Jan 31, 2014

Our Lives Aren't Always Picture-Worthy

You know you're extra-boring when even your husband so kindly says, "Yeah, we haven't done anything picture-worthy in a long time" after reading through the last couple weeks of your blog posts. Now that's not to say we haven't been having fun… but January is most certainly my hibernation month. I think it takes a full four weeks for me to recover, so excuse me while I spend my weekends in sweatpants and sans makeup or clean hair. And forgive me for being the bad blogger with no recent pictures lately either… I promise this is still Erin writing this blog, and I still live with Jared. Oh, look- Photobooth to prove it!!

I say that, to say that I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Jared and I are planning on being a little adventurous this weekend if the weather cooperates. I'm looking forward to putting on actual clothes, possibly straightening my hair and attempting to look cute for a fun day with him :) I bet he is also thankful he won't be dragging me out of the house against my will anymore.

I'm also proud to say I have officially gotten over the heartbreaking loss of my own team- just in time for the Super Bowl, of course. I think I'll be rooting for the Broncos this weekend, you can't help but love Peyton Manning, I'm sorry. Seahawks fans, don't hate me! Ahem… Sarah ;) Let's be real, since the Bengals aren't playing Sunday? I'm more concerned about picking which delicious side dish to bring to our party and looking forward to fun with family and friends.
ALSO- In case y'all haven't noticed? Today is the last day of the month, meaning our January Spending Freeze is lifted tomorrow. (Insert angels singing here!) If you participated, don't forget to have your posts ready to link up next Tuesday, Feb 4th! I am so looking forward to reading them all--- failures, successes, stories, we want it all! 

So what are your weekend plans looking like? Do they revolve around the Big Game? Or maybe just some moments that aren't so picture-worthy? :)

Jan 29, 2014

I Believe

I Believe…

…in being silly every single day. EVERY single day Jared and I find time to laugh about something, no matter how the day has gone, no matter what the circumstances.

…that orange is THE best color of all time. And I'm okay that maybe only 1% of the population agrees with me on that.

…joining a gym 4 months ago was one of the best choices I've made in a long time. I feel like I'm finally heading in the direction I want to be.

…hard work pays off. It might take a long time, longer than you want, but if you keep after something, there's no reason you won't accomplish it. Hashtag work hard play hard.

…in the perfect balance of salty and sweet treats. I could eat pretzels for breakfast, lunch and dinner I love them so much… but I'm still going to need some Nerds, Starburst and/or Swedish Fish to get my sugar fix. Or, you know… a jumbo cinnamon roll from DisneyWorld.


…that family is the most important thing in life. No matter how messy or disfunctional, family is the glue everyone needs. I also love that when you marry someone, you gain a second family and the love and friendships just multiple!

…in spoiling nieces and nephews as much as you possibly can. Being an Aunt might just be the best thing in the world.

…in the power of music. Sure, we all like music, but I simply cannot function without it. I once wrote an entire paper on this in college. True story!

…in making lists, and lots of them, every single day. My desk at work has no shortage of post-it note reminders and task lists. I also cannot function without lists!

…blogging has introduced me to some of the most interesting and intelligent women in this country. That sounds cliche, I'm sure… but some of the conversations I get to have with you all? They still blow my mind. Blogging is amazing!


…Spring is THE best season of all. Bring on the rain, the thunderstorms, the flowers, Easter, my birthday... I love it all!

…2014 is going to be one of the best years of my life. I'm past that first week of January, so I'm allowed to still say that and really mean it ;) It's off to a good start.

…in always carrying a camera with you, maybe even two different ones. You never know what's going to happen, who you're going to meet, or what you'll need to capture… no matter where you are!

Jan 28, 2014

The Runner Newb

I've mentioned a few times on here that I've started training for my first ever half-marathon. Just typing that statement is terrifying, challenging and exciting all at once. The only races I've ever done have been a handful of 5ks, and even then, it's been a long time since I did those consistently.
Skinny Me at 5ks in 2010-2011

A half-marathon is just something I've always wanted to be able to say I've done… at least once! I'm following a training program to the best of my ability, and also hitting the weights hard with Jared a few times a week. Even though I have a long way to go, it has been exciting to push myself little by little each week. I remember last fall it was a struggle for me to even run 10 minutes without feeling like my lungs were going to collapse!

So today we're talking runner stuff. Whether you're a "new" runner like me, an experienced marathoner, or somewhere in between, I want to hear it all! The more runners I meet, the more motivated I feel.

