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When was the last time you had a doctor’s checkup just because?  How about the last time you went to the doctor because you weren’t feeling well? That long ago? Yeah, I’m with you.

As women, we tend to not take time to take care of ourselves from a health perspective.  Sure, we schedule the usual annual appointments and dentist appointments (right??), but when it comes to actually not feeling well, most of us choose to just ignore our symptoms for various reasons.

Glamour recently highlighted this problem in its December issue, finding that emergency room visits among women younger than 45 are on their way up.  What does this mean?  This means that women like me and you are waiting until the last possible minute to take care of our health rather than being proactive.  And the results are scary.

So, why do women wait?  I know for me, it’s easier to bulk up on OTC medicine and binge on Theraflu than to take time off from work to make a doctors appointment.  Most women like me just don’t have time to schedule an appointment during the day, and can’t find a clinic that will take their health insurance that’s open after hours.  But, as the Glamour article pointed out, waiting until the last minute can make things worse than they really are.

With flu season at it’s highest, we need to take proactive measures this year to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and not ignoring serious symptoms.  Please carefully read the above article, and do your homework!  For me, half the battle is finding a doctor to go to that can accommodate my schedule.  If you research that information before you get sick, it might be easier to make that phone call.

Stay healthy, ladies!













I’m not sure where this came from, but I am pretty obsessed with pumpkin flavored items.  I never used to care too much about Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread, or any other seasonal treats, but for some reason this year, I’ve had some major pumpkin cravings.  Which isn’t a bad thing, considering the various health benefits pumpkin offers.  So, this week, I turned to my favorite Hungry Girl cookbooks for the perfect pumpkin treat.

If you’re a self-professed pumpkin fan, the Hungry Girl cookbooks should be a must-buy on your holiday shopping list. From cupcakes, to pie, to enchiladas (yes, enchiladas), the Hungry Girl books are really the healthiest option for getting your fill of pumpkin.  I started with the Caramel Pudding Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Yum, Yum, Pumpkin!!

It’s hard for me to bake during the week.  By the time I get home, it’s close to 6 p.m., and by the time I eat dinner and work out and do everything else that needs to be done, it’s time to go to sleep and do it all over again.  The benefit of the Hungry Girl recipes for me are that they are simple and quick.  The ingredients are not hard to find, and sometimes I even luck out and have all of them around the house!  For this recipe, I swapped out Soy Milk for skim milk, as I can’t justify buying a whole carton of soy milk that no one will drink. Seemed like a waste to me. The topping was a little tricky to make.  It might have had something to do with the power settings on my microwave, but the first batch I did came out almost burned, and the second was too creamy.  Still came out ok though!

Have fun playing with pumpkin this Thanksgiving!  For more great holiday recipes, make sure you subscribe to the Hungry Girl email newsletters!

Recently, I have been feeling the need to apologize for choices I’m making as they relate to our wedding.  From the desire to have all the bridesmaids wearing the same shoes down to the way I’ve choreographed the entrances for the reception in my head, I’ve found myself saying on more than one occassion, “Sorry, but…”

I was starting to feel bad about that until I saw this post on Veiled Vows.  This blogger hits the nail on the head when she says “there’s no I’m sorry about it.”  My feelings and opinions ARE completely valid when it comes to MY wedding, and that doesn’t make anyone wrong, it just carries on the great discussions and ideas for other people to digest.  When it’s their own wedding, they can get all the things they want too.    Right now, it’s my turn.  🙂

Veiled Vows is another great example of the inspiration that brides with all different tastes can turn to!

A gem in the middle of nowhere

Another Hunterdon County gem!  We have passed The Tewksbury Inn a few times on our way to the Long Valley Brewery, and always commented by how nice it looked.  Last Friday, we finally made a reservation and indulged!

We had read on Yelp that the dress was a bit more upscale, so Jared wore Dockers and a sweater and I wore work-type clothes.  We had a 6:30 reservation, but we got there early and they let us sit for dinner.  We chose to sit in the dining room area rather than the bar-menu is the same, but if you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere, avoid the bar at all costs!  It was pretty noisy, even at 6 p.m.  We also noticed that a lot of people were wearing jeans.  Dress code is one of those things that seems to be going away these days, but I certainly felt more comfortable in nicer pants.

I was pretty excited about the menu.  The soup special was a Potato Leek with Proscuitto, so that was an obvious choice.  The soup was very good, but I’m not sure I tasted too many traces of my favorite meat.  It must have been ground to a pulp.  Still good, and the soup serving was more than adequate.

As an entree, I chose the “Maple Glazed 14oz. Duroc Pork Porterhouse with whipped sweet potatoes, caramelized local apples, haricot vert and natural pan jus”.  I had never had a Pork Porterhouse, and of course the addition of the sweet potatoes made this hard to pass up.  I was extremely glad I chose it. The sweet potatoes were simply delicious, and the addition of haricot vert and the glaze of the pork just made for an absolutely wonderful combination of flavors.  The perfect November meal, in my opinion!  While I’m not a fan of caramelized hot apples, Jared thought they were very good, and, once again, a great fall/winter meal addition.

