likelihood it'll be good.  (Like I watched Here Comes the Boom on Starz for free because I was bored one day.  Whilst the title is lame as hell, that is actually a great movie.  Really inspiring and funny so a big time...rent it from moi!)  Anyhoo, back to GU2.  When it starts off with an intruder in the form of a pissing CG deer, you don't have high hopes.  Basically, it's an Adam Sandler movie where he invites all of his friends to be in it to make something similar to what my best friend and I made in 8th grade.  If you like that kind of schtick, you'll love this movie.  We did have some laugh out loud moments and the 80's stuff, J. Geils Band cameo and Steve Austin is worth a peep.  But it was coupled with too many lame/WTF moments for me to say we liked it.  I'll put it to you this way...the Mr went up to use the lavatory and when he came down and saw it was paused he said "oh God, now what" and when it was over, he slapped his forehead and shook his head. So take that for what it's worth.

Have you seen any good movies lately?  Any you're looking forward to?

(This post contains a few affiliate links.  Should you choose to buy through them, I'll get a nominal kickback to help keep the blog chuggin' along!)

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Workout annoyances

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When I was doing my free weights the other night, I had one of my biggest workout annoyances happen.

When I am on the floor on my back and sweat drips from my brow and rolls down the side of my face...into my EARS!  I immediately get grossed out and irritated all at the same time and I just want to throw down my weights and jam a tissue in my ear or something.

Another annoyance?  My workout shoes.  They're those God awful meshy shoes that you can't seem to escape unless you want geriatric shoes and my feet move side to side in them when I workout.  I feel like I have no real support from them even though my podiatrist recommended them last year when I was diagnosed with the foot problems.  I feel like they're too wide so when it comes to getting new shoes at some point, I'm definitely going to go for cross trainers that are supposed to have better side to side support.  Until then, I pout.

Finally the one that is going to get me a poopy look while he proofreads this...when the Mr audibly grunts or lets out loud breaths as a way to motivate himself once he gets all jacked up.  It makes me want to either squirt him with a water gun or punch him in the throat depending on the time of the month but I refrain.  I like a quiet, focused workout environment and when he goes all ninja, it throws me off beat.  Lil bugger.

What are your workout annoyances?

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Where'd the weekend go?

You ever have one of those weekends that just whips your butt and before you know it, it's over and you're like..."where'd my weekend go?  Do over!"  That was this weekend.

There were a few dud trips we went on and Saturday we got up early so someone put their grumpy pants on.  (Hint:  Not me)  We went to this state fair craft show thingy and I'm pretty sure we found every relative of the long bearded camo fellows from cable tv.  They looked at us sideways as though to say "I don't trust no city slickers."  We also found the largest collection of saucy X movies in the Northern hemisphere in about 20 bins and next to a pouting, indignant, like totally bored 13 year old girl helping to run the booth.  So it was not a successful morning but thankfully got better as the day went on.  I did find one item that I can't wait to work on and then we went to this historic downtown where there were some cool antique shops and this one was in an old small hotel that had been converted.  One of the rooms had a baby theme to it and there was a hobby horse in there on springs and it was moving on its own even after we stopped moving next to it.  I said "you just keep on riding, nugget, we'll get out of your way" and we went to the next room.

We watched a little football and then went downtown to do a little shopping at some local stores where we know the owners.  I found some good stuff at both places.  How I wish we had a bigger home to furnish with all of their wares.  Sigh.  But I got a cool square bowl I'm going to use for the holidays and then some vintage inspired bottle brush trees similar to these...

I got one white one with white and silver ornaments and a green one with faded colored ornaments on them.  SOOOO cute and I can't wait to start decorating.  We listened to Christmas music all weekend and the Mr didn't complain once, he even hummed along.  :-)

Sunday we went to five open houses.  Yep, five.  The first one we went to it was like OMG lady, calm DOWN!  She just got back into the real estate game and this was her first open house and she was bouncing off the walls all giggly and kind of followed us around the house like a puppy which we do not like.  The house wasn't quite up our alley but we talked with her for a bit and then ducked the hell outta there.  We did find a couple of houses that were contenders but needed some major work in one way or another.  We found one with this bad paneling and linoleum that would've been perfect for our retro arcade and then had a separate room we could dedicate to workouts and even a lower basement with a place for the washer and dryer.  It was a five level split but the kitchen was HORRIBLE...like completely unusable.  I think there were 2 crusty old burners but the one wall wasn't load bearing so we could blow it out but it would be like 3 months of living like nomads in our own house.  I'm thinking $20-30K would fix this place to what we want it to look like inside and maybe $10K outside.  It's also really close to the hospital and I wonder if we'd hear sirens all night.  Oh well, it's fun to look, right?

Lots to do this week and hopefully will start getting the house back to something that doesn't look like an antique craft store barfed inside.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Christmas beast and what I'm reading this week

It's November 1st...this means I'm officially in Christmas beast mode.  Last night I put on my Christmas music to sleep to...the instrumental stuff so it was still soothing.  I've got Christmas projects all over the table which I'm sure is pushing the Mr to his limits.  I'm starting to research the cookies I'm going to make for other people this year.  Don't worry, I have 2-3 weeks until the decorations go up so I'm not going that nuts just yet.  But it's going to be a busy season so I need to start making lists to attempt to keep myself sane.  Last year I burnt out hard and the Mr doesn't like to see that when this is supposed to be a time for me to bask in the magic, yo.  I know, I know, no one is ready for it yet.  No need to poo in my Cheerios.  ;-)

Now let's get to...



How Long It Takes to Burn Off Your Favorite Halloween Candy  (Nothing like starting with a downer.  Or maybe it's motivation not to raid the kid's bag?  HA!)

Day After Halloween Detox

Fleetwood Mac Cancels Tour After John McVie Cancer Diagnosis  (Get well John!)

Life Hacks from 100 Years Ago That You Still Want to Know Today  (Interesting, let's hope I never have to use them!)

6 DIY Cleaning Solutions for Last Season's Clothes

Losing Water Weight vs. Losing Fat

5 Sneaky Reasons You Can't Lose Weight

Bob Barker to Return to Price Is Right for 90th Birthday  (This should be interesting.  Bob was REALLY cranky the last 5 years at TPIR, I wonder if he'll be able to fake a smile for an hour.)

Elvis' Granddaughter Gives Beatdown on Justin Timberlake's new TKO video (NSFW if you watch the vid)  (I'm not recommending the video but it's definitely designed to create controversy.  Riley Keough is absolutely beautiful though.  Looks just like her mama and grandmama)

10 Least Reliable Cars  (Is your car on the list?)

14 Things You Don't Need to Buy

Star Wars Blooper Reel Emerges  (For the Mr.)

Broken Wheels, Safari Tabs and Inaccessible Thermostats  (I used to unfold a paper clip and put it through the top of the thermostat lock box in the file room.  HA!  Screw you old bosses!  No plastic cage can contain me!)

Politely Rude:  8 Graceful Ways to Break Tech Etiquette When You Absolutely Must  (Everyone should be given these rules the second they get a mobile device)

Mythbusting Internet Food Rumors

9 Ways to Burn Even More Calories Outside  (I need to utilize the park benches more and get over that people might stare)

A Soldier and His Unusual Baby Best Friend  (Aww, nugget!)

I've got a few shopping trips, some college ball, dinner at my favorite pizza place and a few open houses planned for the weekend.

What are you doing this weekend?

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