Five Inspirational/Motivational Runner Blogs
1. The Lady Okie - She has SO many good tips and has been incredibly helpful with my questions.
2.  A Balancing Act - I have followed her blog for a LONG time and she constantly motivates me to keep after my fitness goals.
3. The Things I'm Learning - Okay, she's just a BEAST of a runner. Enough said.
4. Elle Noel - So much information on health, fitness, running. Not to mention she is the sweetest!
5. The Southern Wife - Another blog I've followed for a really long time. She's full of info and is also a certified running coach.

Four Songs I Currently Love Running To
1. Wake Me Up, Avicii
2. Roar, Katy Perry
3. Burn, Ellie Goulding
4. Yaow!, Baauer (Thanks, Kayla!)

Three Favorite Running Gear Items
1. Nike Dri-Fit socks; these definitely help prevent blisters for me, and they keep your feet as dry/fresh as possible.
2. Gaiam Dual Grip Headbands; these are the only headbands that actually hold back my bangs and don't give me a headache!
3. Under Armour Victory workout tanks; all-time favorite! I picked up one of these at the outlets a few months back and I wish I'd bought one in every color. So comfortable and breathable.

Two Upcoming Races I'm Doing
1. Shamrock Shuffle 10k - March 8th
2. Flying Pig Half Marathon - May 4th

One Running Goal This Week
1. I'm still a rookie-runner and I'm definitely building up my mileage sloooowly but surely. I'm hoping to get a 4 mile run in this week. Now, no laughing! I'll get those miles up soon! ;)
So all you runners or running "newbs" out there… what can you add to this list? Who are some of your favorite running bloggers? What songs get you running faster? Any favorite runner-gear recommendations? Goals for the week or month?

Jan 27, 2014

Like a Kid on a Snowday

This weekend was snow-filled and lazy. Just how weekends should be! Well, unless it's Spring or Summer of course, but hello?! It's January and I live in Ohio! I truly don't mind the snow quite as much when I have the option of not driving in it. Now this morning's commute was a totally different story (ugh), but at least I could enjoy Saturday and Sunday's snow from the comfort of my couch.

Friday night it was a girls-night-in at my house with Kayla while Jared spent the evening with his brother. It was night of entirely too much talking and chick flicks and we woke up to a TON of snow. Since we had no where to be and the roads weren't going to be safe for quite some time, Kayla and I stayed in pjs, watched more movies, made lists (our favorite pasttime, I'm pretty sure) and then eventually ventured outside. I made a snow angel for possibly the first time in… well, let's just say YEARS.

I really would be okay if I never saw snow again, but sometimes you just gotta' act like a kid home from school on a snowday and embrace it. Flopping down into the powdery white snow and flailing my arms and legs was a ridiculous sight, I'm sure. But you can't let an opportunity like that just pass you by! An opportunity to be a big kid and laugh at yourself is never one to skip out on. Trust me, I know.

Then, when Kayla was actually heading out and I was kicking snow around and breaking a sweat trying to make sure she'd get out of the driveway, I turn around to see the sweetest sight. Jared's uncle lives just down the street from us and he'd seen us and instantly came down with his mega-shovel to clear the driveway and help us out. It's truly a blessing living so close to him; I can't tell you how many times he's just stopped by to say hello and then ended up fixing some small drip from the kitchen sink, or lend us his tools or shovel snow! I'm so thankful for awesome family that lives close to us.
Thanks, Tom!

The rest of our weekend included finishing our taxes, paying on student loans, cooking some delicious dinners and catching up on our mountain of laundry. Very non-kid-on-a-snowday things. Being an adult really is so overrated sometimes. ;) 

Jan 23, 2014

How To Rock a Thursday

Thursday's get ZERO love. Or attention really at all. Everyone dreads the Mondays. We get into the swing of things and can make Tuesdays fly by. Wednesday we're all "Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike" and "Hump-Day" excited. Then of course there is a massive celebration once we reach Friday. So Thursday, today's post is dedicated solely to you. Today's post is all about how make the most of you and how you're really going to rock.

Start your day with a killer workout followed by a delicious protein shake.
I am slooooowly getting used to getting to the gym 1-2 times a week BEFORE work. As horrible as it is getting out of my warm bed in the morning and being slapped in the face with 2 degree weather, it's so worth it to have that workout done and over with by 7am! Not to mention the new protein powder I'm mildly obsessed with. 

