1. The Chiropractor
Oh, my dear friends. If you have never been to the chiropractor, I must warn you - IT'S ADDICTIVE. I have suffered from relatively severe back/neck pain for about 4-6 years now, the timeline is fuzzy, but I essentially cannot remember a time when my back wasn't in daily agony...yep, I'm a 21 yr. old trapped in a 98 yr. old's body and finally I just couldn't take it anymore. I asked around, and my precious nurse neighbor, Linda, recommended Cool Springs Back and Neck Care. She'd been going there for years, and had rave reviews, so I thought, what can I lose!? I called them up, made sure they accepted my insurance, and went in for a consultation. Real Life: My life is forever changed. Dr. Caughey and Dr. Ries have been adjusting my spine for about three weeks now, and I legitimately feel so much better. Prior to my treatment, I couldn't run more than a mile without stopping to massage and stretch my shoulder muscles because they were so tense and painful....now I don't get that pain anymore! Which of course means that I have to actually start running more than a mile at a time...which is more difficult than I would care to admit...this is how out of shape I am #ashamed
2. Titanic: The Mini Series
SO GOOD! This four episode miniseries was written and directed by the same man who did Downton Abbey (you can find my rave review for his previous work here), and it is just as good! For any Downton Abbey fans out there, the woman who plays Mrs. Bates in Downton is also featured in the Titanic Miniseries...and it seems that she is a character actress haha! Similar to Downton Abbey, this miniseries focuses on characters from every class division - first class, second class, and steerage/staff. I personally have always loved the story of the Titanic and it's history, as well as this time period, so when I saw that this was released, I was ecstatic! We went straight to RedBox to rent it, and Mommy, Sees, and I all watched it together. I was totally engrossed the whole time. The characters are so well developed and you are instantly obsessed with all of them in different ways. You get completely sucked into the class struggles, the romance, the obvious fight for their lives aboard the sinking ship...*Sigh* I laughed, I cried, it was an all-around hit! I highly recommend that you all watch it!
3. Rain in Tennessee
It has been so dreadfully hot here in Franklin! We have had record breaking temperatures - literally - and until this week, NO RAIN! It has been just unbearably hot and dry, and we've even been placed on a watering ban because we're considered to be in a drought! Fortunately, however, this week has brought the rain! I'm partially bummed because I wanted to spend every day this week on a lounging tube in the center of the pool, but I know that we so desperately need the rain, so I'm happy! PLUS, I just love watching and listening to the rain =) I'm one of those lame people who listens to nature sounds when they need white noise to fall asleep...yep. I'm not ashamed. The picture to the right was taken about half a second ago because I am currently loving the view and the sounds on my back porch while the rain pours down =)
4. Having Time to Read
I love love love to read. Always have. I was THAT KID who was excited for reading time. Once again, I am not ashamed! And this week, I have thoroughly enjoyed curling up with a good book on these rainy days and just soaking up the literature. On my 101 in 1001 list, I put "Read 100 Books," and I am four books down! It's been so good to have the time to read, and I hope that continues the rest of the summer! I've got a eighteen hour round-trip to Michigan and back this next week, so I'm sure I'll get some heavy reading done in that time, which I am thrilled about! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you have any book suggestions!! I'm always looking for a good book to read =)
5. The Bachelorette
I can't help it. I love the drama. Team Ari. The End.
6. Highlighter Tape
*NERD ALERT* I know. It's weird. But I just cannot help myself. I'm obsessed with it. I got the idea from a post on Erin Condren's Pinterest (if you don't already know about my EC obsession, please refer to this post), and I literally went to three stores, called two additional, and then finally found this outstanding item at The Parent Teacher Store down the road from mi casa. And, again, I LOVE IT. I very much appreciate highlighters. They make my planner exceptionally organized and colorful, but they bleed through the pages! And that just makes me want to throw a tantrum to rival a two year old. this OCD thing is not a joke..I'm not proud. So! The highlighter TAPE is the perfect fix! Beautiful colors and organization with no bleeding!!! It puts me in my happy place.......please don't think I'm psychotic.
7. Bob Harper's Skinny Rules
YALL! This man....he's a genius. First of all, he's a Tennessee boy and you just know how that tugs on my heart strings =) Second, I am an avid "Biggest Loser" viewer, so even if precious Bob wasn't from Tennessee, I would love him. Third, THIS MAN IS A GENIUS! This stuff works. The truth of the matter is, my weight has been fluctuating like crazy over the past year or so, and it has been driving me crazy. The summer after my sophomore year of college, I was a Student Orientation Leader, and a full summer of ridiculous hours, no exercise, and cafeteria food found me at the heaviest I'd ever been. I decided to take immediate action and within the next six months, I lost over 20 pounds through Weight Watchers - of which I am a firm believer, still to this day, FYI. I was thin, healthy, and oh-so-happy! But, I got lazy. In the past two years, I've gained/lost about 8-10 pounds, and LDC training (more long hours, no exercise, and not-the-healthiest food) pushed me over the edge. Coming home, we Van Dam ladies decided to turn it all around! Mommy, Sees, and I turned to this book, and I am LOVING the results! There are 20 "non-negotiable" rules that Bob lays out in his book including, drink water before every meal, no carbs after lunch, protein at every meal, and don't drink your calories! This last one is the hardest....I want my margaritas!!! I am so happy to say that I've lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks, and I'm so excited to continue this success! fingers crossed that the success DOES continue! YAY BOB!!!
8. Zac Brown Band's New CD!
OH MY WORD!! IT IS SO GOOD!!! Zac Brown Band is one of my all-time favorite musical groups, and they put on literally the best concert I have ever been to. It was phenomenal....I cried the whole time...who's surprised? Not me. Their new CD came out yesterday - which I pre-ordered - so the minute I woke up, I started playing it on repeat, and it's been playing ever since. It is just plain incredible, and a long time coming! Katie, Anna, Richard, and I went to their concert last summer, and we've been anxiously anticipating this album since we heard them sing "Sweet Annie" at the concert...with a special accompanying chorus of sobbing courtesy of me and Katie =) The above video is "Goodbye in Her Eyes," which is one of my favorite songs on the album. Beautiful lyrics, gorgeous harmonies....just plain great music, folks. Enjoy it!
9. My Life!
I am just so incredibly happy with my life right now! I consistently feel blessed and encouraged with the way things are going, and I am so happy to be spending this summer not working which is incredibly unusual for me - I LOVE TO WORK - and was originally a huge source of stress at the beginning of the summer and just focusing on relaxing and enjoying time with my family and friends. I'm thrilled to have time to just sit and enjoy a book and the sunshine, or the rain, and just soak in how blessed I am! It's been an incredible summer leading into an exciting year ahead, and I just could not be happier! Thank you so much for taking time out of your life to read about mine - I am absolutely blown away by how many views my little blog gets, and I have YOU to thank for that! So THANK YOU for stopping by! =) Until next time...