Four things Friday

So, I’m cheating because it’s actually the last hour of Thursday night, but chances are you will be reading this Friday morning, hence my four things Friday title. You know, a brilliant webby friend of mine once said I need to stop using cute catchy subjects and instead do SEO-rich titles. He is right and I agree with him usually but sometimes, you write something just because you want to and your SEO rank at that moment doesn’t matter. Like right now! But anyways, here’s four things on my mind:

1) #DescribeYourselfInThreeFictionalCharacters
I like silly memes, because that’s a large part of what the Internet is great for: cats sitting on Roombas and double rainbows. So when this challenge popped up, of course I had to contribute. Here’s me, in 3 fictional characters.
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2. One of the things that I suffered from during pregnancy was major prego brain — and the little brain storage vault it affected most were my passwords to online accounts. I typically keep a spreadsheet on my computer, but now that I’m back and forth between laptop and cell phone and iPad so much, I decided I needed something handwritten. Enter this handy, inexpensive, and cute little solution: the password journal! Thank you, wonderful password journal maker, for helping a gal out. (And yes, that’s an affiliate link, so blah blah the usual gist about how I’ll make 1c if someone buys it.)

3. I’m still working out with a personal trainer and I have ALL THE SORENESS. Especially in my quads. Squat goals, am I right? Anyways, do you guys know the miracle of epsom salts? Cheap, fun to pour into the bath tub, and really helps soothe your aches and ailments. This is 31: extra creaky. Get you some.

4. I’m walking in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention “Out of the Darkness” Walk in Santa Monica on October 15. If you’re local, I would love to have you join me on the walk. Please also consider making a small donation (Even $5 is put towards life-saving treatment.) Let’s end the stigma: more now than ever, people need our open arms so that we can tackle this public health problem head-on.

5. BONUS! It was only supposed to be four things, and you get FIVE! Poor Harambe – but oh, Internet, how you just keep going with the jokes. By the way, my patronus is an otter. What’s yours?

Happy Friday, friends! Watch this space and the Double Chin Diary soon for a feature about PCOS (it’s PCOS awareness month!) and a yummy new recipe featuring Sambazon, Bob’s Red Mill, and Pic’s Peanut Butter.

 

Six Things Sunday

I just ate a super delicious dinner of ribs, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, and I’m lying in my bed thinking, “Hmm, what do I want to do with my Sunday night?” And then I heard this sad little voice call from the corner of my mind, “Blog! On lalalyssa!”. So here I be, regaling you all with exciting tales from my life. Or, six things on my mind this Sunday. Whatever works, right?!

1) You should enter to win a yummy little prize package of pot de creme and cookies from San Francisco based company Petit Pot! I’m hosting this on my other blog and believe me when I tell you these desserts are luxe and well worth every single “my jeans are tight” moment.

2) This meme made me LOL for real, not just in my head. It’s pretty much how I felt on Friday after a super busy week.

3) I’m seeing Radiohead on Thursday night! I somehow got lucky and was able to buy tickets in the lottery they held, and I can’t wait! I’ve never seen them before, and my dear sister is graciously watching our kiddo. If you haven’t heard any of the new Radiohead, here’s one of my favorite new songs. (The video is a little bit sinister, but it’s really cool claymation.)

4) I was one of the 215,000 people who bought an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker on Amazon Prime Day, and I am in love. I was skeptical before I hit the buy button and wondered if it would collect dust in the corner of my cabinet like the ill-fated panini press or even my industrial sized food processor, but this thing is magic. I made Spaghetti Squash in 8 minutes start to finish, sweet potatoes tonight in 7, Rice in 12 minutes, a bolognese pasta in 30 minutes (including meat), and a pot roast in 40 minutes. I’ll write a blog post later on about the full wizardry of this appliance, because despite initial fears about blowing up the house, this appliance deserves a spot in kitchens across the country. Thanks to What I Run Into for helping me make the decision to invest!

