Top Five

by Jen on June 20, 2011

Rather than try to update you on every single thing that’s happened the last couple of days, I think I’ll take the approach of giving you the top five highlights. Sound like a plan?

5. Leftovers for dinner…from an Italian family recipe!

The last thing I felt like doing when I got home tonight was cook dinner. Luckily, I made a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs on Saturday night so dinner was taken care of.

One of Brandon’s family friends was kind enough to share some of their family recipes. She serves this spaghetti and meatballs recipe every Thursday night. It was so much fun to make, knowing the tradition behind it. I felt like such an insider. Of course, I’m sworn to secrecy about the recipe! ;)

I’ve mentioned this before but one of the ways I control my portion on pasta nights is by doing a half and half plate with salad and pasta. It helps me from overdoing it on the pasta.

4. I FINALLY got an iPhone!

How is it possible that I have worked in advertising for five years, write a blog and Tweet like a madwoman but just got an iPhone yesterday!?

My life is forever changed. Now, tell me what apps I need to download!

3. Yoga.

I’m not really even sure how to fully explain how grateful I have been for my yoga practice recently.

I was in a rut with my practice for a while after teacher training but since we got back from vacation, it has come back to me and then some. It’s like I haven’t even been able to get enough time on my mat. I just want to practice all the time. I am so thankful for every minute I spend on my mat. My practice has helped with the stress and emotions I have been feeling lately.

2. Family time…and cake.

We had a family dinner with my in law’s on Sunday evening to celebrate my birthday, Brandon’s birthday (it’s Wednesday) and Father’s Day.

Our evening started with a delicious dinner.

Grilled salmon, salad and tomato pie. Because my mother in law is so thoughtful, she served grilled salmon and grilled steaks. She also made a chocolate cake for Brandon and a strawberry cake for me (strawberry cake is my all time favorite!).

Since our birthdays are only six days apart, Brandon and I have started having joint celebrations. It’s fun!

And with every family gathering comes niece time!

They always manage to bring a smile to my face…and I really needed that smile last night.

1. My grandmother’s surgery went very well today!

Thank you, thank you, thank you…a million times, thank you….for the supportive comments, prayers and good thoughts about my grandmother’s heart surgery today. I spent most of my day with knots in my stomach and tears in my eyes but I am happy to report that the surgery went well.

My dad and my aunt were able to see her a couple of times this afternoon. She woke up and started talking and the nurses were able to remove her breathing tube. If she continues to improve, she’ll only have to spend another day in ICU and they’ll start sitting her up tomorrow.

The incredible thing is that she has such a positive attitude about the surgery. She isĀ determined to get back on her feet and back to normal as quickly as possible…but hopefully feeling 100% better now that they’ve repaired the valve.

I will continue to keep you updated. Again, thank you.

What is something in your top five right now? And what iPhone apps should I download?

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly June 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Glad to hear that everything went well with your grandmother! I just recently downloaded the Kindle app on my iPhone, since I commute on the metro everyday I knock a couple pages out on the ride! If you can handle the smaller screen and love to read – the free app literally saves you the $200 that everyone us spending on those e-readers!

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2 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm

great tip, kelly! i love to read and definitely don’t want to invest in a kindle right now. thank you!

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3 Kelly June 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Glad to hear that everything went well with your grandmother! I just recently downloaded the Kindle app on my iPhone, since I commute on the metro everyday I knock a couple pages out on the ride! If you can handle the smaller screen and love to read – the free app literally saves you the $200 that everyone is spending on those e-readers!

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4 Bess @ Bess Be Fit June 20, 2011 at 10:48 pm

for games, you should get angry birds and words with friends! let me know if you want to play against me I’ll send you my user name! And get Around Me…its an app that tells you anything and everything from restaurants to ATMs that is around your current location as well as directions on how to get there. There is also a starbucks app that I like and you can create drinks and put them in your list and know all the nutritional info. And get Instagram…it lets you change the filters on your pictures on your phone…super cool. Those are some of my top faves! I have the white iphone too…we are twinsies :) :) so glad your gma is doing well!!!

