Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaBloPoMo Wrap Up and LINKUP Reminder

I made it!  I blogged every day in November (this being my final post) and I survived.  It was tough at times, but really fun to challenge myself.  Here's a look back at all of the posts that I wrote, in case you missed any:

(1) October Favorites
(2) Let's Get Personal
(3) What's New With You
(4) Top Five Friday
(5) Oprah's Favorite Things
(6) Race Week
(7) Let's Talk About Burnout
(8) Dips
(9) WIAW Election Day
(10) Belize Part 4
(11) Top Five Friday
(12) Currently
(13) Week in Workouts
(14) Weekend Highlights
(15) Battle of the Stuffing
(16) Getting Back to Running
(17) Scrapbook Memories
(18) Top Five Friday
(19) Netflix Favorites
(20) Week in Workouts
(21) Veg Feast
(22) Vegan Thanksgiving Menu
(23) Lululemon Reviews
(24) Happy Thanksgiving
(25) Top Five Friday
(26) Favorite Christmas Songs
(27) Week in Workouts
(28) Mental Health Helps
(29) November Favorites
(30) Wrap Up

ALSO- tomorrow will be the next "What's New With You" linkup!  Make sure you join Kristen and me here tomorrow and let us know what's up.

Who else did NaBloPoMo?
Did anyone participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tasty Tuesday : November Favorites

Happy Tasty Tuesday everyone!  Another month is coming to an end, and I thought it would be fun to look back on November and talk about some of my favorite new products that I tried out.  I've been doing a lot of experimenting in the kitchen, so I thought it would fun to share what I love each month!  Today I'm going to be talking about some foods, drinks, recipes and products.


Tofutti Sour Cream
This is kind of a weird food item to share, but I had to talk about it!  I was always a huge fan of sour cream and used it on so many different dishes.  I was really excited when I found a vegan sour cream alternative that tastes so close to the original that I'm not sure if they repackaged regular sour cream and just claim it's vegan.  It's that good!  To top it off, it's not much more expensive than the real stuff (which is not always the case with vegan alternatives!)

Gardein Holiday Roast
I was worried about my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, and figured there wouldn't be many traditional items that I could eat.  Luckily, I found out that Whole Foods was selling an entire feast in a box for $40- including stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberries, and a Gardein Holiday Roast.  I was a bit apprehensive about the roast, since I don't really like fake meat that much.  However, this was AMAZING!  It had a really similar texture and taste to turkey, and was filled with an incredible tasting stuffing.  I'll definitely be getting this again in the future!


Troegs Mad Elf
Last month I mentioned loving Dream Weaver from Troegs, but this month I'm excited that my favorite beer of all time is finally available!  Mad Elf is a seasonal beer that is absolutely incredible- a Belgian Dark Ale with hints of cherry, honey, cocoa and spices.  It's even better on tap if you're in the Hershey area!  Last year I tried a Mad Elf flight, featuring varieties from different years, and I'm dying to get back to try it again.

Tim Hortons K Cups
A few months ago, I got a membership to Sam's Club on Groupon.  It's been great so far, and I've been stocking up on tons of my favorites.  One thing that I wanted to get was a big box of K-cups for work, and luckily Sam's had my favorite brand- Tim Hortons!  Their coffee is so delicious and I don't even need to add any kind of milk or sugar.  I can't start my morning without it!


I love finding easy lunches to help make my weekly prep easier, and this month I've been all about burrito bowls!  These could not be more simple to make, and you can customize them to your preferences.  I make a big batch of rice (usually about 2 cups of dried rice is enough for 10 servings- 5 lunches for me and 5 for Dan), cook a can of beans, roast about 5 potatoes and an onion, and mix together.  On the side I'll bring salsa, guacamole and vegan sour cream.  Some other combinations I'm loving are portobella mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, like you see above.

It's so delicious, and it takes barely any work at all!  Is there any better feeling than having lunch ready for the entire week on Sunday?!


