Lauren Lately | March 2017

Posted March 16, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 8 Comments

header-llBecause my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month.

✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨


life-of-lauren

 

Skiing | As usual, more skiing this month! It’s nearing the end of the season (which is obvious in the last picture, where half of the ground is dirt instead of snow) so we tried to fit in a few more days. The conditions were terrible one weekend at Ski Sundown, then completely perfect the following weekend. We’ve pretty much been able to go weekly since February!

 

New hair | I usually just get highlights done over my roots, but I was sick of how it looked when it grew out (see the before and after above). One of my best friends is my hairdresser and she’s perfect at knowing exactly what I want. I showed her a few pictures and she made this masterpiece! Some of her coworkers said it’s one of the best color jobs she’s done before. This new color combo has me curling my hair with a new curling wand I got too, because it looks great curled OR straight. I’m finally getting the hang of it!

 

Friend-filled weekend | As you may know, my friend group from college (plus the boyfriends/fiancees) are super close still. Most of us live in Connecticut, but the other couple lives in NJ and RI. Everyone was around at the beginning of March for a full weekend. It started on a Friday night, where the boys went to a wrestling thing and the girls had a Mary Kay party (plus drinks and dinner). The next night, we had a delicious dinner at Tisane (amazing key lime pie martini and buffalo chicken sandwich with bleu cheese fries), followed by random music and YouTube at one of their apartments.

 Image result for julius peppers panthers

Free agency | I will use any excuse I can to talk about or think about football. Free Agency started last week and signifies the beginning of a new league year. Aka, 2017 football season has started!! I enjoy the Free Agency scramble way more than the NFL Draft, just because I don’t pay much attention to college football. I focus on a few key players (like the early, first round picks) but don’t know much else. I always stay up late (not this year…) to see who the Panthers pick first. Anyways, free agency led to some AMAZING signings. Two of my favorite Panthers of the past are now back on the team! Julius Peppers was one of my first favorite players and first jerseys. I could not be more excited for him to finish his career where it started <3 AND break his jersey out of retirement! Captain Munnerlyn is another great defensive player that the Panthers let walk three years ago, and he’s back on a four year deal. I am PUMPED and can’t stop watching highlight videos.

International Women’s Day | I celebrated hard by being lazy around the house (not doing chores), binge-watching Shameless with Chris, and obviously wearing my red in solidarity! I tried to post as much as possible on social media and was pleasantly surprised that a few real life friends that I didn’t think were feminists seemed to actually consider themselves feminists! Such a pleasant surprise 🙂 GIRL POWER. ♀

Blizzard! | We had a blizzard this week and got over a foot of snow. I worked from home most of the day. Otherwise, we watched 2 movies, I read most of my book, and I took a nice bath. I also made a quiche in the morning and tidied up the apartment. It was a super productive day. I’m so not mad about the snow still 😉

media-addict

TV Shows

Showtime gay lgbt lgbtq shameless

Shameless | We’re still moving along through Shameless, a perfect show with terrible yet perfect characters that I think about an unhealthy amount. Gallavich is my new OTP and I will never stop spoiling myself on upcoming cuteness. I loved the first 1-2 seasons the best (in terms of everyone else) but am obsessed with the latest happenings in a different way. I know I’ll be revisiting this one quite a bit.

troll its always sunny in philadelphia danny devito its always sunny toll

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia | Chris and I rewatched a few favorite episodes the other day, and then caught up on the current season. Some major things have been happening! I’m intrigued to see where they go. A lot of the episodes reference other past episodes/plot points, so I was super nervous this season was wrapping up the show or something. I just saw they were renewed for seasons 13 and 14, so thank bob.

Big Little Lies reese witherspoon big little lies hbo biglittlelies liane moriarty

Big Little Lies | I read the book a while ago and didn’t love it as much as other Moriarty books. I am IN LOVE with the show though. So ridiculously in love. The actresses are fantastic, the kids are adorable, and the adaption is terrific. They changed the setting from Australia to California, which has worked out so far, but otherwise it’s very close to the book! The most recent episode strayed a little, which annoyed me, but oh well.

Movies

The Huffington Post movies film marvel comics

X-Men | I’ve seen all the X-Men movies now I think, but I’ll be honest – they don’t hold my attention as much as other Marvel Universe films! I want to see Logan though, so Chris and I watched two recent X-Men movies to catch up – Days of Future Past and Apocalypse. Not bad!