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5 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

bess – thank you so much! i’ve heard great things about both of those games. i will defnitely let you know when i get words with friends. i’ll check out all the others too! :)

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6 Holly June 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm

My number one in my top five is that I took my first yoga class today! I absolutely loved it! I felt so relaxed yet energized afterward. Glad to hear your grandma is doing well. My mom had a major surgery last year, and I remember how terrified I was the whole day. As far as apps go, I love words with friends, but I am a scrabble nerd. ;)

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7 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Holly – I am SO happy to hear that you enjoyed your first yoga class. I am a Scrabble nerd too so Words with Friends is a must for me!

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8 Ginger June 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

So glad that your grandmother is doing well! My prayers were for both you (your family)—peace and comfort– and for healing for your grandmother.

I have to agree with others….Words with Friends and Kindle are definitely great apps! I also love Shazam – it is addictive. The app allows your I Phone to record a song you hear ANYWHERE and give you the artist and title of the song. Also, Pandora is great! It allows you to play artists and songs that are similar to artists you already listen to. It is great; it exposes you to new artists and songs you may like. ENJOY!

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9 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm

thank you ginger.

i’ve heard of shazam – i’ll definitely have to get that since i love music so much. i had the pandora app on my blackberry and was obsessed. we’ve already added it to my iphone!

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10 Ashley June 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm

So happy your grandmother is doing so well! And sweet picture of you and Brandon!

My top apps are 1) Instagram for cool pics 2) Kindle for reading 3) 8mm Film for taking fun, vintage videos 4) Text-Twist for keeping my vocabulary sharp 5) Pandora Mobile and 6) Fandango for movie times. Oh and Relax – it’s like a mini dream machine! Have fun!

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11 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm

thanks ashley! i shall check them out. relax sounds especially awesome! ;)

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12 Sarah June 21, 2011 at 1:59 am

Good news about your sweet grandmother! I am so sorry about all of that. Very stressful.

iPhones are so fun. I am embarrassed to say that I don’t think I can go back to life without mine. A few favorite apps are The Weather Channel (I think that is my favorite one…nerdy? BUT it has the hour by hour and a radar map–smart phones really are smart!, ESPN ScoreCenter (so I can keep up without really having to keep up), and Photosynth: takes panoramic pictures! Have fun playing with your new phone :)

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13 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm

sarah – thank you for the recommendations! i think the weather channel app is going to be a must!

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14 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) June 21, 2011 at 3:18 am

YES so happy about the good news with your grandmother!! Such great news!! :D And I LOVE that photo of you and Brandon! It is SO sweet!! :)

I wish I had an iPhone!! I have an iTouch though, and I’ll warn you now…do NOT get Angry Birds unless you want to get totally addicted. I’m not a game person, but this one is ridiculously addictive! :P

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15 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm

thank you, emma!

i have heard crazy addiction stories about angry birds!

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16 Becky June 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

The iPhone will change your life. I am obsessed with Words With Friends. So fun!

My top five:

1) Summer vacation starts on Thursday.
2) My birthday is in two weeks.
3) I just registered for my first triathlon.
4) I got some new Ray Bans for summer and I’m obsessed.
5) Did I mention that Thursday is the last day of school?!

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17 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm

becky – i LOVE your top five. happy end of school!!!!!!!! can’t wait to follow your triathlon training. you’re going to rock it!

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18 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

So glad to hear your grandmother’s surgery went well!

That spaghetti and meatballs looks amazing. Any chance you can share that recipe? Or is it a family secret?

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19 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm

i promised that i wouldn’t. i’m so sorry. if it were mine i would share but since it’s a family friends i cannot!

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20 lauren June 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

great to hear your grandmother is doing so well!!!

as for apps:
1. words with friends–awesome
2. nike + gps, to track your distance and calories! this is my favorite app
3. shazam (if you hear a song you like but dont know what its called, this app will identify the song for you)
4. weather channel app
5. shake it app (for pictures, it develops and looks like a poloroid!)

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21 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm

lauren – thanks for the app recommendations. the nike + and shake it apps sound fun!

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22 Becca B June 21, 2011 at 8:14 am

what a great top 5! So glad to hear about your grandmother! fun fact-i work in advertising too and i STILL don’t have an iPhone! what is with that??

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23 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm

yay, i’m glad i wasn’t alone!

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24 Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 21, 2011 at 8:18 am

I’m so happy to hear your grandmother is doing OK. That’s such great news!

I very happy for the next 2 weekends at the shore with family and friends!

