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Fitbloggin: The Aftermath

Well, Fitbloggin is over, and it’s back to real life. Like any good time, the weekend ended with a bang.

After the closing reception Saturday, I headed back to my room for a little rest and relaxation. I was completely worn out from sitting all day.

Stacey and I hung out and had some downtime, checking out the views and whatnot.

I had plans for dinner with Maya from American Gourmande and Anna of Blue Plate Special, but unfortunately at the last minute Anna had to cancel because she needed to get back to DC. Maya brought her friend that was in town though, so we had a party of three for dinner anyway!

Unfortunately I was getting rather sick of lugging my SLR around town, so I have no pictures of this event. Just know that we ate Lebanese food and it was awesome.

After dinner I met some of the other girls out and we, as Caitlin put it, ‘tore up the Inner Harbor’.

***

Sunday morning, Stacey got up for yoga, but I was feeling lazy from my early wake up the day before, so Katy and I hung out until around 8, and got ready for breakfast.

Starbucks was just a quick walk around the corner, so I had a breakfast of coffee:

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+ coffee cake

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=

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The perfect equation, in my mind.

We headed back to the hotel to pack up so that we could have a few hours to explore and play, because the day was FABULOUS.

By the time we were packed + checked out, it was nearly lunch time, so Savvy Julie, Kacy, Stacey and I headed to Pizzazz, a little tuscan grille that we saw on the harbor.

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We were pleasantly surprised to find that they had a vegan menu alongside their regular menu!

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We quickly made up our minds on the hummus appetizer for a starter.

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One can never have too much hummus, I believe is the saying. [Or did I just make that up? One can never tell.]

I, along with Kacy and Julie, thought that the black bean burger sounded stupendous, and it did not disappoint.

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And it had MORE hummus. The hummus at this place was nearly unbeatable.

We were offered vegan desserts, which we jumped upon. I mean, who does not jump upon the offer of vegan chocolate cakes?

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Peanut butter + mint chocolate, respectively.

Splendid.

As was the view.

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Okay, a large yacht was blocking our view, but just being on the water was fantastic.

After lunch we did some exploring for a few hours, just drinking in the gorgeous weather.

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Interestingly enough, this ship is the last surviving vessel from Pearl Harbor.

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Stacey spotted a HUGE Barnes and Noble, so we could not resist.

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After leaving the bookstore, we walked along the harbor the the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, which was moved to solid ground and is now a historic landmark.

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It was really cute inside and filled with lots of cool things.

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We discovered that the first woman lighthouse keeper actually worked in this lighthouse, as well as pictures of the original location and the moving process.

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I found this hugely fascinating, nerd that I am.

The view from the windows and deck was so awesome, because you could see all around the harbor and surrounding city.

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Unfortunately, after our exploration of the lighthouse, it was time to head back to the hotel and gather our bags to catch the next cab heading to BWI airport.

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Goodbye, lovely amphitheater that I want to attend a concert at one day!

Our flight was thankfully on time, but the lines at BWI were cuh-rahzy, so we did not have a lot of downtime, even though we got to the airport like an hour and a half before our flight.

Despite a little turbulence, a plane packed to THE GILLS, and sitting on the tarmac for half an hour, we made it back to Charlotte safe and sound, where I said my goodbyes to Stacey and my hellos to my dear fam.

Meredith + Linden picked me up and took me back to Mama D and Pops, where we had a bit belated birthday celebration for Meredith’s 22nd birthday.

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Cake on fiyah!!!

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Cake on a plate!

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Chips on a plate!

I was STARVED, because I suddenly realized that I had not eaten since my lunch in Baltimore, so I piled my plate high. I was also TIRED, so after an hour or so of family time, I headed back home to where I belong, unpacked, showered off the travel dust, and hit the sack before I could blog.

And it’s Monday all over again.

****

Edited to add: I still have people wanting my notes from the conference [and I took a lot] so I have consolidated them to one Google Doc folder, which can be found here.

Fitbloggin: The Conference

Let me start out by saying Fitbloggin has the most awesome swag EVER. Yesterday morning we did a 5k run in new shoes from New Balance, who also gave us running shorts. New Balance pretty much rocked this conference.

Love my shoes!

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They were super comfy, and well cushioned for a stability shoe, but they are comparable to a shoe a level below my Asics, and did not have quite enough support for me to wear them running. I’d totally wear them to the gym for a strength training work + elliptical though!

Afterwards, Quaker served us breakfast.

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TONS of toppings!

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Pecans, craisins, brown sugar and honey!

The first session I attended was Blogs, Accessibility and SEO: Dispelling the Myths with Scott Stawartz

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It was really useful and informative, especially since I know nothing about SEO.

