Friday, November 30, 2012

How Many Ships Can a Big Ship Ship

Happy Friday Everyone! I am so grateful it is Friday and I cannot wait to get home and get my packing butt in gear.

It's always exciting at work when a large ship goes through the Detroit river because we get to hear the horn and see the boat go by.  I'm always so fascinated when I see a ship of such large size on the water because I just cannot grasp the ability of the ship to float.


And often I am reminded of a funny post I once saw on Imgur:


I think what made this picture so hilarious to me was not the picture itself, but the first comment, "How many ships could a big ship ship if a big ship could ship ships."  So now every time I see a big ship go through the Detroit River, I always have a little laugh to myself about the big ship shipping ships.

A few weeks ago I was in a conundrum as to which book I was going to start with out of the 8+ I borrowed from the library and I ended up picking Bossypants by Tina Fey.  


When I requested from a bunch of  my girlfriends a good lighthearted read, they hit the book right on the nose.  This read was a joy from beginning to end and I caught myself more than once laughing out loud at her very blunt and hilarious sense of humor. 

Overview
Tina Fey has written an autobiography of her life up until the book was completed, but unlike normal autobiographies, she makes fun of herself quite often and does not talk about her accomplishments the entire book.  From the beginning, when she was a child, until she is having a child of her own, Fey takes good care to give you the necessary information about her life all the while making you giggle.

My Review
If you are looking for something serious and intense, then this is not the book you are looking for (insert laugh to self about Star Wars reference).  This book is the epitome of lighthearted and fun.  From page one, I was laughing and at the very last page I even got a few laughs in.  The one thing I appreciated about Fey's writing is her ability to make you laugh, while also teaching you a very important lesson about taking pride in oneself and appreciating the good qualities and not focusing on the "bad" ones.  The only negative thing about this book (in my eyes) was some of the language.  Like I mentioned above, Fey is blunt.  She does not refrain from using words that might offend the reader, which I admire.  It is an autobiography.  I would prefer for her to be "talking" with me instead of talking to a general audience.  I would recommend this book to anyone that loves comedy and enjoys learning about others' lives. 

Question of the Day:
What random thing has made you laugh in the last few days?

Beside the big ship shipping ships joke mentioned above, I got a good laugh over Justin getting stuck in his gamer chair.  It rocks back so you can rest your back, but he rocked too far and could not get back up.  Oh the simple things that make us laugh 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Apple or Apple Pie?

Happy day before Friday everyone! I trust you are as ready for Friday as I am.  This week has been looonnnnggg to say the very least, but the sun is shining and it feel wonderful on my back as it pours through the windows by my desk.

As I  mentioned yesterday, I had a Weight Watchers meeting with my mom last night and a few things the teacher said really stuck out to me.  

The first thing was a quote she shared with us:
"If you focus on results, you will never see change
 If you focus on change, you will see results"

This particular quote struck me because I feel like, often times, people are so focused on the results that they cannot see the changes that are happening in front of them.  A perfect example is when someone wants to lose weight.  In my mind, the only result is a loss on the scale, when in all reality the victory is eating healthy and working out. 

The other thing that caught my attention was her Apple and Apple Pie Metaphor.

She asked us: Would you rather be an apple? 
Firm, delicious, sweet, and healthy

Or would you rather be an apple pie?
Warm, lumpy, full of lard, and not healthy?

Such an interesting concept, but it also struck me.  Especially when she said the "full of lard" part.  As delicious as an apple pie can be, I do not want to be lumpy and full of lard.  I want to be firm, sweet and healthy.

Zumba tonight with my ladies! I am so exited.

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite quote/saying that keeps your head in the right place?

Aside from these two I really like, "What you eat in private is what you wear in public".  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day Everyone! We're halfway through the week and I'm secretly excited that I only have two more days of work this week because we have a fun weekend planned ahead of us.  

It's a rather chilly day here in Michigan and I am sporting my favorite scarf and mittens to keep me warm.  That is one of my favorite things about living here in Michigan, getting to have a wide variety of clothing and accessories to match the season we're in.

