Living n Learning by Amy

First Things FirstIs it really Monday already?  The weekend goes by much too fast as I am sure a lot of you can agree.  But with Monday comes another edition of First Things First with Halie and Hallie.  This week we will cover my first best friend, first concert, and first celebrity crush.

First best friend…

I had a rocky time in elementary school so my first best time didn’t come until middle school.  Sarah was my best friend for about 4 years.  High school came and we were okay our freshman year but after that we drifted apart.  Her decisions and actions didn’t sit well with me.  She was manipulative and wanted her way or no way.  But for my middle school years she was what I needed.  I’m the kind of girl who is super close with one other person and then every one else is just a friend.  I went through the rest of high school just being part of a larger group but not really holding on to one person more closely than the others until my friend Lacy.  We too have since gone our separate ways and I now have Chelsea.

First concert…

The first concert I remember was seeing Toby Keith at the Wisconsin Valley Fair one summer with my mom and brother.  I don’t have a lot of memories of the concert as I was pretty young (think single digits or very low double digits).

First celebrity crush…

The first celebrity I can remember crushing on was probably Patrick Swayze after seeing him in Dirty Dancing, Tom Cruise after seeing him in Top Gun, or Kevin Bacon after seeing him in Footloose.  Or maybe all three? 😉  I saw all of these movies when I was in 5th grade probably.

Talk to me…

Tell me about one of your firsts from this week.


If you use the weekend as a way to catch up on blogs because you’re a bit too busy during the week to read them all then this post is just for you!  No, I’m not trying to sell you anything even though it may sound that way. 😉


The Weekly What? is a new link up that Allie (Tales of a Twenty Something), Jenn (Party of One), and Ricci (A Beautiful Mess) are hosting.  The point is to write a post that summarizes your week of blog posts so those weekend blog readers have one stop to see everything you wrote for the week.  This way they can find the post they missed, or read them all!


I am a huge lover of country music and love to share music I love with others.  That’s just what I did when I posted about Justin Moore, one of my favorite artists!  There are music videos and lyrics I love so I definitely suggest checking this out.


I blogged about my first giveaway participation.  I’m a sponsor of Rebekah of All That Glitters and I have pulled together with my fellow sponsors to give away some great items.  You still have 13 hours to enter for your chance to win (1) $15 iTunes gift card, (1) $10 iTunes gift card, (1) month of AD space from KJT Weighing In, (1) Mustache necklace, (1) month of AD space from The Mustache Diaries, and (1) pink polka-dot iPad cover from Boutique Auctions.  Sounds awesome doesn’t it?  Go enter!

I was so excited about blogging about my first giveaway participation that I didn’t care I already had another post for Monday.  So it was two-for-one in a way.  I also linked up for First Things First with Hali and Hallie.  Read about the first thing I do when I get home from work, my first pet, and my first cell phone.


I decided Tuesdays would become Book Talk Tuesday over here on Living n Learning by Amy.  I love to read and I love when I hear about good books to add to my “to-read” list.  I may not post a review every week but if I’m going to post a book review then it’ll be on a Tuesday.  I started off Book Talk Tuesday with a review of American Assassin by Vince Flynn.  Be sure to check it out because I had a hard time putting this one down!


Wednesdays around these parts is Weight Loss Wednesday so go check out how I did for the week in terms of weight loss.  I write about my successes, struggles, lessons learned, and goals for the next week.


Another two-for-one post day this week.  I felt a bit flustered because I didn’t have these posts prepared ahead of time and didn’t get time to blog until the evening so these were late posts.  But thankfully you’re reading the Weekly What? so you can go back and read them if you missed them.

I participated in the Random Thursday link up for the second week in a row.  This week you get to learn what I would do if I found $100 .

I also participated in the first week of Non-Scale Victories link up with Katie and Lex.  Read about what I considered a success that had nothing to do with the number on the scale.  Katie does a great job of explaining non-scale victories and why they’re important here.


Finally we made it to Friday!  Another link up post, but I’m really loving them so I don’t care how many this has been this week.  This time I’m linking up with Allie and Brin for Pit & Peak.  Read about exes, headaches, and girls night out to find out which one(s) are pits and which one(s) are peaks!

You’re now all caught up on what’s been going on around here. 🙂

Hope you’ve had a fantastic week and are ready to start a new one!


