Book Swap

I signed up for my a book swap a few weeks ago and was partnered up with Sarah

It such a foreign idea for me to send back and forth mails and get to know someone that well, I would probably never meet in person.  But it was really fun to get to know someones tastes in books. 

And it was easy because we both basically were interested in reading the same thing! 

From Sarah, I received the first three Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich: One For The Money, Two For the Dough and Three To Get Deadly.  Plus I got three book with each of the Hunger Games Trilogy on one side with the tag from the book on the other.  I don't have any bookmarks of any kind, well I guess if you wouldn't count a folded in half US Weekly subscription insert as one.

Any hoot, I quickly finished the book I was reading after I got this fantastic package and I'm already 100 pages into the first novel.  Can't wait to read and finish all three!

Thank you Sarah for being such a great partner!  You seriously made this swap the easiest and most fun thing!

I'd Rather Take The Stairs

Today, as I stepped out my car in the parking lot at work, took a deep breath hoping that maybe o’ maybe the work day would fly by, all I could smell was cat shit.  It’s completely unpredictable what smell will greet me on any given day.  Will it be swamp ass or the sweet smell of maple oatmeal brewing? 

As I made my way into the building and waited patiently for the elevator, I got to thinking just how awkward elevators truly are.  Or maybe it’s how awkward I am on the elevator.  If I thought if it wouldn’t hurt to walk up 7 flights of stairs with a purse, lunch bag, and laptop in my arms with probably the most inappropriate shoes, I would choose to walk the stairs every time.  But in the morning and at the end of everyday, it’s just not my cup of tea.

 There are a few ground rules people should follow when it comes to riding in an elevator.

1.       I get that were in an enclosed space but you should be a good arm’s length away from me, especially if we are the only two people in said space.  Please respect the personal space.

2.      If it looks too crowded it probably is.  Wait for another.  Don’t make everyone else suffer because you’re the annoying one who just had to get on this exact elevator.

3.      Absolutely no talking on your cell phone.  I don’t care how great your night was, I don’t need to hear about it (and it probably wasn’t that great). 

4.      Enough with the small talk.  Again, I get we’re alone in a small space but it’s less awkward for me if we skip the small talk and just stand in silence.  Actually, it’s what I prefer.

5.      Minimum ticket to ride: at least 2 floors, unless you’re crippled, otherwise, I will make you crippled.

6.      You wait until I get out before you barge your ass onto the elevator.  Get it….people go out, you come in.

7.      Contrary to popular belief, the elevator doors will not close any faster if you hit the close button 1 time or 27.

8.      Women should always exit the elevator first.  It’s common courtesy.

But it’s always good to have a little fun on the elevator too (just don’t let it be on the one I happen to be riding):

·        Stand silent and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.

·        Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.

·        Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: 'Got enough air in there?'

·        Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: 'I've got new socks on!'

·        Meow occasionally.

·        Holler 'Chutes away!' whenever the elevator descends.

·        Say 'Ding!' at each floor.

·        Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers that this is your 'personal space.'

So, what’s your elevator pet peeve?

Seven Things On A Friday

1.  Quinn.  I have the happiest, most fun, giggly baby.  Six months old is by far my favorite age yet.  I think she's already mastered selective hearing.  She's really sneaky too.

2.  Book Swap

I'm participating in my first ever book swap.  It was fun getting to know a bit about my partner and picking out the books she would love to read. 

I also found out there is a Half Price Books in CR and I'm really excited about it.  I want to read more James Patterson, Jackie Collins and Janet Evanovich and this bookstore offered a variety by each for over 50% the price you would pay at a Barnes and Noble.  They were all in really good condition too.  I have a feeling I'll be visiting more frequently and getting Quinn quite a few books of her own.

3. Revenge.

Have you been watching? If not, you really should. It's by far my favorite new show. I stayed up way too late on Wednesday to watch the latest episode from my DVR...but it was worth it. The last three weeks have been crazy to say the least. turn away if you haven't seen any of the episodes.

