May 28, 2016

Happiness Diary #19

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy. 

Saturday (5/21/16)

1) Photo: I painted the entire fence today!
2) I had an extended breakfast (I woke up too early) of loaded oatmeal, yogurt and Dunkin Donuts wake up wraps!
3) I accomplished a ton today: an early run, pruning/cleaning our new house plant, going to Thornapple River Nursery to order stones for the pool area, and painting the fence. I will try to stay up past 8:00 tonight but no promises. 
4) I am grateful for motivation and feeling like myself again. 

1) Photo: After doing some paint touch ups and cleaning out the garden bed (see white arrow) I relaxed on the deck and read my new book. 
2) NA
3) I was productive for about half of the day today which is good enough for me! Trying to stay present and not think about work tomorrow. 
4) I am grateful for a weekend off with such perfect weather. 

1) Photo: Our sitting room has its first occupant. ❤️
2) NA
3) Brian and I played ball with Zuzu in the yard instead of the basement which was a nice change and it really tired her out.  We all know how great a wiped puppy is. 
4) I'm grateful I get to work at the offsite lab tomorrow and sleeping in for twenty minutes is just a little bonus. 

1) Photo by LS
2) Black beans, cheese and Sriacha, my classic cheap and delicious lunch. 
3) I had another day with LS today. I didn't have anything planned except to pick her up and bring her to my house.  We ended up playing with Zuzu in the backyard and then playing Pass the Pigs, UNO Dare and Hedbanz. We also painted our nails right before we had to leave. 
4) I was super grateful my horrible headache/nausea went away after work. 

1) Photo: Spreading the stones in our garden bed. 
2) At work we had 'thank you' bagels and fruit from one of our interns and her college and it was the perfect breakfast. 
3) Brian and I managed to clear the driveway of all the stones that were delivered. I honestly didn't think we would get to them until next week so it was a huge accomplishment. Unfortunately we didn't get enough to fill the entire area along the white fence so we still have to get a few bags from Lowes but at least we are making progress!
4) One of my coworkers/supervisor offered to watch Zuzu on Friday and Saturday so we don't have to board her! I brought her over to meet his dogs to make sure they would get along and they did.  I am so happy I get to see Zuzu on Saturday night instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon!  


1) Photo: Will the beast ever learn?!
2) NA (This has been a pretty boring food week.)
3) I was not in the mood to do anything after work today but Brian suggested playing tennis and it was pretty fun. If we play again it will be one more time than last year!
4) I am grateful for one more day of work and the out of the next sixteen days I only have to work at the main lab twice!!!! It will be a much appreciated break and I can't wait. 


1) Photo: Sitting in the golf cart. 
2) The grilled chicken sandwiches we all had for dinner were my favorite meal of the day.
3) Brian and I headed to Lansing after work and we played nine holes of golf with our friends Mike and Sara and their friend Nate.  I was nervous to play because I hadn't picked up a club in over two years and I didn't even get any warm up shots at the range but I managed a few (maybe three) good hits and even got par on one of the holes!!  :)
4) I am grateful for an activity filled couple of days.

May 21, 2016

Happiness Diary #18

Alright, I'm switching up the layout for these posts so they look better on multiple devices. In case you were wondering.
Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

Saturday (5/14/16)

1) Photo:  A couple of forced smiles and a Zuzu. Also my hair is seven inches shorter! (Full disclosure; this photo is from yesterday, as I didn't take any pictures today.)
2) Brian and I realized we didn't have any fun munchies in the house (he's cramming for an exam so these things are kind of important) so we went to D&W and spent over $100 on ice cream and chips and chocolate covered almonds among many other things. (It was Brian's fault it was so expensive, he didn't weigh the almonds and ended up getting almost three pounds of the things.) Anyway, out of all the goodies I'd say my favorite thing I ate was... mushroom pizza. Which was bought a few days ago from Trader Joes so now I'm not sure why I had to tell the whole D&W story.
3) Today was a very lazy day after I got home from work and I didn't accomplish anything but shopping for goodies and eating them under an electric blanket. Apparently the calcium supplements aren't the magic pills I thought they were. 
4) I am grateful for very few obligations in life right now. 


1) Photo: I took over 10K steps at work! 
2) Kimchi!
3) After work even though I felt like having a repeat lazy day I still went on a walk and took Z to the DP (fun dogs there today!) and ran some hills. I went to bed at 8:00 guilt free. 
4) I greatly appreciate my weekend work days away from the main lab but I also greatly appreciate when they are over!


1) Photo: Wrestling/de-fluffing the elephant. 
2) All the candy!!
3) I managed to do the workout I was planning on even though I was not feeling it at all. I suppose that's a win. 
4) I am very grateful for my day off tomorrow. 


