Five on Friday

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So – as you know, I normally do Fitness Friday but several of the blogs I follow do Five on Friday and I really wanted to get in on that. I also don’t want to lose the motivation and accountability that posting about my fitness gives me each Friday, so I decided that moving forward I can incorporate the two.

The purpose of Five on Friday is just to share five things that are on your mind and it can really be anything – from food to fitness to products you love, places you’re planning to go, etc…so forth and so on. As a way to keep myself motivated, I’ve decided that at least one of my five things will be a fitness update – so I can do Five on Friday and still post about my fitness! Sound good? Away we go!

One: Have y’all seen Ellen’s Halloween costume for this year? It’s great! Now I will be the first to tell you I cannot handle the Kardashians…but I absolutely love Ellen and this video she posted announcing her Halloween costume for this year is cracking me up! Check it out, I guarantee it will give you a laugh.

Two: Tomorrow is Halloween…but I’m celebrating a little early. When I interviewed for my job, our HR director (and now my friend) Danielle mentioned they’d been looking for someone who’d dress up with them on Halloween, especially if it involved dressing as the Sanderson Sisters! I told them I was in (I think it might be why they hired me, ha-ha!) Well, today we are all wearing our witchy finest and I think I’ve almost got Winifred’s signature smirk down….

Three: I have thin, lanky and pitiful hair. My little sister got all the luscious hair genes and I got none, so washing my hair on a daily basis has always been a must for me or else I look absolutely tragic and nasty. It’s true. Well, I have found a miracle! Living Proof PhD (Perfect Hair Day) is specially formulated to make your hair look and feel cleaner longer. I was skeptical at first but after two weeks of using it, I can vouch for it – it works! I’ve cut down shampooing to every other day – and my hair still looks great! 
This stuff isn’t cheap ($24) but it sure does work!

Four: A free weekend; I’m way too excited about that. The funniest part is that the whole weekend isn’t really free, ha-ha! Perhaps I should say a free Saturday? I can’t wait to sleep late, drink coffee in my pj’s and just see where the day takes me. I love having plans and I usually have things to do aplenty but it’s nice to have a free Saturday here and there.

My thoughts exactly, ha-ha!
Five: Fitness! This week has been a little bit of a bust; so far I’ve only walked two days because it was raining on Tuesday and Wednesday…which is really no excuse because we have a machine, but I’ve made that my excuse. I am losing about 1-2 pounds a week and surprisingly when I weighed last night, I was down a pound…so I guess this week hasn’t been a complete loss. I’m almost over the hurdle of Halloween and pounds of candy…now Thanksgiving is looming on the horizon. Also, time change is a real conundrum…
In honor of it being (almost) Halloween.

Watson Wednesday – Halloween Edition

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I know Halloween is still a couple days away but I thought I’d make this week’s Watson Wednesday a special edition and share some Halloween snapshots of him from years past. I can’t believe this will be my seventh Halloween with the little guy – and don’t worry, he’s got a costume for this year too!

2009 – No costume, scrawny & really NOT sure about this pumpkin!
2010 – Not actually a Halloween picture…but he’s in costume. so why not?
2011 – The bee in the garden for Trunk or Treat – he “buzzed” around all night long!
2012 – He was the Jolly Roger for my pirate “ship”…
2013 – A hoot owl…& probably the best costume to date! He’s adorable!
2014 – The Wizard of Oz guarding the Emerald City…this one was kind of last minute. Oh well.

Do you dress your pets up for Halloween? When I first got Watson I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those people that dressed my dog in clothes or anything like that…but as you can see, I obviously didn’t keep that promise too well. Ha-ha! Happy (almost) Halloween!

Tuesday – 20 Questions

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You know me at this point – you know I love these question and answer things. The reason I love them so much is pretty selfishly because it absolutely intrigues me to look back on them and see what I said 6 months previous…1 year previous…3 years previous…you get the idea.  So, without further ado – one of these question and answer things, 20 question style!

1. Favorite food: 
– Cheese; in all it’s forms. I love a good macaroni and cheese, I firmly believe that almost any dish can be made better with the addition of cheese and I love to eat slice after slice of the stuff. So, definitely cheese.

2. Flip flops or high heels: 
– It really all depends. Some days you want heels because they make you (or at least me) feel fierce and like you can take on the world. Other days, you want flip flops because you don’t really have time to deal with walking in heels. However, I’ll go with the option not available and say I like a good pair of ballet flats.

3. Favorite places to shop for yourself: 
– My Mom says I have an Old Navy* obsession…and I guess if we got technical, probably 50% of my closet is from Old Navy, so I guess it’s a favorite spot for me. I also like Belk (for dresses), Target (shoes) and Dress Barn (dress/work clothes).

4. Standard Coffee order:
– I don’t have a standard coffee order because I love coffee of all kinds; one type just won’t do. However…I am more of a Salted Caramel Mocha fan than Pumpkin Spice Latte! I know – that’s like speaking Autumn treason. Oh well, I live life on the edge.

5. Road trip must have snack: 
– Chips just seem like a really good answer to this. I don’t know, but chips just sound really good. And not just any chips…they have to be Frito’s Chili Cheese chips.

6. DIY or hire it out? 
– I’d love to say DIY but I’d most likely hire out a handy friend to DIY it for me. So, a clever combination of both?

7. Top 5 TV shows: 
– Game of Thrones (although season 6 better shape up), House of Cards, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (going old school with that one), Bones and How I Met Your Mother (minus the final pathetic episode).

8. Favorite Book:
– I don’t have a favorite book…because I just love books in general. They’re like children; I could never pick a favorite.

9. Favorite Form of Exercising: 
– I suppose I’d say walking/jogging since that’s what I’ve been doing for this multiple months now and it all seems to be working out just fine and dandy.

10. How tall are you?
– Last time I checked I was five feet and five inches tall…so, really I think that’s short.

11. Do you try something new at restaurants or stick to your favorites?
– I’m all over the place! Sometimes I like the safety of something I know is delicious and comforting, other times I feel the need to live life on the edge and order something I’ve never had. As I get older, I find I lean more toward living dangerously and trying all the things. An exception to this is definitely at Hunter’s Head Tavern…I almost always get the Mac & Cheese; it’s just too good to miss out on!

12. One make up item you can’t live without:
– EOS Lip Balm…you know, the little lip glosses that look like a ball. 🙂 I have one at the office, one in my purse, one floating around the living room, one in my make-up bag and one in my nightstand…

13. What’s on your nightstand?
– Which one…I have two. The stand on the right has a lamp, a blown glass owl from Italy (thank Lindsey!) my Bible and a Hobbit devotional (taking nerdy to the Jesus level = all the points!). The stand of the left has a lamp, a Snoopy ceramic box, an owl Wood Wick candle and whatever book I might be reading at present.

14. What’s one lesson life has taught you?
– It goes on. Ha! 🙂

15. Music that reminds you of high school: 
– Third Eye Blind (or as my Mom called them: Third Blind Eye), Matchbox 20, the Goo Goo Dolls…all those bands make me think of high school. Also, the song Wanna Be A Baller by Lil Troy…because we blasted that song before we went rolling. I guess we thought it made us seem tough…but we had no clue. I heard it at a Nationals game back in August and had a moment; I think my Mom thought I was nuts.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world besides your current city where would you live?
– Washington DC…but get back to me after I visit London for Christmas. 😉

17. Tell us something about you we might not know: 
– I don’t know…if you probably don’t know it, there’s probably a good reason, ha-ha!

18. Websites you read/browse (besides blogs):
– Vulture (mostly for the comical recaps of shows I watch), Yahoo, Buzzfeed, the Weather Channel (because weather is weird…) the Washington Nationals website, the New Orleans Saints website and People of Wal-Mart.

19. Morning person or Night owl?
– Neither. Both. I like to sleep…but I can rally if the situation calls for it…and as long as I have coffee, I can get up pretty early too.

20. Favorite Breakfast meal:
– Waffles…because they are the best.

*OMG – I went Old Navy today. Maybe my Mom is right??? She tends to be right pretty often…ha-ha!*

I Wrote the Post, but I Can’t Come Up with a Title

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Oh Monday – you always have a habit of arriving right on time. Last night as I pulled my Scandal DVD out of the player (do y’all watch Scandal? If not, you need to get on it ASAP. It’s on Netflix and it’s scandalously good) and I bemoaned that I just couldn’t believe it was already the eve of Monday again!

So far this Monday hasn’t been too catastrophic although there have been some bumps here and there. Granted, this post is concerned with Monday from a week ago…and all the days that followed that, so this Monday isn’t really important yet.

I’m pretty proud of this bad boy – but it’s really hard to get that candle lit.
Munching on a salmon “cigar”…he ate the whole thing in less than 30 minutes!
When the pup attacks. And yes, I know this angle is SO flattering…

I’m going to go ahead and confirm that obviously last week, during the actual week I don’t think too much happened. I thought I was going downhill pretty quickly on Monday evening; we went to grab groceries after supper and the longer we were in Wal-Mart, the worse I felt! I was sure I was coming down with my annual cold and so I stocked up on medicine and Halls, preparing for the worse. I went to bed Monday night at 9:15 – I wasn’t even playing around. I woke up on Tuesday and felt fine! Who knows what was going on?

We told Lindsey we were going to ship Watson to her – he looks thrilled, right?
My friend is trying to catch me up on all my failed/missed movie experiences…
A gorgeous & color filled sunset on Thursday evening.

I did deal with several crazy intense Sinus/Allergy related headaches last week; I guess the changing weather was really messing with my head! I did find that almost as soon as I’d get home and take off walking, getting that blood flowing really made the headache stop! I guess there are so many benefits to walking, including headache prevention! Besides playing catch-up on some TV shows with my Mom, the week itself was pretty calm…we did tell Watson on Wednesday that we were going to mail him to his “Aunt” Lindsey but then only his feet would go into the box, so we decided that wouldn’t work. He was amused, as you can tell by the above picture.

A pumpkin spice martini; the perfect way to start off the weekend!
The red-hued view into the belvedere at Long Branch on Friday night; not creepy at all, right?

As soon as five o’clock rolled around on Friday, my friends from the office and I headed toward Upperville for supper at Hunter’s Head Tavern before taking a Candlelight/Lantern Tour of Long Branch Plantation. Hunter’s Head never disappoints and I was so happy to get to share one of my favorite places to eat with my friends…and as usual, the food was delicious! I tried a Pumpkin Spice Martini and discovered that they can make a pretty nice drink too, ha-ha! The Lantern tour of Long Branch was delightfully creepy…but in a good way. The tour highlighted death, death practices, rituals and superstitions from the 1800’s and there was even a coffin in one of the rooms – eek! Once I got home, I didn’t linger downstairs too long because I had a busy day on Saturday!

Spending the day in DC with my friend Katie – it was her first time in the city!
The three states I’ve lived in (so far) represented at the WWII Memorial.
I just couldn’t help it…

My friend Katie has never been to DC before and I made it my mission to fix that – because, as I’ve mentioned, I do love myself some DC and so I had to do my very best to make someone else fall in love with the city…and I think I succeeded! I introduced her to the DC Metro, which can be a thrill…either good or bad, maybe it was a little bit of both between the weird stains, the stranger people, the kid who got sick on the way back to Vienna and the whole one train running thing. All in all it was a fairly smooth Metro journey even if it was delayed on the way into DC and crazy crammed with people on the way out of DC!

These trees are pretty in Autumn…but perhaps just a wee bit prettier in the Spring!
Barry was taking a stroll on the balcony…thinking up another hair-brained idea, no doubt. Oops…did I really type that?

We stopped by all the monuments, (okay, almost all of them) wandered through the White House Visitor’s Center and of course, we cruised over to stand in front of the White House and stare at it. We couldn’t get very close because the POTUS was taking a stroll on the balcony and so security was heightened. Oh me…whatever! En route to the Metro to return home, I found a teeny duck abandoned on the sidewalk, almost obscured by some construction work going on…but his bright yellow exterior caught my eye, so I grabbed him up and tossed him into my bag. I don’t know why, but I just decided I’d take him home with me…he’d be my DC Duck, a souvenir of showing Katie the city. And I definitely gave him a good scrub when I got home….who knows what was on that curb?

DC Duck in the country…

Seriously – he’s tiny. As in, rests comfortably on top of a nail polish bottle. I stuck him in a plant on the table to be goofy but he’s residing on my dresser now. If I’d found him earlier on Saturday I’d have definitely taken his picture with every monument and memorial.

The picture that accompanied my fifteen seconds of MSU Jumbotron fame on Saturday night!

Oh – if you aren’t my Facebook friend then you won’t have seen my proclamation on Saturday night about my fifteen seconds of MSU Jumbotron fame. I haven’t been to an MSU game this season (driving 13 hours to Starkville is a little far) but I’m planning to be in the stands for the Egg Bowl this year….Hail State. Apparently they put tweets on the Jumbotron during the game and on Saturday night I received a rather excited text from my sister that said “I JUST SAW YOUR TWEET ON THE JUMBOTRON NAT!!!” I heard from my friend Kristen and a family friend, Sandra too – they’d all seen my picture (chugging a cup of coffee, ha-ha) pop up on the ‘tron with my tweet! So, I haven’t even been to a game yet but I had my fifteen seconds of fame, ha-ha!

Shenandoah National Park is looking especially colorful this time of the year – much more color than last year!
The woods look like they’re on fire!
Absolutely breathtaking views in every direction.

