Summer TV Wins

29 Jun

We’re well into the swing of summer TV and I think some clear winners have emerged. There are returning favorites, and some new ones that I’m really loving. Like, super loving.

So, in no particular order, here are my wins for summer TV.

Wayward Pines

After the first few episodes you think this is a creepy show, and then there’s a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan and you start to realize it’s creepier than you could have imagined. I like that they gave us a fair degree of explanation soon, so it didn’t get frustrating to be kept in the dark, but there’s still plenty of mystery and unanswered questions.

The Whispers

Kids are terrifying. That’s the key takeaway here. There are moments in this show that are just straight up bone chilling, and I have to give major props to all of the child actors who manage to be so terrifying. Thanks for the nightmares, kids.

Master Chef

I mean, come on, it’s a summer staple. I love Gordon Ramsay and this season is more of the feel good cutthroat competition we’ve all come to love. It will always be one of my favs, but most of his shows are. They’re just really good, and they manage to stay the same without ever feeling stale.

The Astronaut Wives Club

I have to admit that I started watching this solely for the clothes (and have not been disappointed) but the story ended up sucking me in too. I love the dynamic between the wives and the way they’ve set up each of their backstories. Plus, the clothes really are to die for.

American Ninja Warrior

Duh. It’s not summer without American Ninja Warrior! I think what I love most about this show is how quickly I become an expert on each obstacle. “No, you need to lead with your left hand!” “Oh, you’re swinging front to back, it’s over, bro.” Never mind that I could never in a million years do any of these things, from my spot on the couch I’m a real pro.

While I Was Out

25 Jun

I just got back from a trip to Texas for my grandparents’ funeral and I am totally emotionally wiped out. It’s going to take me some time to get back to normal. So in the meantime, here’s some of what I missed while I was offline and unplugged.

Jurassic Weenie

‘Nuff said.

Taylor Swift’s Whale

Not only did T-Swift shut down some sexism (hi, let’s find a better way of describing her than “Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend), but she did it with a whale, which makes it automatically a million times better. BuzzFeed has the deets.

Denise Richards Keeps it Classy

So, you know how Charlie Sheen is kind of nuts? Good, we’re all on the same page. Well in response to a crazy pants Twitter rant about his ex-wife, said ex-wife Denise Richards responded in the classiest way possible. Mad props, Denise.

The Next Fitness Star

Women’s Health has a contest going to find the next fitness star, and the finalists have been revealed! And guess who one of them is? None other than Christine Bullock, who tried to kill me a few weeks ago. So you should vote for her, because she’s badass, and she’ll help you get a great ass.

Amazon Prime Streaming

Y’all know I love a good binge-fest as much as anyone, and I love me some Amazon Prime. You can get a free 30-day trial to experience all the bingey goodness. You’re welcome.

Get Yourself a DeskCycle

16 Jun

I got me a DeskCycle for this review. But I probably would have bought one anyway.

So, you know how I made myself a DIY treadmill desk for my living room? Well it’s all well and good and I love that it’s helping me move more without cutting into my TV and Pinterest time. But it still left me with a traditional sitting-on-my-ever-growing-butt-all-day desk at the office.

Enter DeskCycle.

A few months ago I noticed that one of my Facebook friends posted about this little under desk cycling thing that she had gotten and liked, and I thought I should get one. Then I promptly forgot about it until I heard from the fine folks at DeskCycle.

See? It’s exactly what the name says – a little cycle to put under your desk. Here’s what the fine folks from DeskCycle have to say about the features:

8 different tension settings
Low pedal height
Smooth and quiet
Bidirectional pedal motion

And what are the benefits of the DeskCycle? Using the DeskCycle can raise your energy expenditure by 100% versus just sitting still. And that’s good for everyone, because in addition to losing weight, improving health, and extending your lifespan, people who exercise at work are happier, less stressed, and more productive. Let’s be real, y’all, me being less stressed and happier extends everyone else’s lifespan as well.

Here’s a picture of my DeskCycle in it’s new home, under my desk. I’ve been using it for about a week so I feel pretty good about giving it a review. I don’t know if I’m happier and less stressed, but it does make me feel better to move more.

The DeskCycle was much easier to adapt to than my treadmill desk. It took me about a week to get used to the treadmill desk and figure out the right pace and all that jazz. It took me less than a minute to get used to the DeskCycle. Because you’re sitting instead of standing, your upper body doesn’t move at all. This means two good things; it won’t effect your typing or writing with bouncing around, but it also won’t register on your fitness tracking device.

