Book Review: Gone Girl

Remember yesterday when I said one of the things I was loving was the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? And that I would probably have it finished by this weekend? Well, I went home after work, plopped myself on the couch and read until I finished the book.

I had heard really good things about the book from several different people, and since I'd finished my book club book, there was no better time to get hopping on this one. And I'm glad that I did!

I was warned by someone that they'd heard it took about 100 pages to get into the book--that it started out kind of slow. So, I went in with that preparation.

The book had my interest pretty quickly. But, I will say, the first 100 pages are NOTHING compared to the rest of the book. There's one point where, all of a sudden, it's like BOOOOOM! And you don't want to put the book down. Obviously....I read it in 5 days. It gave me an excuse to go to the gym and get on the elliptical cuz then I could read the book the whole time. Win-win!

Ok, so what's the book about? It's about a wife that goes missing, and the husband is trying to figure out what happened. It looks like she was abducted, possibly killed. At the start of the book, each chapter goes back and forth between the husband's point of view, and then a diary entry from the wife.

I won't say anymore, because I don't want to give too much away. But, it's good. The writing is fantastic. The plot is incredible. I loved it, and will certainly be reading more of Gillian Flynn's books.

If you're looking for a suspense-filled, intriguing book that's extremely well-written, pick this one up. You won't regret it!

WILW and Oh How Pinteresting!

I'm super glad it's already Wednesday--this week has been going by pretty quickly for me, which is unusual, so I'm happy about it!

Wanna know some other things that I'm happy about? Let's link up with Michelle and Jamie:

I'm loving the book Gone Girl. I started it late last week and I'm totally engrossed. I'm pretty sure I'll be done with it come this weekend. If you haven't read it, do it! (and then we can talk about it!!)

I'm loving the Quinoa "mac" and Cheese that I made on Sunday night. Not only did it look tasty in the pic I took, it actually tasted REALLY good and it's not bad for you! Check out the recipe here.

I'm loving that Monday and Tuesday were teacher workdays so I had extra time to get my progress reports done, and various other paperwork. Yay for the gift of time!

I'm loving that MG is making special plans for my birthday. It's the big 3-0 coming up (ughhhh) and I've been dreading it because I'm getting older. And, it's looking like someone else is probably going to claim that weekend as the weekend to celebrate their birthday. Total bummer for me.
 I like that he's making the effort to make me feel special.

I'm loving that nothing is wrong with my car. I went to get in it yesterday and it wouldn't start. After several hours trying to find someone to jump my car cuz I thought the battery was dead, an auto shop nearby finally came by and helped me out. They sent someone to jump my car, it ended up not needing a jump (just a little push on the gas pedal), and then the guys at the shop did a diagnostic on it and found out that nothing was wrong. AND, they didn't charge me. For any of it. Thank goodness for nice people out there! And a healthy car! (Let's hope it stays that way! Mama can't afford an auto shop bill).


I'm loving the show on HBO called How to Make it in America. MG and I discovered the show and proceeded to watch 2 seasons of it this weekend. And then I had dreams about it on Sunday night. It has a little Entourage feel to and we really liked it. Check it out if you have HBO on Demand.
And, as always, I'm loving Pinterest and all of the amazing things it makes me pine for.
This week I've been pinning...

Love cute and casual looks. Totally dig this one!
Get in my closet. Please?
If I didn't live with a boy, this is for SURE what my room would look like.
Never too much purple! :)
Skinny Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
Totally adding this to my list of recipes to try!
A-dor-a-ble. The end.
Every day. I'm still looking for my travel make-up bag that I put in a "safe" place.
Come out come out, wherever you are!
Follow Me on Pinterest Take a peek at some of the other things that I've been pinning!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Saw, Pinned, Made: Quinoa Mac and Cheese Recipe

I'm still trying to get all of the pics from our trip from MG's sisters so I can give you guys an awesome recap, so bear with me while I try and get it all together. Promise there will be some pretty pics!

But, in the meantime I have a super yummy and super healthy dish for you to try! I saw it on Pinterest here and am posting my version since the directions were not very clear on the site that I looked at.

