Tag Archives: Life

Virtual Drinks – August Edition

Happy Friday, friends!

If we were having virtual drinks this evening, we’d be having them at Mikette, this new French bistro on the north side of Ann Arbor and I’d gush about how excited I was to try it finally! It’s owned and operated by the same people who own the fabulous wood fire pizza place on the same block as my office as well as the Mexican street food place next door. The husband-and-wife team are really bringing unique cuisine into Ann Arbor and I appreciate it immensely. Stay tuned for a review next week!

If we were having drinks this evening, I’d tell you how excited I am to go to Denver in two weeks to see Amber, her hubby and their two pups! By the time I visit her, it’ll only be a month since she’s moved from Ann Arbor, but it seriously feels like it’s been so much longer. It’s still odd to drive by her street and not want to pop over and say hi. I imagine I’ll be creepy and do that with the new owner of her house… ;)

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I’m excited about Denver, though! It’s been a long time since I’ve been there so I know it’s changed. I have a friend from high school who lives there too so I’m hoping to maybe see her or have her meet up with us if it works out. Things on the agenda are trying to find all the fun, free things we can do! Did you know: The 13th stair on the capitol building is exactly 1 mile above sea level. PHOTO OPPORTUNITY. Other items on the agenda include going to Casa Bonita! I mean, how could you go to Denver and not go there?! Regardless, I’m so excited to see them and snuggle their dogs, hike the mountains and check out some cool breweries and restaurants!

If we were having drinks this evening, I’d tell my current music obsession is the new Carly Rae Jepsen album – Emotion Side B. It’s pretty fantastic and true CRJ electropop. There are some songs she sounds just like Madonna or Debbie Gibson. The synth is strong with this one. If you need something peppy, fun and upbeat for the weekend, play this one!

If we were having drinks this evening, I’d tell you I’m a lean, mean, reading machine this week. I’ve gone through two books and onto another that I’ll have finished tonight or tomorrow. I’ve really honed in on the whole “unplug” ritual at night and instead of being on my phone on social media in bed at night, I’m throwing that device aside and picking up a book for 1-2 hours before bed. Here are the two books I finished this week:


This book was a pretty intense psychological thriller. Not as great as every review made it out to be (in my opinion anyway), but it was gripping, at times incredibly disturbing and perverse and gave me some angry feels. It’s a quick read though – under 300 pages – so at least it didn’t drag on like some thrillers do!

I mean, people shouldn’t be so surprised that I read this book and finished it in a day. You throw the name “David Duchovny” on anything and my inner 15-year-old squeals in delight. This book was pretty good with some great dialogue and you can’t help but read it in the famous monotone voice at times! And don’t worry, it’s not super heavy on the baseball like the cover may have you think.

I also recently finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which honestly didn’t live up to the hype I was hoping for. You can read my review on Goodreads if you follow me on there, but I am glad I read it at the very least! Just lacked a little something for me. Maybe because you’re reading a screenplay and not a full-on descriptive novel? I don’t know… It was a little more mature than magical and maybe my expectations were expecting what I read when I read them 10 years ago!

And finally, if we were having drinks tonight, I’d tell you that you’d need to go home and start watching The Get Down on Netflix. It’s the new show created and directed by Baz Luhrman (genius behind Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge and Great Gatsby) and it’s a-ma-zing. It takes place in the late 70s when hip-hop was starting to come out from the Bronx and Grandmaster Flash was becoming huge. It’s got the colorful-ness Baz offers in all his productions, it’s got great music, great beats and incredible cast and character development. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already!

Come back next week for more book reviews (hopefully) and a review of the French bistro. And always, shout out and thanks to Dixya for always hosting these fun, virtual drink posts!

What book are you currently reading or would recommend?

Five Thoughts on the Last Five Years

If someone 10 years ago told me I’d end up marrying someone from my high school, I’d have laughed in their face. REB and I weren’t even really friends in high school. We had mutual friends and a mutual circle of friends, I knew he was a nice guy and not a douche like many of the people in my graduating class, but he and I weren’t actually friends at all. In fact, I had more classes with his brother than I had with him. I love how things ends up working out, though.

REB and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary tomorrow. Hard to believe it’s been 5 years. Like, no joke. It really is hard to believe! So on the eve of this blessed date, I thought back on the past five years married together!


1. Be Yourself. Be Weird.
I have seriously met my match in this department. I have been a weirdo my entire life – my sister can attest to this. And now REB can attest to it, too. I say a lot of weird things, I make up words and use them on a daily basis, have a dumb, weird shoulder dance I do, and I haven’t stopped making weird faces at cameras for photos. The fact that REB can put up with that and find it “endearing” is beyond me, but I appreciate it nonetheless. There was a night he and I were laying on the couch and I started bobbing my head forward and said “I’m a chicken”. Why? Who knows. He laughed though and knowing he can put up with my weird, random moments is a blessing to me. He has even told me he likes my weird. Things feel off we can’t kid around and laugh every day. Kindred spirit nerds. Don’t ever stop being weird around your loved ones. I know I’ll be 75 and still doing that weird shoulder dance around him if I can help it. Especially if my knees, hips and other joints allow for it.



