Friday, July 31, 2015

Books I Read (May-July)

A little slower on the reading this summer, apparently! 

The Rosie Project
by Graemae Simsion

I loved this book like I loved "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" 
Such a fun, light-hearted book. 
Great for someone with a nerd streak, 
And can appreciate some nerd humor. 
I read the whole thing through Sheldon Cooper's voice 
(Big Bang Theory). 
I'd say this is a top favorite book of all time. 

Run Like a Girl 
by Mina Samuels

I'm not quite sure what I expected this book to be like, 
but I was so disappointed that I abandoned it after a chapter or two. 
This is what I'd call a "Empower Women" book, 
all about girl power and female pride and 
"we can do it too!" 
I really wasn't interested in that. 
I know we are equals, 
and I already know I can run, 
and I just didn't get anything interesting out of a book preaching what I already know.

Digital Fortress 
by Dan Brown

No Professor Langdon here, but the book was still very good. 
More tech-y, a lot like Deception Point. 
I particularly liked that I didn't call the plot twist 
(unlike my most hated book "We Were Liars" which I called in the first chapter
I felt the chapters were a lot shorter in this than his other books, 
which I certainly appreciated.  

"My Life in France" 
by Julia Child

I call this a "whimsical" book great for a serene setting 
like the beach 
or lake 
or some other serene vacation spot. 
It's a beautiful story told by Julia Child of her time in Paris 
and introduction to French cuisine. 
At times, it is a bit dull, 
sometimes the unknown French words for food dishes are annoying, 
And it's certainly no thrilling page-turner 
(so its not really insomnia reading), 
But it was a perfect relaxing read by the lake. 
Also, if you watched the movie "Julie & Julia," and you're like me who loved Julia Child but hates the modern Julie girl (I found her whiney), 
then this is the best book. 

Not That Kind of Girl 
By Lena Dunham 

So um well... 
I'm just going to go ahead 
and say the first thing that popped into my head when I closed the book: 
"This chick is a psychopath

I read the book to understand the Lena Dunham craze, 
And not only do I NOT understand it, 
But I'm quite certain that the book 
could be swapped for a the biography of a serial murderer. 
She's praised for being a feminist, 
which I don't understand at all, 
other than she regards most men with great disdain. 
So... yay, feminism???

THAT whole assessment aside. 
The book is decent to read. 
It has no chronological flow (gahhhhhh), 
but despite that, 
some of the stories are entertaining. 
I don't regret it per se. 
Just um, didn't really relate to it. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week 6: Someone Who Does Not Live in your Country

Week 6 in the 30 Week Writing Challenge

Someone Who Does Not Live in your Country 

I dedicate this one to my BFF Amanda. 
We met in middle school at youth group. 
And I can't remember a time that we weren't best friends. 

We went to different high schools, 
but saw each other every Tuesday and Sunday at youth group / church. 

Amanda is the nicest person I've ever met. 
Everyone I've ever met absolutely loves her. 

She has a lot of passion, 
and she followed her passion to Kenya several years ago 
for photo-journalism. 
My sister and I visited her when I was 8 weeks pregnant. 
She came back to the US for a year, 
and has since returned to Kenya. 

We don't talk often. 
Sometimes we can go months without talking. 
And sometimes 1-2 years without seeing each other. 
But when we are together, 
it's like we were never apart. 
There's something to having deep-seeded history with someone. 
Someone who knew your high school boyfriends, 
and all the bad decisions that came along with them.  
Someone who was there from dating to engagement to the wedding. 
The kind of person that knows your family inside out. 

I wish her all the best in Kenya, 
but I also can't wait until she comes back!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Paparazzi Weekend

Sometimes I love a quiet weekend being homebodies
But most times I prefer never being home 
(except, of course, naps.  
Because naps are like winning the time lottery). 

where I temporarily paused my paparazzi habits: 

Ran 3 miles and died of heat

Haircut with my hilarious hair dresser, 
who has awesome lines like: 
"Forget vaccines, Elmo is the reason for ADD in America" 

Nap / Chill-time 

Co-worker's Party 
complete with full pig roast, 
and more food than even Aaron could even eat. 

Watched Kingsman: The Secret Service 
which was a bit odd, 
but entertained me decently, 
mostly because British accents are awesome. 

paparazzi habits resumed! 

Adam went golfing all morning, 
so Aaron and I got DONUTS 

And went to Target, where Aaron is always up for making friends, 
particularly barefoot little girls, 
who are nearly twice his age but 3/4 his size. 

And went to our friend's pool 

... where I FINALLY succeeded in teaching Aaron 
how to hold juice boxes by the top tabs, 
to prevent squeeze spillage. 
(cue hallelujah chorus)

Nap / Laundry-and-clean-the-house-time

Finally cap it off with ice cream to celebrate another friend's birthday, 
which besides ice cream, 
also included a walk to see the "waterfall" 
(aka: dam)

Looking forward... 
the weather forecast this week calls for a high of 96 
and a hefty dose of humidity. 
So when Aaron asks to go to the park... 

