Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Music Blogs!

Clearly this week has a theme…

The world has combined two of my favorite things! Music and blogs. I could spend HOURS on some of these websites, which I thoroughly enjoy when I have leftover iTunes gift card monies (and some free time on my hands). As mentioned here, I vowed this year to put more energy into my music searching pastime. It truly is something that I think is the worth the time investment if you love music as much as I do (and Court as well). Finding new tunes makes me happy and inspired.

Without further ado, here are some of the music blogs I’m loving right now and new gems that have come from their glorious recommendations (definitely more to come soon):

2) LAMusic Blog - currently I'm loving this and this

6) PrettyMuch Amazing - loving this and this

These were finalists in The 2012 Bloggie awards for Best Weblog About Music (Pitchfork won it all). I’m so excited to see if there are newcomers nominated for 2013!

image above via

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogging Generation - Part II

Ever since I posted this entry here, I've gotten even more obsessed with reading blogs in my pastime. I've found getting lost in these people's stories more enjoyable than movies (or watching TV shows on repeat). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my own life more than I can even describe in words, but at my core I'm a daydreamer. Plain and simple. 

Since browsing Pinterest is up there with every girl in my generation, it's hard not to stumble upon new and interesting sites to peruse, whether you are looking for new recipes, workout routines, fashion tips, you can find everything on this highly addictive site. Recently I've found myself pinning from the "Women's Fashion" category more than anything. I've been having so much fun playing around with my wardrobe and am always looking for a new inventive way to recreate an old piece. 

Without further ado, here are my most favorite ladies that I like to catch up with on an, almost, daily basis (obviously along with my go-to girl Emily). All pics below are taken directly from their individual blogs:

This is just the cutest couple I’ve ever seen. She’s a model, he’s an actor. It’s technically a blog about fashion, her life and her interests, but there are many posts that incorporate things they do as a couple. Adorable.

I love to live vicariously through this awesome hipster couple. Between their home d├ęcor, her unique fashion sense (that I only wish I could pull off) and their adorable puppy, this blog has me coming back everyday.

I love referring to this blog for the latest and greatest in the fashion world (plus she's so damn pretty). She and her new husband have such a cute bond and go on some of the best trips... It's fun to take a peek into her life on a daily basis. 

I found this blog from Pinterest. There were many outfits pinned from her blog by various people. After I “re-pinned” my 4th outfit from this girl, I knew I had to follow her blog. Her style is (for the most part) affordable and I have such a fun time reading about her life. Everything from fashion, to food, to personal insights to life as a newlywed, there is a little bit of everything in her blog.
She actually happens to be friends with Sheridan Nicole from Blue Eyed Finch.

Love. This. Girl. Her blog is strictly outfit posts, and SO many of her pieces are very affordable (lots of things from Target, ASOS and Forever 21). This blog definitely gives me inspiration to occasionally be a little edgier, and have so much fun mixing and matching things that I never thought would have gone together in the past, but all the while make sure I'm true to the classics.

top image via

Monday Motivators!

P O O F! 

We've already rounded the corner to another new week.

I suspect the next 7 days will fly by just as quickly because I've got a jam-packed schedule this week: 3 different after school events and 
boat-loads of deadlines during the days.  Plus my students have a lot of tests to take, and Thursday concludes quarter 3 of the school year.

Just ticking away the weeks until students are out in mid May. 

While I won't likely even need to rely on external factors to get me through my work week, I have plenty of things making me smile. 

The following motivators are charging me up this Monday morning:

I made a fresh loaf of banana bread for the teachers on my team
 so they can start their week on a sweet note.

Still daydreaming about my city.

LOVING having a spinning bike in the apartment. 

For busy weeks like this one, pedaling & sweating serves as a great stress releaser. I can read or watch Netflix while I'm on the bike, and then I'm just steps away from shower and bed. 
Super convenient.

It's always nice to fix dinner in a tidy kitchen. 
I've been gradually shifting things around in our kitchen to create a simpler, more user-friendly space.

 Latest revision: I did away with the pre-packaged spice rack. 
Now I have only clean jars filled with fresh versions of spices we 
actually cook with. 

Simple, classy work outfit. I wear this with tall black boots or ballet flats. 

New dress. Extremely comfortable, therefore perfect for my job of running up and down school hallways all day.

Teacher grading & professional development day this Friday. 
Which means: NO STUDENTS!!  

Days like this allow so much time to catch up on planning and preparation.  I also really enjoy them because the teachers and I can focus on collaboration and vertical planning (planning across the grade levels) without the distraction of students. 
PD days are very productive--
and they're usually followed by a more crowded happy hour. 

My next race is this Saturday, March 1st. 
To be honest, I'm pretty pumped that it's just a 5K. 
No stress, just fun. It's also on a route I've never run on, so I'm looking forward to the scenery.

Make it a great week!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

YES! Michigan

Maybe it's because 2 months have passed since I've seen my family,
 or maybe it's just because I'm really missing the Midwest but, either way, I'm thinking of home today.

Pretty cool. Pretty accurate. 

This is where we're from: Kalamazoo.  
And, yes, this is the only way to explain how to get there. 

Found this website with super cool t-shirts. 

I'm constantly teased at work for saying this here. 

I did meet my husband here...

Beer just tastes better in Michigan

Too true

Future home office artwork? least for a visit. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Five!

{beautiful rose that’s just waiting to be added to the growing dried selection here}

A few of my fellow GFS Fit Club members and I not only kept up our daily workouts this week, but upped the ante and had a food challenge to go along with it! We literally ate foods only from the ground, no meat (obviously), no sweets, little to no carbs, no dairy, no FUN… I actually did better than I thought, considering I’ve been eating pure CRAP since Superbowl weekend, so my body has been used to exactly that (fries, nachos, cheesy bread with ranch, fried mushrooms.. mmmmmm). I was definitely anxious to get back on track… and it felt great!

This weekend I look forward to celebrating National Margarita Day with a happy hour on tonight (so missing my sissy for this!!). Tomorrow will be spent roaming around the city looking for bridesmaid dresses with one of my besties, MJ, (for her wedding) while she and I catch up on all things wedding. Since there was never a good time to see the new baby girl last weekend (hard adjustment from the hospital apparently…) I hope to see her adorable little self this weekend and shower her with love (and the most adorable little new born dress EVER…AND Michigan State apparel).  

Friday Forte: Comeby Fire – Sara Jackson-Holman (short but gorgeous)

Here are five additional things that made me happy this week:

{hot yoga was the ONLY thing that got this kink out of my neck – those little cards are for people that have areas they want the assistants to stay clear of}

{lounging sweater – although I already had a friend tell me it belonged at an ugly sweater party… don’t even care, I’m in love}

{team Procurement – the son of a very dear GFS employee was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago so my department decided to put together a little video that encompasses everything he loves about life}

{after doing a taste test of multiple kinds of green tea’s this one is my favorite and was critical in getting me through a week where water and minimal coffee were the only beverages allowed}

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Circuit Training - Session 2

Another brilliant creation from team Threshold Multi-Sport!

This circuit most definitely made me sweat (and there wasn’t even any running involved!). Enter burpees. I hate burpees but they get the job done. Those along with gazillions of push up, weights and what seemed like hours of wall sits, my entire body felt this workout! As usual, do as many of these circuits as you can get done in 30 minutes… HAVE FUN!

1) Burpees (10)

2) Mason Twist  (20 per side)

3) Choo Choo Train (20 each arm)

4) Single Leg Squats (10 each leg)

5) Hammer Curls (15)

6) Wall Squat  (1 minute)

7) Incline Push Up (15)

8) Air Squat w/ Weight Over Head  (15)

Note: some of these pictures are from the original Circuit Training post here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Another delicious surprise from the Maxey kitchen.  Enough said. Everything that boy makes is delicious. And while this dish may seem simple, its flavor is anything but. I can pretty much eat anything with bell peppers (even a little meat…).

You can follow this recipe here, but note that we were not limited to only green bell peppers. In fact, I preferred the orange and red better to add a little more sweetness. To dip, we used some leftover Stites meatloaf sauce (they kind of tasted like meatloaf stuffed peppers anyway…) courtesy of my Dad, the man that taught me EVERYTHING can be better with some sauce (future post on these sauces). 

I know these particular peps aren't the prettiest works of culinary art, but trust me, the flavor speaks for themselves!

Monday Motivators!

I'm going to piggyback--alright, totally steal--Meg's Friday Five idea and start my own Monday Motivators segment.

It's no secret that right now I need a little extra nudge to get my tush to work every Monday morning, so I've vowed to really focus on the things that help my weeks go by fast, despite career-related stresses.

I have L O A D S of tiny, fun, magical blessings floating around my world that keep me happy, secure and MOTIVATED.

Life's too short not to keep your eyes focused on those, right?

Okay, I have many said twinkly gifts this week, so I can't promise I'll stick to a set number of things like Meggie does, with her consistent 5 weekly items.  Some weeks are more exciting than others. 

So, without further ado...the following motivators are charging me up this Monday morning:

Starting a new audio book on my commute this week.  

New thermos. New Pintrest-y jar to keep my coffee in.  

Actually (REALLY) started yoga this week! 
Thanks to a video Meg burned for me. 

It will help me relax, become more flexible and strong....

and I can do it at home! 

Fancy-sounding, fancy-looking desert. Delicious.

Our possible move back to Chicago is taking over my thoughts most minutes of the day...and yes, I have run in the spot shown above. 

And I intend to run there again...and again and again...
Much still needs to happen in order for this to come to fruition this year, but we're staying positive. 

Daydreaming about maid of honor dresses...

Have a great week!!