I mentioned this food processor a few weeks ago in Top Five Friday, but I have to mention it again!  I've used it so much this month, and it's really made food prep and cooking in general much easier.  I don't know how I ever cooked without it!  If you're tired of chopping up veggies for hours, think about investing in a bigger food processor with chopping attachments!

What are some of your favorites from November?
What recipe should I try next?
What's your favorite seasonal beer?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mental Health Helps

Happy Monday everyone!  These are the final few days of NaBloPoMo (seriously, where did the month go?) and today I'm going to be taking one of the official prompts and sharing my thoughts on it.  This was actually the very first prompt that was shared this year, and I've been waiting to share this post since then!

The prompt is:
When you're having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?

Read a Book or Magazine

I'm not someone who reads a ton, even though I really enjoy it.  I like to read on the bus to pass the time, but if I'm at home I feel like I'm wasting time or should be doing something else.  It feels indulgent to me, so whenever I'm feeling down or need a pick-me-up I'll settle in with a good book (usually something trashy and embarrassing) or work on my huge stack of magazines.  Right now I'm subscribed to Outside, Health, Runners World, Glamour and People Magazine (thank you airline miles) and can't seem to keep up.

Cook or Bake

Cooking is something that I do on an everyday basis to stay sane.  After a stressful day at work, all I want to do when I get home is get in the kitchen and spend the next hour or two cooking a meal.  It's therapeutic to me to chop vegetables, saute or stir something on the stove, and plate it up for Dan and me to enjoy over a glass of wine.  On Sundays, I'll plan out a few new recipes that I want to try and pick up all the ingredients.  That way, as soon as I get home, I don't have to think about what to make or stress about anything- just get in the kitchen and cook!  I usually share what I'm making on Snapchat, so follow along at gretchxo if you need some dinner ideas!

Go for a Run or Walk

I'm not a doctor or psychologist, but I know that I always feel better after I go for a run.  Things happen in the brain and send happy signals throughout your body, but all that matters to me is that I go for a run and return in a better mood!  Sometimes a run isn't possible (like in the middle of a work day), but just getting up and going for a short walk, even if it's to the coffee maker, helps me feel better.  

Watch an Old Favorite

Everyone has that old guilty-pleasure show or movie (I told you mine- America's Next Top Model!), and anytime I'm in a funk I'll zone out on the show.  Sure, this isn't the most healthy way to deal with stress or anxiety, but sometimes it's exactly what I need!  Other good choices for me are Gilmore Girls, Friends, Modern Family, Top Chef, The Holiday, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Do Some Yoga

When I say yoga, I don't mean something really intense like hot yoga.  While that might be great for some people, when I'm down I just need some relaxing, meditative yoga.  I'll just go onto youtube and search for "yoga for stress" or "yoga and meditation" and click on whatever video is calling to me.  30-40 minutes later and I'm feeling much better about life.

Make Your Own Spa Day

To be honest, I'm not really a bath person.  Being in a bath stresses me out and grosses me out at the same time, so I don't really take them (except after a really hard run when I soak in epsom salts!).  However, baths can be extremely therapeutic for most people.  Light a candle, drink some wine, and put on some relaxing music and you're sure to feel calm soon!  But, for bath haters like me, doing other spa-like things can include putting on a face mask, luxurious hair mask, big fluffy robe, fancy body oils, lighting candles and pouring a glass of wine.  This is best combined with reading magazines for the ultimate relaxation!

Your turn- what do you do when you're having a bad day?
Are you someone who needs to talk out their problems?  I'm definitely not!  I need some time alone to digest, then I'm fine.

linking up with Amanda

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Week in Workouts

What a great week!  Sometimes I get distracted and don't stay very active during holiday weeks, but this was a great one.  The weather was perfect and I had some great workouts.  I even started timing my runs, and I think I'm ready to start following a more structured plan to get in shape for 2017 races.  I'm feeling motivated and excited to race again, which is a great feeling!

Here's a look at the week:


4 miles
#NeverMissAMonday.  This was definitely the coldest morning we've had so far this season, and I almost stayed inside to run.  I toughed it out and ended up having a fantastic run outside!  It's so funny how quickly you warm up once you start running.


Rest Day!
I got pulled into a lunch time meeting at the last minute, then went out to lunch for my boss's birthday, so I didn't make it to the gym for my normal lunchtime classes.  Decided to take a rest day instead.


3 miles
I got to work from home on Wednesday, so I ended up going running at lunch time.  I tried out my new outfit from Lulu, which kept me incredibly warm!  I wore the Run for Cold pullover with a Swiftly short sleeve t-shirt, Speed Tights, and Mantra Twist headband.  It was in the 20s when I started, and I was sweating by the end!


3 miles
I decided not to race on Thanksgiving this year, so Dan, Selma and I went to North Park to do our own "Turkey Trot" in the morning!  The park was packed full of families and dogs, but we had a great time.  The weather was perfect and both of my running buddies did a great job!


Yoga / 30:00
I didn't follow any video or any specific flow, just did whatever felt good.  Lots of sun salutations and stretches, followed with some foam rolling.


4 miles
Headed around my neighborhood for an easy 4 miler.  It was a bit chilly when I started, and on my way back it started to sleet a bit.  I actually love running in rain, snow or ice so this was perfect conditions for me!

After running, I tuned in to the Ohio State/Michigan game to cheer for OSU (for the first time in my life) then cheered on my Nittany Lions!  Thanks to the Ohio State win and Penn State victory, we're headed for the Big Ten Championship game next week! I'm SO excited!!


6 miles / 53:10 / 8:51 pace
This was my first timed run in a long time!  I headed out to North Park and took it nice and easy.  I didn't even check my pace while I was running, and just wanted to see what my conditioning was like.  I was really pleasantly surprised at my pace!  The weather definitely helped- it was low 40s and just a bit of wind in a few sections.  Doesn't get much better than that!

Total Miles : 20
Cross Training : Yoga

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Favorite Christmas Songs

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's finally an appropriate time to start thinking about all things CHRISTMAS!  Even though I listen to Christmas music year round when the mood strikes, I really go all out this time of year.  I listen to it in the car, at work, and turn it on as soon as I get home.  I just want to be surrounded by all the Holly Jolly songs I can find, 24/7!

Here are a few of my favorite Christmas albums and songs (and if you want to here a playlist of all of these, plus a few extras, listen on Spotify!)

Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas

This is an album that I always listened to growing up.  I love how it's a mix of classic songs and new pop Christmas songs, all in Mariah's incomparable voice.

Josh Groban - Noel

If you're looking for more old-school songs- look no further than Josh Groban.  His voice is so amazing and gives me chills any time I hear it!

Christina Aguilera - My Kind of Christmas

Christina is one of my favorite singers of all time, so of course her Christmas album is at the top of my list.

Pentatonix - ALL!!

I believe that Pentatonix comes out with a new Christmas CD every year, and they have all been amazing.  They re-do all of the classics to make their own a capella masterpiece.  Love it!

Dave Koz and Friends - The 25th of December

For a more instrumental/jazzy Christmas, give Dave Koz a listen.  My stand-out favorite is Let it Snow!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve and Other Stories

Is it really Christmas is TSO isn't playing!?  I had to include this incredible group, and my dream is to one day see them perform live.

Kelly Clarkson - Wrapped in Red

This is a newer CD but it's already one of my favorites.  Kelly has such an incredible voice and has some great original Christmas songs on here!

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?
Have you started decorating yet?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Top Five Friday #77

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and are ready for a good weekend.  I have a short list of favorites to share today, but I hope you enjoy!

Play! By Sephora

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet : I loooove this moisturizer.  It reminds me of the gel moisturizer from Clinique, which used to be my favorite!  It has a great texture and works on my sensitive skin.
GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment : This is one of my favorite face masks, so I was happy to get a mini size to use! 
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour : I was most excited to try this.  I love using cream eye shadow sticks, and I've heard this one is amazing.  I got it in the shade rose gold, and it's really creamy and a beautiful color that's perfect for work.
SEPHORA COLLECTION Ultra Shine Lip Gel : I'm not much of a lip gloss girl, but this one feels like a gel once you apply it and isn't sticky at all!  It's pretty amazing.  I got the color Pin Up Pink, which just enhances my natural lip color.
COVER FX Illuminating Primer : I stopped wearing foundation earlier this year (except for special occasions) so I haven't tried this yet!  I love COVER FX products though, so I'm sure I'll like it.

AMA Red Carpet Favorites

Selena Gomez - loved the simple and elegant red dress!

Fifth Harmony - I loved how the group looked cohesive but all of the dresses were really unique!

Tim McGraw - Hello cowboy! Great jacket with just enough country accents.

Plant-Based Protein Powder

Some days I struggle to get in enough protein in my diet, so I'm thinking about trying a plant-based powder.  I recently tried a sample of this kind from Whole Foods and I was really impressed!  The dark chocolate flavor is amazing and rich, and I also want to give vanilla caramel a try.  Does anyone have other recommendations for plant-based protein powders?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for:

- My family, who is always there for me and has always supported me

- Dan, the love of my life and my best friend

- Selma, who is the best dog and can always make me feel better

- My health, and the ability to run

- My job, and amazing coworkers that make long days bearable

- My friends, who make life more fun and inspire me daily

- Each and every one of you, for your encouragement and support

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Lululemon Reviews

Hi everyone!  Today I have lots of reviews to share from a recent trip to Lululemon.  I was in need of some winter running clothes and was excited to try on all their new items.  I found some amazing pieces, and was also disappointed by some others.  I'm going to share all of my thoughts, so I hope you enjoy!

Speed Tight V *Brushed

Size 6
Made for running, Medium Rise, Reflective Cuffs, Side and back pockets, Hugged sensation
Wearing the leggings with the Rush Hour LS (not online)

I've never owned a pair of Speed Tights before, but everyone raves about them.  I couldn't believe how comfortable these were!  These have plenty of compression to hold everything in, but aren't restrictive at all.  The length is great for me, and the fit is absolutely perfect!  I love how these look and there are always new colors coming out in this same cut.

I picked these in the "brushed" version because they're supposed to be warmer and thicker than the regular pair (in fact- last year I reviewed the regular kind and found them to be really thin).  I wore these on a run when it was 20 degrees out, and I didn't feel cold at all.  I also like the fact that these have a zipper pocket in the back, and two large side pockets that can fit my iPhone with no bouncing around.

Would I recommend?  Yes!  I want more in different colors (as long as they're the *brushed kind).  Huge fan!

Deep Breath Tight

Size 6
Made for yoga, High Rise, Waistband pocket, Hugged sensation

I was excited to try these on because I saw great reviews of these, and they have a really cool mesh detail on the side.  Unfortunately, these did not work for me at all.  The fit on them was kind of wonky (you can see how much the bunch around the knee no matter how much I tried to adjust it) and I don't like how high-waisted they are.  There was also some sort of scallop detail at the ankle that just seemed to irritate my skin!

Another thing that I didn't like is how thick these feel.  For yoga, I prefer wearing something more light-weight so that I don't get overheated.  These felt really thick and almost like a weight for running outside in the winter, but since they have mesh I wouldn't be able to wear them when it gets cold. 

Would I recommend? No.  I definitely don't think they're worth the price tag!

Run for Cold Pullover

in Black
Size 4
Made for running, Synthetic insulation, Water repellent, 360 degree reflectivity, Front and back pocket

This was definitely my favorite thing that I tried on.  It looks like a regular pullover (also comes in a jacket and vest version), but it's basically my dream running top.  The material is really lightweight, but it has a ton of insulation in the core that I think will be great for running in the cold, while the arms are lined with a cozy material but not insulated.  It also has a large hood (I hate when running tops have a tiny hood that always falls off), and is water repellent.  The fit of it is also really flattering and I love how it looks.  I decided to size down to a size 4 so that it was more form-fitting, and it felt perfect.