First, we see Tyler see his rightful demise. That boy was crazy and an disturbing individual. Last week we found out that Charlotte is Emily, err Amanda's half-sister. This week we saw Daniel propose to Emily, Jack beat up and Victoria tell Daniel that David Clark raped her and that's how she wound up preg-o with Charlotte. When Emily found out this little lie, the cray cray sparked in her eye.

I can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings.

4.  Workouts.

Monday: 4 miles on treadmill.  Light 1/4 mile run at 6.5 mph for warm-up.  Then did 5x800 starting at 8.5 mph, working up 0.1 each time and walked 3 minutes in between each 800.  (6.5 mph = 9:14 mile, 8.5 mph = 7:04 mile and 8.9 = 6:45 mile).

Tuesday: Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown - Level 1.  Felt sore the next day in my back and shoulder blades.  Love when I feel sore!

Wednesday: Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown - Level 2.  I needed to really get my body loose and my muscles stretched out to help with running.

Thursday: off

Today:  6 miles.  1 mile warm up, 3 miles of alternating 800's at 7.5 mph and 400's at 6.5 mph and two miles of alternating 400's at 7.5 mph and 400's at 6.5 mph.

5.  Nails.  Sand Tropez by Essie.  I don't think I've ever painted my nails this light before but I really love it.

6.  Horrible Bosses.  We watched this last night and it was super raunchy but very, very hilarious.  Husband thought I was going to pee my pants, multiple times. 

7.  This is how we spent our Saturday afternoon last weekend.  This is the sweetest view.

Easiest Recipe I've Ever Made

They are delicious and extremely easy.  You can add as much roast beef and Swiss cheese onto your crescent as your little heart desires.  It's a meal that takes less than 20 minutes to make and it'll win over the entire family.

Crescent Roll French Dips


1 can crescent roll (8 oz)
7 oz deli roast beef (I used Oscar Meyer)
4 slices Swiss Cheese

1.  Separate crescent rolls and lay out so they are flat.
2.  Add as much roast beef as desired on top of crescent roll.
3.  Add 1/2 slice Swiss Cheese on top of beef (I folded each 1/2 slice in half to make a stack).
4.  Roll up.
5.  Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown at 375 degrees.
6.  Enjoy.

Husband Review: "4 out of 5 stars.  They were good."  We're going to have to work on his reviews.  Let's just say he wouldn't complain if I made them again.

Rachel Review: "I wouldn't post them on here if I didn't think they were worth making."

Note: This fed two of us with 3 rolls leftover.

2012 Golden Globes {The Best, The Worst and The Scary}


Sofia Vergara

Va, va, voom!  She knows what works for her and well, works it!

Angelina Jolie

Love the one shoulder look and the pops of red.  Cut your hair Brad.

Jessica Alba

I wish I looked this good after having baby #2 a few short months ago.

Julianne Moore

Love the silhouette.

Julie Bowen

Pretty and romantic.

Frieda Pinto

The color looks amazing on her.


They all look like they tore down their drapery, sewed it into a shitty resemblance of a dress and called it good.  It's not.


Patchwork quilt made from electricians tape and a garbage bag.  Thrifty.

Jodie Foster

Curtains.  Her stylist needs to be fired but then again, it is Jodie Foster.

Michelle Williams

Dress is ugly and she could have pulled something better.  Hate the hair band.

No words.


Zachary Levi

I loved any man who wore something other than black.  Black is classic but I think the blue really works.  Either way, I think a tie should be mandatory.

So, do you agree with my choices?  Who impressed you?  Were you happy with the winners?

Top Things I Couldn't Live Without {For Baby}

I've been a mom for 6 months so I've officially entered the expert zone.  I'm only half kidding. 

I know there are a lot of preggos out there.  One of my best friends from my college days is pregnant with her first. 

I was a first time, expecting mom only a few short months ago without any idea of what I really needed to take care of this precious little being inside me.

