tv shows that aren’t on netflix instant streaming but should be*

*Even though if they were it would turn me into a complete homebody and destroy my social life




Full House: Uncle Jesse + 80s/90s fashion and pop culture = worth the lesson music at the end of every episode



Home Improvement: Tim Allen at his finest + 90s Midwest suburbia at its finest = the cure for anytime I’m feeling homesick


Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


Boy Meets World: Great group of childhood friends + Mr. Feeny = the schooling experience every 90s child wanted


Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: amazing comedic ensemble cast + the ability to get serious without getting cheesy = perfect balance



Friends: dating and work catastrophes and successes + best friends = real life but way funnier


Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


Seinfeld: crazy characters + crazier situations = a pretty amusing show about nothing


Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


Will & Grace: witty dialogue + ridiculous rivalries = pure fun



(and my personal ultimate favorite)Golden Girls: four older broads living together + cheesecake = a hilarious show ahead of its time


What shows would spell disaster for you if they made it onto Netflix Streaming?



does anyone else…



…enjoy driving with sunglasses on, the windows down, and music blaring?

…adore black tea lemonades?

…think August 18th is way too long to wait for The Hunger Games on DVD?

…love the start of summer grill-out season?

…read historical nonfiction (like this)?

…not understand the need for so many singing competition shows on TV?

…enjoy cheesy puns (like the ones in the photo above)?

…think napping is wonderful?


P.S. Thinking of all those the U.S.A. lost in the line of duty, their legacy, and their families, as well as all living past, present, and future servicemen and women. Thank you.

get fit get strong: where there’s a will, there’s a way

Hello, everyone! How are you? Sorry for missing a Weekly Gems post this weekend – I was   out of town for a girls’ weekend with my friend Elizabeth. We went back to our alma mater for the first time in a year. I missed the campus and city so much, it was great to be back!




A great thing happened today. I was in a weird and tired mood all day yesterday and today, but headed to the gym this evening anyway. The last time I ran, I hadn’t eaten much all day, I kept stumbling on the treadmill, and could barely run for more than four minutes at a time.

Today was different. I slept better last night, ate more but healthy foods throughout the day, and stayed hydrated. When I got to the gym, I went on the elliptical for about 27 minutes (1.9 miles). Then I went on the treadmill. I re-warmed up for about 2 minutes, then started running. Go for 5 minutes then break, I told myself. I was feeling good at the end of 5 minutes, so I increased the speed on the treadmill and thought, do 5 more. And I just kept going. I varied the speed throughout to get a bit of cardio interval-type training going. I  focused on my breathing and kept my iPod on upbeat songs only. AND I RAN FOR 1.25 MILES WITHOUT STOPPING.

I understand that is not a great deal of distance. I also understand my pace was pretty darn slow. However, I don’t think I have ever run that far without stopping. Ever. Not even when I was middle school track and field. Definitely not when I was a varsity athlete in  high school (I believe my mantra was “I’m a swimmer, not a runner!”).

I have a lot of weight to lose to be at a healthy BMI. Yes, changing my diet is hard. Much harder than getting off my butt and exercising. The thing is, I truly enjoy exercising. It’s challenging, though, because I was an athlete. I was in excellent shape, and now I’m not. I’m much further from where I used to be than I ever thought I would be. Though I do get excited when I do well during a workout, it’s extremely bittersweet to be happy about accomplishing fitness tasks I once had mastered or surpassed. That’s why today was so exciting: I accomplished something I never did when I was an athlete. And that probably isn’t because I couldn’t do it when I was in great shape – I never did it because I never pushed myself hard enough to get past my mental roadblocks.

Running 1.25 miles today was great because I did something positive for my body and made forward strides in my quest to be healthy. But it was awesome because it proved that while my athletic ability might have gotten a bit weaker over the years, my mind has gotten nothing but stronger.



10 superpowers i wish i had

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest


  • Always feel completely well-rested upon waking up
  • Teleportation (or apparition, for all my fellow Harry Potter fans)
  • Learn through osmosis
  • Perfect hair days every day
  • Make banana peels appear and trip up mean people (or cause some other minor but entertaining mishap to occur)
  • Feel my own forehead with my own hand and accurately know my temperature
  • Make lines disappear when I approach a cash register (Or ice cream order window. Or roller coaster. You get the idea.)
  • Know what style of jeans and shoes will fit well and comfortably without having to try them on
  • Converse with animals
  • Think, “I want ______________ (movie/TV) to be on Netflix Instant” AND THEN IT IS
  • Snap my fingers and all the dishes are put away and clean
  • Predict, with 100% accuracy, if any precipitation will fall on any given day
  • Be able to create and then give great people “Good for one AWESOME day” coupons that actually work when redeemed
  • Oh, and maybe a traditional superpower. Like superhuman strength! Or maybe be a bender of some sort. Hmmm…this might be an entirely different question ; )

What superpowers do you wish you had?

things i’m afraid to tell you



Recently a blogger movement has come about called Things I’m Afraid to Tell You. The posts from participating bloggers have been so uplifting. I really admire that the risk everyone has taken by sharing very personal aspects of their life and putting themselves, 100%, into the blogging community.

For a long time, I was too nervous to put myself 100% into anything because I thought my anxiety would become wholly overwhelming again. So I went way too far in the opposite direction; I became complacent about my life. Living every day holding back. Recently, I’ve come around. I know I’m strong enough to give my all without anxiety breaking me. No holding back anymore. Not in life, not on this blog. Which leads me to the only thing I am truly afraid to tell you:

I gained a lot of weight in college, due to various circumstances combined with just plain awful habits. I need to lose 55 pounds to be at my heaviest high school weight and the highest range of a healthy BMI. That number seems truly unreal to me. I never thought I would be the type of person who put on a large amount of weight and then spent years trying to get rid of it. I still don’t feel like that’s the type of person I am, but somehow that’s the situation in which I find myself. I have been unhappy with my health and appearance for years now, but have not taken strong action to change it until recently. I don’t know why. Not too much in my life has actually changed. There wasn’t a massive catalyst, at least not that it felt like. It was a series of small events: reading an article that made me realize I have (and always have had, even in high school at a healthy weight) weird and unhealthy habits with food; an article that made truly understand the science between anxiety and exercise; a friend honestly telling me how much weight she estimates I gained based on my appearance alone; coaching swimming in the same pool I used to race in and wanting to be a good role model for my swimmers; a Jenny Craig commercial that said “When you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t take care of yourself”; realizing my unhealthy habits passed onto Madison. MADISON. MY DOG. She trusts me to take care of her and I messed up. I know my unhealthy habits affect my daily life and therefore my interactions with people, especially those I live with and spend the most time with, like my family, Dan, and best friends, sometimes in disastrous ways. But for some reason, realizing my bad habits hurt my dog, who never did anything but love me and depends on me to take care of her, was the lowest point of this years-long…thing. Not struggle, ordeal, battle, journey…all those sound way too complicated or difficult or self-important for what has been going on with me. My life is not that hard. I have extremely supportive, accepting, and loving family, fiance and friends. I have a place to live rent-free as long as I need. I have a job I enjoy. I have a college degree. I have a car, a phone, a computer. I have health insurance that I’ve never had to use for anything worse than a torn ACL when I was 15. To not be as healthy as I can potentially be, and use my good health and the blessings in my life to be the best person, daughter, fiance, friend, neighbor, teacher, coach, pet owner, etc. makes me feel so ashamed. It is flat-out unacceptable. And I have known for years that it is unacceptable, and have tried to fix it with many false starts. But this time is different. Because this time, I’m finally not afraid to tell you the whole story. 





get fit get strong: pump up and power up



I recently joined a gym. I find it easier to commit to a fitness regimen if I make a specific routine of it that includes the same location for my workouts. I don’t know why I didn’t make this move earlier – in college I hardly ever did homework in my room, I always went to the library or the union to “get in the zone.”

In order to complete the focused frame of mind, I rely on my iPod packed with upbeat music (as does everyone else!). So many different songs can motivate me and put me in a good mood, but the songs that can influence my workout the most are the first and last, or what I like to call the “pump up” and “power up” songs.

My favorite pump up song is “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand. When I swam in high school, I would listen to the song and visualize my race in time to the music. Hearing the song reminds me of getting ready for races and swimming my heart out, and gets my adrenaline up like nothing else.

My favorite power up song is “I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)” by Kenny Loggins. As in, the song that is featured in the movie Footloose when the pastor announces he supports the dance and the kids are all driving on their motorcycles to go decorate their dance site. Super 80s and a bit cheesy, but I love it! It just happened to play at the end of my workout a few times, and both its retro style and its positive lyrics (“I’m shaking the past, making the breaks, taking control, if that’s what it takes”) encourage me to finish up strong.

Do you have “power up” and “pump up” songs for working out? Or maybe for projects or big events? What are they?


things that are making me happy



  • Beautiful early summer weather
  • Cuddling up with Dan and watching baseball games
  • Having fun with Coca-Cola Freestyle machines
  • Good hair days
  • Taking photos in a photo booth
  • Adorable cats like Peppermint getting adopted from the shelter
  • Watching favorite episodes of my favorite shows
  • Discovering new delicious and healthy recipes
  • Picking up new nail polish shades
  • Naps on the front porch swing
  • Turning on the radio and hearing a favorite song


What is making you happy as of late?



weekly gems




gift guide: mother’s day

Have you gotten your mom (or grandma or aunt or wife or new mom relative/friend) a Mother’s Day gift yet?* I’m not a mom, but from what I can by watching my mom and other relatives, and talking with my friends who have already been blessed with their own kiddos, what a mom can benefit from – and enjoy – the most is just plain relaxation! That being said, I think a gift that provides the chance to chill out is just the fit for many moms. Everything below is easy to put together (even if you’re behind schedule):


Let Mom kick back with a…

Followed by… 

All the items shown above can be found at popular shopping stops such as Target, Amazon, and Bath & Body Works (the images themselves were taken from my Pinterest).  


Would your mom enjoy a gift like the one above? How would you adapt it to fit her personality? How do you plan on celebrating the day?

*The Glitter Guide had a great idea about how to spend Mother’s Day honoring moms who have passed away or supporting friends who have lost their mothers.


bucket list: summer 2012

All right, so I’ve got summer on my mind (and I think that’s okay; it’s May 10th already!). Every year I usually make a “summer fun list” of things I want to do that summer, though I never shared them through this blog before. After seeing Emily’s post, though, I realized it was silly that I never thought to (especially because I have this series here on Beagle & Bear!). In any case, here’s my Summer 2012 Bucket List!



  1. Go to as many baseball games as possible.
  2. Visit a Cleveland museum.
  3. Go to dinner at Great Lakes Brewery Company.
  4. Complete a 5K.
  5. See some of these movies.
  6. Visit the Columbus zoo (I haven’t been there since before the Polar Frontier opened!)
  7. Try every group fitness class at the gym I recently joined.
  8. Go to Melt Bar & Grilled, but JUST for drinks and dessert.
  9. Go to a concert and/or camping….whatever happens to work out best!
  10. Bike a total of at least 50 miles on the towpath trail.

Basically, I just want to make my summer full of all things Ohio (including the two cities I spend the most time in, Cleveland and Columbus) while including plenty of entertaining experiences and opportunities for fitness. I can’t wait to start knocking items of this list!

Do you have a summer bucket list? What are you most excited about?