Quinoa 'Mac' and Cheese!
It's light, but filling, and full of great stuff that's actually good for you!

It looks like there are a lot of steps but that's only because I really broke it down so it's SUPER easy to follow. It's really not hard, at all! And you probably have most of the ingredients on hand already!

Servings: 6-8, depending how big of a serving you take :)

What You Need:
(pretend Panko bread crumbs are in this pic)
-1 1/2 cups of dry quinoa
-2 cloves of garlic (or about 2 tsp. of minced garlic)
-2 eggs
-1 cup of milk (I used 1%)
-1 1/2 cups cheese (I used a mix of sharp cheddar and Four cheese Mexican. Whatever I had on hand)
-a few dashes of seasoning salt
-dash of salt
-some olive oil (about 1 Tablespoon)
-Veggies of your choice, I used broccoli
-Panko bread crumbs (about 3/4 cup)

What You Do:

1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. This takes about 15 minutes. Add in the seasoning salt and regular salt while the quinoa is simmering (I did about 3 solid tips of the jar of seasoning salt, and a dash of salt).

2. While your quinoa is cooking, add olive oil and minced garlic to a frying pan. Heat it for about a minute and then add in your veggie to saute and get coated in the garlic flavor (about 5 minutes).
(I used the broccoli steamers bag, cooked it in the microwave, and then did this part, so the broccoli was already tender).
3. Once the quinoa is done, in a very large bowl whisk together the 2 eggs and milk.

4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees at this point. 
Add the broccoli (or other veggie) to the quinoa and mix it together in the pot that you cooked the quinoa in.
5. Fold in the broccoli/quinoa mixture to the whisked eggs and milk. Then, fold in the cheese. Let the cheese melt a bit while you stir it together. It will be a little soupy, but that's ok. It'll all get baked into yummy goodness in the oven.

6. Get a 9x13 baking dish, spray it with cooking spray and add in the entire mixture to the baking dish.

7. If you're using the Panko bread crumbs (and I suggest you do because it adds a nice crunchy top layer), add it to the top now. I used about 3/4 of a cup of Panko bread crumbs that lightly coated the top.

8. Now that your oven is preheated, place your baking dish into the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the top layer begins to lightly brown. Mine took about the entire 35 minutes.

9. Pull that bad boy out, and plate it up!

You can add any topping you want. The original website suggested sour cream, hot sauce, salsa, etc. 
I tried the hot sauce and wasn't a fan. Sour cream added a nice creaminess to it. Add whatever sounds good to you and enjoy!

The original website had this recipe at about 339 calories per serving, based on 8 servings. Not too shabby (or flabby!) :)

I saw, I pinned, I made!

Book Review: Brain on Fire

Over vacation I had some nice relaxing time on the beach to get into (and finish) the book that we chose to read for my book club.

Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan

It's a true story of a New York Post reporter who, suddenly seemed to be going "crazy." In reality, she had a disease that is not very well known, and can mask itself as various other diseases or disorders such as schizophrenia.

The book chronicles the events leading up to the beginning of the disease, her month-long stay in the hospital while the doctors tried repeatedly to figure out what she had, and later her recovery.

The synopsis on Goodreads is: 
One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter. 

The book was intense, and makes you think a lot--about what you would do in that situation, what you would do if it was a family or friend of yours, etc. 

It was a different read than I'm used to, but I found it to be really informative, interesting and captivating.

Snow Snow Snow

I had no idea when I woke up this morning that it had snowed last night. And had NO idea that I'd get a 2 hour delay to the start of school today. Woohoo!

In fact, I only realized it once my alarm went off, I got bundled up to take Coop out and we opened to door to a sea of white!

I think it's been so long since Cooper's been in snow that he didn't know what to do when his paws got in it. He lifted his paw and then hopped around outside. After trying to get him to walk around in it to get his business done, he just plopped his butt down in the snow and looked up at me with the look of "help!"

We went back inside and had some cuddle time on the couch:

Maybe this is just what he needed because he managed to get the job done when we went out later.

