This Week v. 9

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was seeing my grand-nephew and his parents last week (quick recap: Elijah’s great-grandfather is my father-in-law). He is so adorable and very talkative. We spent a lot of time talking about parenting with his parents, and then Erik and I talked about parenting for awhile after. We still aren’t exactly sure when we’ll start trying to have kids, but it’s definitely going to be sooner rather than later!

We also went to the fair on Sunday which was super fun — and one of the pictures I took of the deep fried ribs we had was featured on a Buzzfeed list! Woohoo!

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The low of my week was finding out that we’re not going to Hawaii for Christmas. Some personal stuff has come up and it’s not an option anymore. Super sad face. We’re trying to figure out what to do with the plane tickets that were already bought, but it looks like we’ll be heading back to NYC next year so that’s kind of exciting. But overall still bummed.

A book I am reading is Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. So I remember a blog post I wrote awhile ago about quitting books, and I realized that I don’t really need to keep reading The Paris Wife if I don’t like it. I actually read a lot and quite quickly when I like a book, and hardly ever when I hate a book. So I realized that I need to stop slogging through books I don’t like. I don’t win any points for reading something I don’t like.

For my workouts, I did an OTF workout on Friday, 8 mile run on Sunday, a three mile run on Wednesday and an OTF workout on Thursday. The run on Sunday was great, but the run on Wednesday was terrible because it was so humid. It wasn’t too hot but the humidity nearly killed me — it was at 94%!!!!

The best money I spent was on all the state fair food we ate! We had a Pronto Pup (corndog), deep fried ribs, chocolate-dipped Belgian waffle with whipped cream and sprinkles, fried potatoes skins with nacho cheese and ranch (not together), cheese curds, and Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies. I wish we had time to go back a second day to eat more, or that we could have stayed longer, but our schedule this week was just packed! But I’m glad we ate what we did. Everything was really good, so that was nice. No disappointments this year!

How was your week?

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August’s Link Love

Monday, August 31st, 2015 | Posted under Link Love

I’m spending the morning working at Anelace, and I have a few fun links to share with you…

As a shy extrovert, this is essentially everything that runs through my head when I encounter a potential friend

Apparently you can’t just burn 3,500 calories and expect to lose a pound — bummer.

Where is Brooklyn in your state? (if I can’t live in the actual Brooklyn, at least I can live in the Brooklyn of Minnesota!)

24 Things We Unexpectedly Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

Filed under TMI: why you need to poop after drinking coffee

26 Faces Every Single Retail Worker Will Immediately Recognize

I’m just getting more active on Instagram after years of avoidance (there’s a huge Instagram crowd in MN), so I found Vogue’s rules for Instagram useful — and hilarious


I can’t believe tomorrow is September! I head back to school tomorrow and I know I have a few friends / friend’s children who are also going back to school. I love summer but I’m definitely looking forward to some cooler weather and a few enjoyable training runs before the marathon that’s in five weeks (!). What are you looking forward to in September? 

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Thursday, August 27th, 2015 | Posted under Currently

Reading… uh, still the Paris Wife, I guess. But the good news is that I found it! So now I can actually read it. As I mentioned before, I have a stack of library books on my desk so I’m hoping to carve out some more time to read them before they’re due back.

Watching… the new Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, and Patrick Stewart’s new show, Blunt Talk. Both of them are kind of weird, but for different reasons. The WD spin-off was pretty slow and it was kind of painful to watch characters who are so useless with zombies! Blunt Talk is situational comedy, but it seems a little far-fetched and campy, so I don’t know if it’s really my style. But it’s fun to watch Patrick Stewart do something different.

Planning… our big trip to New York City! Eeeee! I’m so excited! So far our plans are to go on a cruise around Manhattan on Friday night and have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, One If By Land, Two If By Sea; we’re hosting a brunch on Saturday and a dinner on Sunday; and we’ll see the Broadway show “An American In Paris” on Sunday. I’ve always wanted to do a harbor cruise and it’s one of the few things I didn’t get around to when we lived in New York, so I’m really excited about that!

Nervous… about the marathon, which is in less than a month. I’ve had less than stellar long runs, mostly because I think my body is just getting used to the distance and I’m mentally getting used to the idea that I can run faster even if I’ve been running for awhile. I have no idea if I’m going to meet my goal (a sub-6:00 hour marathon) but we’ll see. I have a 20 mile run in a  couple weeks that Erik is going to help me with so that I can practice more with what it’ll be like to run the marathon.

Exhausted… from all the working I’ve been doing lately! I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep either because I’ve either been getting up earlier to work or early to run. I really need a break!

Getting ready… for school to start next Tuesday! This semester is going to be crazy busy too. I have two classes on Tuesday and two on Thursday, and then I’m also going to be doing a 3 week class on Medical Family Therapy (yay!) and a weekend class (the Intro to Marriage and Family Therapy class, even though I’m already in the program I have to take class).

Loving… cooler days! It’s making training a lot easier. I can’t imagine training for a marathon in the winter, however. That’s a little too cold!

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This Week v. 8

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 | Posted under Uncategorized

The high of my week was completing my first Ragnar! The Ragnar itself wasn’t a high — it was too hot and too hilly. But it was quite an experience and I would love to do another one. Just not in August. If anyone is looking for another runner for their team, let me know!

The low of my week was some friend trouble. I don’t really want to get into details but it’s really been weighing on me and I’m not sure what to do other than what I’ve been doing. So think happy thoughts for me, will ya? Thanks.

A book I am reading is The Paris Wife, technically. But I seem to have misplaced the book, which is no bueno because it’s a library book! Hopefully I can find it, but in the meantime, I’ll have to start something else. Which shouldn’t be hard because I’m on a library binge and have like 8 books checked out!

For my workouts, I did three runs, in addition to the Ragnar last weekend. 3 on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday and 3 on Friday. Hardly anything worth writing home about because they were also 3 of my slowest miles. But running is running, right? That’s what I’m trying to tell myself!

The best money I spent was on new Superfeet orthotics. I wore them for the longest time and recently hadn’t been but all the extra miles are really hurting my feet and I think I need the extra support. The only problem is now the IT-band pain that hasn’t been an issue is starting to come back. I’m starting to wonder if running really is my sport… Sigh.

How was your week?


Life Lately

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 | Posted under Health + Fitness, Minneapolis, Travel

A quick blast of updates because I’m so behind in life:

  • Oregon was awesome! I had planned on doing a thorough recap when I returned but between work and prepping for the Ragnar last weekend, that just never happened. So here’s the abridged version:
    • our flight to Oregon on Spirit was cheap(er) but painfully uncomfortable;
    • Kayce’s wedding was gorgeous (here’s proof) and it was so fun hanging out with a few high school friends;
    • my parents took Erik and I wine-tasting in the Willamette Valley which is known for pinot noir (we went to Willakenzie, Elk Cove, and Patton Valley);
    • my mom and I spent the afternoon in Portland shopping, tried gourmet donuts at Blue Star, and had delicious crepes at our go-to Vivace;
    • we had dinner at the acclaimed Thai restaurant Pok Pok and had crazy-good handmade ice cream at Salt and Straw;
    • I took Erik to my childhood diabetes camp and then we drove up the picturesque Oregon Coast
    • we also saw some of Erik’s friends;
    • we had dessert at Random Order, the bakery that made our wedding pies;
    • my grandma and uncle came to visit for my birthday and we went to the Stone Cliff Inn (apparently Twilight was filmed near there);
    • Erik surprised me with a TRIP TO NEW YORK CITY for Labor Day! EEEEEEEE!!! I’M SO EXCITED. I will tell you more about it later!
    • and we saw Inside Out and everyone asked me my “professional therapist” thoughts on it (I don’t really have any, sorry).