One of the things I really like about the DeskCycle is the two way pedaling. I can pedal forward, like we’re all used to on a bike, but I can also pedal backwards. I’m very fidgety at my desk, and even before the DeskCycle I was constantly jiggling my foot around. With the two way pedaling, I can still “fidget” a bit.

Overall I’m very pleased with my DeskCycle – I give it two feet up! (Was that cute? It was supposed to be cute, but I feel like maybe it’s just weird.) At any rate, you can get your own on sale at Amazon for $159 – and it’s Prime eligible!

Summer Shape Up

4 Jun

After gorging myself at CPK, I got my butt up early to head to Santa Monica to workout with Christine Bullock as she premiered her new fitness system, Evolution 20.

The system is a series of ten different workouts that are twenty minutes each, and a recipe book and menu plan with food that can be prepared in twenty minutes or less. The idea is that it’s a sixty day program, but you can keep doing it if you like. Assuming you live through the first sixty days.

Listen, I really like Christine. She’s friendly, approachable, helpful, smart, and in crazy great shape. But one legged Burpees? She may also be crazy.

On Saturday we did two of the twenty minute workouts, and there were moves Christine demonstrated that I was sure weren’t physically possible. But I did them. I didn’t do them the best, or the fastest, or the most. But I did them. So I guess I have to begrudgingly admit that maybe she’s not so crazy.

After our workout Christine shared some of her best health and beauty tips. She studied cellular biology, so she actually knows what she’s talking about, which is refreshing. I’m going to milk this content for all it’s worth, so I’ll be sharing some of her tips as I work through the Evolution 20 program. But don’t hold your breath, because I’m not starting until July. Listen, I’m busy, okay? I swear I’ll do it though, because can we talk about her abs?

Inhale confidence. Exhale doubt. @menshealthmag @thatmikolim #howtodatechristinebullock #2013

A photo posted by christinebullock (@christinebullock) on

I don’t know how it’s possible, but they’re even better in person. So yeah, I’ll do the stupid one legged Burpees.

If you want to try Evolution 20 with me, you can order online. And if you’re looking for some additional inspiration, you can follow Christine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Check Out the New CPK

3 Jun

Post is sponsored, opinions (and weight gain) are mine.

When was the last time you went to California Pizza Kitchen? Has it been a while? Well then you need to go back. Now. Because this isn’t the CPK you remember. There’s new decor, a new menu, and tasty seasonal delights.

I managed to convince AJ to come with me to check out all the new things at CPK in Pasadena. It wasn’t a hard sell.

The first new thing you’ll notice is the decor. It’s more modern and fresh, with a clean aesthetic that focuses on bringing California to wherever you are. Actually, I lied, the very first thing you’ll notice is the smell, and you will want whatever it is you’re smelling in your belly, immediately.

General Manager Alex said that part of the renovation was putting in hard wood floors and taking out a lot of the fabric. This means that there aren’t materials to trap smells, so you’re immediately hit with whatever is coming out of the oven. And it’s fantastic. If you weren’t hungry before, you will be when you smell that deliciousness.

On the menu, there are new seasonal offerings. So that means I’ll have to go back at least once every season to see what’s new! The highlights now are fresh summer fare – lobster, summer vegetables, and and other yummies.

We went big, because we wanted to make sure we gave a fair review. Sure… that’s it. Clockwise from top left we had: Seasonally Inspired Roasted Garlic Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables, Seasonally Inspired Maine Lobster Flatbread, Avocado Club Egg Rolls, Baked Potato Soup, and Seasonally Inspired Tricolore Salad Pizza.

I can’t even decide what my favorite was, but I’m going to have to give it a tie between the chicken and the salad pizza. Both were incredibly flavorful, fresh, and really just sang. The soup was also fantastic and rich – and I never would have thought to order soup at CPK!

We also had the Thai Chicken Pizza, delivered by Alex, and the Strawberry Shortcake, pictured with JB. JB was our server, and he was beyond fantastic. Seriously, give that man a raise. He was personable, friendly, knew the menu inside and out, and didn’t judge the obscene amount of food we ordered for two people.

This is the aftermath. We had a lot of leftovers, but we made a pretty good dent in everything!

Find a CPK near you, and check out their reimagined menu! Trust me, you’ll want to look before you go because it’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to order everything. Seriously. Trust me.

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