I Ardently Admired This Book: Pride and Prejudice

I know I said I wanted to read happier books and not cry. But this book was so sweet and it was as Jane Austen said “light, bright, and sparkling.” So it was a happy cry and I was moved. Wow, this book started one way and zagged on me. I didn’t realize it was about seeing your parents as human, grief, and the ties between sisters and dear girlfriends. It also is learning that you can still love yourself and make mistakes. That’s what dating is, you figure out what you want but you learn a lot about yourself. Much like Lizzy Bennet, I run my mouth and can be way nastier than I mean to be. I am known for going for the jugular too. However, I loved watching Lizzy fall in love. I loved watching Darcy change. It was really timeless.

Austentacious: Jane Austen Reading Challenge

I decided to take a “happy break” and I’m reading Pride and Prejudice. I’m getting the Penguin editions because they have the best reading notes. I was getting these cheap books and the notes weren’t as good. When you read classics I feel you owe it to yourself to have a different interpretation. For example, this book talks about trends and debates in feminism in the time it was written. Also, I can read the notes as opposed to them being really really tiny. Sorry, Norton critical editions. It also describes the wealth and what it meant, what neighborhoods meant, and how society was perceived.

My experience with the Fit Part 2: Yoga

On top of just being a beautiful practice, it also is something that requires so much focus that your mind can’t wander. I mean, it is such a gift to just focus and use your muscles. It’s crazy when you become aware of your body. I used to get runners high when I could run 5ks. You get that kind of high after a good yoga session. My body loves it. Again, I need core strength and yoga is great for that. When I was really into it, I could just do moves and listen to music. It is something I love doing and something that helps me be a better person.

5 Body Positive Affirmations For Days When You Need Them

I’ve written about this ad nauseum but something happened this week that really hit me. I posted something from one of the mom blogs that said something like “I think all women have beautiful bodies but I can’t accept my own.” I wrote “ouch” because I am so guilty of this. So many of my friends who (biased here) but are stone cold foxes, agreed. So it’s really easy to say “thick thighs save lives” but a whole other thing to live that mantra. Here are some things I’m trying to do and the ways I deal with these issues.

Perpetual New Kid: My Military Family Story and Planting Roots as Grown Woman

Support organizations like Operation Homefront and National Military Family Association that help military families. If someone is in the military, you can thank them for their service and thank their family too. Do yard work for a military family while someone is deployed. Cook a meal for a military family. Get coffee with a military spouse. Tell your kid to be nice to new kids because it’s scary and they are overwhelmed. If they seem snobby or reserved...it’s a defense mechanism. If there is a new military family in your community welcome them. Maybe be more flexible with military families during holidays. Give them more time to travel. Respect the fact that the military is not monolithic and appreciate the service they do but don’t make assumptions.

Valentine's Movie Night In

Do you have a film you love to watch with your significant other? Is it romantic or is it just goofy? Is it both? Are films more of a relationship thing than songs? Do you and your partner fight over blankets while watching movies? Just asking because my husband and I definitely do. Maybe for V-Day, I should just let him use my favorite one. See I’m already getting more romantic.

Body Movin': My Experience with the Fit

Remember how I said I wanted to write about other women who inspire me? I am fortunate enough to know Lindsay from Find Where You Fit which is an awesome fitness blog based in Columbus. She hosts fitness events and travels around studios finding great classes. She is also a physical therapist so she writes about the science of working out and the mind-body connection. She decided to create a personalized program called the Fit where she matches people to their interests with studios in Columbus and creates a community of accountability. You can get to meet with her, set a plan, get private gym experiences, fitness discounts, goodies (hey!), and accountability with other people and Lindsay. It’s a really great concept and I am so excited to be a part of it.

Sweets for Your Sweeties: Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake with an Orange Glaze

My husband and I got married in January so we try not to spend money on Valentine’s Day. I like to make a decadent dessert for us. I’m not a huge fan of buttercream and I’m terrible at piping. In which case, bundt cakes are the best. You can be creative and it’s something that you can bake and serve. You can make it ahead of dinner and still have the energy to cook later. If you have a small child, it’s a perfect naptime task. This past weekend I decided to make a bundt cake for my fam. Both my husband and mother love it. So make it for your valentine, Galentine, or palentine.

This Will Be Our Year: New Year's Eve with Small Children

Now, I am a mother of a small child and the holiday is not about getting dressed up in a little black dress and seeing the most outlandish headpiece I can tastefully wear. Last year my son had an ear infection and we were traveling so my husband and I spent the night watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. However, I think children should be excited about the New Year and learn about the transition. Mainly because not all years are great and I want my child to know you can move on with a new mindset and grace.

How Should I Use Ginger?

I was going through my spice cabinet yesterday and I realized I had a ton of powdered ginger that I didn’t use that much of. I realized it was an underrated spice (in Western cooking which is what I’m most familiar with. I would never dare to assume I knew anything about Eastern flavors. Bow down to those fabulous chefs in Asia) and I wanted to use more of it. Ginger is such an interesting flavor and it adds a zest to things.