2. Make Time For Each Other.
Easier said than done, right? I can’t stress how important this one particularly has been for us. We are on completely opposite schedules. He’s a night owl and I’m a morning/afternoon person. I work out right when I get home, he likes to decompress and work out later in the night, so often times we just do our own things for dinner. I go to bed earlier like a grandma, and he’ll stay up and come to bed later. I sometimes work longer hours and there are Saturdays that he has to work. It’s all mixed up, but one thing we absolutely try to do, is a date night once a week. Whether it’s dinner out, ordering in, watching something together, going outside for a walk with the dog, just sitting in bed talking, or even trying to go to bed at the same time. That last one sounds bad, doesn’t it? I used to get so mad he wouldn’t go to bed with me, and sometimes still do (I’m learning to let that little crap go, though), but quickly learning that if he at least comes up and sits with me and we talk about our days, it’s almost like a lullaby for me and I fall asleep. Seriously. Regardless, we make time for each other despite our busy schedules and “extracurricular activities”. This is also an excellent segue into the next point.

3. Let Go of the Small Crap.
I feel like this is a life lesson for everyone, no matter your marital status. I am still learning on this one and probably will continue to learn and iterate on it. (Oh God, I sound like my freaking scrum master now). I  used to hold grudges over the dumbest, littlest things and in the grand scheme of things….none of that matters! If there is one rule we try to live by, it’s to not go to bed angry. It doesn’t always happen, which is not great, but we at least talk about it. Communication has become key. If I can’t talk to my spouse or anyone about what is bothering me and really talk it through, that’s no bueno. I know there are things that each of us do that the other finds irritating or whatever, but the point is, don’t sweat the little stuff. Life’s too short.



4. Personal Cheerleader.
Be each others cheerleader! REB is one of my biggest supporters. I don’t even know how to thank him for the support he’s shown me while we dated, while we lived together before marriage and now being married. When I decided to change jobs, he was gung-ho about it and told me I could do anything. When I said I wanted to start up a photography business he told me he was surprised it didn’t happen sooner. When I want to take little trips on my own without him to visit friends, he encourages me to do it so I don’t lose touch with the people in my life I don’t see as much. When I told him I wanted to throw down hundreds of dollars on a personal trainer, he told me he loved the way I looked and always has, but if I want to work on form and strength, I should do it. No matter what I want to do, he’s right there cheering me. I’m returning the favor too. When he told me wanted to maybe get his PhD I told him to do it. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and if there’s one person who can do it, it’s him! When he thought about switching jobs to one that would completely change our location and lifestyle, I told him do it! If it meant he’d be happy, I want to make sure he can do it all.


5. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop the Love.
Who knows what the next five years holds, but I know the love won’t stop. We know that kids aren’t for us, so it’s just me and him for the long haul. I love that it’s just us, too. My mom once told me that I married a true gem of gems…and I used to think it was cheesy (because my mom is a super cute, traditional and superstitious Indian woman), but she’s right. He’s a gem and shines bright like a diamond and all that jazz. I’ve loved the adventures we’ve had so far, and can’t wait to see where we go next!



Virtual Drinks

If we were meeting for drinks, I’d tell you the weather in Michigan has been glorious all week! We got a nice round of snow last week and then this week it’s been in the 50s/60s and even up to 71° one day this week. And it’s supposed to be rather warm next week as well. We do have some rain, don’t get me wrong, but I welcome this breezy, mild weather with open arms.


I’m sure we’ll get a snowstorm in April before winter is really done, but I’ll enjoy this weather while I can! We MIchiganians joke that if you’re ever pissed about the weather, just wait five minutes – it’s true.

If we were meeting for drinks, I’d tell you that my current snack obsession are Quest Protein Chips.


You guys, these chips are so, so good!** I’ve been trying to eat lower carb for the past few weeks and I’m totally tracking my macros in MyFitnesssPal trying to stay around 100g carbs daily. Let me tell you, it is not easy. I know carbs are in, like, everything, but I quickly learned to make smart choices about what carbs I do want to eat. I’m happy to say that these chips totally fill my salty-snack craving. They’re only 120 calories per bag, 21g protein and only 5g carbs! I bought a variety pack from Amazon that had two bags of all 5 flavors so I was able to try all of them, but the cheddar and sour cream flavor are by far the favorite and tastiest. Now, you have to take them for what they are. They aren’t Lays Potato Chips or anything, but I think they taste great, are crunchy and like I said, they satiate my salty-snack craving and keeps me within my macros!

