Monthly Archives: November 2010

I’m a Thankful Girl.

>In light of the Thanksgiving holiday passing, we all need to take a step back and realize how many things in life we have to be thankful for.  Since my Thanksgiving holiday went by in a blur, I decided to do this blog-style!

I am thankful for my loving family, for their health, and for their undying support throughout my life.

One side of my family on Poppop’s 90th birthday – love them!

I am thankful for my dear friends who have always provided laughs, hugs, fun… basically, whatever I needed most at any time.

I am thankful for my job, for health, and for happiness!

Oh, and I’m thankful for this guy, too. 😉

More to come on my Thanksgiving adventures… and the exciting results of my Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot!

Philadelphia in Virginia Beach

>My breakfast this morning may have consisted of a chocolate Jell-O pudding snack with my Chocolate Truffle Nectar Whey Protein Isolate mixed in… if you know me at all, a day that starts with chocolate is a great day.

A sleepy girl is a happy girl with her chocolate puudin’ and Phillies Tervis Tumbler!
I am gearing up for a long 6 hour drive to North Myrtle Beach after work to join my family for Thanksgiving.  Ke$ha must have known I needed her for the ride, because her album just came out. Along with Ke$ha, I’m so very thankful for the new Rascal Flatts album and the new Glee singles (I’m so addicted to Gwenyth Paltrow’s rendition of “Forget You” and Darren Criss’ cover of “Teenage Dream“).  
Nothing like new music to make you look forward to a road trip!
Something else brightened my day at work today… and I was immediately transported to my childhood memories of the streets of Philly.
Huh? Philly? …In Virginia Beach?

Today, there was a special event at my school.  This special event got me some leftover soft pretzels from The Philadelphia Pretzel Factory! 
Suddenly, I’m a two year old in Disney World (or… me… at Disney World) in the middle of my office.

Here’s to hoping that bad boy holds me over for my beach road trip! Between belting out those new iTunes, of course.  😉

I should go to blogging school.

>Should I be ashamed I took zero pictures with my actual camera this weekend?


In the world of bLyss, it was a pretty uneventful weekend.  I’d consider it a good one to gear up for the upcoming holiday madness.

Something I did capture, however, is my love and appreciation for Starbucks.  This weekend, they had a “buy one holiday drink, get one free” special.  When we pulled up to the ‘Bucks on our way to James’ Saturday afternoon basketball game, I thought, “Hmmm… how can I capitalize on this?”

Enter Alyssa, one skinny extra-hot tall gingerbread latte on one hand, and one skinny extra-hot peppermint mocha in other.  Weeeeeheeee!

fuzzy on my camera phone, but you can still see the adoration in my eyes.

Since Starbucks can be pretty pricey, I try to limit my purchases to when I have a gift card.  Thank goodness Christmas is coming up, because that last trip just drained my last card (Hint, Hint)! 😉

After basketball, James and I joined our good friends Cynthia and John for a fun night in town at a Tree Lighting event.  We enjoyed dinner and went back to the house to play a HILARIOUS board game that I highly recommend…

Quelf!  I would give you a description of the game, but I think it’s even better to let you dive right in, as that’s what my experience was like. Here’s a little preview picture to give you an idea:

It’s crazy. Take my word for it.

The weekend was a crazy one.  Here’s to hoping for a relaxing, happy upcoming family Thanksgiving!

Power Cut or BodyPump?


Happy Monday!

These words are typically not so happy, but what makes for a better Monday than a two day week (I head to my family’s North Myrtle Beach condo directly after work tomorrow for Thanksgiving), a Tuesday with a predicted high of 72 in NOVEMBER, and an upcoming holiday?


I neglected to report on my new workout experience last Thursday night, so I’ll jump back a few days.

I have been a YMCA member since last January.  My parents gave me a Y membership for Christmas last year, so I spent my final semester of college experimenting with the group exercise classes at the YMCA in North Carolina. 

There, I fell in LOVE with BodyPump.

I am very motivated to jump on the treadmill and complete a quick 8 miles, but when it comes to lifting weights, I’m not so jazzed.  I get bored quickly, and I tend to skip the muscle building altogether.  BodyPump, the most fun exercise class I’ve ever experienced, gives you a great workout using dumbbells, aerobic steps, barbells, and assorted plate weights.  With low weight and high reps, it’s a great way to burn some calories while building muscle.  

I loved the burn I’d get after a good BodyPump class, and I no longer had to get creative with my normal weight routine.  The fun pop music tracks would make me look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday BodyPump class.  My roommate, Jordan-Leigh, would go with me, which made the class even better.

Who doesn’t like giggling with a friend over goofy exercise instructors? 😉

Later, when I moved to Virginia Beach, I was so disappointed to learn there is NO BodyPump in any South Hampton Roads YMCA.  I’ve been completing James’ little weight routines he has given me, but I missed feelin’ the burn of BodyPump!

Skip to Thursday.  I walked in the Y, saw that a “Power Cut” class was about to begin, and asked the nice receptionist about the class.  No one had heard of BodyPump, but the lady recommended Power Cut if I wanted a harder weight workout.

Sign me up!  Let’s build those guns! 😉

(I try…)

Power Cut  conditions the muscles of the entire body with repetitions set to music using plate- loaded bars, and may also include use of dumbbells, resistance tubing, bands and stability balls.”

And — SURPRISE! — Power Cut is almost exactly like BodyPump.  In my opinion, it’s even better, because it’s less organized, different every week, and a little more A.D.D. than the controlled BodyPump routine.  It seems as if the instructor chooses weekly which music tracks to use, which workout equipment to utilize, and how to budget the hour of time.

I have been incredibly sore since Thursday. Gimme that Power Cut!

It’s a MAGGIE Day!

>I feel the need dedicate this post to one of the best friends a girl can have.


Maggie and I grew up together, and although I’m now in Virginia and she’s in Pennsylvania, we still remain so close. In middle and high school, we did almost everything together.  One of my favorite shirts from high school read “blonde leading the blonde,” and it was pretty spot on. 😉

Look at us – just little babies!

She’s been with me through everything, even when we were miles apart.  She spent my 21st birthday with me in Key West, she went to Mexico with me for Spring Break, and we just took a Senior cruise together before graduating college!

“twenty ooonnneee!”

Maggie’s the best, and I wish we lived closer (hint, hint.. move to VA Beach, Mag).

So, in honor of Maggie and the upcoming holidays, I made a batch of Maggie Mix last night.

“Maggie mix? Whaaat?”

I was introduced to Maggie Mix by my college roommate, Emily.  Her mom would send her this delicious mix by the tub-full, and we would inhale the stuff.  When I passed the Quaker Oatmeal Squares in the grocery store last night, I suddenly had a real hankering for the mix.

Getcha some Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal (one box = one baking tray.. if you want a big batch, you probably want two to three boxes), any lite maple syrup (I prefer Hungry Jack or Aunt Jemima), and cinnamon for some extra flava!

Spread the squares on a baking sheet and drizzle them with the syrup.  Don’t go too crazy, or you’ll have a big sticky, soggy mess of a Maggie Mix!  Then sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.  I was feeling a little Thanksgiving flavor, so I added some nutmeg as well.

Toss the squares around in the syrup until they’re all coated evenly.  Then throw them in the oven at 350 for around 18-20 minutes.  Prepare to babysit the mix, because it needs a good tossing with a spatula about every 6-7 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take out the mix and toss it again.  You’ll need to break up the pieces, but after a little bit, it should all be hardened and deeeelicious!

If you looove cereal and are a snacker like me, you’ll adore Maggie Mix.  Caution: you’ll be addicted!

Have a great weekend, everybody.  My weekend plans include a Tree Lighting Festival, and I’m exciiiited!  Pictures to come!


>A suggestion by my sister.
Reinforcement from one of my closest friends, Anastasia.
Inspiration from Julie and her amazing blogging skills.
A slight affinity for writing, sharing, and everything computer-related.

What do you get when all of these are mashed together?


The title: my life, with a little spin on my favorite nickname, Lyssa.  Lyss –> bLyss?


Ever since my friend Julie (a different Julie than the one above, believe it or not!) stumbled upon Julie’s blog,, and declared she’s just like me, I’ve been following the thing ever since.  It’s kind of a strange – Julie (Julie the blogger… wow, this could get confusing) and I are both excercise-aholics, run half marathons, have a love for food and the strange gene that makes us bottomless pits, and have a full appreciation for documenting our lives and buying from Etsy.

I digress.

Anyway, after my sister suggested using a blog to document my half marathon training, I realized how great it would be to keep in touch with my family and friends.  I have loved ones in Northern VA, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida… what better way to keep them all up to speed on what’s going on in Virginia Beach?

In this blog, I hope to cover my adventures in my new life in Virginia Beach post-college.  My endeavors may include workout and running recaps/tips/ideas, recipes, and simple updates on mah life.

To begin, a little teaser:

I LOVE my new job as an Electronic Media Specialist in a wonderful private school.  I even get to assistant coach JV field hockey in the fall!

I know you’re jealous of my school picture.

My boyfriend, James, is such a smartypants.  He passed the VA Bar exam and is now trying real big boy cases! In court!

My lawyer “courts” me.

I am still working on my little fledgling business, bLyss Designs.  I have so much fun hand painting personalized wine glasses, beer mugs, and other glasses. (The holidays are coming up… hint hint! Click that link to get to my online site!)

It’s saying… “order a personalized glass from meeee!”

It’s been just over a year since our little Emma passed, and I’m salivating over the idea of getting a new friend.  Does losing your puppy ever get any easier? :-\

best. doggy. ever.

There you go – the first post of bLyss.  More to come soooon! 😉