December 30, 2011

2011 in review

Sorry I've been MIA for awhile! I've been really busy opening presents, hanging with family, and seeing friends. Ya know...that whole life thing.

Holy cow, it's almost 2012! Did 2011 fly by or what?! In June of next year, I will officially be out of high school for 8 years and out of college for 4. I cannot believe I've been a legit grown-up for 4 years. Ew.

A lot changed for me in 2011. It is the year I decided enough is enough for my health and got down to business.

I reached my goal of running a half marathon, and then ran and PRed in another, and then ran another, and then threw in a 5-miler. And literally just signed up for my fourth race on May 5, 2012. Heh.

I got a new tattoo.

I moved in to a new apartment.

I turned 26.

I met my idol. (She loves me too.)

I discovered overnight oats and declared my love for my crock-pot.

I lost 57 sticks of butter.

I watched my niece grow and learn in her first year of life.

I started this lil guy!

I raised some money for my work, which turned out to be more personal than I ever imagined.

I had some good days...and some bad.

I think I've grown more over these past 12 months than any other year before. If not, I at least kept a better record of it.

I hope everyone can look back at 2011 and feel happy about the year in general. The whole thing may not have been butterflies and rainbows, but hopefully some part of the past year was good. Moving forward, I hope to continue to grow as a person, professionally and personally, to make 2012 the best year yet. Of course, I'll keep ya posted.


December 23, 2011

Random musings

Let me start with an update on 4D: yeah, I'm over it. It's hard sticking to it while babysitting and it's expensive and I can't even look at eggs right now so I gave it a solid 12 days though! I'm relaxing through the holidays and will hopefully feel more motivated after the New Year. So that's that. Pretty anti-climactic.

If I had a comedy special, I would call it "Laine Dupler: Clueless" for two reasons. One, it's the title of one of my favorite movies. Two, my comedy special would probably be all about stupid things I do/have done, therefore rendering me clueless.

I cannot stand when people are waiting to turn left and they are in the middle of the intersection and the light turns yellow and they either rush to turn left right away before the light turns red, or they don't go at all and attempt to reverse out of the middle of the intersection. You do realize you can wait until the light turns red to turn, right? You don't have to turn the instant the light turns yellow. That's how car accidents happen and people get injured. Also, reversing in the middle of the intersection? Really? Where do you think you're going to go? Why did you pull out in to the middle of the intersection in the first place, only to back up to where you could've stayed the whole time? You think you're the only car on the road so you can just back up willy-nilly? No, you cannot come back to the place where my car is now. Get out of here.

It's really annoying how none of my shows are new until January. I don't get why they can't tape two extra shows to play during "winter break." I don't get why they even have a "winter break." Shows hardly have new episodes more than 4 weeks in a row without taking some sort of break for something or another anyway, just give the people what they want. Also, if you're going to have breaks and re-play episodes, at least re-play the good ones, not the mediocre ones.

Why is The Darkest Hour coming out on Christmas Day? Personally, the last thing I want to watch on Jesus's birthday is some movie about people turning to dust as soon as they step outside. I want to watch a feel good movie about people loving on each other, not one about them getting swept up by the wind. Whoever made this decision clearly did not consult me. So good luck with that.

I wish it was still (or again) socially acceptable to wear overalls. I mean for normal people, not just for super models walking in a runway show or celebs who can pull off anything.


This has been "random musings" by Laine Dupler. I wanted to call this "Laine Dupler is burning" like Jim Rome, but I didn't think people would get it. If you get it, I appreciate you.

December 22, 2011

Hump day shenans

I'm sorry to say but this post is borderline lame. The biggest news from yesterday is that my ticket for The Black Keys show came in the mail. They are coming to Columbus on March 4 and I'm going with a few friends. Their music is right up my alley, plus they are from Akron so it's nice to support Ohioans who are talented/successful. Reppin' the O-H-I-O baby!

I also made some holiday pretzel treats, which may be my most favorite treat in all the land. They are so so delicious and so so easy. And they can be tailored to any holiday; simply change the colors of the m&m's! I've posted the recipe here.

