June 26, 2011

(belated) weekly gems

  • This interview with a Special Olympics athlete and her mom is a must read!
  • Absolutely adore this slideshow of fathers and the advice they've given their daughters.
  • Foods that can boost your mood.
  • Check out this new crop of money-saving websites. Also, tips for improving your credit score.
  • A CUP OF JO's Joanna's son Toby got grumpy about beer.
  • An awesome checklist of photos to take each month.
  • So happy same-sex marriage was legalized in New York! Here's a slideshow of the event.
  • Nine happiness boosters.
  • An interesting article on five U.S. women's every day finances.
  • Why am I always so drawn to Chanel nail polish? And speaking of nail polish, I am in love with this new take on glitter polish.
  • Katie's love letter to her dresses is such fun!
  • Want to be a food blogger? Here are some etiquette tips.
  • I can't get enough of gray and yellow for weddings (well, pretty much gray and any color!).
  • Love this photo essay of senior dogs. Beautiful.

June 22, 2011

jason mraz

This past weekend I came across this long, but beautiful and goofy live version of Jason Mraz's hit, "I'm Yours." I love it! Mr. Mraz has definitely been added to my "artists/bands I want to see in concert" list : )

June 21, 2011

get fit get strong recap: week one

Hello, everyone! How was your weekend and your Monday? I'm sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, I've been a bit busy the past few days with social outings, work, and the full-time job search. Sunday marked the end of Week One of my new fitness journey, so it's time for a recap.

Overall summary - I have to admit, I didn't do so hot this past week. I started off strong, but got derailed by a day that went in a totally unexpected direction, and then never really got back on track. I like using My Fitness Pal (both the app and the site) and my Twitter account to track my calories, exercise, and thoughts, but once I started slipping up I avoided them. I need to stay consistent and honest with myself. The more I record, the more accountable I can hold myself, and the better I can adjust unhealthy behaviors/habits.

Healthy eating - I am struggling with eating well when out with friends and avoiding the concession stand at work. I am, however, doing better about portion control and with eating more fruits and veggies.

Exercise - This past week was so busy I mainly just walked the dogs for exercise, but it felt good and is worthwhile. This week I plan to walk the dogs every day, as well as do the 30 Day Shred or Nike Training Club on days I have more time.

Attitude - I need to maintain a positive attitude and not a perfectionist one. Once I started getting off track, I thought, "Ah, well, I'll do better tomorrow." I need to let a bad choice just be one bad choice and not become a whole bad day.

Goals for Week Two - I let my struggles from Week One start off Week Two, but I still have five days left, and I am going to make them count. For Week Two, I will follow my My Fitness Pal account and walk the dogs every day. I will also do a full work out at least twice.

Any tips on how to manage stressful days without derailing your healthy habits?

June 17, 2011

weekly gems

Source: tumblr.com via Kelly on Pinterest

June 16, 2011

watch it: x-men: first class

Source: imdb.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Movie: X-Men: First Class

Viewed: June 2011, in theaters

Notable Cast Members: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Bryne, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Frost, Nicholas Hoult

Overall Rating: (rating rationale)

Plot Summary: What caused the X-Men to come together? A mutant villain named Sebastian Shaw. In the 1960s, mutant Eric Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) wants to avenge his mother's death, who was killed at the hands of Shaw. The CIA, who wants to stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) from successfully starting a war between the Soviets and the U.S., asks Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), both a mutant expert and a mutant himself, to help track him down. Together, Charles and Eric recruit other young mutants to join the fight against Shaw, becoming close friends along the way. But will the battle against Shaw cause them to grow closer, or will it tear them apart?

Personal Thoughts: While X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the X-men trilogy, you don't need to have seen all the movies to understand the plot (although it does make it a bit more fun). I really enjoyed this movie. I thought the acting was great, the story interesting, and the special effects awesome. It is a great entry into the X-men film franchise and into the comic book movie genre in general. I definitely recommend seeing it!