TOBIS Film comedy mila kunis kristen bell christina applegate

Bad Moms | I love Mila Kunis an unhealthy amount, so I got this one out from the library to watch during the snow day. It was really funny! I’m not a mom so I can’t really relate, but I think many moms can agree it’s not possible to be a perfect parent. I liked all the characters and obviously it was a little predictable, but I really enjoyed it. I’m a fan of raunchy stuff too though haha.

Podcasts

Image result for up and vanished podcast Image result for finding richard simmons Image result for in the dark podcast

Up and Vanished | EEEEKKK. Of all the podcasts I listen to, there hasn’t really been much closure for the cases. No arrests, no resolutions, nothing. (Of course, there is the new trial for the Adnan Syed / Serial case, but that’s it.) I’ve been listening to UAV as each episode and mini-episode come out, and there was a major break in the case recently. I’m so excited to learn more through the new episodes!

Missing Richard Simmons | I saw this podcast a month ago and was uninterested. What did I care about Richard Simmons? I didn’t even know he was “missing.” Well, for some reason I decided to give it a try this month. AND IT IS SO GOOD. Simmons is/was such an intriguing person. I never knew anything about him except for how he appeared to the public, but there is SO much to unpack about his sudden disappearance. If you need a break from the real true crime podcasts and want something similar but not quite as heavy, seriously try this one out. I know you won’t regret it.

In The Dark | I listened to all the episodes over the course of the last week or two and really enjoyed it. The setup is different for this one because the kidnapper/murderer JUST came forward (nearly 30 years later), and the podcast has less “mystery” to it than others. It focuses a lot on police and how investigators fucked up the case repeatedly, highlights information about sex offenders, and other criminal happenings in that small Minnesota county. VERY interesting and different from my norm!

Music

It’s definitely been an audiobook and podcast month, but there are quite a few songs from last month still in my rotation! I am incredibly obsessed with these songs and listen to them way too often. As I’ve said before, I don’t listen to a lot of new music and tend to repeat the same songs over and over again, so sorrynotsorry you see some of my all-time favorites making an appearance as they always would. I was using Apple Music for a while but am trying to move back over to Spotify (maybe) (I still can’t decide what I like more) (ugh).


obsessed

Food & Drink

Broccoli and Bacon Quiche five-stars Chris and I are huge quiche fans but I usually spend too much money on storemade ones. I decided to try my hand at it and it was super easy! The only issue is waiting 45 minutes for it to cook. I used this recipe but made a few adjustments. It was delicious! I immediately made a second one with the second crust I got, which was perfect for our snow day.

Magic Bars five-stars My coworker makes these all the time and I LOVE them. He told me they’re super easy to make and gave me the recipe. We decided to make them last weekend when we were being lazy and they were sooo good. I typed his recipe up on my phone to share with friends, so you can see it by clicking here!

Stovetop Mac and Cheese four-half-stars I was going to make a crockpot recipe but didn’t really have the ability to be home and monitor it. I made one in the past and wasn’t a huge fan of how it came out, so I figured an adjusted stovetop verson would make more sense. I ended up looking at a few recipes and making my own adjustments for this mac and cheese! It’s suuuuper simple:

  • Cook a full box of elbow pasta as you usually would. Drain the water when you’re done; it doesn’t have to be perfect. I kept in maybe 5% of the water just to keep it slightly wet.
  • Put the pot of pasta back over heat (on low). Mix in a can of condensed milk, plus one package (2 cups) of shredded cheese. I chose the mac and cheese blend from Stop & Shop but you could use anything I’d guess. Mix it all together until the cheese is melted and it’s creamy.
  • We cooked up bacon and mixed that in, then added some more shredded cheese on top for leftovers (otherwise the cheese sticks on too much). Otherwise, that’s it! SO EASY.

Purchases

New makeup items | I mentioned above that we had a Mary Kay party last week. I got their microdermabrasion kit that you can use two times a week. It makes my skin feel suuuuper soft, and I enjoy the pore minimizer step (that you can use each day). I’ve been testing around makeup again because I’m not a huge fan of some things I’m using. I can’t tell if it’s related to my primer, moisturizer, or face wash. I also got some new purple eyeshadow from the party, since that works nicely with green eyes. I made a trip to Ulta for other makeup things I needed to refill and refresh (eyeshadow primer, foundation, etc.). I’m still in the trial mode with a lot of my things, so we’ll see which I add to my official lineup! I’m really picky about makeup because my skin gets oily quickly, and most items make that process happen too early in the day for me to be happy with.I ended up splurging on my favorite primer from Estee Lauder the other day because it feels like the only one that works for me.

