Happier at Home // Book Review

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Happier at Home is a book I’ve been trying to get my hands on for what feels like an eternity. It is the follow up to Gretchen Rubin’s hit book, The Happiness Project. The book used the same framework to set up goals for improving one’s happiness, but rather than focusing on general life happiness, Rubin chose to focus on, you guessed it, her home! From September to May she chose a different focus for each month (Parenthood, Time, Body, etc.) She worked on things as large as conquering a fear of driving to as small as buying yummy smelling sprays for her apartment.

I love The Happiness Project so I had high hopes for this follow up and unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed. It wasn’t that the book was bad, it was well written and well researched. However, I found it to be incredibly repetitive and just too similar to The Happiness Project for me to really latch on and love it.

All in all, I would recommend either The Happiness Project or Happier at Home, but probably not both!

The Stroller Diaries // 37

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Whenever I think of cute stories to tell about the babies, I try to make notes of them in my phone to remind me when I’m writing these weekly posts. I just checked those notes and they read like this:

Something falls, uh ohh uh ohh, Emmy fix.

Did you have good sleeps? No.

Pink vs. blue lips.

Yuck. Yuck. Trash pick up.

Miiiiiiiam. Miiiiiiiam.

Hi beauty queen.

Well, there ya go, totally coherent and entertaining stories right? Oh wait, you didn’t totally understand my short hand? Don’t worry, neither did I at first, but I think I have deduced what I meant by each one.

Chicken loooooooves to say uh ohh, it’s his favorite. It is not my favorite and I can be heard all over DC repeating Buddy, it’s not an uh ohh if you do it on purpose, it’s just not. Because like, it’s just not. However, it is kind of cute when after he wakes up from a nap, I hear him take his binky out of his mouth, drop it on the ground, and calmly say uh ohh, uh ohh, Emmyyyy, Emmyyy. Until I race in the room to see him smiling coyly at the bink like, oh hey, would you mind picking that up for me even though I could totally reach it myself? That stinker.

Speaking of Chicken after he wakes up from his naps, the other day he had an especially long one (3 hours woot woot!) and when he woke up, I was laying next to him (maybe having napped a little myself). Every day since the beginning of time I have asked him did you have good sleeps?! After he wakes up. Usually he ignores me. However this day, after a gloriously long nap in which I know he slept soundly, he pulled his bink out, literally puckered his lips up, looked straight at me, and said no. At which point I died laughing.

Ok, one more napping story. That same day, I had been trying on new lipsticks during naps (I know, I’m weird) and had a light pink on when Chicken awoke. He rolled over, looked at me, pointed right at my lips and screamed BLUE!!!!!!!! Mostly because that is the only color he knows and he could just tell something was…..weird. I corrected him and explained it was pink, so now every day when he sees me he touches my lips and says pik. It’s cute.

Chickadee has taken it upon herself to become the personal litter police in DC. Every. single. day. when we arrive at a park, she runs around picking up every single piece of trash she can find, declaring it yucky and then placing it in my hand. Over and over and over again. Yesterday she picked up gum and I died and ran to the stroller for wipes.

Another cute habit she has developed is to constantly keep tabs on Chicken. She will stop whatever she is doing at the park if he is not in her line of sight and yell his name as loud as she can until he pops his little head out, she catches sight of him, and goes about her business.

And last but not least, Chickadee used to be the more shy of my two babes. She hardly spoke and she had what could only be called Bitchy Resting Face. Sorry but, it’s true. I have it too. Anywho, she has really come out of her shell and her new favorite thing is to yell HIIIIIIIIIIIII and wave like a beauty queen to every single person we encounter. Everywhere. All the time. And shockingly, only like 50% of people respond to her. How could you possibly ignore this little Cabbage Patch doll that is waving to you like she is the Queen of England?! Rude.

And those my friends, are the most recent entries in the Stroller Diaries. Over and out.

Rambles and Shameless Selfies

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Hey dudes, how is your Tuesday going? I can’t tell you how mine is because I’m actually writing this on Saturday (sneaky sneak) but I’ve got my fingers crossed that Tuesday will be a good one.

