Weekend Wrap-Up

I love weekends, but this one was one of my favorites lately. Friday evening I had dinner and drinks at a place that has been on my list of places to try with stellar company, then I woke up Saturday morning and learned that I won a pair of Kork-Ease boots via instagram from Feet First, a local shoe boutique.

Kork Ease Boots

I went in that morning and picked out a pair boots with my friend, Michelle, and she bought a great pair of shoes. After that we spent time at the Riverwalk Outlets in my neighborhood. We ate lunch and spent time looking around at various shops, then I met up with another friend who spent the afternoon on my rooftop with me.

It’s been a while since I took advantage of the rooftop, but the weather in New Orleans is beautiful right now. My neighbors and I were joined by my friend, Alonzo, that evening too.

Sunday morning I didn’t attend church. It’s weird to sleep in on a Sunday, but it felt good today. My long time blog friend, Lynn, came into New Orleans, and it was awesome to finally meet her!

Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans

We had lunch at one of my favorite spots in my neighborhood, Domenica. I was sad to learn that they had removed my favorite pizza from the menu until I tried the pumpkin pizza. (I know, it sounds odd, but it was amazing!) The pizza, which was loaded with roasted pumpkin and bacon.

Domenica Happy Hour Pizza

When Lynn and her husband headed to the game, I came home and did a little baking and visiting with my neighbors. We watched the Saints win, which was awesome and long overdue and painted my nails for the second time of the day.

OPI Lacquer

“Miami Beet” and “Ski Teal We Drop” by OPI

Lynn brought me two sets of holiday Jamberry wraps, and I can’t wait to wear the Halloween wraps later this week. Has anyone else that I know use Jamberry?

Now it’s time to start a new week, and I’m ready for it. A friend from New York is coming in for a few days, and I’m going to get to spend some time with her Wednesday morning. I’m kind of hoping that there’s more fun coming up in the next few days too.

Now it’s time to get the week started, which means that I’m back to limiting the amount of sugar that I consume. I’m definitely going to hone my goals this week and add some new things to the mix. More on that later.

Until then…

 

 

 

Sugary Things

I’ve been pretty stressed out today, and while it hasn’t completely passed, I know that I’ll get through it.  I’m not turning to food to comfort me, which feels like a win. I’m sticking to my no doughnuts/macchiatos plan, but there’s still so much that I need to change. When I think of everything that I need to be doing differently, I get overwhelmed. I’m still not ready to look at the big picture, but I’m ready to add another layer to my checklist.

Saying NO to those sweet things is great, but I need to be sure that I’m not replacing them with other sweet things. I’m still at Starbucks regularly, but I’m “indulging” in unsweetened passion tea. It has no calories, and it’s pretty to look at while I work. I can have free refills too (thanks to my gold card status) so it’s a win. I don’t miss the macchiatos most of the time.

I haven’t missed the doughnuts either (probably because I reached the point of total disgust a few weeks ago,) but I have to be careful with other sweet things. Sugar is my weakness. I know that I need to make some adjustments in the way that I consume sugary junk.  I know some people who quit sugar cold turkey, but I’m not that strong. I can’t even think about how hard it would be to enjoy life without sugar at any time. I’m sure some of you are strong enough to do that. I’m not.

I met someone recently who only eats dessert on the weekend. That seems like good plan.   Refraining from sweets during the week (desserts, random offerings of chocolate covered gummy bears, etc.) would greatly impact that way that I consume sugar. I know someone else who eats well all week and allows himself to eat whatever he wants to eat on Saturdays.

I’m not ready to say that I will not eat anything sweet ever again, but I might be willing to refrain from it on the weekdays. If I can manage to do that without going crazy on the weekend, then I’ll consider that a win.

If I want sugary things during the week, I’ll have fruit. I love honey crisp apples.  I keep them stocked in the fall.  I realize that they contain sugar, but let’s be honest. I don’t have hundreds of pounds to lose because of all of the fruit I eat.

I did some walking with girlfriends over the weekend, and I was reminded how awesome and easy it is to enjoy my surroundings.

