What I’d Improve and What I Love About Myself

7 Things I’d Like to Improve About Myself

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1. My patience

Especially at work – with both customers and my coworkers.

2. My self-discipline

For some reason ever since I graduated from pharmacy school my self-discipline has just seemed to deteriorate. It’s an important quality to have though and improving my self-discipline will improve my confidence.

3. My spending habits

I spend waaaaaay too much money on crap I really don’t need, and on eating out. The less I spend now means the more I save, which means the closer I am to paying off my car and the closer I am to buying a house.

4. My empathy

I get annoyed way too easily at work, and it’s important for me to be more understanding and empathetic with my customers and not lose my patience so quickly (see number 1…). You never know what someone has gone through, or what their background is, or what they have to go home to.

5. My willpower

This goes along with #2 on the list, but focuses more on eating habits. It shouldn’t be that hard to say no to dessert!

6. My procrastination

I’ve always been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. Doesn’t matter if it’s school, work, whatever. I put everything off until the LAST possible second.

7. My indecisiveness

I go back and forth all day about the stupidest things! I don’t understand why it’s so hard for me to make decisions sometimes. Seriously, it takes me 20 minutes to decide what I want for breakfast. Ridiculous.

8 Things I Love About Myself

Love Yourself

1. My ability to make friends easily

I honestly can be friends with just about anyone and everyone. Things are hardly ever awkward around me because I love to talk and can easily make conversation about just about anything. I’m also incredibly easy-going and I hate fighting with people. I’m one of those people that hates when people don’t like her.

2. My sense of humor

I can make people laugh.

3. My hair

Just sayin’.

IMG_2299 4. My independence

I’m incredibly grateful for my financial independence, as well as my ability to make my own decisions. I often lean on my family and friends for advice, but ultimately what I do in life is completely up to me and once I make up my mind about something, I’m doing it.

5. My enthusiasm

Anyone who knows me knows that I get SO EXCITED ABOUT THE TINIEST THINGS. Some may think it’s immature, but I think it keeps life interesting. Who doesn’t like having stuff to look forward to?

6. My willingness to try new things

Life would be so boring if I never tried new foods, or branched out with my wardrobe, or randomly moved two hours south of home. 😉

7. My impulsiveness

I couldn’t decide if this was something I wanted to improve on or something I loved, but ultimately I think it’s a quality I like. As I mentioned earlier, when I decide I want to do something then I do it – and I do it now. Occasionally I regret some of my impulsive decisions (did I really NEED that purse?!), but for the most part I’m happy with them. It’s just a part of my personality.

8. My career

I don’t always love my job, but I love that I picked a college major, stuck it out for six years, got my degree, and immediately got a job in my field making a very comfortable living. Pharmacy school is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but it was totally worth it.

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Top 6 For Fall

I’m going to try and make up for lost time with two posts today, but here’s #6 on the list for the September Blogging Challenge: 6 things I’m looking forward to about fall.

1. New York City

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but next month my friend Elly and I are going to NEW YORK CITY! We are taking a mini-vaca and going for four days and three nights and I cannot wait. I have a fascination with big cities right now and I’ve been wanting to go to NYC for months now. We are staying right near Times Square and already have a dinner cruise and broadway show booked for our trip.

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2. Haunted houses

Last year I didn’t go to any haunted houses or mazes around Halloween and I seriously regretted it. There are tons of options in Grand Rapids and I am determined to round up some friends and hit them up. I love getting scared!

3. Scarves

I failed to mention this in my accessories post the other day, but I absolutely love scarves. They are so cute and perfect for fall. I actually have been afraid of scarves until just recently; I wear them all the time with my coats but have never ventured past that. Yesterday I bought my first “fashion” scarf to actually wear with regular clothes. It was so warm and comfy – I think there will be more in my future!

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4. Carving pumpkins and toasting pumpkin seeds

Sounds so cheesy, but I love carving pumpkins. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is have a couple friends over for a pumpkin carving party and then toasting the seeds afterwards and munching on them all night.

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5. Apple orchards

Fall is not complete without a trip to the apple orchard, and of course cider and donuts! I love picking up one of those super fancy candy apples, too.

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Keepin’ it classy.

6. Bonfires

Nothing is more fun than hanging out at a bonfire with good friends and a beer! I think a fire pit is going to be a MUST when I get a house because everyone just loves camp fires. I hope I can make it to at least a couple this year.

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Highlights From the Summer

Today’s blog topic in the September Blogging Challenge is my top 5 highlights from the summer. Let’s get to it!

1. Moving to Grand Rapids

Okay, who didn’t see that coming? 😉 Considering the fact that I started this whole blog because of my move, you can probably imagine that packing up my apartment and moving downstate to a new city was one of the most exciting and scary parts of my summer. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me and I’m grateful that I was able to make it happen and stay with my current company. I’m looking forward to fall in the city!

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2. Mackinaw Island 

Just a couple weeks after I moved I headed back up north to make the trip to Mackinaw Island with my family and my sister’s boyfriend. It’s an annual summer tradition that we all look forward to, and it was a lot of fun. We rode bikes around the island, stopped by the butterfly house, perused the shops, and had some good food and drinks. Always a good time!

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3. Theory of a Deadman concert

I went to this concert with a couple of my girlfriends and it was a blast! We started the night off with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in TC – Firefly – and then headed to Ground Zero Night Club for the concert. I was pleasantly surprised that Adelitas Way was also performing at the show (I’ve been a fan of them for years) and was excited to get a signed T-shirt and a picture with the lead singer.

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4. My sister’s visit to Grand Rapids

My sister drove down to visit and see my new apartment a couple weeks after I moved and we had a TON of fun. We spent the day shopping, and then got sushi for dinner before hitting the town. She goes to school in a super small town up north in the UP so it was so funny to see her reaction to such a “big city” (for those who don’t know Michigan, Grand Rapids is not that big).

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5. Weddings

I’ve had two weddings so far this summer and they have both been awesome! First was my friend Leah’s wedding in June (which I was a bridesmaid in) and next was my friend Babs’ wedding last month. Leah’s wedding was great because I got to see quite a few friends from high school that I haven’t seen in YEARS, and the guest list at Babs’ wedding included a ton of friends from pharmacy school. It was so great o catch up with everyone. Plus, who doesn’t love weddings?

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What are some highlights from your summer?

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Thankful Thursday

I think it goes without saying that I am most grateful for my amazing family, dearest friends, and my health. That being said, this post will center around the more tangible things I’m thankful for.

Mikey

This little ball of fur brings me more joy than I ever thought possible. He is spoiled rotten and anyone who knows me knows that I treat him like a child. I just love the little guy! We even take selfies together. Don’t judge.

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Jimmy Johns

I’m incredibly thankful for the fact that there are Jimmy John’s located extremely close to both work and my apartment. My JJ intake has quadrupled since I’ve moved to Grand Rapids. My sandwich of choice? Beach club with no tomatoes. It’s where it’s at. 

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Chapstick

Can’t leave the house without it. Plain and simple. And it’s gotta be the Original Chapstick.

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My awesome coworkers

My coworkers are amazing. My job is very fast paced and can be incredibly stressful at times. We get yelled at all day by customers who “have no idea why their prescription is taking so long” but my coworkers keep me laughing and make it all so much more bearable. Plus, if I’m lucky, my technicians will bring me lunch on the weekends 😉

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My foot massager

I purchased this calf/foot massager earlier this year and it seriously the MOST AMAZING THING EVER. Anyone who has to stand all day at work needs one of these. It’s the UComfy Leg, Foot and Calf Massager and it’s a little pricey, but it’s totally worth the splurge if your feet scream at you at the end of the day like mine do.

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Black eyeliner

I used to never go near the stuff, but now I feel like my face is not complete without eyeliner. I’ve experimented with different ways of wearing it (only on the bottom lid, only on the top lid, on both lids, directly on the lid line, right below the lid, etc.) but now I pretty much only wear it on my top lids, and if I’m going out I’ll wear it on the top and bottom. I tried getting ready without it one day last week and I felt like you couldn’t see my eyes. Ha.

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Goat cheese

I could eat goat cheese every single day and never get sick of it. In fact, I pretty much do! My favorite ways to eat it are in omelets and sandwiches, and as a dip for crackers and pita chips. Mmmmm…

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Wine

Enough said.

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What are you thankful for today?

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Favorite [Accessory] Fashion Trends

Continuing on with the September Blogging Challenge, today’s post is about my favorite fashion trends. To be honest, I’m not a huge clothes person but I love accessories. I love shopping – don’t get me wrong – but I would much rather peruse the newest arrivals at Coach than the latest clothing trends. So, I’m going to make this post about my favorite accessory trends that I’ve had my eye on lately.

COACH Madison Triple Turnlock Carlyle Shoulder Bag in leather

Coach green bag

I have been obsessed with this bag for months. I love the triple turn lock closure and the classy olive color. I also love the metal hardware on the bag. Every time I’m at the mall I go into the Coach store and look at the bag, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money on it because the price is pretty steep. Maybe for Christmas? 😉

Stackable Rings

It seems like stackable rings are becoming more and more popular lately, and I am totally okay with that. I first saw them on Lo Bosworth’s Instagram. She posts a lot of nail polish pictures and I couldn’t help but notice the slender, cute gold rings that she wore in all of her photos.

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I’m not a huge fan of gold, however, so a couple months ago I went on a hunt for some of my own rings but in silver. I found some at Icing and I love them. However, as you could probably guess, they were incredibly cheap and the silver color is already starting to turn brassy. I’d like to find some good quality sterling silver ones, but I’m having trouble finding them in any other place besides Etsy and I don’t like buying rings without trying them on. If anyone knows where I can find some please let me know!

Ray Ban Aviator Classic Sunglasses

I’ve finally joined the Ray Bans fan club, and am dying for my own pair of these timeless shades.