1) Photo: Brian and I inherited a house plant from his sister Gretchen. Apparently she wasn't really planning on getting rid of it but let us take it anyway. She knows where we live in case she ever wants it back.
2) My Amy's frozen burrito from Costco was quite good. 
3) I had the day off today and did some painting, took a nap and went to Lowes. Oh, and got the plant which I am thrilled about. We need some green life around here. 
4) I love free stuff. Probably because I was an orphan. <--My excuse for everything, haha! 


1) Photo: A couple of snaps from the "free" appreciation breakfast I was asked to attend (Thursday, actually).  It wasn't completely free because I had to pay for parking but at least it was something different and the fruit was delicious and I appreciated being away from work. 
2) The banana with crunchy peanut butter I had for snack was filling and tasty.
3) I got through work even though I felt miserable all day!!
4) I'm grateful Brian was able to remove the broken pool pump without getting electrocuted. Hopefully it will be fixed by the time our pool is scheduled to open. 


1) Photo: LS and I took pictures of each other sitting on the bronze statue in the library. 
2) The curly fries at dinner were too good. 
3) LS and I spent some time at the library and then went out for dinner at Leo's Coney Island. It wasn't the most exciting get together but I have some fun ideas for future meet ups so I'm not too worried. 
4) I am grateful for clean laundry that is folded and put away. 


1) Photo: I love the messages and pictures Brian sends me while I'm at work. This one is Zuzu being disturbed with photo-taking while sleeping on Brian's lap in the office. P.S. I was so sad the groomer cut off her lovely long eyelashes. Now she looks like a dude.
2) NA
3) I haven't worked out in about three days (which is highly unusual) but I might take another day off or just do yoga.  I've decided if I'm dreading working out, and not just feeling lazy, I'm not going to do it.  Life is too short for this nonsense! 
4) I am grateful this week is over. I felt kind of crappy and out of sorts and even though the Happiness Diary was a bit of a struggle, I'm glad I still documented my days and managed to find something for number 4 every day.  Not that it was even that hard, there is always something to be grateful for. :)

May 20, 2016

Mail Goodies: Trunk Club and Amazon

Big UPS day at the Reed household!
It looks like a lot but the top three Amazon packages were basically free. A couple of days ago Amazon offered a bunch of different sample boxes from beauty to energy drinks to cleaning detergents.  The prices ranged about $7-20 but you receive a credit of that amount for a future purchase from the category of the box you order.  I decided to buy three of the boxes.

The woman's beauty box:

The protein bar box: 
This one looks especially interesting:
And the energy drink box:
We passed on the detergent box and the men's grooming box and a few others neither of us were very interested in. 
The last package was a Trunk Club box for Brian. He has received multiple Trunk Club boxes in the past but it has been a while since his last one.  It's kind of fun because he gets really excited about them and then puts on a fashion show for me and Zuzu.  Well, kind of. :)  Anyway, the clothes are always very good quality although they are pretty expensive.  There was a plain looking navy polo shirt in this box that was $80!  Heck no! What is nice about this club is there is no risk. If you don't like something you just send it back with free shipping both ways.  In the past Brian has sent back whole boxes because there was nothing he liked enough to buy.  He just schedules a pick up and UPS comes right to our door to get package.  The clothes Brian has purchased from the Trunk Club have held up really well and the jeans and pants he has bought are sooo soft, even the tailor could tell they were good quality.  The club is a great little service for Brian because he doesn't love going shopping and now that his stylist has all of his sizes everything she sends him fits perfectly.  If you are interested in trying out Trunk Club ask for Brian's stylist Jessica Harty and tell her he sent you! (<--not sure if this is possible.)
The chambray shirt is a keeper!

May 14, 2016

Happiness Diary #17

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

Saturday (5/7/16)
1) Photo: Zuzu in the forest with it's spring greenery. A few more weeks and the trees will look totally different!  
2) Thai takeaway tonight, one of my favorites. (I like to speak British.)
3) I worked on my "vertical garden" project and am ready to have Brian drill the holes to tomorrow. So ready to have this project complete!
4) Brian was gone half the day and Zuzu was perfectly behaved and super cuddly but not too clingy.

1) Photo: Mother's Day dinner of ribs and salmon, so delicious. 
2) The ribs at dinner tonight were the best. 
3) My favorite things that happened today: took Zuzu on a long walk and the DP, talked to Mom, talked to Skye, and spent time with Brian's family. 
4) I am grateful for all of the moms, especially mine. ❤️



 1) Photo: Mini mail goodies haul: the May Target beauty box. I love getting my hands on these things before they sell out! 
2) Peppered beef jerky was the main component of my dinner tonight. Very tasty, definitely too salty to be healthy. 
3) I weeded four buckets of dandelions after work to help Brian out a little. He was very appreciative. I also talked to Britt!
4) I am grateful for staying busy at work. It made the day fly by which was just what I needed. 


