Tell Me Something Good

Friday, August 31st, 2012 | Posted under Tell Me Something Good

On my old blog, I had this very semi-occasional feature called “Tell Me Something Good.” It was inspired by something this guy I knew in college would ask me.

It’s also apparently the name of a Chaka Khan song.

“Tell me something good.”

And I would, and later on I thought that might make a fun blog post. Every so often I would ask my readers to tell me something good and I always thought the responses were really amazing. Because in a world filled with so much pain, disappointment and frustration, you need to focus on the good to make it all worthwhile.

On the last Friday of the month, instead of sharing my Friday Finds, I’m going to ask you to tell me something good. It can be a major accomplishment. It can be something you’re looking forward to. Or it can be something small, something only you noticed and took time to appreciate. It really can be anything at all, as long as it’s good.

My something good this month: on Monday, I got a really amazing massage, had a mani / pedi, and finally got my long locks chopped a bit. I feel quite refreshed and ready to go for my first day of school on Tuesday! (Eek!)


So, dear friend, tell me something good.


The Cardboard Box Diet: Week #3

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 | Posted under Health + Fitness

Last week was a rough week for me because I was very sick Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It completely threw off what little routine I had built, and so this whole week hasn’t been what I wanted. Consequently, my check-in isn’t as exciting or hopeful as I’d like, but there’s always next week!

  • Weigh-in: I gained .5, for a total of .7lbs lost. :(
  • 30-day Blood Sugar Average: My 30-day average went up another 3 mg/dl, but illness makes most people with diabetes insulin resistant so it’s harder to control our blood sugars when we’re under the weather.
  • Exercise completed: Pretty much nothing! Although I did a fair bit of walking on Monday in Brooklyn, and then on Sunday we cleaned out our storage unit which involved a lot of moving and heavy lifting.
  • Splurge/Guilty Pleasure: I didn’t really calorie count so it’s hard to say what was a splurge and what wasn’t. I don’t think I really ate anything too excessive or out of the ordinary this week.
  • Success story: Nothing really to report this week!
  • Recipe(s): Last week, we made yummy French Dip sandwiches, but we had about two pounds of rump roast left over. Erik decided to use our slow cooker to make me up some lunches for this week. It’s called “Aunt Patty’s Italian Barbecue”

2 pounds of frozen chuck roast (which we substituted the rump roast we already had)

1 envelope of dry Italian salad dressing mix

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

8-10 hamburger buns

Place meat in greased 3.5-4.5 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle dry seasoning mix and minced garlic over the top. Cover and cook on high heat for 5-8 hours or on low heat 14-18 hours (that last one is what we did, since we were cooking it over night, in time for lunch). Before serving remove fat and shred meat with a fork or potato masher.

It was a great way to use up our leftover meat and it was so easy to make. It took Erik like 10 minutes to prep and then it was ready for me to dish up at lunch the next day.

  • Photo: I got my hair cut on Monday!

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The Allison Bookstore

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 | Posted under Home Life

I’m a big fan of buying books, but I’m also a big fan of sharing the love and getting rid of books to make room for new ones. Now, I never throw them away (sacrilege!) but I do donate them as often I as I can. Over the weekend, we cleaned out our storage unit (in an attempt to pare down our expenses), and now we have a new influx of books that need a home. While many of the books we’re planning on keeping, it prompted me to take a look at my collection and see what I could do without.

Usually I’ll take a load to Goodwill, but I thought I might give my books a new home with some of you. I know most of you are avid readers too! Now, I’m not going to give these books away, but I’m selling them for a reasonable price of $5 per book, plus $2 for shipping!

The books are first come, first serve, and you can choose more than one. I’ll strike out the ones that are taken. Just email or leave a comment letting me know which ones you want, and I’ll be in touch to collect payment (via Paypal) and your mailing address. The store is open while supplies last!

Sound good?

Happy shopping!

