A Birthday & A Serious Question

Happy Tuesday! I have two topics to discuss with you on this fine day.

– Jake’s Birthday –

I love both of my brother’s birthdays almost more than I love my own. It’s so fun to celebrate people! 17 words that describe this awesome kid:

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And 17 of the cutest pictures ever (because Jake was the cutest baby ever):

 

– Race Shirts –

In the running world, there’s a bit of an ongoing controversy. Do you wear your race shirt TO the race, or are you the kind of person who can only wear the shirt post-race? I fall into the latter category, and I have very specific reasons why!

  1. I don’t like to wear anything new on race day. I want to wear the clothes that I know fit and feel the best. This new random race shirt hasn’t had time to pass my tests yet!
    2. I spend a lot of time selecting my race outfit! Beyond feeling good while I run, putting together a race day outfit is kind of like a reward for all of my hard work.
    3. Everyone knows where we are and what race we’re running. If I wore my race shirt, I would feel like a running billboard. Plus, I might blend in with other people who decided to wear THEIR shirts! Have you ever spectated a race? It’s quite the parade and you need to wear something obvious so that you stand out to those looking out for you!
    4. If you run in your hometown, you will most likely lounge around the day after the race. If you’ve traveled to your race, you’ll most likely be traveling home. In either situation, you will want to wear something comfy and casual, and a new race shirt fits the bill. Plus, it’s a subtle way to humble brag. 😉

So which side are you on? Race in your race shirt, or save it? Share your thoughts with us here!

Hour By Hour Weekend [March]

Did you have a good weekend? Oh, you did? Me too! 🙂

This was the perfect weekend for Astleigh over at Hill Collection to bring back her Hour by Hour linkup. I knew it would be out of the ordinary and fun to document! Originally, my mom was going to come to town and spectate the Rock ‘N Roll DC race. I was planning to run the half marathon and then we were going to head out of town for the night to go to a concert. There are a long list of reasons why I didn’t run this weekend, but I still went to the expo with my friends and had a ball. 🙂

Friday

2:00 PM

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My second graders are working on huge posters for Science Week this week at school. On Thursday, they partnered up, chose a topic, and started sketching their ideas. On Friday, they were to start working on their tri-fold boards. Thank the dear Lord my mom arrived on this day to volunteer in my classroom! I almost lost my mind with the number of markers and pencils and upset children in the room haha!

6:00 PM

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We decided to head out of town a day early to go to Atlantic City, New Jersey. The sunset views that you see while driving are never as pretty in photo form! Can you spot the Washington Monument? #pinksky

7:00 PM

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Who needs dinner when you have trail mix? Especially dried pineapple. #crack

9:30 PM

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Taking pictures as if I’ve never been here before! (Spoiler: I have…every Memorial Day Weekend for many, many summers!)

10:30 PM

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You’re wrong if you say there’s anything better than a hotel bed. Just wrong. 🙂

Saturday

9:00 AM

Room service for breakfast. 🙂 I, of course, was most excited about my baby bottle of Heinz ketchup. There is no other ketchup worth eating. I had an egg white omelette with peppers, onions, and cheese! We also wanted to try the oatmeal and fruit. The oatmeal was thick, filling, and delicious.

10:00 AM

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I made the world’s worst cup of coffee ever to help get me through “wanding” my hair. I love the look but my hair is thick, so my arm is still adjusting to being held up that long haha!

11:00 AM

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Out and about in the casino! We like to stay at Bally’s, which is right on the boardwalk. Any vacation is made better when the ocean is right in eye’s view. 🙂

12:00 PM

The new Britney Spears slot machines are SO fun! I only play penny machines and I start by putting a small amount into the machine because I honestly would rather buy something with my money than gamble with it, BUT this game was worth it! I loved hearing it sing to me. Occasionally, the song “3” would start playing and then you would win 3 times whatever amount popped up on the screen. It also sang “You Drive Me Crazy” when you won free games and one of the extra bonuses was picking little potion jars, so of course it would sing “Toxic”. 🙂

1:00 PM

We headed out to the Boardwalk to walk around and noticed that EVERYONE was dressed in green. I knew that the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade was this past weekend, but I made no connection to the fact that most everyone would be celebrating since the holiday is on Thursday this week! In Atlantic City, everyone was outside waiting for the 1 o’clock parade. My mom and I found a great spot to watch from the side and I took a picture with a random monkey. Then we noticed the skywalk from Caesar’s Shops to Caesar’s Casino and figured that view might be more fun. 🙂 It was definitely soundproof way up there though!

2:00 PM

Ditched the Boardwalk for the Tanger Outlets and stopped in for a quick lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s. I’m always a fan of a salad bar. Their tortilla soup was definitely not what I was expecting, but it was spicy and delicious! We also shared their crab cakes and I have no idea what that bright orange sauce it, but it paired well with the dish.

3:00 PM

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Give me all the brightly colored pants! And all the sales. I got two sweaters and the navy floral pants on the right for $48. 🙂

4:00 PM

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Back to Bally’s! We made a quick stop at Rite Aid because I have a head cold that won’t go away, but I was ready to try my luck with the puppies. They were cute, but it wasn’t a winning machine!

5:00 PM

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One of my favorite past times is forcing a pack of Shakeology to fit into a water bottle. #saidnooneever We can call this one a win, because I only spilled a bit of powder ONCE and the rest made it into the bottle. Then I read my book and relaxed on my comfy hotel bed. 🙂

6:00 PM

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We took a taxi to the Borgata Casino and asked a random guy to take our picture because we kept taking selfies that looked identical! Instead of saying, “Sure, I’ll take your picture!”, he said, “You know that every time I do this I take like 7 pictures. Ready, here we go…” The best of his 7 came out like this. Ha!

7:00 PM

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Omg garlic butter sauce. Omg cheesy breadstick. Omg burned tongue.

8:30 PM

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In our seats at The Music Box Theater. This picture is deceiving, but I was trying to cut off the blonde girl’s head in front of me, and that part was successful. 🙂 Anyways, this place only seats 900 people so we were actually quite close to the stage and not hanging off the ceiling. My mom and my aunt love Donny Osmond and while I can’t say I share their adoration, I’ve seen him in concert two or three times now and he does put on a great show!

10:30 PM

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Donny performed his encore song, Crazy Horses! He was SO interactive with the audience the entire time. There were many people called up to stage and others who were given random backstage passes. We, of course, stuck around after the show to try to get ourselves some backstage passes, but no luck! Then my mother almost got us killed when we were getting on the Jitney (one of Atlantic City’s busses) because she cut off a huge group of people who had been waiting for the bus longer than us. In the end, we all got on the bus, but the one lady was MAD and of course my mom talked to her and told her to calm down. The other woman yelled back. I played with my phone. Hahaha

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Sunday

10:00 AM

Oops! Time change made us sleep late. Breakfast at The Corner Cafe!

11:00 AM

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Back to Britney for one last chance at luck! She wasn’t having it so I played Wheel of Fortune, a Gremlins game, the Ellen Degeneres game, and then this Quick Hit game. Ellen ran me down to $9 so this really was a last ditch attempt and I won $80 so I was quite pleased with myself. 🙂

12:00 PM

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On the road back to DC. I look back at this picture with anger because it was after the Delaware Memorial Bridge that we ran into a whole ton of traffic that we never quite recovered from. A little fog and rain will make people drive like idiots, I tell ya. 😉

1:00 PM

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Hangry and trying to remain a pleasant co-pilot by eating a tostada salad from Baja Fresh!

2:00 PM

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Ignoring the upcoming tollbooths and being a terrible copilot by taking random pictures out the car window. Ha! Sorry, mom. She eventually found the $4 she needed. 😉

3:00 PM

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Quite the beautiful day for a drive, yes???

4:00 PM

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Home, goodbyes exchanged, workout clothes on, Beachbody OnDemand fired up. I decided to preview the new 22 Minute Hard Corps because hello, 22 minutes. I should know by now these trainers don’t mess around, but I really wasn’t expecting to need a shower after this workout. Hahaha

The rest of my evening consisted of three loads of laundry, watching Fixer Upper and Grey’s Anatomy, figuring out how to eat healthy this week without making a trip to the grocery store (lol), and writing this blog post. 🙂

Bookworm Wednesday: January

I tell my students all the time that I love to read, but I’ve found in the last few months that I don’t practice what I preach. I DO love to read, I DO have a stack of books waiting to be read, and I DO scroll through Instagram and fall down the Internet rabbit hole every time I have a free moment. I learned how easy it is to survive without social media (minus my blog) when I gave it up for Lent last year, and it is one of my resolutions this year to make less social media part of my life. I have a life outside of those apps, so I need to go live it. And I’ve been doing a lot of that living thing during the holiday season, so that’s a good omen for the new year. 🙂

Today I’m talking books with Molly & Katie!

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The first book I read over the holidays was a book chosen at complete random. I have a box of books in the back of my car that I was given for free and have been meaning to take into my classroom. Since I always forget the books are there, they made the trip with me back to Pittsburgh instead of making it into my classroom in Virginia. 🙂 I was waiting (and waiting, and waiting…) to pick my brother up from work one day and I decided to go get a book to read while I waited. I did want to read, but there was also terrible service in the parking lot of my brother’s work and I was wasting a lot of data (and patience) trying to make everything load. #firstworldproblems

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ANYWAYS, I found the first book in The Babysitter’s Club series and I was so excited! I still have every single Babysitter’s Club book at my mom’s house somewhere. I loved the whole series, I loved the Super Special series that came out a little bit later, and I loved the Babysitter’s Little Sister series, too. Reading a book is like going to another world or another life for a little while, and these books were part of my little kid life. There were a lot of parts that I remembered while I was reading and then there were some character traits and events that I didn’t remember at all, so it was a fun read! And obviously a quick one since it’s written for a younger audience. 🙂

The Internet: that place you go to post way too many details about your life and make friends with people you’ve never met. Or something.  The below book was brought to me by one of my best blogging friends, Molly, who is also the co-host of this link-up. #shamelessplug

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I bought the book from the “Shop My” page on her blog and I feel very creative with my side by side picture (Molly left, me on the right). #dontmakefun #youknowyouwantto

 I purchased both Dancing Through Life and Balancing It All with my aunt in mind, because she loves Candace Cameron Bure. I kept this one for myself and gave the other to my aunt and I can’t wait to trade with her! Dancing Through Life is all about Candace’s journey on Dancing With The Stars with a lot of her faith in there, too. I am not a DWTS superfan, but it’s really interesting to read about her experience. I am especially loving reading about how she stayed close to the Lord throughout her experience because I tend to think I can handle everything on my own and I KNOW I need to pray about the situation and/or the people before I take action. I am very inspired by her confidence in herself, her faith, and surrounding herself with only the people who will lift her up. That is what I want for myself.

I feel like I cheated with the third book because I didn’t really READ it…

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Tell me you feel the same way as Rory about books?! #gilmoregirlsforever

My aunt gifted me Michael Strahan’s new biography Wake Up Happy for Christmas…but I recieved the audiobook so I could listen to it while I traveled!

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My mom told me if she listened to an audiobook, she would fall asleep. Ha! I love listening to podcasts, so I figured an audiobook would be similar and I would like it. The coolest part is that Michael is reading the book himself! I love watching Kelly and Michael when I’m home on a weekday, so hearing him talk all about his life was really fun. I listened to it while I drove back to DC and every day on the way to and from work this week…and now it’s over and I’m sad! If only Kelly Ripa would record an audiobook, too. 🙂

This really is the story of Michael’s life, but he weaves in positivity and motivation into each chapter (or phase) of his life. I had NO idea that he was one of six children, from Texas, raised in Germany, a father while he was in college, a long-distance father as his wife and kids went back to Germany, or a really amazing football player. Sure, I knew he played football and had 4 kids from two marriages, but beyond that I just knew I liked his charisma on TV! My favorite fun fact that I learned is that his brothers used to call him “Bob”…which he later learned meant “Booty on Back” because he was an overweight middle schooler. Poor guy! It gets better…he used his own money to buy a Jane Fonda VHS and worked out by himself every day after school!

I related to him a lot as he spoke of his experiences because he is a very introverted guy, but he is also very thoughtful and tries to think about how everything that happens to him can be for something good. I consider myself an introvert and an over-analyzer, so hopefully now that I’ve learned his strategies for waking up happy, I won’t just wake up and be happy…I’ll be happy all day long. 🙂

What have you been reading?!

Style Sunday [Blog-tember Challenge Day 6]

Happy Sunday!

September 6: Share your style. What fashion trends do you love, frequent, or avoid?

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This prompt initially stumped me a little bit because although I love to shop, I don’t necessarily feel like I have one particular style that I stick to…or any style for that matter. 😉 I went shopping today with my friend Kristen and I realized that I like to shop for pieces that catch my attention. If it’s just a “regular” old shirt or pair of pants, I probably will not be drawn to it. This has its positives and negatives. Positives: I wear bold patterns. Negatives: not much of my closet matches and I find myself saying ‘I have nothing to wear’ way too often!

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This pin (follow me on Pinterest here!) is a perfect example of a trend that I love and frequent. I have four or five chambray/jean shirts in my closet. All of them are necessary because they are all a little bit different. 🙂 And these shorts are comfy, have pockets, and make the outfit look put together. It’s ironic that I pinned this recently because I wore an outfit very similar to this pin to a country concert a few years ago!

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I would love if it were socially acceptable to wear running clothes in every circumstance of life. I have a huge wardrobe when it comes to workout clothes, but I truly do wear all of those pieces, so that is how I justify my problem! Ha!

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 This need to be comfy while working out translates to my “real life” clothes as well.

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I love patterned dresses that I can just throw on for an instant outfit.

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I love shorts that have a little bit of personality to them so my top half doesn’t have to be as dressed up. My stack of shorts is 90% patterned! These white shorts have hints of a silver pattern all over them, so they are super easy to wear with a plain top.

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Patterned pants are (also) where it’s at.

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I love “blouse-y” tops that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. In recent years, I have refrained from buying certain pieces unless I know I can wear them in multiple situations. For example, I have some crop tops that I love and have worn all summer, but they are not appropriate in my life a second grade teacher, so any other crop tops I see in stores will have to stay on the rack. 🙂

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And of course I love leggings. Love.

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I recently pinned the above image for inspiration to figure out just HOW my closet does in fact match! Hopefully I will be able to mix and match some pieces to create outfits I haven’t thought of myself yet. And if I can’t do that, then more shopping must be in order, right?! 🙂

One trend that I find myself avoiding is turtlenecks, whether mock or real, or anything collared. I wore too many turtlenecks as a kid to be ready for their comeback just yet! And as for the collars, I just don’t feel like I can pull them off. A trend that I LOVE but sometimes find myself avoiding is harem pants.

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They are so comfortable and I love the look, but depending on the store, they don’t always look right on me. I’m 5’9″ and the cropped style of harem pants sometimes looks a little TOO cropped on my long legs! I currently have one pair, but I’m on the lookout for more!

So tell me…what is your style like? Are you a pattern person like me, or is your closet full of more solid colors? We might have to swap pieces if that is the case! 🙂

September Blog Challenge [Late To The Party]

Today is a wonderful day in the life of me. 😉 I woke up and went for a run, there is no where that I absolutely have to be, I’m lounging around making spur of the moment plans, and it’s a 3 day weekend. What could be better!?
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I was really excited to sort of come up with a “schedule” for my blog this summer. I have had this blog since 2012 and I could never keep up with it until January of this year! I always struggled with what to write about and I feared posting after NOT posting for so long. I don’t know how I got over either of those things, but now writing on this blog is one of my favorite things to do. Since starting my new job, I feel like I haven’t found a great balance in writing this blog and reading/commenting on other blogs. I want to step up my commenting game because I love reading and connecting with those writers!
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As I was catching up with blogs today, I was reading one of my favorites and I saw that she is participating in a September challenge. I absolutely LOVE this idea, so I am jumping on the bandwagon even though it’s been happening for a few days already. You should join in, too!
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Here are the prompts if you are interested or curious about what will be coming in the next few weeks. 🙂 Read more about this challenge over on Bailey Jean’s blog!
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The Blog-tember Daily Prompts:

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Introduce yourself however you like! Pics, vlog, collage, your choice 🙂
Wednesday, Sept. 2: Describe your ideal day. Where would you go and what would you do?
Thursday, Sept. 3: Create a collage or inspiration/mood board that describes your blog.
Friday, Sept. 4: What are you passionate about?
Saturday, Sept. 5: Put your iTunes/music player on shuffle and share the first 10 songs that play.
Sunday, Sept. 6: Share your style. What fashion trends do you love, frequent, or avoid?
Monday, Sept. 7: Tell us about your blog name. Where did it come from?
Tuesday, Sept. 8: Tell us about your favorite season. Why is it your favorite and what does it say about you?
Wednesday, Sept. 9: Write a letter to sixteen-year-old you. Any advice or funny stories?
Thursday, Sept. 10: 10 items off your bucket list. If you haven’t made one, now’s a good time to start!
Friday, Sept. 11: It’s a Friday night and you decide to stay in. What do you do?
Saturday, Sept. 12: What are you up to currently? I have examples here and here.
Sunday, Sept. 13: Create a collage or inspiration/mood board for this season in your life.
Monday, Sept. 14: The 5 books that have impacted your life the most.
Tuesday, Sept. 15: What’s in your bag? Pick up your purse and peruse its contents, then share with us!
Wednesday, Sept. 16: The real you vs. the online you. Are they the same or different?
Thursday, Sept. 17: Just for fun, your latest obsession. What can you not get enough of these days?
Friday, Sept. 18: Record a VLOG! It can be about anything you’d like!
Saturday, Sept. 19: Tell us about one of the best days of your life.
Sunday, Sept. 20: It’s guilty pleasure time! Shows, books, songs, foods, whatever it may be.
Monday, Sept. 21: A favorite quote/expression and how it has impacted you.
Tuesday, Sept. 22: Get creative! Sketch, paint, dance, play music, whatever then give us a glimpse.
Wednesday, Sept. 23: Grab a guest post. Recruit a friend or fellow blogger to share on your space for the day.
Thursday, Sept. 24: Shout out five of your favorite bloggers. Who are your regular reads?
Friday, Sept. 25: Three songs you are connecting with right now.
Saturday, Sept. 26: What’s on your to-reading list, and what have you recently read? 
Sunday, Sept. 27: What’s on your wish list? Be sure to include links so we can shop too 😉
Monday, Sept. 28: A day in the life. Take us through it with you.
Tuesday, Sept. 29: Write your own list of 10 blog topics to inspire us next month.
Wednesday, Sept. 30: A farewell coffee date. Take some time to breath, sip a warm drink, and share with your new blogging buddies. If you’d like a prompt: how did the Blog-tember Challenge go for you? Any surprises? What was your favorite prompt, or what would you like to see included next time?

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I’m going to start with a quick introduction since I’m late to the party!

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I’m Kylie and I love Jesus, my little brothers (Alex and Jake), running, coffee, food (eating and baking), and my dogs.

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My family has an almost three year old Golden Retriever named Colby. He has quite the personality and since he is the baby of the family, he can be a bit spoiled. 😉 He is so lovable and playful and he LOVES sitting as close to you as humanly possible. No personal space with Colby!

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My brother, Alex, has a Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier named Amigo. He just turned two and he is the smartest dog ever! We really think that he would talk to us if he could. 😉 He literally turns his head sideways to listen to us when we are talking and he LOVES tennis balls, as seen above.

A few other things about me: I’m happiest at the beach. I love to read. I live in right outside of DC and I am about to start my first year of teaching in a second grade classroom! I’m also finishing grad school at UMD and attempting to have a social life while I do so;) so I feel like this blog gives me time to relax and be creative. 🙂

NOW for Saturday’s post!

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Saturday, Sept. 5: Put your iTunes/music player on shuffle and share the first 10 songs that play.

This is going to be fun. I have a very random taste in music. When I say “I like it all”, I am being totally serious. Let’s see what shuffle comes up with!

Insomnia – Audien feat. Parson James

I’m not a huge fan of EDM (even though I said I love everything), but I love songs that sing a little bit and then break down a little bit. Is that the right terminology for what happens in this song?! Haha! I have never heard of these artists before but the singer’s voice is very familiar to me. I can’t figure out who it reminds me of!

Sorry 4 The Wait – Lil Wayne

This song is a very bad representation of me *insert monkey with hands over his eyes emoji* Sometimes, I am just in the mood to listen to rap…but I can’t remember the last time I listened to this song and as it played this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how often I heard swear words! I’m ashamed of my younger self haha!

The Girl’s A Straight Up Hustler – All Time Low

This band reminds me of freshman and sophomore year of high school. My friends and I loved listening to bands that “no one” else listened to. I may have even rocked some shirts from Hot Topic (the only store that sold shirts with these artists on them) and that is about as far away from my fashion sense as we can get! I don’t claim to be a fashionista, but I’m definitely more preppy. One of my best friends in high school loved this song and I don’t remember it being one of my favorites, but I have the whole album in iTunes, so thanks for the memories, shuffle. 🙂

I’ll Be There – Mac Miller feat. Phonte

I’m from Pittsburgh, so of course I have some “hometown” artists in my music library like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller;) These songs are always agreed upon in the car with my brothers. They like rap music that I can’t even begin to understand or decipher, but we can all agree on and appreciate some Mac Miller or Wiz. And to be honest, I really like both of those artists myself! They are a little less vulgar than the Lil Wayne song mentioned above. 🙂

Every Other Time – LFO

Omg. I had a CD called “Totally Hits 2001” and that’s how this song ended up in my library. VIVID memories of singing this song and rearranging the furniture in my room when I was 10 or 11 years old. I associate songs with the weirdest memories!

1994 – Jason Aldean

During the summers of 2013 and 2014, I bought the Country Megaticket in Pittsburgh. This meant I had lawn seats to see 8 different country concerts all summer long. It was so much fun! The summer of 2014, Jason Aldean actually played at PNC Park instead of the outdoor amphitheater where the other concerts were. Our seats were way up in the heavens because we had cheap tickets from the Megaticket, but this concert was way too much fun. It was me, my cousin CJ, and two of my best friends. We ate tailgated, met up with a bunch of different groups of friends who were also having tailgates, got rained on during the concert, and went out for pizza after the concert. It was the best! Julianne and I still joke about who the heck”Joe Diffie” is. We have obviously Google-ed him, but that’s the name Jason Aldean mentions in this song several times and we find it so funny!

Let Her Go – Passenger

Courtesy of the chill station on Pandora I reserve for the hours of 8-10 PM before I go to bed. 🙂

Just Can’t Get Enough – Black Eyed Peas

Just fun. 🙂

Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band

This reminds me of summer and my mom! She loves this song!

Feel So Close Remix – Calvin Harris feat. Benny Benassi

I’m a certified Spinning instructor so I like popular songs that are a little bit longer than radio edits because they work better during transitions and such in class! “Feel So Close” was my JAM in college!

Hour By Hour Weekend [July]

There are a lot of fun connections to be made in blog land and I love “getting to know” the people behind the blogs that I read! Astleigh, who writes over at Hill Collection, wrote a post a few weeks ago called Hour by Hour and she decided to start a link-up just for that! So without further ado, I present my weekend recap for you…pretty much by the hour, but there may have been a few times that I plain ol’ forgot! Either way, it’s a weekend in lots of pictures that I might not have otherwise taken…and honestly, looking back, it made me realize the little moments that I loved each day!

Bless your heart if you make it all the way to the bottom of this post. 😉

FRIDAY

10:00 AM

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After reading my Bible, sending some work emails, and doing yoga, my weekend began. 😉 But first, I had to tackle this mountain of clean laundry. The last three loads of laundry that I have taken out of the dryer have been shoved into the laundry basket in my bathroom, and then I promptly put the lid on the basket so I don’t have to see the unfolded clothes. Ha! If I left the pile on my bed or the floor, I would fold it in that instant. Hiding it in the laundry basket got me out of folding for awhile, but with vacation and a move coming up, today was the day to get organized!

11:00

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Still organizing…and I came across the books that were gifted to me by my mom last weekend as congratulations for my new teaching job! So I spent some time drinking coffee and reading two of my old favorites (Corduroy and The Giving Tree) and one new favorite (The Crayons)!

12:00

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Cooked an spinach and cheese egg white omelette and some cinnamon oatmeal. Read some blogs and packed my pool bag for the afternoon!

2:00

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Drinking a shake and getting some sun. My happy place. 🙂

3:00

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Gazing at the Washington Monument and planes taking off from Reagan National Airport from my pool lounge chair…

4:00 (ish)

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I parked in a spot right outside of Kristen’s building and paid the meter for the maximum time of two hours. I pay through an app on my phone which is so much more convenient than having extra coins everywhere I go! Usually, if I am staying somewhere longer than two hours, I watch this clock until it runs out and then hurry up and retype my information. I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules, but hey, it works! Of course, on this day, it would not let me re-enter my information because it KNEW I was trying to stay longer than two hours. How dare it make me get up and move my car to another space. Life is hard.

5:00

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Got enough sun so we went inside. Definition of a true friend: the one who lets you lounge on their couch and eat their Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter ice cream. I can’t wait to move 4 blocks away from this gal. 😉

6:00

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If you are planning on moving to DC, consider traffic a normal part of every day.

7:00

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Time to eat dinner in front of the TV because my roommate is on vacation and I live alone this week so no one can judge me. 😉 I watched What Not To Wear with a side of chicken, yellow pepper, and sweet potato nachos with salsa and shredded cheese.

9:00

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Yes, I am comfortably reading in bed on Friday night at 9 PM. #turndownforwhat

SATURDAY

6:30 AM

Alarm rings. I hit snooze.

7:30

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Text Kristen. We exchange details about the rainy weather and discuss whether or not we should still go for our long run. I sent her this photo and said she had 18 miles (the distance from my apartment to her apartment) to get out of her warm comfy bed and get ready to run. 🙂

8:30

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1.2 miles into our run and this girl is having blister/Band-Aid issues. Sidenote: my iPhone was in a Ziploc because it was still sprinkling rain, hence the blurry photo. Safety first. 😉

9:30

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Spotted: off-the-beaten-path statues. Also: selfies because there is only 1.5 miles left in this 8 mile run!

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Before we got on the Metro, we took a little stretch break at The Washington Monument. This felt AMAZING post-run. A runner ran past us and said, “Hey! Good idea!” A family of four looked at us and said, “Hey! Great photo op!” We are so inspirational. Ha!

10:30

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Guarded my car (and expired parking meter) while Kristen ran upstairs to her apartment to get my car key! #avoidalltheparkingtickets

11:30

Took a shower and got ready for brunch and the mall. 🙂

12:30

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Ordered a new-to-me drink at Starbucks and wandered around the mall looking for our restaurant. Tall skinny iced mocha = exactly like chocolate milk but with coffee. YUM!

1:30

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Kristen and I ate brunch at Founding Farmers. It’s a buffet style restaurant that serves “fresh American farm food” and I have been to (and loved!) their sister restaurant, Farmers Fishers Bakers, so I knew I was in for a delicious meal! I tried a piece of French toast, a blueberry pancake, a egg and sausage scramble, spinach salad, and focaccia bread with cheese spread. I l.o.v.e. their cheese spread. 😉

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Dessert time! At this restaurant, as well as at Farmers Fishers Bakers, there is a dessert bar in addition to the traveling plates that come right to your table. When someone walks past with a tray of samples, you just can’t say no! Some of the traveling plates on this day were fried shrimp and sushi. This was a creme-filled donut and a fluffer-nutter bite! Let it be known that before my 8 mile run I ate a banana and so this brunch was covering breakfast, lunch, and post-long run hunger. Ha!

2:30

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Shopping at the mall. Just your regular Tesla store. No big deal. I sent this picture to my little brother…he loves all things cars. These cars sell for easily $100,000 each so it definitely seemed like a random store to have in the mall haha!

3:30

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Sending pictures of desks to my Dad. In three weeks, I’m moving from a furnished apartment to an unfurnished apartment. I have furniture in storage in Pittsburgh from the apartment I lived in during the last two years of college, but I don’t want to sleep in a twin bed anymore (can you blame me?!) and my desk was shaky and not put together very well so I need a new one. My Dad has so kindly offered to buy me a desk and I decided to send him a picture of one that I thought was PERFECT!

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For $1099. Hahaha! He answered my text by saying “Sarcasm, right?!” and then immediately called me. Of course I was just messing with him, but it is a really nice desk. 😉

4:30

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At the candy store because that sounds like a hearty dinner, right? I got lots of sour gummies and some treats as “extras” for my Dad and brother’s birthday gifts. The store was called Lolli and Pops and it was really fun! The workers were dressed as old-fashioned candy makers, hats and all, and there were so many different brands of chocolate and candy from countries all over the world!

5:30

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I discovered the Health app on my iPhone actually DOES something…like tell me how many steps I have taken in a day! So fun! This was obviously not an ordinary day because I ran 8 miles and then walked all over the mall, but it was still a cool feature to find!

6:30

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I went to Arlington Nutrition Corner to buy chocolate PB2 and peanut butter PB2 and on the walk back to Kristen’s apartment, Buzz Bakery caught our eye because it’s right downstairs, so we tried a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcake and an Apple Fritter. Because you know, we didn’t have enough junk food today or anything. In reality, we like to just taste everything that we eat…not actually eat the entire serving. So that makes it okay. 😉 Kristen didn’t like the cupcake because the cookie on top was an oatmeal raisin cookie and she hates raisins! I tasted the icing but it wasn’t anything great. The Apple Fritter was warmed in the oven before it was given to us so it was SOOO good!

7:30

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A repeat of Friday’s picture because I literally laid in the same spot on Kristen’s couch and played with my phone…

8:30

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Kristen’s roommate came home and we decided to eat dinner on the their rooftop deck. We walked to Sweet Leaf and got gigantic salads because HELLO VEGETABLES! There were so many people hanging out with friends on the roof this night…it was loud but fun and relaxing because look at this view. 🙂

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Home in bed after a long but fun day! I finished the book I was reading on Friday night…but I purchased it at Half Price Books so that means someone else owned it before I did. And they left their to-do list on this page!

SUNDAY

7:30 AM

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Reading my Bible and writing some of the verses from Jesus Calling in my journal. I always write ones that stand out to me, even if they are long, and then write little notes next to them about why it was so meaningful to me that day. This picture is the verses, not my notes.

8:30

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Walking down the street feeling thankful for where I live and the church home that I have found here. 🙂

9:30

I served in the nursery this morning with three others and we watch babies that are about 6 months to 18 months old. It depends on the week! On this day, there were four adults and four babies so it was pretty perfect! No pictures because 1) I was preoccupied and 2) I don’t know if it’s allowed ha!

10:30

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…or a few minutes before! The second service starts at 10:30 and this was the countdown on the screen to let everyone know how much time they had left to mingle, get coffee, and find a seat!

11:30

Snuck out of church after the last prayer but before the last song so that I could get to a lunch meeting on time! I felt so bad!

12:30

Ate lunch at Earl’s Sandwiches with my future roommate and the owners of our apartment…aka her parents. 🙂 We talked lease agreement terms and just got to know one another! I like that we are renting from someone we (or she) know(s). Obviously I just met them, but it’s nice to know they will be around if anything goes wrong! They are super nice. Also, my Southwestern Breakfast Burrito was delicious.

1:30

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Furniture shopping only sounds fun if you don’t HAVE to do it.

2:30

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My friend Shannon baked blueberry quinoa muffins and gave me one at church! I saved it until I needed a pick-me-up. That time was now. 🙂

3:30

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Grocery shopping to take my furniture shopping blues away. Ha! I love grocery shopping. It soothes my soul. I am not even being dramatic! I was at a Trader Joe’s that I don’t usually shop at and they didn’t have egg whites. I was shocked and kind of annoyed because now I have to make another stop. Oh, well. Anyways, Kelly talked about this dip last week and I knew I had to pick it up! It is just as good as she proclaimed it to be! Funny story: I was picking out a bottle of wine when I noticed the one Trader Joe’s employee giving out samples of different bottles of wine so of course I walked over and got in line. Even with wine in my cart, he carded me before he gave me a sample. #babyfaceforever

4:30

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Got my life in order because this four week summer class is rocking my world. I NEED A BREAK! Molly, I need one of your “stop wishing for one day” pep talks. Thank you 🙂

5:30

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That moment when you’re not really hungry but you don’t want to do what you actually have to do so you put it off by saying “it’s dinner time”. No? You don’t do that? Only me?

I was really excited to try this Eggplant & Zucchini mix from Trader Joe’s! I cooked turkey meatballs and these vegetables, added some sauce and cheese, and called it eggplant parm. I even have leftovers. Best dinner ever.

6:30

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Online shopped for desks because I swear they do not exist in furniture stores. For real. I dare you to go to a furniture store and find me a good desk. One that actually has space for me to put things…one that isn’t just a flat table calling itself a desk. Now opinion time: can I pull this desk off? Will it get too cluttered? Thoughts? Are you even still reading this? Ha! #longestpostever

7:30

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The definition of summer class: reading on my iPad, taking notes on my laptop, drinking sparkling water and pretending it’s an adult beverage. 😉 I like ICE sparkling water and this one is Fresca. Do you have any favorites?!

8:30

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Did a happy dance and uploaded some assignments for my class!

9:30

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Funniest pictures of my dog ever. In my head, this is what he’s saying –> “But MOOOOOM I don’t WANNA wear the pink lei necklace!”

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Amigo was just embarrassed.

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“Don’t look at me.”

10:30

Had an actual heart attack because I accidentally closed this tab and I thought the whole blog post disappeared. Have no fear, it’s still here. Lucky you. 😉

11:30

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Goodnight, world.
(I am not at home with my dogs…I just make my mom send pictures of them to me constantly. Ha!)

How was your weekend?!

Liebster Award + About Me

Well, it appears that I have been nominated for The Liebster Award by one of favorite blog friends, Molly

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Seriously, how cute is she?! She just celebrated her birthday a few months ago, so don’t worry…she doesn’t walk around double fisting on the regular. 😉 Check out her blog, Colors of Life, here! I just love reading her posts.

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The Liebster Award (PS…my Mac keeps trying to autocorrect that word to “Lobster”) is kind of like a chain letter! You earn the honor and pass it on to others. It’s a way for bloggers to connect and get to know one another. No one is really sure how it started, so there are a bunch of different “rules” floating around the blog world! I’m going to follow Molly’s lead and answer the 10 questions she has for me…then I will think of 10 new questions and tag some other lucky bloggers. 🙂

Molly’s Questions:

What is a “color” of your life and why? (Interpret to your own meaning, look at my list if you need to!)