1) Photo: I made kale chips and chopped some squash and sweet potatoes.
2) NA
3) I used my much neglected juicer today to try to duplicate the juice we had last week. I think I liked my juice even better and I love the fact all the veggies I bought didn't go to waste!  Well, at least the liquid parts.
4) I am grateful for patience. 


1) Photo: LS snapped this photo of the rubix cube she plays with on the drive to and from her apartment. 
2) I had "lower fat" brie and ground seasoned turkey for dinner. Random but good!  
3) I got a phone call from my friend Erin on my way home from work and it was nice to talk to her. Later on I picked up LS and we had a great time walking Zuzu, playing Garbage and Pass the Pigs, and shooting hoops. We were so busy we forgot to write in our journal so I had to write in it myself when I got back home. 
4) So grateful I found my headphones in my lunch bag! It would have been a long day at work without them.


1) Photo: Someone got a fur cut today  
2) I had a Noodles and Company Buff Bowl tonight. It wasn't super filling but afterward we went to Costco and had a few yummy samples. 
3) I worked the 9 o'clock shift today, definitely NOT my favorite but I woke up early to get in a workout before leaving. It's so nice to come home and not have to worry about exercising!
4) I am grateful for calcium supplements. They have drastically improved my PMS symptoms the past two months. Don't even care if it's TMI! This whole blog is TMI! :D 


1) Say goodbye to the hair! (Note to self: Next time I think I can get the shot by holding the phone with just my right hand instead of this awkwardness.)
2) I went to lunch with Brian and my mother in law and had Manna Cafe's delicious pulled pork tacos. 
3) I had the day off today and stayed busy and productive for the most part.  I cooked my prepped veggies, worked out, went out to lunch, got a hair cut, went for a walk, and did a couple of hours of painting and tidying. Not the most exciting day/week but that's life! I still love it.
4) I'm grateful I passed my Molecular class! After the week long lab this summer I will be certified! 

May 11, 2016

Love Bit: Music

I haven't written a Love Bit post in a while so I thought I would share a few of my current favorite albums.


I discovered Børns and his debut album Dopamine about a month ago while looking for new music to download and have listened to it practically every day since. The music is indie popish which is right up my alley and not only is the main singer (Garrett Borns) originally from Michigan, but Taylor Swift gave a ringing endorsement on her Instagram a while back. Pretty convincing if you ask me. :)

I could never pick a favorite song on Dopamine but if you want a taste check out Electric Love , and American Money. Good stuff.


Rachel Platten

I've been listening to Rachel Platten a few months now and love almost every song on her album Wildflower, which is her first major-label album. (The only song I don't care for is Hey Hey Halleluiah, but if it ends up being your favorite I won't judge.) Rachel is relatively newly famous . She has been trying for years to make it big in the music industry and has finally succeeded in becoming a pop star with her two hits Fight Song  and Stand By You.
I could probably listen to Wildfire on repeat and never get sick of it.

Knowing that Rachel is older than me (34) makes me like her music even more, though I still have no shame in loving those Disney grown pop stars. I hope Rachel sticks around for a while; I would love to hear more from her!

Blue October

I have been a fan of the alternative band Blue October for quite a while. They are one of the handful of bands I've actually seen in concert and have been around since 1998.  I believe their latest album Home is their ninth record.  Justin Furstenfeld, the lead singer of Blue October is a bit of a tormented soul and has gone through many challenges including depression and drug addiction and the music definitely reflects those parts of his life.  Not all of the tracks are dark however, some of my all-time favorite songs such as Calling You (this was kind of "our song" when Brian and I were dating) and Congratulations are quite the opposite. I admit I do enjoy an angry Justin song now and then though.

Home is Blue October's most positive album to date and Justin is currently in a really good place (according to his posts on Facebook).  I've only listened to the album a handful of times but I like it and plan on listening to it more, especially because it's a band Brian doesn't mind listening to which is somewhat rare.

I don't know how people get stuck listening to songs they have listened to for years and years and years and turn their noses up at new music that is currently being released.  Discovering amazing new artists and listening to new albums from my favorite artists are some of the best things in life. I will never have enough new music!

May 7, 2016

Happiness Diary #16

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy


Saturday (6/30/16)

 1) Photo: I forgot to have LS take a picture of something when she came over today. We were too busy playing with Zuzu and making chocolate chip cookies! LS made the big ones, I made the ones with the chocolate chips on top. :)
2) I had a wrap from a local café I had saved from yesterday and it was the perfect lunch. 

3) It's fun getting to know LS better and I'm thrilled she likes Zuzu.
4) I am so happy for my friend Erin and her new baby girl and I am grateful everyone is doing well. It's sad I live so far away but I send her my thoughts and love and a little package is on the way. :)


1) Photo: Zuzu is zonked. 
2) I ate a package of dried jackfruit which I have never had before. Brian hated it (with a passion) but I thought it was really good. 
3) Today was a perfect day off. I worked on a project (did a lot of painting), worked out (yoga), relaxed (watched GOT), got out of the house (went to Trader Joes), and went to bed with a clean kitchen. 😊
4) I am grateful for weather. Sure, it may have been rainy and cold this weekend but who says rainy and cold isn't beautiful. Not me. 


1) Photo: A bed of greens on a bed of (fake) greens. 
2) Orange chicken from Trader Joes was my favorite meal of the day. 
3) I was asked to represent my work at an appreciation breakfast later this month. Probably because the more qualified people couldn't/didn't want to go, but still it's nice to be asked and I hope I can make it work with my schedule. 
4) I am grateful for Zuzu's clean mustache. Haha (she got a bath). 


1) Photo: Look who's making progress on my coloring books and becoming more focused and mindful in the process! 
2) My dinner of zucchini, yogurt and popcorn was quite enjoyable tonight. 
3) My whole family minus Britt and Adam (☹️) are coming to visit on Fourth of July weekend!  I'm excited and trying not to stress about the food and where everyone will sleep. I'm sure it will all work out just fine.  It will be crazy but lots of fun! 
4) I'm so grateful I decided to take the two days after the Fourth of July off a few months ago, even though we didn't have any plans at the time. Because of the PTO black out dates my work put into effect over the summer it would be hard to get them off now! 


1) Photo: LS took this photo. "Stay strong," she says. 2) My Quirky candy.
3) I hung out with my LS again today. She came over and of course played with Zuzu and then we did half of a workout DVD before filling out our journal. She also met Brian for the first time though he was busy finishing up work and getting ready for tennis so we didn't hang around him for long. It was fun and she really really wants to go to Chucky Cheese so we "scheduled" it for five weeks from now. 
4) I was very grateful for not having to stay late at work for the computer upgrade presentation/discussion. 




 1) Photo: I won the bake off at work on Friday and this salad shaker was the prize. I might actually get some use out of this! Or save it for HFC white elephant gift. :)
2) Brian and I shared a juice from a local juice bar which had greens, apple, lemon, celery, cucumber, ginger, cinnamon, honey, cayenne. It was different and delicious. 
3) Brian and I took Zuzu on a long walk and then on the drive to the juice place (we are trying to get her to be more chill in the car). Here's to family time! :)
4) Today was a bit of a draining day at work but I am grateful I have helpful coworkers and that I get to train smart interns. 


1) Photo: Brian sent me this photo of the lady who ran inside Subway in order to get ahead of him and then proceed to order four subs. He was not happy and I tried to remind him to let it go and realize people are truly doing their best at any given moment. Not sure if it helped him and I know it's not necessarily true, but thinking this way has helped me stay positive when dealing with certain people and situations in my life. Thanks Brené
2) NA
3) I assembled a practice breakfast casserole in preparation for Holmberg Family Fourth of July. We will see if it's a keeper when we eat it tomorrow. 
4) It's Friday!!!!

May 6, 2016

Mail Goodies: Sugarpova Quirky Candy

Woohoo, my Sugarpova order came!

I'm obsessed with this soft chewy candy and have repurchased it again and again. Unfortunately I have to buy it online and I will only let myself place an order when Sugarpova offers free shipping but luckily they have good deals pretty often. Last Cyber Monday they had an awesome offer with free shipping and half off (from what I remember) and I got six bags of Quirky (this I definitely remember).

The weird thing about my obsession is that this candy doesn't even taste very good. The outer licorice-like shell has a decent strawberry flavor but the center, which has a firm marshmallowy texture and is supposed to taste like vanilla, is extremely artificial in flavor with a slightly rancid aftertaste. How quirky am I for liking this stuff?  I think the reason I keep buying it is because the texture reminds me of another one of my favorite candies, Pico Balla which I haven't had in forever because it's much more expensive than it used to be. SweeTart Ropes also have a similar situation with a soft licorice outside and foamy soft center though I definitely don't like them as much as Quirky. 
Sugarpova also offers a sour version of Quirky that is the same candy only doused in a layer of tart sugar. They aren't bad but I much prefer the original. If you ever feel like making a Sugarpova purchase give Quirky a try! (or come over in the next few days :)) Though I won't blame you if you take a pass after my winning description of the odd flavor. More for me.