Friday, July 24, 2015


This post has no organization, theme, or thought process. 
This is just my Friday ramblings. 
You may commence your yawning now

1. Just in case you've been living under a rock, 
Nordstrom's anniversary sale is going on
So far I've limited myself to stocking up on Zella leggings, 
although I stock with boring basics like black capris 
and black terra long
But this sale needs to hurry up and end before I keep buying more.

2.Daily Mail put out an interactive map on what states tweet about
(First of all, who still tweets?  Isn't it all IG now?) 
Food and "activites" 
which is essentially "calories in" and "calories out" (haHA)

I was very proud of my home state of New York: 
"Apples" and "running."
Although I suspect the apple is from the "Big Apple" phrase, 
which no one from NY actually says... EVER. 

Pennsylvania is a bit more pathetic with
"Cheese" (probably cheesesteaks) 
and "watching a movie" 

I thoroughly appreciated that 8 southern states listed "eating" as their "activity." 

And I also appreciated that NJ's "activity" was "getting my nails done." 
So true.

3. I've started this strange obsession with mashed cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, cut up and steamed 
1 Tbs butter 
4 Tbs half-and-half
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan 
(and by "freshly grated", I mean Wegmans grated it for me) 
1 tsp garlic salt 
1 tsp jarred minced garlic 
(or I could chop my own, but why dirty a knife?)
sprinkle of pepper

Throw all in food processor, 
and then sit there eating it with a spoon out of the food processor. 
Eventually packing up the rest to reheat at work for the next few days. 

4. Just in case you question my status as ULTIMATE NERD
let me assure you that I hold the title fair and square

By creating a spreadsheet of my favorite salads, 
by time of year the fruit/veggies are in season

I don't even care if you judge me. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meme Laughs on Dieting

One of my favorite bad day fixers is browsing the "humor" section on Pinterest.

Here are some of my favorites that pertain to dieting




I will NOT admit to the number of times I've committed this crime. 
Except substitute cake with an entire bag of Doritos. 
Or cheesepuffs. 
Mmmm, cheesepuffs. 


Fun note: 
When I was pregnant, I thought all my friends looked anorexic. 
Actually I was just like HUGE. 

This is why Jennifer Lawrence is my favorite. 
Even with her new ugly haircut. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 5: Three Things I Like about my Personality

Week 5 in the 30 Week Writing Challenge
Three Things I Like about my Personality

1. It's easy for me to find the fun in the little things
This is something both Adam and I have in common. 
We can find fun in just about anything, 
and it's absolutely awesome going through life with someone who can get equally excited with me over something as small as a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. 

2. I can laugh in every situation, even when it's not appropriate. 
I love laughter and I love how I can use laughter to ease any situation. 

3. I know so much about football. 
And, according to the movie Inside Out
sports CAN be a core component of one's personality. 
(I consider Pixar a sufficient source of all research!) 

I can't play football - or any sport - to save my life, 
but I think there is nothing more relaxing than chilling on the couch with a cold beer and a great football game on, 
preferably the ones where the Eagles clean up the Cowboys...

Monday, July 20, 2015


We were homebodies this weekend. 

Which would normally make me all antsy and stir-crazy and whatnot, 
but Philadelphia is experiencing a suffocating heat wave and I'm all


I walked out our front door exactly 4 times this weekend. 

1) I went for a run Saturday morning.
I made it 2 miles and gave up and walked home. 
You can be thankful there are no pictures of this. 
2) I enjoyed a late afternoon happy hour at my friend's swim club 
with bar service and this view: 

and munching on this: 

(Not pictured: 3 fantastic martinis) 
Back at home, Adam and Aaron watched Despicable Me 2, 
a test-run for our upcoming movie theater adventure. 
 We want to take Aaron to Minions, 
and figured we should make sure he can actually sit through an entire movie. 

During Despicable Me 2, 
whenever the Minions weren't in the scene, 
Aaron asked: 
"Where Minions go?!?" 
We also further tested out theory by having a family movie "night" 
on Sunday afternoon, 
watching the Lorax, 
complete with a giant bowl of popcorn. 
So in summary, we hit our screen time quota for the next two weeks. 
3) Late Sunday morning, 
as the walls started to cave in, 
I whisked Aaron off to the Container Store to purchase their multi-purpose bins 
so I could do this to my freezer: 

Aaron LOVES the container store. 
So many things to look at! 
So many colors to name! 
And the staff gave him a sticker. 
So basically he wouldn't leave.

4) Our final outing was an attempted quick trip to the park Sunday afternoon. 
Where I FULLY CONFESS that I went in a tank top with a built-in shelf bra
which is basically no bra at all. 

Aaron was unaffected by the grossly disgusting humidity, 
and played on the swings, 
and on the monkey bars, 
while Adam and I asked ourselves WHY DID WE AGREE TO THIS?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Click Bait Personality Test

I fall victim to the curious "click bait" all the damn time:

"What kind of Disney Princess are you?" 
"What book character should you be?" 
"What Friends character are you?" 