If we were meeting for drinks, I’d tell you that I am blown away by the photos my coworker/friend took of me recently. I hired him to take new professional head shots for me and also take a new photo for the “About Me” section of my photography website/photo Facebook page.


Photo by Dane Hillard Photography

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Photo by Dane Hillard Photography

We took the photos at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and I loved his idea to do the photos here! He has a very creative/editorial edge and I got exactly what I wanted: urban, edgy but still me. A big thank you, again, to Dane for taking some time to do this for me!

If we were meeting for drinks, I’d tell you how much I’m loving spinning. My gym offers the class once a week now (the owner’s wife is also a certified trainer and used to teach years ago). It was really hard the first two weeks, but now doing the up/downs and springs and jobs are getting much easier! My balance has gotten easier and better too. Considering the other classes I attend incorporate cardio, but aren’t strict-straight-up cardio, it’s nice to have a dedicated class for this! Plus burning between 500-700 calories in an hour doesn’t suck ;)


My partner-in-crime at most of the classes at my gym

If we were meeting for drinks, I’d tell you that we got a bit of sad news last week that REB”s maternal grandmother passed away, and we’re attending her service this weekend. It’s the thing that was “bothering me” last week for anyone who might have noticed, and it hit me kind of hard. She’s not even my grandmother, but she always treated me like family and despite having some conservative views, she never once judged REB and I for living together before our marriage, for him marrying an Indian girl or anything like that. She welcomed me with open arms, took an interest in my family and culture and was one of the most genuine, sweetest people ever.

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One of the only photos from our wedding of REB, his brother and their grandmother

She was quite elderly – 91..! – so she had an incredible life. We did know this was going to happen this year, but you can never prepare yourself emotionally for something like this. It will be sad to finally say goodbye to her on Saturday. I am just so grateful and thankful for the time we were able to have with her. For those I have told in person about this, thanks for the hugs, condolences and good thoughts! <3 xo

On a happier note, if we were meeting for drinks, I’d tell you that while the weekend might start sad or somber, it will end on a happy note. Amber and I are going to see Carly Rae Jepsen in Detroit Sunday night and I can. not. WAIT! IMG_9664

Unrelated side note…Amber – is this really the last picture we took together? This was New Years Eve. For shame.
I am almost positive that we will be Snapchatting and Instagramming photos from the concert all night long, so watch for those. I hope you all have a fun weekend!

What’s been happening for you lately?

**I was not compensated for giving this opinion or review for Quest. I bought them on my own and tried all the flavors! 



Virtual Drinks

My friend Dixya over at Food Pleasure Health does a weekly “virtual coffee date” post and I thought I’d join in on the fun and share what’s been happening with me lately.

So if we were meeting over coffee, tea (or maybe an old fashioned? ;)), I’d tell you that I’ve been cooking more!

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At least, I’ve been trying to! Aside from the chicken curry I posted about recently, I’ve been trying to make something at least 2-3 times a week. It isn’t easy. Most of the time I get home from the gym around 7:30 or 8 and REB is still working out in the basement, so we just do our own thing. And by that, I mean I make egg whites and eggs, a sweet potato and some kind of vegetable and call it good. However, this week alone I made a quick Harissa “chicken”, ramen from Pinch of Yum blog and a crustless quiche from Cookin’ Canuck.

If we were meeting over drinks, I’d tell you that REB and I have been eating our way through Detroit. We don’t usually do anything for Valentine’s Day, but since it fell on a weekend this year, and we love weekend brunch, we decided to take our food adventures down to Detroit for the day.


We finally tried The Hudson Cafe in the heart of Midtown in Detroit. The wait was almost an hour, but due to a mishap I encountered from the day before, the owner was there and had us seated immediately upon arriving. It was such a delicious meal and incredibly fast! I could see the appeal and the reason for the wait!
After brunch we headed to a a little more sketchy of an area in Detroit for what else than Valentine’s Day PIE! You all know me and my love for pie.

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I had been wanting to try Sister Pie for almost a year, but due to conflict of hours and the fact Detroit is about 45 minutes away from Ann Arbor, I hadn’t made it out there yet. I was so glad we finally stopped in.


It’s an incredibly cute shop with rotating pies each month. I will definitely be back!

If we were meeting over drinks, I’d tell you I created a new Instagram account and you all should follow it.

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I realized I might have been cluttering my Instagram account with a lot of food pictures, so I decided to separate it out! Follow along if you want to food at restaurants visited or even recipe I’ve made.

If we were meeting over drinks, I’d tell you how obsessed I’ve become with Spinning. The studio I’m a member of, that offers all the group classes I’m sure you’ve see photos from, has started a new spinning class. Before this class, I had never taken a single class. I was a road cyclist with REB mostly, so doing the continuous pedaling thing was not a natural thing for me.