Savvy Julie was there!

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I loved meeting her, she is so sweet and genuine!

We had a quick break afterward, followed by the second session, of which I picked WordPress: From .com to .org with Jim Doran.

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Jim was a great speaker and I really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of WordPress and what you can do with it.

Lunch was next on the agenda, and I was totally impressed with the selection!

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I had a chicken panini with steamed veggies on the side and a spinach salad that was divine!

For dessert there was a selection of fresh fruit + jello.

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I had both. ;)

The weather was fabulous, and a few of us were dying to get out, so we took a quick walk around the harbor.

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Baltimore is so pretty right now. Love all the water. And sunshine.

After the walk we met back in the lunch room for some announcements.

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I thought this was cute.

I chose to go to Beyond the Blog: Getting Published, which was amaze.

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I loved hearing everyone’s ‘getting published’ stories, as well as advice from agent Linda Konner.

Between sessions I grabbed an orange + coffee to snack on.

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I kept my seat from the last session and stayed for Making Money on Your Blog: Could You, Should You, Would You?

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The panel of speakers were really interesting, but I don’t believe I will be making a living from blogging any time soon. The tips were really useful, and it was interesting hearing from people who did make a living from blogging.

That rounded out sessions for the day, and everyone headed to the main room for the keynote speaker followed by a reception by Jell-O.

I grabbed some free sushi and a cute Jell-O cup.

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I never eat Jell-O, but I had it twice yesterday because it was served so freaking adorably.

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Love it.

All in all, Fitbloggin had it goin’ on. Great food, great people, great speakers…Can’t wait for next year!

****

PS: All my notes from the sessions I attended have been posted to my twitter. I know several of you guys that could not attend wanted them. If you can’t find them, just e-mail or tweet me and I will send you the link!

Why hello…

Baltimore! I’m here!

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I love cities. Like LOVE. I think I am city girl at heart. But then you take me away from my family and horses and I get a bit sad. So conflicting.

I actually made use of our blender yesterday [I know, crazy!] and had a green brown smoothie.

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Chocolate goodness.

  • banana
  • strawberries
  • spinach
  • chocolate protein powder
  • chocolate pb

It was a double shot.

After I slammed that, I headed to Mama D’s so she could take me to the airport. I went ahead and checked in my flight and baggage while I was waiting for the kids to get ready [Cecily, what?]. Thank God, because I had like –5 minutes to catch my flight when I got to the airport. Ran to my flight I did.

The best part of that whole scenario? The kindly old man at the baggage check informed me that my clothes ‘might not make it’. Frick.

Our flight was only an hour and fifteen minutes, but I spent it praying that my bag had made its way onto the plane with me.

After landing, Stacey and I made a beeline to baggage claim, to see if my worst fears had been recognized. NOPE. My red suitcase was sitting on the conveyor belt. I’ve never been so happy to see that nasty thing in my life.

We grabbed the next shuttle going to our hotel and who was on it? ALI from Food, Fitness, Fashion! We screamed so loud that Stacey assumed there was a spider or something in the van. Nope. Just crazy bloggers.

Good thing we met up with Ali, because she was rooming with Caitlin and Anne P. who were on their way from DC with our other roomie Katy. So we had a tapas party/happy hour.

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$5 tapas?!?! Why, I don’t mind if I do.

Ali and I shared the first three tapas which were DIVINE. I want foodie places like this in Charlotte. That’s what is so freaking awesome about big cities.

We started with the Salmon Asian Tartare on Sushi Rice.

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Party in your mouth. There were so many flavors invited to this party, too.

Stacey + Ali got beers, but I’m not a beer girl.

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Give me a pretty drank though, and I love it.

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obvs, since that is nearly gone.

Next up on the tapas menu was the Scallop on Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta.

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Heaven. Cheese anything is heaven though. I think heaven is going to be paved with cheese. Cheese is golden, right?

We weren’t done yet, so we ordered up the Shrimp and Tropical Fruit Seviche.

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More flavor party going on! SO GOOD.

We headed back for registration, which included FREE SHOES [more on that in my next post], free shorts and a mini oatmeal bowl. I love.

Prettied up.

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LOVE my shoes. From Marshalls, of course. Any excuse to wear hot shoes and a dress, I jump on.

We went up to the POM cocktail party for some socializing and fun.

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Love these girls! Katie, Cara, Kacy and Stacey. Sweethearts. I was so excited to meet Katie, Cara and Kacy. Stacey, of course is my roomie and travel buddy, so we’ve already met. ;)

Hideous picture of myself and Anne P.

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But I adore her, so I had to post. For a much lovelier photo, you can go to her blog.