  • The Ragnar was this last weekend and it was 48 hours of sheer craziness. If I wasn’t running in 95 degree heat, I was sitting in a car or sleeping in a car. My chiropractor appointment was much-needed this afternoon. I can’t stay I really enjoyed the Ragnar because it was so hot and so hilly. But I enjoyed the overall experience of it and I would definitely do another one — just somewhere flatter and not in August.


  • I have been working a lot lately: besides Pier 1, I also freelance for a diabetes magazine and a diabetes website, and I have several babysitting clients. I juggle quite a bit and it’s exhausting, but our finances have also been a lot better lately, so it won’t be changing for awhile. It’s also why I’m sometimes quite on the blog. I’m just elsewhere…
  • I’ve done some reading! I read Dear Committee Members for a book club I didn’t go to because I didn’t like the book, and also The Rose Project (super cute). I started The Paris Wife a couple weeks ago but I’ve only gotten about 80 pages in and then life got busy, but I hope to finish it because it seems good.
  • We’re continuing to host on AirBNB and it’s been a good experience so far! We had our second guest this weekend, and we have two more people staying with us this week. One of them will be with us for eleven nights, so it’s nice to have so many extended stay visitors.
  • I’m running a lot! I’m not really following a training plan because of aforementioned crazy schedule, but I’m hitting a long run and a couple other runs every week. I feel like I will do fine in the marathon even if I don’t finish with any kind of crazy good time. But that’s not really my goal. My goal is to just finish without dying, and I think there’s a good chance of me accomplishing that goal.


Throwback Thursday: August 6, 1985

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 | Posted under Uncategorized

Well, I am officially 30 years old.

I had all kinds of ideas for what to post today. I thought about posting some photos of me through the years, but my week visiting my parents and attending a friend’s wedding has kept me pretty busy. I thought about writing something reflective and insightful, but I don’t think I have anything to say that hasn’t been said better by someone else.

The other day, Erik and I were talking about turning 30 (he’ll be 32 in October) and he said that while he didn’t feel older the day he turned 30, he did have this expectation to be older. Like, now that I’m thirty, I need to be an adult and have all my shit together. 

Everyone has said that their thirties are just awesome, which is a great thing to look forward to. But I also hear about people being more confident and stable and happy, which are all good things, but since I’m just this baby 30-year-old, it obviously doesn’t just happen overnight. So here I am, tapping my fingers, wondering how long it will be before I feel like a mature confident with-it 30-something adult.

Another friend told me yesterday that someone told her that you don’t really feel like an adult until both your parents have passed away. I think there’s some truth to that although I don’t know because thankfully both my parents are alive. But the point is that you don’t really feel like an adult until you are the authority, the elder. Until then, you still feel like the kid that can ask for help or advice. 

Speaking of babies and kids, I found one photo I wanted to share:  

You don’t have to say anything, I already know I’m the cutest baby that ever lived. 

And here is present-day Allison, taken on Sunday in the Oregon wine country.

If you’re 30 or older, how has it been like for you? Do you feel like an adult? If you’re younger, what predictions do you have? 


This Week v. 7

Friday, July 31st, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was finishing my last class for the semester last weekend. I didn’t really enjoy the class as much as I thought I would (I don’t really like weekend seminars, because they are just too surface-y for me). So I’m really glad I have the month off from school, although I have plenty of work coming up.

The low of my week was tweaking my back. It hurt so much I had to move my chiropractor appointment up two days. He adjusted my spine, and mostly it’s tight lower back muscles so I just need to do more foam rolling so I don’t end up injured (again).

A book I am reading is The Paris Wife. And by currently reading, I mean I’m about 8 pages in, so I have no comment on it so far. But this week I read two — TWO — books, which is a record for me, I think. I read It Was Me All Along and The Rosie Project. I like both, but I think I like The Rosie Project a little bit more.