(Update: I’ve lowered the prices! All books are now $5… For some books that is 75% off the cover price!)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

20 Something 20 Everything by Christine Hassler

A Million Miles in A Thousand Years by Donald Miller

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Little Children by Tom Perrotta

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner – This is the first edition!

Get a Freelancer Life by Margit Feury Ragland

A Love That Multiplies by the Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar



See anything you like?

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These Sneakers Were Made For Walking

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 | Posted under Diabetes

On top of all my great new adventures, I’ve also taken on another role: Team Captain of Team All Grown Up for JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes in Westchester County!

I’ve only been a Team Captain once, and that was many moons ago in college and it was only for one year (we were Team Lemonade). This year, a few of the other women in my local Adults with Type 1 meet-up group (if you’re a local, please join!) and I decided to have our own Walk team because all the other Walk teams were all family or kid-oriented. We wanted something that would be a team for those who are adults with type 1 diabetes. We came up with a name, we’re designing t-shirts, and it should be a great time at the Walk!

Of course, you know what this means… I’m fundraising! My goal is to raise $1,000 for the JDRF, which I believe to be one of the best organizations for researching a diabetes cure and exploring new treatments in managing the disease (hey, gotta be healthy and alive when the cure comes, right?!). I have volunteered with the JDRF for the better part of ten years, and I served as a delegate to their Children’s Congress, a biannual lobbying event that brings kids from around the country to Washington D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress. Such an inspirational and eye-opening experience. (Psst, they’re accepting applications until Nov. 5!)

JDRF has been responsible for a lot of advancements in diabetes cure research, and they also put a lot of effort into finding new ways to treat diabetes, which is also vital. JDRF isn’t just tossing all their eggs in one basket. They support a wide variety of cure research and treatments to make the lives of people like me better. I fully support them, and I hope you will to!

If you’d like to make a donation, please visit my Personal Walk Page. The Westchester County Walk to Cure Diabetes is on October 14th, and if you would like to join our team, please let me know! You do not have to live in Westchester County to walk with us. We welcome everyone!

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Faith in the Future

Monday, August 27th, 2012 | Posted under Diabetes, Personal Essays, School

In case you missed my big announcement on Friday, I have left my full-time gig as Assistant Editor at DiabetesMine to go back to school to eventually become a Certified Diabetes Educator.

As I wrote on Friday, being a CDE is something that I have been thinking about doing since practically forever. I first mentioned it as a career possibility when I was in high school. But honestly, it always felt like becoming an astronaut. Sure, you could do it. But think about all the work that’s involved!

Over the past few months or so, things have been weighing on me. Things that I couldn’t avoid or talk my way out of, no matter how hard I tried. When it comes down to it, sometimes you just know what you need to do with your life and pushing it off might mean a life of regrets.

Here’s the thing about becoming a diabetes educator: once you’re out of your typical “college years,” they don’t make it easy. Actually, even when you start in your typical college years, it isn’t easy. To be a Certified Diabetes Educator, you first have to start out in one of a select few medical-oriented career paths. Things like nursing, dietetics, exercise physiology, podiatry…

So, you know, there are options.

When it came to deciding which career track I wanted to do, I debated between nursing and dietetics. The other fields seemed like it would take too much schooling for my background, and I also wanted to make sure that it was a field with a back-up plan. In the event I couldn’t get hired as a diabetes educator, I wanted to make sure I could still get a job in this economy. I looked around at current job listings for diabetes educators and most of them seemed to require either an RN or an RD, but nursing is also an in-demand career field so I knew I would still have a job. Nutrition and dietetics is also an in-demand job, but honestly, it didn’t interest me as much. Plus, there are only two accredited dietetics programs in my area. There are several nursing programs, so I feel slightly more confident about getting into a school.

Several of the nursing schools have what are called “accelerated” degrees, which essentially means that if you already have a Bachelor’s Degree, you basically skip over the “general education” requirements and go straight into the major. For me, that means when I start school, I would only take nursing classes, provided that I have my pre-reqs finished. An accelerated degree program takes roughly 15 to 18 months.

Nursing schools, however, are extraordinarily competitive. I’ve read on message boards how prospective nursing schools were wait-listed and accepted on their second application to a school. Although there are several nursing schools in my area, they all have slightly different pre-requisite classes, which means I can’t apply to all of them all at once. The classes I’m taking this year will qualify me to apply to at least two schools. But these schools that are already admitting students on a rolling basis for next year!

If I’m lucky and everything goes according to plan, I’ll finish nursing school before I’m 30. Then comes the two years of nursing experience, which is required to take the exam to become a diabetes educator. You can’t just get a nursing degree and then go straight into diabetes education. The Powers That Be require that I have two years of experience in my discipline of choice. Then once that’s been completed, I can apply for a job in diabetes education. Once I get one, I have to complete 1,000 hours of diabetes education before I can sit for the NBCDE exam. That’s the big test that decides my fate. Oh joy.

Since I have no idea how long it will take to find a job in nursing, and then find a job in diabetes education, I’m guessing it could take anywhere from three to five years to complete that portion of my Journey to CDE-hood.

Honestly, I think maybe I should try being an astronaut…

To say I’m nervous is the Understatement of the Year. While I’m essentially staying in the same industry, I’m changing the type of job entirely. It’s like going from the Creative Department to the Finance Department at a company. Same mission, wildly different responsibilities and expectations.

This term I’m signed up for Anatomy & Physiology, Principles of Inorganic Chemistry, and College Algebra with Trigonometry. I haven’t taken a biology class since college, and I haven’t taken math since my junior year in high school. I know some people consider me a spring chicken, but that was still ten years ago!

And then there’s the money. We thought about having me go to school part-time and work full-time, but with the amount of schooling I have to do, that would only push starting my career as a diabetes educator out even further.

Plus, we would eventually like to have children and no, I have absolutely no idea when that is going to happen. It certainly won’t be before I graduate from nursing school, so don’t bother asking until at least 2015.

We’re living in the New York City metro area on one full-time income, one freelancer’s income, and a tiny bit of financial aid. We also aren’t the most fiscally responsible of newlyweds either. We have credit card debt, very little savings, hardly any retirement. And like I said, we’re not spring chickens. We actually have to start thinking about these grown-up issues or we’re going to be in serious trouble down the line. I’m thankful that we’re not dropping from two incomes to one income. I will be bringing in money while going to school, so that’s a huge blessing. Otherwise, I don’t know what we would do.

I know that being a diabetes educator is what I’m supposed to do. I know that it’s essentially what I’ve been doing for the past ten years, just without any alphabet soup at the end of my name. I know that I have been blessed with some amazing doctors and educators in my life, and I want to be that kind of resource to others because there are so many people who need help and just aren’t getting it.

As appealing as it would be to close the door on my calling yet again, I know that I won’t last long before it comes knocking at my door again. Eventually you have to open yourself up and have a little faith.



When have you taken a leap of faith in your career? How did it pan out?

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Friday Finds

Friday, August 24th, 2012 | Posted under Friday Finds

Big, BIG news from my neck of the woods. Check it out over here.

It’s shocking the things that are legal in this country.

I’m voting for Feminist Barack Obama.

My former next-door neighbor is serving in Rwanda for a year with Partners in Health!

Vintage iPhone cases.

The greatest review of 50 Shades of Gray ever.

I want to have Coffee with Jesus.

It’s okay to be disliked.

Some amazing online courses on self-discovery, blogging, and more!

A little bit of love in your inbox.

Star Trek: The Next Generation “Call Me Maybe” mash-up. You’re welcome.


This weekend I’m having lunch with one of my friends from the diabetes community who just moved to NYC for grad school. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years and I’m so excited! Yay!

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The Cardboard Box Diet: Week #2

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 | Posted under Health + Fitness

Welcome to Week #2 of the Cardboard Box Diet! This was a pretty successful week diet-wise, in that I lose a bit of weight and did some exercise. But my blood sugar average didn’t come down, and so that’s bumming me out. Better luck next week, right?

  • Weigh-in: I lost 1.2 lbs! Yay!
  • 30-day Blood Sugar Average: It went up 3 mg/dl. Boo! Not a lot (and certainly not the same as gaining 3 lbs!) but I’m still bummed it went up. Wrong direction!
  • Exercise completed: Last Friday, I took a Bar Method class, and then on Sunday, Erik and I did quite a bit of biking around Block Island. I was going to do more working out this week, but I’ve been under the weather.
  • Splurge/Guilty Pleasure: I’ve been calorie counting, so I don’t count anything that fits in my daily calorie totals as a splurge. However, I didn’t really count over the weekend, and I also went over my daily calorie limit on Monday when I went out to dinner with a couple of girlfriends.
  • Success story:¬†I biked around Block Island¬†without walking the bike! I stopped many times to catch my breath, but I didn’t walk at all. I was really proud of myself considering how it hard it was for me to do.
  • Recipe(s): Last weekend, I decided that I am just sick to death of eating pre-packaged frozen Trader Joe’s meals. As tasty (and even organic) as they are, there are only so many options and so I feel like we’re just eating the same stuff over and over again. We’ve decided to start cooking from our half dozen cookbooks that we received for our wedding. On Tuesday night, we made French Dip Sandwiches using our slow cooker. Here’s the recipe:


2 to 3 pounds of rump roast

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of beef consomme

4-6 hoagie buns

Place the roast in greased 3.5-to-5 quart slow cooker. Pour consomme over the top of the roast. Cover and cook on low heat 8-10 hours or on high heat 5-7 hours. Remove roast and save extra juice. With a fork, break apart meat and serve on hoagies. Use excess juice for dipping sandwiches. (Makes 4-6 servings)

Very quick and easy to prep, and it’s all cooked and ready by the time you get home from work!

  • Photo: Here’s a picture of our lovely French Dip sandwich. We ended up using the wheat buns that we had, but they ended up overpowering the au jus dip. This is the one time I will say make sure you have white bread!

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Visting: Block Island

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 | Posted under Travel

We woke up early Sunday morning for our first-time visit to Block Island, which is just off the coast of Rhode Island. Leaving at 7:30 a.m. meant we reached Point Judith, RI in time to catch the 10:30 ferry to Block Island. At $36 roundtrip for both of us, it was an easy 50 minute ride.

We arrived just before noon, so we decided to explore Water Street, the main drag next to the ferry dock. There are lots of cute boutiques, restaurants and historic hotels. There are also lots of activities to do besides shopping and eating. There’s kayaking, biking, swimming, fishing, and more! I really wanted to kayak on the Great Salt Pond, but Erik had his heart set on biking up to the Cliffs. But before we got started, we had to fuel up!

We stopped at the Harborside Inn for a couple of lobster rolls. We sat out on the front porch overlooking the water. The restaurant was very casual, really nothing fancy. But the lobster rolls were tasty.

Once we were done, we went over to Old Harbor Bike and Moped Shop. We contemplated renting mopeds, but they were more than twice the cost of the bike rentals, and if we weren’t going to kayak then I really wanted to get some of exercise.

I’m not sure what I pictured the topography of Block Island to be, but it’s very hilly. At least for someone who is very out of shape! Although I had to stop a half dozen times, we finally made it up to the Block Island Southeast Lighthouse. Even though I felt like I was going to die from exhaustion, the views were amazing. From the lighthouse, we could see a beach down below, but we weren’t sure how to get down there without biking. Luckily, there was a parking lot for cars, mopeds and bikes near the lighthouse, and a long stretch of stairs leading down to the beach.

