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November 13, 2020

Get Fit Friday · An Introduction (featuring Workout Memes)

Hi there. :)

Welcome to a new series on here that's going to cause me to post on here at least once a week. 
Last December, I hopped on the scale and I reached the highest weight I have ever been. Fast forward 11 months where I thought I'd emerge from a quarantine cocoon a fit little butterfly. 
Yet, I am still a caterpillar.

But, that's all going to change because I have one year (roughly) until my mom's Halloweekend 2021 wedding and I don't want to be so close to this weight anymore. 

Starting Sunday 11/13, my goal is to lose 70 pounds in the next year.

(a disclaimer, I don't believe in diet culture, but this made me laugh.)

I think this is plausible, especially with a blog to keep me accountable and countless other resources at my fingertips. Not to mention an end goal, which I've never had before. My thinking within this last year has been, "This is going to be a lifestyle change, it's going to take some time so I'm in no hurry." That caused me to not make the changes I should be using and using the unlimited time/lifestyle change as an excuse.

Each week, I'm going to update with my FitBit stats, calorie count, and weight for each day. Along with any outside resources: apps, challenges, etc., that I'm working through and trying. This first post is going to be an overview of where I'm starting, minus my weight because I'll be weighing in on Sunday, so I will post my starting weight next week. 

Five things to note at the beginning:

· I'm 5'9.

· I have PCOS. 

· I will be counting calories, sugar intake, and carbs.

· Due to CoVid, I won't be going to the gym. I've got a treadmill at home and have recently ordered an indoor cycling bike (I started cycling this year and I love it.) All workouts will be done at home. To track my workouts, I will be using Matt D'Avella's Two Day Rule for the next thirty days along side DietBet.

· I'm kicking this off with a DietBet. That was my biggest motivator when I got into this last time, and I'd like to do one each month.

That's about all I've got for this post, just a short introduction to what to expect within the next year. You're all here to hold me accountable, so thank you. :)

TTYS. <3

November 2, 2020

Coffee Chats · Losing Myself (Not to Be Confused with the Eminem Song)

I've reached the bottom of my fourth coffee cup today and am in the ~mood~ to sit and chat with you all. Strap in for the stream of consciousness.

We got a facelift here. I purchased a new theme and made a new logo to match. While blogging, along with my style in general, I started to lose myself to the people I was influenced by and realized I was also losing my confidence. I've been spending some time re-locating myself. I started wearing my septum piercing again, and dyed my hair a bonfire orange. I feel most comfortable with those smatterings of traits that make me stand out a bit from everyone else. I've spent a handful of years trying to conform to the 'late 20s, works in an office' look, and I don't have enough words about how good it feels to come back to a familiar confidence.
Speaking of confidence, mine goes hand-in-hand with my weight. I've been working on my weight and after my next doctor trip I'll be able to speak more on it. It's also a part of my #20Things series, so it'll have a separate post where I talk about how I'm handling it. :)

If you've been here for a while, you'll know that I'm usually the one at functions with a camera in my hand. I love taking photos and keeping memories. I'm very sentimental and don't like forgetting things. In high school, I would recite my junior high class schedule to myself because I was afraid of forgetting it. Which seems silly typing it out, but I don't want to forget things. It's the drive behind my taking so many photos and the reason I journal. I've been looking at a new camera and have decided that, as long as I can pay off my big student loan, I'm buying myself a new one and spending some more time taking photos. All of the photos taken in this post were from a day out in the forest preserves near my house, and it reconnected me with the outside and my camera for a bit. I miss having a hobby and for me, that was photography.

I've been having a hard time finding motivation recently. I think that's pretty universal in the current state of the world. I've spent a lot of time indoors, staring at screens, and not enough time unplugged and living in the moment. Outside of my job, my goal is to unplug more this month. A lot of spare time at the end of October was spent crafting, so I'd like to dedicate even more time to crafting and reading this month (aside from writing because it's NaNoWriMo.)

In lieu of CoVid, my socializing with people (especially people my age) has nearly diminished. That being said, I've decided to pick up work at the bookstore I used to work at, part-time through the holiday season. I'll get to see my best friend on a near-daily basis again, make extra money to help pay off my student loan, and spend extra time around books. It's temporary, for the next three months, but I think it'll be a confidence boost to get back to doing work I'm familiar with (as opposed to struggling hard with my new job.) 

 I've got some pretty high hopes for the end of the year that all pertain to finding myself after losing it to influence by social media presences and standards for what 20-somethings should be doing. My next steps are going to be selfish and I'm going to be focused on what's best for me and my well-being. Here's to getting back on track. <3

October 30, 2020

#20Things · Gateway Arch National Park

 Prior to making this list, I was unaware that the National Mall counted as a national park and thought I had never been to a national park before, when in fact I had. That being said, my intention when writing this list was to visit a national park that involved more hiking and outdoor activities. However, with ~rony~, we decided to safely go away for the weekend to St. Louis. It was an overnight trip that would revolve around a trip to the Arch, which I have visited once or twice but have been too afraid to go up in (it's kinda tall.) But, I did it, and only a few tears were shed in absolutely fear of being trapped in a box making an unsettling clunk every so-many-feet.

The parking garage near our hotel had this rooftop. I wish there were better views, but it was still a nice start to the morning. :)

Gateway Arch National Park was about four blocks from our AirBNB, so we walked over that afternoon. We had tickets for a ferry boat ride around 5:00pm and the boat was right next to the Arch. We were able to spend some time on the grounds.