Last night Janna had a training session at the gym with a trainer and I was not feeling too into working out so we did a quick treadmill workout that I found on PBFingers blog.


It does not look too hard when you are looking at the numbers on the page, but I definitely worked hard and can feel it in my legs today.  Plus, the burst of running for 5 minutes gives you the extra kick this workout needs.  By the time we finished this workout, I had burned 400 calories and had sweat dripping down my face like someone had dumped water on my head.  That was a good workout and it was only 30 minutes long.


Every Wednesday since July of last year, my mom and I have religiously have gone to Weight Watchers meetings and tonight is no different than any other Wednesday.  If you have not heard much about Weight Watchers, check out the site here.

Last summer when I joined Weight Watchers purely with the focus on losing weight for our Wedding in October 2011 and I did lose weight.  By the time the wedding came (three months later) I had lost 12 pounds and felt better than I have since high school.  The thing I love most about Weight Watchers is the freedom to choose what you are eating.  Most other diets tell you to eliminate carbohydrates, sugars, meat, etc., but with Weight Watchers you are never forced to eliminate anything.  You choose what you eat.  It teaches you the power of portion control and that is one of the most important factors in losing weight.

If you are thinking about doing Weight Watchers, please to not hesitate contacting me.  I will share as much as I can.

Question of the Day:
What are you favorite seasonal accessories?

Mine are definitely scarves.  If it was appropriate to wear them ALL year long, I would.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ouch My Abs!

Happy Tuesday Everyone! I hope you are enjoying your day as much as I have been.  

One of the many joys of where I work is the Starbucks Coffee right downstairs.  This morning has been dragging for me and I definitely was in need of a pick-me-up, so I scurried my way downstairs to get a cup of the wonderful goodness that is called Caramel Apple Spice.


I was really hoping that I would get one of their Santa cups because of how cute it is, but I ended up with the pretty bird instead.  Either way, the drink is delicious and I am enjoying it very slowly.

Last night Janna and I got together to get a workout in and I am feeling it today.  As always, we got the idea from PB Fingers!


While I am feeling it in my abs today, this was not my favorite workout that I've done from her.  Compared to her Total Body Workout II, I feel like this workout did not challenge me as much.  However, circuit workout definitely targets your abs and mine are screaming today.  So if you are looking for a quick ab/cardio workout then this is definitely for you.

Last night while working out I started to get extremely dehydrated, so Janna and I decided to challenge each other to drink more water.  My goal for today: four to six 16oz bottles of water.  So far? I've done one.  I really need to start catching up there! 

Question of the Day:
How much water do you drink daily?

I try to drink around 60 oz, but often come short.  I really need to work on this!




Monday, November 26, 2012

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4t  salt
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a bowl, cream the butter, Crisco and sugar until fluffy.  Once fluffy, add vanilla, egg and lemon zest.  In a separate bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and combine thoroughly (the dough will be pretty thick like sugar cookie dough).  Add the milk and lemon juice until thoroughly mixed into the dough.


Roll dough into 1" round balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F or until cookies begin to turn golden around the edges.  Remove promptly from cookie sheet and let cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 lb. powdered sugar (the average bag is 32oz, so about a half of a bag)
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh lemon juice
Beat butter and cream cheese until well mixed.   Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Add your powdered sugar and pinch of salt to the mixture.  Once this is thoroughly mixed, add fresh lemon juice until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency and has the desired taste.  When I made these, it ended up being about 3/4 t lemon juice.

Recipe originally found here

Weekend Recap

Happy Cyber Monday Everyone! I hope you are able to finish any shopping today that you couldn't do in stores on Friday!

Our weekend was rather busy, but also very fun.  Saturday we went out to my parents house to have a late lunch and spend a few hours with my step-dad before he left for Des Moines for work.  Plus, we were able to get a little snuggle time with Frye (Less than two weeks until we get him back!).