I was clueless.

So, I'm here to help each and every one of you with the things you may be considering but don't think you really need.  I'm here to tell you, you do!

I'm giving you what worked for us, in our situation. 

First thing you need is a swing.  I know you're thinking that it will only be used for a few months and you're right.  However, it will help you keep your sanity.

I didn't have one when we brought baby home from the hospital but after a month, I knew that I wouldn't survive without one (we had a seat that would vibrate but every time I turned it on, she'd start screaming).  When you're making calls to your husband that go something like "YOU NEED TO GET HOME NOW!  DROP EVERYTHING AND RUN!  I NEED TO SHOWER....I NEED TO PUT MAKEUP ON....SHE WON'T LET ME PUT HER DOWN!", you know you need one. 

In all seriousness, if you ever want to do anything outside of holding your baby, you will get them something that will entertain or put them to sleep like this. 

The one we have allows you to set a time up to one hour.  Ours runs on batteries but is energy efficient (had if for 6 months, haven't changed the batteries yet and we used it all the time - at least 2-3 hour each day).  You may consider one that plugs in if you don't want to pay for batteries.  You'll want one that cradles and sways.  Trust me on this.

You need a stroller. 
Of course, most everyone gets a travel system.  However, I think you need more than one.  Before you roll your eyes, let me explain.  I have two strollers: one that matches the car seat (Graco Stylus) and a jogging stroller (Baby Trend Expedition).
The jogging stroller is perfect for running (obviously), walks and "off-roading", and putting baby immediately to sleep but not for things such as shopping - the basket in the bottom is not spacey enough, well for my needs anyway. 
The stroller that matches the car seat is perfect for shopping or anything that involves rolling on a smooth surface and for baby to take naps (the seat lays down better on the Graco than the jogging stroller).  The basket underneath will hold your purse and quite a few shopping bags. 
However, if you only are buying one stroller,  I would highly recommend a jogging one...the wheels are real and not plastic and you can pretty much use it everywhere.  Plus, if your husband isn't home and you need to go for a run, there is nothing holding you back!

I ended up buying my jogging stroller from Craigslist.  It was practically brand new.

A diaper bag that clips on to the back of your stroller.  It won't knock you in the legs while you're walking and you'll have a lot more space in your basket for shopping bags.  I also recommend getting two different sizes and gettting one where dad wouldn't be embarrassed carrying it around.  I have this one and I absolutely love it. 

We initially registered for a video monitor as a joke, just to see if anyone would buy it off our registry.  Well someone did and that someone was my mom!  Holy cow this will keep you sane.  If you're like me and would go rushing into baby's room at any little sound, you need this.  It sits on my night stand and any sound she makes, I can quickly roll over and take a look at what she's doing. 

The ability to watch your baby's chest rise and fall without getting out of bed is beyond words.  You're already tired, why make things harder on yourself by getting out of bed to make sure you're baby is okay. 

Another thing I love about it, is that we go to bed later than Quinn does, so if I need to check on her, all I have to do is walk into my bedroom to see.  I don't have to be quiet sneaking up to her crib to make sure she's okay.

There is also an on/off switch for the video portion so that you can use it as a normal monitor as well.

Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor

We have used our Boppy pillow for so many things.  Conventionally it's supposed to be a pillow used for feeding, more specifically breast feeding.  I didn't breast feed but we got so much use out of it.  This pillow allows you to channel surf, play on the Internet and/or Facebook stalk while doing double duty feeding your babe.  Plus, you can throw the baby in this for naps, tummy time or to prop baby up so she has a better view of the television.  The pillow is also good for head support in such places as an airplane or if your ever in an accident as well as a comfortable footrest.  I highly recommend this pillow for every mom and dad.  I think my husband used it more than I did.

These bottles are the best.  Actually, I don't know if they really are because we've never used any other type of bottle.  However, we've never had a problem with gas or upset stomach from using these.  I've heard other mom's say that their baby was less fussy ever time they used these bottles.  The wide bottles are great for newborns...they spill less.