I find it really funny because when Coop was a puppy, he would run wild in the snow. When we had the winter of blizzards and the walls of snow were taller than Cooper himself, he would run head-first into the snow banks!

It's funny how animals react to weather.

I can't believe that a week ago I was headed to Mexico, and now there's at least 1-2 inches out there. 4 days ago I was in a bikini and flip flops, and this morning I was in snow boots, winter coat, hat and glittens.

My how quickly things can change!

Hope it's warm where you are! I'm off to enjoy some more of the Today show before I have to make my way to work.

P.S. I wish there was some kind of an app that would turn off my alarm when school was delayed or cancelled. Someone get on that please :)

WILW and Oh How Pinteresting

It's Wednesday, so what better time to look at some things I'm loving and pinning!
Be forewarned, a lot of what I'm loving has to do with Mexico since I just got back!

I'm loving that our Mexico vacation was more amazing than we could have hoped it would be.

I'm loving that MG and I each got facials and massages at the resort, for free. And they were fabulous.

I'm loving that I have a nice glow of sunshine on my skin to get me through this horrendous cold front we have going on right now.

I'm loving that we got to spend some good, quality time with MG's sisters and brothers-in-law, just adults, no kiddos.

I'm loving that I had "sisters" to do sisterly thing with like borrow clothes from on the trip. Since I don't have any siblings of my own, it was nice to get the sibling feeling :)

I'm loving seat heaters in the car. A warm hiney is a happy hiney!

And, as always, I'm loving Pinterest!

Lately I've been pinning....
Love this organization center for the house
Spinach strawberry salad with candied pecans and feta
Yes yes and more yes!
Someone put this in my lunch bag please!
Super cute outfit! Might even have everything to make this look happen.
Mmmmmm, love Chipotle!
Little bunny
Follow Me on PinterestCheck out what else I've been pinning!

Hope you stay warm on this frigid Wednesday.
I'll be trying to stay warm while looking at my Mexico pics and trying to get a legit recap ready for you!

I'm Back!

I'm back from vacation and I missed you all while I was gone! The first thing I wanna do is thank my 3 awesome guest posters who entertained you while I was away! Shay, Jessica and Amber--You girls did a FAB job!! Thank you thank you!!!

The next thing I wanna say is....

I wanna go back!!!!

I left yesterday and it was 84 degrees. I got back and today it's supposed to be a high of 27 degrees. Cruel.

The good news is we had an absolutely incredible time and I'm sporting a decent tan.

The bad news is, I came back with a cold and I'm pretty tired from our long day of travel last night. Oh, and that I'm not there anymore. That's the worst news of it all haha.

I don't have much time to do a recap, but for now, I'll leave you with the last image I have of the little piece of paradise that I stayed at for 5 days:


I miss you, Riviera Maya!

And now, I'm back, full-swing, into reality. A very cold, windy, blustery reality. 

Be back later (either today or this week) with a recap of the trip!

Sending you warm thoughts on this cold day...

Guest Post: Amber at {Living in the Moment}

As I'm sadly ending my vacation, I have one more treat for you: Amber from Living in the Moment is here to entertain you all!
Amber is a super trendy chick who loves many of the things that I do like reality tv (Bachelor, anyone?), trendy stuff, shopping, bargains, just to name a few! Oh, and she's also absolutely gorgeous! Go check out her blog when you're done here and get to know her!

Hi y'all! I'm Amber and you can find me blogging over at Living in the Moment
where I share my life, style and current obsessions. I'm a twenty-something southern belle who enjoys the little things. Born and raised in the Natural State {Arkansas for those of you wondering} Lover of all things girly. Some might say I am a shopaholic, but I like to think I am helping out the economy. My blog is dedicated to anything and everything my little heart desires on that particular day. You can read more about me here if you would like.
While Jenn is away doing fabulously relaxing and enjoyable things on vacation, she asked me to do a guest post. My hubby and I just made our plans for our 1 year anniversary trip in March - so I've got vacations on my mind. When I hear about a "vacation" my mind typically drifts to summertime, sandy beaches and perfectly bronzed skin.
 One thing I miss in the winter months is my summer tan!

We all want a little color this time of year, right? I used to tan year round but lately I have backed off. Although I do not tan as much, I still want that warm glowing bronzed skin tone.   Fortunately, I am able to somewhat hold a tan fairly well. I just want that extra warmth.
 I recently discovered this little gem. 

  St.Tropaz tanning lotion  
This self bronzer has quickly become my new favorite thing. This gave me an instant glow without being streaky or having that orange oompa loompa look. It really looks like a natural tan without being too dark. This product is a very dark formula straight out of the bottle which was a little intimidating at first but it blends in quickly and makes it very easy to see where you are applying. It is infused with aloe vera and has a far milder scent than most self tanners have. Just make sure and wash your hands well after applying. Also, by exfoliating your skin before applying, it helps the lotion spread on more evenly and last longer.


Guest Post: Jessica at {The Newly}

Today I have another lovely lady coming to visit you. Her name is Jessica and she blogs at  The Newly. She's a sweetheart of a person, writes from the heart, and is an all around awesome person. She's also a mom-to-be, so seeing things from her perspective has been fun for me.
After you check out her post here, go take a peek at her blog!

Well, hi there lovely ladies! 

My name is Jessica and I blog over at The NewlyI am a newly'ish' wedded, mid-twenty something living in the Southeast. Most days, you can find me rambling on about my little life - broaching topics ranging from marriage and my husband (the handsome man seen below), to fashion and our fur babies. And anything and everything in between. Currently, after finding out that we are expecting our first child in June, I am doing my best to keep my posts from becoming completely baby-fied. Which is proving to be a lot harder than I would have thought.

Jenn and I have been blog friends for a while now, so when she asked me if I would mind guest posting for her while she was off on a super fabulous beach vacation (so jealous Jenn - take me with you!), it was a no-brainer. Today, instead of a witty post by our favorite girl here at Going the Distance, you will be getting a little blurb from this mama-to-be. Hope you don't mind!

On Fridays, I like to share a little something we call 'confessions' over at The Newly. I know that Jenn does a Friday's Letters link-up with Ashley over at The Sweet Season blog - and I love that link-up too. But there's something about a good 'fess sesh on a Friday that really makes me feel fresh and prepared for a good weekend. I participate in a weekly confessional link-up on Fridays with another fave blogger, Leslie, over at A Blonde Ambition blog. Feel free to join in for the link-up today if you've got anything you'd like to get off your chest.

So, let's 'fess, shall we?

I Confess...

1.   I'm not on Twitter. Or Instagram. Or even Facebook (for now). Aside from the blog, I'm really not very connected - from a social media standpoint. I do plan on reactivating my Facebook account in the near future. And I am on Pinterest. But the others? Well, I'm just not that interested. Is that wierd?

2.   My boss keeps bringing Krispy Kreme donuts into the office in the mornings. And I keep eating them. I think I've had a donut every day this week. And last week.

3.   Did I mention that I'm pregnant? Which means I should be avoiding the donuts even more actively, as I really have no desire for these thighs to get any bigger than absolutely necessary for carrying this child. 

4.   I've also had a bad craving for potato chips (particularly of the sour cream 'n onion variety) lately. Which I've also been indulging. Lord help me. And my poor hips. Of course I would crave potato chips and not something healthy, like apples. Or even pickles.

5.   I think I need these. After all, you can't go wrong with TB.

Tory Burch 'Claudia' ballet flats
6.   I think I might also need these. Could they be any more adorbs?

Hunter Wellies in mint
7.   I blog while I'm at work. While I should be working. Part of me thinks I should feel bad about this. The other part doesn't. As you can see, one side wins on a daily basis. And it isn't my conscientious one.

8.   I don't understand peoples' obsessions with Honey Boo Boo. Jersey Shore. Teen Mom. Or any of the other totally disgusting reality shows on tv. I mean, I guess I see how these people could be interesting to watch. But all I can think about is the fact that they are getting paid exorbitant amounts of money to act like idiots. And become famous for it. And that's just not ok with me.

9.   I'm a total sucker for sales. Here's the problem: I convince myself that I'm saving so much money and getting such great deals. Then question whether or not I really am in the end. After the credit card statements come in - a lot higher than they were the month before. Oops.

Exhibit A. The Guess riding boots I ordered on deep discount. But which I didn't technically need. 
Available here.
10.   I hate budgets. Especially my own, very tight, wife to med-school student budget. Which could account for the problems listed in #5. 

11.   I see a total shoe theme on this particular confessions post. Which may have something to do with the fact that I am terrified that my feet will grow as a result of pregnancy, and I won't be able to fit into any of my beautiful shoes anymore. Is it sad that that is what I am concerned about right now?    

That being said, I am off to enjoy a wonderful, albeit not tropical beach wonderful, weekend.
Hoping you do the same!

Guest Post: Shay at {sweet silver linings}

As I'm making my way to Mexico today, keep your fingers crossed that the travel goes smoothly. And since I'm gone, I thought it would be another perfect opportunity to have some amazing guest bloggers come and visit while I'm gone.

The first up is my girl Shay at sweet silver linings  She and I have become fast friends and talk all the time about what we'll do when we meet up eventually (cuz, let's be real, it HAS to happen!) Did I mention I'm flying through the Dirty Jerz on my way to Mexico?? (I'll wave at ya, Shay!) So, take a sec and read her guest post and then pop on over to her neck of the woods!

hi party people! 

i'm shay, and i blog over at a little sometimes neglected cozy spot called sweet silver linings.
i'm here to entertain you while miss jenn is away soaking up the sun on her vacay! 
(let's all say it together... "JEA-LOUS!")

even though jenn and i have yet to meet IRL, i already consider her a friend... 
i mean, we're already facebook friends, so how much closer can you get than that? right?

plus, jenn and i have a lot in common!
and no i'm not just talkin bout the
super GQ hotties by our sides...

or the super cute cuddly fur babies that we love to death and spoil rotten!
cooper & scooter!

or that we both HEART shopping!
(and have the credit card bills to prove it...)

our biggest common denominator...
we both like to partake in adult bevvies...
(via Thirsty Thursdays of course!)
(side note: don't these both look amazing?
jenn, if we ever have a blate, i say we make these!)

i kid. i kid.
in all honesty, i think this sums up the two of us perfectly.
with that said, come on over to my little piece of the blogosphere and say hi...
or fist pump. i am from jersey you know. #reformedfistpumper

i'll tell you all about the time i did the worst shot of my life...
what's on my bucket list...
the biggest surprise of my life...
and you can even see what happens when scooter is bad!

peace out cub scouts!

WILW and Oh How Pinteresting!

Hey, do the humpty the humpty hump!

It's Wednesday!!

Time for some loves and pins, so let's get to it!

I'm loving that MG and I leave for 4 nights at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico tomorrow morning! I can't wait for relaxation, sunshine, warmth, delicious drinks and food, and good times!

I'm loving that I had a super delicious meal on Monday night--a pasta take on that delicious feta dip that I made the other week! I got the recipe from Shari, and it's amazeballs. MG ooh'ed and aah'ed over it for a long time that night, even after we were done eating. 

I'm loving that MG and my workout regimen has been working wonders for kick-starting my body back into getting in shape! I don't feel totally scared to be in a bikini on the beach in one day, and actually am feeling the best about my body right now that I have in a long time.

I'm loving Homeland, still. MG and I finished the second season on Sunday afternoon, just in time to watch the show win some Golden Globes. I can't believe we have to wait until the end of September to find out what happens next! (If you haven't seen the show, definitely do!)

And, as always, I love Pinterest and all of it's glorious awesomeness!

This week I've been pinning...

I want this entire outfit. It looks SO cute and comfy!
I want to make this picture/frame someday for our house

Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
My mouth is watering just thinking about the amazing flavors in this dish!

So cute. Swoon!
Now THAT is the kind of motivation I'll take in order to keep up with my workout  routine!

Follow Me on Pinterest Check out some of the other things that I've been pinning!

Have a great Wednesday! I'll catch you all next week when I return from my trip, but keep coming back cuz I have some great guest posts lined up for ya!