Odds & Ends

Good morning!  How are you today?  All is well over here, as my existential dread typically doesn’t set in until 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon when my focus and productivity start to wane.

Today I’m sharing information about a few products that didn’t quite merit a post on their own, but that I thought you might find useful (or not so useful, in one case) nonetheless.  Two relate to skincare and one is a delicious yet low-calorie Starbucks ‘hack,’ as the cool kids say.  Have a great weekend!

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ORANGETHEORY FITNESS PIN

Orangetheory Fitness: How It Works + First Impressions

If you’ve ever considered attending an Orangetheory Fitness class, this post may help you to learn more about the workout and pricing structure.

Hi, friends!  I hope you’re enjoying a nice, long weekend.  I went to a tennis meetup in Fort Myers on Saturday where I almost passed out and excused myself early to “pick up a friend at the airport,” so that’s my highlight.  The sun beats down so much more intensely here.  Probably didn’t help that I neglected to bring water, but tomato tomahto.

Fortunately, Sunday’s sweat session went much better.  I tried Orangetheory Fitness for the first time yesterday morning and got in a quality full-body workout.  Today’s post will give you the rundown in case you’ve wondered what OTF is all about or considered attending a class.

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BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS

Perfect Baked Chicken Tenders

These flavorful, juicy baked chicken tenders come together in less than thirty minutes and would make a great foundation for any meal!

So, fun fact before I move on to today’s recipe.  Did you know that retailers can’t use any sort of language that indicates perfection in their stores (or on their websites) in China?  Like, it’s illegal.  I have no idea why, but at work we always had to make sure none of our marketing included the word ‘perfect.’  Pick Your Perfect Pair denim campaign, back-to-school 2015?  Not happening, throw all the freshly printed marketing right into the trash.  Good times.  I actually hesitated before publishing this post with its current title, but then remembered I obviously have nothing to worry about.

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last-minute valentine's day gifts

Truly Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts

Although you may no longer have the time to wait for a package in the mail, you can still deliver these thoughtful last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts for the holiday.

Hey guys!  How was your weekend?  Adam and I laid low on Saturday but tried stand-up paddle boarding for the first time yesterday.  We didn’t have a hard time keeping our balance – the boards are much sturdier than than surfboards, which is how I imagined them – but the going is slower than on a kayak.

We don’t have big plans for Valentine’s Day, although I did put the Jet’s ad for their Perfect Couple Combo on our fridge when it arrived, folded and warm, in our Super Bowl order last week.  Can’t wait for our heart-shaped pizza and cheesy bread.

It took me about 50 years to eventually think of a small present for Adam, which is why I put together this ‘truly last-minute’ Valentine’s Day gift guide.  At this point, you may not have time to visit a specialty store or wait for a package in the mail, but you can still have a thoughtful gift ready for your significant other or friend.  Read on for a list of ideas – many of them will work for either gender! Continue reading

at-home manicure supplies

My At-Home Manicure Routine

My step-by-step routine for an easy, inexpensive at-home manicure that looks great.

Good morning, friends – how are you?  The beginning of this week wasn’t exactly productive around here, but yesterday was better.  As it turns out, starting at the bottom in a new field takes a lot more energy and grit (not that I’ve actually shown grit) than working a job you know intimately.  So today, I’m taking a break to talk manicures. 🙂

Of all the things I manage to justify purchasing, manicures and pedicures rarely make the list.  I chip nail polish with record speed, and I’d much rather sit in my recliner than go out and make small talk.  If you, too, are apparently an old man, read on for an inexpensive at-home manicure routine.

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One week meal plan and grocery list

One-Week Meal Plan & Grocery List

This meal plan includes a grocery list and simple, healthy recipes to cover all five breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  Prep on Sunday and enjoy some extra time throughout the work week!

Hello and thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you’ve had a good week.

When I thought about my goals for the blog this year (and I use that term loosely, since I never actually wrote anything down), I knew I wanted to focus more on creating value with each post.  I started Blunders and Absurdities as a fun side project and have no current plans to turn it into something different, but I still view it somewhat like a business.

One of the first ideas that came to mind when I planned out posts for the month was a meal plan, mostly because I wish someone would create these for me.  Even though I’m unemployed and have a lot of time.  So I sifted through my Pinterest profile and pages saved from Cooking Light and compiled a weeklong schedule of relatively healthy, inexpensive meals.  The quantities will serve two people but can be divided or multiplied easily.  Let me know what you think!

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kayaking naples florida

Life Lately: January 2017

Hey, friends.  How are you?  I flew back to Florida to stay last Wednesday after my last work trip and surprisingly don’t feel so much like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I feel like something is missing from my very core.  I guess I thought confidence in my decision to leave A&F would mean an absence of sadness over what I left behind, but that hasn’t been the case.

Anyway, enough weirdness.  In this post, I outlined my plan to share my progress toward (new) career goals as well as personal photos from vacations, the rare social engagement, and so on in one monthly post.  However, trying to combine two posts into one proved awkward, so ya got February 2017 Goals on Wednesday and Life Lately: January 2017 today.  I will now get on with it:

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february 2017 goals

February 2017 Goals

Well, here we are.  This coming Monday, I officially become a stay-at-home girlfriend and cat mom while I attempt to figure out how to write for a living.  If it sounds like I’ve put forth no real effort to narrow that down and take concrete steps toward making it happen, well.  Here we are anyway.

Today’s post is the first in a new series that you may have zero interest in reading unless you’re trying to make a similar career change.  Actually, even then you may have zero interest.  But as I laid out in this post, I’ve decided to keep myself accountable and focused by thinking of several goals for each month and reporting on my progress.  Here goes…

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how to run on the beach

How to Run on the Beach

Next time you’re on vacation, start your day refreshed (and maybe sweat out last night’s alcohol) using these tips for a productive run on the beach!

I’ve historically taken a while time to get it together after a move.  In college I’d bring a few things from my parents’ house each time I visited instead of moving into my dorm all at once.  I waited too long after moving to Ohio to switch my driver’s license and ended up having to take the same road test given to 16-year-olds.  And most recently, I came to a new state in the middle of the holidays, when you can’t turn around at work without seeing a different table laid out with homemade treats.

Think I joined a gym right away?

Nah, I ate frozen potpies and cheezits and overslept.  But I had moved to Florida, and while I function okay on a junk food diet, I go batshit crazy without semi-regular exercise.  So I started running on the beach.

Running on the beach is a great way to confuse your muscles (assuming you don’t do it regularly) while soaking up the sun and scenery on a warm-weather trip.  Read on for some tips to help you get the most out of your workout!

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reading list stack of books

2017 Reading List

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  Adam and I went kayaking on Saturday and had lunch with his mom yesterday (she came down for a few days to visit Adam’s grandma in Venice), which is a lot of activity for us in one weekend.  This afternoon I leave for my second-to-last work trip to Columbus, and I’m starting to get depressed not knowing when I’ll have a piping hot Papa John’s personal pizza from the Charlotte airport again.

Anywho, we are gathered here today to discuss a few books I hope we can both enjoy in the coming months.  I’ve had a hard time getting into anything lately, so I really took my time rounding up these titles based on recommendations from family members and ‘best of 2016’ lists.  The final list includes a crime novel, an examination of the American civil rights movement and its aftermath, and a story about a girl who joins an infamous cult, among others.  I hope you find something that piques your interest!

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