Dinner was had later, and it involved homemade chips. I cleaned my plate and went to bed.

The end.

[with more to come, of course.]

Curvaceous

A HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad who turned FIFTY today!

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I gifted him with a card that may or may not have had the word ‘fart’ numerous times and a bag of Wal-Mart brand jelly fruit slices.

I don’t think you could ask for a better daughter than me, personally.

***

:D = ME this morning. Ah who am I kidding. I am SO not a morning person. But I am an oatmeal person.

I always say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And I didn’t.

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Same oatmeal as yesterday, just a little messier.

TODAY WAS MY FRIDAY!!! WOOOOOOOT.

I am so excited to be going to Fitbloggin this weekend and hanging out with so many lovely ladies, attending what is sure to be an awesome, inspiring conference and just in general an incredible weekend.

So excited in fact that I ate eggs for lunch.

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That is in fact and ‘egg sandwich’ because there is a pita hiding under those eggs. I bought a lot of pitas at the grocery store, in case you were wondering.

On the side I had this grapefruit:

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with, *gasp* Splenda. I feel sort of guilty about that, so much in fact it’s a little blurry. But there is no hiding those two packets of Splenda.  I hang my head in shame that you now know my nasty habit.

When we were finishing up lunch my boss came in with a ‘treat’.

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Gorg.

My coworker and I split this little baby and it was as gorgeous in my mouth as it was to look at.

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Murdered.

You’d be kidding yourself if you thought that not three hours later I had a snack attack.

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Banana Bread Larabar from Allison! DEEEELICIOUS!

After work I stopped at Wally world for Dad a present. I fully intend to purchase him a ‘real’ gift this weekend. Fathers are just difficult to shop for, I find. He likes music, so last year I bought him iTunes gift cards.

I ended up using them myself.

Any suggestions on the gift giving front are welcome.

Mama D. made a birthday dinner, so I was invited back home. Which is nice, since I would have crashed it had I not been invited.

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Mama D. made lentils, rice and some vegetable mixture that she called by a funny name. I don’t know these things.

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And homemade hummus and pita chips.

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I ate so many pita chips that I swear my tongue is raw. Stacy, why is your product so addicting?

I had a small sliver of cake for dessert but I was so classy I did not eat it off a plate. So therefore no picture.

Later I napped on the living room floor like old times until I was booted out the door. I had to pack for the weekend, so I gathered up my things and scurried off with my tail between my legs. I was leaving anyway!!! I could be heard yelling for miles.

Believe whatever parts of that last paragraph that you want to.

***

Moving on, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to you guys for your lovely comments on my outfit and general person in my last post. It was totally unexpected and thus the reason I love you guys SO MUCH.

You see, it was just what I needed.

I have been feeling so down because I am just not losing the weight I have gained, and I have been pretty bummed about it. I had a huge breakdown on my sisters just YESTERDAY about it in fact. But we don’t blog about the ugly, do we? And the way I was hating on myself was ugly.

The sad thing is, I knew it. I knew what I was thinking was wrong, but I still thought it. The truth is that yes, I’ve gained a few pounds but THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY BODY THE WAY IT IS.

We can’t all be 120 lbs all the time.

I know that I am strong and healthy, and really that’s what matters. I may have a few curves going on, but God gave them to me. I’ve gotta love what I’ve got!

You guys just proved that, and I love you for it.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Get yo GREEN on

Hey guys! Did you wear your green yesterday?

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I did! [Well technically not until yesterday night because between getting out of bed and brushing my hair, I cannot be bothered with silly things like certain colors in the mornings.]

I can be bothered, however with oatmeal n’ coffee.

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Plus a nice post it from my boss lady. [Or you know, my boss’s wife.]

HOLY TOPPINGS.

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Nana oatmeal + Dark Choco Dreams and raspberry fruit spread.

Party in your mouth.

I tried to be green with lunch.

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But I was more ORANGE instead. Like Holly pointed out though, you can’t have the Irish flag without orange. [Speaking of which, have you checked out her awesome St Patty’s giveaway? Do it.]

I digress. Back to lunch. ‘Twas a veggie burger w/ spinach and hummus w/ carrots. [Like that was not obvious.]

Later on, in a frenzy [four day work weeks have their downsides as well as the up. I mean trying to fit five days into four? Yeah.] I had this yogurt. With peanut butter. On a spoon.

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After work my day only got better. And I don’t mean I ran to the nearest bar for happy hour. No. I, in fact went home.

Where I found this FABULOUS package from the FABULOUS Allison of Green Dog Wine. LOVE HER. LOVE HER BLOG. Can’t wait to MEET her this WEEKEND.