 Things you don't need, will be a complete waste of money and if you ever receive, should promptly take back to the store:
Bottle warmer
Wipe warmer
Bottle rack (get a drying mat and use your dishwasher and a sterilizer)
A useless husband
Also, if I have to offer you one piece of advice for after labor it would be to take a stool softener.  You have a lot going on down there, the last thing you need is more pain.  It won't make you go but it will make it easier for when you actually have to go.  Yes, I went there.  You can thank me later.

Aaaaaaaannnddd on that poop note, I gotta go.


**I am in no way getting compensated for this.  This is mere opinion.  However, if your company would like me to review your product, send it my way!**

Fashion {Pinterest Style}

With the New Year, I'm actually trying to save more and to not go shopping because let's face it, I never need anything. 

Maybe I'll make up a rule that I can only go shopping in even months. 

Maybe I should win the lottery and that will solve all problems.

It never hurts to look though, right?!

I've been wearing a lot of skinnies with an over sized sweater or cardigan and boots. 

But here are some styles I am loving right now and would like to recreate:


 What's your go to piece this winter?

Linking up with The Vintage Apple today.

6 Months

Sleeping all night but will stir until her pacifier is placed back into her mouth.

6-8 ounces each feeding.
Eating fruit for breakfast and veggies at dinner plus bottles in between and right before bed.
We've tried bananas, apples, peaches, pears, apples & bananas with oatmeal, carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, squash and mixed veggies.  Loves her fruit and carrots but is a little skeptical about her green veggies.

15 pounds 11 ounces - 36th percentile (we're moving up).

25 inches - 11th percentile (we're going down).

Still big...90th percentile.

Size 2

3 to 6 months.

Pretty blue eyes.

The top layer is more of a Strawberry blonde while the under layer is blonde, blonde, blonde.  I was a blondie when I was a baby. 

Rolls everywhere, like a barrell or a rolling pin. 
While sitting up has mastered grabbing things in front of her and going back up to a sitting position, however, side to side is still weak and usually results in her "falling over" (into mom or dad's arms of course).
Can stand against her toys or the coffee table but only for a few seconds.

First Christmas.

 Obsessed with hair and earings.  Basically anything she can grab onto and yank.
Studying everything, in depth.
Mega curiosity.
Doesn't want to miss out on anything.
Loves bathtime (we've been alternating between baths and showers...we don't want a scardy cat when it comes to a shower in a couple years).
Anything she can put in her mouth.
Loves her toes and feet.

{P.S. It's scary how much she really looks like her daddy.  At least we finally figured out who that was.  PHEW!}

Book Club: 1st To Die

1st To Die by James Patterson
Inspector Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department suddenly finds herself in the middle of two horrifying situations: The first is that she s just learned she has an often-fatal blood disease. The second is a double homicide case she s now heading up that involves the murder of newlyweds on their wedding night. Burdened with Chris Raleigh, a new partner reassigned from the mayor s office, Lindsay finds that she has too much to deal with and turns to her best friend, Claire, the head ME on the case. Claire offers helpful advice and human, friendly contact amid a job filled with violence, cruelty, and fear.

Soon a fledgling newspaper reporter, Cindy, makes contact with Lindsay looking for a career-making story. Although Lindsay can t officially comment on the case, the two women form a rapport, and Cindy joins Lindsay and Claire for their weekly meeting. When a second pair of newlyweds is murdered, and later a third, the investigation leads to a prominent crime writer, Nicholas Jenks, who has a history of spousal abuse and a predilection for kinky, dangerous sex games. With the help of an understanding assistant D.A., Jill Bernhardt, Lindsay tries to make a case against Jenks, who even had an affair with one of the slain women. Eventually Jill joins the Murder Club, and the four ladies share private interdepartmental information in an effort to track and stop the killer before he strikes again.