Around the Blogosphere

Discussion: Spoilers… How Soon is Too Soon? {The Book Addict’s Guide} I’ve attempted to write this exact post so many times before but come up short. Brittany totally hit the nail on the head for me. It’s incredibly hard to determine how soon is “too soon” to talk about certain books (or even, more often for me, TV shows and movies). When is a spoiler allowed to be discussed openly? Ever? Never? Can we talk about HP spoilers and deaths in the open or is that the kind of thing to never talk about?

When I’m Not Reading: Podcast Edition {Readers in Wonderland} As you know, podcasts have been my thing over the past year or so. I go through periods of extreme addiction and periods of not listening to them at all. I’m always looking for new ones so I bookmarked this post. I neeeed to expand out of the true crime variety because they take up so much of my time and I shouldn’t creep myself out 24/7 like that.

Shifting Genres: Less YA, More Adult Fiction? {Opinionated Book Lover} Kate was inspired by my similar post recently and I loved reading her thoughts on this topic! She had specific (somewhat more personal) reasons for the shift that were actually kind of different than mine, which was great!

Cover Snark {A Reader of Fictions} Alright so this is more of a general recommendation, but if you’re not reading Christina’s Cover Snark series, you’re missing out so much. This is the place I creep on book covers most often, plus add new releases to my TBR! It’s such a fun way of seeing what’s been revealed and what will draw me in to reading it. Highly recommend following her blog in general, but I look forward to this feature constantly. (Link is to her most recent one at the time of writing this post!)

For All the Feisty Little Girls {The Daily Tay} Girls – especially young ones – are always labeled with so many words that little boys don’t get labeled with. Feisty and bossy are huge ones. I loved this post by Taylor on International Women’s Day because it represents a lot of the gender-related labels people start giving kids at a young age.

Book Blogger Evolution {It Starts at Midnight} Shannon went through and talked about the different feelings she’d had each year of being a blogger. I loved it because I could completely relate. Me in 2014 or 2015 or 2016? Totally different than how I feel now about blogging, comments, stats, and ARCs.


looking-ahead

Since Last Time…

1. Organize and get rid of books, then update Goodreads shelves | FAIL | Honestly I’m not going to have success at this until it gets down to a certain crunch time in April/May. I’m going to call it a fail for now and not talk about it again until April, okay? Bye.

2. Focus hard on work and get some placements made | PASS-ISH We hired a new office person this month and she’s great, but she requires a LOT more training on the computer than I expected. I spend most of my hours when she’s here doing that training, but she’s coming up to speed. I hope to focus hard and get some people in places before the end of the month.

3. Get back into audiobooks and balance podcast time | PASS-ISH Woo! I did finish a few audiobooks within the last month. I’m caught up on my major podcasts and listen to them each week when the new episodes come out. It’s less daunting to only have a few episodes each week to listen to!

4. Build a Lego MOC | FAIL I have still not been Lego-motivated at all. But then again, neither is Chris. We’ve been focusing on other things and just haven’t been bitten by the Lego bug in a while.

5. Get another blog up and running | PASS Well, I finally showed Chris the blog I’d been working on! There will be some kind of unveiling or debut in April, I’d guess? I hope to have a few more posts up beforehand so people get the idea of what’s going on and have stuff to check out ASAP.

Goals Until Next Time

1. Go through the garage and put things into storage | We have so much random stuff in the garage from my old bedroom at my mom’s house that she decided to just dump off on me one day. We need to sift through alllll the random stuff in our garage/storage area, then get rid of things or find better ways to store them.

2. Pay down bills and credit cards | A big priority over the next few months is saving up money, but I definitely have some bills to pay down before that! I’ll be getting my tax return back at some point soon so a lot of that money will be allocated to my credit cards and other expenses, plus I hope to store away half of it. I won’t share exact progress here obviously but I have a few specific goals in mind that I can let you know about achieving!

3. Spend 15 minutes per day outside | Chris came up with this idea a few weeks ago. We do a lot of outdoor activities regardless of the season, but there are many weekdays where we just sit around the apartment and don’t do anything. Our weekends are busier for sure. So, we want to spend 15 minutes per day doing something outside regardless of temperature! It was 20* at the beginning of the month and we went for a very brief walk to get outside.