Below is the view from the Riverboat Ferry we took. They offer Ferry rides that depart from the Arch, down the Mississippi River, and back around. The ferry has a large paddle on the back, and history of the places passed is announced over the boat speakers.

A part of the trip we found on a whim, but took quick interest in, was a tour of Budweiser. I'm not a beer drinker, but the Clydesdales are inside. :)
Unfortunately, it was closed due to CoVid. We passed the brew house walking around the Cardinals stadium which, for my Chicago peeps, is comparable to Wrigleyville.

Day Two!

First thing in the morning we had tickets to go up in the Arch.
I've only been around the Arch once, in a trip down to Oklahoma when I was nine, and I was way too afraid to go up. It's so thin and does not look qualified to hold people at the top. 
Due to CoVid, they had limited time slots and the windows at the top corresponded to your car number so we were social distanced. 
Speaking of the car...

Maybe you can see the little tears in my eyes because I panicked a bit when we got in. The entrance is only about four feet big and the car makes an unnerving klunk the entire way up as the car readjusts. AND they tell you how long the ride up and down is. (Up is ~4min and down is ~3min.)

After the Arch, we spent a bit of time getting food and walking around. We only stayed overnight because there isn't much else to do in STL, thus concluding our trip.

On our way back up, we passed Bloomington-Normal. Ten years ago when I was a tiny little 17-year-old starting college, I started as a theater major at ISU. 

Below, I stayed in the dorm on the left. :)

Watterson Towers:

This was the building my acting classes were held in. Surprisingly, the doors were open, so we got to get in and look around a bit. It smells the same, dust and stale coffee. I despised the people in the acting program here, a lot. It turned into a large clique of acting majors who, even worse, hung out on our dorm floor. It was catty and competitive right out of the gate. I dropped my major second semester, left ISU after one year, and have been on the up-and-up ever since. :)

October 19, 2020

Me at 27

 I think Me at 25 is one of my most viewed posts, and I realized I skipped last year for some reason.

I also recognize I have been absent from here for a while, there will be a #CoffeeChat coming on that next week. :)


It's a strange age where I feel young and old. My youth comes into play during work meetings where forty-somethings talk about their kids and reference 80s pop culture and I just smile and nod because I'm unsure of what they're talking about. I feel old when I get a flat tire driving home from Wisconsin Dells with 3 out of 4 of my younger cousins in the car and I am in charge. I feel young because I still live at home and old because people look at me strange when I tell them that.

I have tried to look back at childhood-Layne and see what she would think of where we are now. Not even childhood, but 17-year old Layne, and I can't get a feel for her. I can't grasp her emotions though they once were my nest. I don't know what she would think or how she would feel. I wish I could turn back into her, or speak with her for a few minutes.

You've been doing a lot of pushing yourself to stop looking back and instead to look forward. It's not easy, but you're doing alright. The silver linings of the past are shining brighter each time you look, but don't let them blind you from your future.

You've done some pretty fucking cool things this year.

You started a BookTube channel where you talk about the things you're reading.

You went to the top of the Gateway Arch (and only cried a little bit.)

You went back to Kalahari for the first time in ten years.

You developed a love for Post Malone and saw him in concert.

You graduated with your Masters in Writing and Publishing.

You got out of the bookstore and into a desk job in the publishing industry.

Your mom got engaged!
(Even though you don't even look like you do in this photo anymore LOL)


you got this little fella:

and he gets in trouble for playing jungle gym in the kitchen. He loves playing with his cheeseballs, biting feet, and looking out the window.

Your favorite spin instructor tells your class this often:

You've been to the doctor to talk about your weight and overall health. After discussing the likely possibility of PCOS causing rapid weight gain, you started taking cycling classes at Revival Cycle and it's done good for you inside and out. There will be a whole post talking all about that in the #20Things series after your follow-up appt. :)

You had maybe five months of being 26 before the world shut down due to a global pandemic. When you go out, you need to wear a tase mask everywhere, wash/sanitize your hands, and stay six feet from each other. At the beginning of the pandemic, Tiger King was released and everybody on TikTok was making whipped coffee. Now, the economy is on the decline and the election happening in a few weeks is the vital. There's a bizarre balance between don't go out, we're in a pandemic and if I don't go to open places, they'll shut down. The world is in limbo. You've been working from home since March and struggling with your job a bit, but you're grateful to be working and not having to commute to the city for a bit.

Here is a playlist you'll be constantly adding to of songs that have shaped you and songs you don't want to forget.

I think that's everything. Equally as eventful as it was uneventful. Here's to 27!

July 16, 2020

Fourth of July on 35mm

In 2018, I used one disposable camera every month to document my year and it helped me realize I am horrible at shooting photos on film. That being said, after a full year and some change of practice, I pulled out a disposable camera for the Fourth of July this year. I've got another one coming for our trip to Wisconsin, so if these interest you click the Bloglovin' icon to the left of the post or subscribe via email tobe notified when a new post is published.

Gabby just chillin'. :)

My uncle always yells, "Serving!" when he hits it like this and I can hear his voice in this photo.

This is the happiest I have ever been with a roll of film. Due to some water damage, there are some streaks on the photos, but I think that just makes them look cooler. The weather was perfect this day and everyone's faces are so genuine.

The next two are two of my favorites:

The Fourth of July is always very overrated for me because we never do anything at night. There's no draw for me to go see fireworks surround by kids while being eaten alive by mosquitos. This year, due to fests and fireworks being cancelled, my family and I were able to spend the evening together and night swim which is something we haven't done in years.