2 years

Today marks 2 years.

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Confused? Most of you probably are, since I’ve been hiding a bit of the truth. Two years ago today, Tyler and I officially got married. On a cliff. In the mountains. Next to a pile of sheep sh*t. It was magical.

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Crap, are you mad?? I’m not. We knew we wanted to be married after our second date, and the whole international barrier thing made the decision to go ahead with it much easier. But then of course we did the ‘real’ wedding about 15 months later–> read about it here.

I LOVE the way we got married. The only expense was the marriage license and there was no pressure because practically no one was there watching! (I’m sure that sheep was watching from afar). In turn, the day of the real wedding was easy breezy because all I had to do was show up in a white dress and say I Do…again.

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The only reason it was kept somewhat of a secret was because Tyler wanted to make sure that our actual wedding celebration would feel just as special. Soooo, I didn’t legally change my name until after our second wedding. At least state-side. And I got to call him my fiancé for a while, since we never really had an engagement.

Isn’t love romantic?

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Also, I get two anniversaries now.

Winesday Wednesday

Happy Winesday Wednesday, folks!! Man, these weeks sure do fly by–I feel like I’m always posting alcohol (well, because I AM).

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This week, I am gonna share most of the drinks I had while in Chicago. Most all my bevies had me all:

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Actually, pretty much all alcohol has that effect on me. Minus the super duper hoppy IPAs. Even then, I’m a sport and will drink it.

OK—here we go!

Fridays beers at the airport: Shock Top and Goose Island’s Green Line Pale Ale

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You know, just your standard drink-in-the-airport beers. Helped pass the time. And relax me.

I ordered the Lakeshore when we went to the Signature Lounge. It was a really great drink to have for happy hour- especially when I had jest met up with friends and had an excellent view of the city from 96 stories up! The Lakeshare consisted of Belvedere vodka, sparkling wine and raspberry liqueur. Yum!

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Margaritas were had with dinner. It’s pictured in the last post.I really love margaritas. Like, the real ones- not the ones with that yucky sour mix. I could drink them all the days. When our kitchen is done, I’m gonna have a party and make everyone a margie (or 2 or 3 or…)

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Ole!

Then there was the terribly strong martini from the piano bar….

And rounding out the evening with a Revolution Brewery Bottoms Up Wit. Delish!

The 3 beers I chose to sample during our bike tour on saturday were:

  • Three Floyd’s Gumballhead- wheat ale with a tiny bit of citrus. I REALLY liked this one, but majority of the people in our group thought different. Weirdos.
  • Lagunitas PILS- on the hoppy side, but dang was it super refreshing as a bike-tour stop!
  • Bell’s Oberon Ale- another summery beer! Wheat ale that was a bit spicy and fruity and delicious all in one! PS: the sample for this one was entirely too small!

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Dinner that night was accompanied by a delicious red: Estancia Reserve Meritage. It was PERFECT with our steak dinners. Plus, I’m pretty sure I can drink it on it’s own. I loved this wine!

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We also managed to down another bottle. The second was Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon. This was another good drinking wine that we enjoyed all too easily with conversation at the bar.

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Noms.

Some of my other choices for the weekend were more Revolution beers and Goose Island beers- the places we went to had mostly IPA selections, which some times isn’t as appealing to me. Womp.

Ok, so that’s all the cool crap I’ve got to share! I hope maybe this helps for some suggestions :)

Michael shared some new stuff, too! He wrote:

So I went to Philadelphia again for the weekend and had some delicious brews and eats. Before going there, however, I had a strong IPA by Maui brewing company called Big Swell. Lots of hop flavor on this one. Good stuff for a Hawaiian made beer. In Philadelphia, my wife and I went to this restaurant with her former college roommate called Sbraga ownedand operated by the Top Chef. I had a Hof Dormaal there with my meal and it was fantastic. It is a strong Belgian blonde ale with hints of banana, clove, and other spices throughout that went perfectly with all of my tasting dishes. We then left and went to Nodding Head brew pub. I got a “Just Annuder Stout” which I wasn’t too impressed with but still decent enough to drink the whole pint. It was more dark chocolate/coffee flavor than I expected but with the addition of lactose sugar (not dissolvable by beer yeast), it was more than tolerable and had a creamy finish. The interesting thing about this brew pub is it is one of the smallest in Pennsylvania, yielding only 7 barrels of beer per year. Helps keep costs and alcohol taxes down I guess! I took a pic of their brewery equipment which I will include with this. What you see is exactly how much equipment they have.

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I’m not a big-time lover of stouts, but there are a select few that I really like. I try to avoid getting them at restaurant or bars just in case they ruin a meal! Thanks, Michael!

For your entertainment:

When I look at myself in the error after I’ve done my makeup (drunk):

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How I professed my love (before Tyler):

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How I picture all my nights out with friends:

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See ya next week! (If you have anything you want to show off in future posts, send them my way!)

 

 

I could just dance

I could just dance I’m so excited for another long weekend!

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This weekend is going to be the complete opposite of last weekend, though. I have practically nothing on the books!

Oh wait, I lied. I have two different social engagements, some more kitchen demo, and some easter baking to do. Look what I’m turning into!

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Some randomness for your reading pleasure:

  • I’ve discovered that the life expectancy of stretchy pants is exactly one year when worn on a constant basis. (Insert tear at the passing of my beloved elastics)
  • Season 3 of Downton Abbey is now on Netflix. Hashtag imsuperexited. (I prefer writing out the word than using the symbol. I’m different like that)
  • I’ve replaced the Parent Trap (Lohan version) snack of Oreos and peanut butter with Oreos and Nutella. I also know that it is possible to make Nutella taste slightly not-so-delicious: by eating a sandwich loaded with red onions just prior.  Let’s have a non-onion sandwich party following by Nutella-dipped Oreos, shall we? Now that’s seriously got me excited.

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  • I need a new hair style. My current ‘do is frumpy- both in cut and color. Any fashion-forward/stylists out there have  suggestions?? I ALMOST thought of chopping it, but I KNOW I hate it short. Hmmm
  • There was a spider in my shower last night. Which made me think: I haven’t come across a single spider since living here. Which is a COMPLETE change from New England! 2 weeks before moving, I found a tick under my fitted sheet. Fast forward, and Layla was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. And I remember waking up all the time with red bumps  in random spots from different insect bites. Yuck! PS: Tyler wouldn’t get the spider, so I’ll probably die tonight.
  • Has anyone watched Surviving Jack? I think that show is hilarious. I love a good new comedy to throw in the lineup.

See you tomorrow for Winesday Wednesday!!

#HashtagChicago

Hi Friends! (and strangers)

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I am so happy that Monday is over and done with- it was REALLY hard to go into work this morning because I’m coming off a really great vacation high. Yup, Chicago was just about as good as I predicted in my last post.

I hope my recap even does the weekend justice:

Friday morning, I managed to get through a MASSIVE line at the check in AND an even worse customs line AND security—-in FIFTEEN MINUTES. Hashtag good job, Calgary airport (for once). And on top of that, the plane was actually somewhat luxurious…for United Airlines. I had a good 8 inches of extra legroom and my seat felt reclined when it was in the upright position. Hooray!

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My favorite part of the flight was when the stewardess announced the flight crew as Captain Williams…..and Matt. Cool, so Matt’s flying the plane. Hope he’s good.

I managed to get to Chicago at 9:45, so I had five hours to kill before Athena landed. I wandered for a while before settling on lunch at Wolfgang Puck. I ordered a Shock Top and a roasted beet/goat cheese salad. Everything was good until I found a piece of wood in my salad! I pointed it out to my waiter and the chef opted to replace my meal with another (a kale and quinoa salad)…and comp it! Great start to the vacation, indeed.

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Once Athena arrived, we took the train to our hotel to meet up with Ashley. $5 is a pretty awesome deal to get downtown is you ask me! And our hotel was only a couple blocks from the nearest stop. We dropped of our bags and got to exploring– first, to Michigan Ave then to the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock building. The Signature Lounge is on the 96th floor, it’s free to get up there, and the views are AMAZING. Thank goodness we chose to do that on a clear day. And drinks were ordered, duh.

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Dinner was at Marcadito, a yummy Mexican restaurant. I honestly could have stayed there forever to try all their margaritas, but we were sticrtly told that patio seating had a 90 minute time limit. WOMP. We made it work, though! A round of margs, 3 kinds of tacos, and guac were easily consumed in about 75 minutes. So, neener neener Mercadito!

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We rounded out our first night with a stop in the Redhead Piano Bar. The music was great, only it was a small, undergroundish place and I think there was a large, older wedding party there and it just made it a bit tight and uncomfortable. And the martinis there are STRONG in case you were wondering.

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We stopped for one last drink at our hotel bar. I don’t even know how to describe the Crimson Lounge because I’m not sure what type of theme they were going for. There were chairs and sofas of all styles; old paintings everywhere, and lots of room dividers to make it super loungy. I know Athena has one fab pic of us with our butt in a couple of those chairs, but I don’t have it…YET. I will get my hands on it and share it though!

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(PS: I took my real camera with me this weekend since I had ZERO internet 99% of the time and I wasn’t used to having to focus with the dang thing. My b)

(PPS: Ashley booked this hotel through Groupon. I read some reviews beforehand and there was a ton of not so good things. Luckily, we had zero complaints as the staff was really helpful and polite, the room was clean and huge, and it was in a good location)

SATURDAY WAS THE MOST FUN PART.

After carbing up,

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we headed over to our Bites, Bikes and Brews tour!

10 people showed up for the tour. I was lucky enough to be on safety patrol and rode at the back of the pack to ensure cars weren’t being asses and to make sure we didn’t lose anyone. I aced that job.

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And yup, it required I wear a sweet, sweet vest.

So we rode about 13 miles around Chicago with stops for deep dish pizza at Gino’s East, cupcakes at Swirlz, dogs at Murphy’s Red Hots, and beers at both Murphy’s Bleachers and RJ Grunts (more on the drinks to follow in this week’s Winesday Wednesday post!)

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The tour was really awesome because we got to see a ton of different things the city had to offer AND we had great weather! I highly recommend this if you have 4 hours to spare and want to get in a bit of exercise with your carb consumption ;)

After the tour, we stocked up on water and snacks and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for dinner. Prosecco may have been consumed as well.

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Dinner was at Gene & Georgetti- it was a great old school steak house that didn’t disappoint in the service or the food (and wine!) The three of us ordered filet mignons and they were HUGE!

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We followed our meals with a bottle of wine and a Moscow Mule at Chicago Cut. There were no famous people there, we looked. That restaurant was really cool and located just along the river. I would highly recommend this place for people watching.

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We then hopped on the train and headed over nearer to Second City where we were going to try to catch a free improv show that started around 1am. We passed the time until then at a couple bars across the street….and getting snacks at Walgreens. The show was really hilarious and I wish we purchased the tickets for the earlier show because they were all hilarious and great to watch.

Sunday morning we had brunch at Rockit and ohmygod it was delicious. My friend Katie from college who lives in Chicago also met up with us to enjoy some yummy food. Her and I ordered the eggs benedict, Ashley got the banana bread french toast (DIVINE) and Athena had a ginormous omelette. Athena and I also opted for a side of fruit that was the best ‘side’ of fruit I’ve ever had- bananas, grapes, apples, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, oh my!

I definitely think I need to become a luny who brunches. Anyone want to join me (if you’re not in Calgary, we can totally FaceTime brunch)?

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We said goodbye to Katie and wandered around until it was time to head back to the airport. We obviously visited THE BEAN then walked over to Ghiradelli’s for a hot drink.

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It seems as soon as the trip began, it was over. I all of a sudden got a huge case of Sunday Blues (and homesickness) and really felt sad. Flying back home is never fun. Except for seeing the dogs..and the husband.

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Sad face.

I am VERY grateful to have such wonderful friends who were able to fly and meet me for a girls weekend. We had so much good conversation (something I miss like crazy pants) and were able to get in a ton of things in such a short period of time-> something I don’t think could get done with many other people ;)

Also, the title of this post was SUPPOSED to be our awesome instagram hashtag for the weekend THAT WE NEVER USED.

Also ALSO, I probably missed a bunch of stuff, but this is the longest post I’ve written in a while for EXCUSE ME for any potential blips. If anything, I’ll have a whole second post on funny things from Chicago. Like how Athena and I thought the city smelled like brownies when we first got there and quickly found it really just smelled like dirt and dumps the rest of the weekend. See? So funny.

Chicago bound

So, guys. I’m heading to Chicago tomorrow BRIGHT AND EARLY to have a stupid-fun weekend with two of my favorite Boston friends, Athena and Ashley. (Kysha, I still love you and miss you and wish I could see you!). Before I go on, I’d just like to add that if anyone will be in the O’hare airport between the hours of 10:30am-2:30pm and want to say hi, you can find me at one of the airport bars  restaurants in either Terminal 1 or 2. Just sayin. 

I have been looking forward to this trip since even before I booked it. I need me some Americanness goodness. I just made that up right there, but I’m pretty sure you know what I mean. I exchanged all my Canadian funny money for some good ol’ US Green and I’m ready to go. This is how I’ve been picturing how the weekend will go:

Right now, I’m like, really exciting about typing this:

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Tonight, I will get approximately ZERO sleep in anticipation:

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Tomorrow morning, I’ll board the plane (with sunglasses in tow. I don’t mess around if I get the sunrise side, knowwhatimsaying)

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Then promptly arrive in Chicago and wait for Athena’s plane to arrive. 

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And yeah, I’ll probably get stuck next to some super sketchy person. yay. And when Athena and Ashley arrive:

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REUNION! hoooooo-ray. I’ll whip out my American money and put on a pair of my new jeggings and we’ll go for a drink/dinner and I will sit there is sheer happiness.

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And our hotel will make us all feel like we’re college roomies except there won’t be pillow fights but there will be snacks and gossip.

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And then I’ll probably have a lot of drinks and still be so happy that I’m having a girls weekend that I’ll JUST DANCE.

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Saturday will be fun because we will be taking a bike tour. I’m super jolly about this because it’s a bike tour that not only educates you about the city, but takes you to enjoy some iconic Chicago food staples: pizza, hot dogs and beer. My head is already in the clouds.

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Then we’ll glam up and hit the town again

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Hopefully there’s not too much alcohol consumption prior to this otherwise I might pull this move:

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Sunday, there will be brunch

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And more Chicago-ing. And having a gay ol time

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And then we’ll have to head back to the airport and when they call my flight to board, I’ll be all

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So yup, exactly like that. CAN’T WAIT!!

Winesday Wednesday

**Edited to add some extra goodies to the bottom of the post!**

Funny how now I’m becoming more consistant with Winesday Wednesday posts and nothing else. (Question: what do you like best about this blog? WW posts? Randomness? Should I post more recipes/workouts? WHAT DO YOU WANT, PEOPLE?!!!) Let’s get to it.

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So yes, it’s Winesday Wednesday and I have a wonderful vino to share with you:

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Finca Decero Cabernet Sauvignon- an Argentinian wine I found to be very smooth and rather sweet. Sweet as in NOT DRY, but not sweet as in Moscato or Boxed Wine or Candy sweet.

I picked this up Saturday night and only had a small glass, so I’m very glad I have the majority of this bottle to enjoy later. I’m also glad Tyler is still on his beer/rum kick so I can have my wine selections all to myself. This wine was priced at $22 (keep in mind, that’s Canadian prices. I guarantee it’s significantly cheaper in the US…as is everything else) and it’s something I wouldn’t mind purchasing again.

 Look at my mom getting all crazy and setting out 2 bottles of wine and 2 glasses. I’m guessing these are probably both just for her.

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Just kidding. Maybe. The wine on the left is a pinot grigio from Adirondack Winery which is local to my parents. I already made a mental note to head up there next time I visit. And in case you can’t read my mom’s fabulous wine glasses, they read: “Mommy’s Suppy Cup” and “Serving of Fruit”.