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I live in a beautiful neighborhood that people come to see from all over the world. I just need to start taking advantage of that more than I have been lately. I have access to a gym with a nice view as well. I’m not sure why I allowed myself to forget all of the awesome tools and experiences that are right under my nose.

Canal St. New Orleans

I’m committed to making some positive changes in the coming weeks and months, and it feels good to be making positive progress now.  I’ll face the numbers on the scale later, but for now, I think that if I limit sweet treats even more and exercise more regularly, I’ll be doing enough to see a positive shift.  I’ve already felt one of in my attitude, and that feels a lot better than what I was feeling until a few weeks ago.

Do you have any tips or tricks for avoiding sweets and/or replacing them with healthier alternatives?

 

 

 

Opinions Please: Let Them Eat Cake, Or Lose Weight…?

What should I do?  I meet up with a dozen friends every Tuesday evening, and I always bring dessert.  It’s expected.  I mean, no one forces me to bring it, but I know it is appreciated and highly anticipated.  Let’s face it.  I make good desserts.

It’s no secret that I bake, and it brings me a lot of pleasure to see people enjoying things that I create.  Most of the people I see on Tuesday nights do not struggle with weight so eating a piece of cheesecake like the one I brought Tuesday isn’t a big deal to them like it is to me.

kenlie Italian cheesecake

I enjoy watching recipes come to life, but it’s hard to watch people enjoy what I make without enjoying it with them.  Making cheesecake was better than the cupcake trend because there was no tasting it prior to serving it, but I can’t eat (even a tiny piece of) this every week.  One a year? Maybe.

Food surrounds us, and we base a lot of activities around it.  It happened in New York, and it happens in New Orleans too (and everywhere else I go.)  I love food, and I love people so going out to dinner, eating at a friend’s place before we play games or lunch with friends just feels right to me.

I know folks who have lost incredible amounts of weight by not having a social life, but I am not prepared to sacrifice all of the things that matter to me.  Being a skinny hermit won’t make me happier than I would be losing weight slowly and consistently while enjoying my life too.

Maybe I’m just not willing to do what it takes to lose weight.  It’s hard knowing that at one point I could do both.  I went out, but I also lost weight.  I controlled my portions, and I ate one or two unhealthy meals a week instead of several a week.

It’s easier for me to avoid sweet snacks completely, but how should I deal with that fact that they’re expecting me to bring sweet treats? I don’t want to disappoint my friends or make them feel like I care about myself more than them, but I do know that I had to be pretty selfish to be successful before.  Is that that answer?

What would you do in my situation?  Would you stop bringing sweets?  Offer to bring an alternative?

Birthday Presents and Other Happy Things

I know I’ve said the word ‘birthday’ several times lately, but I love celebrating so I suppose it’s not a surprise.  I got almost everything on my wish list and some things that weren’t on the list, and yesterday when I got home there were some fun packages waiting for me.  I love presents whether it’s my birthday or not so I was thrilled to find a package from Leslie.  She knew that I wanted a Bahama Breeze Yankee Candle, and she made it happen.  Thanks, L.  My place smells amazing now!

Bahama Breeze Yankee Candle

My sister also sent an insulated HydroFlask bottle, and I am in love with it.  Seriously…I’m blown away by its performance.  Living in New Orleans means that every day is sweltering.  I brought the bottle with me as I ran errands, and after leaving it in the car for about an hour while I was on campus, I opened it – expecting the water to be hot, and it was still freezing.  It was as cold as it was when I filled the bottle.

Kenlie's Hydro Flask

 

My mom has a Hydro Flask too, and it keeps things cold forever so I did a little experiment of my own.  After dinner last night I filled my bottle with ice, closed it and left it on the counter, and today after lunch the ice was still solid.  Check out the photo above.  The one in the bottom corner was taken after about 15 hours. Crazy, right?

I drink at least a gallon of water per day so I won’t need it to last that long, but it’s so cool that it does.   And it’s teal…Bonus!  Thanks again, Sis!

She’ll be here soon with my niece, and I’m looking forward to it.  This will be my last visit with Hannah before her little sister joins us in the world so Auntie is going to try to make her trip especially awesome!