I have an incredible community with the people I work out with and the instructor (who is the gym owner’s wife – that gorgeous lady next to me in the pic) is an incredible teacher. I think that and the music totally helps and in the past few weeks, things have definitely gotten easier – especially the jumps and sprints. Given I don’t do enough straight up cardio on my own, adding this once a week is a blessing. On top of the spinning and the usual classes I take there, I’ve been doing personal training with one of the trainers. It was a Christmas gift to myself and REB helped pay for it and It has been incredible! While I don’t know that i’ve lost a single pound or even inches, I know I am infinitely stronger, can push more weight and do more reps without getting tired. I’ve also noticed an improvement in my form and technique so that’s a nice takeaway for sure.

And finally if we were meeting over drinks, I’d tell you that I finished one book and started a new book! I’m slowly but surely making it towards my yearly reading goal.

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My department had to read this book as one of our yearly goals and I actually kind of liked it. It wasn’t as dry as some text books tend to be, and it really has made me think differently about my role in our organization and our department’s role. I may write a review on here about it for anyone interested in reading this for your personal or professional growth!


I am so excited to read this! Jhumpa Lahiri is one of my all-time favorite authors. I own all her books and I have loved every single one of them. My friend who works in publishing in NYC posted a picture of this book late last year before it was released and I immediately requested it at my library. I love being one of the first people to check out a new book at the library! This book is a book of essays about her life, and it was originally written in Italian, but then translated to English. I’ll be sure to update you all on how it is!

So there’s a little look at what’s been happening with me lately. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

What’s been happening with you lately?



…keeping fit with Running + Yoga + Bootcamp = Beast Mode 4-5 days a week.


Photo courtesy of Amber

…running to
I’ve been on the treadmill in our basement (which has been working out beautifully!) and it faces the TV we have down there. Except the TV is not hooked up to cable; REB is using it as a gigantic monitor for his computer (Did I mention we have like 6 different laptops or computing devices in our house already? I married a compunerd!). While I run, I stream my Vevo playlist which has become my go-to running playlist! I’ve become accustomed to knowing when a certain song starts, I should be speeding up, slowing down, sprinting, etc. It’s been great!

  • Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous
  • Deadmau5 – Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff
  • Duke Durmont – Need U 100%
  • Big Sean feat. Nicky Minaj – Dance (Ass) Remix
  • Disclosure – Voices
  • Britney Spears – Work B***h
  • Disclosure – F For You
  • Britney Spears – Womanizer
  • Afrojack feat. Spree Wilson – The Spark
  • Britney Spears – Toxic

…feeling motivated!
11 down, 9 more to go! I’ve been at the “10 pounds left” spot twice before and never accomplished it. I am determined more than ever to try to get there this time. Third time’s a charm, right?

…planning a mini vacay with REB out west this summer!
It took us a while to figure out where to go. We tackled with going back to Vermont, visiting Arches Nat’l Park (but doing that in October), San Fransisco (on my list, not so much his) or doing our big Seattle/Vancouver trip. But I think we just want a quick getaway and we’ve decided on Portland, OR! I’m pretty stoked.

…realizing I’ve had a total of four drinks since Jan 1. Whoa.

…in home improvement mode and happy because our master bedroom is almost finished!

…loving March Madness! Who’s with me? Go Green!

…obsessed with my new loose leaf tea travel mug

…still going strong with the 100 Happy Days project.

…loving my new haircut courtesy of my awesome stylist

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…proud of myself to finally be able to run continuously for 30 minutes and taking 30 seconds off my pace. 

…gearing up and putting ideas together for upcoming photo sessions with new and returning clients. I seriously can’t wait!

…more than halfway done with my reading goal for the year.

…looking forward to a weekend of fun and family.

What’s going on in your world?










I swear I still exist

I know, I know. I’ve neglected my piece of Internet for almost a month. It’s horrible, but I have a good excuse: LIFE.

Seriously. Things have been so busy lately and the blog has been the last thing on my mind. I feel so horrible for saying that, but it’s true! The thing is, so much has been going and I’ve been taking pictures. However when the day is done, the last thing I want to do is download pictures to a computer, sit down and write it all out.

I also feel bad for not giving blog love lately to all my favorite bloggers. I’ve been neglecting that as well. I apologize and send hugs to all of you!

But I will say this: I’m still here! I do still exist! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll see that I do still exist. I’ve even been neglecting the Twitterverse, too. Ugh. Just that time of the year I guess.