Michael sent some more goodies over to share as well! He wrote:

This passed week I had a few old standbys and some new ones that just came to Maryland. First up is the Limbo IPA by Long Trail. Love this beer and love this brewery. Visited it the day after a friends wedding a few years back and the venue was really close to the brewery so I said why the hell not? Fantastic decision on my part. As IPAs go, this one is more floral but not so much in the way of hop bitterness, making it very drinkable. Second is one of my go-to beers from Maine Beer Company called Peeper. It’s an American pale Ale and is one of their best. Fruity, spicy, hoppy, etc. All of those things work perfectly together to make a well balanced beer. No one thing overpowers another which is excellent. Lastly is the picture you already saw from my excursion to a relatively new alehouse near me. It’s a shame I am moving in a few months to another county because this place is good! Pictured is the Stone Enjoy by 4-20-14 IPA in the snifter and an empty sample of Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale.
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Funny story: I used to drive by Long Trail every time I drove to/from my parent’s house to college. Talk about having a brewery in the middle of nowhere! PS: I really want to try that IPA now!

Other things of interest:

  • Love wine so much, you want to sleep with it? Or at least, sleep in the contraption that houses it? Tray A Wine Barrel Hotel
  • I forgot to give up anything for lent. This guy didn’t: he gave up everything BUT beer on his Beer Diet for Lent
  • Summer is right around the corner, so before you slap on the bikini for those sweaty summer months, whip up a batch of Pina Colada Cupcakes.
  • Want to know where your state ranks in wine consumption? Check it out here. Also, I probably helped NH a bit with all the boxed wine I housed in college.
  • 8 Things Karen Walker Taught Us All. If you don’t know who Karen Walker is…shame. She really educated me on juice boxes.

Recap the Week

hey

How was your week/weekend?

Want to know about mine? Of course you do, that’s why you’re here reading this. WELL- here goes:

Monday: I woke up and attempted to get ready for work. I got halfway through straightening my hair and did a big -ol’

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- and got back in bed. My cold really hit hard on my energy level and my head felt like it was struck one too many times by a baseball bat. The only productive thing I did all day was successfully watch the entire second season of Downton Abbey under the covers with a giant roll of tp in lieu of kleenex.

Tuesday: I went to work. BOOOOOO. Attempted a run during my lunch break (managed 2.5ish miles?) and went to the Kings of Leon concert.

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Wednesday: Umm… nothing? I don’t remember Wednesday, although I believe I hung around Starbucks during my lunch break and apparently ate a burrito for dinner since it’s the only picture on my phone from Wednesday. I also apparently wrote a Winesday Wednesday post. I worked out too, but of course I forget what I did.

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Thursday was nice because I took a bath. Yes, I’m at the point in my life where I remember a day based on bathing technique.

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I also did a 5k with a neat push/pull upper body workout (in case you’re wondering how much I’m actually working out while recovering from a cold.)

Friday was fun because I wore stretchy pants to work and ate a salad for lunch and the sun was out and I ate pizza for dinner and went to bed really early because I’m old (read: that doesn’t really make a day fun for me. I’m trying to be sarcastic, but I can’t really tell if it’s working).

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Saturday: Tyler went in to work for a few hours, so naturally I napped. Until 2pm. HEY, I’m still in recovery OK?! I also managed to get in a sweaty 60 minute workout, go to Home Depot and buy a sink (hashtag marriedpeopleproblems) and swing buy the ol’ second home (liquor store) for a bottle of wine.

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Today (sunday) I ate bacon then went SHOPPING. I haven’t been to the mall in forever, and 3 hours there really did me in. I did manage to find 2 pair of jeans (ok, one might be jeggings), a top, and a workout tank. PS: I bought one pair of jeans from American Eagle— a store I haven’t been in in over 10 years and actually wound up buying a pair that were a size smaller than what I used to get in high school. So that’s cool, right? Also, apparently jean jackets are coming back and now I’m mad at the infinity pairs I’ve given away over the years.

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And I ran 5k outside and ate a wiener out of a pie tin.

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I’m out.

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