Ray Bans

I’ve had the same pair of sunglasses for over eight years so I’m getting antsy for a new pair. My current ones are Ralph Lauren though and they’ve definitely stood the test of time and are not showing any signs of breaking any time soon. I swore to myself I’d wait until they break or I lose them before I buy a new pair, but I am liking these Ray Bans more and more every day. I love the middle pair in the photo above, with the darker lenses and silver rims.

Sperry Slip On Shoes

I think I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t own a pair of Sperry’s or a Sperry knock-off, so I’m a little late to the party on this one. Maybe I’ll make the splurge this fall, because I’m currently loving this pair:

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This is the Katharine Washable Nubuck 1-Eye Driver (how in the world do they come up with these names..?) and the color is dark brown. Maybe it’s the fact that they are machine washable, but I just think these shoes are so cool. My sister and a couple of my friends swear by their comfort, and they are super cute to boot. I think this pair would be perfect for fall, especially with that olive colored Coach purse and a pair of Ray Bans ;).

What are your favorite fashion trends right now?

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September Blogging Challenge

Wow, hello September!

I can’t believe it’s really been almost a month since I’ve posted anything, but hopefully this upcoming challenge I’m going to participate in will help improve my frequency of posts. Long story short – I’ve been busy. What is else is new right? Over the past few weekends I’ve had a wedding, an impromptu trip to Traverse City, a weekend visitor from up north, and this past weekend I’ve been working. Today will be day 4 of a 7 day stretch, so I’m counting down the days until Thursday at 4:00 when my long weekend officially starts. I’ve also had a lot on my mind lately about moving, and just life in general. I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m having a mid life crisis. However, we’ll discuss that more another day.

So anyway, about this September blogging challenge: I got it from Gracie at Girl Meets Life. She is one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers. She’s young, lives in New York City (SO COOL) and no matter what she’s going through in life her fun and positive attitude always shines through in her posts. She created this daily blogging challenge for the month of September with a bunch of top ideas for those who want to participate.

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Since I’ve been struggling to blog regularly, this seemed like a fun idea to me.

Unfortunately I’m already a day late to the party, so we’re doing two posts in one today.

1. Goals for September 

  • Blog daily and complete this challenge!
  • Stick to my budget, for once in my life. Lately I’ve had houses on the brain (is there such a thing as “house fever?” If so, I’ve got it) and all I can think about is saving as much money as possible so I can make it happen in the next couple years. I need to pay off my car first though, student loans are still screaming at me, and I’ve got quite a few vacations planned in the next year so it’s sure to be a challenge.
  • Exercise 4 days per week. Should be a no brainer, but of course, I’ve been slacking again in that department.

2. Something I’m proud of accomplishing recently

Maybe this sounds cheesy, but I’m really proud of myself for following through with this move to Grand Rapids. I never thought I could do anything like that – move away from my family and friends by myself just to try something new, but I did it and I’m so glad I did. I don’t know if I want to stay here forever, but right now I love this city and it’s really helping me figure out where I want to settle down and end up. Even if I move back home someday, I will never regret coming here. The next year is all about personal growth, and I think that’s something everyone in their twenties needs to focus on at some point or another.

If you would like to participate in this September Blogging Challenge, let me know in the comments and be sure to post a link to your blog so I can follow along 🙂

Friday iPhone Shots

– Some snapshots from my phone over the last couple weeks –

Carrot cake ice cream from Furniture City Creamery in East Hills. There were actual chunks of carrot cake in it! ohmygodsogood.

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Some greenery for my patio, although the sunflowers didn’t last long…they’re all dead now.

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Lunch with Mom and Grandma at Marie Catrib’s!

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Marie’s Grilled Cheese – feta, goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, cracked red pepper, fresh basil, tomato, grilled branny oat bread

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The aftermath of an early morning spin class.

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Scenes from an evening stroll along the river.

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Mikey the explorer. Gotta get to that ceiling vent somehow.

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Mexican food with coworkers. Guys, I think I may have found a margarita that I like better than mango. Introducing the prickly pear margarita. Amazing.

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Sushi with my BFF Melissa at Sushiya in Kalamazoo.

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Dinner at Brewery Vivant. Great food and beer! I ordered the Grilled Mozzarella and Garden Vegetable Sandwich (Marinated kale, watermelon radish, golden beets, nicoise bun – served with truffle fries) and accompanied it with a Contemplation (menu description: Look for whispers of apricot and nectarine on the palate, mixed with the floral aroma of the hops grown in northern Michigan.)

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HAPPY FRIDAY!! 

Highlights from the Week, Workouts, and My Smoothie Kick [Vlog]

Hello!! I was too lazy to write a post tonight so I did a video update for you guys. Enjoy!

Here’s the smoothie recipe I was talking about. I got it from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life and Fannetastic Food. This is how I make it:

Pear and Pineapple Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 pear (sliced and cored)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup  of pineapple
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice

Just throw it all in the blender and then drink up! Let me know if any of you try it, or have other green smoothie recipe recommendations! I’d love  some ideas.

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Have a great night!

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 🙂

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 🙂