Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom


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Friday Finds

Friday, April 11th, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

bca7ff77ebbf06858cd12da3b25debbdOn being a gay Christian

Flipside: a twentysomething Christian thoughtfully explains why she’s against gay marriage (not that I agree, but her points are interesting)

A beautiful essay on life, relationships and purpose

How to interpret your weight loss properly

Wanting lose weight doesn’t always mean you have low self-esteem

What to think about when you’re running

60 powerful photographs

Rejection letters to famous people

The history of popular phrases


Tonight we’re having a friend of Erik’s and his girlfriend over for dinner. We love hosting people and it’s also a lot cheaper than going out! Then tomorrow I’m volunteering with the Junior League at a Boys & Girls Club event. We’re going to be helping them create a healthy snack and do some fun exercises with the kids. It’s similar to a program I volunteered with back in New York, so it should be a good time!

What are you doing this weekend?

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Virtual Coffee Date

Monday, April 7th, 2014 | Posted under About Me

Happy Monday! I always love reading these Virtual Coffee Dates whenever I see them around the blogosphere, so I thought I’d start the week off with some random updates!


If we were having coffee…

… I’d tell you that I got my Kindle lawsuit reimbursement thing from Amazon. A whopping $5.11. So I used it to buy the last book in the Divergent trilogy, which was $6.99. I haven’t started it yet, but I can’t wait!

… I’d tell you that my job at Barnes and Noble turned out to be a total bust. They ended up not liking my availability and wanted me to work more evenings. I already work 2-3 evenings a week at the nursing home, so I’d basically never see Erik! Not happening. So I told them that it wasn’t going to work out. To be honest, I had a bad feeling about the whole thing because the assistant manager forgot to call me to schedule my orientation and I had to call him. When I did, he seemed surprised and was like “Oh you still want to work here?” Whole thing was a bit weird.

… I’d tell you that I’m really starting to hate school. This whole “maybe not passing a class” thing is really getting me down, and it might delay graduating by an entire year because all the classes are sequential and most are only offered one semester. If you miss taking a class one term, you have to wait an entire year. Beyond aggravating, but I’m not sure what my options are…

… I’d tell you that I signed up for two races! My first Minnesota race will be at the end of the month. It’s called Get in Gear, and it’s apparently one of the largest 10Ks in the country! It goes along the Mississippi River and I think it’ll be really nice, as long as it doesn’t snow like it did on Friday! I also finally chose a half-marathon to do! It’s called the Red White and Boom Half Marathon. There aren’t a lot of half marathons in the summer because of the heat but I want to do my first marathon in the fall. I don’t want to do long runs in the dead of winter which is why I’m opting to not do a spring marathon as my first. It’s too late to do a spring half marathon because I’m not quite in shape yet so summer is what I’m stuck with.

… I’d tell you that I just received a copy of Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30! I entered to win via her website when I signed up for her DietBet and I won! I’m totally taking it as a sign. I plan on trying it out this week and will write up a review ASAP.

… I’d tell you that I have a Biology test that I should be studying for. I can’t tell if it will be hard or not because the material is all review from my previous classes, but those classes were from last year. I’m doing really well in the class overall, so I’m not too worried but I’m not a great test-taker. Information tends to fly out of my head when I’m under pressure.

… I’d tell you that I’m sooo excited that it’s starting to warm up! I’m wearing a skirt today! Haha. It’s only in the mid-50s, but yeah, here in Minnesota you’d think it was summer! Besides, I’ve been inside most of the day studying.

Which is what I should get back to doing! What would you tell me on our coffee date? I’d love to hear what’s new in your world!


Friday Finds

Friday, April 4th, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

tumblr_lou9jbaxwx1qkmm3jo1_400Jaw-dropping photos taken with models and real animals

I’ve read a lot of “did you know?” facts about NYC but this is my favorite

An excellent analysis of the rape scene in Divergent

The best April Fool’s Day prank

26 types of English majors (so good it almost makes me want to be one)

Do you talk to your friends about your sex life?

Are most bloggers liars?

FYI: Runners can’t eat whatever they want

Honeymaid responds brilliantly to anti-LGBT comments on their latest commercial

An interesting piece on being a grown-up after Christian homeschooling


This weekend, Erik and I are seeing a performance of Giselle, a ballet from the American Ballet Theater. They are in town for the opening of the Northrup Auditorium, which is a building on campus at the U of M. Since I’m a student, I was able to score tickets for $10 a person. They are nosebleeds, granted, but still! I love ballet (I took some classes when I was in college) and I love watching ballet performances!

I’m also having brunch with a local friend tomorrow morning, and then on Sunday, we are having a little family get-together. Actually, it’s a big family get together! Erik’s half-brother here in Minneapolis has four kids and three of them are married, so we’ll have seven people over for lunch! Hopefully our apartment can handle everyone. Our old apartment was ideal for big parties because the living room was so large, and we had two dining tables, so we always had enough chairs. Hopefully the new place can measure up!

What are you doing this weekend?


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Three Things Thursday

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 | Posted under About Me

Totally snatching this from Stephany and Lisa. They asked a couple questions at the end of their post which I’m including, and then I’m adding a few categories of my own:

Three famous people I want to meet:

1. Oprah

2. Tom Hanks

3. Barack Obama

Three books I love:

1. The Diary of Anne Frank (I’ve read it four times)

2. The Life of Pi

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Three U.S. cities I want to visit (to answer Stephany’s question):

1. Nashville

2. Sacramento

3. Pittsburgh

To be honest, I’ve been to most of the major US cities (at least, the ones I care to visit). I would certainly visit a few again… especially Austin, San Francisco, Boston and New York City (duh). But these are cities I want to visit that I have never been to before. The main reason is to see the people I know who live there, not because they are major tourist destinations. Although Nashville would be a little touristy for me because I love country music!

Three favorite ethnic cuisines (to answer Lisa’s question):

1. Indian

2. Thai

3. Ethiopian

Three words I would use to describe myself (also asked by Lisa):

1. Persistent

2. A dreamer

3. Caring

Three things you should know about diabetes:

1. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different, but they both suck. There is no “worse” kind of diabetes.

2. I don’t just “take a shot” or “watch what I eat.” It’s an all-consuming, day-in-day-out process that will never stop.


Three things I wish I knew how to do:

1. Whistle

2. Ice skate (I’m planning on taking lessons next winter)

3. Drive a manual car (two friends tried to teach me in college and I failed miserably)

Three favorite apps:

1. Lumosity (the games are fun)

2. Period Tracker (I track my cycle because my hormones influence my diabetes management, so I like to know if I should be expecting my period)

3. OpenTable (a great way to find a local restaurant that you won’t have to wait in line for — plus you get points towards restaurant gift certificates!)

Three things I like about Minneapolis:

1. It’s easy to get around

2. Our family and friends

3. The outdoorsy, locavore culture — it definitely does remind me of Portland

Notice how I didn’t say the weather?!


What three things you wish you knew how to do? Do you have any favorite apps I should try?


Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom


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Calling In Reinforcements

Monday, March 31st, 2014 | Posted under Health + Fitness

We’re now a quarter through the way 2014 and I have lost three pounds. That’s an average of one a month. Also known as really pathetic.

I’ve been doing some reflecting on the first quarter of the year. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do differently. The truth is that I don’t know what to do differently because I’m not sure what hasn’t been working. I don’t feel that I’ve been particularly dedicated to anything. I’ll count calories for a few days, and decide that doesn’t work for me. Then I decide that I’ll go with intuitive eating, and that works for a couple of days until it doesn’t and then I decide to go back to calorie counting. Or I’ll decide to eat low carb but then decide that I don’t want to do that, so I think I’ll just eat really clean, except then I don’t. I’ll tell myself that I’m going to exercise five days and manage to eek out two, maybe three, if I’m lucky and the stars align.