Most important to me- there are reflectors all over the jacket!  Pretty soon I'll be running in the dark whether I run before or after work, so being visible to cars is really important to me.  Right now, I don't have any winter jackets that are reflective.  Even though this was a huge splurge (I think it's the most expensive article of clothing that I own now-running or regular), I know I'll get a ton of wear out of it!  The only downside that I see are the thumbholes.  In the picture you can see that these are right by the edge of the sleeve, but I prefer the holes to be a big further down so that more of the sleeve covers your hand.  I would have loved if these had the "cuffins" (cuffs that fold over into mittens) but that probably would have driven up the price even more!

Would I recommend?  Yes!  It's pricey, but I think it's well worth the price.  I got this as motivation to train during the winter to prepare for a full marathon next year!

Define Jacket

Size 6
Made for to+from, Slim fit, Hip length, Cuffins and thumbholes

The define jacket has a very slim fit and the size 6 fit me perfectly!  The material was really stretchy and comfortable, and I loved the detailed stitch work on the front.  I also loved the fact that this jacket had cuffins (like I mentioned wanting above) and the thumbholes were in a more comfortable location on the sleeve.  I wish the pullover had this same sleeve! 

Since this jacket is described as made for "to + from," (meaning, going to the gym or running errands), it doesn't seem worth the price tag to me.  It's not great for layering since it's such a slim fit, and I prefer jackets with hoods.  It also wasn't cozy which is exactly what I'm looking for if I'm grabbing a jacket to head outside!

Would I recommend?  Maybe- if you're in the market for this specific type of jacket, but it doesn't seem worth it to me!

Scuba Hoodie IV

Size 6
Made for to+from, Relaxed fit, Thumbholes

I got a Scuba Hoodie III last year, and this is the exact thing that I would grab when I'm heading to the gym or to the store.  It's really cozy and soft, and I love the large Lulu logo on the front.  It's really flattering and is one of my favorite parts of the hoodie (apart from the huge and super comfortable hood)!

Scuba Hoodie IV vs III

I was really excited to try the new version that came out this year, but was really disappointed.  For one thing, my favorite part of the jacket (the large logo) got stretched out and looks more like a knock-off version than something that came from Lululemon.  I think it looks a lot more cheap, and also makes the pockets smaller (since they're cut at more of a diagonal).  I also noticed that the fabric seems a lot thinner and is missing the cozy lining on the front (it's harder to see on black cherry, but it's only lined with that soft material on the inside back of the jacket, while the III also has it on the inside front).  I loved how warm the older version kept me, and this one just didn't do the same.

Scuba Hoodie IV vs III - the front design doesn't look as good to me!
I'm disappointed in the new version of the Scuba hoodie, but luckily the older one is still available!

Would I recommend?  No! Buy the III instead and be very happy :)  I wear that hoodie almost every day!

Overall- I bought and would recommend the Speed Tights and Run for the Cold Pullover.  Happy Winter Running!
Post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tasty Tuesdays : Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Happy Tasty Tuesday everyone!  Today I have a special post planned- a vegan Thanksgiving menu.  I've been getting questions lately about what I'm going to eat for Thanksgiving, and to be honest, the possibilities are endless!

This weekend I went to a vegan feast that gave me a lot of inspiration for a savory, decadant dinner without any animal products.  Today, I'll be sharing my own menu of what I would make for a vegan Thanksgiving!  I have some appetizers, entree, drinks and dessert.  I hope I can give you some inspiration for your own dinner!


"Cheese" Plate
Who says you can't make a cheese plate that's vegan?! It's time to get creative and make an interesting platter- with a mix of store-bought spreads, yummy crackers, pickles, olives, and crudites.

Black Bean Salad
Two of my favorite dips!  Pair with some carrots and tortillas

Deviled "Eggs"
Your guests will be shocked at how creative and tasty these little "eggs" are!


Broccoli Quinoa Salad
This recipe comes from Alexa, and is perfect for any time of the year.  Simple and delicious (plus you can prep it ahead for an even stronger flavor!)

