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Friend Makin’ Mondays

January 9, 2012

I’m excited to participate in my first week of Kenlie’s Friend Makin’ Mondays!



FMM: Getting To Know You

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday? I love to sleep in, lounge in bed for at least 30 minutes, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then go out and do something fun, go shopping, or visit friends.

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.  This changes all the time but: Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Amazing Race

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them? I want to be in them, but I rarely like how look.

4) Why do you blog? I feel like I have something to contribute to the conversation, and I want to be a part of a community and help build that community. I also hope it will motivate my weight loss journey.

5) Share five websites that you visit regularly…

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be? Gosh that’s an impossible choice. Probably @janeetha. She’s rad. And we were both born in good ol’ 1983.

7) List a few of your favorite snacks. Popcorn, guacamole and chips, apples and almond butter, carrots, brie and crackers

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind? No, but I have wanted a dog since before I can remember and I can’t wait to have one!

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without? my old busted up Macbook that has been everywhere with me, my iPhone, my favorite insulated cup that I use daily

10) What’s your favorite drink? Unsweetened iced tea that’s really cold with LOTS of ice.

11) Do you enjoy cooking? If I have the time and the patience to do it right, yes.

12) Do you have children? No, but I think about it an awful lot, which is a huge change for me

13) What are your favorite hobbies? Singing. TED talks. Long conversations with friends.

14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing? Hmm… I’m both. Truly. But it usually doesn’t seem like I’m outgoing, even though I have that side, because I have a hard time being outgoing around other super-outgoing people. It’s hard to make space for myself.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change? I’d give myself true self-confidence and the ability to know without a shade of doubt that I’m enough.

16) Who is your favorite actor/actress? I think Patrick Dempsey is incredibly sexy. I love Annette Benning and Meryl Streep.

17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?  Sadly, nothing so far!

18) Do you live near your family or far from them? I live far from them 😦 I miss them a lot.

19) List three of your talents. Singing, listening to others, managing people

20) What is your greatest attribute? I have a compassionate heart.

This was fun! Now it’s your turn to share your answers.  Don’t forget to visit Kenlie’s blog and link up!




Rising Above and WW update

January 4, 2012

Just a short random post for tonight!

I feel really optimistic about 2012. I’m not sure why, but I feel really good about what this year will bring.

However, I have to deal with some negative energy that is beyond my control during the day.

Any advice for how to deal with this situation? I am trying my best not to let it affect me and not drag my mood down, but it’s really hard sometimes. It can be wearing day in and day out.

I want to keep my light bright even when surrounded by someone else’s darkness.

Weight Watchers update 

Well.. I gained 2.7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. All told, it could have been much worse, but I’m still annoyed with myself.

Yesterday was my first day back on plan and I came in right on my PP+ target – woo!

Today went well also – I have packed breakfast and lunch both days and that was so helpful to staying on plan. Today I packed a huge salad, and it felt great.

I know that planning ahead is key to staying on plan. I just need to commit to the extra time it takes to cook, prep, and pack.

How do you stay positive regardless of others moods?

What’s your biggest tip for staying on track?

2012 Goals

January 3, 2012

I’m not someone who usually sets concrete goals. I think this is because they have always been set for me in some ways. Get good grades.. graduate high school, get into college, go to graduate school, achieve, achieve, achieve.

Now that I’m done with school, it feels strange because there is no tangible goal waiting at the end.

I spend a lot of my time thinking about what my goals should be now, and how I want them to reflect my values and my vision for my life.

So without further ado, here are my 2012 goals:

1) Transform my health and wellbeing by losing (at least) 52 pounds. This equates to 1 pound a week, which should be an achievable goal

2) Track my food consistently and attend regular WW meetings

3) Increase physical activity and work towards making exercise a habit and priority at least 3 times per week

4) Continue to eat fresh, whole foods and continue to decrease processed food from my diet

5) Continue to not drink soda and increase water intake

6) Become a better cook and educate myself in order to do so

7) Nurture my mental health and my self esteem – eliminate ‘fat talk’ from my self talk

8) Find a therapist to see regularly

9) Stay in better touch with my close friends near and far

10) Be myself and don’t apologize for it – work towards feeling more comfortable in my own skin

11) Find and create community in my new surroundings

12) Plan to do something really fun at least once a month

13) Get my voice back to the shape it was in 2008

14) Continue to blog – create a space here that is mine and reflects who I am

I look forward to this year – I can’t believe it is my last year as a 20-something!