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My mint addiction? Taken care of. My nut butter addiction? Also well supplied. My larabar addiction? MORE than taken care of!

  • PB&J
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Banana Bread
  • Tropical Fruit Tart

I don’t get ANY of those flavors here. YES, YES, YES!!!!

Plus an adorable note from Allison and her dogs, Lando and Harvey. Which are arguably the cutest dogs ever. [Have you ever seen the cuteness that is a puggle? Seriously.]

I went to da gym for more excitement. Not. It was dead. Deader than dead. Apparently the bars were full of juiceheads last night, because the gym was not. I loved it.

Then I got ma GREEN on. [and went in search of those elusive juiceheads. Like Snooki, I did.]

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Which one does not match? Oh. That’d be me.

Did you get ya GREEN on yesterday? Do share.

with a capital B

B.O.R.I.N.G.

That describes my food today and every Tuesday.

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Greek yogurt, shredded spoonfuls and pb next to tha sink that threw up during the night. Must’ve caught something from Kasey. ;)

Seriously though, the sink did vomit broccoli from the disposall this morning. Disgusting.

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Leftover channa masala from FRIDAY [Kasey did not eat it all, so I decided to finish it off,and yes I realize that was an excessively long time ago] and wilty grapes.

Can you tell I am trying to eat everything before going to Fitbloggin this weekend? Well I am.

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Oh look. A bar for a snack. So original.

When I got home, betwixt restyling my hair and changing my clothes, I ate this:

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PB and J pita; and left for CharlotteOne. All within fifteen minutes. I am a speedy one, that I am. [Unless I am running a race. Then I am not very speedy at all.]

I know you see no veggies there, and I have no excuse. Except that after CharlotteOne I ate some spinach dip with my friends and loved ones. And that shall have to suffice for vegetables today. It was just one of those crazy ones.

Need. Sleep.

I’m out.

DST + Link Love

Hello loves, how was your weekend? Mine was lazy + fabulous. Except for that stinky time change of course. Meh, don’t like that. I did finally get my curtains hung in my new room so that I can sleep all night though. That was especially nice.

I made it easy on myself this morning and used up the last of my wilted blueberries in a bowl of Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls with almond milk.

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I was using soy milk of late because it was on sale, but I picked up almond milk this week. I swear I have used almond milk in my cereal before, but this was disgustingly thick. Has anyone else ever noticed this or did I perhaps get a bad box of almond milk?

Oh well, I ate it anyway.

And two cups of coffee. The large ones. It is now Daylight Savings Time after all and it takes me a week to adjust. Laugh if you want to.

Lunch was so fantastic.

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Sweet potato fries are always fantastic of course.

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But the kicker was this pita sandwich I made.

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A Morningstar Farms burger with spinach and TJ’s triple layer hummus. Don’t judge if I eat this again tomorrow.

I was SO BUSY this afternoon, I barely got a chance to eat this Z-bar on the fly.

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Obviously. I didn’t even move my pen. I love those pens, btw. They always disappear on me too. :( The good ones always do.

After work I hurried home because the ONE good thing about DST [Daylight Savings Time] is that it is light outside until 7:30, so I got in a good run plus a gym session, by RUNNING to my gym, working out and RUNNING back. It felt SO GOOD to run outside again. It was like 64 degrees. PERFECT, PERFECT running weather. I have to be honest, between the HORRID burnout I suffered + my post marathon injury I had let my running slide. A lot. Today was good, because it reminded me why I love to run and why I signed up and ran that marathon. When it’s right, it’s just RIGHT.

Unfortunately, my lack of training means that I probably will not be doing the Charlotte Racefest Half Marathon. I just don’t see myself being ready for it. I am though, going to go for the 10k. I haven’t done that distance before and I think it will be a good race to get me ready for some late spring/summer half marathons.

I was in the mood for PROTEIN for dinner, so I fished [oh this is good…] some tilapia out of the freezer that I bought on sale the other week and pan fried it in some olive oil.

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I paired it with broccoli

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and some grapes that were on their last leg along with some pineapple that I picked up at TJ’s this weekend.

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Looking pretty at the table.

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But in fact eaten whilst watching old Grey’s reruns on Lifetime. I do think that eating in front of the tv is not optimal, but these days I eat by myself 95% of the time and it’s lonely to eat at an empty table. Much more exciting to dine with Dr. Miranda Bailey and Meredith Grey.

Some links I’ve been meaning to share:

CharlotteOne from last week, Legalism vs License.

My new favorite jam from John Mark McMillian. [I have his EP and adore it. It’s on repeat in my car ALL THE TIME.]

Enjoy!

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