100 Posts & an A to Z Survey

Well you guys, I’ve officially made it to 100 posts. 100! Yup, I’ve managed to regale you with 100 blog posts about my dog, trying to get up with my alarm, what I’ve eaten lately, and how much I love yoga. (For real, if you have managed to stick with me through this, I <3 you so much.) In celebration of my 100th post, I thought I’d do one of those blog surveys that I love (read: I’m very nosy). I found this one on several other blogs that I read, but I modified a few of the questions that I didn’t care for. :)

A – Age: 29 (!)

B – Biggest Fear: I’ve left the door unlocked or the oven on or a candle burning…this is the mind of someone who’s in a constant state of worry.

C – Current Time: 2:42pm

D – Drink You Had Last: Bottled water

E – Easiest Person To Talk To: My mom. My boyfriend. My best friend. I’m very lucky.

F – Favorite Song: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John

G – Guilty Pleasure: Chick lit novels (these and these in particular)

H – Hometown: Evansville, Indiana

I – In Love With: My boyfriend. (And my dog.)

IMG_2858

J – Jealous Of: Morning people. But seriously, how do you do it?!

K – Keepsake You Will Never Part With: The picture of my grandparents on their wedding day.

IMG_0896

L – Last Picture On Your Camera Roll: OK, I had to scroll back a few screenshots, but here’s this precious picture of Dora snoozing with her penguin.

IMG_2993

M – Middle Name: Rae

N – Number of Siblings: 3 sisters (+ 2 brothers in law)

O – One Wish: To finish these last 2 semesters of school without losing my mind.

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: My mama

IMG_2937

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: “When will you be done with school?”

R – Reason To Laugh: Lots, but I have been cracking up today thinking about this scene from Bridesmaids. (Language alert!)

S – Song You Last Sang:  “Take Me to Church” by Hozier, but in an obnoxious Broadway voice.

T – Time You Woke Up: 7:20am

U – Underwear Color: Maroon (haha, could anything be unsexier?)

V – Vacation Destination: Like dream vacation? London. But my favorite place to visit that I’ve actually been to is Chicago.

W – Worst Habit: The snooze button

X – X-rays You’ve Had: Uh…like for the dentist and stuff. And of my knee when I initially hurt it.

Y – Your Favorite Food: I’m going to be super basic white girl and say pizza.

Z – Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Wasn’t that fun? And don’t you feel so much more connected to me?? Haha. But seriously, if you have read my weird, rambling thoughts at any time, it really does mean so much to me. Hopefully within the next 10 years, I’ll be celebrating 200 posts. :) Maybe sooner!

Weekending & the Importance of Self-Care

Hi! I’m currently enjoying a quiet Tuesday night after a busy weekend + Monday.

Someone special had a birthday on Thursday, so I took a vacation day Friday to hang out. We ran a bunch of errands (including Chipotle and Target, my 2 loves) and then set up a sweet new projector for watching movies outside—and football games this fall. :)

IMG_2980

The first thing we watched? Parks and Recreation. <3

Saturday was the annual Bluegrass in the Park fest in Henderson, aka my Most Favorite Event of the Summer. Seriously, I can never turn down pulled pork barbecue and fries.

IMG_2981

Saturday was miserably hot and humid, so we were all surprised with a-mazing weather Saturday night. Like this beautiful sunset.

IMG_2986

Plus a nice cool breeze and zero humidity. I was a happy girl. (Also there was an older gentleman with a fat chihuahua and 2 cockatiels present = best thing I’ve seen all summer.)

Sunday was church + hot yoga, followed by pizza with the roommates and a grocery run. And Monday ended up being a crazy day at work and a late night (like, not falling asleep till after midnight), so I was dragging all day.

So tonight after work I decided to take it easy. I cooked myself dinner,

DSCN0172

watched an episode of New Girl, and took Dora on a walk. And now I’m chilling out with the Balanced Bites podcast and probably some reading before hopefully heading to bed early.

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the past 2 years is how important having a night to myself is. I’m not really an introvert, so too much alone time and I tend to get weird. But just one night where I can do whatever I want—whether that’s being super productive and doing meal prep and exercising and whatever, or just laying on the couch with Netflix on in the background and catching up with my roommates—that’s my sweet spot.

I think my 20s have definitely been a lesson in self-care. When I was younger, I constantly wanted to be busy and fill all my time. Now, I still like being busy, but I can recognize how being busy all. the. time. is so unhealthy for me (cue stress/anxiety/depression perfect storm). It definitely takes time to figure out where you function best—maybe you need a solid 9 hours of sleep every night, and you have to work around that. Or maybe weekends are your time, and you like having your weekdays and nights full. There’s no wrong way to practice self-care. We’re all unique and awesome and again, just because something is good for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you.

And with that thought, I’m off to spend some time with this book. Have a great evening!

Tuesday Things

Hello and happy Tuesday to you! Since Tuesday is the worst day of the week and I’m feeling kind of foggy today, I thought I’d share a few things that are making me happy lately.

Busy Weekends and Quiet Evenings

Friday night through Sunday night were basically nonstop—dinner with friends, a going-away party, and a full day at Holiday World with my whole family. We had so much fun (and got so sunburned—or maybe that’s just me), but I was very thankful for a quiet Monday night at home. I went to the grocery, did laundry, caught up with the roommates, and did some cleaning in my room. I love those kinds of nights because they are so immediately satisfying—I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.

IMG_2973

(This is before the sunburn had really set in.)

The Balanced Bites Podcast

I mentioned I was looking for some new podcasts to listen to, and this one had been recommended by one of my best friends, along with some blogs that I follow. So Balanced Bites is basically a paleo podcast, and while I don’t consider my diet paleo (at all, ha!), I am in love. Diane and Liz are so relatable, and even though they eat a paleo diet and believe it is the healthiest, they are by no means paleo-nazis. I’ve flipped through their 200+ episodes and just downloaded ones that look interesting—some about anxiety, hormonal balance, exercise, whatever.

You guys, I feel like I’ve learned so much. I also think what’s exciting is I’m not letting myself feel overwhelmed by all of this info, or stressed that I have to eat a strict-anything diet. This is another reason why I love Robyn’s blog so much: She is all about listening to your body and finding what’s best for you. There is SO MUCH nutritional info available now, and pretty much everything is conflicting. But what I think we can learn from this is that what’s good for someone else does not mean it will be good for you. All of our bodies are different and complex and amazing, and they all need to be treated differently. Moving forward, I’m planning on focusing on real, whole foods and seeing how my body does—with and without grains, dairy, animal products, etc.—and then trying to eat the way that makes me feel best.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly Playlist

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 11.01.05 AM

I’m not super good with Spotify—I would say I just now can barely use it confidently. So maybe this is old news to everyone, but yesterday I found this Discover Weekly playlist—basically just music they think I would like based on what I listen to I guess? I’m actually surprised there’s not more embarrassing pop and rap songs included. I turned it on this morning at work, and it’s pretty good!

And with that, I’ll leave it to you—what Tuesday things are on your mind? I hope you all have had a lovely day!

One Month of Summer

Hello and happy Monday to you!

So on Friday, I realized (with a slight sense of panic) that I had exactly one month until classes start again. What.

I realize that the first part of my summer was taken up with a summer session at school, so maybe that’s why it feels like it’s gone exceptionally fast? Who can tell. But I do know that, while I’ll be sad for summer to end, this is the start of my last year of school—PTL for that! It has gone by so quickly, and while I’ve loved my classes and am so glad I decided to take the plunge and go back to school, I will be so glad to just be a normal adult again. You know, just working for the weekends and all that (I kid).

OK, one month of summer left, and I want to enjoy it. I came across this post on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and I became sort of obsessed with it. I just really love the idea of developing habits that are focused on self-care. And you know I also love to-do lists. So kind of combining those two things, here’s what I want my last month of summer to look like.

1. Get up with my alarm.

If you ever think you are going to find a list of goals on this blog that doesn’t include becoming a morning person, you are a fool.

2. Commit to a regular yoga practice.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Earlier this summer, my roommate and I joined a hot yoga studio for their promotional summer class rate—basically three months of unlimited yoga. Yes! Like with most things in life, I started out super strong, then fizzled for the last few weeks. I love yoga, and yeah, I really want a yoga body, but it is time-consuming. So I would like to commit to practicing in-studio three or four times a week for the next month—I think that will give me the benefits of practicing hot yoga, and also the benefits of having a life and seeing the people I love.

3. Take Dora for more walks.

While we’re talking about moving, little Dora has had little to no exercise this summer. OK first of all, it has been super hot and I am worried about her hydration (yes, that was an obnoxious dog mom thing to say). But I also just haven’t made the time for it, and I feel bad about that. So along with getting up when my alarm is going off, I’d like to take Dora at least for a short walk in the morning. It’s a lot cooler then (mostly) and the sun is up early these days, and I’m hopeful that getting up and moving for a bit will help me wake up and clear my head.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

4. Rekindle my love for podcasts.

I do this thing where I exclusively listen to playlists on my phone or CDs for a few weeks, exclusively listen to the Top 40 radio stations for a few weeks, and exclusively listen to NPR for a few weeks. Podcasts used to be in that mix, especially during the school year when I was practically living out of my car and driving out to campus all the time. I really haven’t listened to any lately—perhaps this entire year (the horror!). Over the weekend I downloaded a few different podcasts that I’d heard good things about, and I’m excited to get back into them.

5. Try some dessert recipes.

I came across this dairy-free ice cream the other day, and it looks amazing and refreshing.

HealthyStrawberryCoconutSoftServe_thumb

(via)

And also this fruit pizza. Fruit pizza! A dessert I love but somehow always forget about.

6a00d8358081ff69e201b7c7af13d9970b-800wi

(via)

There you have it folks: My summer to-do list. Let me know if I’ve missed anything, or what plans you have for the rest of your summer!

Playing Catch-Up (Ha!)

So this is the part where I sheepishly say hello and try to explain where I’ve been for the past…10 months? Honestly, I’ve missed posting on this little blog, and one of the things that kept me from posting was that it had been so long. Like so long. But now that my schedule has freed up for the rest of the summer, I thought I’d jump back on here, give you a little update on what’s been going on lately, and then move forward—no apologies, no looking back!

The last year has been the year of…

1. Not moving. This is significant because I have moved 9 times since I graduated college in 2008. My roommates and I decided to stay in our current house this year, and I was so grateful to not have to worry about finding a new place and packing up everything I own to move in the dead of winter.

2. Going back to school.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This is the big one. So I started taking classes in January 2014 part time. Well, in August, I decided to go part time in my job and take classes full time. Call me crazy, but I didn’t want to be working + taking classes for the next 10 years of my life, especially since I didn’t really have anything stopping me.

Going back to school is weird and a little nerve-wracking. I mean, I’m fortunate that I don’t look that old, so I don’t really stick out like a sore thumb in classes. But I still felt super weird knowing that I am 10 years older than most of my classmates. Fortunately, I met some really great people who have made classes and studying really fun.

It’s also been super stressful, trying to balance work, school, and a social life…or just not going crazy. But I think I’m getting better at finding balance, and forgiving myself when I don’t manage to achieve it 100% of the time.

3. The year of Parks and Rec and Harry Potter. Yup. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I love that show and those books so much. They’re my go-to when I’m bored or need cheering up. With so much textbook, science-y reading, sometimes you just need a break. Plus this.

4. The year of the braid.

IMG_2484

Yeah, I’m 29 years old and taught myself to French braid this year. Jealous much?

5. The year of Dora. OK, every year is the year of Dora, and I needed a #5 to go along with my “the year of” theme. But sweet little Dora is still hanging by my side, giving me lots of love and encouragement when I need it, and hating every single moment she spends outside.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

It’s good to know some things never change, right?

Playing Catch-Up

Do you ever have those weeks that go by so fast because you have a million fun things going on? And then there are those weeks that go by equally as fast, but nothing eventful is really happening. That’s how I’ve felt lately. Somehow it’s already the end of August, but I feel like I have nothing to show for it. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

IMG_2346b

Sharpening my card shark skills for ladies’ card night (ie, relearning how to play Euchre).

Reading the first 2 books in the Brooklyn Girls series—I picked the first one up on my trip to Chicago to read on the train and fell in love. I started the second one this week and I’m very pleased. Perfect summer reading.

IMG_2359b

Visiting Holiday World with my family and having their infamous blue ice cream. I hadn’t been since college and it was amazing. Free drinks! Free sunscreen! An indoor ride where you can pretend to shoot turkeys! What more can you want?

Listening to BJ Novak’s book on my iPhone. This is the first audiobook I’ve purchased. Also, I own the hard copy and have already read it. Let me explain: In the few days leading up to Holiday World, I kept having dreams with BJ Novak in them. On the morning of our trip, I had another and decided he must be my soulmate—I should download his book and listen to it in the car. 20-something-dollars later, I actually don’t regret it. It’s a really good listen.

IMG_2385b

Hanging out at Bluegrass in the Park. Guys, this is the event I look forward to every summer. Per tradition, I went Friday and Saturday nights, got BBQ and RC, and listened to some amazing music. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Running a lot on the treadmill. Which I don’t hate. Especially because it is 90-some-odd degrees and miserable.

Also, visiting the occasional hot yoga class. It’s amazing how humbling those studios can be.

IMG_2355b

And having a lot of evenings that look like this—pizza, yoga pants, and Scandal on Netflix. This is my idea of perfect.

So what have you been up to lately? Also, let me know how the heck August is almost over already. Happy Thursday!