For my workouts, I did a three mile run on Monday, Orangetheory on Tuesday and a six mile run on Wednesday and then today I ran just shy of 14 miles (I didn’t do quite an out and back so that’s why I missed a little).


The best money I spent was nothing. I bought a couple coffees at some new-to-me coffeeshops around town, but other than that, I didn’t really spend any money.

My plans this weekend include leaving for Oregon and going to my friend’s wedding, although that’s actually in Washington!

How was your week? 

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July’s Link Love

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 | Posted under Link Love

linkloveAs many of you may know, for a long time (more than 80 weeks) I compiled a Friday Finds link list. It worked out great for awhile but when I started spending less time online reading random articles and more time working and in school, it became harder and harder to do a list. However, there have been many times since then where I’ve wanted to do a shout-out to a handful of blogs, but not necessarily on any kind of schedule. So I’ve decided to adopt San’s Link Love series as one of my own. I’ll probably start off monthly like her, and then increase frequency if I need to. I’m happy to bring it back because it was definitely one of my most popular series! Enjoy!


Despite being in my hometown of Portland, I haven’t had a chance to attend the World Domination Summit so I loved reading Jessica’s recap

14 Things You Should Do When You Move to a New Town

I recently finished a Multicultural class, and I thought this article on developing a White identity from a Christian perspective was really insightful

For all my bookworm readers, here are some of the most beautiful sentences in literature

10 Hard Life Lessons You Learn in Your 20s

There are four different kinds of introversion, and sadly, I think I might be the anxious introvert

Some great, practical tips on living a healthier life

I adore Vogue’s series of 73 questions with famous people (that’s the link to Nicole Kidman)


And finally, this is an amazing compilation of some of the best dance sequences in movies (there’s also a remake version floating on Facebook set to a remix of Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough — both are great, but this is the only one I could embed and it’s the original so the music and the clips are synced a bit better).


This Week v. 6

Friday, July 24th, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was my really busy social weekend was awesome, but another high of the week was getting our ceiling fan fixed! My brother-in-law came over on Wednesday to install it and it’s just so awesome to have a working light in our stairwell again! We also talked about a couple of other possible electrical projects in the downstairs hallway and in our kitchen. We still have some investigating to do, but at least they are options.

The low of my week was probably just some crazy blood sugars, especially on Sunday and Tuesday. The Tuesday blood sugar fiasco was a bummer because it cut my run short. I tried to take less insulin to prevent a low during my long run, but then I just ended up going super high. I can’t run very well on either extremes, so it just sucks.

A book I am reading is It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell. I saw it at the library and had read about it on another blog, so I picked it up. It’s pretty good, although a little overwrought with adjectives. It’s quick read though!

For my workouts, I did a four mile run on Monday, a ten mile run on Tuesday, and an Orangetheory workout yesterday (ran 2 miles there).

The best money I spent was this chip and dip platter and a replacement for this divided serving dish (Erik accidentally broke our previous one). Between my associate discount, the Daily Deal discount, and my $20 reward certificate for having their credit card, both of these were only $5! Woohoo!

My plans this weekend include going to a two day seminar on trauma and play therapy and working a long shift on Sunday, but tonight my friend Chelsea and her husband are coming over to grill. I haven’t seen her for a few weeks so I’m looking forward to hanging out!

How was your week? 


Virtual Coffee Date at Coffee Shop Northeast

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 | Posted under About Me, Minneapolis

Last month I started a new series based on the popular “Virtual Coffee Date” posts used by many bloggers. In my coffee dates, I showcase a local coffee shop in the Twin Cities! 

Today I’m writing from Coffee Shop Northeast, located not too far from where my last post was written (Anelace Coffee). Coffee Shop Northeast is located at the corner of 29th and Johnson, which is very popular because it’s also the intersection of Hazel’s Restaurant, known for their ridiculously long lines and delicious brunches. Coffee Shop Northeast is a huge place, split between two spaces, the smaller front room with a few tables and the larger back room with more tables, a couch and comfy leather seats. They hang (and sell!) local art from artists on their wall and they have really cool light fixtures. They also have music nights and open mic nights, which I haven’t been to, but definitely plan on!