The major subplot -- Lindsay's facing up to her illness even while she learns to fall in love again -- carefully compensates for the novel s coarse scenes of brutality. Lindsay Boxer isn t merely an obsessed cop trailing a maniac; she s also a terrified woman confronting the onslaught of disease. The story lines balance out to show us the true mettle of someone who puts the safety of others before her own.

Again, Patterson s skill for producing furiously paced fiction are evident as the novel breezes by rapidly. The short chapters keep the narrative leaping with increasingly taut plot elements, but there s an emotional commitment that makes our protagonist even more amiable and involving. 1st to Die is a novel that works as an intense series of character portraits that will leave the reader touched and delighted.


I got my James Patterson cherry popped!  This is my first James Patterson book that I've read.  I thought I would start out with the woman's murder club and work from there.  I want to read the Alex Cross series but I’ve sort of seen Along Came A Spider and Kiss the Girls.
This book was really, really good.  I don't typically read crime novels...some but not a lot.  I'm currently asking myself why I don't read more because these seem to be the one's I enjoy the most.  This one was a page turner for me.  It took me less than 6 days to read.  This never ever happens, especially with 400+ page books.  Write this down…I read a book in 6 days.  Aaaand, we’re moving on.
Interested in reading a novel about some bad ass bitches that take no shit from men solving a murder or two?  Do you like a book that keeps you on edge?  Do you like your novel non-predictable?  Then this one is for you.  At many points during this novel, I thought I had the killer pegged and named, then it throws me for a loop and everything changes.  The end is definitely something I didn't see coming.  Also, if you would like a side of romance, this has it too.
 Super fast, super easy and super intriguing!!

So I Hear You Think You Know Something About Iowa?

Thanks to a few of my Facebook friends, here's a few things you should know about Iowa.  Sure, we don't have a beach or a mountain or probably anything that screams, come to Iowa but we're pretty fucking great if you ask me.


Bring It 2012

I'm not big on resolutions.  I feel like giving establishing resolutions is setting yourself up for failure.  Instead, I believe in making small, easier, realistic, attainable goals that I know I will stick to.

Here are my goals for 2012:
1.      Read 20 books.
2.      Drink less pop or quit all together.
3.      Tweet and update Facebook more often.
4.      Order wedding photos by end of January (yep, got married in 2009).  See #17.
5.      Give Quinn a fantastic first birthday.
6.      Save up and buy a DSLR.
7.      Complete a DIY project each month.
8.      Eat more salad.
9.      Run more.
10.   Get out of the habit of hitting snooze.
11.   Start a collection jar for every time I work out.  One time = $1.
12.   Workout 4x a week.
13.   Go to church at least 2x a month.
14.   Take more outfit pictures.
15.   Take more pictures in general.  (#6 will help with this!).
16.   Clean more often.
17.   Stop being a procrastinator.
18.   Take Quinn to the zoo.
19.   Learn something new.
20.   Try at least 2 dishes that are outside my comfort zone (now would be a good time to tell you all that we have 2 rabbits in our freezer…I’m calling them Fluffy & Twinkles.  I’m really disturbed by it).
21.   Do the Advocare Herbal Cleanse.
22.   Be nicer to the hubs and appreciate him more.
23.   Watch more movies.
24.   Keep current with the DVR.
25.   Bake more.
26.   Take a vacation.
27.   Go swimming more often.
28.   Speaking of, be bikini ready by June.
29.   Send more cards (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.).
30.   Play more croquet.
31.   Grow out my hair. 
32.   Stop leaving dishes in the sink.
33.   Get together with friends more often (this has majorly slacked since having baby…weird how that happens).
34.   See two movies in the theater.
35.   Setup Quinn’s college fund.  I have the paper work, I just need to sit down and do it.
36.   Decorate more for the holidays.
37.   Run a half marathon.
38.   Run five competitive races.
More to come.
Do you resolve or are you a goal maker?  Are you a New Year, new you type of person?
Bring it on 2012, let's see what ya got!