June 15, 2011

the band perry

Okay, so I am pretty sure am a bit behind the times with this song, but I recently just heard it on the radio for the first time, and now I am obsessed. Sad but so beautiful. After I heard this song, I looked up all of The Band Perry's other official videos on YouTube and really enjoyed them. I've decided I'm buying myself their album when week one of Get Fit Get Strong is complete : )

June 14, 2011

jane austen

Source: etsy.com via Kelly on Pinterest

I read Pride and Prejudice at the end of my senior year of high school, and immediately fell in love with it. It is just such a hilarious, romantic, sentimental, lovely book. I vowed then I would read all of Jane Austen's books. Well, four years and a college degree later, and I still haven't read of the others. I've waited long enough! I want to read the rest this summer. Any suggestions on what to start off with first? Sense and Sensibility? Emma? Mansfield Park? What is your favorite?

June 13, 2011

get fit get strong

Earlier today I posted an update on my New Year's, All Year Challenge, and mentioned that I am starting an exciting new journey as part of my effort to complete one of my most prioritized goals, reaching a healthy BMI. In case you don't know what I am talking about, BMI stands for body mass index, which WebMD explains as follows: "BMI is used to find out if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese." BMI is not foolproof - it doesn't take into account people who higher muscle mass or women who are naturally more "pear" than "apple" shaped. However, it is a good guideline to follow, and according to it, I need to lose about 40-50 pounds.

In the past, my BMI always hovered a bit into the overweight range, because I swam competitively and had a high amount of muscle mass. I hope not only to lose weight to lower my risk of disease and feel more confident, but also to grow stronger and have more energy. Quite simply, I hope to get toned as I lose weight. So once I am around the 40 pound mark, I will also reassess my waist-to-height ratio, which better assesses people with high muscle mass. Right now, my waist-to-height ratio is .05 higher than it should be, putting me at WebMD says is an increased risk - basically, between what they term "healthy" and "take action" body shapes.

Have I been making efforts to reach a healthy BMI and waist-to-height ratio? Yes. I have been eating more fruits and veggies, reducing my portion sizes, working out more. Have these efforts been consistent? Not really. I let my health take a backseat during college, but now with college behind me, and so much ahead of me, I want to be healthy and strong.

I am going to make consistent, full-fledged efforts to do so. My efforts have been getting more regular, but to be completely honest, this big push to get health was inspired by two things: 1) once again reflecting on my New Year's, All Year Challenge goals, and 2) Kelly (of Fabulous K)'s new blog, Skinny, which has an excellent focus on positivity, community, and accountability.

Accountability and community are key for me. When I was in high school, swimming kept me healthy because I had a set routine and I had teammates and coaches who depended on me. Accountability and community are what I need again, and here is how I am going about getting them:
  1. I've started a new Twitter account, @getfitgetstrong. I decided to go the "micro-blogging" route rather than starting a separate blog because I can use my iPhone to easily and briefly update Twitter on the go.
  2. Every Monday, starting next week, I will do an extended "Get Fit Get Strong" update in the form of a blog post here on beagle and bear.

If you have a Twitter account, please follow @getfitgetstrong and cheer me on - I would greatly appreciate it. If you don't have one, I would love if you still checked it out every now and then and sent me some positive vibes (either mentally, via a comment here on the blog, or via e-mail)! And of course, I look forward to sharing greater details of this journey with you every Monday.

Do you have any fitness goals right now? What motivates you? What steps are you taking?

update: new year's all year challenge

If you have been following this blog for awhile, then you may remember that this year I decided to embark an adventure I call the New Year's, All Year Challenge. I intended to post monthly updates on my adventure on this blog. That fell apart in March when I got pretty sick. April and May were super busy with graduating and moving, and I didn't have the time to really sit down, reflect, and write an update post. So here it finally is! An update on how I am doing on the Challenge.

A complete list of 2011 goals are here. This is the progress I have made in the past few months:
  • Developed blog further
  • Applied for full-time teaching jobs; attended job fair
  • Read a few books (with reviews to come soon!)
  • Cooked a couple new recipes
  • Gathered wardrobe inspiration and bought a few new pieces
  • Began eating healthier and exercising more
  • Have made more progress with Madison learning "stay"
  • Began using Mint.com to budget better
  • Doing better with more thoughtful/meaningful gifts for loved ones
  • Using Pinterest to document home inspiration; got my first interior decorating book

While I would love to meet all the goals on my Challenge list, I recognize that might not happen, especially with how busy this summer is shaping up to be. I will continue to work on all the goals, but the ones I will focus on the most are the ones that I think will have the largest and most positive effects on my life right now. These goals are:
  • Get a full-time teaching job and/or apply to graduate school
  • Reach a healthy BMI
  • Save a substantial amount of money
  • Bake one new recipe a month
  • Cook one new recipe a month

On a different note, you may have noticed that I had multiple goals on my Challenge list that related to health and really could be considered stepping stones to the overall goal of reaching a healthy BMI. I am starting a new sort of journey to reach that overall goal, which I will discuss on a second post later today. Be sure to check it out, I am so excited to share it with you all!

Have you kept up with any 2011 New Year's Resolutions? Similarly, do you have any summer goals or a summer fun /"bucket" list?

June 11, 2011

(belated) weekly gems

June 10, 2011

vacation in a glass

Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea

Ginger Ale with Strawberries

Source: sunset.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Sparkling Orangeade

How has your week been? Mine has been an adventure: going to an Indians game, my first day of my summer job, knocking things off my to-do list, seeing a movie...an excellent mix of fun and productivity. There is still plenty to do, so I thought I'd combine the fun and to-do list by drinking some summer-inspired beverages while taking care of some things. What summer drinks do you enjoy? What are your tricks for making your to-do list less tedious?

June 8, 2011

bookmark it: hello giggles

If you are looking for some humor in your life, check out the new website Hello Giggles. What is it?

"Founded by actress/musician Zooey Deschanel, producer Sophia Rossi and writer/Internet Sensation Molley McAleer, hellogiggles.com is the ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females. Everything hosted on the site will be lady-friendly, so visitors need not worry about finding the standard Boys Club content that makes many entertainment sites unappealing to so many of us." (source)

The site has many different categories on which articles and videos are featured. In addition to having a great deal of variety, Hello Giggles has a great, easy-to-use (and cute!) navigation area along the left side of the site:

See the "Contribute" section up above? Hello Giggles encourages its readers to "submit your favorite original and found videos, text posts, and photos," making the site a truly interactive experience.

You can subscribe to the site via RSS. You can also follow Hello Giggles on Twitter and Facebook (in fact, "liking" Hello Giggles on Facebook allows you to comment on posts).

Have you explored Hello Giggles yet? What did you think?

photos from Hello Giggles

June 7, 2011

(twenty-two) things that are making me happy

Hello everyone! Today is my 22nd birthday! : ) My 21st year was filled with wonderful times with the people I love, lots of hard work, plenty of reflection, and tons of the "little things" that brighten life. I hope my 22nd year is just as blessed and adventuresome! To start it off right, here are 22 things that are making me happy as of late:

  1. Iced black coffee
  2. Comic book movies
  3. Presto Pink nail polish
  4. Quality time with family
  5. Starting my summer job as a lifeguard
  6. Visits with Dan and his family
  7. Long walks with the dogs
  8. Going to Indians games
  9. Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
  10. Reading favorite books
  11. Naps on the porch swing
  12. Trips to Bowling Green to see friends and visit favorite places
  13. Cheers marathons via Netflix Instant
  14. Pub trivia with friends
  15. Morning workouts
  16. Days filled with sunshine
  17. The treats I can make with my birthday present (thanks, Elizabeth!)
  18. Catching up on favorite magazines
  19. Striped sundresses
  20. Chocolate-covered bananas
  21. Picking out picture books for little kids
  22. The flowers my dad picked for me for my birthday, pictured above : )

What things are making you happy as of late?

June 6, 2011

design dreams: word art

I really like the idea of words as art. The word art above are all babies' names, designed to be hung in a nursery. While I am not a mother and not searching for nursery decor ideas, I do like the examples above as inspiration for word decor in general. Which style do you like best? What word would you display as art?

(belated) weekly gems

I'm sorry for my absence last week. Things got unexpectedly busy. The blog should be back to normal this week. And with two posts today to help make up for it! : )
  • Tips on how to have a happier commute!
  • Some awesome summer nail polish ideas.
  • Great summer entertaining tips here and here.
  • Do you use Twitpic? If so, you probably want to read this news.
  • This remodeled airstream is gorgeous and comfy-looking.
  • I adore this contemporary Chicago home, too.
  • Desktop wallpaper for June here and here.
  • I love reading lists of what makes people happy.
  • Yummy banana pudding for grown-ups.
  • An excerpt from Mindy Kaling's book! I'm so excited, can't wait to read all of it!

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