5) I had the opportunity to watch From Fat to Finish Line, and I was so happy to see a documentary about a team of people from all across America who lost a ton of weight running the Ragnar Relay together. (Side note: two of my blog friends have run the Ragnar, and it looks so fun! Maybe one day if I find enjoyment in running I’d consider doing it… today is not that day 🙂 )  I think what I loved most is that the group had two people on their team who were still in their “during” phase of weight loss, and they spoke candidly about how it felt to be on a fitness journey surrounded by “afters”. I found their stories to all be really inspiring when many obesity documentaries can come off too dramatic and sinister. The fact is obesity is a serious problem many of us are facing (yours truly) and while there’s no denying the health risks or dire state of emergency we’re in, I like it when a documentary or film can add some levity along with the overall “This is why you need to change” message. I’d highly recommend From Fat to Finish Line, especially if you’re into running!

Here's one of my favorite people from the doc, Carly.

Here’s one of my favorite people from the doc, Carly.

6) It took me an embarrassingly long time to find this cat. See if you can do any better.

Find a cat from pics


 

That’s all, folks. Happy Monday to ya!

Reverse your Monday Meh

Hello friends! Here are a few things that made me smile from around the web last week. May they reverse the meh in your Monday, and make you smile. There’s a lot of ugliness happening in our world, and while those events shouldn’t be diminished or shadowed by frivolous stuff on blogs like this, there’s also something to be said for trying to recognize the good. Pretty much what Sandra Boynton said.

 

  1. Tiny harvest mouse climbs a dandelion

     

     

 

 

India planted 50,000,000 trees to combat climate change.

 

Oliver has been wearing his kitty convict collar for a few months now. I love the idea from the Oatmeal!

Cats and fitness. ‘Nuff said.

floof pool party

Floof Party!

And there you go. Happy Monday!

Five Friday Faves

Happy Friday!

It’s been a busy past few weeks here in LaLaLand. My mom and I flew to Chicago to surprise one of my cousins for her bridal shower, after she flew to California last year to surprise me for my baby shower. It was awesome getting to take Holly to my “maiden land” and introduce her to some of the Chicago family. Anyways, here are a few things that have been rocking my socks lately!

  1. THIS gif, shared on the Power of Positivity Facebook page.

2) THIS SnapChat Filter, which bedazzles me into a rhinestone speckled showgirl, the perfect look for working from home.

Rhinstone

3) THIS huge pile of avocados which arrived courtesy of my friends at California Avocados, which will soon be turned into a smorgasbord of amazing things.

Can’t wait to break into these beauties. Thanks @ca_avocados!

A photo posted by Alyssa Curran (@lyssacurran) on

4) This picture from Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite on the day of the New York Primary (History lesson: American women have only been allowed to vote since 1920!)

Photo Credit: Greta Page-Mann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) The finale from Better Call Saul. Hot damn, that show is good. I was a huge Breaking Bad fan, and I’m happy that Better Call Saul is carrying on the epicness of BB. Monday night’s finale was enticing, dramatic, suspenseful, and filled with just the right amount of “Wtf?!”.

Getting my bloggy on: Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference 2015

Remember last year when I got to be all fancy and speak on a panel about social media? Well, I was invited to attend the Lifestyle Blogger’s National Conference again this year, and I’m so glad I went! I didn’t have any speaking duties this time, so I was able to fully absorb everything as an eager attendee. The conference is held at Maker’s City in downtown LA — a super cool building that houses furniture designers, coworking spaces, and textile and clothing boutiques. Many of these are not open to the public, so it’s fun to get a sneak peek of what life might be like for a designer.

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One of my favorite workshops was the Lifestyle Styling workshop. At conferences, it’s easy to get a little bit glazy-eyed as you sit at a table for hours, so I really loved the idea of small, hands-on, interactive workshops. This workshop was lead by Katie Allison, a lifestyle and product stylist for J. Crew, Nordstroms, Two’s Company, and many more. She handed us a great worksheet filled with tips and tricks for blog photography. For example, if you’re photographing something that’s mostly monochromatic, make sure your pops of color are only 10 to 20% of the photo for best visual impact. She also recommended mixing up textures and backgrounds, and getting super creative when it comes to setting up your shot. She let us loose in the studio with hundreds of fun props, from butterfly wings to old suitcases to rocks. We spent a solid half an hour arranging shots, and here’s what I came up with. This was definitely one of the best conference sessions I have EVER been to — and I’ve been to a lot of conferences!

