Books

Summer Reading

I love to read – more so for entertainment than education – but regardless, there’s something about finishing a book that feels like a darn good accomplishment. I wish I did it more.

Labor Day weekend, my hometown library puts on a HUGE book fair that sells everything from books to DVDs to records to games to magazines – all in great condition, and all SUPER cheap [like $.50-$3 dollars cheap]. My Mom & I like to go together & scope it out. Lucky for me, I picked up a ton of great books from some of my favorite authors- for only $7!

book fair
Inside the book fair

I can’t wait to read them all! 🙂

While on the subject of books, I always find myself reading the most in the Summer months. This year especially, I was able to get a few great reads in.

One of which [although a little late to the game], I was SO glad I could get my hands on…

Gone girl

After hearing that the film would be coming out in October, I was dying to read Gone Girl! My Mom lent it to me and I couldn’t put it down. What a story. Really bizarre concept, super strange ending, interesting characters, and twist & turns for days!

I cannot wait for this movie – especially since there’s an alternate ending! See the trailer here:

Also – have you seen Amy Dunne’s Pinterest page?! It is the creepiest/strangest/coolest thing ever. I have a hunch that social profiles for fictional characters are about to be popping up all over the place! Check it out here.

 

Did you read Gone Girl? What did you think?

Do you plan to see the film? 

Beach Vacation Must-Haves

There’s no better way to beat the New England cold than to escape somewhere warm. I’m heading to the Cayman Islands for a nice little vacation, and I couldn’t be anymore excited! While writing a packing list, I realized there are some things that I couldn’t imagine being on the beach without:

VAca Must HavesJPG1) Fun, printed bikinis. Bright colors, of course!

2) IPad -it’s perfect when you’re unable to use your cell, and much easier than toting your  laptop around!

3) Big sunglasses – need I explain more?

4) A good beach read. I’m currently in the middle of Safe Haven, I want to finish it before I see the movie.

5) Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion. I love the gold shimmer in this one.

6) Floppy hat – love these when I’m laying out.

7) Gold flip flops – they’re perfect for the beach & going out at night.

8) A fun manicure! I’ll probably go with a Gelish polish so that it’ll last my whole vacation, but I’m not sure which color just yet – something bright!

9) A beach cover up. These are essential – perfect for when you want to get up and grab lunch, take a walk, or need to cover your skin.

I cannot wait to get away, I am really looking forward to soaking up some sun! These are just a few of my must-haves, is there anything else that I should throw in my beach bag?

Bikini Bod on the Brain

Hi All!

So glad I finally have a few minutes to post. Work has been beyond busy, there have been a lot of family and friend events recently, I’ve been super committed to my 3 week diet/exercise plan, and I’ve been sick the past few days! It’s been a horrible combination for blogging; but hopefully I can get back on track!

I wanted to re-cap my efforts of my goal to get in shape before Memorial Day weekend (ahh only 5 days left)!

So I bought Bethenny’s book, Naturally Thin for some inspiration! I’ve been reading it regularly and picked up some great tips, but over all I don’t know if I could fully adapt to her methods of eating…it honestly sounds like she barely eats! Regardless, it’s an interesting perspective.

I’ve upped my exercise trying to do some arms/legs/butt/abs and cardio everyday. I picked up some new hand weights and have been using them regularly. I try to work out every night- out of the last 2 weeks I’ve only skipped 2 work out days!

I’ve been pre-cooking and packaging all of my meals and snacks. In the morning I’ve been eating a hard boiled egg or an egg white muffin! I found this recipe and loved it- especially because they can be frozen for the week. Mix egg whites, green peppers, black pepper (add any veggies you’d like), pour into greased muffin tins- bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Freeze and heat up in the morning 🙂

You got a peek into my healthy snack prep a couple weeks ago, but I’ve extended to non-refridgerated items as well: peanuts, dried fruits, multi-grain chips, etc.

I’m a frozen food/veggies fanatic lately! I use them for lunch and dinner. I’ve been making salads with a veggie burger or chik patty with vegetables, hard boiled eggs, walnuts, etc, and hot dishes with eggplant, squash, zucchini, onions, shitake mushrooms, black beans, broccoli, and organic salsa.

Results have totally been paying off- I even picked up 2 new bikinis 🙂

Props to Old Navy- I have such a hard time finding a swimsuit that fits properly, I always need to shop at stores that sell separates, and even then I struggle, but this suit is amazing! The cut on the top fits so well!
This one is a little flashy, and definitely has less coverage, but I love it 🙂 I’ve been looking for a metallic/silvery suit forever!

I plan to continue my efforts, and definitely up my game the next few days! I like setting a goal and seeing it through. I’m not dropping the ball on this one!

And as always…a picture of my current mani 😉

Forever 21 Polish- no name on it though :-/

This polish is crazy! It appears neon orange, neon pink, and red in different lights!

So many people have told me they’re currently trying new diet and exercise plans, how are you getting ready for the bikini season?

Update on My New Years Resolutions! (2 Months Down)

Happy March everyone! Can you believe how quickly February flew by!?

Like I did at the beginning of last month, I’m going to go through my New Years Resolutions to see that I’m staying on track. 😉

Here we go!

1: Stop Cursing. Better, but overall… Fail.

2: Exercise regularly. Starting to slack, but still making the effort.

3: Eat healthier. This has definitely been my best resolution! Complete success!

(Although I did put quite a dent in a box of Valentines Day chocolates …)

4: Stop spending so much money and start saving more. Done, and done. My only credit card was completely paid off, and I’ve been able to save quiet a bit of money this month.

5: Make an effort to spend more time with friends: A little tricky this month with my out of town friends, being in the Bahamas threw me off a bit, but plans are in the works for the near future 🙂

6: Spend more time reading. Being on vacation was the perfect kick in the butt! I finished The Hunger Games, and The Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me. When I got home, I couldn’t wait to start Catching Fire!

7: No more soda.  Although I had some moments of weakness, and would have given my left leg for a diet coke, I am still 100% clean 😉

8: Eat out less and cook more. Yes, and yes!

Overall, I’ve been pretty successful with my resolutions, and it’s amazing. I feel so productive with my time, much healthier with food choices, and far smarter with my money. I’m really proud of myself and have started to indulge here and there, taking stabs at my growing want list, and planning some vacations 🙂

How are your resolutions coming along?

Update on my New Years Resolutions (1 month down)

Happy February everyone! I apologize for not blogging all week, I’ve been super busy, and a little under the weather- but I’m back 🙂

I decided that at the beginning of each month, I would go through my New Years Resolutions and note how well, or how poorly I’ve been maintaining them. I think it’s a good way to keep myself in check when it comes to sticking to my goals. So here we go:

1: Stop Cursing. Unfortunately, this one has been really difficult for me. I have been making the effort, but sometimes it just slips. However, each time I slip I do catch myself and note how horribly I am at sticking to this resolution. LOL…  It’s a work in progress.

2: Exercise regularly. This has been pretty good! I’ve definitely been making a conscious effort to get some sort of physical activity into each day. Some days are better than others, and yes I have skipped a few here and there, but overall I’m proud of myself for the increased physical activity.

Snapshot while exercising at home- love my little 3lb weights! LOL
Went ice skating with all of my cousins- here'e a shot of my sister and I. What a great lower body workout!

3: Eat healthier. This may be my best resolution! I’ve been eating super healthy M-F. I’ve been allowing myself to cheat on the weekends,  but as the weekends go by I find that I am not as eager to eat junk because I really have noticed a difference in the way my body feels.

I've been making much healthier lunches and eating SO much fruit! Yumm 🙂

4: Stop spending so much money and start saving more. I definitely have! I try not to spend any money during the week on “things” (random trips to CVS, Marshalls, Target, etc.) I do allow myself to spend if going out for an occasion or on groceries. I keep adding to my want list  and chip away at it on the weekends or wait until I absolutely need something. I’ve also made the effort to force myself to put money aside from each paycheck-I started looking at it as another bill.

5: Make an effort to spend more time with friends: So far so good! This month, I met my best girls from home for dinner, as well as my Kappas- (the class I was initiated with in my sorority). We’re all so busy and live across the state, but by planning ahead, we’ve all been able to follow through with plans. 🙂

Erin, Kelly & I
My Kappas <3 Brie, Kristen, and Steph 🙂

6: Spend more time reading. I wish I could say I was doing this! Honestly, I don’t think I picked up a book for more than an hour this month. I’ve read a ton of magazines….but I don’t really think those count. This month I’ll need to work on upping my literature.

7: No more soda. Hell, my name is Amanda and I am soda-free. Not a sip. 🙂

Water-all day everyday 🙂

8: Eat out less and cook more. Done and done! I pack a healthy lunch for work everyday, and try to cook dinner M-F. It helps me to save money during the week and eat healthier- so by doing this I am contributing to two of my other resolutions as well!

And of course, one of my resolutions was to start and maintain a blog. I think I’ve been doing a decent job. I’ve tried to make an effort to post every night, but some days are just far too busy. I think this will be by 26th or 27th post? So that’s not too bad out of 31 days!

How are you guys doing with your New Years Resolutions? Have you been sticking to them?

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