So real quick, here’s what’s been happening:

  • I bought a new camera body! I finally upgraded and joined the full frame club. I am now the proud owner of a Canon 5D Mark ii and I absolutely love it! Love is an understatement really. I still plan on keeping my Rebel as a backup and for the everyday (like taking pictures of food if I ever make something worth blogging about ever again. Stupid busy-ness). The 5D is really for all the sessions I book so I don’t put too much wear and tear on it.
  • Memorial Day came and went and I had a BBQ with family and friends. REB was in Vegas with his best friends for a bachelor party and I didn’t want to be alone all weekend, so I invited people over. Logical.
  • We’re past the one year mark and have been homeowners for one year! Hooray! I decided it was time to no longer have completely bare walls so I’ve started planning out where all the art prints I’ve collected throughout the years will be hung. It’s a fun process. I’ve also planned out which rooms I’ll tackle first in the decorating department so it’s a bit more of an organized process.
  • I’ve been booking more sessions, which has had me really happy! That’s also what’s been taking up so much of my time at night: editing photos! I have a few sessions lined up this summer including two more weddings! I promise, promise to share some of those pictures soon! But you all can always go check out my Facebook photo page to see the ones I’ve taken recently!
  • REB’s best friends wedding (the one he was in Vegas for the bachelor party) is at the end of June so I’ll be even more MIA while we’re in SoCal for that. I seriously can’t wait. A laid-back California wedding near wine country? Sign me up!
  • When it hasn’t been raining nonstop everyday, REB and I have been riding our bikes again! I have a goal to ride 500 miles before my 30th birthday in October, and I still have another 475 or so go to  - haha. Need to hope to it!

So even though things are busy-busy, I’m still thinking of all of you and promise to play catch up on your blogs. I hope to be a bit more “present” to update you on how the summer is going and what items I can check off the bucket list.

I hope you all have been doing well, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Liebster Award Nomination

The lovely Erica from Coffee & Quinoa nominated me for a Liebster Blogger Award. I took a peek at her site and I LOVE it. She has fun recipes that are easy, she takes beautiful photos and she’s living the good life in Salt Lake City! If you get some time, stop over to her site and show her some love.

So back to this award. She’s nominated me and I will participate and pass the love to others! Here are the guidelines:

List 11 facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions given to you.
Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
Go to each blogger’s page and let them know about the award.
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog

So here we go! Here are 11 random facts about me:

  1. I love pickles. I think they should be in their food group.
  2. I have been a vegetarian for almost 7 years and will never look back.
  3. I married a boy from my high school who I wasn’t friends with in high school.
  4. I have a beauty mark on the bottom of my left eyelid.
  5. I have one tattoo not visible to the naked eye. (and no, it’s nothing dirty or in a controversial spot)
  6. I have visited every state in the US except for Utah and Hawaii. I have more of a desire to visit Utah than visit Hawaii – hey Erica, I should come visit you!!
  7. My major in college was Journalism but now I work for a not-for-profit in IT as a QA Testing Engineer and absolutely love it.
  8. I don’t know how to change a tire.
  9. My maiden name is now my middle name because I never had a middle name.
  10. I am still afraid of the dark. As a result, ghost stories/horror movies scare the living crap out of me, but I love reading/watching them and being scared.
  11. I have very deep conversations with my corgi and I swear he understands me.

And now to answer Erica’s questions!

1. What was your first job out of college/school?
I freelanced for a paper in town, then worked as an editor for a trade publication in Metro Detroit. Journalism died right about then so I moved into technology.

2. Who would play you in a movie on your life?
Hmm, this one is tough. Only because she’s also Indian, Parminder Nagra. I dig her style and it’d be a dream to look like her ;)

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have many but the ones in particular are a). people who never use their signal while driving, b). people who interrupt me while talking and c). people who straight up lie to my face. I don’t have tolerance or patience for that.

4. If you could live in another country for a year, where would it be?
This is a hard one because I love to travel and have been lucky to see some amazing places! But honestly? I’d live on the Rue Cler in the 7th Arr. in Paris.


5. What is your first childhood memory?
Landing in the airport in Columbus, OH when I moved to the US at age 3. My dad was already working in the States at Ohio State and he picked my mom, sister and I from the airport. I didn’t recognize him.

6. What is one possession you couldn’t live without?
Three things: My wedding rings, Mr. Bear and my phone (sad, but true)

7. Beer, wine or neither?
Wine. Always wine. Or a dirty vodka martini, extra dirty ;)

8. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
Definitely an extrovert.

9. What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Every now and again, I randomly book trips to places without really thinking about it. I just want to go, so I do!

10. What is your favorite post from your own blog?
Another great question! I love the wedding and honeymoon recap posts and the one I wrote regarding the women in my family :)

11. Which was the first blog you started following?
The Pioneer Woman – not a big follower of it anymore.

Here are the questions I ask to the new nominees:

  1. What is one thing you are most looking forward to in 2013?
  2. If you could switch lives with one celebrity, which celebrity would you choose?
  3. What birthday is most memorable to you?
  4. What recipe from your childhood do you remember and love the most?
  5. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
  6. Best concert you ever went to?
  7. Have you ever met a celebrity? If so, who, when and where?
  8. Best vacation you remember when you were a kid? (under 18 years old)
  9. Favorite new hobby, activity or possession?
  10. Is there something you want to learn, but haven’t yet?
  11. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

And finally, time to share the love. I don’t know 11 bloggers unfortunately  but here are some of my faves!

  1. Amber of Amberherself
  2. Sarah of Sarah Learns
  3. Andrea of Onion in my Hair
  4. Diana of Veggie Next Door
  5. Becca of Amuse Your Bouche
  6. Parita of My Inner Shakti
  7. Emily of More than Just Dessert
  8. Soni of Soni’s Food
  9. Alexis of Pumped Pumpkin

Take a look at their blogs and leave them some love! :)

Have fun!

Here’s What’s Happening

Hello lovelies!

Well this has been quite the busy week for both REB and me. So much so, I haven’t done any of the blog posts I’ve been wanting to do, and might need to save them for this weekend.

Here’s what’s been happening!

1). Some good news! REB started his PhD classes this week! I don’t know if I ever mentioned he got accepted into the Information Systems Engineering PhD program at U of M, but he did and I’m so ridiculously proud of him. He’s been wanting to pursue this for a while now and although it will result in a lot of work and probably stress, and a few nights without him while he’s at class, it will be worth it! He’s so intelligent, smart, and he’s driven! He has a passion for learning and teaching, so I know he will rock it.

2). Me Time! As a result of his classes starting this week, for three nights he didn’t come home until 9:30 or 10 since the classes occur after he’s done with his work day. So I had three nights of ample “me-time”. It was good though! I got into a great routine: Come home from work, take care of the animals, work out in beast mode, make dinner, prepare meals for the next day, sleep early!

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Sure, I would only get to see REB for maybe a half hour before I hit the hay, but at least I get to say hi to him!

3). Caffeine-Free Par! I’m on Day 6 of no caffeine and I seriously feel amazing! I can’t believe how easy it was for me. I made the smart decision by starting on a Saturday because I don’t drink coffee or caffeine on weekends typically (unless we go out to eat or something) so I was able to knock out two days without a problem.


It’s that first work day on Monday without caffeine that kind of killed me. I realized how much I relied on that one cup of coffee I have in the morning each work day, and it was a little hard to just drink caffeine-free tea. But, now the week is almost done and I actually feel great! I wonder if I should go another week and see if it will work. I did cut out soda while I’m on this diet, so maybe it will be easy to just replace my morning cup o joe with a cup of tea instead..?

4). Dawson’s Creek. Just like I went through that whole thing with Felicity, I’m re-living the 90s with those “damn Dawson’s Rivers kids…climbing in and out of each others windows..” (name that movie). OK but seriously, I had really power through season 1. It was so bad. I’m well into Season 2 and now I can kind of see the appeal in why it’s addictive. Everyone dating everyone in the same friend circle…it’s a little weird, but damn it, I need to know more! And Dawson’s hair makes me irrationally angry.

vanderbeekwebSource of image

What also makes me angry? They don’t use Paula Cole’s song in the opening theme on Netflix. Apparently they didn’t get the rights, so it’s some horrible song sung by a woman who doesn’t know how to sing in key.

5). MFP and staying on track! I am seriously so proud of myself for getting back on track and staying on track! I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred again and also tracking everything I eat on MyFitnessPal. I’ve cut out soda and just drinking water with the occasional protein shake here and there. I will allow myself to indulge every once in a while, but I can’t let myself do that too often. That’s how I got here in the first place. My friend Michelle once told me it takes 21 days to form a habit, so here’s hoping I can stick with it for another week so this habit sinks in.

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 So it has been a crazy, busy week, but I am very much looking forward to the weekend! REB and I plan to spend some quality time together and maybe see The Hobbit (finally!), go to either the DIA (Detroit Institute of Art) or see the Lego exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum tomorrow, enjoy the unusually warm weather we will have in the mitten this weekend (55-60 degrees…?!?!), and my dear friend Amber and I will be treating our friend Sarah to a birthday brunch on Sunday! It should be a great weekend.

I hope the rest of you have an awesome weekend too!

What do you do when you get “me-time”…?

Busy Bee Weekend


Well hello everyone and a very happy Wednesday to all of you!

It’s time for another edition of What I Ate Wednesday…but in my case, it’s what I ate on Saturday of this past weekend.

OMG. Can I just tell you about this past weekend? It felt like one of the busiest but I think it’s just because it felt like all REB and I did was drive around the mitten. And we did.

The “fun” started on Friday night while REB and I were downtown having a mini-date night. We went to our favorite vegetarian restaurant, Seva, and then on our way back to the parking garage, decided to stop and get some coffee. It was there that REB realized he didn’t have his wallet.

Oh crap.

So we retraced our steps. I called up the restaurant, they said it wasn’t there but took our number down. We decided to just go to the restaurant and the people who were at the table we sat at were kind enough to let us look on the ground and helped us look around the table for it – no sign. So then he had the horrid thought that it fell off his lap as he was getting out of the car in the parking garage after he got the ticket to enter and park. Never a good sign. That thing was probably picked up by a student and was long gone. Luckily he only had a dollar in there, but he still spent the rest of the evening calling up places to cancel cards, etc. Not fun.

So if you don’t have a wallet, then you don’t have a license. If you don’t have a license, you shouldn’t be driving. And that’s hard to do when you  commute to and from work 30 minutes each day. So up and at ‘em we were early on Saturday morning to drive to one of the ONLY Secretary of State offices in the state of Michigan that’s open on Saturdays. Thanks to the horrible Terry Lynn Land, she closed many of them down. Hag. The line was atrocious but it was a 2 hour wait, and we were out of there with a temporary license for him.

After that fiasco and dealing with Michigan construction the entire drive there and back (orange is our state’s official color in the summer months – gross), I treated him to a much needed brunch pick-me-up. We went to our favorite place that does brunch, Cafe Zola. No surprise what we each ordered.

A nice half pot of chai accompanied the meal and he was instantly feeling better :) Hey, I’ll do anything to bring the smile back on my husbands face! We decided to walk around a little bit on our way back to the car and realized how peaceful and pretty the morning was.

But our thoughts were still leading to one thing: let’s get more done at the house! So a quick stop at home to change into painting clothes, and we headed to the house to finish up the second coats. We finished the second coat on our family room wall – just an accent wall in the most AMAZING color blue!

Just needs to be trimmed where the tape is covering up, and this room is good to go! We also finished up the trim on the main/formal/front room of the house (formal living and dining space) and now that room is complete!

The kitchen is also completed! A beautiful gray color in there (to match my red and white theme I have going), but I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I’ll make sure I do that soon for all you lovelies :)

Once all the painting and cleaning was done at the house, we were exhausted! We headed back to the apartment, fed the dog, showered and then ventured downtown again for some good eats. Gah. It seems like we’ve been eating out so much — I can’t wait to be in the house so I can start cooking again! We went to one of the Indian places in town that also serves South Indian food. I was having a mad craving for some dosa and totally cured that craving.

More than half of this monstrosity went home with me.

Food definitely won that night. I had two pieces of the dosa, and was done. Kind of sucks too because dosa is delicious but tastes like rubbery cardboard the next day, even when warmed up again :\ Oh well.

We walked down to the gelato place after dinner and split gelato of pistachio and chocolate frangelico.

Gelato makes me miss Italy like whoa :(

 Sunday was my father-in-law’s 60th birthday so REB and I went up to the in-laws house. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were also there. My FIL is getting his kitchen completely remodeled so we helped out and cleaned out the cabinets and moved things around so the contractors will have an easy time ripping everything out! With all of us helping, we were done in a few hours!

REB and I were even able to make it back to A2 for Sunday Funday with our favorite people! It was also the Game of Thrones Season 2 Finale (OMG! I hate cliffhangers!) After all the work we did this weekend, REB and I needed a much needed drink.

I can’t think of a better way to end the crazy-busy-but-fun-nonetheless weekend!

As always a big hug, love and thanks to the gorgeous Jenn for hosting these WIAW parties! Click on over to her site to find out to join the fun! And if you do participate, don’t forget to go to her site to link up! :)

Have you ever lost your wallet?
What fun things did you do over the weekend? 


No Couch Potatoes Allowed – A Continuing Weight Loss Journey


Hello friends!

You heard me right: no couch potatoes allowed! I’m officially trying to run again and if you haven’t already picked up on it (or read any recent Facebook statuses or tweets) I’m doing the Couch To 5K program again!

The Journey Begins…

I first tried the program about 3 years ago and never finished it. Truth be told, I just couldn’t motivate myself to finish it. I didn’t even get past week three!…Or make it to week three I should say :P

I’m determined to finish it this time though! One of the things on my bucket list for as long as I can remember is to run a race. It doesn’t have to be a marathon or Iron Man or anything (some of my friends are hardcore and I admire them so much for it!) but I do want to complete a race and feel good about it.

Let’s Back Up A Second…

I realized when I first tried the program I was a lot heavier. And when I didn’t finish it, I stopped working out all together. Not good. I know the program is designed for everyone, no matter the size. But lemme tell you, the size did matter. I couldn’t even finish the first week without feeling like I was going to die and therefore didn’t feel motivated to continue with it because it just wasn’t fun.

September 2009

Not only was my motivation at an all time low, so was my confidence.

Left: November 2010.....Right: May 2011

I guess I was naive in thinking I was heavier. I didn’t think I was and when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t really see it.  But pant sizes, shirt sizes and that scale definitely weren’t lying. I had to finally admit to myself: I’m at the biggest I’ve ever been.

Engagement Photos April 2011

I had gotten good at playing with angles: having my photo taken from the waist up, turning my chin down, standing straight forward so no curves could be seen…anything to make it seem like I wasn’t as big as I actually was.

