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More Fall Colors! by Smiling Notes (BLW Contributor)



I cannot believe it’s November already! Which means winter is approaching soon…but please, pretty please can I make Fall stay with me forever!?

I must have said this a hundred times before that Fall is my favorite season! Especially for east coasters where the winter can get pretty brutal at times. Now that the Halloween festivities are over, everyone will be geared up for the upcoming black friday sales and Thanksgiving. For people like me who celebrate ‘Diwali’ – the Hindu festival of Lights (which is just around the corner) it is yet another reason to enjoy!!

Ok…so enough of my ramble…getting to the point – I captured these photos over the past few days. I kid you not, once I literally made the hubby stop the car as we were driving by so I could go all bat-shit crazy clicking photos! Now I know that certain states like New Hampshire or Maine get the prettiest fall colors (there’s no denying that) but New Jersey and New York get fascinating glimpses of Fall too!

Loving the beautiful bed of leaves –


By far, this is my favorite pic –  

They say ‘Fall is a second Spring…when every leaf is a flower’so I am enjoying this ‘second spring’ as much as I can because honestly, even though I love snow…it can truly get depressing in the winter sometimes. Hope this post added a little bit of extra color in your lives the way it did for me! 

Keep smiling!

Check out more pictures from Smiling Notes

Confession: I read “too much” and I don’t care by A Novel Glimpse (BLW Contributor)



This past weekend was the first weekend in a couple of months that my family had some down time. We weren’t camping, vacationing, birthday partying or sucked into any other commitment. I actually got to stay in my pajamas and read one day.

It was probably around noon that lounging day when my husband said something to me that he’s said to many times before:

“You read too much.”

I always hate when he says that to me. Partly because I know it’s true. Partly because it makes me feel guilty and embarrassed. It makes me feel like I need to stop reading so much.

I mean, I get why he thinks I read too much. Reading is a physically lazy hobby. You’re sitting or lying there with a book in your hand. I do try to read while walking on the treadmill a lot just to make up for the time I spend sitting with a book.

I’ll admit I spend a ton of time reading. It’s probably too much. Most of it is at night after my daughter goes to bed and my husband’s watching T.V. I explain it to people by saying he watches stuff I don’t like, so I read instead of watching with him. While that’s true, there are better reasons.

I really do love to read. I try to explain it is like watching a movie, only better. Non-readers don’t get this. Wouldn’t it be better to have an actual picture of what’s going on instead of imagining it? My answer is no, it’s not. There are so many emotions that cannot be shown simply by acting. Unless there is a narrator, you’re not in the characters heads like you are in books.

A prime example of that would be Fifty Shades of Grey. I remember reading the book and becoming sucked in by Ana’s emotions. They made the book for me. Her emotions are what kept me reading. I recently watched the movie. I have to be honest. The movie and its lack of emotions made me rethink how I felt about the book. (I don’t like it as much as I did before.) Instead of it being about the emotional connection Ana and Christian had, all I saw was the sex. And it wasn’t a pretty picture. Lack of emotions ruined it.

Also, books usually include more than movies. Anything imaginable can happen in a book. Not everything can physically happen in a movie. It’s gotten better with the special effects that are being created, but it’s not as good some authors’ imaginations. Then, there is the time constraint of two to two and a half hours. Most books take longer than that to read.

But that’s not even the real reason I read.

I read to feel.

Some people might label it escaping the norm, but it’s about feeling something for me. In my early twenties, everything was new and exciting. Once I started working full-time things started changing. Every day was similar. I used to yearn for the weekends and finding something exciting to do. Then, I got married, had my daughter and became a stay-at-home mom. While there were many exciting milestones, there was also a lot of boredom. My mind was used to the fast-paced work environment. Now, there wasn’t a lot of mental stimulation. I turned to reading to keep my mind sharp.

As I started reading, I discovered new authors and books. I found authors like Colleen Hoover, Jessica Park and Ginger Scott, that had me feeling. I felt so many emotions that I hadn’t in such a long time: first love, longing, heartbreak, etc. While I wouldn’t want my life to be any different from it is now, it was nice to be reminded of feelings I felt in my younger years when everything was new and exciting all the time. It made me appreciate my current life even more.

So, what I guess I’m trying to say through this long and rambling post is that I’m okay with reading “too much.” I’m not going to stop because it truly makes me happy. I know not everyone will understand my love for it, but that doesn’t matter. And the next time my husband says I read too much, I’m going to say,

“You spend too much time in the garage, snowmobiling, watching T.V., on the computer…”

Maybe that will help put things in perspective because life is too short not to do the things you love. And I love reading.

**Update: I feel the need to add to this post that my husband is an amazing guy. We normally “get” each other.  My obsession with reading is one area where we don’t always see eye to eye. He’s not a reader, so how could he understand? I hope my comeback at the end of this post doesn’t seem too sassy. It’s really just my way of putting my love of reading in a way he would understand.