Currently, I’m cozied up in my bed (see shameless selfie above), it’s 9AM on Saturday. I’ve been up since 7:30AM because I’m an old person. You see, I stayed up until 11PM last night (which was Friday night), this never happens, that is super late for me. And so sleeping in until 7:30AM was a luxury! I’m feeling well rested and decided to give myself until 10AM to get up and start my day. So, I’m cozied up in my blankets exploring the internets.

Oh? You want to know what I found? Here, I’ll tell you.

First, there is this unbelievably amazing video of the last night of Bey and Jay’s On the Run tour. It was in Paris. There are home videos. So much love. So many tears rolling down my cheeks watching it. I am a sap.

Then I remembered this cute little boy who wanted to be Batman. Remember when all of San Fran pretended to be Gotham City for him? Yeah, that made me cry too.

Don’t worry guys, these are all happy tears.

There was some not so happy stuff on the world wide web this morning too, but I’m constantly bombarding you with heavy stuff to read, so I’ll keep it light today.

I hope your Tuesday is full of sunshine, rainbows, butterflies, Beyonce, Jay Z, and potentially some super heroes. No pressure or anything, Tuesday.

Currently // October 2014

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From a fun weekend out with my best girl in my new badass leather skirt.

looking forward to visiting Kate in RVA for Halloween!

appreciating the slow Saturday morning I had this weekend.

eating healthier food….with a little pizza sprinkled in there.

watching How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal, and Parenthood. TGIT, amiright?!

loving how verbal the babies are becoming!

planning all the gifts I want to buy for Christmas, it’s coming! It’s coming!

walking to and from Target….too often.

enjoying this whole magical Tivo thing, it’s kind of life changing.

ordering a crockpot and a toaster. #domestic.

reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Again.

drinking beer! Sometimes, and only certain ones. But baby steps, right?

working full weeks again, and some weekends.

listening to Rip Tide by Vance Joy. But only while I wait for the new TSwift album. OCTOBER 27TH HURRY UP.

celebrating Emk’s birthday! We are all turning 25 (or older…..)! What is going on!?!

grateful for grad school classes that I LOVE.

The Ultimate Dinner Party

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Did you guys hear the good news?!? Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize! And rightly so, she is one of the most inspiring women of our time, and she’s only 17! I’ve written about her before (check it out) so I won’t go into great detail about how much I admire her, but just know that she is one of the world’s biggest proponents for education and she’s kicking some major butt. And she’s publicly standing up to the Taliban after they literally shot her in the head on a school bus when she was 15. No big deal or anything.I still haven’t read her book hangs head in shame but it is on my ever expanding list.

Anywho, the point of this post is that this morning, when I was texting my friends in a frenzy over my excitement (and admitting to them that I shed a few tears watching Matt and Savannah discuss her on the Today Show), I started thinking about how amazing it would be to meet Malala. I thought to myself, yes, she is definitely on the list.

You know, the list of people you would want to have dinner with? This of course led me to think of other people on my list–immediately I thought of Glennon, Bob Goff, and Donald Miller. All of whom happen to be my favorite authors. That brings me to four guests, and I decided that five was a good number for this dinner party. While trying to think of my fifth guest of honor things spiraled out of control.

Helen Keller (this is a dead or alive situation, duh), Roy Williams, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Beyonce, Jimmy Fallon, Abraham Lincoln, the list goes on and on. This dinner party was getting out of control. I mean, my apartment can only seat two people right now, so obviously we were doing this somewhere else, but I don’t think we could find a place big enough–at least not if I was paying.

Plus, I want this to intimate, I want to be able to talk to each of them! So, I started over. And here’s my final list of the five people, dead or alive, that I would like to have dinner with.

Malala Yousafzai. Glennon Doyle Melton. Bob Goff. Taylor Swift. And Jimmy Fallon.

I seriously cannot tell you how long I spent staring at that list, you would think this was the biggest decision of my life. And I already want to swap some of those out. No, not really, I just want to add more.

Anywho, the good news is there are a lot of really inspiring, awesome people in this world who are making a positive impact. The bad news, I’m unlikely to ever have dinner with any of them. Rats.

So tell me peeps, who would be your guests of honor?!

PS No, that picture is not at all related to this post. BUT COME ON, LOOK AT IT!

Carry On Warrior // Book Review

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Alright, peeps, this week’s book is one of the best I’ve read all year. It is most certainly one of my favorite books of all time. May I introduce you to Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On Warrior and the blog Momastery. She is also one of my personal heroes (no joke) and one of the funniest women on the internet.

I finished this book a couple of months ago but I loaned it to Kate to read (she loved it too!!!) and just got it back to snap a pic for y’all.

In Carry On, Warrior Glennon talks about her struggles with alcoholism, eating disorders, parenting, marriage, and just life in general. But she does it through the most hilarious, heart warming, inspiring, and brutiful (Glennon’s word, a combo of beautiful and brutal) way.

The stories she shares are the kind that make you laugh out loud. My mom’s personal favorite story is in regards to the time Glennon tried to preheat the oven with a hair dryer. Yes, that happened. I’m giggling just thinking about it.

But while the book is hysterical, the most important message she shares is that life is hard but love wins. That if we are kind, if we help one another, and if we love as much and as hard as we can everything will be alright.

I cannot recommend this book enough, I love it just as much as Love Does, which is saying a lot. These two (plus the entire Harry Potter series) are my favorite books of all time. Hands down.

The Stroller Diaries // 36

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Some days, you guys are quite the handful. You push and you scream and you literally sit on top of each other just to annoy one another, and to annoy me.

You roll your eyes and you grunt as loud as you can. You scream NO NO NO and rip toys from one another’s hands. You dramatically toss yourself to the ground when you don’t get what you want and you constantly throw food from your high chair.

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Sometimes you only want to watch Netflix when I really need to use my computer. You will only sleep if you’re laying on my face in the position that is most comfortable for you, forget me and my inability to breathe or my full bladder.

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You scream that you want out of the swing only to scream that you want right back in it. You push each other and whack me with your toy golf clubs.

You can both be nothing short of crazy, insane, hard to handle munchkins.

But how is it that you manage to make me forget every single second of screaming and crying and misbehaving with one hug. How can you possibly melt every single part of me with one little Emmmyyy when I walk in the door?

You two, you’ve got me wrapped around your fingers, and I don’t know how we will ever let go.

Some random shots over the last month. I spend a lot of time taking and picking the best pictures for our hashtag on Instagram (#emmalounannies) but there are plenty of not so pretty, but still hilarious and totally worth documenting moments, too. 

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You guys, guess what? I’m back on my game.

As I mentioned last week, oh wait, did I mention it? I can’t remember, I think I just instagrammed about it. Anywho, last week I was a hot mess. I was so off my game all the time, couldn’t get myself to do anything that needed to be done, grumpy, exhausted, and just in a fairly foul mood.

Thank the heavens (literally, thank you, Lord), I had Friday off from work. And it was just what I needed. I woke up at 5:30AM (funny how easy that is to do when you know you’ll be napping in the late morning) to head out by 6AM for a sunrise monument run. After spending 20 minutes searching pitch-dark, downtown DC for a mailbox to send off some letters (there is one in front of the Smithsonian Institute, in case anyone else is looking), I set off on a (very) slow run from the National Mall to the Lincoln Memorial.

The run was perfect, aside from the huge swarm of gnats that attacked me when I tried to run by the reflecting pool, and I reached the top of Lincoln’s steps just in time to turn around and see this.

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I wasn’t sure how great the sunrise was going to be because I knew it was a bit of an overcast morning, but that stripe of pink was all I needed. A huge smile was plastered on my face for the rest of the morning and I plopped down to watch the rest of the show.

Which only got better.

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AND BETTER.

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AND HOLY COW THIS IS SO GOOD I CAN BARELY STAND IT

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And then to turn around and see this.

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I mean come on, how could the day possibly have been more perfect? You’re right, it couldn’t have been, and it was only just 7AM.

OH BUT WAIT, then on my walk back to the metro I stumbled upon this beautiful sight.

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GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.

And happy Tuesday to you all!

 

 

 

The Pioneer Woman: Black High Heels to Tractor Wheels // Book Review

IMG_3441The Pioneer Woman is kind of like the matriarch of big, lifestyle blogs. She has her own site, her own Food Network television show, and her own books (cookbooks and otherwise). She’s the boss. While I don’t read her blog, mostly because I don’t cook, I was very interested to read her book about meeting, dating, and marrying her husband. The book was originally just a series on her blog that she complied and added to for publication.

The story was adorable. I mean, it’s hard not to love a story about a city girl that meets and falls in loves with a country boy. However, I think it probably translated much better into blog posts than an actual book. I didn’t feel that there was a ton of depth to the book. Typically, bloggers gloss over certain parts of their lives for privacy reasons. I totally get this, despite the fact that I’m the nosiest person in the world and want ALL THE DETAILS ALL THE TIME. However, in a book format I expected a little bit more. I think the story could have been told in much fewer words than it was, with the same amount of detail.

That being said, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves blogs as much as I do, but for most readers, I think this one is a pass.

On to the next!

 

October Goals // 2014

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You know the drill…..

September Goals

- Ride my bike to work 4 days a week! Other than driving for class on Monday, I want to try and ride this beautiful shiny new thing every day. Except today because like, 96 degrees. Ok, so, this didn’t happen. Because I had a very intense fear of my bike being stolen and didn’t want to leave it anywhere with a sad little chain to keep it safe. However, I bought a real bike lock this weekend and rode my bike to work today and yesterday!!

- Speaking of my bike, buy a basket or crate for the back of it, gotta transport those groceries. Couldn’t justify spending this money without getting into a good bike groove first, maybe this month.

- Exercise 20 days this month–do it. Do it. Do it. I’m working on being able to consistently run a 5k–and have been working on this for two years. Now is the time to finally actually accomplish this, Turkey Trot, I will take you down this year. I ended up working out 17 days this past month, but that is a huge improvement from 10 days last month!

- Order and frame the last Sevenly picture for my living room. Nope.

- Finish organizing the categories in my archives. Yes! I finished this last week, everything has a home now.

- Finish my picture wall.  Yes! I busted this out a few weekends ago. It is a little crooked by hey, character, right? Pictures to come next week.

- Hang my state plates on the wall in my bedroom. This also means first attaching hangers to the back of the plates. Done! But I hung them in my tiny little nook beside my bathroom instead of in my bedroom.

- Read Jesus > Religion, Happier at Home, and From Black High Heels to Tractor Wheels and write blog reviews for them (and for the three other books I recently finished). I didn’t read all of these or review all of them but I have been cranking out reviews for the other books, so we’ll call this done. 

I just looked at my calendar for October and whew, it is going to be a busy month. I’m babysitting almost every weekend, have visitors coming, am traveling to RVA, not to mention work and school. It’s going to be a tad bit crazy, but also super fun.

October Goals

- Exercise 20 days this month. Continue running and doing Pilates (I’m recently obsessed with these videos). Travel is what always throws me off my exercise game so I’m working hard to schedule workouts in beforehand–giving me no excuse to skip them.

- Take advantage of Columbus Day sales to buy a few outfits for a teaching conference I’m attending in November.

- Order Sevenly print as well as buying/hanging a frame.

- Ride my bike to work three days a week.

- Purchases two Christmas presents–trying to get a head start on this!

- Start checking books out from the library and only purchasing them to add to my collection if I absolutely love them–I’ve spent too much money on books I’ll never reread.

- Reserve dress from Rent the Runway for Brit’s wedding!

I hope you have a great October! I’m missing summer more than usual this year but I’m really looking forward to the coming months.