Talk to connections at TicketMaster and attempt to bribe them into passing you some Katy Perry meet-and-greet tickets.
Katy Perry tickets are officially on sale for those of us superfans that have a pre-sale access code! I'm in slight freak-out mode over making the dates work for Kayla and I to see her again. I can't even explain how much fun her concert was back in 2011. It's time to see her again.

Work hard. Get a Raise.
No words necessary. Just do a dance party in your office and soak it in!

Get sidetracked and look at pictures all of the places you want to travel to.
Try not to pout when you see the price tags of trips over to Italy. Just make this photo your computer background and work harder to afford it… One day.

Use your amazing label maker.
Totally nerd out over labels, planners, stickers, color-coordinated pens and any other office supply you can get your hands on.

Have a creative streak where you write down 48 potential blog posts.
It doesn't matter if you will only end up actually using 2 of them in the next 6 months. Write them down. You do have pretty pens and markers after all! Put those to good use!

Dig out all the unhealthy recipes you promised to store away.
I mean, Super Bowl parties are NEXT weekend and there's no reason to count calories on the day you're going to be screaming, crying and laughing with the TV and all your closest friends. I saw that Brittany and Kaitlyn were hosting a Super Bowl food link-up so of course I couldn't miss out on that!
My go-to football food is one I've shared on here before, probably more than once. But it's just SO simple and SO addicting, I can't help but make it for a crowd. It's such an easy dip to double or triple-- and yes, we even quadrupled it one time. Fair warning- you won't be able to stop eating it. Hence the nickname it's been given.
So how are YOU going to make this Thursday rock?

Jan 22, 2014

Why Winter Doesn't Suck

It's really no secret that I hate winter. I don't like being cold, the snow is an annoyance, I mean what good is there right??? Tuesday morning my usual 30 minute commute took me close to TWO HOURS just because of the recent snowfall. Not to mention the twenty minutes it took for me to clean off my car to a drive-able state. Sheesh. Please, someone, anyone...remind me why in the world I live in Ohio and not some tropical beach?

Complaining about something is much easier than thinking of the positives though, isn't it? I should know, seeing as how that first paragraph took me just a few seconds to write, but now that I want to think about the positives of winter... it's taking me awhile to jot down my list. That's what today is all about, in case you hadn't guessed from my ever-so-clever blog title: Why Winter Doesn't Suck. It doesn't matter how much I complain about winter, my opinions will not make it go away faster and will not raise the temperature a single degree. So I'll try to embrace it, as gross and cold as it may be, and think positively about the good parts of this time of year.
Snow. Although I don't like being out driving in it AT ALL, it's so beautiful. Those rare weekend snowfalls, when everything just seems peaceful and fresh outside? It's gorgeous! When we got home from our friend's this past Saturday night, the snow had just started falling and it was just so calm outside. Jared and I stood out in the cold just a few minutes longer to take in the scenery and the quietness that only winter can provide. Plus, you're never too old to try to catch a snowflake or two on your tongue. Or try to guess how many animals (and what kind!) have been traipsing through your yard, leaving their tracks.
Keepin' it classy since 1987.

Warm Drinks. I'm not a coffee drinker, and not really a big tea-drinker generally either, but come winter time a good chai tea or a steaming cup of hot cocoa is such a delicious treat. Most seasons you aren't going to want to curl up with a hot cup of anything. Winter is the perfect time for that and I'm taking full advantage.
This cocoa was included in a gift basket from a client…. SO tasty!

Sweat Pants. Okay, sure you can dress in your comfiest clothes year-round, but in winter? There's really no reason to wear anything but sweat pants and hoodies when you're in your house. Plus it can hide all the extra treats you consumed over the previous holidays while you try to rid them at the gym and prior to bikini season. It doesn't matter if you've worn the same sweats 4 nights in a row! Throw them on and snuggle into your couch with as many blankets as you can.

And what better way to feel some love for winter than to ask other bloggers? I loved so many of their answers and they gave me some new reasons to appreciate the next couple of months. Sidenote- perhaps I should learn to ski and/or snowboard??



All these lovely ladies are on my sidebar and would love to meet you! ---------> Be sure to stop over and say hi and talk about your hatred love for winter ;) What are some good things YOU enjoy about these chilly months?

Jan 21, 2014

Who Needs Noodles?