Erik and I didn’t exactly plan well for this trip, so we were without swimming suits, beach towels or reading material. We still had fun wandering around the beach.

We kept biking around the island, lusting over the beautiful vacation homes and down to the Great Salt Pond. At that point, I felt a break was needed and was craving a snack. Erik and I stopped at Payne’s Killer Donuts, where Erik got a milkshake and I tried both the plain and cinnamon sugar donuts. They were much breadier and richer than the average donut, although I didn’t care much for the plain flavor.

After we finished our loop, we returned our bikes and spent some more time wandering around before dinner. At the end of our day, we dined at The Surf Hotel. The restaurant just reopened this season after five years of being closed, and we could tell the restaurant had some rough spots. The food was decent — not amazing, not terrible — but I was disappointed that my Diet Coke was served in a plastic cup. However, our view was amazing and was totally worth it. Better food might have been found elsewhere, but there was no better view.

All in all, we loved our afternoon on Block Island. We definitely plan to go back for a longer visit, and highly recommend a visit!

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Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom

Love this:

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While I Was Sleeping

Monday, August 20th, 2012 | Posted under About Me

A lot of people I know can’t remember their dreams at all, but Erik and I are both pretty good at remembering them, and we’ll share them when we do. Over the years, I’ve noticed that I have several recurring dreams that pop up occasionally. When I’m asleep, it always feels like it’s happening for the very first time (I’m not very good at lucid dreaming), but when I wake up, I think, “Oh, another one.”

Breaking Teeth:
When I describe this to other people, it always gets the biggest “gross!” reaction and the feeling is mutual but apparently it’s one of the top 10 most common recurring dreams. In these dreams, for whatever reason, my teeth start to fall out. Sometimes they break into pieces and other times they fall out whole, but for several minutes in my dream, I’m spitting out my teeth and freaking out. When I wake up, it’s instinct to check and make sure that they are all still there. I’ve done some research into why people dream about their teeth falling out, and apparently it has to do with appearance and how I am being perceived by others. I think pretty much anyone my age is concerned with what others think of them, but I’ve never been able to correlate my dream with some current event that is making me feel that way. Another theory is that because teeth are used to chew and tear, they also symbolize power, so losing my teeth could symbolize a loss of control. Interesting… And this brings us to my next recurring dream…

Losing Control of a Car: Probably the one dream that I would equate to a nightmare is when I’m driving and no longer have the ability to break the vehicle. I’ve had several dreams involving near-crashes where I have to press insanely hard on the break pedal to slow the car down, or I have to maneuver the car to avoid hitting something. I’ve noticed that I do have a lot of dreams where I’m driving, but losing control of the car is the only recurring theme in any of the driving dreams.

Final Exam of a Class I’ve Never Attended:
What’s bizarre about this dream is that I never had it until I was finished with college! But over the past couple of years, I’ve had dreams where I suddenly discover on the last day or the last week of college that I signed up for a class that I never went to and I have to take the final exam or I won’t pass. Or sometimes it involves trying to do all the homework assignments in a short period of time. It’s almost always a math class. One theory for school dreams is that they are a metaphor for lessons you are learning in real life. I can’t tell if my dream is telling me that I will always be bad at math (because I’ll never learn) or if it’s telling me that I need to stop forgetting where I’m supposed to go. Oh, that’s deep.

Forgetting My Passport / Luggage / Where I’m Going and Almost Missing My Flight: I’m sensing a theme with all these “forgetting dreams.” Hmm. Anyway, it’s probably no surprise that I have a lot of dreams about travel, considering how much traveling I do. My most common travel dream involves being at an airport, or going to an airport, and realizing that I don’t have my passport or my luggage, or I don’t know where I’m going in the airport and I get lost. Because of this, I’m risking missing my flight, which always adds a fun bit of excitement to the dream! (Not.)


Do you have any recurring dreams?
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