He's getting so big, but he still has his baby meow.  What a sweet face!

A few of Justin's friends from high school were in town for the Holiday and wanted to meet up with him, so after lunch we headed out to go bowling.  I must admit I am TERRIBLE at bowling. Yes, the bottom J is me.  At least I did better than my 56 the last time I bowled!


 Honestly, my favorite part of bowling is the shoes.  If it was possible to wear them as a day-to-day shoe, I probably would because of how comfortable they are.

Sunday was a bit more low-key for us.  Every year my mom and I bake cookies together and decorate the tree, so we continued that tradition yesterday by baking a rather large amount of cookies and putting the lights on the tree.  My mom didn't want to put the bulbs on the tree yet because she is afraid Frye will decide they are toys and break them.  I guess she will just have to wait a few weeks then.



As per our tradition, we made our chocolate chip cookies (not pictured), plain peanut butter cookies and peanut butter blossom cookies.  We also added a new cookie to the list this year: Lemon Sugar Cookies.  They are delicious and I will be doing a separate post with the recipe and directions! Yummy!

Sunday evening consisted of me going through more boxes to get rid of more stuff before our move in less than two weeks.  Our townhouse is really starting to get chaotic, so I am more than ready to move into the next apartment.  

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite cookie recipe?
Do you have any Holiday traditions?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Craziness

Hello all of you die-hard shoppers! I hope your day of shopping has been as successful as ours!

Justin, Wesley and his mom went out last night in the pouring rain to hit a few stores to hopefully catch the discounts.  I, on the other hand, went home and got a good nights sleep.


Can you tell it's raining pretty hard? Justin grabbed a box to put on his head because they only had two umbrellas.  Such a silly guy.

It seems like Justin had some luck shopping at Best Buy because he came home with a bag filled with things from there. 


This is only a portion of the stuff he bought because a few of the other items are Christmas gifts for family members that keep up with my blog.  Wouldn't want to ruin any surprises!

This morning Justin and I got up and decided to head back out to mall to grab a few final gifts we needed to get his family finished.  I've been really pushing for us to get all of the Christmas shopping done before we move into our new place in a few weeks.  It will be too chaotic to try and shop for Christmas AND move at the same time.  

Look at what else we got today! I am so stoked about the wrapping paper! We originally bought it because we thought it was nice on the outside, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it up and it was double-sided! The best part? We got it at Home Depot.











When we got home from shopping I decided to use the new wrapping paper and wrap the gifts for Justin's family because we are celebrating with them in two weeks.  I am hoping that with all of the gifts wrapped, we can take them to his parents house and leave them there so they do not get lost in the move.  


We just have one more little thing to get for my brother-in-law, then his entire family will be done and we can drop the gifts off at his parents house!

Now I just need to finish a few small gifts and find a DIY craft for a party I am going to next month.  Do you have any suggestions for a useful DIY project I could make? Let me know if you do!

Another exciting thing happened today.  We had our first official snow! Only in Michigan can you go from 65 degrees one day to 33 degrees and snowing the next.  I was pretty excited to see the snow, but I am glad Mother Nature decided to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to give us the first snow.

Well, it has been a long day and I'm getting rather tired.  Have an excellent weekend everyone!

Question of the Day:
Do you go out late for Black Friday Shopping?
If yes, what is your favorite store to shop?

Thanksgiving 2012

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope your Holiday was as wonderful as ours was.



I started the day off by getting up nice and early to go to a 90 minute total body workout class and it was intense! It consisted of a wide variety of muscle toners mixed in with some bursts of cardio.  I look forward to trying this class again when I have the time.

Our Thanksgiving was split between Justin's family and my family.  After I showered quickly, we headed up to his parents house for a couple of hours to eat and relax.  




My favorite part, as always, is spending time with our niece and nephew.  I was pretty excited too because that is the first time Justin has held his niece.  He is rather timid when it comes to babies, so it was a big step that he held her! Such a precious picture.  