Coffee Shop Northeast has a huge food and drink menu, so you can pretty much get anything your heart desires. They also offer more organic and vegan options, so it’s great for the health conscious! Today, I’m drinking an iced dirty chai. It’s not exactly the prettiest drink the whole world, but I was introduced to the dirty chai when I first came here so I think of it as a tradition. A dirty chai, for those who don’t know, is a combination of espresso and chai, but it mostly just tastes like chai. It’s super yummy!


If we were having coffee (or chai!) today, I would tell you that Erik and I are trying a new budgeting system for the family. We really want to pay down our debt before we have kids, and we have a ways to go, so we’re trying to be more strict with ourselves. The way I contribute is that my Pier 1 paycheck goes to our joint spending, and my babysitting money goes toward my own personal expenses, such chai tea. However, in general we’re trying to pay more with cash, and less with debit (and definitely not credit!) so that we can have a firmer idea of how much money we’re really spending. We’re also trying to be more strict with how much money we spend on food and other household purchases. We recently decided that Trader Joe’s is definitely the cheapest place for us to buy groceries, even though you’d think otherwise! But for us, it’s true. We also really like the quality of food, so it works out!

If we were having coffee (or chai!) today, I would also tell you that Erik and I have recently started a new money-making venture… hosting on AirBNB! Right now we are hosting our first guest, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota who is staying with us for two weeks (he leaves next week). Ironically, he also from Portland! He reserved our downstairs guest bedroom the day after I listed it! After hosting Kayce for most of June, we realized that it wasn’t really that intrusive to have someone in the house, especially when they are self-sufficient and you don’t have to entertain them like you do a guest. So why not make some money from it? We haven’t had any more reservations since then, but we’re hoping that once he leaves and writes us a (hopefully) good review, we’ll get more reservations.

If we were having coffee (or chai!) today, I would tell you that today was my last day of my Multicultural class and this weekend is my two day seminar on trauma and play therapy. But I am so ready for a break from school. I only had one week off in May between semesters, so I am so excited to have a month off for summer vacation. My big plan for my August break is to do a lot reading, running and writing (I have a few assignments to due in mid-August).

If we were having coffee (or chai!) today, I would tell you that I’m super excited to be heading to Oregon next week. We’re firming up some plans for what we’re going to do, which includes Kayce’s wedding, visiting a couple of Erik’s friends, touring the Oregon wine country, shopping with my mom, and hanging out with my grandma and uncle who are coming up on my birthday (August 6, btw). I’m hoping we’ll have time to check out Salt & Straw, which is supposed to be the best ice cream parlor in town. I love ice cream — it’s my favorite dessert — so I can’t wait!

If we were having coffee (or chai!) today, I would tell you that now is a great time to join the Junior League of Minneapolis if you’re interested! Unfortunately I forgot to post this earlier, because there was an info session last night, but there is also an info session on Saturday, August 29. I can send more information if you’re interested! A lot of people think of The Help or sorority sisters when they think of Junior League, but that’s not really true. Junior League is a volunteer organization focused on women and children, and our league specifically focuses on the achievement gap. It’s kind of a time commitment (and it’s not exactly cheap either, fyi), but if you’re looking for a way to volunteer in your community, meet lots of new people and go to fun events, then you should definitely attend an info session (which is free!). I have been in Junior League for three years, and it’s been so helpful in my move to Minnesota in particular. I have quickly gotten to know the community through volunteering at different non-profits and I know I’m making a difference in a place where we plan to be long-term. Plus I have met some really great friends! In fact, one of them is coming over with her husband tomorrow for dinner! Junior League exists in almost every metro area in the country, and summer is when they do most of their recruiting, so if you’re interested, I highly suggest looking to see if a League is in your area.


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