PS – I ran in Lululemon’s Power Y tank this morning and I can easily see how it’s your favorite. Oh my, I need many more of them immediately!!!!

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25 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm

kristy – have so much fun at the beach!

so happy to hear you liked your power y. i am obsessed with them! :)

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26 Sarah June 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

So glad to hear your sweet grandmother is doing well! Keeping her in my prayers!

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27 Pam Leverette June 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

Dear Jennfer,
I’ve been reading and getting inspired from your blog for a couple of months now. You are an amazing woman! When I read yesterday that your sweet grandmother had to have valve replacement, I prayed for all to go well. My husband has had that surgery (he was only 47 when he had a random bacteria attach itself to his valve), anyway I know the anxious feelings you had yesterday so I sent many positive, healing, calming thoughts your way. I am a 55 year old who love to move, as in exercise! Your blog has inspired me to hit the yoga mat more often. Thanks for sharing your life! Blessings!

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28 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm

pam – thank you so much for your kind comment. it really made my day. i feel so lucky to have such supportive readers. your prayers and sweet words mean more to me than you’ll ever know.

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29 Holly @ pink runner June 21, 2011 at 8:43 am

APPS: Angry Birds, YDL yogadownload, restaurants (calories), wordpress!

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30 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm

yes yogadownload!!!!!

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31 Cate @ My Running Ambition June 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

SO glad to hear your grandmother is doing better! She will be up and at em before you know it! As for iPhone apps…I am addicted to mine and im sure you will be yours soon enough!

RunKeeper Pro – tracks distance, speeds, maps it out, talks to you, and lets you change playlists and add notes! MobileRss – to keep up with your fav blogs on the go, Shazam – when you hear a good song and want to save it, Blogpress – lets you post from your phone, plus I love, Pandora, AllRecipes, Triple AAA Roadside, and my last favorite is Mint (keeps you on budget and gives you an alert if you have gone over!) Hope that helps!

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32 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm

cate – thanks for the suggestions. i definitely need to get blogpress and runkeeper pro!

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33 Lindsey June 21, 2011 at 8:53 am

I am so glad your grandmother is doing well. The waiting around is tough. I hope you get to see her soon!

I have had my iPhone for about a year and I couldn’t live without it! Blogpress is great if you need to do a post when you’re away from your computer. You can upload pictures too! I love Poynt. It gives you a list of gas stations near by and their prices, as well as restaurants, businesses and movies. I mainly use it for the gas prices so I know I’m getting the cheapest one in the area! Hipstamatic is a fun photo app. The screen looks like an old camera. You can pick the type of film and flash you want. Happy App Shopping!!

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34 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:37 pm

lindsey – thanks for the suggestions. i’m definitely going to get blogpress!

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35 Kayli (Running on Sunshine) June 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

You are going to LOVE your iPhone! I just wrote a post about some of my favorite healthy living apps! http://www.runonsunshine.com/?p=1087

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36 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:37 pm

awesome!!! thank you so much for the link!!!!

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37 Alaina June 21, 2011 at 9:06 am

I need an iPhone! I’m in the stone age with my flip phone. :-P

I’m SO glad to hear that everything went well with your grandmother!!

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38 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:37 pm

yes, join me and we’ll figure them out together!

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39 Jen June 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

I’m so glad to hear your grandma did so well in surgery! I hope her recovery continues to go well.

And that strawberry cakes looks amazing!

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40 erin June 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

So happy to hear your grandma is doing well!

One of the things in my top 5 is that we leave for vacation on Saturday. I’m looking very forward to our week at the beach!

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41 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm

erin – that is awesome! have fun at the beach. vacation is the best!!!

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42 meg June 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

I am so thrilled to hear that your grandmother’s surgery went well. Very excellent news. And, congrats on the iPhone – as someone in the PR/advertising business, you will thoroughly enjoy your new addiction.

My top 5 right now:

1. I completed my first (!) yoga practice at a studio this past Sunday and LOVED it. I’m already planning to go again tomorrow night.

2. Using your “How To” guide, I made overnight oats last night and am pretty sure it’s the best breakfast ever. Yum.

3. I cashed in my “Rest” day yesterday so I could enjoy a nice dinner out with my boyfriend.

4. I set and achieved my weekend fitness goals – including Yoga and running a total of 90 minutes.

5. I’m not as busy as I have been at work so I’m taking advantage and leaving the office on time. Having that extra 1-2 hours really makes a difference.