It’s that time of the week again for Pit & Peak with Tales of a Twenty Something & Bold Butter Baby!

The rules for Pit & Peak are to write a post about the Pit (low part) and Peak (high part) of your week, grab the button (see above), and link up your post on one of the posts done by the lovely hosts.  Easy enough right?


I kind of have two pits this week.

The first one being Monday I found out my ex (2+ years ago the relationship ended) is “in a relationship”.  Can someone please explain to me why this made me feel so down when I found out?!  It definitely didn’t help that it’s that time of the month (TMI?) for me so I’m a little extra emotional.  I have been single these last two years with two guys that I thought there would be something with but of course men were men and what started out well didn’t end well for me.  Not huge heartbreak but just “ugh, why are men like that?!” feelings of disappointment.

The second pit being that I seem to get a headache every afternoon at work.  I wish I knew what was causing these headaches other than work.  I’m thinking it may be the super warm temperature of the room I work in all day every day.  I have no idea how I am going to figure out what the cause is, or what I would do if I did figure it out if it’s something that I cannot change.


My peak for the week is I made plans to go out with one of my good friends either tonight or tomorrow night.  We haven’t seen each other in a couple of weeks now so it will be good to see her and have some drinks.  Also, I need a good girls night out thanks to above mentioned pit of the week involving the ex.

Talk to me…

What was one of your peaks for the week?


Two link ups in one day?!  Yup, I went there.

This is the first week for the Non-Scale Victories link up with KTJ and Lex (be sure to check them out!) and I am so excited for this.  Non-scale victories are just as important as the scale victories.  And honestly sometimes the non-scale victories keep us going on our journeys.

I had to think long and hard to come up with a non-scale victory because I haven’t been putting as much effort into my weight loss as I would like to, or should.  I have no one to blame but myself for that of course.  But I was able to come up with something.

Every day that I have gone to work so far this week (I had Monday off) I have eaten breakfast and packed a lunch.  At my previous job it was so easy to “forget” to pack a lunch and decide to go out or order in.  I don’t have the luxury of having food nearby and I don’t have a lunch break so it forces my hand to pack a lunch.  But it is a good thing!  Packing my own lunch is easier on the bank account and  once I get my butt in gear can be healthier.

Talk to me…

What is one of your non-scale victories for the week?

Another Random Thursday is upon us which means I am linking up with the lovely ladies above.Last week I did my very first vlog about what is in my purse.  Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.  No vlog this week (at least not from me) but I am going to tell you what I would do if I found $100.

Honestly, this question could be answered differently depending on the circumstances that the $100 is found.  If there is absolutely no one around I would probably keep it because turning it in to the police really wouldn’t do any good.  How would they know who the money belonged too?!

If I was keeping the $100 I would probably put it towards my Amazon account so I can buy more Kindle books!  You can never have too many books in my opinion.  And can I just say that I have been loving buying a new book whenever I want one without it affecting my bank account?  (Thank you gift cards!)

But now if I found the $100 somewhere like work, a store, or on the street where someone walked by recently (or I saw the money fall) I would certainly ask around and try to return it to its rightful owner.  The trouble with that is there are some dishonest people out there who would try to take ownership of the money even if it is not theirs.

This was a tough question to answer.  You want to say you’ll do the right thing but would you really?  Hard to say, at least for me.

Hope to see you all next week to find out what I think are some of the worst TV shows!

Start Date: 1/3/13

Today’s Date: 1/23/13

Weight Lost/Gained This Week: -0.2

Total Weight Loss: 0.4 (2.6 including weight lost prior to 1/3/13)

Week Successes: During the work week (M-F) I have been doing extremely well with only drinking one 12 oz. can of Pepsi Next (60 calories and less sodium) rather than a can of Mountain Dew.  I am still getting my daily dose of caffeine but with fewer calories and sodium (one can of Mt. Dew is 170 calories).  I think this is a definite plus to my diet plan.

Week StrugglesWeekends, you are not my friend!  I drank Mountain Dew like it was going to never be around again.  Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration but I did have 1-3 a day.  Hangs head in shame.  Weekends are just too lax for me and I do whatever I want.  Doesn’t make sense for someone who wants to lose weight right?  But all I can say is bad habits are hard to break.

