Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday: Week 2

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Hi gang!

Thank you so much for the positive feedback last week when I launched this weekly series. It gave me the extra boost to keep it going! If you ever have ideas for me, I'm all ears!

Let's get started, shall we?

First of all, I tried another Pinterest workout this week! I'm stacking them up like crazy on my Motivation Pinterest Board, so I will have plenty to share in the coming weeks.
(But again, please keep in mind what I said last time about my lack of official qualifications!)

Here's the workout I tried this week:


Gang. This is AWESOME.

How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to the squats for a little extra kick in the rear.
How I modified: as much as I pride myself in doing pushups without going on my knees, I unfortunately had to do that for this circuit.
New goal: 50 pushups in a row, no stopping, not on my knees!!! Who's with me?!?
Overall impression: Killer! And it was over in no time - maybe 20ish minutes? It was great!
Sweat-factor: On a scale from 1-10, (10 meaning that I look like I just got out of the shower) I was a 10 for sure!
How I felt when it was over: Fantastic and happily sore!
Would I do it again? Of course! How else will I meet that new goal of mine?!? :)

Weekly recipe:
We have been craving pork chops lately and consulted our absolute favorite food website, skinny, for ideas. This recipe popped up and our mouths started to water. We will be making this in the next week for sure!
Did any of you try the recipe from last week? It's one of our favorites!

Weekly wellness motivation:

Weekly wellness sass:

Have a good one!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Well hey there!
I sure do have a story for you today.
But first, some background.

I have kept my eye on Groupons lately because I have been really craving a massage. 
Unfortunately massages can be pretty pricey and I never indulge.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw a Groupon offer in my neighborhood for a 30-minute reflexology massage for $18! Plus, Groupon had 15% off throughout the site today (and tomorrow!), so I figured I'd give it a shot. Reflexology is new to me, but for $15 I could give it a go.

I made an appointment for today at 5:30 after work and was very excited all day.
Surely relief was on the way! 

Well, this place was...interesting.

I have had maybe three massages in my day. Each were lovely and were in my own room with glorious and peaceful music playing perfectly in the air.

There were no private rooms.
There were no screens or drapes.

At least the lights were dim.

Because I was NEXT TO strangers the whole time!
Am I getting a pedicure or am I getting a massage?

Also, of course I clunk and stomp right into the room without knowing it was a public space, and my bags and bangles clink and clank all the way to my public table for my public massage.

"Well, if these people can do it, I sure can," I huffed. "At least I didn't pay full price."
Besides, it's not a real massage - I wasn't getting undressed in any way.
However, my skinny jeans were a little difficult to hike up for the foot massage part.
Clearly I did not consider my outfit when I made my appointment for this public massage.

Finally I sit down and get comfy. Publicly.

"This is quite comfortable! I think I might enjoy this!"

(Slap slap slap slap) goes the patron to my right.

"Why on earth is the lady smacking his arm?" 
Luckily mine was head and neck for 10 minutes and feet for 20. No smacks for me! Yippee!

For the rest of this post there are no quotes, but this is what went through my head:

OK, this guy is touching my head. And my neck. And now he's pulling and turning my head and OH MY GOSH THAT HURTS! My neck shouldn't twist like that, sir. 

Soon after, the guy gets started on my feet. They had been soaking during his attack on my face.
OK this is going well.
Good thing this small towel covers my eyes and most of my face so I can keep my eyes closed without feeling rude.

OK my feet are feeling great!
Reflexology is fun!

Don't laugh don't laugh don't laugh

Then I finally remember: every pedicure brings out the giggles.
I'm rather ticklish on the toes.
Why didn't I think of that?!?!

So now I'm all tense because I don't want to giggle and I'm moving the towel over more of my face so no one can see my smile...although, it really was dark in there. Thank goodness.

Slap slap slap slap slap

Ugh, not again. This is so strange! Stop smacking that girl's arms! How can she like that? How am I supposed to relax when all I can think about is trying to not hear other people relaxing while I'm trying to not giggle? 

Sigh, I'm exhausted. And relieved.
The 30 minutes have expired.
...which also means that I no longer have to listen to the music of rushing water while I need to go to the restroom...

My feet feel glorious, though!
Unlike pedicures, however, I didn't have pretty toes peeping up at me in a pretty color.
Instead, I raced to put on my boots and clomped right out of that public massage room full of towel-covered, fully dressed (I think? I hope?) people.

I figured I better give a tip. This sign beamed up at me while the guy gave me some water:

And yes, I took a picture before handing him a $5. I thought I was generous.

Needless to say, Reflexology is not for me.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday

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Hi gang!

I have a new series for Wednesdays!
No, it won't just be about working out.
Rather, every Wednesday I'll chat about wellness, including healthy recipes, little tricks to eat better, and motivation to get moving...with a new workout thrown in there from my Pinterest board.


Well, I think all of us could use some wellness inspiration. Plus it will keep me in check because even though I love to workout I don't always eat the healthiest. Keep me accountable and I'll keep handing you ideas. Win-win? I think so.

Keep in mind:
1) I'm not a doctor - everyone is different
2) I'm not skinny but I am proud of my muscles (that no one can really see but whatever I know they're there!)
3) I workout five days a week on average but it's not like I'm going nuts for two hours at a time. Basically, if I can do it so can you - and I'll show you how.
4) I'm really good at sweating. That has to count for something.
5) I don't necessarily workout to lose weight. That would be nice, but more or less I just simply don't want to hate how I feel. Ever feel sluggish and gross? Working out helps that. I never really change sizes, either, so it's not like I have to spend a ton on bigger or smaller clothes.

OK so here we go: week 1 of wellness.
Who's ready to get this party started?
(Just me?)

Today I almost overslept so I didn't get my typical 45 minutes workout routine in, which is what I aim for every day. By the way, 45 minutes includes stretching before and after a workout - it's important! I need to wake up earlier and bump it up to 60 minutes, but that's a work in progress!

However, just because I only had about 25 minutes doesn't mean that I took the day off.
I use Pinterest in times like this because it's easy to find many routines that you can do at home and sometimes without weights. In other words, time and space should not be the biggest issues.
No excuses!!

Here's what I did today:


How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to the lunges and squats. I would like to work up to 80  lunges per leg, but I did 80 total today (40 per leg).
Overall impression: I thought the lunges were the worst part, but I have bad knees.
Sweat-factor: I was dripping by the end, so this is a good quick workout in my book!
How I felt when it was over: exhausted, but I haven't had much sleep lately and I had bad food for dinner. Sluggish doesn't mean I can take a day off, though! I did it!
Would I do it again? Absolutely! This is especially great for traveling since you don't need weights or a lot of space!

Weekly recipe:
I have to share this since it's one of our favorites! We typically have it with broccoli and potato of some sort. It's delicious and nutritious!


Weekly motivation:

Weekly workout sass:


So what do you think?
Do you like this wellness idea?
Anything you would like for me to write about in particular?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Club 3-Year Anniversary!

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
Hey gang!
When Andrew and I moved to Chicago in May 2011, a week after grad school graduation, I was so excited for our new adventure. 
However, without a job and without the large group of friends like I was used to having in Ohio and in DC, I was a little anxious after we arrived.
Luckily, Andrew's friends from MSU were here, my Little from my sorority was here, I met amazing co-workers (once I landed a job soon after moving) and I met a darling gal through a friend of a friend. Thanks to these lovely ladies (and their acceptance of my silly planning emails full of exclamation marks!!!), the Hardcover Hotties Book Club was born.
I am a firm believer in girls' nights: I think that even though they can be rough on the wallet and the liver, that they are essential for the soul. 
For the past three years we have met about once a month, rarely ever discussing books for longer than maybe twenty minutes at a time. We're basically a bar-hopping club, trying a new bar each meeting. Sometimes we read a book around a theme, sometimes we read books that were movies so we would watch them together and other times we'd just vote on whatever we wanted.
Needless to say, it's been a lot of fun and twenty or so gals are now on the emails. We even get together for cookie exchanges around the holidays.
Curious about what we've read over the years? Here's our list! 
(OK fine, if you do the math you'll see that we haven't been insanely consistent about reading a book a month. Whateves.)
  1. Bitter is the New Black
  2. The Stupidest Angel
  3. The Marriage Plot
  4. Growing Up Amish
  5. The Shadow of the Wind (personal absolute #1 favorite!!!!)
  6. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
  7. Prep
  8. The Paris Wife
  9. The Casual Vacancy
  10. Breakfast at Tiffany's (then we watched the movie!)
  11. Cold Mountain
  12. Wild
  13. Gone Girl (personal favorite!!)
  14. The Sex Lives of Cannibals
  15. The Great Gatsby (then we watched the movie!)
  16. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (personal favorite!)
  17. The Cuckoo's Calling (personal favorite!)
  18. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
  19. The Wolf of Wall Street (I know it's raunchy but I really liked it! We also saw the movie!)
  20. This is Where I Leave You (personal favorite - I still need to see the movie!)
  21. Rules of Civility
  22. The Fault in Our Stars (I still need to see the movie!)
  23. The Book Thief (then we watched the movie!)
  24. Never Have I Ever: My Life So Far Without a Date
  25. The Silkworm (The sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling! Highly recommend!!)
Do you have any suggestions for what we should read next?
If you're in Chicago, please join! The more the merrier!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yummy Granola Parfait

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
Hey gang!
 I have to share a new favorite breakfast treat today: a granola parfait.

I know, I know, big deal: throw some granola in yogurt and call it a day.

Not so, my friends, not so.

My breakfast world was ROCKED, I tell you!

This weekend Andrew and I met both sets of parents in Saugatuck. It was an absolute blast hanging out, eating and walking around the quaint town.

My Mother-in-Law bought us some homemade granola and jam from a cute store called American Spoon. The absolutely adorable jar of granola and tasty tasty jam came with a recipe. I have never tried jam in my parfaits and I usually just add fresh fruit to fat free low sugar vanilla yogurt (yum!), but wowsah this changed my world.

This morning I tried it with my favorite guilt free peanut butter and a little less granola, but I like my peanut butter alone better. I need to add fresh fruit to this instead of the jam but gosh darn it this is an awesome treat! I can't wait to try the jam on toast now, too!

Have you ever had jam in your breakfast parfaits? What kind do you enjoy?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's up?

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
Hey gang!
Some quick updates:
  • I have some blog ideas brewing for content. I just haven't delivered yet. Whoops.
  • I haven't delivered because I've had a ton on my mind and am sick. Not much sleep, either.
  • I also haven't delivered on content because I feel like I need to catch up on reading other blogs first. I'm two weeks behind. Double Whoops.
Happy news!
  • My brother and sister-in-law are having a little kiddo!!!! Tim and Jackie are two of the most amazing people in the world, and really, there needs to be more of them around so it's pretty cool they're having a baby. And, selfishly, Andrew and I are PUMPED to have another little one to spoil!
  • Tim and Jackie had a gender reveal over the weekend! Every family member from both sides gathered either in person or via Face Time (yay technology!) to watch as they cut the cake and saw PINK frosting!!!! They're having a girl!!!!!!!! I already have a lot of ideas for gifts...mainly Steelers and Pirates and Penguins onesies and the like. Oh, we'll get her pink stuff, too, don't worry. Lots of sparkles as well. Being an aunt is seriously the best!
  • This weekend cannot come soon enough. We are so excited to hang out with BOTH sets of parents, aunt and uncle and cousins in Saugatuck! We haven't all been together since the wedding and I've been on major family withdrawal. One of the best parts of wedding planning is all of the family time. I really miss that!
OK I think that's all of the updates.
Hope you're all doing well!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Highlight Video and a Thank You

Wedding Wednesday

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

This is my last post in the link-up, so it's not entirely happy on my end. I am sad that I will no longer participate in this wonderful community. As a reminder, Kristyn will host the link-up moving forward, so please continue your posts with her starting next week. I will still read your posts, of course, because I sure do love your content, so you aren't getting rid of me that easily ;)

I have written this post in my head many times, but never put thoughts to paper.
To write it made it seem
Also, everything in my head sounds so...dramatic. ;)
I am torn about how I feel right now. I'm actually shaking my head and rolling my eyes as I type.
The drama is palpable. Goodness I'm silly. This is just a link-up, after all!

But to me, this weekly theme has been more than a simple collection of words once a week.

Please indulge me, dear readers and fellow bloggers, as I say thank you...

...for joining me week in and week out.

Thank you for sharing your story, your own dramatic experiences, your own funny anecdotes, your own struggles, your own joys.

Thank you, as well, for reading my stories, providing words of encouragement, and for doing what every bride wants: no matter what the post was about, you always told me I was right. Gosh that felt good. Your support confirmed any wavering thought and stifled any lingering concerns. Not that I had a ton of worries, but still. I felt the love.

Thank you for respecting my choices and opinions. One of my favorite things about this link-up is the variety! All of us had (or is about to have!) very different themes, colors, traditions, etc. and I love how accepting the community was, and continues, to be.

(Oh and a very obvious thank you to everyone who came to the wedding! I know you got a note in the mail, but goodness that's not enough! It never will be! I mean, really, how can I appropriately thank you for contributing to the most important and lovely day of our lives?!?!? Thank you!!!)

Also, thank you for the compliments. Before I continue, I must preface that I loved everything about our day. We were happy with every decision, every unique feature, every last detail. The day really was the BEST ever to us! The only thing that I, alone, regret (again I am shaking my head and don't want to admit it but I'm trying to be "real" and write the "hard stuff") is that I was so unhappy with how fat I looked. Ugh. There. I said it. Our photos are beautiful, my hair and make-up looked fantastic, Andrew thought I looked gorgeous, guests (and readers!) overwhelmed me with compliments...but I couldn't get past how I felt that I looked: fat. I tried so hard to look slim and fit but gosh darn it, I did not. And I hate myself for thinking that...and for still not being able to get over it. Please know that I appreciate the compliments. In fact, posting as often as I did and hearing the compliments helped me get closer to accepting how I looked. Each sweet word was a step, so thank you and I'm sorry. I'm sorry if it ever seemed that I was fishing for compliments.

Well there it is. It took me until my last post to write my honest opinion of myself. I couldn't get over myself amid the beauty of the sacrament we celebrated and the fun of the party that continues to bring a smile to my face with every memory (and there are so many memories!). Ugh!
God is good, family is fantastic, friends are fabulous and the wedding was friggin' wonderful!
Everything was awesome except for my own vanity!

Alright, back to the fun!!!

Finally, thank you from the bottom of my wedding-loving heart for taking this journey with me.
It's been real, it's been fun...and it HAS been real fun!!!!

Here is a quick glimpse of our day (except the flash mob isn't in it! Want to see that incredible video? Click here!)

Andrew and Mary April 26, 2014 from Eye on the World Productions on Vimeo.

Thanks again :)

Missed a Wedding Wednesday post? Here are the big ones:

Photo from Starling Studio: website | Facebook
Video by Curt Good/Eye on the World Productions: Facebook

 Have a wedding story that you want to share? Please join the linkup!
All I ask is that you grab the button, link back to me and visit the other blogs!

Please share the linkup on social, too, if you wish!
 @marysue20 is the name, #WeddingWednesday is the game.

I'm joining another linkup as well!
NC Belle In Boots