4. Get back on a good diet plan | I was using a calorie counting app and it was working for a while… until I got lazy. I didn’t think it was making a huge difference for me so I kind of quit for a little while. I need to figure out a good fitness regime and/or diet plan because I want to feel healthier! Hopefully I’ll come up with something.

5. Read only “owned books” for April | My April TBR post is coming up in a couple of weeks, where I’ll debut my big reading plan for the month. At least 75% of the books I read in April must be books off my own shelves. I don’t even care if they’re ARC copies (even ones that haven’t been released yet) as long as they’re books I own. If I read 15 books like I have been, 11-12 should be books from my shelves. No exceptions. Get it done!

   
Bath time after skiing, always // Smoothie delivery at work from Chris / Pretty venue for a conference / Boys stole my phone

Coming Up in My Life

End of March | March and April = birthday season for me. 3 out of 4 parents, plus my sister, plus Chris’s mom, plus 3 of my best friends, all have birthdays during this two-month span. There will be lots of celebrating hopefully! Otherwise, not too much on the docket aside from skiing before its too late!

Early April | I can’t think of anything! Most of my April activities happen at the end of the month, due to the large amount of birthdays to deal with (see above). I think we’re going to try to visit Chris’s sister in Portland ME because we keep putting it off for no good reason.


Talk to meeeee! What’s new?

8 responses to “Lauren Lately | March 2017

  1. You hair looks gorgeous!!! And I did not know that a key lime pie martini is a thing that exists but now that you’ve alerted me to it, I need one in my life. Ahh your makeup is like PERFECT in the International Women’s Day photo! And I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on My Not So Perfect Life! And thank you! I’ve been looking for a good recipe for Magic Bars because my husband loves them! His mom always makes them around Thanksgiving but I want to make them for him as a surprise! And I’m looking forward to adding your new blog to my Feedly!

    • RIGHT?! Try to find one (I’m sure you can somewhere in NYC!) because it is amazing.

      Thank you!! I know the filter helped a little bit on that photo but I’ll pretend it’s all natural hahaha.

      My Not So Perfect Life was soooooo good. I loved it. I hope you get to it soon! If you like her older books, this one is along the same lines for sure.

      Ahhh I’m so glad about the magic bars!! They’re truly the easiest things to make with no mixing or ANYTHING so I hope he likes them!

  2. LOVE the new hair!! I loved the book Big Little Lies but read it a while ago now. I am also loving the show so much. The main three ladies are killing it and the tone is just perfect. I was wondering about that Richard Simons podcast. I will have to check it out!!

    • Thank you <3 The tone of the show is unreal - so perfect and accurate to the book, I think!! I love the theme song too for some reason 🙂 Definitely definitely definitely check out the RS podcast. The final episode is coming next week, so it's short, but you'll definitely binge it! The first episode is kind of weird, but I was sooo intrigued.

  3. Lauren, your hair looks amazing! I really need to start watching Big Little Lies– I haven’t read the book (which I’ve heard “meh” things about), but I hear nothing but good things about the TV adaptation. All three of the podcasts you mentioned are new to me! I’m always looking for new podcasts, so I’ll def be checking them out. In the Dark sounds especially up my alley. Also, those magic bars sound amazing. I’m glad you’re having a good month, Lauren! <3

    • Thank you! <3

      I'm surprised you heard meh things about the book! I thought I was the only person who wasn't totally wowed by it. I enjoyed it, but not my favorite by her. I'm lovingggg the show though.

      I hope you check out some of the podcasts. I'm obsessed!

      Hope you're having a great month too <33

  4. You are literally my hero, finding time not only to blog so consistently here, but starting a whole new blog as well! I can’t wait to read it! I also recently have started using a curling wand and am OBSESSED (I like it so much more than a traditional curling iron). Max and I started Big Little Lies and we love love love it. It’s SO good. I am on the wait list for the book from the library, but I’m almost hesitant to read it and be spoiled for the show since I am enjoying it so much, haha.

    • Haha we’ll see how well I can manage it all 😉

      Curling wands are the BEST! It takes a while to get used to but I love it.

      Big Little Lies has been super close to the book lately, but the last episode diverged a little bit. I’m curious to see how things continue! I don’t blame you about reading the book. I’m not sure I would want to be spoiled either!

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