I also look forward to interacting with you over the next year – to me, the blog world is all about community, and I want this space to help grow it.

What is one of your 2012 goals? What most helps you achieve your goals?

Foodie Pen Pals!!

November 29, 2011

This month was my first month participating in Foodie Pen Pals, and it was so fun!

Here is some info about Foodie Pen Pals if you’re not familiar with it:

You sign up by emailing Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean and you are then paired with a pen pal to send things to, as well as a pen pal to receive from (these are two separate people). Then, you contact the person you are sending things to and ask about what types of foods they enjoy or dislike to get an idea of what to send. Then comes the fun part! Select your goodies, and mail them so they arrive by the 15th of the month. I found it was easiest to mail using a flat rate box. You post what you received on the last day of the month!

If you’re interested in participating for December, email Lindsay at by December 4th to be included for December. In the email please include:

-your full name
-your email address
-your blog name (if applicable)

So without further ado, I can’t wait to share the fun goodies I received this month!

I received a package from Kimberly at Badger Girl Learns to Cook, and she sent me some great stuff!

It was so fun to open my package and discover each thing. It was even more fun to taste things over the following several days.

Here is what was inside:

All the goodies! The best part was that everything is related to Wisconsin in some way. I loved reading the information about each product.

Dried Cherries

Delicious Cranberry Horseradish Mustard

Wonderful handmade salted caramels

Yummy pretzel sticks for the mustard

Gingerbread cookies in the shape of Wisconsin and cows!

Even the card was tied into the Wisconsin theme

See – a cow! 🙂

Isn’t it her ribbon wrapping so thoughtful?

It was so funny because I told Kimberly I don’t like cranberry flavor very much, and she sent me the cranberry mustard in an effort to change my mind. Well, I should have told her that I like fresh cranberries or when they are in other things, so I was actually excited to try the mustard. I LOVE hot mustards and this one did not disappoint. It is awesome! Slightly hot, slightly sweet, and a nice tang. I need more pretzels so I can eat it again soon.

I also especially loved the caramels.  I even liked the gingerbread, which I also don’t normally care for. I haven’t tried the cherries yet, but they look delicious.

Thank you so much Kimberly! I really enjoyed my taste of Wisconsin and your notes about each product.

Here is a list of everyone else that participated this month if you want to check out the other posts! (I borrowed this list from Laura at Becoming the Odd Duck – thanks girl!)


Q: What are some unique items I could include for my next Foodie PenPal?

Miss Representation

October 31, 2011

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

Please watch the preview above if you can.

I was fortunate to watch this documentary recently on OWN. The basic premise is the misrepresentation of women in the media, hence the title.

Some surprising (and some not so surprising) facts from the film:

  • American teenagers consume over 10 hours of media a day
  • Girls receive the message that their worth is based solely on how they look. Boys receive the message that looks are what is important about girls. Women are socialized to be insecure.
  • Women make up 51% of the US Population, but only 17% of Congress
  • The media is derogatory to the most powerful women in the country; calling Hillary Clinton a “bitch” or refering to Sarah Palin as “masturbation material”.
  • The U.S. is 90th in the world in terms of women representation in legislature. Cuba, China, and Iraq all rank above the United States
  • There have only been 34 female governors. There have been over 2000 male governors.
  • This media climate is creating a world where there is increasing violence against women.  1 in 6 women has been the victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. 15% of these victims are under the age of 12. For more information on sexual assault and counseling services in your area, please visit RAINN

How do we begin to fix this problem?

“You can’t be what you can’t see” -Marie Wilson, The White House Project

What Marie means by this is that women and girls need to see positive images reflected back to them in the media and in reality. Women need to see powerful females in leading roles of television shows and movies. Women need to see girls being praised for their intellect or their wit instead of their bodies.

Ultimately, the media is a tool. It can be used for good or used for harm. We have the power to support what we want to see in the media. We can vote with our wallets and not purchase products where the advertisement demeans women. If you’d like to get involved with the Miss Representation movement you can do so here.

The film was interesting, compelling, upsetting, unique, and motivational. It was emotional for me in some ways because even though I know I’m intelligent and I have a master’s degree, I saw myself in the insecurities women mentioned in the film. I felt that familiar shame washing over me as I watched. I can clearly see how the media messages I’ve received over my lifetime have impacted me and made me feel not good enough. not thin enough. not pretty enough. not worthy enough.

I see how these messages and the feelings they manifested inside of me led me to seek approval and attention from men in the wrong ways and eventually be put in dangerous situations. The film also mentioned how girls and women are hungry for strong female mentors. I definitely was. I needed a strong, confident woman I could talk to in middle school and high school… even at the beginning of college. I know I would have made different, better choices if I’d had someone to talk to and guide me. Unfortunately, for many reasons, I felt like I couldn’t talk to my parents, and I’m sure many girls feel the same way because of their family circumstances. I haven’t figured out how yet, but it is so important to me that girls feel empowered at a young age that I hope to work to help girls achieve strong self-esteem. I want to be that encouraging voice for a girl.

In the end, I’m definitely glad I watched the film. It really made me think and reflect, as well as want to take action. I hope you will seek out an opportunity to watch it if you haven’t already seen it. You can find (or host!) a screening by visiting this website. It is also being re-aired on November 12 at 11am on OWN, so set your DVR.

Q: Do you think the media has impacted your self-image/self-esteem?

Q: How do you combat media stereotyping in your life?


A White Halloween?

October 30, 2011

We got 3 inches of snow last night. Rude.

I’m in denial that winter is coming.

Also, am I the only person who doesn’t get Halloween now that we’re adults? I loved it growing up, but now I just don’t see the point. I have so many friends that still love to wear costumes and go all out for the holiday. I have no desire.

I’m still going strong with Weight Watchers. I was up 0.4 pounds at weigh in last week, but the leader said it is typical for your body to hold onto a little after a big lost the first week. I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m down this week since I’ve been really diligent with tracking and I’ve been cooking!

I made a WW recipe this week that I wanted to share. Bean and Bulgur Chili – t’was delicious! It is very similar to this recipe, except it calls for black beans and a can of crushed tomatoes and poblano peppers instead of bell. It was quick and easy and the bulgur really satisfies as a meat substitute.

On another note… I had some odd medical stuff come up last week after visiting the eye doctor for a routine exam. I don’t really want to say more until I know more, but I had an MRI last week and I see a specialist tomorrow. I am trying to stay positive, and I’m hoping for good news at the visit. It’s all been very sudden, and I don’t really know anything yet! It’s been hard to wait without knowing anything.

Send your good thoughts my way tomorrow morning if you don’t mind. I’ll be back soon with a real post.

Five for Friday (on Saturday)

October 22, 2011

Eh, a day late. I figure no one will mind.


Five Things I’m Loving Right Now

1. Dollar Tree

Do you guys know that you can buy greeting cards here for .50 cents?? This is huge! I bought ten cards today for the cost of potentially one card at a Hallmark. My mind was blown.

2. Honeycrisp Apples

Enough said. They are the jam.

3. Living near a Trader Joe’s for the first time in two years

Greek yogurt. The best taco seasoning. Mango strips. $4 a log goat cheese. White Bean Hummus. The list goes on and on. TJ’s I have missed you!

4. NetNewsWire

This is the reader I use, and I love it.

5. This banana bread recipe

It’s legit. Sub greek yogurt for the sour cream, but don’t skip it. It made for a lovely texture.


Five posts I loved reading this week:

The End of Best FriendsEat the Damn Cake – I’m still thinking about this one.

The Confidence ProjectSkinny Emmie – I will be joining the project.

One Year AgoBig Girl Feats – Inspiring.

A Worthy ReplacementHoney I Shrunk the Gretchen – Completely convinced me to try spaghetti squash.

Brain Food 101: How to Store BreadSavvy Eats – This is need-to-know information, people!


Five Shows I Watched This Week:

1. My First Place

2. Property Virgins (yes, I have an addiction to HGTV)

3. The Rosie Show (I love her)

4. Jersey Shore (shh.. it’s my guilty pleasure)

5. Modern Family (my fav)


Tell me your five!