Stuffing and Gravy
Go ahead- go for the store bought stuffing!  Paired with my simple homemade gravy, no one will know the difference

Puff Pastry Lentil Loaf
Definitely a show stopper and sure to fill your guests up!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash
One of my favorite side dishes.  Tangy, sweet, and all around amazing

Mashed Potatoes
Got to go with the classic!

Braised Red Cabbage
I love red cabbage, and think it will be an amazing addition to a Thanksgiving feast

Glazed Carrots
These are so sweet and delicious- kids will love them!


Apple Crumble
So simple and delicious.  Top with some coconut milk ice cream!


Hot Mulled Wine
My favorite cold weather drink!  Makes a ton with barely any work

Holiday Mule
So simple to make and customize based on your guests' preferences

Apple Pie Cocktail
I fell in love with this drink after seeing it on Sarah's blog!  Give it a try and you'll see why I like it so much

P.S.- if you're planning on being lazy like me or don't have plans for Thanksgiving, check out Whole Foods' vegan feast for 2!  I have mine ordered and I'll be picking it up on Thursday afternoon :)

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
Do you watch football or just focus on dinner?
Anyone doing Black Friday shopping?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Veg Feast 2016

Hi everyone!  I hope that you all had a great weekend.  I'm excited for this week because it's going to be short thanks to the holiday. I can make it through three days!

Yesterday, Dan and I went to an event called Veg Feast with a few of our vegan friends.  This was a full feast of all vegan foods, made by some local restaurants.  There was also a band playing and some other entertainment, and ended up being a great night!  Here are some highlights:

Rachel B Music was the band playing the entire night.  She was a great singer/pianist who did a mixture of covers and original songs.  She also played with a guitarist/drummer/background singer, and together they sounded great!

There was so much amazing food!  My favorites were the Field Roast Phyllo Casserole from Onion Maiden and the Mac and "Cheese" from Chip and Kale.  There was also a big cookie table, because this was a Pittsburgh event ;)

Everything was SO good though.  The organizers said they wanted to prove that vegans eat a lot more than just salad every day, and with this amazing spread I can definitely agree with that!

The star of the night, though, was the cutest pig ever named Doc The Pig!  He was really friendly and would walk over to you and sniff around your hand for some food.  He reminded me so much of a dog and I fell in love!

He wagged his little tail the entire night and wore the cutest sweater!  Now I kind of want a pig.

It was such a fun night, and a great way to kick off the holiday season.  This is my first year being a vegan, so it was great to get inspired by all of the creative dishes!  I can't wait to try out some of the recipes myself and share them with some omnivore friends, and prove that vegans eat really tasty food.

Have you ever been to a special-dietary feast?
Who else wants a pig?!
Cookie tables- yay or nay?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Week in Workouts

Another great week of workouts!  This week I tried out a new workout class and had my first snowy run.  I also decided on a goal race for next year (more on that in another post), so overall I'm feeling excited and ready to dive back into training!


4 miles
#NeverMissAMonday.  It's definitely starting to get cold outside, and this was a chilly morning run!  It felt great once I got started, so I'm glad I ran outside.


PiYo / 60:00
I usually do yoga on Tuesdays, but my instructor was out of town.  I decided to try PiYo instead (which is a combination of pilates and yoga).  I took a similar class at my old gym and loved it, and this one was great as well!  I might switch things up and go to this class on Tuesdays instead.


3.5 miles
Another chilly morning run.  It's so calm in the morning before all of the craziness of the day starts!  For some reason, it seemed to get really bright out when I was out (I took the picture above at 6:45).  Crazy, but it was nice to not run in complete darkness!


Yoga / 45:00
My normal instructor still wasn't back, but we had a sub fill in. 


3 miles
I worked from home on Friday, so I got in a run during lunch after a quick dentist appointment!


Rest Day!


5 miles
First snowy run of the year!  It was so beautiful (and cold) out.  My hands were too cold to get a picture, whoops!  Bad blogger.

Total Miles: 15.5
Cross Training: 2 days (yoga and PiYo)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Netflix Favorites

Oh, Netflix.  I have such a love/hate relationship with you.  On one hand, you give me unlimited hours of happiness and joy, learning about new subjects or getting inspired.  On the other, you make staying in bed all day seem perfectly normal, and can make hours mysteriously disappear.  And don't even get me started on your "Are you still watching?" pop-up.  RUDE.

Today I'm sharing a few of my favorites from Netflix, from TV shows to movies and a few documentaries that I love.  Please share your favorites as well, because I'm always looking for something new to get into!

TV Shows


(2009-present) American reality-based cooking television game show series which pits four chefs against each other as they compete for a chance to win $10,000.  The chefs must attempt to incorporate unusual combinations of ingredients into dishes that are evaluated by a panel of three judges.

Black Mirror

(2011-present) British television anthology series that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.


Big Eyes

(2014) American biographical film about the life of artist Margaret Keane—famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes, and follows the story of Margaret and her husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret's phenomenally successful and popular paintings in the 1950s and 1960s, and the lawsuit (and trial) between Margaret and Walter, after Margaret reveals she is the real artist behind the big eyes paintings.


(1998) American fantasy comedy film which centers around two siblings who wind up trapped in a 1950s TV show, set in a small Iowa town, where residents are seemingly perfect. In their attempts to get comfortable, the two become more aware of social issues such as racism and freedom of speech.

The Imitation Game

(2014) American historical drama thriller film loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma . It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as real-life British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who decrypted German intelligence codes for the British government during World War II.


Fittest On Earth

(2016) The fittest athletes on earth take on the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games. Follow the journeys of the champs, Ben Smith and Katrin Davidsdottir, along with top contenders Mat Fraser, Sara Sigmundsdóttir, Dan Bailey and more.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

(2011) American documentary film directed by David Gelb. The film follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant, on his continuing quest to perfect the art of sushi.

Forks Over Knives

(2011) an advocacy film that advocates a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet as a way to avoid or reverse several chronic diseases. The film recommends a "whole foods plant-based" diet and stresses that processed foods and all oils should be avoided.

What should I watch next?
Who else is excited for Gilmore Girls?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Top Five Friday #76

Happy Friday!  Here are my favorite things from the past week:

Food Processor

Out with the old and in with the new!  I've had the same tiny food processor since I moved into my first apartment (I ordered it off of Hautelook for about $15!).  Even though it works fine, it's super small and I always had to blend up small batches of ingredients.  I finally decided to upgrade to a larger machine that also has a slicing and chopping insert, as well as an opening in the top to add in ingredients without shutting off the machine.  I picked up this food processor from Amazon and it's affordable and works so well!

ATP World Finals

I'm sad that the tennis season is ending (for a few weeks, but still), but I've been loving the Finals this week!  For the first time since I started to follow tennis, Novak Djokovic is not number one in the world.  This sets up an intense competition with everything on the line.  I can't wait to see what happens, and hope that Djokovic will be on top of the standings again!

YSL Babydoll Mascara

I picked up the Lash Stash kit last weekend at Sephora during their 20% off sale, and one of the items was a full size of the YSL babydoll mascara.  I really, really wanted to hate this because it's expensive ($32 for a mascara...really!?) but it's amazing.  It gives me such long, luscious lashes without looking fake or gross at all!  It applies beautifully and made the entire kit worth it.  Now I just have to convince myself that drug store mascara is good enough for me...sigh...

Mannequin Challenge

I don't even care that I'm late on this, but I've been loving watching Mannequin Challenges the past few weeks!  I keep forgetting to mention it, but these videos are so entertaining to watch.  If you haven't heard of this, it's a phenomenon sweeping the Internet where a group of people holds a pose while a camera zooms around and the song Black Beatle plays.  So many different groups are getting in on this and I love them all!  

Runner's World

This month, Runner's World feature cover stories and photos of regular runners, and the cover winner really inspired me.  His name is Josh Lajaunie, and he lost tons of weight and inspired his community to get healthy by running and changing to a plant-based diet.  I loved his interview, and you can check it out here!

Friday Funny

I'll leave you with this gem...

Have a great weekend!
linking up with Heather and Erika