Good Morning, friends! Did anyone miss me yesterday? ;) I didn't blog… simply because I didn't feel like it. And that felt good. I didn't check social media/emails/blogs until late Monday night and it was a nice, refreshing break from it all. Most of the time I don't feel the pressure to blog, but occasionally that feeling will creep up on all of us, I'm sure. Our offices were closed for MLK day so I enjoyed a day of working out, cooking, watching all of season 3 of The Office, etc. Oh, and don't ask me why in the world I get MLK day off and not Christmas Eve… or Good Friday… or New Year's Eve/Day. I don't understand it, either.

Today I've got a simple soup recipe I wanted to share with you all. I've mentioned before that Jared and I try to limit our carbs, especially in the evenings so this Chicken Noodleless Soup gives all the comfort on a cold winter day, without all the extra calories! It's loaded with vegetables and great flavor.

Here's what you'll need:
4-5 cups chicken broth
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1.5 c. cauliflower, chopped
1 small white onion chopped
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1.5 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
salt and pepper to taste
Bring your broth to a boil and then add all your chopped ingredients to it. I try to plan ahead and chop up lots of my veggies for the week in advance. Then I just measure them ahead of time and label each ziplock bag so I know which bag goes with which recipe. It's nice not to spend 30 minutes chopping every single night of the week, and just get it all done on one day.

Let the soup cook on medium for about 30 minutes or so. Just check that your chicken is fully cooked and that the veggies have the desired texture. Sidenote- everyone needs to get the 'lazy spoon and lazy ladle' by Rachael Ray they are fantastic and come in fun colors!

You may need to add a little extra water or broth to the recipe, but this is just personal preference if you want it more "soupey" or if you're okay with it being hearty and stuffed with vegetables.

Serve and enjoy! Do you have a favorite winter soup recipe? I'd love for you to share it!

Jan 17, 2014

Five Great Things

Happy Friday, friends!! I love feeling like part of the "cool crowd" now that I can say that and actually mean it. I now have actual Fridays that come with two days off after them! Not working weekends is probably the greatest feeling in the world... right up there with snuggling babies and puppies. I thought I'd keep it simple today and just share five awesome things I'm loving lately and link up over here. Sometimes posts in list format are just best!

O N E
Watching Tangled and absolutely laughing out loud over it. The horse in this movie might be my favorite ever. Yes, I'm 26 years old and enjoy Disney movies regularly.

T W O
Working out... even though it actually sucks. I don't think I'm at that point yet where I love working out. Let me rephrase that. I love the feeling afterwards once I'm drenched in sweat and calories have been burned. But, it's still a struggle for me to feel motivated to get to the gym. Once I'm there, great! Leading up to it I have no desire to go. How do you all get addicted to working out?? I need that! I did get some awesome new protein powder this week that has me excited about getting healthier: Mocha Mint flavored... bonus!

T H R E E
Making plans for girls night(s)! I haven't really had a social life in months, so it's nice to actually be able to look at a relatively open calendar and schedule in some fun time with friends.

F O U R
My precious niece. I hate that I can't see her daily or even weekly, but the pictures and videos and Skype sessions help. They always brighten my day and my sister always seems to send them at the best time.

F I V E
Going after goals! Jared and I have been making some great progress on our goals and resolutions already this year, and it feels great. Our biggest goals are of course financial ones, but we're slowly getting around to some house projects, writing goals and other personal goals as well. You might not be a fan of resolutions, but I am! I love that list being in my face day in and day out. What better way to keep yourself motivated?? Oh, and we also watched Pursuit of Happyness this week. Whew, talk about a tearjerker and an inspiration. If Will Smith can do it, so can we! ;)

What are some things you're loving this week???

Jan 16, 2014

Why I'm a Weird Blogger

So Jared captured me in my true blogging form recently, and I started to wonder if you all are weird as I am when it comes to the actual writing part of your blog. Do you have certain things you have to do, wear, listen to, eat, etc. while you blog?? Or am I the only weird one?

Now yes, occasionally I'll blog at work on my lunch break, or on super rare occasions I'll write half of a post on the tablet. For the most part though? I have to be in our office at home. I have to be in the most comfortable/ugly combination of clothes available. My Pandora station fluctuates on occasion, but mostly stays locked in on my Florence + The Machine station. I mean hello, she likes glitter and has great hair. She totally fits into the blogging world!
I, on the other hand, do not have great hair, particularly while blogging. My hair immediately must go up into the messiest tangle of a knot I can gather before I get started on a post. This hairstyle of mine is not to be confused with the official blogger knot.  I am just rockin' an Erin's-in-the-zone knot.

So my hair is up, my clothes are ten times too large, Florence is already making me feel a little trippy so the dancing certainly is what comes next. I'm not exaggerating this in any way, either. I dance my way through blog posts. Please don't stop reading since you just discovered how strange I really am, but it's true!  I am generally busting a move amidst the writing session.

And the last weird part of my blogging? The accessories. Jared has been known to walk into the office and sneak a picture or video of my get-up/dance move combination. Sometimes it's Sallie's glasses she's left here that I'm wearing and completely don't need. Sometimes it's a winter scarf (or two) because of how cold our house is. Jared's personal favorite has to be his work safety goggles that happened to be left by the keyboard one night. I mean, why not?!
Don't ask me why I feel the need to "accesorize" while I blog, but just know that it helps. Just know that these blog posts are brought to you courtesy of good music, messy hair and plastic goggles. You're welcome.

Jan 15, 2014

Sallie & Perkins Conduct an Interview

Happy New Year, frugalistas!! Okay, yes we are fifteen days into the new year, but it's our first post of 2014 so we can get away with wishing you all a Happy New Year still. We are back and more excited than ever about eliminating all our disgusting student loans. It's pretty exciting to know that this is the year we'll become debt free. We are ticking away at those payments and cannot wait to see every single balance read $0. We really can't even fathom a life without student loan payments... but it's so close and getting closer to being our reality.
So today we're conducting a little interview! We have a friend here with us today who also is passionate about paying down her debt. Katie from Clueless with Cash has been so fun getting to know over the past few months and it's always nice to talk to people who can relate. Now, we hate that anyone has debt, but we know it's a sad reality that many of us do, so we have to stick together and encourage where we can. We thought what better way than to motivate some of our readers than to give you another inside-look at a debt situation and what that gal is doing to change it for the better. 
S&P: Tell us briefly about your debt situation
Katie: I'm sitting on $60,000 worth of student loans and almost $5,000 worth of credit card debt. I was not prepared for college at all and I definitely had no idea how to manage money at 18! I took out private loans and enjoyed nice apartments, frequent shopping and eating at restaurants. After graduating, I have been working entry-level jobs for minimal pay so my credit card came in "handy" to help me afford things. I paid it all off once but this past year I moved into an apartment by myself. That was expensive! I may have also had a few sessions of retail therapy on that bill, too. Ooops! The 0% interest rate on the credit card expires in May so I plan to have that paid off by then. Then all extra income will go straight to student loans and hopefully I can watch those numbers go down! 

When did you start really focusing on your debt? Was there one certain turning point?
That's a good question. I started realizing the impact student loans would have on my life my senior year in college. I paid a tiny bit off before payments were actually due but it was chump change compared to the total bill. For years I was only able to pay the minimums thanks to a second job. 2013 was the first year I was able to pay more than the minimums and it felt great, even if it meant living with my parents for a while. I paid off $8,000 worth of debt and eliminated my smallest student loan. However, I got sick of seeing all my money disappear to debt that I took a few months off and that's when the credit card debt reared it's ugly head again. I decided to bulk up my savings, which I did, and now I'm ready to tackle debt once again. It's an exhausting marathon but I know life will be so much better without this debt!
What are your financial goals for 2014?
I want to pay off $20,000 worth of debt this year. That would eliminate my credit card balance and pay off my next smallest student loan. It's ambitious, considering I still make entry-level pay but I know it will be worth it! The spending freeze this month has been a great start!

What's your favorite money-saving tip?
Distract yourself! When you get the urge to buy something (usually something you don't really need!), distract yourself. Call a friend, cook a new meal, read a book, clean out that junk drawer or closet, anything that will keep you busy for at least an hour. Chances are, the shopping mood will pass when you put yourself in a different situation. 

Best place for a bargain?
The internet! Even if you're not shopping online, always check for coupons and discounts online before you shop! There are almost always printable promotions or coupon codes you can pull up on your phone that will save you at least a few bucks! I always check my grocery ad online before I plan my meals for the week and it's a huge saver!

So there you have it, folks. Katie, thank you for being our first interviewee, we are honored to have you. And more than that, we are honored to be partners in crime on this debt-elimination journey. We weirdly love being able to talk openly about debt and finances with other people in similar situations. Not only do we love encouraging you, but your stories and goals encourage us to keep after what we're doing and not give up, even if/when there are setbacks. Be sure to stop over at Katie's blog and say hello and give her a virtual high-five because she is gonna' rock 2014!!

Jan 14, 2014

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

I have officially found my new favorite food. This meal right here is likely going to be my take-to-work lunch almost every week. It's that good! And it's healthy and light and everything that is good in the world. Let me go ahead and formally introduce you to:  Pizza Quinoa Casserole.

The gorgeous Katie shared this recipe on her blog a few months ago and I've been wanting to try it ever since! This is the first time I've actually ever made anything with quinoa, and I won't lie it was a little intimidating. I also forgot that it kindof acts like rice and gets MUCH larger once it's cooked… sooo yeah. Use a bigger pot when you cook your quinoa - tip of the day! ;)

Here's what you'll need:
1.5 cups dry quinoa
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
3 roma tomatoes
1 cup fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella *Optional
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt 

Preheat your oven to 375. Did you know the point of preheating is so that your dish will be ready to go in when the oven's at the right temperature?? ;) I always forget to do this until I'm about 30 seconds away from needing it. PREheat it, people!

Cook your quinoa! Add 3 cups water and quinoa in a saucepan. A biggish one… quinoa expands! Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat before your quinoa spills out all over the oven. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

While that's simmering and you're paranoid about cooking it correctly, chop your onion, green pepper, tomatoes, and mince garlic. Use a pretty knife, if possible.


In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and green pepper with a little bit of salt until softened. About 10 minutes. *The original recipe found here also uses mushrooms, if you want to add those to the skillet too!

Add garlic to the skillet, stir, and heat for just another minute or two.

When your quinoa is perfectly cooked and you feel like you conquered the world, place it in a large mixing bowl. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella* (I didn't include any), sauteed vegetables (excess liquid removed), basil, and oregano. Stir that goodness up! 

Lightly spray a 9x13 inch dish, spread the goodness into the pan and gently press down. Top with a light sprinkle of cheese, if desired. I topped half with cheese for Jared, but left 'my' side without.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Drool over the amazing pizza smell coming from your oven. Inhale.
Please, do yourselves and your families and friends a favor. Save this recipe and make it as soon as possible. As often as possible! Do you ever cook with quinoa? I'd love to hear your favorite recipes that incorporate it. Although it feels a little pricey when you purchase it, one bag ($4.99 at my grocery) goes a long way.

And PS! Make sure to check our Vanessa's healthy breakfast smoothie recipes today. Who's hungry???

Jan 13, 2014

Got My Groove Back

Woo! I'm here and I've got my groove back, people. You may not be aware it was missing, but it was and it's back and it's here to stay. I had a completely work-free, plans-free and catch-up-on-life weekend. I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, hopeful, excited, creative-- you name it, I'm groovin' and 2014 better just watch it! I'm legitimately walking into my office with a pep in my step this morning!

Not only did I catch up on life, but I got my groove back in the fitness world this past week too. My work schedule in December just hadn't allowed me much time to put in at the gym. This past week I got after it at the gym... many slow, painful, wimpy workouts but I did them and that's what counts. Then I had an incredible workout Sunday where I really pushed myself and that's when I had that realization that I was back and better than ever. I've officially got 16 weeks until my first ever half marathon and I'm certainly got my work cut out for me, but I'm ready to take it on.

All that working out made me incredibly sore and fatigued… it's amazing what a few solid hours in the gym will do! So, I'll admit we spent a lot of our weekend lazying around the house in our pajama's, watching old episodes of The Office and sipping tea. I promise we are not 86 years old even though it may appear that way!
Not sure if this helps or hurts my case of not looking like the elderly, but our faves came over Saturday night which might have become the longest ever game-night in history. We started with Bananagrams early in the evening. If you have never played this game, go purchase it now. It's like individual Scrabble, but you're racing against the other players to use up all your letters first. It's a hilarious game and you get to yell weird things like "Peel!" and "Dump!" so why would you not want to play it? Also, I'll just throw this out there... but I'll challenge ANYONE to this game. I don't typically lose. Ever. 



After my opponents had had enough, we moved onto a classic game of Monopoly. Of course this game always last for hours, and of course it always comes down to the brothers at the end. Bickering about houses and hotels and money and basically getting cut-throat about winning the game. I swear, Kayla and I cannot win this game. It must be physically impossible. The guys have a monopoly on winning, literally! But we try, oh how we try! 

On a random note, I just feel like I'm smiling and radiating happiness this year so far. Maybe it's cliche, but I truly do have the overwhelming feeling of having a fresh start at the beginning of the year. I feel excited and hopeful for so many different reasons. I hope you are smiling this Monday morning :)

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