Guest Posting

Hey guys,

I’m have a fantastic time at the beach, but more about that when I get back. In the mean time, check out my guest post over at Diary of a Slow Runner!

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of my first ever giveaway is…

Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 11.25.28 AM



Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 9.40.42 PM


Jessie, shoot me an e-mail at and we’ll figure out your prize!

Lessons Learned from Watching Honey Boo Boo. Seriously.

Yes, Honey Boo Boo.

I’m a big fan and no, I don’t care if you judge me. I’m a little obsessed and that’s okay.

Every Sunday my friends and I get together and have a mini Honey Boo Boo watching party and it is one of the highlights of my week. Some college students party and get drunk, we watch Honey Boo Boo and get noise warnings from the over-eager security guards for laughing to loudly (no joke). I’ll take it.

I realized that you can learn some pretty good life lessons from watching Honey Boo Boo (just go with it):

Lesson #1 Always be your unique crazy self, people may judge, but what do they know?

Lesson #2 Chickens make terrible house pets, you’re better off going with a cat, dog, or even a teacup pig (I miss you glitzy!)

Anderson Cooper and Glitzy! Whatttttt (source)

Lesson #3 Your family may be crazy but they understand you better than anyone else.

honey boo boo marannaise animation

Marannaise? (source)

Lesson #4 Mayonnaise (or is it actually marannaise?) is terrifying. Almost as terrifying as pickles. Bleck.

Lesson #5 Embrace your culture, it’s part of who you are.

Lesson #6 A classy Italian meal is much easier to cook than you may think. Keep it simple silly.

easy italian dinner honey boo boo

Yum. (source)

Lesson #7 Be sassy. Always.

Some people argue that The Learning Channel (aka TLC, in case some of you forgot 🙂 ) doesn’t live up to it’s name (though let’s be real, what channels do – I’m looking at you MTV) but I beg to differ. Those are some quality life lessons right there.

I promise tomorrow’s post won’t involve a bowl of mayonnaise.

Do you watch Honey Boo Boo? Or did I just convince you to never read my blog again?

What’s your reality TV guilty pleasure? Stop lying, everyone has one.

What valuable life lessons have you learned from reality TV? Heavy on the sarcasm.

Equipment-Free Circuit

Equipment-Free Circuit

Check out this great equipment-free British Military Fitness Workout from the folks at Tribesports. It’s great if your tight on time and space (I’m looking at you tiny college apartment)!

I Feel Like Dancing.

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! I head back to Boone TOMORROW and it feels way too soon! I’m excited to start this semester but it feels like Christmas just happened and I’m kinda a fan of hanging out in workout clothes all day. Can I just stick with that? Denim is overrated.

thankful thursday


Thanks for hosting Jessie!

This week I’m thankful for dance. Why? Because it’s awesome.

But really, I’ve been dancing for a majority of my life (seriously like 18 years! Whoa) and unfortunately I’ve let it fall by the wayside the past year or so. I’m actually minoring in dance but I took all my technique classes (the classes that involve actual dancing) my freshman and sophomore year so for the first time in years I’m not taking any dance classes and it’s felt a little weird.

However, this weekend I had a practice for a Alumni dance concert that’s being put together for my high school dance teacher. It felt amazing to dance again (and made me realize how NOT in dance shape I’m in, that’s a whole set of muscles I haven’t used in a while!). And I realized how much I missed dancing.

(I’m the white girl in the back corner 🙂 )

I honestly don’t know what I would have dance if I didn’t have dance in my life. I’m a pretty quiet person and dance is such an amazing way for me to express myself, without having to talk.  I love the rush of connecting with each step and getting lost in the movement. Funnily enough I hate public speaking but put me up on a stage and I feel at home. It’s also the best stress reliever, I’ve met so many close friends through dance and it’s pretty much the only form of exercise I participated in until I went to college.

Backstage circa 2008 – purple hair!

Not to mention all the wonderful opportunities I’ve experience because of it, in high school I got to perform at Disney World!

African dancing in Animal Kingdom! Not the actual performance, but we can’t resist an opportunity.

I’m lucky that my parents put me into dance classes at such a young age and that I was able to find something I really thrive in.

Dance is harder to stay involved with after graduating high school, but this weekend reminded me that I need to make a better effort to find more dance opportunities. I miss it too much!

Have you ever taken dance classes?

What extra curricular activities did you do as a kid?


Goals, A Challenge & Thankful Thursday


New Year’s Day I mentioned that instead of setting typical yearlong resolutions I wanted to set of series of monthly challenges kinda like a 30 Day Challenge sorta deal. Well, I finally decided what January’s challenge will be (this is a big deal because I’m super indecisive):


I want to work on meditating a little everyday. I started on Tuesday and I’ve been working my way up from 1 minute, I’m hoping to add on a minute everyday until I hit about 10-15 minutes everyday, depending on my day is going. I’m starting slowly because I know if I start with the full 10-15 minutes I would get completely anxious over it and not do it. Baby steps rock.

I wanted my first challenge to be a meditation challenge because I’ll be starting my last semester of college and it’s bound to be pretty stressful. Some people get ahead in their coursework and have a slack senior year, I take too long to decide what to do with my life and end up with a jam-packed senior year. And for some reason I thought to put off my most dreaded class, Public Speaking, until my last semester. Genius Lea, pure genius. Anyway, I’m hoping that starting a meditation habit will help calm me down and not freak out over things like Public Speaking speeches and the realization that in 6 months I have to start acting like a real adult. Gulp.

I haven’t decided what I want my other monthly goals to be, but I’m trying to leave myself some wiggle room because I want my goals to match where I am in life and that’s pretty hard to predict ahead of time. But I’m thinking February might be some sort of organizational challenge because I’m a pretty unorganized and scatter-brained person and it’s starting to get a little ridiculous. And be glad you didn’t see the state of my room before I left for break, too little time + exam stress + disorganized personality does not equal a clean room.

So speaking of challenges…

The people over at Tribesports informed me about this awesome challenge they have going on right now. It’s called the Run to the Moon Challenge.


Following Neil Armstrong’s death in August a Tribesports member created this challenge in memory of him. The challenge is basically to get to the moon! Challenge participants log all their man-powered kilometers (running, walking, cycling, rowing, etc.) until we reach 384,400 km, so far participants have logged about 46,300 km (including 5 km I did today!). The goal is to reach the moon before Neil’s birthday on August 5th.

I love this idea, it’s pretty cool to say you helped reach the moon! And if you’re interested in participating you can check out the challenge here.

And this leads me to what I’m thankful for this Thursday.

thankful thursday

(Thanks Jessie for hosting!)

I’m thankful for challenges. That might sound a little weird but challenges, both good and bad push me to work hard and be a better person. I love participating in blogger challenges because they push me to do things and make positive changes to my life that I wouldn’t normally make.

Conversely, negative challenges push me too. Let’s be honest, the challenges in our life can really suck, but they make us stronger and they’re part of who we are.

This is a pretty meager example but, today I found out I didn’t get an internship I applied for (I need a final internship this summer to officially graduate and get my diploma), it’s really frustrating because I didn’t get the internship because I didn’t have the skills, it was because I didn’t qualify because I wouldn’t be continuing school in the Fall (it’s a state government sponsored internship program, hence the stipulations), which I apparently missed when reading through the huge program brochure. It sucks because it was an awesome (and paid!) internship and I put all the work into writing multiple cover letters and applications. But, instead of letting this get me down I’m going to use it as momentum to apply for more internships.

It sucks that I didn’t get the internship but in a way I’m a little thankful because it’s lighting a fire under my butt to get on top of applying for other internships.

And because that was a lot of words…

Here’s a picture of a cute puppy to make up for it. Because I’m thankful for adorable puppies too. Thanks Pinterest for fueling my obsession with adorable puppy photos.

Healthy Holiday Recipe: Pumpkin Crisp {WIAW}

Happy Wednesday!

Is it bad since I’m on break I no longer know what day it is? I just realized that there’s less than a week until Christmas! Say whatttt.

Luckily I went shopping yesterday and finished most of my Christmas shopping, I just have one more thing to pick up for my brother who is incredibly indecisive and doesn’t know what he wants. And I can’t go my usual route and just buy him food because he works at Trader Joe’s and gets already gets a discount on all the delicious snacks he could ever want. If anyone has (cheap) gift ideas for an 18 year old college freshman please send them my way.

Is there anyone in your family that’s hard to buy for? My mom is easy because she drops lots of hints but my dad and brothers either don’t want anything, only want cash, or want things my tiny college budget can’t afford. Men always have to be so difficult.

Anyway, back to the food. I’ve got another healthy holiday treat for you! But first, some of the food I’ve been enjoying lately:


I’ve been roasting veggies like it’s my job. Tempeh + Sweet Potato + Onion + Brussel Sprouts


My family grabbed dinner at La Rancherita last Saturday when we were in downtown Apex. I remember eating there a couple of times as a kid, but we hadn’t been in a longgg time. Even though I’m not a fan of most Mexican places I loved this restaurant, their menu was full of vegetables and vegetarian friendly meals! Such a change from most Mexican places around here that are all tortilla, cheese and refried beans. I was so excited to see a non-taco salad on the menu!


Lots of Christmas goodies, I’ve been trying to practice this little thing called moderation where I don’t eat all the Christmas treats in one day. I’m not very good at moderation but I’m doing much better than I have in years past!

I’ve also been trying to cool it on the gluten too, I’ve been indulging in way too much lately and while a cookie here and there doesn’t bother me too much, I’ve been eating much more than that and my poor digestive system has been feeling the consequences. Daily tummy aches are no fun. But I still plan to eat as many gluten-filled cookies as humanly possible on Christmas Day. It’s all about balance right?

My mom cooked up a big pot of vegetable soup over the weekend which I’ve been enjoying for lunch almost daily. Except I keep forgetting to take a picture of it. Sorry. She made it using a carton of vegetable stock, a jar of chunky Ragu sauce, a bag of frozen soup vegetable and a can of black beans. So easy and so dang tasty! I’ve been bulking it up with some microwaved kale to add some greens into the mix.


I’m newly obsessed with making my own hot chocolate, I love that I can control what goes in the mix and I can get a chocolate fix without all the extra sugar. My mix lately has been 1 cup of plain unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon honey, a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I think I’ve had this 4/7 nights this week!

And now for a healthy holiday recipe, I made this for the dessert potluck my friends had a couple weeks ago. I was worried it might taste a little too healthy but my friends gave it their approval!

Pumpkin Crisp

(Gluten-free, free of refined sugar)



The Base

  • Two 15oz cans of pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey (other liquid sweeteners should work as well)
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

The Topping

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (make sure they’re certified GF if that’s an issue for you)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the base and pour the mixture into a greased 8″ x 10″ baking dish.
  3. Place the pumpkin mixture in the oven for 20 minutes
  4. While the pumpkin mixture is baking, combine the ingredients for the topping until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Removed the pumpkin mixture from the oven and spread the topping mixture over top covering as much of the pumpkin as possible.
  6. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin mixture has firmed up and the topping is golden brown


Well maybe pumpkin isn’t the most Christmas-y flavor but that’s okay, I love it anyway.

What’s your favorite Christmas dessert? Cooooookkkkiiiieeeessss! I’m a Christmas cookie monster 🙂

Is there someone in your family who’s notoriously hard to buy for?

What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever given (or received)?

Six Years.

Six years of smiles.

Six years of nightly phone calls.

Six years of tickle wars.

Six years of heart-warming hugs and kisses.

Oh god. Awkward prom pictures, circa 2007

Six years of patience.

Six years of saying just the thing I needed to hear.

Six years of silly names and teasing each other.

Six years of never going to bed mad.

Six years of never taking ourselves too seriously.

circa 2010

Six years of dealing with all my quirks, which seem to grow every year.

Six years of love.

Happy anniversary Jeremy. These six years have flown by, but I’ve loved every second of them. I learn something new about you everyday and I smile even bigger every time I see you. The past six years have been the best of my life and I can’t wait to see where the future will take us.

Christmas 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy T(of)urkey Day!

I hope your enjoying lots of delicious foods with your family!

I know I’ll be enjoying a turducken later on, kidding. Don’t eat too much turkey, eat lots of pie instead (:

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday 22nd to my roommate Lauren!
She’s puts up with my quirkiness and is somehow still my friend. So happy birthday old lady, (kidding… kinda).

P.S. She has a blog if you want to read! And she’s an english major so it’s more well written than mine (: