Weekend Fun and Addressing the “Weight Thing”

Hello!

Man, the past couple weeks have flown by so fast. Obviously work keeps me busy during the week, but the last two weekends have been jam packed, too. Last weekend I drove up north to Traverse City and on Saturday I went to Mackinaw Island with the fam.

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It’s sort of a tradition that my family likes to do every summer. We only stay for the day, but we have our routine set: take the ferry over to the island, eat lunch (that my mom packs and brings for us), bike around the island, get ice cream, shop, and finally, eat dinner at The Pink Pony restaurant that overlooks the water/dock.

It was a beautiful day for biking.

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It’s funny because when I was younger, it seemed like it took forever to bike around the island, but now the ride flies by! I guess when you’re used to doing 20-25 miles bike rides, 8 miles is a piece of cake ;).

Selfie time:

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Our crew included myself, my parents, my sister, and her boyfriend.

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It’s always nice to spend time with my sis!

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This past weekend was the first weekend that I stayed in Grand Rapids, didn’t have to work, and didn’t have any visitors. It was nice to spend more time hanging out in my new city! During the summer they have a Movie in the Park series, where every couple weeks they play a movie in Ah-Nab-Awen Park. The park is right next to the Grand River and has beautiful views of downtown. It was quite the backdrop for our movie night.

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The movie on Friday was Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I had never seen before but had a great time listening to all of the die-hard fans participate in the “interactive” parts and quote some of the famous lines and songs. They even had a costume contest before the movie started. It was a riot.

When the movie was over, I tried to snap some photos of the city when it was dark but my iPhone didn’t even come close to capturing the phenomenal views. It was one of those things that you just have to see in person.

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Yesterday I spent the day in Holland with my friend Mel helping one of her friends out with the opening of her new salon, Bombshell Blow Dry Bar. It was sort of random because I didn’t really know anyone and had never seen the salon before, but before I knew it I was handing out door prizes, giving tours, and talking about all the different services offered to all of the ladies who stopped by. It ended up being really fun! The salon is beautiful too, so if you’re from the area and are looking for sweet new salon to try out (or want to try spray tanning!), be sure to stop by and check it out!

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When we got back to Grand Rapids last night we met up for dinner with our friend Matt. I didn’t take any pictures of my food, but it was delicious – as is all of the food I’ve had at the local restaurants so far. I think I’m going to start taking pictures at all of the restaurants I go to and eventually start a Grand Rapids Restaurant Review series of some sort. It would be a fun way to recap all of my favorite places. Thoughts?

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Okay, on a totally unrelated note, I think it’s about time I address the elephant in the room – the whole weight thing. Seeing as I used to write a blog dedicated entirely to weight loss, I feel sort of obligated to talk about it. As hard as it is, I have not shied away from posting pictures of myself on here because I’ve always been real and up front with you guys. The truth is, yes – I have put on a lot of weight. In fact, at this point, I’ve unfortunately gained back most of the weight that I lost a few years ago. Of course it’s depressing, but I try not to dwell on it because there’s no point. I hoped that I wouldn’t be one of those people, but the reality is that most people who lose a lot of weight end up gaining it back because it is SO HARD to keep it off. Once you start going backwards, it becomes ten times more difficult to start moving forward again.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m not ignoring the weight gain and am taking some steps to start getting things under control again. I don’t want it be like last time though, where weight loss was all I did and all I thought about. I need to start making small changes that will be easy to stick with in the long haul. I’m done beating myself up for minor weight fluctuations because in the long run those things don’t matter. I also don’t have someone helping me with my workouts or constantly making sure that I stick to my diet anymore – it’s all me this time.

One of the first steps I took in the right direction? I got a gym membership again. This gym is AWESOME, too. It’s huge and has every piece of workout equipment you could ever want. Plus it has a pool and lots of group classes, all of which are included in your membership. I went to a spin class on Wednesday and am going to try to make it to at least two of those a week. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted with my workouts!

Oh, and I don’t know about you, but buying some new workout clothes always helps motivate me to get to the gym 🙂

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(The above outfit is from Kohl’s, for those of you who are curious.)

I’d love it if you guys would leave a comment about your current workout regimens! I sort of feel like I’m starting from square one and could use some ideas! Thanks 🙂

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Downtown Livin’

Well, I survived my first full week in Grand Rapids and I have to say – I LOVE it here.

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I took that picture on Wednesday evening on my way to meet a couple coworkers for dinner. It’s so cool being close to downtown and I love that I am within walking distance of a ton of restaurants and bars. I feel like I am really making the most of living here and I am immersing myself completely in the heart of Grand Rapids.

We ate at one of my favorite places that used to be my go-to spot for sushi when I lived here during pharmacy school – XO.

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I ordered a cup of wonton soup and two rolls: A California roll with cream cheese and an Amazing Roll. It goes without saying that both were amazing.

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XO brings back a lot of memories for me. If you are a long time reader of my old blog, you may remember that I used to eat there quite a bit when I used to live here. My friend Jenny and I would go there a lot, and my sister always loved to go when she would visit me. Well, not much as changed because she drove down on Friday to see the apartment and stay the night, and I’ll give you one guess as to where we went for dinner 😉

Before our sushi date, Courtney and I spent the entire day shopping and exploring. We hit up some department stores in northern Grand Rapids before making our way to the mall in Grandville and let me just say – we did some serious damage.