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One of the other things I really like about LBNC is they call it a boutique conference, and work hard to keep the attendees fairly limited so it’s an intimate feeling. It was really fun to meet several ladies and then see them several times throughout the weekend, as opposed to some of the bigger cons I’ve been to where you see someone once and then that’s it. We also feasted on delicious food from Fresh Brothers (YUM!) and even an LA Dirt Dog, which is a grilled hot dog wrapped in bacon, piled with peppers and onions, and served on a chewy bun with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. It’s so good! There’s definitely plenty of yummy stuff to eat at this conference.

And lastly, despite the informative sessions, good food and kick ass swag bag (We got OPI polish from the new Hawaiian line — anybody that hooks up high end polish is good in my book!), it’s packed with awesome women. Here I am with old and new friends alike! From top left: Kia of Bodhi Bear, Monica of My Life is a Journey, Leah of Mamavation, Ana Lydia of Cabeza de Coco (and the founder of LBNC!), Jen of Skinned Knees, Me, Kia and Leah again, and me and Aubrye of Club Momme. I also got to meet an awesome photographer and fellow valley girl, Kristina Bant Jenkins.

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If you’re thinking about taking your blog to the next level, definitely check out LBNC. We were also encouraged to tweet and ‘gram and post like crazy in exchange for tons of prizes… and I scored an awesome prize pack of a hot/cold neck wrap and some fancy Nerium face products. Can’t wait to try them out. Next year it will be held starting on Feb. 25. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for promotions and coupons so you can get your lifestyle bloggy on, too! See ya there!

 

Four Favorites on Friday

Howdy, y’all! Happy Friday from sunny Los Angeles. And when I say sunny, boy do I mean sunny. It’s almost cruel to talk about when parts of the country are so cold they’re experiencing Frost Quakes. I’ve been soaking up the sun by eating my lunch outside, and I even found a great deal on a used wrought iron chaise lounge for my backyard. And yes, I will wear sunscreen because I’m whiter than Olaf. Here are a few of my favorite things from this week, for your reading pleasure.

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1) Love him or hate him, you gotta admit that Obama has some slick social media moves. Today, he announced on social media that fourth graders and their families will get free admission to National Parks, in the Every Kid in a Park act. That’s frickin’ cool! If you don’t already follow the White House on Instagram, do it. It’s a fun (and I’m sure carefully cultivated) look at life behind the scenes in the Oval Office and beyond.

2) Lately I’ve been all about yogurt for breakfast because it fills me up and some brands taste like ice cream (I’m talkin’ about you, Chobani Key Lime and Coconut). This week I tried two new stand-outs in the yogurt world, imo: Stonyfield Organic Petite Creme in Vanilla Bean, and Elli Quark in Blueberry. The funny thing is both of these aren’t even yogurt: Stonyfield is ‘spoonable cheese’ and quark is also a type of cheese that is less tart than Greek yogurt. The Stonyfield was super rich and decadent, and the vanilla bean had nice specks of vanilla in every bite. The quark is slightly less rich but more light feeling, perfect for accompanying some fresh fruit. It’s also less calories (80) and more protein than Greek yogurt, with way less sugar. I’m looking forward to trying Quark in some of their fun flavors like Bananas Foster. Right now, Whole Foods has a coupon in their store circular for Stonyfield, and you can find Elli Quark at Gelson’s in SoCal. It was  a little bit of a wild goose chase to find the Elli and I only found two flavors, but I’m hoping to find more soon!

3) I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday in NYC this year, and I’m pretttttty sure catching Pitch Perfect 2 on opening night will be in order. Rebel Wilson? In her words? Crushed it.

4) The Sims 4 for Mac has finally come out and it’s only $39.99 right now. Well, there goes my free time. I’ve been waiting for this for years. Fun fact: when Sims City first came out, I was addicted to it and built a bustling metropolis that I named Elma after the city in the movie the Big Green. My dad had to reformat our computer, and Elma’s existence was wiped clean. The world’s smallest violin is playing for Elma. Maybe now in Sims 4, I can rebuild! (PS: Love that the Sims now have tattoos and different body types and wrinkles! Yay!)

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That’s all I got — hope you’re having a fabulous Friday.

 

Got a case of the Mondays? Look at these.