Instead of being really good at doing one thing, I’ve been haphazard about a bunch of different things. It’s not surprise none of it’s really working for me.

I thought back to the last time I lost a significant amount of weight. It was just before my wedding and I managed to lose 15 pounds in three months. What did I do? Well I know I exercised very regularly. I did circuit training using Jillian Michael’s website. She told me what to do and that’s what I did. I thought I calorie counted, but I browsed through MyFitnessPal during those three months and it doesn’t look like I was particularly committed to calorie counting. That being said, I did calorie count some of the time and I have to believe that paid at least some role into my losing weight.

I didn’t follow any particular diet, from what I can recall. It was before I knew about Paleo or low-carb or anything like that, so I think for the most part I just tried to eat less.

For this next quarter, I’ve decided to call in some reinforcements. Although I’ve loved having the support of Stephany with our accountability, I realized that I needed some more professional help in tackling what’s going on with my stalled weight loss and I’m tackling that on both fronts: food and fitness.

The first reinforcement I got is Jenny Smith, who is a registered dietitian and CDE at Integrated Diabetes Services. IDS is the diabetes education practice that I was a client of when I was in college. At the time, I worked with a different CDE, Gary Scheiner, who started the practice. This time, I decided to follow the advice of my friend, Mari, who suggested I work with Jenny instead. I think it makes sense because Jenny is an RD, and my main problem is my weight, not my diabetes (not that my diabetes is perfect – ha!). But exercise will be part of my weight loss plan, and exercise can lead to low blood sugars, which leads to consuming calories via fruit juice. It’s a big vicious cycle.

The second reinforcement I got was Jillian Michaels — sort of. I signed back up for her website so I could get her circuit training plans again. I joined awhile ago and for some reason didn’t like her updated plans, but I have decided just to suck it up and just do it — or at least as much of it as I can. She had increased the number of circuits from 3 to 5 and I remember being really overwhelmed with that. But I figure that I can always start at 3 and work my way up to 5, rather than just not doing it at all.

On top of those things, I decided to join two DietBets. I know, I know. I had such a spectacular failure with the last one. Why bother again? Well, first is that I joined Amber’s DietBet (starts next week!) and Stephany is joining it too, so I thought it would be fun to do a weight loss group with some girlfriends. On top of that, I also joined Jillian Michael’s DietBet. Since they run concurrently to each other, I figure that if I’m already going to try to lose weight for one, I might as well try to earn more money by joining a second! Sure, I might also lose more money, but that’s just even more motivation to get this going!

With the DietBets, I finally have some deadlines to work towards. I’ve always liked deadlines. Here’s my overall game plan of action:

- Work with Jenny to help me sort out my eating, my exercise, and my diabetes and figure out what my pitfalls are. Especially if the changes I’m making don’t work, I want her expert opinion on what I can do to make things better, rather than waiting until the end, losing the money and then asking Jenny for help.

- Do the Jillian Michaels circuit training. Since I’m not longer training for the half-marathon in June, I’m going to take a short break from training. Jillian Michaels has four days of circuit training, one day of cardio and two days of rest. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

- Calorie count. My personal limit is 1600 calories a day, and I’ll also eat half the calories I burn to make sure that I’m fueling my body, but also account for any inaccuracies in calorie burn estimations.

- Change my diet by eliminating carbonated beverages, alcohol, popcorn (my biggest temptation) and processed sweets. I’m not cutting carbs or eliminating grains or doing anything crazy. I’m just eliminating my temptations to keep me focused on making better choices. And I don’t foresee this being permanent either, but I’m hoping that this little fast will reboot me and hopefully I won’t be so quick to pick those unhealthy options. And before you ask, “Why don’t you just eat the smaller bags of popcorn?” I’ll just say “No. It doesn’t work for me.” When I eat popcorn, I like to eat a lot of popcorn. Those little bags leave me even more unsatisfied than if I just didn’t eat it.

The toughest thing about all this is that I feel like I should already know how to do this. I want to be a dietitian and diabetes educator and yet I feel completely useless in helping myself. How can I help someone else?! A couple weeks ago I was convinced that I should just quit and give up because clearly if this was so hard for me then it’s not worth trying to help others. Some well-meaning friends tried to give me love on Facebook but I was really in no mood to hear any of that. I just wanted to sulk and being a grump. But it is true that I am still many years away from professionally helping people with their diet and exercise. I don’t have to know how this works right now. I’m still in school, I’m still learning! As everyone gently reminded me, struggling myself only gives me an edge in helping others because people will know that I know how hard it is. Then I read a great post by Gary who admitted that his diabetes management isn’t as good as he would like because he spends so much time on other people that it’s hard to focus on himself. That made me realize that being the perfect diabetic or the healthiest dietitian is not necessarily a requirement for the job. I think it’s something most people who give any kind of professional advice feel at some point.

My vision for my life is helping people get to the other side of their obstacles, but since I’m still hung up on my own obstacles, that vision is cloudy and uncertain. I have a lot of anxiety about whether or not this will work out, and it’s devastating because I cannot for the life of me think of anything else I’d rather be doing as a career. Sometimes I wish I had decided that I wanted to become a dietitian and diabetes educator after I felt I had “figured it all out” — not before! I don’t really have any confidence in any advice that I give to people because I haven’t seen anything work out for myself. I have “book learning” — I’ve read plenty of articles and can tell you biologically about certain aspects of healthy living, but as far as practical applications? I’m useless.

That’s why I’m hoping that bringing in additional reinforcements through Jenny at Integrated Diabetes Services, Jillian Michaels via her online website, and even more friends and community through the two DietBets will help continue to push me in the right direction so that I can eventually come out on the other side.


Friday Finds

Friday, March 28th, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

Friday Finds are back!


42 Ways the Twin Cities Are Like Portland (it’s a little early for a definitive answer, but I’m leaning towards yes)

37 Things Only Cat Owners Will Understand

While I do want children, this is an amazing essay on not having children (or even being undecided!)

This is what happens when you say you’re inspired by fat people

Habits of highly sensitive people

Christian charity World Vision decided to honor gay marriages — then reversed the decision when conservative Christians canceled their sponsorships (!)

Watch this incredible video of 1,000 years of European border changes (poor Poland)

27 Little Struggles Only Runners Know

I’m joining Amber’s DietBet — are you?!


A low-key weekend! I have a couple shifts at work and some homework for Biology and Chemistry, but other than that, not a ton of plans. It is supposed to be 60 degrees on Sunday and I fully intend to take advantage of it with a run around one of the lakes! So excited!

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 | Posted under Currently


Reading… still plugging away at Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It’s really good, I’ve just been really busy with school and haven’t carved out enough time to read as I could. Although now that I’ll be working at Barnes & Noble, I really need to up my game in the reading department! I’m also reading a lot of travel guide books because Erik and I are planning a trip to Europe this August. We don’t have all the details set yet, so I’m not making any official announcements about it, but it’s fun thinking about it!

Happy… that I got to see my mom this past weekend. She arrived Friday night and left yesterday afternoon. We did so much in just four days! On Saturday, we got our nails done and then went to see the Minnesota Orchestra. On Sunday, we saw a Romanov exhibit at the Museum of Russian Art and then had dinner at my mother-in-law’s. My mother-in-law got French Silk pie at Baker’s Square, which has the best pies! Yum! We spent the afternoon at Mall of America on Monday after my Chemistry class, and on Tuesday we saw the Matisse exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and then saw Divergent (which I loved!). Whew!

