Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Five

One. Did anyone else give up anything for Lent? Brian and I are attempting to give up junk food (Valentine's candy excluded). I don't eat a ton of junk anyways, but I figure this is a good start to eating cleaner. 


Two. Speaking of Valentine's Day, I never have understood all the hate it gets. I guess it has been taken over by Hallmark, etc., but so what? It actually does have historical significance, and yes, you should technically "celebrate love" all the time, but any day where you can show a little extra love/get some flowers/candy/whatever can't hurt in my book. I love Valentine's Day :-) Hope everyone has a great one!


Three. It's supposed to be super, duper cold this weekend, like negative temps with crazy cold wind chills (i.e. -25 or worse), and I am a weirdo but I LOVE it. I love the extra 8 inches of snow we got this week, and I just love winter.

Four. Before I knew I had to have my cast on for an extra two weeks, Brian and I bought tickets to a couples "Paint and Enjoy Party" for Saturday night. I am so looking forward to it, but it's apparently going to be super crowded and I am a bit nervous about my ankle and my scooter and sitting up in a regular chair for 2 hours. Wish me luck!

Five. Speaking of casts (there are a lot of 'speaking ofs' in this post lol), I may possibly be getting it off 5 days early this afternoon! No promises or anything, and I am not getting my hopes up too high, but I've had a lot of swelling and pain still and I had a major freak out about it Tuesday night. Luckily my doctor gave us his phone number after the surgery and we texted him a picture of my toes Tuesday and he was a bit concerned and didn't want to wait to see me until next Wednesday, so today it is. He told us to bring my big boot with us, which I take to mean that he may be taking off the cast early, I doubt I'll be able to walk on it still until after a few physical therapy sessions, but it's a step (hahaha) in the right direction. Also, I accidentally hit my toes against my scooter pretty hard on Wednesday night, and I'm super scared that I broke or jammed one because they hurt a lot, and I don't know what that would do to my recovery but I'm sure it wouldn't be good. I am very nervous about walking in general though, because it's still sooo painful that I can't imagine actually putting weight on it. Plus I have like no muscle mass below my knee anymore from almost 8 weeks of cast and no walking, so I just know it's going to be no fun at all (that's an understatement) when I start walking.

Anyways, have a great weekend everyone!!
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Recent Reads

I don't have much of an intro today, so without further ado, here are the books I read last month! 

Heather-Cocks-Jessica-Morgan-TheRoyalWe
4.5 stars

From the authors' website:

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy-tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love — her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself — will have been for nothing.

What I thought: I loved this book. It's pretty much modeled after Will and Kate's relationship, but with a bunch of deviations. The story felt familiar but not completely, and it was interesting to read about what it may be like to have been in Kate's position while they were dating and engaged. I was not a big fan of Nick, but I liked Bex. I read this 462 page book in one day. I couldn't put it down! Definitely read it, even if you're not a big fan of the whole royal couple thing.

S.J. Before I go to sleep
4.5 stars

From the author's website:

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.

What I thought: Though this book was a bit slow at times (which is why I took off a half star), it was still so good and a real page-turner. I felt so bad for Christine, I can't imagine living that way, and I really felt nervous and upset sometimes for her. I was shocked at the big twist and I love love loved the ending, it's definitely a must-read! Oh and I didn't realize this was a movie too until I was looking for the picture of the book online for this review, and so I looked up the movie description and yuck, I definitely don't want to see that! It sounds pretty different than the book and I hate that.

JMC_BeautifulDisaster_Cover-e1333664180331.jpg
3 stars

From the author's website:

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-­‐Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

What I thought: **I read this and the next book concurrently so I will review them together below.

walking-disaster1.jpg
3 stars

From the author's website:

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

What I thought: So I did a weird thing with these two books and read them concurrently since they basically told the same story but from the viewpoints of different characters. I did this at the suggestion of an Amazon reviewer who left a reading schedule (i.e. Read Book 1, Chapter 1&2, then Book 2, Chapter 1, and so on...) so I followed that. It was rather annoying to have to keep switching, but it actually made sense. The author really should have just shoved it all together into one book, in my opinion. But anyways, onto the books. They were strange. The couple was SO ANNOYING. They fought all the time and it seemed like a pretty unhealthy relationship. There were weird things added in, like underground fighting rings, poker, the mob, and a fire, which seemed like a but much for one (well, two) romance novels. Not really my favorite cup of tea, but it did keep my attention and I read them both in just over one day, so I must have liked them enough to keep going. The ending was wrapped up so nicely which I usually really like, but it almost seemed too neat and tidy, if that makes sense. Decide if you want to read at your own discretion (which you obviously would anyway but you get what I'm saying.. I think). 

Maybe-in-another-life-9781476776880_hr
4 stars

From the author's website

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him. 

What I thought: I really wanted to give this book more stars, but I actually debated between giving it a 3.5 and a 4, mostly because of the ending, oh, and a weird multiverse theory that was introduced late in the book that seemed super far-fetched. I liked the concurrent story lines, and though it seems like it might be a bit confusing, it really wasn't at all. It was an easy, fast read (I finished in less than a day), and it kept me interested the whole time, even though some of the characters (the men, mainly) were pretty one-dimensional. I liked Hannah and Gabby and their friendship a lot, but I just did not like how the book ended, and that's always a hard thing for me to get over in books.

Life According to Steph

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Top 10 Questions About The GG Reunion

Ok so you may or may not know this, but I have a Gilmore Girls obsession. It's more than just "oh yea, I like that show." No, I've seen every episode at least 50 times, which is definitely a low-ball estimate, no lie, and I know almost every line when I watch it. I talk about them like they are real people and tell their stories in my everyday life. Before it was on Netflix, I constantly had one of the season DVDs in my player and when I got to the last disc of season 7, I'd just pop in the first disc of season 1 again.


So obviously I am so extremely excited (that's the understatement of the century) about the new series which is officially official now. It's all I could dream about since I could dream. From what I've heard so far, it's set in pretty much the present day and will be four, 90 min episodes/mini movies, titled 'Winter,' 'Spring,' 'Summer,' and 'Fall.' The scripts are basically finished, shooting may have started yesterday, and at a minimum, Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Lane, Kirk, Emily, Paris, Gypsy, and Michel are confirmed to come back.

But I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. I need to get some of them down in writing so I can let them go and stop peppering my husband with them.

1. WHEN is it coming back?! I can hardly stand it. Copper boom, people, c'mon.


2. Are Jackson, Lulu, Taylor, Babette, Miss Patty, Mrs. Kim, Zack, Brian, Gil, Caesar and everyone else from Stars Hollow going to come back? They need to, they're all part of the local color, purple Stars Hollow charm. Lauren Graham said in an interview that many faces are familiar, but a few are missing, so who are those faces?!


3. And what about Sookie? I really really hope she makes an appearance at least. I can't even imagine how would they even write her not being there into the script with the Dragonfly and her being Lorelai's best friend and all. I'd be so smad. I want to see her kids all grown up. I read that if she wants to make a cameo they will write her in, but then Melissa says she was never asked. This is not cool, they need to figure all this drama out, we need Sookie!! Do it for the kids! Save the cornish game hens!


4. What is Paris up to these days? In Kelly Bishop's recent interview, she said what they've done with Paris is pretty cool, so I'm eager to find out,

5. Who did Rory end up with? The show focused somewhat heavily on their love lives and I need to know. I hope Dean and Jess don't come back. I don't like them, blech, don't get me started, it'd be so awkward and unnecessary. I hate Dean the most. He has anger issues and is so one-dimensional.


6. Going along with #5, did Rory ever talk to Logan again? It may be controversial but I think he was the best suited for her. He challenged her the most and he changed the most for her and it'd be sad if they never talked ever again. Maybe they got back together? I don't even know how I feel about this, but I NEED TO KNOW what happened.

7. Where does Rory work now? Hopefully not on a bus, I always thought she should have taken the job at the ProJo.


8. How are they going to handle the Richard situation? How did Emily handle it? Kelly Bishop said in an interview that Emily was sort of 'manic.' Does she still live in their house? I am so unbelievably sad that he passed away, he wanted to be part of a reunion so badly. This is going to break my heart.


9. Did Lorelei and Luke have kids? Did they re-buy the Twickham house and use Lorelai's house as a recording studio or a safe house? I'm not even questioning whether they stayed together, I couldn't handle it if they didn't and I think true GG fans would revolt. I'm not worried about April, I hope they have her away at college. And I hope Christopher moved away to Paris to be with Sherry or something. Au Revoir!

10. Lastly, some of the most important questions of all: What are they going to call it? I hope just Gilmore Girls. And are they going to change the theme song? I hope not, I want to relive the past. I have issues, I know.


Obviously I've had tons of time to think about this. New questions pop in my head all the time. I keep my eye out for new articles and interviews all the time. I can't wait, they need to hurry up with this! Oy with the poodles already. I am so going to sob like a big baby when I finally get to watch it. No, seriously, I am going to cry. Brian and I were just discussing this last night.

P.S. If you find the bajillion GG references (some are more subtle than others) in this post, you are my new best friend. Super cool party people bid you super cool adieu.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

My January Online Purchases

Since I was trapped in the house pretty much the entire month of January (and still am trapped!!), I've solely done online shopping. Seriously, I haven't been to Target in almost 2 months!! So here are my fun online purchases from this month. I'm not including non-fun stuff, like expensive dog foods, a new humidifier filter, and a new fruit/snack basket for the kitchen because a tomato literally exploded in the other one (but here's a link to the one we love, this is the second one we've got of the same one now, thanks to the stupid tomato).

Birch Lane Charlton Pendant

We needed a new light for our front hallway/foyer that hangs in front of a large window, since the one that came with the house is ugly. I had to buy this one as soon as I saw it on Birch Lane. How adorable is the star? I can't even handle it. Brian is installing it soon and I can't wait for it to be hung up! 

Under Armour Women's Seamless Essential Yarn Dye Sports Bra - Dick's Sporting Goods

These are my favorite sports bras ever ever ever. I always buy them from Dick's when they are on sale, and this month I bought two. 


We ordered a bunch wedding pictures in various sizes for our gallery wall up the stairs. We got our prints from mpix, and the frames from Home Goods and AC Moore. Brian finished putting up all the frames Saturday night, and it looks sooooo great! Sorry for the crappy picture, but you get the idea.

Womens New Balance 574 Sweatshirt Athletic Shoe

I needed good new shoes (and I don't have to worry too much about the arch or whatever because I always take out the soles and put in my orthotics, I'm a grandma) for after I get out of this cast and out of the boot and can start walking again. I came across these shoes while searching Journeys website and they were on sale for only $59.99 at the time, so I jumped on them. The yellow N is more of a neon yellow/green color in person and they are super cute and I love them. Well, I love the left one. I won't be able to wear the right one for a few months, so I actually probably won't wear the left one too often so I don't wear it out too early like I did with my cute pig slippers (singular) that I got for Christmas.


I already have this Tarte primer/BB cream (which I use as foundation) in the color Light, but my pale winter skin is too pale for it and even for my Maybelline Fit Me foundation that I currently have, so I bought the Fair shade of the Tarte. I like this stuff because it's more hydrating than just regular foundation, and my skin is awfully dry right now. It's also super soft, and I can mix it with the Light shade I already have if I need a little darker shade or a little more coverage.


When Lilly Pulitzer had its big sale, I figured it was the perfect time to buy a new phone case. I really like the style, but I'm a bit bummed about how scratched up it already is, especially considering I've barely left the house this month so how rough could I have been on it? Good thing I didn't pay full price. 

Dachshund Dog Decal

I got two cute decals from this Etsy shop for my back car window. I got one dachshund, the Winnie Paw Up (pictured above) in pattern C, and one lab (not pictured above) in pattern A, since those are the two types of dogs we have. I considered buying two dachshund decals but I thought that might be excessive haha.


It wouldn't be a normal month if we didn't buy a few bones or toys for the dogs. This month we got them one Nylabone from Amazon when we ordered some boring stuff, and one from Chewy.com when we ordered dog food.

Oh and I also ordered Brian a Valentine's Day card from this Etsy shop and a birthday card from this Etsy shop, but I can't share them because he reads my blog and hasn't gotten the cards yet. They are super cute though!

What did you buy online in January? 
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Dog

Well, as I'm sure you've heard or experienced, the 2016 blizzard certainly didn't disappoint. We ended up with about 34 inches of snow, with lots of drifts that were at least 5 feet tall. It was super windy with whiteout conditions and the wind chill was around 0 degrees, but luckily we never lost power (it did flicker a few times, but that's it). We are fortunate to have a warm house and had nowhere to be. The dachshunds are not so fond of the snow, so they spent the whole day in front of the fireplace and rushed to use the bathroom when we forced them to go outside. Oatmeal loved the snow though. She thought we put the snow there just for her. I got some awesome pictures of Brian and her playing in it (from the open window- unfortunately casts and knee scooters aren't really conducive to playing in the snow!), so enjoy these million pictures while you continue digging out from the blizzard!

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Bring It On


We are expecting a blizzard like those pictures again this weekend! Those pics are actually from 2010 when we got 2 huge snowstorms in like 6 days and ended up with almost 6 feet of snow- I don't have any pictures of that amount though, these are from the first storm. We could actually jump off of my parents second-story deck into the snow, it was so high! We are supposed to get 2-3 feet this weekend with crazy winds. This December was extremely mild in PA and though our temperatures have dropped into the normal and below normal range this month, our snowfall has been lacking. I know lots of people hate snow but I love it and I know that a lot of businesses depend on it around here- ski resorts, snow removal companies, etc.

I am still stuck on the couch for 4 more weeks with this bum foot/ankle. I got a new cast put on on Wednesday and when the doctor said he'd see me in 4 weeks I seriously had to hold back tears- I thought I only had 2 more weeks left. Don't worry, I cried later lol. I know an extra 2 weeks doesn't really seem like that much, but it has only been 4 weeks total since the surgery so 4 more sounds like an eternity. After those 4 weeks are up then I have to go back in the huge walking cast/boot and go to physical therapy for awhile. I'm not really able to go anywhere besides doctors' appointments because I'm supposed to keep my leg elevated- if I sit up it swells almost immediately which really hurts; oh and I can't drive obviously. I don't want to sound like a complainer but these 4 weeks have really been crappy. I'm so lucky to have my awesome husband but I feel let down by some of my friends and family who haven't been there for me at all, plus I'm stuck on the couch all day and it's lonely and boring. Anyways, I hope you have a great weekend and if you are getting winter weather, have fun and stay safe!! 
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