Check out other great articles from A Novel Glimpse

What Happens When You Eat Too Much? (Science is Awesome)



The season of giving is often also the season of over-indulging at the dinner table. As Thanksgiving approaches, Reactions takes a look down at our stomachs to find out what happens when you overeat. Put on your “eating pants” enjoy the video

Benefits of Drinking Coffee before Exercising – Happy Espresso Day!!!




The study basically simulated your average morning: a mug of coffee to wake up, a little gym time, another cup with breakfast, followed by lunch. Fourteen participants completed two moderate workouts on a stationary bike: one where they took caffeine (equal to two 8-ounce cups of coffee or 4 cups of black tea) 90 minutes before the workout, and one where they took a placebo. When caffeinated, the participants reported the ride as way easier than it was without the stimulant.

Coffee before Exercising:

1) Enhanced Performance 

Time and time again, caffeine has been proven to be a powerful ergogenic aid – that is, something which contributes to improved performance during high intensity exercise. 

Studies reveal that after caffeine consumption, athletes can train for much longer and with more power/speed.

2) Boosts Focus

A pre-workout cup o‘ Joe can also boost mental focus during exercise.

Combined with the increase in endurance and power/speed provided, this can lead to extremely productive workout sessions, as you huff and puff with the seeming intensity of an international athlete.

3) Accelerate Fat Loss

Another benefit of taking a cup of coffee prior to lacing up your trainers is that caffeine is proven to provide a range of fat loss benefits.

Coffee can help burn fat as, during exercise, it causes the body to use fat cells for energy as opposed to glycogen.

What’s more, a caffeine intake correlates with increase metabolism, which forces your body to burn more calories during the day, and it also suppresses appetite, satiating those cravings which are oh so bad for your waistline!  

4) Diminished Muscle Pain

Studies also show that a pre-workout injection of caffeine can lead to decreased muscle soreness when exercising.

So whether you’re pumping iron or racing down the tarmac, a cup of coffee will help you perform more reps and allow you to run for further with less muscular pain, resulting in a much more effective workout.

Credit: Cafe 2 U



Be Thankful Poem



Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
 If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
. For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. 
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
 – They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary. 
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
 A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive. 
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

Artsy Fartsy – Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell


Freedom from Want, also known as The Thanksgiving Picture or I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is the third of the Four Freedoms series of four oil paintings by American artist Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms.

The painting was created in November 1942 and published in the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. All of the people in the picture were friends and family of Rockwell in Arlington, Vermont, who were photographed individually and painted into the scene. The work depicts a group of people gathered around a dinner table for a holiday meal. Having been partially created on Thanksgiving Day to depict the celebration, it has become an iconic representation of the Thanksgiving holiday and family holiday gatherings in general.

Three generations circle the food—a nuclear family more rarely seen today, but still existing in some hearts and minds as an ideal. (If Rockwell were painting now in 2013, what might that modern American family look like racially or even in terms of sexual orientation?) From the lower right corner, in the finest Renaissance tradition of painting, a young man looks out at you directly—the classic challenge to the viewer posed by the painter and his painting. His smile asks you to join in with the wonder at the bounty set before them, but is that all it asks? After more than a decade of overseas wars draining of us blood and treasure and an economic downturn further depleting our reserves of good will and thankfulness, that young man’s smile reminds us that the Thanksgiving thanks are not necessarily for abundant protein and four kinds of vegetables. Instead, the thankfulness is for having each other and the enduring capacity of people to free one another from all kinds of want—physical, emotional, and even spiritual.

Credit: Wikipedia

Your Body during Sex – Tell us what happens to you during the Magic Hour? (Science is Awesome)


The Dragon’s Philosophy – Bend but do not Break



Exclusive BLW Video – Gavin Rossdale still wearing his wedding ring after rumors of cheating with the Nanny


According to, Gwen Stefani said, “I wish it didn’t happen – I wish that all this wasn’t happening,” the singer, 46, shared in an interview with radio show The Tommy Show that aired Wednesday on Washington D.C.’s 94.7 Fresh FM. “But at the same time, I feel like it was part of my life journey.”

In the midst of launching a new chapter of her personal life and career, she can’t help but reflect on older songs that capture her evolution with Rossdale throughout their 13-year marriage.

“Because of my situation right now, which we all know what I’m talking about, I feel like I go back and listen to a lot of that stuff and I’m, like, I get sick,” she explained. “You look at the songs and go, ‘That was a red flag. That was a moment where I was feeling just as bad as I feel today, and why did I keep it up?

Despite the “many bad things” to come of the longterm couple’s divorce – including speculation Rossdale cheated with the family’s former nanny – Stefani admits she has “got a lot of joy right now.”

“I’m in such a great place because I’ve been writing music,” she said. “For me … that’s just everything that I love about being alive because I hadn’t been able to do it for so long.”

Here is Exclusive footage of Bush frontman still wearing his wedding ring on daddy duties being a good father with his son in Beverly Hills.