(P.S. You can find all the recipes I've shared on my "Good Eats" recipe page.)

Lastly, I finished wrapping all my prezzies and am ready to go for Christmas. This may be the earliest I've ever been done! I miiiight still buy a gift card but that decision is going to be last minute depending on how much moola I have in the bank on Saturday (heh.) Nothing like waiting to the last dollar/minute! I always wait way too long to buy gifts and then stress myself out when I have to wrap everything on Christmas Eve. However, my problem isn't procrastination, it's decision-making and hesitation to "pull the trigger." You see, I always think of like 15 gifts for each person and I clearly cannot afford that so I have to decide on one or two for each person and that process takes until like the week/day before Christmas. Ugh, it's exhausting being me, I tell ya.

Lastest, since I'm obsessed and this is my blog and I do what I want (like make up words such as "lastest"): some more pictures of my adventures in babysitting! I can only imagine how many friends I'm going to lose on Facebook when I have my own kid(s) and post pictures of them every second. Yeah, I'm gonna be that friend.


Please excuse the frizzball clown hair...I'm growing it out...

G'day mates!

December 21, 2011

Holiday Pretzel Treats

Holiday Pretzel Treats (aka Laine's favorite treat in all the land)


1 bag of pretzels (snaps or mini-twists work the best)
1 bag of holiday-colored m&m's
1 bag Wilton's chocolate candy melts (or 1 bag of Hershey's kisses, unwrapped)


1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place pretzels on a baking sheet covered with foil so each pretzel is laying flat.
3. Place one melt or kiss on each pretzel. Bake until chocolate starts to melt, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Remove cookie sheet from oven and immediately place one m&m on each chocolate-covered pretzel. Let cool until chocolate is solid again and store in an air-tight container.

Adventures in babysitting

I've been babysitting Ella, my nephew Thomas and Tiff's two boys all week since I'm the lucky one off work :) It's actually been really fun! All the boys get along and they like almost all the same stuff so they basically keep each other occupied for most of the day. They are really funny too; I forgot how funny kids are. Tiff's youngest Avery will say the most hilarious things without even trying. I don't think he even knows I'm listening when he says stuff and only realizes I heard him when I crack up laughing. I can't remember all the funny things he says but I always say to myself, "I gotta write that down!"

I haven't babysat for long periods of time since high school, and I don't think I've ever been around 3 elementary-aged boys at the same time. They are so rough and love every minute of it! If you ever want a lesson on just how different boys and girls are, babysit some. I'm always listening, making sure the sounds I'm hearing are laughter and not crying. I want to be the cool Aunt so I bite my tongue instead of telling them to stop their slap fights. Jamie's the cool guy because as soon as he comes home, they all jump on him at once as he rolls around on top of them and uses them as weapons against each other. I gotta compete with that! I just pray no one breaks a body part on my watch.

Evan and Avery playing the "pass out" game
With the boys playing together for most of the day, I get to spend a lot of time with Ella. I seriously cannot get enough of her. She cracks me up too; I can't take my eyes off of her (nor do I want to, let's be honest) because I don't want to miss one of her hilarious faces. That girl looooves the camera too; every time she sees my phone in my hand, she'll come over and pose for a picture. It's probably because every time she sees me holding my phone I'm more than likely taking a picture regardless, but now that's she's caught on, I'm able to get some pretty good shots. She's also fun to feed because she's eating people food now so it's interesting to watch her discover new tastes. Her most recent faves include clementine oranges and KIX cereal (in case you were wondering.)

Put me in Coach

I've been having a blast hanging out with kids all day; I could really get used to this. I'm going to be bummed when I can't see them every day :(

December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Jamie!

I'd like to wish my big brother, James Dale Dupler, a very happy 28th birthday!

You are the best role model I could ask for.

You make me laugh every day. 

I am so proud of the man and father you've become.

I love you broski!

December 19, 2011

The holidays

I absolutely love the holidays. I look forward to spending time with my family and simply being around so many people that I love and who love me. It's funny because the holidays used to be the worst time of year for me. I don't want to speak on the behalf of my brother and dad but I personally used to dread Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Now it's the absolute best time for me. I feel like I'm finally "in" on the reason why everyone likes the holidays so much.

The holidays kind of sucked when I was growing up. My mom always had good intentions on making Thanksgiving and Christmas nice for us, and I do have some really good memories of us all together opening presents Christmas morning (I would always be the first one up and have to wake up Jamie so I could open my presents.) She just put way too much pressure on herself to have the perfect Thanksgiving or the perfect Christmas that she would totally shut down. I didn't realize until very recently just how low of self esteem she had, on top of the fact that she was probably the most nervous person I've ever met. I've mentioned this before but I have some of those nervous, perfectionist traits that I continue to work on daily. My mom also talked down about herself which I will catch myself doing, especially when it comes to relationships, because it's what I grew up hearing: women talking badly about themselves. She wanted so much for us to have enjoyable holidays but she just couldn't figure out how to do it.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, my holidays now are full of love, laughter and happy people. I'm just so thankful my dad's around to enjoy it with us and that Tiffany and her boys are a part of our family. Tiff's the woman my mom was trying so hard to be. She makes everyone feel comfortable, relaxed and happy. She loves her kids with everything she has and they love her in return. My brother loves and respects her and they have a great relationship that I hope to have some day. Granted, it ain't perfect, but that's what makes it real. She's been able to make us feel like a functioning family unit and she's the reason I look forward to the season.

I try to keep this blog light and fun for the most part but I wanted to share what the holidays really mean to me because my mom passed away 4 years ago today. We were planning her funeral 4 years ago today. It feels like such a long time ago because so many things have changed in all of our lives since then but it really hasn't been that long. My heart breaks every time I think of her. Sometimes I get angry she left us and is missing out on such great memories. Our family is not complete without her. However, I realize she's at peace now and that's all I ever wanted for her.

I know I've written about my mom before, on her birthday, and I sincerely don't mean to be a Debbie Downer. In fact, I hope to be just the opposite and express how thankful I am for the people in my life. Losing my mom is a huge part of who I am today and I'm just trying to stay true to myself. This blog was started as a way for me to really say what I'm thinking without having to actually say it aloud. I truly appreciate everyone who reads this and I will continue to be as honest as possible.

Happy holidays to you; I am thankful for each one of you and I hope you all are able to spend the next week or so with great people.

December 16, 2011

Early gifts to you

Happy Friday! As of today at 3:30pm (or maaaybe noon hehe), I am officially on vacation for two whole weeks. I figure some people might be jealous, so I have a few early gifts for you:

The Christmas video is a follow-up to an equally hilarious Halloween video:

Kids are so freakin' funny. I just want to squeeze all of them.

December 15, 2011

New calendar

Yippee my new 2012 calendar came yesterday! One of our vendors always gives us calendars to use for the upcoming year and I have been anxiously awaiting mine so I can write in all my important dates for 2012. The first thing I do whenever I see a calendar is look at the picture for my birth month, the best month, September:

Does anyone else ever do this? Or am I just super narcissistic? I am never in love with September's pictures in any calendar. Maybe I'm biased but I think it should be the best picture of the year! I should just become a calendar designer so I won't have this issue any more.

Once I filled in all the holidays I have off of work, I marked down another very special day:

My best friend Katie's wedding day!! I am so so excited. Being her maid of honor is truly one of the biggest honors of my life so far and I can't wait to stand up there next to her while she marries her best friend Steve. Having to be in her wedding pictures was one of the main reasons I decided to start losing weight so I wouldn't embarrass her. Just kidding...but seriously...I didn't want to mess up her gorgeous pictures! So I guess I have her to thank for getting my butt back in gear!

Love ya jala!

Today is my office holiday party. We are going to lunch at Bravo! and then getting the rest of the afternoon off. Merry Christmas to meeee :)

Smell ya later!

December 14, 2011

Oatmeal banana muffins

I baked last night! I had two ripe bananas that I just couldn't throw away so I decided to whip up a batch of oatmeal banana muffins. Don't worry, I only had a bite of one; I gave the rest to Demi. She's done so much for me that I wanted to give her a treat. These muffins are actually quite healthy; the only "bad" ingredient is the brown sugar. They make a great on-the-go breakfast!