After REB and I got our engagement photos back, that was our wake up call. It was time to get healthy. We had a short time to look good (and feel good) for our wedding and we’d be damned if our photos looked anything like our engagement photos did.

It wasn’t just about losing weight, though. It was about making healthy choices, eating better, being more active and adapting an overall healthier lifestyle. We are in our late twenties and we aren’t getting any younger. Our amazing metabolism from ten years ago was long gone and we took it for granted then, so it was time to do the 180 and make it right.

In the job I had before my current one, I was traveling every two or three weeks living in a hotel for two weeks at a time. It was so easy to eat horribly on the road and think it didn’t matter. Not anymore. The first thing I did was cut my diet in half. I started eating around 1200 calories and hated it, but I basically disciplined myself to cut out processed food, exercise (do SOMETHING every day for 30-45 min.) and drink only water. When I got home from trips, REB and I would do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred religiously and we’d bulk up on protein while maintaining a relatively low-carb diet.

By the time our wedding rolled around, he was down about 50-55 pounds and I was down about 25 and 3 pant sizes smaller. The scale wasn’t lying then and it wasn’t lying now. We both looked good. I can honestly admit that. But more importantly, we felt good, better than we had in a very long time!

I wasn’t at my ultimate goal weight (I’m still not), but I had set up small goals…and I had surpassed the first one. And even though I didn’t feel like I was the number I was, I could tell that I was toned in all the right places. There was no need to turn the chin down, stand straight, or anything.


Our honeymoon came a month and a half later and we still adapted that healthy lifestyle after our wedding. We made the conscious effort to exercise daily, eat right (eating every 2-to-2-1/2 hours equaling about 5-6 meals per day) and even on our trip although we indulged, we didn’t go crazy.

Thanksgiving 2011

Couch To 5K (Six Months Since Wedding)…

So now we come to the Couch To 5K. I felt like I could tackle this again. I’m already past the point from the last time I tried it and quit. Granted, I have gained back some weight since the wedding, I’m at least still on the healthy track! I’m about to finish up week 3 and yesterday I had a true milestone or PR of my own.

Usually I’ve been averaging about 2.25 miles when I’ve had to do the run on the treadmill (stupid rain), but I ran outside yesterday and when I was done and looked at my activity log, I couldn’t believe it!

True, my pace wasn’t that great (thanks, bum ankle), but I was scrolling through the distance-meter-chart-graph thing and at one point I was running between an 8.30- and 10-minute mile. I’m still slow and trying to figure out the pace that works best for me. It seems I start off too strong and then taper off and slow down near the end, so I want to get better about pace. But I’ve been trying to maintain good form and hopefully by the time the program is done, I’ll be better than I was during Week One! I had mapped out a run that would last at least 3.1 miles but the actual distance was something like 3.30 (had to walk home from the middle of my apt complex lol), but when the 5K training program for the day had ended, I had completed 2.78 miles! So, while I didn’t run the full distance, I continued to walk until I completed it just to get my body used to the distance.

But on my off-running days I’ve still be doing cardio and want to start up Jillian again to get my strength training back. I miss my toned arms and butt. Maybe one day my gut will disappear too…but baby steps :)

Almost One Year Later…

I think what pleases me most is that my endurance is better than ever. I don’t feel good if I don’t work out and I enjoy doing it now. I never thought I’d say those words. It’s not something I crave or anything, but I weigh out the options: do I want to feel flabby and gross, or do I want to do something active to at least help myself out? The latter usually wins.

I’ve been hovering over the same weight for a few weeks now and I’m only about 12-15 pounds away form my goal weight (well second goal weight. I still haven’t really decided if that’s going to be the ultimate goal weight or if I want to strive for something more) at this point. I’ve heard it’s always hard to lose the last ten, and I guess that’s becoming true for me. I’m not in a hurry to do it this time though. I’m trying to maintain that healthy lifestyle, cut out most of the junk in my diet, exercise daily and I know slowly the pounds will come off.

The Journey Continues…

It’s still a personal and mental struggle for me to look in the mirror and not see the girl from one year ago. I know with time that will get better, though :)

I can’t even begin to thank all of you (bloggers and readers!) out there who have similar fitness and lifestyle goals. It helps me a lot and I love reading about new workouts, recipes, power drinks, etc. that I should try. I also have to thank my friends for their constant encouragement and support!

Of course, REB. He’s on this journey with me and knowing we have those goals together makes it so much easier to work out and be healthy and do this together. He always encourages me, supports, helps me. and I don’t know what I’d do without him!

It is a continuing journey and I’m not sure it’s one that will ever end, but at least for now I’m in a happier place than I was. A place I can be proud of getting to because I really did work hard to get here.

Has your weight loss journey had its share of ups and downs?
What keeps you motivated?