The dessert menu was less than impressive, and our dinners were so big that we decided to forgo the options they had.  To be honest, none of them were very original, and in my opinion, it’s not worth wasting the calories on something you can get anywhere!

The serving staff at The Tewksbury Inn was extremely attentive.  We’ve been to a lot of restaurants lately where the service has been absolutely terrible, but the staff here was attentive without being overbearing.  The pace of the meal was just perfect.

While I wouldn’t recommend The Tewksbury Inn for families with very young children, the restaurant is an excellent option for a night out with friends or parents.  Before you go, make sure to make a reservation, as the dining rooms get crowded on the weekends.

My rating:  8/10

The Tewksbury Inn
55 Main Street
Oldwick, NJ 08858


A coworker sent me an article last week that I found to be particularly insightful.  The study found that a low-calorie, low-fat diet appears to be more beneficial to dieters’ mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories.

Take that, Atkins!  I really have always been of the opinion that cutting out an entire food group cannot possibly do great things for your body.  Everything in moderation, right?  I think it’s very interesting that mood is tied directly to your diet as well.  As Jared can attest, I can become incredibly testy and awful when I haven’t eaten.  Like, you don’t even want to be near me….glad there is a direct tie, and it’s not just crazy old me!!

As the study mentions, there are currently no tie-ins between one’s diet and cognitive function.  Very much looking forward to up and coming research on this-because you know it’s coming!

As I’ve stated about a million times, I am not a DIY’er.  If someone else can do something for me in the crafty/fix ‘er up arena, by all means, go for it.  However, considering I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands soon, I have to admit that I’ve kind of grown a little attracted to the idea of some do it yourself projects.  There’s something very special to me about brides who create even one element of their day by hand, and in honor of that personal touch, let’s talk about DIY Bride.

Khris Cochran started DIY Bride as a Yahoo Group as she was planning her own wedding to connect other brides with projects and creative advice (remember Yahoo Groups?  feels like forever ago!).  In 2000-2003, the Yahoo Group expanded, spurring a few books and a great resource site for all kinds of brides!  So cool the way we can all connect online regarding our special days!

This blog is layed out very well, with a wealth of simple explanations and beautiful pictures.  I think what most attracted me to this site is the Projects and Tutorials section.  Here, you can find an archive of great posts with step by step instructions for the projects shown.  My favorites?  The “Thank You Shadow Box” and the “Bag in a Box Project.”   I’m very into doing things slightly differently, and the creativity that I found in this section was just so unique, without being too left-of-center for me.

Other great resources include product reviews, a Flickr group containing a lot of great photos of featured items, and a whole wonderful page of links to other helpful sites, including templates for some projects.

Just another great wedding site for inspiration!  Congratulations, Khris, for all of your well-deserved success!


Clearasil cleansers

StayClear Daily Face wash

I am a product junkie.  There, I’ve admitted it.  Ever since I was little, nothing has made me more happy than filling my medicine cabinets and makeup bags with products galore.

Ok, slight exaggeration.  But I do like products.  So, when Glamour asked me to participate in a trial for Clearasil StayClear Daily Face Wash, how could I turn it down?

Glamour and Clearasil sent me 2 bottles of the face wash: one for normal skin and one for sensitive skin.  Major points right there-money is tight, any free face washes I can get will certainly get me over the hump.  The terms of the trial were that I use the product twice daily for 2 weeks beginning on October 26.

The start day of the trial happened to occur when I was in Dublin for a week.  I brought the facewash for sensitive skin with me, and I was extremely glad I did!  Typically, all hell breaks loose on my face whenever I go away.  My skin is extremely prone to breakouts, and when I’m traveling and not in my usual routine, it’s even worse.  However, within days of using the facewash on vacation, the breakouts I was working at the time dissapeared, leaving my skin clearer than usual.

Over the course of the trial, I was very pleased with how clean and smooth my face looked and felt.  I’ve tried a lot of different facewashes, and haven’t had too much success clearing up acne with some of the harsher ones or the ones for sensitive skin.  The sensitive formula from Clearasil really got the job done without irritating my skin and making matters worse!  Other sensitive skin formulas I’ve tried in the past haven’t seemed effective, however, this one really seemed to work well without the harsher ingredients.  I even feel as if a lot of the redness I usually experience has subsided.

My only complaints about the product are that it started to burn my face when I got a cold recently.  However, my skin around my nose was pretty raw, so I don’t think that had anything to do with the product.  Also, sometimes my face felt sticky after using it, but that was few and far between.

Thanks so much to Glamour and Clearasil for including me in this trial!  Keep the products coming!

I came across this blog post on Shaping Youth shortly after I had written my own thoughts on the Wall Street Journal article regarding dieting fourth graders.  The question the blog poses has been on my mind for quite awhile.

Would children and men and women of all ages lead healthier lifestyles if the messages we used to communicate body image were different?  I think the term “fat-phobic” messaging they use in this blog is particularly interesting.  In my mind, there is a vast difference between eating healthy and being fat phobic.  These phobias of being fat are where we start turning down the slippery slope into unhealthy body image issues.  The phobia has little to do with health, and more to do with how people portray your body.

As the author of this blog says, it’s important that we start framing these discussions toward healthier lifestyle choices rather than weight itself.  Yes, obesity is still a problem, but talking about healthy choices  can address that problem in a positive fashion, which, in my mind, will serve more people in the end.

Very refreshing blog with lots of great content!  Thanks, Shaping Youth!

As my unemployment date draws closer, I can’t help but start panicking about how to execute a wedding that has already been planned on one budget with next to no budget given my new financial state.  So, I thought it was fitting that we focus on a blog I’ve come across time and time again:  The Broke-Ass Bride.

Every bride that knows her way around the blog space has featured The Broke-Ass Bride.  I had previously stayed away from writing about this, since I didn’t really consider myself to be “a broke bride”.  But, given the uncertainty of my financial situation, I figured this would be a fitting time to focus on ways to cut that budget and still have the wedding you imagined!

Enjoy the unique inspiration that comes from a very creative woman!

My recent trip to Ireland has once again inspired in me a hatred for that person we all become at least once or twice in our lives:  the tourist.  Now, I write this with full knowledge of the fact that I have been a tourist many, many times in my life.  However, after living in one of the most visited cities in the US as well as having traveled abroad a few times in the past few years, I have noticed that there are certain qualities that people possess that just scream, “I’m a tourist, why don’t you rob/pickpocket me, because I’ve made myself very stupidly visible.”

Jared and I always hope that wherever we go, people will think we are local.  And, I am proud to say that on more than one occasion in our travels, we have been asked for directions or recommendations that only locals could make.  Why?  Because we have a certain air about us that doesn’t scream DisneyWorld tourist.  Here, however, are my top pet peeves for the quintessential tourist:

1.)  Let’s Walk, People. There should be a section of the street for people like this….the people that feel it is appropriate to just stop in the middle of a sidewalk because they are lost or too caught up in looking at things around them.  Haven’t you ever heard of moving off to the side to do whatever it is you need to do?  Stop being so oblivious and get the heck out of everyone elses way.

This goes for the airport too, where there should be a line for stupid, amateur travelers.  I’m not as seasoned as some, but how hard is it to follow the million signs posted around security and other areas and do what you’re told??  Take off your freaking shoes, and move along once you are finished.  Do NOT stop in the middle of the pathways with your big, giant, never going to fit in overhead storage suitcase to find whatever it is you seem to have misplaced.  Once again, act like you’re driving and PULL OVER.

2.)  The Camera Necklace. Nothing screams “I’m here on holiday” than the guy with sixteen cameras around his neck.  Save it for Disney, my friend.  In populated cities, it only makes you a prime target for pickpockets and my blogging rants.  Oh, and you need to keep moving as well.  Quit stopping in the middle of my path to take a picture of the top of a building.

3.)  The Flash Happy. I take a lot of pictures, I will admit that.  However, when traveling abroad, or anywhere for that matter, I try to do so in a fashion that is discreet.  Last week, when I was having tea at Bewley’s, I saw a couple I identified as tourists right away (see #4) taking pictures of their food.  Because a bagel really looks different in the EU than anywhere else??  I’ve also witnessed people taking pictures of gas stations and random houses.  I guess there is a “certain charm” in Esso, but really?  What are you going to do with these pictures?  Save that flash for the historic landmarks and things that are actually relevant.

4.)  I ❤ Whatever City I’m In. That couple taking pictures of their food?  I knew immediately they were tourists because they were decked out in “I Love Ireland” gear.  Now, I have my fair share of Jersey Girl clothing, but I actually live there.  I know getting clothing emblazoned with your country of choice is fairly common, but I think it’s weird to wear it while you’re still there.  And to be all matchy matchy about it….

5.)  Tour Book Wielding Traveler. I understand the need to have a map on you when you’re traveling around a foreign city.  In fact, I’ve referred to my small one in the privacy of a street corner at a few points this week.  But really, don’t carry it around, flipping through pages, looking aimlessly around trying to figure out where you are going.  Not only do you set yourself up to be robbed by being so oblivious, but also, you’re in everyone else’s way.  Once again, pull over and consult that guide book.  Don’t do it right in the middle of a busy city sidewalk.

I could go on, but I’ll stop for now….

Some might find this harsh, but for those of us that have ever lived in a city populated by tour book wielding, camera necklace, flash happy, oblivious tourists, we know that all of this is true.  Not only is it unsafe to be this oblivious when you’re traveling, it’s also annoying to those around you :).  So please, get your wits about you before you begin your day, and remember:  that bagel looks the same wherever you’re from as it does here.


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