Oatmeal Banana Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1/4 c rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking)
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted

2 whole, ripe bananas
1/4 c egg substitute (or 1 large egg, beaten)
3/4 c milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 c all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 c rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pan with foil or paper wrappers.

2. Mix the ingredients for the topping in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Mash the bananas. Add the egg substitute and milk and mix well. Mix in the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Mix just to combine; the batter should be lumpy.

4. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle each with reserved topping. Bake for 18-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

The muffins are a little dense but I like them that way. I didn't have any baking soda so I omitted the soda, added 2 tsp of baking powder and omitted the salt. The original recipe calls for raisins, which I didn't even realize until I started writing this post and re-read the name: "oatmeal raisin banana muffins." Der. The raisins will certainly add more sweetness since these aren't very sweet but I think my version is delicious without raisins so I suggest making them to your personal preference.

I'm halfway through 4D with only 1.5 slip-ups under my belt -- one extra cheat meal and a day of following the diet but not eating enough. It really hasn't been too bad. Like I've said before, I'm not dying of starvation and I really don't mind the foods I'm eating.

Yesterday was probably the hardest day in terms of temptation. There were about 5 times throughout the day that I literally had the m&m's in my hand and had to force myself to put them back in the bag. I think part of the reason yesterday was such a struggle is that I had a pretty hard workout in the morning. Last week my workouts were pretty mild because of my cold so yesterday was the first time while on the diet I really did a lot of cardio. I was trying to justify the m&m's or the bite of peppermint bark because of how hard I worked. I realize it is certainly not the end of the world if I eat 5 m&m's but I started this diet to challenge myself and to reach a goal. I knew if I had eaten the m&m's, I would've felt like a failure. I got through it by telling myself I only have a week and a half left and since I've made it this far, I can definitely make it to Christmas. I reminded myself of the training I did for my half marathons this year. If I didn't feel like running, I would just have to tell myself over and over again why I was doing this and that I can get through it. After each run, I physically crossed it off my training calendar and felt a sense of accomplishment for doing it, even when I didn't initially feel like doing it. I never regretted a run once I got out there and I've come a long way using that mental momentum. It's time for me to apply that attitude to food.

As of this morning, I've lost 11 pounds since Sunday, December 4. Not bad considering two cheat meals (one allowed and one extra) and a day of following the diet but not really. We'll see how these next 10 days go!

December 13, 2011

Turkey patties

First of all, let me tell you how much I hate when people take pictures of themselves. It seriously makes me so mad, especially when they make it their Facebook picture. Taking a picture of yourself strictly for the purpose of making it your Facebook picture is such a Myspace move. You really have no other pictures of yourself that you can use as your profile picture? Really??!!!? Also, it seems a little pretentious, like you are just so good looking at that moment that everyone needs to see it. Give me a break. I say all this to preface the fact that I took a picture of myself last night. HOWEVER, it was only for the blog and it will never be my Facebook profile picture:

I hate myself. But I wanted to show you my only coffee mug, an Ohio University Credit Union mug I "borrowed" the summer I worked there. I also wanted to capture my bright red face. It's red because I had just finished making 12.5 turkey burgers for my protein for the week. My apartment still smells like meat and the sweatshirt I was wearing (OU hoodie no doubt) smells the same. I don't mind the smell but I'm not used to it because I'm not a huge meat eater (that's what she said.) 4D requires protein at almost every meal so I figured I might as well have a marathon meat cooking sesh. (I'm all about the cooking seshes lately.) Since I know you are dying to see my plate o' meat...

I made them with extra lean ground turkey and Mrs. Dash's fiesta lime seasoning. Demi recommended it, and any of the Mrs. Dash seasonings, because they do not include salt. The fiesta lime is probably my favorite. I also use the spicy seasoning which is good but not as spicy as I'd prefer. All the patties are 4oz except for one which was made with about 1.5oz of the last of the meat. Can you find it on the plate?

It's the perfect size for a little babe. I call it the Ella burger hah

The next step is to eat all of the turkey patties. Hopefully I won't be turkey pattied out by the end!