Disregard the fact that these personality tests were thrown together by some college freshman procrastinating on a project, 
I click 'em all!

I was like "OH YES I MUST!"

I already know my Myers-Briggs as ESFJ, 
so I was curious how close this random test would come. 

In case this wasn't already obvious to the world, 
one of my strongest scores is Extrovert

I'm all about practicality and 
the what's-going-on-here-and-now.

Not surprisingly, one of my lowest. 
I tend to skirt the line of feeling vs thinking. 
Which is funny because you'd think the Observant above would coincide with a thinker. 
Perhaps its because I'm a woman? 

But my strongest of all score is Judging = ORDER. 
Lists. Plans. Procedures. 
Give me these and I'm in Personality Heaven. 

This is a new one to me. 
 "Perfectionist" (yes)
"Self-conscious" (yes) 
"Success-driven" (yes)
"Care about their image" (yes) 

Ok yup, that's me. 
The flip side, the assertive, is SO ADAM. 
"Stable, calm, relaxed, refuse to worry" = Adam to a T. 
That's why he makes a good lawyer; 
I'd just die of a heart attack every day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 4: 25 things to do before next birthday

25 Things to do before my next birthday 

This is laughable because my birthday is just under 6 months away... 
which means I have do 1 per week! 
(Spoiler alert, it won't happen)

So here goes: 

1. Attempt making Beef Bourguignon 

(#29 out of 197 on the library waitlist!) 

3. See Jurassic World 

4. Take Aaron to see his first movie 

5. Buy a new sports bra
(probably stick with classic Under Armour, 
but I'm so intrigued by these by Victoria's Secret)

6. Get a facial

7. Read "Not That Kind of Girl"
in order to understand everyone's obsession with Lena Dunham

8. Send my sister a box of goodies while she's at camp

9. Finish re-lining our kitchen cabinets 

10. Make up our mind on what the hell to do with the still-working, 
but-takes-too-much-space Heineken Kegerator
Anyone in the Philly area want it?!?!

11. Send in t-shirts for a T-Shirt Quilt 
(this etsy shop was suggested to me, but any other recommendations?)

12. Finally work up the courage to epilate above my knee

13. Take my mom out for lunch

14. Buy new high-quality blush
I see that this one has great reviews

15. Try for the 10th time to like lentils, 
and maybe this salad will do it

16. Give Aaron a bubble bath

17. Have a "real" date night out with Adam, 
complete with nice dinner and something besides a movie 

18. Buy a fun, frivolous pair of heels... just because

19. Have my rings professionally cleaned

20. Enjoy a Girl's Happy Hour at the swim club

21. Update Adam's non-work wardrobe 
(I confess he still has clothing from our American Eagle days 

22. Have a family day at Sesame Place

23. Be a cool mom (for once) and make some creative pinterest food for Aaron

24. Move into our new HQs at work 
(Not that I have a lot of control over this, but I'm grasping here)

25. Get pregnant

Monday, July 13, 2015

Not So Terrible Twos?

This blog post is one giant JINX 
but I'm going for it anyway. 

There's all this talk about the "terrible twos" 
and tantrums 
and yada yada. 

But I'm just gonna say it... 

(Knock on wood... twice) 

... things have been REALLY good lately. 

Aaron is happy. 
And I mean HAPPY. 


Yeah, sometimes the silliness is annoying when it's time for bed 
and he wants to "run 'round?" 10 more times before PJs, 
but seriously, I'll take shrieking laughter over angry screaming. 

And it's not just happiness and joy. 


For so long I felt like I would talk "at" him, 
and the only way to get him to do anything was physically guide him through it. 

But he REALLY listens now. 

Potty is a great example. 
This kid NEVER wants to go potty. 
(Why would you?  It interrupts the fun!)

But if I get down to his level, 
and hold his face in my hands, 
and say very calmly: 
"Aaron, after we go potty, you can come back to playing with [x]" 
He puts down those toys and walks right to the potty and comes right back. 
Not a fuss. 
Not a fight. 
It's amazing. 

I love how he talks right now too. 
He wants to tell us about everything. 
He's in the "self narration mode."
And I can see the wheels turning in his head as he tells me about something. 

Sometimes it's serious, 
like when we were in Bed Bath & Beyond, 
and he saw a ladder and announced (unprompted): 
"A'yon no climb ladder!" 

Sometimes it's so silly, 
like when he stacks his cups and announces, 
"A'yon build tower!" 

I love how he when he wants someone to go somewhere, 
or do something, 
or play with him, 
he so very deliberately takes the person's hand, 
and asks in the sweetest voice: 
"Take a walk?" 

It's the sweetest form of manipulation I've ever seen. 
How can you say no to that? 
I may jinx myself, I know. 
But I have to write down how good it is right now. 

Friday, July 10, 2015


I promised the story of the poop-apocalypse. 

After my Grandma's calling hours, 
I returned to my Grandma's house with my family, 
while Adam took Aaron back to the hotel for bed. 

My phone started going off, 
and I received this beautiful string of texts: