Kindle Reads

Lately, I’ve been using my kindle a ton.  I will typically read it at night to wind down, and then end up reading until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.  I have to restrain myself from buying any more books until I read more of them…My current read, which I can’t seem to put down, is Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan.  Without going into too much detail, it’s about a woman who works at the New York Post and suddenly starts coming down with strange medical and psychological symptoms.  Her doctors are baffled and are having difficulty diagnosing her.  I’m still in the middle of the book, but I absolutely love it.  The book is written by the author, and due to her significant memory loss around the event she goes back and investigates films, doctors notes, her parents journals and also interviewed the countless people who worked with her.  I highly recommend it.

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I recently finished reading two out of the three Divergent books.  I liked them both but was much more sucked in by Divergent.  I’m taking a little break before I read the final book, Allegiant.

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Next up, I’m planning on reading Orange is the New Black, since Chris and I are devouring the second season on Netflix…we’ve seen 8 out of 13 episodes and I’m dying to finish.  I love seeing the stories of the inmates lives before they ended up in prison.

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I just finished reading Elin Hilderbrand’s new book, in hard cover, and I absolutely loved it.  I literally cried for most of the final chapter.  Her characters are always so complex and you get sucked into the story so quickly.  They are always set on Nantucket, I would really like to go there and see the island.  I can’t wait another year for her next one!

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What are you reading lately?  Any suggestions?

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Smutty Nose Brewery

Saturday Gwen and I met up at the gym, and then decided to head to a local brewery tour.  We settled on Smutty Nose, located in Hampton NH.  Both the boys were busy so we went solo, but we will definitely be bringing them back with us soon!  We found out that the facility had only been open for 5 weeks, after recently relocating from Portsmouth, NH.

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The tour was extremely informative, the tour guide clearly knew what he was talking about, and pointed out all of the ways that the brewery is trying to be environmentally friendly.  We walked throughout the whole facility as he explained how the brewing process worked.

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He also explained the packaging process and how this new facility will be producing higher quality tasting beer.

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The brewery was named after one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine.  According to legend, one of the islands jutted out in a way that looked like a nose.  This nose was often covered in seaweed and the sailors passing by thought it looked “smutty” thus giving the island the nickname “Smutty Nose”.  The mascot of the brewery is an adorable seal.b4

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Next came the fun part, the tasting!  We were all given the Shoals Pale Ale to start, as it was the first brew they ever made.  Then we were able to choose 3 more pours.

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My favorites were the Frankenlager and the Bouncy IPA.  The Frankenlager had pineapple and sage in it which gave it a really unique flavor.

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Gwen and I each took home a squealer of beer, essentially half the size of a growler.  I chose the Frankenlager and she went with the Farmhouse Ale.  As a thank you, our tour guide gave us a card for a free beer at the Portsmouth Brewery, where Chris and I went for lunch last summer.

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I’m hoping to get there again soon too, possibly this weekend!  Finally, the tour guide filled us in on lots of fun happenings that are in development.  When the property was purchased, there was an old farmhouse which the brewery moved to the other side of the property and is going to use a restaurant opening in late October/early November!  They also purchased a trailer which they plan on making into a food truck/beer garden.  Finally, they plan on opening frisbee golf as well.  Lots of reasons to come back again, not least of which is the delicious and unique beer.  I’d highly recommend going here if you’re in the area!

Fit Bit Friday

Hi everyone!  Long time no chat, but lots to catch up on.  For Chris’s birthday I got us both fit bits.  And I’m loving mine!  For those of you who haven’t heard of the fit bit, its a small device that you can clip to your pants or bra, or keep in your pocket.  It tracks your steps, calories and distance walked.  They recommend that you hit 10,000 steps a day which is harder than it seems!  It definitely keeps me motivated and I’ve been parking further away and taking the stairs at work.  I also joined a gym recently and have been taking advantage of their group exercise classes.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up : )

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A bunch of my friends have fit bits and for the month of March someone suggested we set up a challenge to hit 10,000 steps a day.  Of course March is halfway over, but I’m going to show my weekly progress every Friday to keep myself accountable.  So far I’ve only missed 2 out of 20!  Not too shabby if you ask me.  After the March challenge ends, I’m hoping to continue averaging 70,000 steps a week.  Here’s what I’ve done the past week:

FRI: Steps: 10,242 Miles: 4.28

SAT: Steps: 9,946 Miles: 4.29

SUN: Steps: 11,510 Miles: 4.81

MON: Steps: 10,944 Miles: 4.57

TUES: Steps: 10,250 Miles:4.33 miles

WEDS: Steps: 12,092 Miles: 5.3 miles

THURS: Steps: 10,649 Miles:4.45 miles

Tomorrow night (sat) we’re having a breakfast for dinner party, I can not wait.  If I can remember to take pictures in between chowing I will be sure to post them!

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Happy 2014!

Hello, this seems to be a bit of a pattern…but long time no see!  One of my goals for the new year is to spend more time keeping track of all the fun events that happen.  I’m a huge picture person, and am going to attempt to start some scrap booking, but I’m hoping to capture more day to day activities on here.  I had an amazing time kicking off the New Year with my wonderful boyfriend and my best friends from college.  Our New Years Eve’s are always a little complicated (in the best way possible) and this year we had a New Years Eve/26th Birthday/Going away party…with a London theme.  Got that? Two of our best friends are moving to London this weekend and as excited as we are for them, we are so sad to see them go!  But hey, it gave us an excuse to wear fascinators and talk in British accents…Here are a few pictures to capture the fun we had, and I will be back soon to catch you up on some Birch Boxes as well as to outline some organizational/personal goals I have for the new year.  (don’t mind the blurry iphone pics…just got a new charger for camera so hopefully will be using it much more!) xo

 

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Fitness Find

I felt inspired to write tonight after getting my butt kicked by a Pinterest workout that I thought seemed “easy”.  Boy was I wrong.  As I sat nibbling on a square of Ghiradelli mint cookie chocolate (OMG delicious), a find from my latest Birch Box (post to come) I was ready to curl up in my PJ’s and settle in for some blog reading and house hunters….However, I decided to go through my recent pins to find a quick workout.  Well, it was pretty quick, only took me about 22 minutes total and I was challenged for sure…almost gave up on those lunges ; )  Here’s what I did:

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I will certainly be heading over to this blog to see if she’s come up with any more fun workouts.  I must say I accidentally forgot to do the burpees the first time around, and intentionally “forgot” the second time which was a much needed mistake haha.  Next time I’ll add them in…I swear..

I was actually in a decent amount of pain because Monday morning I started going back to barre class.  I’m at a new studio and I definitely liked the class although I’m not quite used to their format yet and am thinking I like the other studio better.  However, I bought a group-on and am going to stick it out for a while.  Enjoy your workouts!  Anyone do anything sweaty/fun this week that I should try?  xoxo

 

Birch Box # 1

I recently decided to sign up for Birch Box, at the recommendation of Casey at This Little Chickpea, and I am very happy that I did…The box is small enough that it is delivered straight to your mailbox, so no chance of missing out on it being delivered!

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Love the hot pink!  Inside, there is a smaller box with all of the goodies.

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Inside, I found five samples and a few coupons.  One of the coupons was for a Chapstick Hydration Lock.  The chapstick itself is also in the box.  I’ve used it frequently and am liking it a lot so far.

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It has a slight hint of flavor, is very moisturizing and doesn’t leave behind the white film that some chapsticks tend to.  My favorite thing in the box, however, was the Benefit Fake Up stick for the under eye.  You simply swipe it under your eye, rub it up and in, and automatically look much more awake and alert!

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I also received a pink lip gloss which I have not tried yet, a green nail polish which I plan on using this week and a face cream that is meant to minimize breakouts which I’m enjoying so far.

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The box costs $10 per month, or $110 for the year and so far it definitely seems worth it!  It is a fun way to try out different brands/products before committing to the full size products.  I’m still learning how it works and will update you as I go, but I’m already looking forward to my next box.  If you’re looking to try it out follow this link: http://birch.ly/1ct69xG and I will earn some points for referring you : )  If you have any questions feel free to comment or e-mail me.  Hope everyone enjoyed their extra hour of sleep xo

Halloween Happenings

Happy Halloween!!

Well, long time no write…but there have been lots of holiday activities going on around here!  I’ve been compiling a holiday board on Pinterest and putting it to good use.  First project, candy cane wine bottles.  This project was actually much simpler than I anticipated!  First, drink some wine…ok, twist my arm.  Then, save the bottles and wash off the labels.  I bought three cans of spray paint: white, orange and yellow.

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The orange was fittingly called Pumpkin Orange!

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First, I sprayed each of the bottles completely white.  I decided to work in the garage because there was wide open space for me to lay down cardboard and it was well ventilated.

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After the second coat, the bottles were covered well and I moved on to orange.

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When you start the second color, be careful with how thickly you spray.  I definitely put too much paint on at first and there were several drips.

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By the last bottle I got the hang of it and the orange is more faded.  Lastly, spray the yellow on the bottom and you are done!  

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The nice thing is that you really only need to wait about 10 minutes in between each coat,  so start to finish this project only took about an hour and fifteen minutes.

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These look great on a front porch, but I also used them as a centerpiece in the dining room.  Next project…pumpkin carving.

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Here are the three pumpkins we started with.  We decided to do a more elaborate carving on the big pumpkin and decided on house numbers!  We were lucky that the house number is 99 so we only had to make one template.  We googled some images for inspiration and then got to work making our number.

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After carefully carving our nines, we were pretty happy with the results.

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However, it looked much better with candles once the sun went down!

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Next up, I carved a basic jack o’lantern face, while Chris used his screwdriver to drill holes in his.

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Chris thought it would be fun to try to hang these pumpkins from hooks on the porch to give the illusion that they were floating, so after we carved them we added some strings.

 

 

 

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We were pretty excited with the results, although we decided that next time we would only drill holes in the front to allow the light to reflect off of the back of the pumpkin.

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Hope you have a fun, treat filled Halloween! Coming up…a post on my first Birch Box!