I love the Interwebz because no doubt, while some pieces of content shared on it make me cringe, some make me genuinely smile, snort, or if I’m really feeling it, cackle with laughter. Here are three of these things that can help you shake off a case of the Mondays.

1) Talking Food on Instagram.

I love puns and I love food, so Talking Food is a natural thing for me to love. Follow them — you won’t regret it.

A photo posted by talking food (@talkingfood) on

2) The Silicon Valley Season 2 Trailer
Having worked at several start-ups before and now working in a tech/marketing role, I loved Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley (HBO) from the first episode. Fans of Office Space will recognize the dry sense of humor and self-deprecation so eloquently done by Judge. Watch this (NSFW) and tell me how loud you laughed at the “artisanal butter” line.

3) The Taylor Swift and Trent Reznor Match Up
I love me some Nine Inch Nails, and I admit that T Swift’s “Shake it off” is an infectiously catchy song. Some genius merged them together, and darkness and light go so well together with a driving back beat. Check it out!

What made you smile today?

Thoughtful Thursdays: All About Blogging

Hey everyone! My friend Kenlie reintroduced a blog link up at her site, and since this week’s is about blogging, I thought it’d be a fun one to try. If you’re a blogger, copy and paste the questions and then comment here with a link to your post so we can all read.

Thoughtful Thursdays on All the Weigh

All About the Blog

1. How long have you been blogging? Since I was 12 years old! I loved learning old school HTML and building websites in Geocities. My first blog was called “pale green stars” after the Everclear song, and then I started a Tori Amos fan site.

2. What do you like about being a blogger? So many things! I love having a space of my own to write whatever I want. I love making connections with people I might otherwise not know, like my pals Sarah and Emmie and Kelly and KJPugs. I’m close enough with all of these girls to text them on an almost daily basis, and that’s so cool! I also like that my friends and family can read along, though sometimes I forget that people read it and will make a comment related to my blog and I go, huh?

This is me and my friend Nik from BariatricFoodie.com, and Martinus from 300poundsandrunning.com. We were at FitBloggin', an awesome blog conference.

This is me and my friend Nik from BariatricFoodie.com, and Martinus from 300poundsandrunning.com. We were at FitBloggin’, an awesome blog conference.

3. What do you dislike about being a blogger? There’s a big stigma about being a blogger, that we’re all fame-hungry and self-absorbed. I think there’s definitely some small degree of narcissism involved in deciding to write a blog, but I don’t want fame at all. I also dislike that while there is opportunity to make money, deciding to take on those opportunities can turn into a second job if you take on too much. It’s awesome to have that chance and those opportunities, but I burned myself out with my last blog and I need to be careful to remember why I blog in the first place: for me, to write 🙂

4. What are the top 5 topics that you write about most frequently? My weight, food, exercise, and general life stuff like cats.

5. How often do you read other blogs? Are there any that you read regularly that we should be reading too? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a total slacker when it comes to blogs! I usually read things via Twitter or that interest me through Facebook. But,  I definitely have a “short list” in my head of blogs I lurk around on.

6. How do you define success when it comes to blogging? As long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, then continue rocking on with yo’ bad self.

7. Share something that you know now as a result of blogging that you didn’t know before. I know lots of nerdy stuff about websites and SEO and marketing. I also know that something you write, no matter how silly, trivial, or insignificant it may mean at the time, has the power to influence someone, either for good or for bad.

8. Has blogging had an effect on your life? If so, share the details. Absolutely, and all in a positive way. I’ve met so many wonderful people and had chances to further my career and passions. I’m also so lucky that a part of my job is blogging. Here’s a picture of me out in the field last summer, interviewing someone. How cool is that? (And? Tables, camera bags? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!)

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9. How did you come up with your blog’s title? I wanted something light-hearted related to my name, and I originally had bought AllLyssa.com as a play on my name. However, some domain name squatter bought the name AlLyssa.com and turned it into a porn site. THAT could be embarrassing, so I decided on LalaLyssa, because I live in Lalaland and once named a cute little product that starts with Lala. It’s also short n’ sweet!

10. What’s the coolest thing about blogging? Giving yourself a voice when you might not otherwise have a chance to speak up.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to visit AllTheWeigh.com to link up! 🙂