It has been a good week.  I’ve made some healthy choices, but I can still do more than I’m doing.  I’m trying to reframe my thoughts on eating.  I need to remember that I don’t have to eat healthy foods; I get to eat healthy foods.  When you look at it that way, it makes everything feel different, and after chatting about it with Dani and many other friends at Fitbloggin, it seems to be clicking in my mind.  Dani is working on reframing her thoughts too, and she wrote a blog post about it here.  Check it out.

Right now it’s time for me to study for mid-terms because the first one is happening tomorrow.  I have another paper due too so I should consider doing that now as well.  I’ll break for Bikram Yoga, then I’ll get back to the grind.

I hope everyone is having a great week.  It feels like it’s flying by here.  What are your plans to be healthy today?  Also, does anyone else have a Hydro Flask?  Do you love it as much as I love mine?

 

 

Packing For A Week of Travel

Traveling is different when you’re obese.  I have to take things into consideration that the average size person doesn’t have to think about, and I’m ready for this trip.

  • How big are the seats on the airplane? 
  • Should I board early to ask for a seat belt extension? 
  • Can I pack a week’s worth of clothes (plus workout clothes and sneakers) in one suitcase? 
  • Which airline should I fly?
  • Will I have to take a connecting flight? 
  • What kind of snacks should I pack so I don’t have to eat crappy, overpriced airline food?
  • Will the person next to me be rude? 

It’s not easy traveling when you weigh more than the average person, and if you know me (or watch the news) you may know that most trips I take are fine even though I’ve had more than my fair share of horrific travel experiences.  You may also know that I do whatever I can to ensure that my trips will go smoothly for myself and everyone around me.

I’m looking forward to a long day of travel tomorrow, and when shopping for this flight I chose Frontier Airlines because I’ve had several good experiences with them in the past.  I have a long layover that I’m not looking forward to, but I’m prepared for it.  I plan to read Entwined in You, the next book in the Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day which will likely keep my mind occupied.

I haven’t needed a seat belt extension on my last few flights, but I’ll probably still ask for one out of habit and insecurity.

My goal is to pack a week’s worth of clothes into one suitcase too because I always check and additional bag when I come home from Fitbloggin.  Packing for this conference is tricky too because it requires more clothing than other trips.  I need clothes for working out, going out and for learning sessions during the day, and I have to be picture ready too, of course.  ;)

The plan is to bring one pair of sneakers (because I’ll probably receive a new pair when I get there) and only a couple of other pairs for the week.  As I started packing I noticed that there’s an interesting mix of sparkle, lace and dri-fit in my bag that only happens when I pack for this yearly trip.

I’m looking forward to getting to Portland and recharging with friends while learning how to be a better blogger among other things.  I hope you’ll check out my live blogging on Fitbloggin.com, and if we’re friends, I hope to see you there.

Do you do anything special when planning for a trip?  Will I see you at Fitbloggin this year?

 

 

 

No More Shame, Or Why I Almost Decided Not To Go To Fitbloggin’

If you know me, you probably know that I go through phases in which I travel a lot.  You may also know that Fitbloggin’ has been one of my favorite events to attend over the years.  The first two years I attended were in Baltimore which, for me, was a no-brainer, but I gave it more thought this year for a few reasons.

First, it’s in Portland, OR which has never been on my list of places I’d like to go.  I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful city and that the hotel in which the conference will be held is equally beautiful.  (That’s good to know!)  I’m just an east coast girl so it has never been on my radar.  After doing some research and hearing some amazing stories about it, I’ve extended my trip, and I plan to spend a few days there after the conference.   (I’m obviously excited now.)

Secondly, it’s a much longer flight that requires a connection.  If you know me even a little bit, you know that I despise connecting flights.  When I lived in New York, it was easy to say that I’d fly direct, or I wouldn’t go.  That’s not as easy flying out of New Orleans, and it seemed to be impossible when I was perusing flights online.

The third reason is much bigger though.  I haven’t lost any weight since the last one.  The conference is designed for fitness-minded bloggers (many of whom will weigh less than they did last time I saw them,) and I’m going to be about 10 pounds heavier this year than I was at the last one.  Do you know how ridiculous and shameful I feel when I think about how I’ve spent the last several months moving in the wrong direction?! 

