Pop!

During my usual jaunt through the grocery store aisles, there may, on occasion, be something that is not on my list but somehow makes its way into my cart.

One of these items is Popchips. Smaller than a regular bag of chips, these puppies boast 360 calories and 0g saturated fat for the entire 3 oz. ‘share bag’ size.

Why, hello there. How did you manage to be empty already?

The JA and I have tried a few flavors and have enjoyed every one. Popchips are a great alternative when that salty craving arrives. However, you may have to show restraint when eating them out of the bag – it’s easy to keep snacking and realize the majority of the bag is gone! (Note: Popchips are available in single serve bags for those who need a little help with portion control.)

There are eleven flavors from which to choose. I had no idea there were so many; we’ve only tried four! We are taking a few bags with us to the beach – since they aren’t fried, there’s no greasy feeling on your hands post-snack. We can’t wait to crack them open while lounging in the sand!

Note: I was in no way compensated for this review; it’s a part of my Try It Tuesday series! For more reviews about products I love, click here.

Summertime and the Livin’s Easy?

This past weekend was again filled with family, fun and food. Nettifred and her boyfriend came into town, the JA and I attended a graduation party, watched a decent amount of Olympic coverage, and ate crabs on my parent’s deck. Glorious!

This week, although my office is unofficially closed, I’m still being put to work. I accepted a freelance assignment that I’m hoping to complete this week as well as a few items that require my attention. I’m still fitting in some time with friends and family before heading to the beach for a few days with the JA’s extended family.

This is where you come in 🙂 While at the beach, I’m looking for some easy, portable, workouts. I’m not keen on bringing my weights with me when I travel and am not the biggest fan of straight-up running. I’ve actually started the Couch to 5K program, but haven’t exactly stuck with it as closely as I should. I welcome any and all suggestions.

(click image for source) While this looks enticing, I know running on the beach isn’t my idea of a run workout right now.

All in all, not too bad of a plan for the week. I’d better get crackin’ so I can check things off the ‘to-do’ list!

Suggestions for easy travel workouts? I would love to keep active while on vacation, but don’t want to lug a ton of stuff with me!

the B word

This week, I’ve been acting a bit like the B word. Short-tempered, tired, stressed out, and meaner than usual. Especially toward the JA. Poor guy, he had no idea he signed up for all this when we asked me to marry him.

I attribute part of it to the fact my normal routine has been completely obliterated by social engagements and work events. I also think I’m coming down with the summer cold the JA has had since Sunday. No bueno.

Thank goodness my office is unofficially closed next week and we head to the beach next weekend. Plus, it’s Friday! Here are some snapshots of things that have made my week a bit more bearable.

Nothing like a constant reminder of love…and a way to make sure I always have at least one water bottle in the house.

One empty carton, two spoons. The best way to finish off any dessert is to share.

Have a great weekend 🙂

Carry On

Yesterday evening, the JA and I hung out with these guys.

Well, them and some other teachers. It was a great way to relax and de-stress from the week. (It’s really ONLY Wednesday?!) We’re now less than two months away from the wedding and, honestly, I’ve been flipping out. My goal is to get a ton done before school starts in just a few weeks. So much to do in so little time!

Anyway, back to dinner. Our responsibility was to bring watermelon for the group. We purchased a small one and went to town cutting into slices. Once perfectly portioned, we needed to figure out a way to transport it all! Thank goodness for our cupcake carrier.

We took out the inner tray and fit the majority of slices into the top portion of the carrier, leaving the bottom half at home. It was portable and easy to use. When I received it as a gift, I was told I’d use it for more than cupcakes. I doubted it, but obviously have been proved wrong!

Do you have an alternative used for a gift you’ve received?

The Fault In Our Stars

Good Morning! How was your weekend? Mine was filled with family, fun and food – just as it should be. In between all that, I had the chance to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

You may know John from the YouTube channel he hosts with his brother – the Vlog Brothers. Nettifred introduced me to the channel a few years ago and I knew John was a published author, but man oh man, was I unprepared for how poignant and dynamic this book was.

Summary:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Thoughts:

As you may have gathered, I thought the book was amazing. The characters developed well, the language was superb, it was extremely well-written and it showed the topic of cancer and dying in teenagers in a way I hadn’t seen before. Even though the book is technically Young Adult, I learned a few new words along the way. The story of Hazel and Gus is one of advanced teenage love – by that I mean that they act too old for their age – a result of the ins and outs of dealing with a terminal illness. The book had me laughing and shaking my head, but also kept me guessing with each page. Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, this book has become my new favorite novel.

Don’t trust my thoughts? Here’s the Time Magazine review of the book.

Fit for A Queen

Happy Friday!

Hope you have something fun planned for this weekend. For me, today is dress fitting day! I can’t wait to slip into the wedding dress I chose back in December. I think I’ve settled on my accessories (minus a veil) and am so excited to see the whole shebang.

Click to get a hint about my dress – it’s somewhere on that page.

Yet, before then it’s a busy day off – cleaning, freelance work, solidifying more wedding details, writing thank you notes from my second bridal shower, and running errands. I think I might need another big cup of coffee!

With major storms rolling through last night, there’s still some residual gloominess outside. It was a bit rough getting up and moving today but with a full day of to-do’s, snoozing will have to wait until later!

(Note: I just brewed some Caribou Coffee Daybreak Blend. Verdict? Delicious.)

Take a moment today to be thankful and send kind thoughts to those who are affected by the shooting in Colorado.

Never Regret A Workout

After my caffeine jolt yesterday morning, I still came home feeling tired. I managed to squeeze in a mini-nap before my scheduled workout. I planned on going for a run but once the clouds/severe storm watch rolled in over Baltimore, I knew I just wasn’t motivated enough to get my butt to the gym.

So I got on the exercise bike in my basement instead. One of the sweatiest 30 minutes of my life. But it felt good to get moving.

Found on Pinterest – if you know the original source, let me know!

After dinner, the JA and I hung out and went for a walk. While these workouts weren’t as ‘intense’ as a run would have been, getting up and moving was certainly better than sitting on the couch!

Do you have a go-to workout when you can’t (or don’t want to) make it to the gym?