Thrilled… about babies! Not mine, of course. I found out this week that both Erik’s niece-in-law (see here for his complicated family story) and one of my good friends are expecting babies this fall! So excited! Another of Erik’s friends (technically a girl Erik dated but she’s cool) just had her first baby last week. There aren’t that many people I know with babies. Several of Erik’s friends have children, but most of the people on “my side” with kids are acquaintances from high school and college or ladybloggers that I follow. My close girlfriends are still in the dating / newly married phase of life, so not much on the baby front. Not that I want anyone to rush, of course, but it’s exciting when people I actually know has a baby.

Disappointed… that I won’t be able to run in that half-marathon I mentioned earlier. I realized that it was the same weekend as a family wedding we’re attending in northern Minnesota. It’s a good thing I hadn’t bought a race bib yet! I still hope to run a half marathon this summer, but I have to do some more research on when and where the races are going to be in the Twin Cities.

Freaking out… that I might actually fail Chemistry. Yep. I haven’t really wanted to talk about it on the blog, just kind of hinted at it. But yeah, my class is not going well at all. I pretty much have to be perfect to even pass the class this term, and if I don’t pass, it will literally set me back an entire year. Because of how classes are scheduled, certain Nutrition classes are only offered during certain semesters, and everything has a pre-requisite. You can’t just pick and choose what you want to take and when. This boat has a pretty strict timeline, and I’m afraid it’s one that I might miss. Obviously I’m going to stick with it and do my best, but it’s just frustrating and aggravating. Just full of ing-ing.

Loving… peanut butter, a clean apartment, cardigans, skinny jeans, sleeping in, DVR, good coffee, babies, new friends, spring break



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Hotel Nimlos: Now Accepting Reservations!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 | Posted under Home Life

At the end of last week, my host made some changes to the server that interrupted service to the blog! After four days, it was finally online but by then I didn’t have time to finish the last apartment tour post because my mom was in town visiting. Which was fun, but didn’t leave much time for blogging!

All is fine and fixed now, so on with the tour!

The biggest chance with this new apartment is the fact we have a second bedroom and bathroom! We are really excited because when we lived in New York, we couldn’t host anyway. The meant schlepping to a nearby hotel for visiting parents, or the air mattress for visiting friends. Now that we have an actual bedroom, we’re hoping to have more guests come and visit us! (Once the weather warms up, of course).

photo 1(11)

Erik and I decided to splurge for a queen bed, which I was pretty nervous about because I wasn’t sure how it would fit with my desk. Luckily, it works perfectly! And clearly Natasha is a big fan too! She spends a lot of time there.

There’s just enough room on either side of the bed for my desk or for accessing the closet (off to the left). We’ve had this accent pillow since our wedding, but never had a place to put it until now. We really lucked out finding this bedding set at Target! The lamp is also from Target, and the nightstand is actually a filing cabinet that I found at Goodwill and repurposed. Nightstands, even at Target and Homegoods, are really expensive and we just didn’t have the money to buy something that wasn’t going to get much use.

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Like our master bedroom, there is another door to the balcony. Having the huge window and the window in the door means there is so much natural light that comes into the room! Our bookshelf is absolutely shoved full of books, which means we’ll either need to buy another one (likely) or get rid of some books (not so likely).

photo 5(5)

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Across from the bed (and next to the bookshelf) was an enormous blank wall. I was so overwhelmed when I saw it! How was I going to decorate and fill it up?! Luckily it didn’t take too much. Starting next to the book shelf is a picture that had been hanging over my desk in New York along with a photograph that Erik took. Then there are a couple pictures of colorful flowers that I thought coordinated well with the big picture over the bed. At the very end, right by the door, is a picture that Erik’s mother gifted us.

The bathroom is not terribly exciting and kind of difficult to photograph because of the shape. We used our bathroom towels from New York as the hand towels in this apartment, so we kept the blue theme going with the shower curtain, towels and floor mat. I really like the shower curtain! I actually like it more than the one in the master bathroom, but Erik really liked the shower curtain so we compromised.


So that’s the tour! Now, who’s coming to visit?!


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