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43 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm

meg – reading your top five brought a HUGE smile to my face today. i am so very, very happy to hear that you enjoyed yoga…and that there’s a new overnight oats fan. your entire top five is a great example of a balance, healthy and happy life!

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44 Emilie June 21, 2011 at 10:24 am

Glad your grandmother is doing well! I have a 92 year old grandmother and know how stressful it can all be.

Apps: urban spoon – crucial when out of town and want to eat like the locals and avoid tourist traps!
Weatherbug- love the detailed forecast and radar!

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45 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm

oooohhh…i will definitely get urban spoon! i like to try legit local places when i travel so that will be perfect!

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46 Melissa June 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

glad your grandmother’s surgery went well!

i took my first bodypump class yesterday and couldn’t help thinking of you and all the info you’ve shared on this blog. i’m not nearly as sore as i thought i would be (i need to use more weights, i guess!) and it was a lot of fun! i’ll definitely try to keep going a couple of times a week.

i’ve yet to get any type of smart phone. i keep dropping hints to my husband, but i think it will be a while before i jump on the bandwagon. enjoy yours!

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47 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm

melissa – YAY for bodypump. it’s always more important to focus on form and learning the exercises for your first class rather than killing it with heavy weight. go up next time! :)

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48 LBM June 21, 2011 at 10:55 am

So glad your grandmother is doing well! Was sending prayers her way yesterday!

APPS: Pocket Universe is great! It’s an app for the stars above where you are. Helps you see the night sky, the constellations and all. It’s kind of nerdy, but really interesting. Also, Words With Friends and PINTEREST! Those are my top 3. Please share the ones you find and like!

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49 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm

pocket universe sounds so cool! i will share when i find cool ones!

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50 Brindi June 21, 2011 at 10:59 am

Glad to hear your grandma is doing well!!! The Lord is good! In my top 5 right now are: working out before work in the early am, avocados, getting rid of watching reality tv, my new obsession with food blogs, and a skinny jeans yoga workout. :)

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51 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm

awesome top 5 brindi. so glad you’re digging the early AM workouts! :)

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52 Marian June 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

so glad to hear your grandma is doing better! and, that pic of you and brandon is ADORABLE.

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53 Lexy June 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm

So glad everything went good for your grandmother! I’m from Texas and grew up calling my grandma “Mee-Ma” too. :)
I was thinking about you last night because I tried my FIRST EVER yoga class. I came across your blog right before you were deciding to take the yoga instructor training. It was really cool to see you go through the course and become certified. I must say that you were one of the reasons I gave yoga a try. :)
I just recently hit my WW goal and going to a yoga class is something I thought I would never be able to do because I was always so self conscience…
I bought a “buy with me” deal for 5 sessions of Bikram Yoga! Wow — very intense!! Never sweat so much in my life!!! :)
Love your blog…. thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

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54 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

lexy – YAY for yoga. thank you so much for leaving this comment and letting me know that you tried yoga. bikram is a pretty intense introduction to yoga but it’s very alignment focused and safe for the new yogi! stick with it! :)

so great hearing from you! :)

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55 Hollie June 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Im so happy about your grandmother. AND I still havent wished you a Happy Birthday! Sorry im so late, hope it was wonderful!

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56 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

thank you hollie! :)

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57 Jacqueline June 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Great new about your Grandma. My favorite iPhone app is muscle system pro II. Check it out!!

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58 Jen June 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

i mean, based on the name alone i’m sure i’ll love it! ;)

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59 Kathryn June 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Praise God for answered prayers. I am thankful for you and that your Grandmother is doing well!

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60 Brooke @ Veggie Table June 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm

So happy PBR Mema’s surgery went well :) I sooooooooo need an iPhone!

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61 Lizz June 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm

That spaghetti sauce sure looks good :) so glad you enjoyed making it! and so, so glad your grandmother’s surgery went well. have a great rest of the week!

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62 Danielle June 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Glad your grandmother’s surgery went well :)

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63 livingmintgreen June 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

Happy belated birthday! : ) I just realized I’ve NEVER had strawberry cake… I need some. immediately

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64 Christine June 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

so sweet :)
happy birthday to both of you! xoxo

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