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A color of my life is definitely my health. I had two random, unexplained seizures in high school due to lack of sleep which is not something especially convenient for a high school and then college student. My life had to change because of that. I started running for all the right reasons, and then I went through a season of life where I ran for all the wrong reasons. I tried to create a healthier diet for myself, but ultimately I ended up very unhealthy. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs related to my health, some that I can control and some that I cannot, and now I am finally at a point where I just want to be the healthiest I can be. Body image is a whole other story. But I just want to be healthy and happy. A longer post for another day. 🙂

If I were to ask one person 7 questions about you that they had to answer all correctly, who would it be?

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My mom and/or my best friend Johna!

How’d you come up with the name for your blog?

My blog name is just my name…you just can’t beat the creativity! In a way it is kind of fitting since I write about my life, but I do want to have a legit name sometime soon. I have tried to consistently blog for the past 3 years and 2015 is the only year I have been successful, so blog name TBD. 🙂

Where did you go to college/what was your major?

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I went to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA for undergrad. I am originally from Pittsburgh but I live 25 minutes outside of the city in the suburbs, so it was really fun to actually live IN the city! Then I felt like I was in a new world, but my old world was still right there. Ha! I made so many good friends at Duquesne. Oh, and I got my Bachelor’s degree in Early Level Education;)

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 Now I am at the University of Maryland to get my Master’s as a Reading Specialist! I only have a few classes left to take next year and I am so excited to be all done with school. I love school…obviously, since I’m going to be a teacher…but I’m ready for what’s next. Everyone tells me to stay in school for as long as I can but I’m coming for ya, real world!

How did you get your name?

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 I’m the oldest of three and my parents decided they did not want to find out if they were having a boy or a girl! Their choices for a boy were Alexander Newton (my brother’s name) or Kyle Jeffrey and their choices for a girl were Rebecca or Valerie…ultimately they chose none of the above. 🙂 I guess you could say they went with Kyle and changed it to fit a baby girl! They told me that they picked Kylie because it was unique and they couldn’t agree on many others. Ha! My middle name is Elizabeth which is a variation of my great-grandmother’s name, Beatrice.

What cheers you up when you’re having a bad day?

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I like to go running. I like to drive. I actually really like to talk about my problems…aren’t my friends and family so lucky;) And there are a few artists that I just LOVE. You know how you hear a really great song and then when you listen to the rest of that artist’s album, you’re just not as impressed? I love Florence + the Machine, Lana del Rey, and Lorde. I can listen to all of their songs at any time. That makes me happy. 🙂

Morning person or night owl?

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I am 100% a morning person. The perfect time to wake up is 7 AM. Seriously! I can’t stay up late because I get migraines but I really do like waking up early and taking my time in the morning. I used to wake up and run every morning and even though I don’t always work out right away anymore, I still like to be awake. 🙂

If you had to be trapped in a TV show for an entire month, which show would you pick? And what would be your role?

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Do I really have to pick?! I am struggling. My initial reaction is to be stuck in Stars Hollow with Lorelai and Rory. I would be friends with Rory…she has a small circle of friends, but I think I would fit in;) I have this entire series on DVD and it’s just my favorite. I can watch any of these episodes at any time and just feel right at home. 🙂

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On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in NYC with Chuck and Blair and Serena and Nate and Dan! I tried to read a few of the Gossip Girl books when I was younger and I never got into them. I liked The Clique series better for some reason. Then Gossip Girl started on TV and I still didn’t watch! This fall, I watched the whole series from start to finish on Netflix. I didn’t realize the sixth season only had 10 episodes so I didn’t realize that the 10th episode was actually the LAST ONE EVER…I almost cried. They became my friends. Hahaha

If you are a Gossip Girl fan, can we please take a moment. I had no idea Chuck had an English accent and I die every time I watch this video. ❤

If you could wake up in the body of someone else tomorrow, who would you pick and what would you do?

I would want to be the editor of a magazine…either lifestyle or fitness or running related…somewhere in a big city. I like cities.

What is your weirdest quirk?

Direct quote from my best friend: “The quantity of containers you carry.”

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On any given day that I work or have class, I am usually carrying my water bottle, a coffee cup, and a Shakeology shaker…I might also have a bottle of peach mango sparkling water. I also usually have at least two Tupperware containers and a few Ziplocs with snacks. A girl has to be prepared when she is gone all day! Tuesdays are the worst because I teach PiYo in the evening so I also have to carry around my yoga mat. Don’t worry, I downsize when I’m going shopping or out with friends. Then it’s just one water bottle and one snack. Hahaha

Now I will nominate…

…and the questions I have for YOU are the following:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What is your favorite workout, if any? I like to run, but I know that’s not for everyone;)
  4. What is your favorite late night snack?
  5. Describe your idea of the perfect day.
  6. What are three things you never leave home without?
  7. Would you rather live in a small town or a busy city?
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  9. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
  10. What is one quality that you admire in other people?

What I’ve Been Eating Wednesday: Recipe Club Edition

Hi. My name is Kylie and I am a serial snacker. Yes, that’s right, I love me some snacks. And I bet you do too. 😉

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On Wednesdays, I usually share what I’ve been eating recently…but I’ve been a huge slacker in the picture department so I’m linking up with Andrea to share an oldie but goodie…no bake energy balls!

When it comes to cooking, I have two major beliefs. Number one: everyone knows how to cook. If you know how to follow directions (aka a recipe), then you are a chef to me! Number two: it must be easy and it must not include 9,472 ingredients that no one has in their pantry. Do you hear me, Pinterest? I don’t have the grocery store’s entire spice section in my kitchen! I will admit to frequently omitting ingredients…especially when only a teaspoon is called for. This may not be the best method, but it’s part of my method…which is that cooking and baking should be simple. Fewer ingredients is better and easy assembly is where it’s at!

Exhibit A:

My usual omelette…

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…because you throw things in a frying pan and let it go. And it still looks pretty and tastes delicious no matter what!

Pinterest goes through phases where I swear I see similar recipes pinned over and over again and then they seem to fade away. A few years ago, I found a recipe for energy balls and I’m pretty sure that my mom and I have made these at least twice a month ever since! In our family, this Pinterest trend stuck around. 😉

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This is the Pinterest image I originally found and pinned to my “Healthy Is Happy” board. Follow me!

This little snack tastes like a mini chocolate chip cookie with a little extra sweetness because of the coconut. It’s right up my alley because you mix everything in a bowl, roll it up, and put them in the fridge. I mean, come on. What could be easier?!

Here is what you need:

1 cup oatmeal
½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
⅓ cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
½ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Once you have combined all the ingredients, use a spoon to “measure” a little bit of “batter” and roll it into a ball. Put the rolled energy balls on a cookie sheet or in a container and store them in the fridge. 🙂

You can call me out on the ground flaxseed. I know it’s not an ingredient that everyone has on hand and I honestly never purchased it until we made this, but now there’s always a bag with our baking ingredients!

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Our first successful batch!

We made these before going on our annual girls’ trip to Atlantic City and they were the perfect snack for the car and for the beach! Plus, it always helps to know that you’re eating something healthy on vacation. At first, my mom pinned this recipe, too…then she grew to love it so much that she wrote it on a little index card and put it in the cabinet with all our baking ingredients. Now I’m pretty sure she could make it with her eyes shut, but I don’t want to call her out. 😉 I’ll just say that’s a testimony to how good they are!

Sidenote: I recently tried a vanilla energy ball recipe recommended by The Beachbody Blog. It’s also a simple recipe, but it calls for almond flour…which I don’t keep on hand in my kitchen. So in true Kylie fashion, I skipped it. Let’s just say the end product wasn’t as good as it could have been. 😉

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Happy snacking!!!

Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down On Friday

Hands in the air like you just don’t care! It’s Friday and there are nine whole days until I have school responsibilities again! The freedom begins at noon today. I can’t wait! I am going home and it’s going to be a glorious week of relaxing with my family and my dogs.

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As usual, I’m linking up with some of my favorite bloggers for Friday Favorites. 🙂 Check out Andrea, Narci, and Erika‘s blogs! They’re such fun ladies.

This week was interesting. It felt hard because we had two snow days at the end of last week so after a four day weekend, it was hard to get back into the swing of things. I can’t believe we were buried under 8 inches of snow just seven days ago because it has been sixty degrees every day this week! No complaints but the end of winter sure brings some craziness. Then there was the countdown until more days off…and there were midterms.

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I would love to say that most of last weekend looked like this…but I’m honestly really bad at studying. I love school and I love learning but as an Education major, in both undergrad and grad school, I’ve had to do more project-making and paper-writing than I have actual studying. Sitting down to study for Statistics was not my favorite activity but I actually think I did well!

And I rewarded myself for studying with a little Target time. I deserved it.

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And I deserved these. SPRING!

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During church, I like to take notes. I write down random ideas and verses that are meaningful…I like stuff like that and so that’s what I do during church. It’s just my thing. But last weekend, I was so distracted during the service. I was hungry, which is a terrible reason for being distracted, but I was looking back at my notes earlier this week and I have no idea what I was writing. Hahaha

Anyways, as I was walking back to my car after church, I walked past a sandwich shop that looked like they had dessert. I figured I would grab a muffin or biscotti or something to hold me over until I got home. When I walked in, I smelled bread. And I forgot about dessert. So I purchased this pesto asiago bread and never looked back. I never eat bread (I just prefer other things) but this was one of my favorite impulse purchases;)

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And then my roommate made us chicken sandwiches with peppers and onions and the wonderful bread. What a girl.

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The way mail gets delivered around here makes no sense but I finally got my packages in the mail yesterday and I was so excited. Getting mail of any kind is my favorite. Seriously, you can have my address and I’ll be waiting downstairs for your letter. 🙂 I ordered peanut butter and syrup from Amazon because I only spend my money in the wisest of ways.

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Speaking of priorities…running has been way up there lately. You know that I love to run, but I’m training right now, so I really have to love it;) I wrote about my struggle of a run the other day and then I was looking back at the pictures I took while I was running and I realized…running really is my favorite and so is this campus.

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Because this campus is so big, even if I take the bus, I still have to walk outside at some point. So when it rains, umbrellas are necessary. Everyone keeps saying they prefer rain to snow, but why do they say that? I know snow means cold but rain just bugs me. It is wet and cold and annoying in my humble opinion. 🙂 I had a brief moment of panic this week when I went to get my umbrella because it was missing. I had to use my back up umbrella! (The horror!) The back up umbrella gives into the wind and will occasionally flip inside out while in use. Not helpful when it’s raining. The missing umbrella does its job perfectly which is why it’s my favorite. Not in my apartment, not in my cubicle at The Writing Center, not in my research office, not in the staff lounge at the gym…

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But it was at my desk in The Writing Center’s other location at the library:) #win

Luckily by Wednesday night, the rain had disappeared and the sun was shining! On Wednesdays, I meet up with a group of people from my church to run and eat and chat about all the good things in life. We pick a different route and eat at a different restaurant/someone’s house each week so it’s always fun because it’s always changing! The people that I run with are my favorite people ever. I am so lucky that I found a church that I love with people like these!

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And Capitol Hill is beautiful.

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Two of my favorite stores are honestly TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. I feel like I always find something! My latest find were these coconut macaroons. They are 100 calories and so, so tasty!

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I had one with apple cinnamon tea after dinner on Thursday. 🙂

And finally…a confession. Sometimes I am so cranky that I actually annoy myself. Do you ever feel like that? No? Maybe that’s just me. I just know that even though I am feeling stressed or upset, there is another part of my brain telling me to stop being crazy. But sometimes the crazy cannot be stopped. Hahaha
SO, on my way to class, I stopped and got coffee. Because coffee is more appropriate in class than wine. And wine felt like it was needed yesterday. I have no idea why I couldn’t snap out of my funk!

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Tall black coffee with one shot of sugar free vanilla and one Splenda. My favorite. And it cheered me right up;)

I love where I live. The sky!!! God is good.

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Happiest of Fridays to YOU and I hope your weekend is fabulous!