Why I Am Never Eating Chik Fil A Ever Again

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It started out innocently enough. It was a Thursday night and we hadn’t planned on anything for dinner. I volunteered to pick something up. Biggest mistake ever. HUGE! I live in the middle of every conceivable restaurant / grocery store you can imagine and of all the places, I chose Chik Fil A.

I know I’ve discussed many times my road to health and wellness and how important it is for me to eat well, yada, yada, yada. Forgive me, I’m human and I’ve erred. Again. This time it cost me big time. I placed my order at the counter: 2 chicken sandwiches and 1 fry (Ugh! I know. I know!). I head home and dear hubby was as surprised as can be. We both unwrapped our sandwiches, shared the fries (dipped in their sauce, of course) and watched a movie.

Then came Friday. I work from home on Fridays, so I woke up as usual (still haven’t put my morning routine into practice yet) and was getting ready for the day, when the most awful pain hit me in the stomach. Let’s skip over a few sentences that don’t need t to be written and now I’m at my desk. I get a text from a work friend about some big company news. I open my work laptop and check my emails. I start emailing and pinging people. Meanwhile, I’m still plagued with the worst stomach pains ever and I’m shivering despite the temperature being 70+ F in my home. This news is HUGE.

Lots of meetings ensued that day, I took off a little earlier than usual and was bedridden for the next 3 days. At first, I thought I had caught something, but it dawned on me that it was food poisoning because I had not eaten a thing on Friday, but my stomach pains (amongst other symptoms) would not let up. My husband confirmed the same. I’ve never experienced this before, so it was not something I was prepared for. Hence my lack of postings and responses on the blog. I’m not kidding when I tell you I was left immobile for 2 and a half days.

Of course, Monday came and I’m still not feeling 100% plus I’m still digesting the company news. (Oh, the irony in all of this.) I haven’t decided if I should go to Chik Fil A and tell them my story. I didn’t keep any evidence and I didn’t go to the doctor (save for Dr. Google). We’ll see. As for my company news, I think over time it will prove to be a serendipitous event. There is always a silver lining to everything. I’ve missed writing and reading and communicating with my blogging buddies so I’m so glad I’m able to do so again.

Have I finally learned my lesson to stick to eating whole and fresh foods? I sure hope so.

Have you ever had food poisoning? How did you handle it?

P.S. The clip above is from Bridesmaids and if you haven’t seen it, then you need to check it out asap because it is seriously funny!

Weekly Weblove | 8 Things to Read Right Now

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Happy hump day, everyone! How is your week going so far? I’ve been a bit of a busy bee, but can’t complain otherwise. We hit 50º F yesterday (that’s a good thing around here), so it was really nice being out even if it was just for a bit. Here are some links from around the web if you care to jump in the rabbit hole. Enjoy!

1. 4 household hacks to save you a lot of money

2. How to navigate the new ways of Pinterest

3. All the information you need on the 3-D printing revolution

4. 29 hairstyling hacks you should know

5. Tiny house, big adventure

6. How to remove bright polish (via soshilpi)

7. This fried egg salad recipe looks delish

8. Crushing on this jumpsuit

Monday Musings: The Best Way to Meet and Introduce People

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{They became best buddies quickly}

I’m not one for small talk. I like to cut to the chase. Part of it is because I’m naturally shy, but once I feel comfortable around someone, I can be more open. So, talking about the weather does not really make me want to wax poetic about my deepest feelings. However, I understand that the weather is a relatively safe starting point and (most of us) are probably feeling vulnerable when meeting someone new.

While traveling abroad in Europe, I noticed something different when I spoke to strangers. No one asked me what I did for a living. If it came out, it was through the natural flow of  a conversation we were having and not by directly asking me. Maybe this is not such a phenomenon for many people, but I find that in the US, one of the first questions I get asked when meeting someone new is, “So, what do you do for a living?” (Or some iteration of that question.)

Some people may take offense to the question and think it’s just another way to ask “So, how much money do you make?”. And, in some cases, maybe some people just want to know out of curiosity. However, when meeting or introducing people, it seems there are better ways to go about it. I came across this article and thought it was a great way to “break the ice” whether you are meeting someone new or introducing people.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“She ends up feeling like her occupation is the only way she can connect with people, and if they don’t find her work interesting enough, then she must not be very interesting.

And that’s a lie, of course.

But it got me thinking. Carolyn is one of the most interesting people I know. It’s why I want her around when I have friends over and why I call her first when I’m looking for sound advice. She knows how to meet you in deep waters and pull you back up for air without panicking or judging how you got there.

She shows up more than any friend I have.

And that’s exactly how I’m going to start introducing her.

I don’t mind being introduced based on what I do, but I would argue an introduction opening a window to who I am would be refreshing for both parties.”

I LOVE that! And, I would love if someone introduced me or themselves to someone new in that way. I think it is so much more refreshing and interesting than the usual “Nice to meet you. I’m X and I do Y for a living.” What do you think? Do you do the usual introduction or do you have other ways to do it? I would love to hear your thoughts!

10 Cottages to Inspire Your Winter Getaway

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While I prefer to take a beach vacation during cold-weather season (for the obvious reasons), there is something so charming and romantic about staying in a little cottage or cabin somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. I can imagine lighting a fire, lounging in cozy pajamas, cooking hearty meals, sipping hot cocoa, reading in a hot bath, dancing around the house and taking walks to think or just wander. What is your preferred vacation during the freezing temps? Are you all about the beach or more about the country? What are some favorite winter trips you’ve taken?

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{All photos via uniquehomestays.com}

Tuesday Treasures | 3 Awesome TEDx Teen Talks You Should Watch

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{“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” ~ Dr. Seuss}

I’m not really sure how I got interested in TED talks (most likely during one of the numerous times I’ve fallen into the internet rabbit hole), but I was hooked from my first one and listen to a few during the week. Because of TED talks, I also found TEDx talks and TEDx Teen talks. I don’t have any particular curriculum that I follow (not that you have to), it just depends on what I’m interested in that week. I’d like to share a few of my favorite TEDx talks by teens. I’m always up for good recommendations, so feel free to share if you have any favorites.

1. Tavi GevinsonStill figuring it out

I’ve been a fan of Tavi since her Style Rookie blog days. She has a very unique voice and has found much-deserved success in her recent endeavors. It’s always great to read Tavi’s writing and so refreshing to hear her give a speech.

Main takeaway: Be Stevie Nicks (watch it so you can see what she means;)

2.  Jacob Barnett Forget what you know

I’ve only come to know Jacob through his Ted talk.

Main takeaway: Be open to learning new things and in new ways.

3. Logan LaPlanteHackschooling makes me happy

As well, I’d never heard of Logan until I came across his Ted talk.

Main takeaway: There is a difference between what you want to do and what you want to be.

16 Oscar Winning Movies

I’ve extolled many times my love for movies. Most recently, I’ve made a list of my favorite romantic movies. With the upcoming Oscars, here are some of my favorite Oscar-winning films.

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On The Waterfront starring Marlon Brando.

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The Sound of Music

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The Godfather

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The Godfather Part II

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The Deer Hunter

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Rain Man

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Dances With Wolves

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The Silence of the Lambs

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Schindler’s List

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Style by the First Ladies of the United States

Today is Presidents’ Day in the United States. In honor of the national holiday, I put together a compilation on the many different styles of the First Ladies of the United States (FLOTUS, if you will). Hopefully, not too far from now, I (or someone else) will be able to compile a list of the styles of our Women Presidents.

It was fun to research this and just as I’d thought when I was putting it together, Jackie Kennedy is my favorite style icon among the FLOTUS. But, I think each of them had a unique style. Obviously, it was difficult to get more photos of the earlier FLOTUS, so it’s not really fair to judge from just a few. I guess we’ll just have to leave it up to our imaginations.

1. Martha Washington

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2. Abigail Adams

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3. Martha Jefferson

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4. Dolly Madison

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5. Elizabeth Monroe

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6. Louisa Adams

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7. Rachel Jackson

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8. Hannah Van Buren

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9. Anna Symmes Harrison

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10. Julia Gardiner Tyler

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11. Sarah Childress Polk

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12. Margaret Taylor

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13. Abigail Fillmore

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14. Jane Pierce

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15. Harriet Lane

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16. Mary Todd Lincoln

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17. Eliza McCardle johnson

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18. Julia Boggs Dent Grant

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19. Lucy Webb Hayes

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20. Lucretia Rudolph-Garfield

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21. Ellen Arthur

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22. Frances Folsom Cleveland

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23. Caroline Scott Harrison

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24. Mary Harrison McKee

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25. Frances Clara Folsom Cleveland Preston

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26. Ida McKinley

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27. Edith Roosevelt

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28. Helen Herrion Taft

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29. Ellen Wilson

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30. Edith Bolling Galt Wilson

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31. Florence Harding

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32. Grace Coolidge

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33. Lou Henry Hoover

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34. Eleanor Roosevelt

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35. Elizabeth Truman

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36. Mamie Eisenhower

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37. Jacqueline Lee “Jackie” Kennedy

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38. Claudia Taylor (Lady Bird) Johnson

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39. Pat Nixon

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40. Betty Ford

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41. Rosalynn Carter

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42. Nancy Reagan

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43. Barbara Bush

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44. Hillary Rodham Clinton

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45. Laura Bush

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46. Michelle Obama

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Tuesday Treasures: Guilty Pleasures

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Why is everything that tastes so good so bad for us? I was watching Eva Longoria on Jimmy Kimmel the other night and she was talking about her Super Bowl party. She said that everyone was still on their New Year’s health kick, so there were no carbs to eat. Just lots of meats and veggies. I thought to myself (based on my living experience there), “That’s how all LA home parties are, though.”  I have to admit, carbs are a major guilty pleasure for me. I can go to a Mexican restaurant and be happy with just chips and salsa, or satiate my hunger with bread dipped in olive oil and fresh parm at an Italian restaurant.

When I think about it, (bad for me) food is not my only guilty pleasure. Here are a few others.

1. The Bachelor/ Bachelorette – I have to admit, I’ve only started watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette for the past three seasons (the most recent being “Prince Farming”). I find it amusing when people take reality shows seriously. It’s like, they forget the word “show” is part of the deal and hence, that’s what these characters/actors/performers are creating — a show. Anyway, I find great amusement in the show and thought this article from the New York Times about reality TV was spot on.

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{via here}

2. Boy Bands – Truth is, I love music and I love to listen to a variety; from classical to pop to indie and so forth, but I have a soft spot for boy bands. From New Addition to New Kids on the Block (or is it just NKOTB now?) to the Backstreet Boys to One Direction. Here is another great article from the New York Times — about boy bands this time. While I may not be harboring any school girl crushes on them any longer, I am not ashamed to admit I still listen to them.

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3. Young Adult Books – Much like music, I love to read and have an affinity for a variety of books. While I am beyond what is categorized as Young Adult (12 – 18 years), I still enjoy reading YA books. They may not fall in my “Top Ten Books” list, but they still provide me with much enjoyment today as they did when I first got into them (at about 9 years old). Some of my all-time favorite YA books are Go Ask Alice, The Catcher in the Rye and anything by S.E. Hinton. Some of my recent favorites are the Divergent series, The Hunger Games series and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Here’s a great article about why YA books matter. Please let me know if there are any new YA books you think are absolute must-reads.

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20 Dinner Parties to Inspire Your Next Gathering

The largest party I’ve ever hosted was my wedding, which I think it’s safe to say, most people would agree with. Or, I don’t know, maybe you host 200 people on the reg? We still live a pretty nomadic life, but the next step is to settle into a home. After that? I dream about having a little home by the water to escape to on the weekends.

I imagine a place where my friends and family can gather for long dinners in the evenings that turn into mornings. For now? We will have to figure a way to host more than 4 people (kidding. sort of.) in our small home. Here is a roundup of virtual inspiration to keep the dream alive.

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Monday Musings: A Super Bowl of Ramblings

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{via here}

So, who didn’t watch the Super Bowl last night? I admit, I caught the half-time show (loved seeing Missy!!) and planned on other things afterwards, but ended up watching the rest of the game. It was INTENSE to say the least. So much heartbreak, joy and despair…all at once.

I was lamenting about how sad it must feel to do all that work, get to the game and lose. Like, what’s the point? But then I am reminded about how it’s not the end that matters, but the journey. Of course it’s disappointing to lose. Of course it’s heart-breaking to put your heart and soul into something and not make it all the way. But, didn’t they make it all the way? How many of us can say we’ve been/are going to play in the Super Bowl? For sure, not I.

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{via here}

Someone once told me “Do everything with love and let go of the results.”  It was difficult to reconcile this at first because we are such a results-driven society and what’s the point of doing anything if we don’t measure it? But, then I had an AHA! moment and I got it. And I told myself I was going to live my life this way. I’ve failed at this many times, but I will not give up trying.

All of these players yesterday, they played with their heart and with a lot of love (as evidenced by the emotional turmoil on the field). They got to the Super Bowl because of this. There were no losers yesterday. They were all winners in my book. And, even if Tom had not won his 4th Super Bowl and 3rd MVP title, he would have walked away a winner. Let’s do the math, super model wife + 3 adorable kids + doing work that he loves = Win! Win! Win!

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{via here}