Here’s the thing about Fitbloggin’ though – it’s about growth and progress, self-acceptance and a lot of other positive things.  Maybe folks will notice that I’m a bit larger than I was at the last one, but I can’t imagine imagine missing out on giant the giant hugs, learning experiences, awesome workouts and happy reunions that are imminent because I’m not happy that my clothes fit a bit tighter right now.

Many of the people in attendance, some of whom are dear friends, know how much I’ve struggled to hang on by a thread, and some of them understand it because they’ve lived it.  Some of my best friends came as a result of Fitbloggin’ too, and they’ve never liked or disliked me based on the size of my clothes.

It may not be quite as easy to face old friends and new ones as it would be if I were at least a few sizes smaller, but it would be far more difficult to let the opportunities pass me by because I’m not happy with myself.   I’ve been trying to listen to my body lately, and it seems to be working better than I imagined that it would.  I’m also feeling good about my workouts, and I’m in a happier, much more settled place than I was during the previous years.  I’ve made tremendous amounts of progress within my mind, and my body is still strong as well.

I’m glad that I’ve decided to get over the embarrassment so I can attend Fitbloggin’ because when I go, I always feel as though I’m right where I belong, and I can’t wait to have that feeling again.

Get ready, Portland.  I’ll be there soon.

Have you ever attended Fitbloggin?  Will you be there this year?

 

 

 

What Are Your Summer Travel Plans?

Do you ever go through periods of life in which you feel like you can’t catch up?  I’m going through that right now, but I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

After feeling sick for over a week, I recovered (apart from the coughing that won’t stop)  just in time for finals.  The most difficult exam I’ll take  will be today, and my brain is fried from the studying I’ve been doing. Thankfully, it is also the last final I have to take this semester, but I have a B in the class right now (which is totally unacceptable) so I have to ace it.  Wish me luck!

Between being under the weather and studying (and let’s be honest – procrastinating when I should have been studying,) my workouts have suffered lately.  I’ve managed to hit the gym upstairs a few times, but I’m not doing my best.  I’m not even coming close, and there’s really no excuse for that.

When class is over today, I’ll have two weeks off before my summer courses begin.  I have spent far too long trying to figure out how I can make my summer class schedule work with my travel schedule.  It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but I think I have it figured out.

I’m looking forward to Summer because I’m going to some great places, seeing some extraordinary people and attending some highly anticipated events.

Fitbloggin will be the first of them, and I can’t wait! This will be my third year to attend, and there are so many people that need to be prepared for gigantic hugs from me!  I’m looking forward to meeting some new people too.  Will I see you at Fitbloggin?

A month later I will be attending BlogHer for the first time, and I’m excited about that too!  It will be my first BlogHer conference, and I plan to stay for a few extra days to spend time with friends in Chicago.

I’m heading to Washington, D.C., New York and some other places as well.  I haven’t been New York lately, and it’s time to head back.  I have places to go and people to see.  ;)

I’m also seeing my sister and my niece when they visit New Orleans in July.  My birthday month is going to be a good one! Maybe a special someone in our nation’s capital will help me make this birthday as perfect as my last one. ;)  (Hey! July will be here before we know it, and it’s never too early to make a birthday wish!)

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been on an airplane, but I’ll be bouncing around the country again soon.  What are your travel plans? Where will you be as the weather turns warm?

 

 

 

Clean Eating and PSPfit Bootcamp

It is no secret that I struggle with food choices more than anything else on this journey to healthy living.  I know that I need to eat healthy things if I want to feel healthy, and I know that I cannot exercise enough to eat crap constantly.  And over the last six or seven weeks, I’ve tried to cut out a lot of the processed foods that I’ve been eating.  I’ve also become increasingly curious about the best ways to fuel my body before and after workouts.

Sure, I know that basics, but I have questioned how soon I should eat? How much? How often?  And when I saw that one of my favorite bloggers, CeCe from The Big Girl Blog, was about to embark on a journey with Plus-Size Princesses, I wanted to join.

I’ve been reading CeCe’s blog for years because she’s writes from a plus-size perspective about life, love, fashion, dating and fitness, and I feel as though I connect with her on so many levels.  She is one of my favorite bloggers ever, and if you check out her site, you’ll understand why.

Now she’s hosting a six-week “PSPfit Bootcamp” which will encompass clean eating and exercise with professionals who want to see us get fit.  Registration is open for a few more days, but I have officially signed up.  If you’re interested, check out the information here.

I already exercise hard, but I’m really looking forward to sessions with a nutritionist.  I’m also looking forward to making new friends throughout the process.  Support is such a key element of success so I’m inviting you to consider joining us.  Whether you do or not, get ready for me to share my progress because I’m ready to take another positive step on the right direction.

I’ve been taking small steps for several weeks, and now it’s time to build on them in a new way.

How do you feel about eating clean?  Do you do it?  Have you ever worked with a nutritionist?

Super Bowl XLVII Events Recap, or An Onslaught of Pictures

Living in downtown New Orleans has been amazing so far, and the last week has been the most exciting week so far!  I attended a phenomenal concert, ate at fabulous restaurants, attended several memorable events and met countless professional athletes, including some of the greats.  I spoke to politicians and public figures and spent time enjoying all of it with my friends.

friends

 

One of my favorite parts of the week was seeing Train perform live for VH1.  Shannon scored free tickets for us, and we were only a few rows from the stage.  I adore this band, specifically Patrick Monohan, and sounded just as incredible live as he does in the studio.  And there was definitely no lip-synching going on at this show.  We also saw a local Jazz sensation, Rebirth, who played before Train.

18985_300196426770433_1267484154_n(Photo above: Courtesy of Matt)

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I mentioned last week that Clint and I went behind the scenes at ESPN, near Jax Brewery, in the French Quarter.  We stood in the front row for ESPN Sports Nation, and we saw Eli Manning’s shy side when a band came on stage to sing an original song about him.  Eli’s smile and demeanor was endearing, but I’ll admit that I drank the Manning kool-aid a long time ago.  I experienced the Manning trifecta last week!  Clint and I spoke to Archie the following day, and I smiled and acted silly in front of Peyton Sunday as well. 20130130_141428 (2)

2013 139 (2) Clint!

2013 137 (2) Joe!

20130201_221036 (2) Giant Jenga at Barcadia!

Sunday I worked as a publicist since Leslie couldn’t be in New Orleans and New York at the same time, and I found myself at the NFL’s official tailgate party which was hoested by Courtyard Marriot.  I already liked Courtyard, but after visiting with many of their top executives from around the nation, I love it.  I met some fantastic people including my new favorite Saints football player, Lance Moore.  (Seriously, what is it about people named Lance?!  They’re all so handsome and nice to me! ;) Ha..)  Darren Sproles was sweet too.  They made everyone feel like the most important person in the room, and that’s a cool feeling – especially when it comes from handsome, professional athletes from your favorite football team!

TheBoys

 

My friend, Ally Burguieres who owns a gallery on Royal St. in the French Quarter,  designed the NFL’s limited edition official Super Bowl Mardi Gras beads which were commissioned by Courtyard Marriot, and they’re beautiful!  I couldn’t resist asking the guys to wear them so they did.  They also singed a couple for Ally and Me.  How cool is that? Mine are hanging on the ladder bookshelf in my living room now as a priceless reminder of the fun times I had last week.

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In addition to Saints players, I also got a chance to hear from the man who will likely go down in history as the greatest quarter back of all time, Peyton Manning.  He was at the tailgate, and he spoke about how difficult this game would be for the Harbough family, especially their parents.  His dad spoke candidly about that earlier in the week during the CNN Bleacher Report.  He also presented two lucky people with tickets to the Super Bowl which was only a few hours later.  (Seriously, Peyton…Would it have been too much trouble to call out my raffle ticket number?  It’s okay.  I forgive you because I adore you.)