Sunday afternoon I joined my parents on a drive through the National Park; well, I joined my parents and everyone else within a 100 mile radius! There was a line a mile long just to get in the park and at every overlook there must have been twenty cars…all crammed together to try and take a picture of the gorgeous Autumn colors! I don’t blame them, the colors this year are pretty spectacular! They’re certainly much more grand than last year; last year everything seemed like it just turned dark orange or brown and fell to the ground…but this year…oh my. Yellows, reds, oranges that make the threes look like they’re on fire…the colors are everywhere! It was definitely a well spent afternoon – especially since we ended the outing with a stop at a local bakery in Sperryville before strolling through the Copper Fox Antiques store.

Isn’t this the sweetest face you’ve ever seen?

I made a Target run (so important) on Sunday evening and even stopped in at Famous Footwear and managed to snag two pair of shoes for $35! I couldn’t pass up a deal like that, you know I love shoes! So, that was the past week…in a nutshell. 

I’ll leave you with that precious puppy face – my Mom took that picture and really, he couldn’t be cuter if he tried. Even if he is begging…

Fitness Friday

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Here we are again – it’s Friday! I know we all look forward to Friday for so many reasons and silly me, I’d like to think you look forward to Friday because you are just so excited to read my post. Ha – I know, I’m absolutely hilarious, right?

Or…a new pair of jeans in a smaller size?

This week has been SO much better! I don’t know what has made the difference but I guess exercise, like all things in life is about your day to day, your mood…all those things. You have good weeks and bad weeks. This week is certainly a good week for me! I’ve looked forward to walking and actually really enjoyed my walk/jog each afternoon. That’s a pretty good feeling!

Another thing that walking really helps with? Headaches! Who’d have thought? I know I’d mentioned probably two weeks ago that I really didn’t have issues with headaches too often anymore but my allergies/sinuses have really been acting up recently. Monday and Tuesday when I got home, my head was hurting so bad that I literally felt dizzy…but within fifteen minutes of starting to walk…*poof* headache gone!

About 5 weeks in on the right & about 15 weeks in on the right…I don’t know if I see much of a difference or not…

I’m averaging anywhere between 1-2 pounds a week, which I’ve been told is the healthy way to lose weight. I haven’t dropped another size yet (hoping to be down at least one more size before we head to London for Christmas) but each week when I get on the scale…I guess that’s the proof for now. 

My Mom assures me she sees the difference and I’ve stared at that picture up there more times than I care to admit since Wednesday of this week. Is there a difference? There is! Wait…not really. They look just the same. Or do they? I don’t know…I can’t decide…and that makes me a little discouraged. I know I’m not going to look at a picture one week and just immediately look excessively skinnier and I guess I need to wrap my head around that.
So – I’ll keep right on trucking. I’m almost 4 months in at this point; only a week to go and I’ll be there. I suppose I’ll just keep taking this thing week by week by week. So – until next Friday!

Watson Wednesday: Bark Box – Halloween

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I know – I just did a Bark Box post – but aren’t you excited to see another one? Watson was definitely excited to see another box! Since I started his subscription a little later in September, he got his September box a bit after the normal 15th of the month ship date – so that’s why we had two so close!

He still has some treats from his first box that he could be munching on…although I don’t think those Bacon Barker treats from the last box are going to be a hit. I’m thinking I may have to toss them and move on; I gave him some last week and I think he still has one randomly sitting near his food bowl. He didn’t touch them…except to nose them around to other spots. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

What’s this – another box just for me?
Hmmm…my box must be Halloween themed this month.

This month’s box was (appropriately) Halloween themed and that alone is enough to make me want to keep getting the boxes, ha-ha! Will next month be Turkey themed? Will he get a stuffed Santa Claws (hehehe, see what I did there?) in December? I can’t wait to find out…but I do hope he doesn’t keep getting so many darn toys or I may have to start sharing them with his friends who actually play with toys!

So many treats…& he’s still sniffing the wrapping…

So…what did we (he) get this month? A lovely little haul of goodies…of course!

Bocce’s Bakery – Salmon Dog Biscuits

Who knew my dog loved fish so much?? These treats are all natural, wheat free and have…salmon! Hence the name, right? Watson sniffed and sniffed at this box and come to find out, this is what he was sniffing at! I gave him one of these to “test” and he inhaled it and immediately circled back for another. I think I might need to see where I can find some more of these…they’re a hit!

Plushpuppies Invincibles – Black Cat Squeaker

A toy – one of those things he doesn’t really play with. *sigh* Which always makes me so sad, especially when the toys are THIS cute! This little cat squeaks and feels so soft and fuzzy! The best part is that unlike some other squeaky toys, this one won’t stop squeaking if it get’s punctured – which is why it’s considered an invincible! He hasn’t been interested in playing with this, but he did cuddle up and sleep with it on Saturday night. So…sort of a hit?

Chuck It! Max Glow Ball

A ball – yeah right, like he will ever play with this! I kid you not, this dog of mine…I’ve tried to play fetch with him and as soon as I throw the ball (stick, toy, whatever…) and tell him to go get it, he looks at me like “you threw that and you expect me to go get it for you? Yeah right!” So, it’s usually a big NO. I tossed this across the rug on Saturday and he ran after it, only to jump back and run away from it when it bounced against the wall and back at him. Oh me – afraid of a bouncy ball. This dog.

Etta Says! Treats to Go – Peanut Butter

W absolutely loves peanut butter (yes, he’s tasted it more than once) and I love that this canister can be reused for taking some treats on the go, albeit not very large treats. These are tiny treats and they’re peanut butter (obviously)…which Watson loves. He sniffed at these a bit first before gobbling them up, so I’ll say they’re a hit. Although he seemed like he’d rather have a taste of my spoon of actual peanut butter…ha!

Wheezy Woofy’s Villain Salmon Half Cigar

This was easily the hit of the box! So much so that I even went to the Bark Shop to see about possibly ordering him a couple more. What is it? It’s a salmon skin, rolled like a long cigar. And he absolutely loved the thing! It’s 100% salmon, nothing else and he happily settled himself onto his “treat” rug and gnawed, licked and munched on this for a good thirty minutes! Suffice it to say – my pup loves some salmon! 

I can’t wait to see what November’s box has in it! The treats for us have mostly been a big hit and I love being able to change things up for Watson from time to time. Even if the toys are mostly a no go, I guess we can always be kind and share with our friends. I have several friends with pups, so I guess if he keeps getting toys, I’ll just start passing things out.

A – Z

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A – Age: 31 – eek!

B – Bed size: Queen

C – Chore you dislike: Cleaning the bathroom…I swear, one day the fumes will kill me.

D – Dogs: Just one, my delightful little Watson. He’s a seven year old Jack Russell terrier and I couldn’t love the little bugger more than I do.

E – Essential start to your day: I do the same thing every (weekday) morning. I get up and get ready, then go downstairs and drink my first cup of coffee and look over Facebook, Instagram and emails on my phone. Usually in the living room with no light besides what is coming in the windows. It’s how I acclimate to starting the day.

F – Favorite color: Blue!

G – Gold or silver: Silver…although gold is growing on me.

H – Height: 5’5″

I – Instruments you play(ed): I took piano for several years and I wish I’d continued to take lessons…but I was a teenager and I just didn’t think I had time for all that. Ha!

J – Job title: Receptionist (although my boss insists I do so much more than my title suggests…)

K – Kids: None to speak of…except my furbaby Watson!

L – Live: Northern Virginia, about an hour outside of DC! I’ll leave it at that and not get to detailed…there are weirdos on the interweb…

M – Mom’s name: Anita Virginia, although NO one calls her that. Everyone calls her Ginger. 

N – Nicknames: Nat, Butter Bean, Noodles, Spikenard, Natalia…

O – Overnight hospital stays: None to speak of at this point & I’d like to keep it that way.

P – Pet peeves: Chipped nail polish (on me), left lane drivers, people who say “I know how you feel” when you know they don’t know how you feel, fake people.

Q – Quote from a movie: “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure” – Gandalf, The Hobbit

R – Righty or lefty: Righty!

S – Siblings: Just one, a little sister named Lindsey who is delightful and fierce and wee.

T – Time you wake up: 6:30/6:40 during the week, hopefully not earlier than 8 on the weekend.

U – Underwear: Is important. I’m not sure what else should go here…

V – Vegetables you don’t like: I don’t like lots of veggies in general, but I definitely dislike tomatoes and English peas.

W – What makes you run late:  I don’t usually run late, I tend to be early if anything. However, if I don’t hear my alarm…which has happened maybe once…then I might be in trouble.

X – X-rays you’ve had: Spinal on a yearly basis as a teenager because I have scoliosis; pretty sure I’ve had a couple related to car accidents and of course, teeth x-rays!

Y – Yummy food you make: Soup of all kinds, potato, corn and potato chowder, bacon bean and ham, black bean, tomato tortellini, the list could go on and on…

Z – Zoo animal favorites: All the big cats, leopards, tigers, lions, cheetahs, mountain lions, panthers…all of those.