Justin's cousin Wesley also joined us for the day because his family was headed out of town and he had to work, so that is him doing a puzzle with J.P..  How sweet!

After a DELICIOUS dinner at my in-law's house, we headed out to my uncles for Round II.  We didn't really eat much there, but we did enjoy the family's company and a wonderful bonfire! 



This is only a small portion of the number of cousins I have can you believe it? It's always so awesome to spend time with them and catch up!

And it looks like Wesley blended in nicely with our family.  He's having fun with the youngest on my mom's side, Jackson.


As is tradition in both our families, we always tell each other what we are thankful for.  For me, this year, I am thankful for my wonderful husband, Justin, who understands me better than I understand myself.  I am thankful for my family and for my in-laws who have accepted me as one of their own.  I am thankful for my friends and how much joy they bring to my life.  I am thankful for my job and the new opportunities it is providing me.  And last but not least, I am thankful for everyone who takes time out of their busy lives to read my blog.  It is because of you that I continue to share my ramblings so often.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

P.S. The Edible Acorns were a BIG hit with my family! I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Edible Acorns

Happy day before Thanksgiving everyone!

Today was rather successful for me.  I was able to work from home today and because of that, I got a lot done around the house.  I was able to do all of our laundry, clean our kitchen, run a few errands, bake a pie AND make my dessert for my side of the family's Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow!

My dessert of choice is Edible Acorns.  I originally got the idea off of Pinterest through another blogger and decided they were too cute to pass up! And they turned out pretty cute.  


Here's what you need:
  • A Bag of Hershey's Kisses
  • A Bag of Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Bite Size Nutter Butters
  • Bowl and Spoon
What to Do:
  • Melt half a bag of the mini chocolate chips in the microwave.  I put them in for 30 seconds, stirred them, then microwaved for another minute.  This gets the chocolate nice and smooth
  • Dip a kiss into the melted chocolate and stick it to a nutter butter
  • Once all the kisses have been stuck to the nutter butters, throw them in the freezer to harden the melted chocolate.  I lined mine up onto a cookie sheet to make the process easier (as you can tell the cookie sheet would not stay level, so Green Giant gave me a hand it keeping things level)

  • Once the kisses have hardened back up, begin dipping the second half of the mini chocolate chips in the melted chocolate and sticking them to the other side of the nutter butter.  This makes the top of the acorn
  • Again, put them into the freezer to harden the chocolate 
  • Once the chocolate has hardened, they are ready for you to enjoy!

Such a cute Fall themed dessert for any fall party or Thanksgiving event! And they are easy to make and even yummier to enjoy!

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

Mine is definitely my Aunt Mari's Banana Cream Supreme! I really hope she makes it for tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas 2012 Binder

Hello Everyone! I hope you are continuing to have a wonderful Tuesday! 

I thought I would share my Christmas 2012 Binder with you all since I know that we are getting down to the wire and everyone is getting ready to start their shopping and planning (if you have not already). 


This is the front of my binder.  I thought it was cute with the turquoise, red and green and I had originally wanted our Christmas cards to be themed those colors, but that changed very quickly.


For my organization system I just put tabs with pockets in them so I could keep all of the necessary documents filed and keep them from getting bent and disorderly.  My tabs are ordered as such:

  • Calendar
  • Gifts
  • Handmade
  • Shopping
  • Cards
  • Storage
  • Wrapping (You can not see this tab, but it is in there!)
Calendar Tab
  • Calendar for September, October, November and December

  •  Master to-do list
  • Budget Worksheet
  • Baking Planner
    • I made sure to print all recipes that sounded good and file them behind the baking planner section of the 
    • This is fun for keeping record because next year I can go back and grab the recipe again
  • Family Traditions


 Gifts Tab:
  • Christmas Gift Ideas
    • This is where I started brainstorming my ideas for everyone and how much I thought it was going to costs for each person
    • If I really liked an item, I printed it off and dropped it in the pocket folder
    • I also printed receipts for all the gifts I have purchased 

Handmade Tab:
  • Handmade Gifts
    • I tend to find my gift ideas from Pinterest, so if I liked the idea, I printed it and dropped it into the pocket folder
    • Two of the gifts are turning out super cute so far! I can't wait to share the finished project with you all!
  • Gift List
**Edited out names for personal purposes**
Shopping Tab
  • Black Friday Shopping List
  • Christmas Shopping List
Cards
  • Christmas Card Worksheet
  • Christmas Card Mailing List 
    • The printables I used had a form specifically for this, but I ended up just typing my names into excel to save me the hassle of handwriting them all out
    • However, next year I will probably hand write them for my records


Storage

  • Christmas Decor Storage
  • Christmas Decor Inventory
    • both of these items are empty because I have not started decorating yet for Christmas
    • Once I get my decorations out, I will take inventory of everything
    • This will make packing that much easier come January


Wrapping
  • This tab just has little printouts of tags for gifts
  • Once I buy wrapping paper, I will cut a piece out for each person so I can remember what paper belongs to whom



So that is my Christmas binder! So far it has been really great to have a catch-all for all of the Christmas things I have purchased.  I hope to have all of my Christmas shopping completed before December, but we will see what happens! Thanks for stopping by!


Do you like what you see? Good! You can print the same documents off here!



Workout Twins

Happy Tuesday Everyone! Only two days until Thanksgiving and I am super excited!

Yesterday started with fog.  A lot of fog.


This is a picture of the Detroit River that I took yesterday morning while I was at work.  It was so shocking to turn around and see that the river was no longer visible because of the fog, but it sure as heck made for a pretty awesome picture!

Last week I posted a picture of eight different books to choose from and I told you all that I would let you know which one I ended up with!

I picked Bossypants because it was really the only logical choice.  I did not want to read the Jen Lancaster books out of order and I had all but the first two books in my possession at the time.  I also had the Wishin' and Hopin' book, but I was told that it had more of a Christmas theme to it, so I decided to hold out and read that one closer to Christmas.  So I chose Bossypants, and so far it has been hilarious.  Once I finish the book, I will make sure to share my review with you!

Last night, Janna and I made another run to the gym to try another PBFingers Total Body Workout.  It looks a little something like this:


Janna and I modified it a little bit to match our physical ability (i.e. only using 16 weights for Bicep curls and 40 lbs for Deadlifts), but overall I feel that this workout kicked my rear end.  When we tried the other Total Body Weights Workout, however, I felt that we were targeting more of our entire body, whereas this workout hit mostly our arms and touched on the legs and abs.  But, I can definitely say that this works and I am sore today!


On a rather comical note, Janna and I ended up wearing very similar outfits to the gym yesterday.  We even had the same capri pants on! Several people asked us if we planned to match and I can honestly say that we did not.  Although, I did get a good laugh at the fact that we matched.

I am hoping that Janna and I will head out to the gym again tonight so we can try a new workout together!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Always a Time to Celebrate!

Hello Everyone! Today has been a wonderful day filled with crafting and time with friends.   We started this morning off by sleeping in and relaxing and a delicious bowl of frosted flakes.  Around 11:00 my friend, Danielle came over so we could run out to JoAnn for some fabric for a project she was doing for her sister for Christmas.

Once we got back from JoAnn, we got straight to working on her project.  It was so exciting to get my sewing machine out to work on the project with Danielle! Once I finish mine, I will have to post a tutorial on how to make it! 


This afternoon we celebrated my friend, Reggie's, graduation from college by going to the party that his mom was planning for him.  The bar was called The Loving Touch and it was a pretty neat bar.  Originally it was a beauty salon and the owners decided to keep the name when they converted it to a bar.


On top of the location, there was a ton of delicious food to choose from! AND the cake was delicious!


I love getting together and celebrating anything exciting that happens to my friends.  It's always nice to get together and have good company.  I love spending time with my friends (and husband) and it's always nice to spend time with the people I love.


I look forward to many more years of time with my wonderful friends!