Drew Brees was there as well, but we missed him because reporters were there filming a piece about Ally’s beads.  It was so much fun, and I know I’ll have opportunities to meet Drew in March so I won’t sweat it too much. ;)

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After finishing up at CNN, where we saw Howie Long and Chris Collinsworth among others, Matt, Shannon, Clint and I were ravenous so we searched for a restaurant that wouldn’t have a two hour wait like Manning’s.  We made our way to a snazzy little restaurant called Cafe Adelaide across from Harrah’s Casino. Clint and I were reluctant to go there because we felt the buffet at Harrah’s calling us, but as usual, Shannon was right!  She made the call to eat there, and we dined next to my favorite political figure, Chris Christie.  He and his wife, Mary Pat, were incredibly gracious, and speaking to him was really the highlight of my week.

Gov

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In addition to everyone I mentioned above, I saw Steve Gleason and Scott Fujita, who plays for the Saints.  I also stood next to Eric Decker from the Denver Broncos, arguably the sexiest man in the NFL.  Thinking about hot NFL players makes me think about the one person I wish I could have met last week, Tim Tebow.  It’s okay though.  I’m guessing I’ll have a chance to take a picture with him at some point too. ;)

There’s so much more I could say about last week, but I covered all of my favorite parts here.  I realize this post will likely bore many of you, but it was fun to write because I relived the moments I enjoyed again in my mind.  Thanks for indulging me!

I escaped to Mom’s house for the night so I could rest, recuperate and get some work done, and I’m glad I did.  Now it’s almost time to head to class, and I’m proud of the four-page essay that I completed before writing this post.

I’m still tired, but I have a few days to catch up before the craziness begins again.  There’s still a week of Mardi Gras left, and I’m trying to pace myself.  We’ll see how that goes.  Until then, as they say on the bayou, Laissez le bon temps rouler!

 

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Getting To Know Each Other

It’s Monday, but here in New Orleans, it feels like a holiday (because it is.)  Between Mardi Gras and the Superbowl, it’s getting crazy in my neighborhood.  I live directly between a major parade route and the Superdome so I’m using my feet to get around as much as possible.

I love living where I live because I don’t need to drive to go out, hit the gym or to buy groceries, and over the next few weeks that will be a good thing. Matt, Shannon and I went to our first parades of the season this weekend (my first ever,) and The Suit and I had a quiet and fun evening at my place too.

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Now it’s that time…If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 

Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite color? Pink and yellow make me happy, but teal is my favorite.

2. Share one or more of your talents.  I’m a pretty good singer, and I’m good at taking arm length photos with my phone.

3. If you were spending the day getting to know someone new, where would you want to go?  I’d want to go on a picnic at Audubon Park.

4. What is your favorite meal?  I think we all know that I like a variety of foods, but among my favorites are Thai and Sushi.

5.  Do you prefer to text or talk?  I like both, but I love a good conversation without involving my phone.

6. Share something about yourself that might surprise someone that you’re getting to know.  Though Pearl Jam is my favorite band, I love listening to the Gaither Vocal Band and other Christian music. I do it everyday.

7. Do you color your hair? Yes…I will get it done soon and probably add some highlights.

8. Do you wear glasses or contacts?  I wear them for reading, but it seems like I’m going to need them all the time.

9. What is your favorite breakfast food?  I am in love with oatmeal right now.

10. Would your friends say that you’re sarcastic?  Absolutely not.  My mom might tell a different story though.

11. Do you prefer salty or sweet?  Sweet…totally.

12. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?  Height.  I like ‘em tall. =)

13. What is the last movie you watched?  As I write this post, it is Sunday evening, and I am watching Sex and the City 2.  I wonder if The Suit will protest when he arrives. Haha

14.  Are you religious?  I believe in God, but I can’t really call myself religious.

15. Are you a neat freak, a slob, or somewhere in between? I am not compulsive, but I’m pretty darn tidy.  I keep things clean, but not at the expense of enjoying myself when I have people over.

16. Share something from your bucket list that you hope to do someday.  I really want to ride a camel while vacationing somewhere in the sun.

17. Are you a risk taker, or do you prefer to play it safe?  I suppose I’m a risk taker.  I try to be smart, but I’m not afraid to try and fail.

18. Have you ever worn braces?  Yes.  I have them now, but they’re clear.

19. Would you rather spend an evening at a theater or at a club?  Oh, definitely the theater.

20. If you could have three wishes, what would one of them be?  Health, wealth and love….I guess I just named all three.

 
Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday!