weekly gems


things that are making me happy (and grateful!)

  • Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, and all that celebration entails
  • Favorite Thanksgiving foods like cranberry slices from the can, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, green beans, sweet potato casserole, strawberry pretzel jello, pumpkin pie (pictured above), sugar cookies shaped like turkey, and, of course, actual turkey!
  • Helping my dad put up our outdoor Christmas lights
  • Walks with my dogs during which they run through fallen leaves
  • Baking mini-muffins and cookies
  • Watching the high school swim team I coach grow closer as a group and improve athletically as we prepare for our first meet!
  • Discovering where Zumba classes are offered in my area
  • Exploring all the gift guides my favorite sites and blogs are publishing (a round-up will be coming soon!)
  • Waking up to sweet voicemails from Daniel
  • The weather being cool enough to dress in layers, scarves, and boots, but not snowy and cold enough to be an everyday challenge
  • Getting sucked into ridiculous movies my dad finds on the broadcast TV’s digital sub-channels
  • Drinking big cups of tea and coffee (homemade or Starbucks holiday drinks) while curling up with a big blanket and a good book (like this one)
What is make you feel happy and grateful today? I hope lots – Happy Thanksgiving!

read it: is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns)

Source: amazon.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Are you the type of person who has favorite celebrities? Well, I am, and Mindy Kaling is most certainly one of them. I love her on The Office (as an actress, writer, and director) and Twitter. She’s always been a celebrity I wish I could have as a best friend, but her book just confirms this feeling. The book contains stories about childhood, living in New York City, her off-Broadway show Matt and Ben, living in Los Angeles, and The Office, as well as many other topics such as friendship, fad diets, and strict funeral plans, just to name a few. My favorite chapters included:
  • I Am Not an Athlete
  • Don’t Peak in High School
  • Day Jobs
  • Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities
  • Guys Need to Do Almost Nothing to Be Great
  • Non-Traumatic Things That Have Made Me Cry
  • Married People Need to Step It Up
  • When You’re Not Skinny, This Is What People Expect You to Wear
  • Revenge Fantasies While Jogging
Those are just the chapters whose pages I dog-earred the most. Every chapter made me laugh and just feel good about life. I definitely recommend this book if you (a) are a Mindy Kaling fan, (b) you like to laugh, (c) you appreciate both hard work and family, and/or (d) you enjoy discussing things like comedy, men, karaoke etiquette, and the ideal level of fame.
If you need more reasons to read, check out these links to articles and interviews about Mindy Kaling and her book:

use it: spotify

Source: spotify.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Have you heard of Spotify? Dan‘s dad introduced me to it. It’s an awesome new Internet-based music application that is basically Pandora meets iTunes. You can listen to radio stations, subscribe to playlists created by other users, browse new music and top hits, or search Spotify’s catalogue for a specific artist/band, song, or album. While not all artists or bands put all or even some of their music on Spotify, TONS do and most of them allow their albums to be played in their entirety. Once you’ve found the music you were looking for, you can listen to it, “star” it, and/or add it to a playlist you’re creating. The Spotify application includes a library component, where you can store music you’ve imported (from other places like iTunes), bought, starred, and/or added to a playlist.

Source: spotify.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Something that is particularly neat about Spotify is how you can use it to share music with other people. Each song or playlist featured on Spotify is given a link, which can be sent to friends via a variety of mediums. Also, if you link Spotify to your Facebook account, the application will show you all your Facebook friends who also have Spotify and what they are listening to. You can also send them tracks or playlists by dragging and dropping them on the friend’s name. The music will then appear in your friend’s Spotify inbox (another component of the application) for your friend to discover the next time he/she is using Spotify.
While I haven’t used the radio option on Spotify that much, I love searching for artists and listening to whole albums. Once I’m listening to an album, I can search related artists, play the artist radio to find similar music to listen to, or read the artist biography. I also really enjoy creating playlists and subscribing to playlists advertised on the brief commercials or that friends are listening to. Right now I’m loving my subscriptions to ’80s Smash Hits!, Country Music Awards, Top of the Charts, and The Ultimate Holiday Playlist (as shown in the image above).
I highly recommend trying Spotify. I absolutely love it! (Note: I have the basic, free Spotify application which I use on my Mac. For information on Spotify Premium, click here. For information on Spotify Mobile, click here).
Do you use Spotify? What do you think?

things i’ve been meaning to blog about, watch it edition: fall movies & new tv series

After I started a job in Columbus, life got very hectic and I took an unplanned break from this blog. Since leaving that job and moving again, I’ve returned and recommitted to regularly blogging at Beagle & Bear. Part of that returns includes a blog series called “Things I’ve Been Meaning to Blog About,” which is made up of posts I intended to publish in summer or early fall but haven’t yet. This post is the last of that series.

Movie: 50/50 (pictured above)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
See it if you enjoy: laughing and crying at the same time, taking a stand, friendship, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anna Kendrick.

Movie: Moneyball
Rating*: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
See it if you enjoy: baseball, rooting for the underdog, true stories, and Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Did you see either of these films? What did you think?

TV Show: 2 Broke Girls (pictured above)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Watch it if you enjoy: strong female characters, non-stop jokes, New York City, and Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, and Nick Zano.
TV Show: New Girl
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Watch it if you enjoy: the movie No Strings Attached (the creator of the show also wrote that film), close male-female friendships, stories about roommates, and Zooey Deschanel, Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Lamorne Morris.

TV Show:
Up All Night (pictured above)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Watch it if you enjoy: comedic looks at parenthood and marriage, shows like The Office or Parks and Recreation, characters with ridiculous egos, and Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Watch it if you enjoy: family-oriented sitcoms, issues and antics between sisters, the Midwest, and Tim Allen, Nancy Travis, and Hector Elizondo. (Note: I probably wouldn’t watch this show if I wasn’t home on Tuesday nights and had cable, but I’m glad I do! It brings me back to the glory days of Home Improvement without being exactly the same thing).

Source: google.com via Sara on Pinterest

TV Show: Pan Am (pictured above)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Watch it if you enjoy: anything to do with the 1960s, drama that includes both action and romance, exotic settings, and Christina Ricci, Mike Vogel, and Kelli Garner.
TV shows that have been cancelled already that I actually liked: ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot, NBC’s The Playboy Club
TV shows that I’ve heard are good and I want to watch but haven’t been able to yet: Suburgatory, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and Whitney.
What fall shows have you been watching? What do you think?

weekly gems

reasons i’ll miss regis

Today is Regis Philbin’s last day on Live with Regis and Kelly. I don’t know about all of you, but I am SO SAD. I have always watched this show whenever I was home and able to, and I seriously can’t imagine what it is going to be like to not being able to turn on the TV and see him every morning! I’m going to miss:
  1. His snazzy suits.
  2. His catchphrases – “Got a minute?” “Incidentally…” etc.
  3. How he refers to himself in the third person.
  4. His wholehearted support of his high school and college alma maters.
  5. His attitude toward technology.
  6. His smile and laugh.
  7. How he constantly ribs on Gelmen.
  8. How the love he has for his wife and family shines through when he talks about them.
  9. How he is up for being as goofy and outrageous as possible.
  10. And, of course, host chat!
I’m going to go through withdrawal. Somebody please get me a black Live With Regis and Kelly coffee mug like the one they sip from every morning and a copy of Regis’s new book, STAT.

thing i’ve been meaning to blog about, use it edition: amazon kindle

After I started a job in Columbus, life got very hectic and I took an unplanned break from this blog. Since leaving that job and moving again, I’ve returned and recommitted to regularly blogging at Beagle & Bear. Part of that returns includes a blog series called “Things I’ve Been Meaning to Blog About,” which is made up of posts I intended to publish in summer or early fall but haven’t yet. This post is part of that series.

Source: instagr.am via Kelly on Pinterest

This past summer, at the recommendations of my fiancé Daniel, my friend Elizabeth, and my 88-year-old grandmother, I purchased an Amazon Kindle. I stalled on getting an e-reader for awhile for a few reasons: I like to read in the bathtub, I didn’t want to continuously have to buy books in order to read them, I didn’t want to contribute to the world of books dying out, etc., etc. However, after really thinking about it, I knocked out those excuses pretty quickly – I mostly read magazines in the bathtub. Public libraries are starting to lend e-books, books can be borrowed from other Kindle users, and Amazon has its own lending library. I could still buy new hard copy books by favorite authors or other interesting books from used bookstores. Etc., etc.

So after meticulously Googling information about Nooks vs. Kindles, I went to Target and got myself a Kindle (specifically, a Kindle Keyboard with Special Offers). I absolutely adore it!
  • It can hold SO MANY BOOKS.
  • It uses e-ink technology, so there is no sleep-interfering blue light like there is on a computer, phone, iPad, etc.
  • It’s super light to hold. Not the biggest benefit for younger people (unless you have weaker wrists), but huge for older people like my grandma or people who read often and for long periods of time.
  • You can make the words bigger or smaller (this was big for me, as I technically need glasses to read).
  • Amazon has “Kindle Daily Deals” of the day, in which you can get a book for around $1.99 (give or take a dollar, depending on the book). I enjoy discovering new books and authors this way, and don’t feel guilty about purchasing one every now and then!
  • I was really interested and excited by the concept of Kindle Singles
  • I have an account with Amazon that I use often. Connecting my e-reader to an already existing account rather than having yet another account at another website was appealing and is helpful.
  • I can lay on my side in bed reading without having to move at all except for the side of my thumb that presses the forward page button. So useful in fighting my insomnia and helping me relax/fall asleep easier!
  • There are tons of super cute Kindle cases you can buy and use! I love the Vera Bradley one that Dan got for me! (it’s pictured above along with my Kindle)
If you are a book lover, I would highly recommend a Kindle (especially the keyboard edition!). It’s not going to replace hard copy books in your life or make you go broke. It’s just going to make your packing for trips lighter and your reading-before-bed routine sweeter.
Do you have a Kindle or another type of e-reader? What do you think?

weekend wrap-up

Friday: Dan came up to Cleveland for a visit. We went to Crocker Park, where we ate at The Cheesecake Factory and went shopping at The Gap. That evening we grabbed some Starbucks and watched reruns of Saturday Night Live via Netflix.
Saturday: Dan and I picked up donuts from our favorite local shop and pretend house-hunted around my city before he had to leave for Columbus. That afternoon I attended my dear friend Ashley’s baby shower (she’s expecting a little girl!). In the evening, I saw my sister Jackie star in the lead role of a new play named Pray for the Missing Girls, which was showing at Cuyahoga Community College’s west campus.
Sunday: After my mom and I went to church together, I spent the rest of the day at home, doing various chores and relaxing. The relaxing portion of the day included reading Mindy Kaling’s new book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The weekend finished up with a cute Skype and ice cream date with Dan.

(Okay, full disclosure: that photo of the cheesecake is actually a pumpkin pie cheesecake from Olive Garden when I went to lunch with my sister a couple weeks ago. I forgot to take a photo of the cheesecake Dan and I shared at The Cheesecake Factory, which was chocolate chip cookie dough. Can you tell I really like cheesecake?)
All photos taken via my Instagram

weekly gems

Source: google.com via Kelly on Pinterest