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Our final stop before heading back to my apartment was the sporting good section at Meijer to pick up an air mattress – aka my guest bed. I only have one bedroom in my apartment but I think this made a pretty good alternative to a guest bed, and after sleeping on it Courtney will vouch for that.

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After dropping our bags off at my apartment, we changed and got dolled up for a night on the town.

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Obviously, as I already mentioned, our first stop was more sushi at XO.

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I ordered the exact same rolls as I did on Wednesday and Courtney ordered a Green Dragon Roll and something called the Hot Girl Roll. I can’t remember what was on that one, but it had a kick to it!
 

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After dinner, I took her a couple of my favorite spots that I knew she would enjoy. First up was Mojo’s – a dueling piano bar that is an all around good time. They have two piano players on stage at a time that are really talented and fantastic entertainers. They take requests, get the audience involved, and have us laughing and having fun the entire time.

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After about an hour at Mojo’s we walked a couple blocks to The Back Forty, a country bar that I found out about right before I graduated. They had a live band on Friday night and played some pretty good music! At one point we all jumped on the dance floor for the Cupid Shuffle. Not exactly country, but classic.

We walked back home after that and Courtney left on Saturday morning. She had to be back home in Traverse City for work so it was a short and sweet visit, but it was a blast! We crammed in a lot of the stuff in the 20 hours that she was here 😉

Since I’ve talked about sushi a lot in this blog post, it must be said that another food I love just as much as sushi is Mexican food and I was happy to try a couple local Mexican places this past week too! On Monday I met my friend Mel at Donkey.

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They had a very small menu, but everything was delicious! I ordered the flautas:

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And my friend got a couple tacos. I can’t remember what was in them, but they looked freakin’ awesome!

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I also got Mexican food last night with one of my closest high school friends – Melissa!

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She lives about 40 minutes south of Grand Rapids so she drove up for the afternoon and we got pedicures and then met up with her husband, Nick, at Cinco de Mayo for dinner. No pictures from that place but it was goooood. After dinner we hung out at my place for a little bit. Nick took care of some things around my apartment for me that I needed fixed and then made himself comfortable with my electric foot massager and a beer. I guess that was my way of thanking him 😉

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(Did anyone else notice Mikey photobombing in the background? Love it.)

Today has been pretty low key and relaxing. I got a workout in this morning (more on that later) and then did some grocery shopping and food prep for the week. I’m about to go make something for dinner and then it’s bedtime for this girl!

Ta ta, friends 🙂

Hello From Grand Rapids!

That’s right, I finally made it to Grand Rapids!

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I wish I could say the above photo was the view from my apartment, but unfortunately, it’s not. It’s actually the view from an apartment that I looked at last month but was way too expensive, so I’m living a few blocks north in a more affordable part of downtown. Don’t get me wrong though – I absolutely LOVE my apartment and I can’t wait to show you pictures! Work is going really well too. I like my new store a lot. I’ve had four long days there already but the techs are awesome and the days have gone by fast. This upcoming week will be my first week of “normal” shifts (not holiday/weekend shifts), so we’ll see how it goes!

As predicted, this past week has been quite a whirlwind. I’m actually blogging from bed right now because I’m totally wiped out and as soon as I hit publish I’m hitting the hay.

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The actual move took place on Tuesday. The movers arrived bright and early and got right to work loading up the truck.

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Word of advice: if you’re ever on the fence about hiring movers, just do it. Seriously, it is SO worth it. I also highly recommend Two Men and A Truck. They were really nice guys and did a great job. It definitely made the move about a thousand times easier and faster.

After the truck was loaded, my parents and I hit the road. My mom rode down with me and my dad followed behind. I was so thankful that they made the trip down with me. Mom was on Mikey patrol on the way down:

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He actually did really well in the car. He was scared, but after about an hour he finally got settled in and took a nap. It was a stressful day for the little guy but he took it like a champ.

The move went relatively smooth, with only a couple minor hiccups along the way. I had an issue with parking (my apartment is downtown so parking a huge truck is not an easy task, especially when the City of Grand Rapids doesn’t honor your meter reservation), but other than that things were good for the most part. We got everything moved up to my eighth floor apartment, and then my parents took me out to dinner before driving back up to Traverse City.

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I stayed up late on Tuesday unpacking and got everything just about done by early Wednesday afternoon. Then I went and got my cable/internet set up and my apartment finally started to feel like home. It’s a beautiful apartment right downtown and I couldn’t be happier. And now, without further ado, here’s some pictures of my place!

Living room (view when you walk in the front door):

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Sorry that photo is so dark!

Here’s the kitchen:

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Balcony:

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Laundry room:

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Bedroom:

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Bathroom:

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My favorite parts are the wood floors and the granite countertops. It’s giving me some ideas for my future house 😉

This week I’m going to try to get myself more into a routine. I need to do some grocery shopping, check out the gym at my apartment, and get used to my work schedule. I’m also hoping to see some more friends and actually do some stuff downtown!  Can’t wait to share more with you guys.

Have a good week!