Lessons Learned: Saying you want it is not enough, I have to actually behave like I want it.  Isn’t there the saying actions speak louder than words?  Yeah, that is exactly what I need to remember.  Saying I want to lose weight, or that I am trying to lose weight does not speak near as loudly as drinking 64 oz. of water every day, not drinking Mountain Dew (or limiting it to one), and then keeping this all up on the weekend.  It is time to get my actions in gear so that they are going along with what I am saying.

Goals for Next Week: Workout twice for 30 minutes.  Just saying “work on being more active” is not getting me any where so I’m thinking a more concrete goal to work towards will be helpful.  And I also want to drink 48 oz. of water a day.  Lately I have been doing well with the drinking 24 oz. a day so I want to bump that up a bit.

Talk to me…

What was your struggle, success or lesson learned this week? (Weight loss related or whatever you choose.)

If you know me in real life you know I absolutely enjoy reading just for the fun of it.  I have a page for “Good Reads” which shows off the books I have reviewed on my blog (which aren’t many so far).  I decided I’ll make Tuesdays into the day I post my reviews.  It may not be every week but if I’m going to post a review that’s the day of the week you can find it.  I hope those of you that enjoy to read like I do enjoy this idea.  I know I am always looking for new books to read and love finding them on blogs where the bloggers offer their opinions.

I started the Mitch Rapp series after seeing a photo on Twitter by Ms. Sara (check out her blog here).  I am already on book #7 of 13.  I’m really enjoying them!  So, here we go with the review of the first book!

American Assassin by Vince Flynn

Here’s the synopsis from

Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorist’s worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world . . . and then tragedy struck.

Two decades of cutthroat, partisan politics has left the CIA and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position. Cold War veteran and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield knows he must prepare his people for the next war. The rise of Islamic terrorism is coming, and it needs to be met abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield directs his protégée, Irene Kennedy, and his old Cold War colleague, Stan Hurley, to form a new group of clandestine operatives who will work outside the normal chain of command—men who do not exist.

What type of man is willing to kill for his country without putting on a uniform? Kennedy finds him in the wake of the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. Two-hundred and seventy souls perished that cold December night, and thousands of family and friends were left searching for comfort. Mitch Rapp was one of them, but he was not interested in comfort. He wanted retribution.

Six months of intense training has prepared him to bring the war to the enemy’s doorstep, and he does so with brutal efficiency. Rapp starts in Istanbul, where he assassinates the Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives used in the Pan Am attack. Rapp then moves onto Hamburg with his team and across Europe, leaving a trail of bodies. All roads lead to Beirut, though, and what Rapp doesn’t know is that the enemy is aware of his existence and has prepared a trap. The hunter is about to become the hunted, and Rapp will need every ounce of skill and cunning if he is to survive the war-ravaged city and its various terrorist factions.

As action-packed, fast-paced, and brutally realistic as it gets, Flynn’s latest page-turner shows readers how it all began. Behind the steely gaze of the nation’s ultimate hero is a young man primed to become an American Assassin.

As I mentioned earlier, I am really enjoying these books.  I have never read this kind of book before but it sucked me in and I did not want to put it down.  To be honest there were some scenes in the book I was thinking to myself, “Please don’t last too long!” because they were a bit graphic but there aren’t a lot so it was bearable.  And it helped that they didn’t last long so it was easy to read through it and move on.

These books remind me of TV shows.  You read about the story from all angles and view points, the good guys and the bad guys.  And at the end it comes together and you’re reading about the action from all angles.  It really keeps you interested throughout the whole book because you never get stuck with one story line too long.

I would definitely recommend this book to someone if they came to me for a recommendation if they’re into this kind of stuff.  Or even to try something new because that’s just what I did and now I can’t stop reading these books!

Talk to me…

Do you enjoy reading like I do?

Kindle owners or those with Kindle apps would you be interested in swapping books? (It’s free and the books that can be lent are returned to you within 2 weeks.)



I'm a 20 something college graduate learning how to live life while working, and trying to live a healthier life.

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The opinions and thoughts shared on this blog are mine and do not represent that of any employer in any way. I am not a registered dietitian or physical trainer. This blog is simply a documentation of my life. The views I express are mine alone, based on my own experiences, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please feel free to share but do not steal. Feel free to disagree with me but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason (offensive, abusive, profane, or rude etc.) If you like what you see, let me know. Thanks!