Leanne’s List

Because, Leanne is possessive over her lists.

The ULTIMATE House Hunters Drinking Game

Set the scene: you’re sitting on your couch, pantless,  crumbs on your chest, while watching hour 4 of a House Hunters Binge. You’ve screamed at the TV over the irrational expectations vs. budget, you’ve gasped at how much $200k can buy you in Atlanta, and you’ve questioned how some of these demanding women can have significant others while you’re still swiping on Tinder. 

What if I had a way to make that scene even better? I know, I know- it seems * pretty * unrealistic, but, gurllll I promise you I can. Inspired by true events, I proudly introduce to you…

         ::drum roll::

                    ::hold it.::

            The Ultimate House Hunters Drinking Game!  A perfect way to elevate your next binge!

house hunters

TAKE A SIP ANYTIME:

  • one person wants a “project”
  • you hear “recently married couple”
  • “He wants modern but she wants character”
  • someone mentions “character”
  • someone wants hardwood but the other wants carpet
  • you hear “room to entertain”

TAKE TWO SIPS ANYTIME:

  • someone mentions “open concept”
  • someone mentions “over budget”
  • one person complains about a pool
  • someone wants a “white kitchen”
  • the term “busy street” is mentioned
  • one person mentions proximity to “town”, “shops”,  or “beach”

FINISH YOUR DRINK IF:

  • The realtor mentions how difficult the couple is
  • “mature trees” is mentioned
  • the term “whimsical” is a priority
  • you guess the right house
  • they pick the worst house

And, there ya have it. Look, don’t operate heavy machinery after participation. Also, I am not responsible if you drunk text your ex. This game is even better in a group! 

Five Books To Read This Summer

summer readingSummer is here! I have been caught laying on the beach on more than one occasion. And, since squinting at our phones is hard with the sun and all, I thought I’d make a good summer reading list. After all, a good book recommendation is always the best.   As someone who reads pretty frequently, I constantly have five books in circulation, so I thought I would share them with you.

(Don’t judge me:  I read fast, so, having multiple books at a time allows me to dissect a chapter, rather than speed reading through it. I also have a book for different scenarios. For example: I’d rather read an biography before bed instead of a book on social psychology because the biography won’t stimulate my brain into a million different ideas.)

Lately, I have been revisiting some of my favorite classics, such as, “The Great Gatsby” and mixing in poetry and social psychology into the mix.  Here are the five books I’m currently circulating.

 

  1. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

I actually wrote a post about this book in May, and, I cannot emphasize enough the profound effect it has had on me. It has outlined weaknesses and strengths of mine, and more importantly, it has given me the tools I need to correctly address any situation both personally and professionally. Ladies, please do yourself a favor and get this book.

 

2. 101 Essays that Will Change the Way You Think

I have loved Brianna’s writing since her early Thought Catalog days, and, while she has published a number of books, this book in particular is pure perfection. It’s philosophical, profound, and tailored for any reader. It has helped re-evaluate feelings and has added texture to my life. I carried this book around with me, literally everywhere, for months. I only recently gave it to a friend who I thought needed some of the answers that book holds.

(p.s.- if you’re like me and like hard copies of a book, click here)

 

3. The Wisest One in the Room

My love of social psychology shines through with this suggestion. However, anyone who interacts with others on a daily basis should certainly give this a read. It has even inspired a photography project in regards to the ideology of “naive realism”. As evident with my first two suggestions, I firmly believe in self awareness, but, all of that work isn’t worth anything if you don’t understand those around you.

 

4. How to Murder Your Life

I discovered Cat Marnell and her drug fueled posts when I was 19 years old. I glamorized her life, and, secretly sat in envy that I wasn’t 90lbs and writing about doing angel dust for major publications. Oh, how our teenage brains work.  I know, I know. I have eagerly anticipated this book, and, I was surprised at how candid, fluid, and sobering her words were. It’s like watching a train wreck but it having a beautiful ending.

5. Milk & Honey

While my recent New Paltz graduate coworker will tell you this book is “Tumblr” poetry, I tend to disagree. Yes, the poems are simple, and perhaps when you’re twenty two life requires more complexity. However, as someone at the tail-end of my twenties, I have thoroughly enjoyed and resonated with many of Rupi’s words. Bonus: she has a second book being released in October, and I am eagerly anticipating it.

Since I’m almost done with “How to Murder Your Life” I could use another recommendation. Leave yours in the comments. 

wedding workout

Sweating for the Wedding

Our Wedding is less than 5 months away.

How in the world did that happen? I feel like I just woke up from a haze (communion season haze) and realized that while I’ve planned approximately 60 parties in the last 6 months, I have been neglecting my own.

I know, this is a topic I’ve been bloggin about lately a lot. Whatever, sue me. 

In any event, I have been VERY nervous about my wedding dress. I haven’t seen it, tried it on, touched it, loved it, since September 12th, 2015 (how do I know that date, you ask? Well, the other day, I woke up at 5:30 AM in a cold sweat because in my dream, I ordered the wrong color wedding dress. So, I dug through my wedding binder, found the receipt, found the “shade” I ordered, googled it, and felt a lot of relief knowing that I didn’t mess up the whole dress thing).

Being me, I also didn’t take pictures in it. So, now, I can’t remember if I looked good in it or not. And, of course… I’m very anxious about my weight.

Fortunately for me, Facebook likes to remind of memories on specific dates, and yesterday, happened to be my college graduation 5 years ago. (wow, that flew by) Like that, I was reminded of how far I’ve come.

A size 18, insecure, puffy recent college grad, vs. a now size 12, confident, published author. 

Yes, I did just share my size, and no, I’m not embarrassed by it in the least.

I took a random selfie in the movie theatre bathroom yesterday and I was shocked to see the girl in the reflection. Black skinny jeans, no puffy stomach (well, it’s a little puffy but, not as puffy), a slimmer, more defined face (also could be due to the invisalign which is working its’ wonders). 

So, I thought, in spirit of Wedding Season, I’d share the five things I’m doing because  I’m Sweating for the Wedding. 

 

wedding workout

Editors note: I actually hate that term but I was researching bridesmaids gifts today and that phrase kept coming up, so, I figured I’d use it.

  1. Clean-ish eating

I am a foodie, I work in a steakhouse, and I work long hours, so naturally, it’s very easy for me to make the wrong decision when it comes to eating. “I’m starving, I’ll just have a roll”, or “ it’s fine- this late night pizza is no biggie because I’m in a calorie deficit”, were all justifications I used. Now, I’ve cut back. No more little vincents pizza at 11:30PM, no more shrimp tacos, no more burgers with eggs on top (omg, I’m drooling) Instead, it’s salads, an occasional roll (only when they JUST come out of the oven. And, only one) and, little baby bowls of soup. It’s not perfect, but, it’s much better.

When I’m home, I have pre-made meals, and, I’ve recently incorporated an Isagenix shake as part of breakfast (along with fruits and one piece of toast with peanut butter). While Isagenix shakes are expensive, I find them to be the most effective meal replacements out there. Sometimes, products are worth the money.

2. Exercise

In the beginning of the year, I joined the same gym as Mark. I had hit a plateau in my workouts (Kayla Instines, Tone it Up girls, Jillian Michaels) and just wasn’t feeling the same “burn” I had been experiencing. I had been dreading joining a gym, but, man, I’m so glad I did.

I now have a built in workout partner (which, let me tell you, it helps SO MUCH) and, slowly but surely, I’m seeing the results I’ve been yearning for. I only go 3-4 times a week, and, everyday, I walk 2 miles with Emmett, and occasionally, go bicycle riding. Nothing insane.

At the gym, I do a lot of “weight training”. Research shows that weight training, along with cardio, is the most effective way to burn fat more consistently. One weight training session will burn fat for up to 36 hours after your workout. It’s a way to keep my body “moving” even when I’m on an off day.

Some days, I just do cardio and find videos to do in the “stretch/Ab area”. It can be intimidating at first, but, eventually, you realize that everyone is there for the same thing; to better themselves. One app that I love is “Bikini Body”. The free exercises are great, but, for $1.99 you can have access to all of these wonderful, effective videos that you can do anywhere. He’ll kill me for saying this, but, I taught Mark ab workouts from the app that he loves! It’s not just for women!

3. Sleep

We recently purchased a Casper mattress, and, it has helped our sleep cycle tremendously. Sleep is an integral part of our recovery for our bodies, so, it’s nice to see my sleep cycle more steady. More REM sleep, more refreshed mornings, more motivation to keep moving.

4. Fat Burners

Put down the pitch forks, hold off on your rant, and listen before you criticize me for using fat burners.

I have a slow metabolism. It has nothing to do with my thyroid, (I’ve had it checked), it’s just genetics. As a way to counteract my slow metabolism, I have found that certain fat burners help move my system right along. It keeps me less bloated, it helps my digestive system, and, it keeps me eating throughout the day, which keeps my body from storing fat. I use a stimulate free one, that you can find here. 

5. Hydration

Jennifer Aniston is right on the money- water is so good for you.

I drink lots of water throughout the day, and, at work, I have club soda with lemon and lime squeezed into it.

 

No crash diets here. Just a slow and steady lifestyle change.

Now, help a girl out- any tips?