Alive in the Age of Worry

I’m getting tired of WIAW so I’m staging a protest. Peaceful protest. Not that I don’t want to see all your beautiful eats, but I’m just bored posting mine. How’s that for honesty?

Instead, let’s talk about music. I mentioned before that with the ups and downs of life, I turn to music. I know this isn’t an anomaly, but even though I tend to be very athletic on the surface, deep down I’m pretty darn artistic and I appreciate music on a whole other level. A song can make or break my day. It can make me cry on the spot. If a song I love comes on while I’m driving I’ll turn up the volume as loud as it will go and open the sunroof and windows, until it feels like I’m in a movie.

This song has been on repeat lately. Please listen to it. After keeping up with all of your lives I know that 99% of you can relate.


Close your eyes and clone yourself
Build your heart an army
To defend your innocence
While you do everything wrong

Don’t be scared to walk alone
Don’t be scared to like it
There’s no time that you must be home
So sleep where darkness falls

Alive in the age of worry
Smile in the age of worry
Go wild in the age of worry
And say, “Worry, why should I care?”

Know your fight is not with them
Yours is with your time here
Dream your dreams but don’t pretend
Make friends with what you are

Give your heart then change your mind
You’re allowed to do it
‘Cause God knows it’s been done to you
And somehow you got through it

Alive in the age of worry
Rage in the age of worry
Sing out in the age of worry
And say, “Worry, why should I care?”

Rage in the age of worry
Act your age in the age of worry
And say, “Worry, get out of here!”

Which part of this song resonates with you the most?
Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.
For as long as I can remember I was afraid to be by myself. I didn’t have a chance to get to know myself because I kept being propelled forward – the next grade in school, the next internship, the next job, the next weekend, the next plan. Today I’m living day to day. There are no weekends, there are no 9-5s, there are no Sunday night blues waiting for Monday morning to come. Every day I wake up, excited (seriously!), to get to know myself a little bit better. So even when it peeks its head into my life, as it always does, I love saying worry, why should I care, worry, get out of here.
Give your heart and change your mind – you’re allowed to do it
Not every life decision is final, and just because you change your mind doesn’t mean you failed. Wow do I think this notion isn’t promoted enough these days. I still have to put on 16 shirts before I know what I’m going to wear out – so how am I supposed to know my life plan today, my “identity” today? Aside from having no idea where my road is taking me, I know I’m being shaped by my everyday experiences. The Polish woman who I stop to help with her bags down the escalator at the train station, only to be trapped in a crazy ten-minute conversation with how she can see Jesus by the colors in the clouds. The barista at Starbucks who asked if I wanted to dance. The unexpected text from an old friend with no expectation, other than a little love.  I love bonding with people,especially strangers. I’m giving my heart to my everyday experiences. I’m not trying to mold myself based on my job, my family, my relationship status, my looks, my religion, or any of that. I’m surrendering myself to those silly little moments and they are what I go to bed thinking about every night. It’s such a light way to live.
Know your fight is not with them
I came into this world alone and I’ll leave it alone. So my loyalty first and foremost needs to be myself. It’s not selfish. It took me awhile to realize this. It’s just the opposite – when I wake up each day ready to serve myself, I find myself acting in a more compassionate, empathetic, and friendly way. I’m kinder. Kindness is underrated.

almost wordless week(end)

What’s new, crew! Sorry I disappeared for a few days – the rest of the week was a bit of a blur thanks to some unforeseen family stuff and I usually don’t have time to write on the weekends (too busy eating to write about eating, yaknowwhatimean?)

But while it’s been eventful to say the least, I did manage to have some great moments of fun out and about. If I took the time to explain each and every moment this post would be a decade long so let’s do an (almost) wordless weekend.


Just a little pumpkin-crazy


Early morning run in my favorite tech top from lululemon.


…Followed by a heavy dose of veggie icing and the Today show


Got some Skoop in the mail! So excited to review this next week for you guys!


And just like that it’s fall in Chicago! On the walk to work


Avocado-tomato grilled cheese + pumpkin beer.

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Slowly (but surely) building up the muscles again. Yoga Sculpt

Homeslice Wheelhouse patio - my new favorite happy hour spot. I didn't take my own pic because the travel channel was filming there!

Homeslice Wheelhouse patio – my new favorite happy hour spot. I didn’t take my own pic because the travel channel was filming there!


Eating allll the pizza


Moscow Mule + pizza with olive oil, garlic (so much!), basil, feta and tomatoes. I died.

Been listening to a lot of John Mayer lately. It's the perfect writing music! You either love him or you hate him...

Been listening to a lot of John Mayer lately. It’s the perfect writing music! You either love him or you hate him…


BYOO – Bring Your Own Oatmeal to Starbucks. 9 out of 10 times the baristas will help a sister out 🙂


Bad mood killer. Best snack in the history of snacks. Candy corn + super salty peanuts

I’m also trying to create a pumpkin chili recipe today so I’ll be sharing that as soon as I’m sure it tastes great 😉

Can’t wait to read all about your weekends! Have a fabulous Monday!


  • What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
  • Love or hate John Mayer?
  • Best part of your weekend…go!

Every lesson I’ve learned in life, I’ve learned from Dove chocolate


Ok, slight overstatement, but those Dove squares just get me. Whoever in their PR department decided to write little messages on the wrappers really knew what they were doing.

I was going to write a post on my general lack of self-control when it comes to those little geometric pieces of temptation but instead, I decided to flip the switch and view it in a positive light. So what if I’ve eaten almost an entire bag in the past five days? That’s five days’ worth of confidence-building, life-inspiring, day-changing advice, right? Right!

I kept the wrappers lying around the apartment all week and, after a fun scavenger hunt last night, collected all the best tokens of wisdom I could find, ones that really spoke to me and had an impact on my day-to-day life. So without further ado, the lessons I’ve learned from Dove.

“Stretch your body, stretch your mind”

  • This one should come as no surprise that it stuck out to me. I think it’s so important to stretch, whether that be stretch physically (which, ironically, is what I’m the worst at), mentally or spiritually. I love to hear other people’s life views and opinions, learn about other cultures and debate over current events and politics. I can’t imagine a life more boring than deciding what you believe and then never being open to hearing other opinions. It’s so good for the brain to “stretch” past its everyday thinking and really branch out to hear and understand the differences in the world.

“Seek out small pleasures” and “Enjoy the small things in life”

  • I’ve noticed that a lot of people are quick to notice the bad things and skip over the good, especially when it comes to little things. I’d be lying if I said I don’t fall into the same trap, but I’m usually good about stopping to smell the roses, if you catch my drift. I’m known to stop in the middle of a walk to notice a beautiful painting in a store window or cut my run short to sit on the beach and stare out at the lake. You just HAVE to. The world is so miraculous and enough bad things happen on a daily basis that, if you don’t take notice of the good things or make room for small pleasures, you’ll just become one giant stress ball waiting to explode. No Bueno.

 “Create a happy place”

  • I’m definitely guilty of always looking to my surroundings to make me happy. “If I could just not sit at a desk all day I’d be happy,” “If our apartment was cleaner I’d be happy,” “If I had enough money to take more roadtrips I’d be happy.” But maybe happiness will come when I make every moment a “happy place.” It goes back to perspective, which I’ve talked about so many times. Also, I think it’s so important to come up with a ritual that puts you in a happy place. Whether it be a bubble bath or on a yoga mat reading a trashy magazine or in a local coffee shop sipping on a latte, we all need a ritual that centers us. Happy places are out there, just waiting for us to create them.

 “Too much of a good thing is wonderful”

  • This is interesting. The minute I opened this one I laughed because I thought, “Wow, perfect excuse to eat tons of chocolate!” Why is it that my mind always goes to binging on food when I think of rewards, celebrations, “good things”, etc.? Binging on chocolate takes a good thing and turns it bad, because let’s be honest, who feels amazing after scarfing down 35 pieces of chocolate in ten minutes? Too much of a good thing means more than just eating good food – for me it means taking more walks after dinner, staying up an extra hour to see a new episode of Chopped, running an extra mile because I feel a rush of energy at the end of my planned distance, etc.


  • It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Now listen to some fun music and have a great Friday – the weekend is only hours away!


  • What’s your favorite type of Dove chocolate? I love regular milk chocolate, dark chocolate caramel and dark chocolate sea salt
  • What’s your favorite cliche lesson you’ve learned? Please don’t say  “Dance like nobody’s watching” – this isn’t your 13-year-old dream board… 😉


why did you start a blog?

Hey guys – I’m slammed at work so you’ll have to forgive me for this short post. But I did have a quick thought cross my mind so this seems like just as good as any time to get to know you all a little better. So on this sunny Tuesday morning I’m curious….

  • Why did you start a blog?
  • What was the first blog you read that got you hooked?
  • Why do you think you continue to blog, even during days/weeks/months when you don’t feel like you have enough to write about?

Talk to me! 🙂

Losing my “Spill it Sunday” Virginity

Sundays are usually a quiet day for me in terms of blogging. In fact, it’s rare that I post on a Saturday OR Sunday, just because I’d rather be out and about than typing away on the ol’ laptop. But today I decided to finally join in on the fun that Arman brings us every week and link up with other bloggers for “Spill It Sunday”. Plus you all want to get to know me a little better, right? I knew it.


1. What’s your middle name?

  • Rosemary – the name of my Dad’s mom, my paternal Grandma. I never met her but I like having her name because it feels like I have a little part of her in me.

2. When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • Being the indecisive person I am this always, always changed. I do remember when I was really little I thought I wanted to be a librarian. I would take books from around the house and pretend to “scan” them and a few weeks ago I even found a log detailing the books that I let my family “check out,” with due dates and fines and everything haha. Apparently I was a real stickler as a child.

3. What do you keep in the glove box of your car?

  • Napkins! I hate when I’m eating or I need to blow my nose or something and I reach into the glove compartment and there are no napkins in there. One of life’s little frustrations that I try to avoid 🙂

4. Name one food that always seems to go bad before you eat it?

  • Bread! Which is so weird because that never used to happen to me but for some reason Zain and I keep coming across moldy bread midweek.

5. What was the last workout you did?

  • I don’t know if this counts as a real workout but I biked to run all my errands yesterday! Other than that I did an elliptical workout on Friday.

6. When was the last time you got the giggles in an inappropriate moment? What did you do?

  • This is a funny story that I don’t think my parents even know about. My brother and I have a game we’ve played at church since we were probably 12 years old. During Catholic masses we all stand and hold hands while saying the Our Father and Steve and I have always played “who can squeeze the other person’s hand the hardest” game. It usually ends up in stifled giggles during church, especially lately because I realize how old we are still playing this game and it makes me laugh. We joked the other day that one day we’re going to be 30 years old in church doing it and one of us is going to break our hand and when the paramedics ask what happened we’ll have to tell them we were playing a game. I can’t wait for that day.

7. If you had to pick one song to play continuously in the background of your everyday life what would you pick?

  • It changes a lot but this week I’ve been loving playing this song while I walk to work. It’d be a great theme song!

8. What would you do if you got 25 hours in a day while everyone else was still stuck with 24?

  • This sounds dumb and predictable but I’d definitely use that time to work out. Sometimes it’s tough to fit in a workout when you don’t want to miss out on things with friends! How great would it be to wake up and have an extra hour to sweat before work but it didn’t cost you any sleep or time with family/friends?

9. Pick a great picture of you/your family/your friends and tell us the background story of what’s happening in it.

  • I have to cheat and use two pictures – my parents were trying to get a nice family picture of my brother and me during a family vacation a few years back (back when I was into the whole bleached bottle blonde business). My brother scooped me up (I hate being picked up) and the following pictures happened:


Don’t ever joke about dropping a girl! Just don’t do it haha.

10.What’s your favorite quote/song/image when you need a little inspiration?


Have a beautiful Sunday! I can’t wait to read about all your weekends!

WIAW: the flood and the food

wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2Well yesterday was “a day” to say the least. Zain’s bathroom flooded while we were all at work yesterday so the damage spread through the hallway and his bedroom. Needless to say all of our clothes, papers, and other objects were chilling in about an inch of toilet water for probably six or seven hours.  Fun right?!

(I will remain calm I will remain calm I will remain calm)

In an effort to pretend the day didn’t happen let’s just do a WIAW, shall we? Looking at pictures of food calms my nerves at least.

Before work I went to the gym and got a quick workout in. 30 minutes of the elliptical, 12 minutes rowing, 5 minutes wall balls. All while watching Million Dollar Listing LA. Oh Madison, you’re the only one I can tolerate on that show. But I can’t lie…now that we’re back to subzero temps in Chicago a little condo on the beach surrounded by palm trees and sunshine doesn’t sound too bad.



Of course I got back from the gym excited for the most important meal of the day:


Coffee, whole wheat English muffin with raspberry jam, and a delicious omelet filled with cheddar cheese, green peppers and onions.

I don’t know WHAT was happening in my office yesterday but I was cooking like a chicken. It was so hot that I started dreaming of Diet Dr. Pepper like a mirage in the Sahara.  So midmorning I succumbed to the temptation and had a Big Gulp. It was incredible.



Lunch was a quick sandwich from Corner Bakery: Tomato, mozzarella, leafy greens, and marinated red peppers. This was one of those sandwiches that you finish and wish there was more.



My afternoon snack was nothing exciting—grapefruit slices that I threw in some plain greek yogurt.



I took the chilly walk home and walked through the door to Noah’s Ark so the rest of the night was a blur. I stress ate like a boss (not going to lie). Luckily I did get a few nutrients in the form of spaghetti squash—I replaced ¾ of my pasta with roasted squash so that totally makes up for me stuffing my face with mozzarella sticks, tortilla chips and chocolate chips, right?


At the end of the day, everything is under control. Sure we have to do about 100 loads of laundry and I have to walk around the apartment in rain boots, but it’s all going to be okay. Perspective, right?  All I can do is smile and keep playing One Republic. I spent the rest of the night watching The Bachelor for the second night in a row and that did a pretty good job of making me feel better about my life. Oh Juan Pablo…you’re the worst.


  • Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? What did you think?
  • Did you watch The Bachelor this week? For me it’s like a car crash…I don’t want to watch but I just can’t look away…
  • What was the best thing you ate yesterday?

things i love friday

Well it’s one of those days — gloomy and cloudy but still a little humid. Probably my least favorite environment to be in. That probably explains the bad mood I woke up in this morning. You know what the best cure for a bad mood is, though? You guessed it: work. it. out.

I honestly can’t think of a time in my life when I went for a workout and it made me feel worse. Endorphins FTW!

Today’s workout was back to the basics.  After a 200m run warmup along with stretching and some quick practice moves, we got started with the WOD.


Seems easy, but after the first 5 minutes my whole body was on fire. After this 22 minute workout we all tested out our core strength by holding side planks as long as we could. I have to admit I loved this part because this is one of my strengths, so it felt good to be the last one in the class holding up my plank (especially because my upper body strength pales in comparison to most of the people at bootcamp). The whole workout, including warmup and planks, took a little under 30 minutes.  Fast and intense, as always.


Each day I get closer to my goal of being able to do pull-ups and push-ups like a champ. For some reason, while I have always had legs built for a horse, my upper body has been super weak.  It’s funny because you always wonder “what’s the secret?” I’m learning now that there is no quick formula or secret. Since I’ve started doing simple exercises such as ring rows, pushups, burpees, and resistance-band pull-ups, my muscle is slowly but surely building. Don’t come across me in a dark alley!

Now here are a few of my favorite things from this week.  It’s going to be extra food-heavy because I did a great job preparing creative lunches this week so I’d love to share my ideas with you. Enjoy!


I’ve loved Ellie Goulding since I heard her perform on SNL. I’m so happy she’s getting more popular so I get to hear her songs on the radio more often.

I heard this song on the radio the other day and I immediately became 13 years old again. This is definitely a sing-along-in-your-car song. It’s beautiful!




Alright you got me. The closest thing I did to reading this week was looking through inspirational instagram quotes.  I’ll admit it.

Oh and this. Hilarious.

“How the Government Shutdown is Exactly Like Mean Girls”

ImageNow to the best part.



Hummus and veggie sandwich with a slice of swiss cheese and a bowl of black bean sweet potato soup. My mom brought the soup home from work because she knows I have an obsessive love for sweet taters and it was all kinds of yum.


I’ve been doing such a great job of only drinking water (and coffee of course), but when I need something different nothing beats a rootbeer Zevia.  October decorations hanging out in the background just waiting to be placed around the house.


Fruit/veggie bowl. Sugar snap peas, farmer’s market carrots, granny smith apple and lots of pb. This is a much better midnight snack than my usual tortilla chips or chocolate. I’m working on it!


Tuna salad sandwich with half a sweet potato topped with cinnamon. So much going on here it’s mind-blowing.


Peanut butter oatmeal. Filled with lots of chia and flax seeds for extra crunch, fiber, and protein. I’m a weirdo and don’t like eating peanut butter in hot oatmeal (it makes me nauseous for some reason) so I let the oatmeal cool down and then topped it with extra chunky pb.


Remember that time I decided to get all unique and creative and buy a horned melon to see what it tastes like? Yeah it’s not good. It’s like a cross between a cucumber and a kiwi. AKA two foods that should never be in the same realm of tastes. Skip it!



I realize now that I did a good job of conveniently not snapping many pics of all the treats I had this week. I promise my life is not a perfect world of vegetables and whole grains. My sweet tooth is a raging monster and I often munch on the extra fries at work. It’s not about eating 100% healthy during the week and then binge eating on the weekends. It’s about balance and intuitive eating every day.

Have a wonderful weekend! It’s supposed to rain over the weekend so I’m thinking cozy movie days are ahead 🙂


  • Do you have any fun plans this weekend?
  • Out of the four basic exercises in my WOD today (pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats), which one is your favorite? Your least favorite?



Current Music: 

If you haven’t heard Timeflies before, you’re missing out on some serious talent.  This guy is a talented rapper/singer who has his friends put topics in a hat and then he raps about them without knowing beforehand what the topics are. It’s crazy! These are some of my favorite versions of his songs. Not all these songs display this raw rapping talent but if you wanna see that just check more of his stuff out on YouTube.

Current Food: 

I did a lot fewer food pictures than normal this week so I have quite a bit to catch you up on!


Quinoa, black beans, avocado, Morningstar chickn patty, bbq sauce, salsa, sea salt and cayenne pepper.


Snacks on the go (I ALWAYS have food in my purse): almonds and carrots


Overnight oats: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3/4 cup almond milk, chia and flax seeds, 1/2 banana, truvia and cinnamon, all topped with chunky pb!


Tuna salad sandwich, Ezekiel bread, grapes


Plain greek yogurt mixed with truvia and a chocolate Vitatop


Confession…the past week has had a lot of late nights thanks to worries about work and life in general, so I’ve made nachos  twice this week right around midnight (and that’s not including the chocolate chips that have made a permanent residence next to my bed lately). Definitely not the best for me, and I feel it in the morning. Oh well, mistakes happen!

Current Obsession:

I figured I’d rather buy this than end up in the Starbucks drive-thru five times a week for a pumpkin spice latte.  Plus I’m not a huge latte fan when I can just get a nice cup of black coffee.  This just takes coffee to the next level!

ImageCurrent Read: Relish by Daphne Oz



I bought this book a few months ago and after a quick browse I forgot about it. Fail! I really like this book because it isn’t just a cookbook, it has a lot of tips about life in general. I really like Daphne after seeing her on “The Chew”–she seems like someone who has a beautiful, balanced relationship with food.  I highly recommend this book.


The 100 Things Every 20-Something Needs To Realize


LOVE this list. I’m seriously considering printing it out, laminating it, hanging it on my fridge, whatever. It’s just awesome.

A few of my favorites:

  • 13) When you think you’re missing out, you’re not.
  • 44) You should always do your best to look your best because it will make you feel your best.
  • 75) You don’t need to be an assh*le to get ahead in life, but you can’t be a pushover either.
  • 76) Your cellphone is ruining your life. 
  • 88) Sudoku helps fight off future dementia. (Great! I love me some Sudoku).

Have a great Friday!

Question: what’s your favorite item from that list?

currently: friday the 13th

Just a few things that I’m loving this week! TGIF 🙂

Current Music:

Fall is the time of year I start to gravitate towards more indie/alternative music instead of the country tunes that take up 100% of my time throughout the summer. Autumn and indie just seem to go together beautifully

But there is always room for a guilty pleasure, bubblegum pop song obsession

Current Eats:

In breaking news, this cereal is heaven. Also, it only has 8 grams of sugar per serving? How is that even possible? That’s less than the twigs and branches cereal from Kashi that I usually eat. Actually I take that question back. Not gonna question it.

ImageCurrent Shows

god I am LOVING DC-related shows. First “House of Cards” and now “Scandal”. I know I’m a few years late to the party (what else is new) but this show is great!


Current Read:

“11 Life Hacks for the Emotionally Struggling 20-something”

“If you can’t enjoy what you have now, you are not in the right mindset to enjoy anything else”

It’s VERY hard to enjoy your day to day life when you feel like you aren’t moving in a certain direction. For me, I have always been used to moving forward–going to high school, making varsity basketball, taking the ACT, getting into college, picking a major, getting my degree.  There’s always been something new to achieve, fairly easily too as long as I wanted it to happen.

Nowadays, life is more of a mystery. I have no idea where I’ll be one year from now. Many people my age have the same problem. But I’d be a fool to not enjoy what I have now because I feel like “less of a person” without a plan. I have parents who love me and give me a place to live, a boyfriend who would support me no matter what I chose to do or where I chose to go, and a genuine group of friends who I can always have a good time with. That’s enough for now.  Even though I occasionally have to have an awkward minute-long conversation with people who ask “what are you doing with your life?”, that’s okay.

Current Style:

I just made some pre-Fall purchases that I couldn’t be happier with.


Fall fashion is the best.

Current Happenings

The U of I game this weekend!


My alum mater is playing football tomorrow at Soldier Field in Chicago! I’ll be heading downtown after getting a quick workout in so I can enjoy the first brisk day of fall tailgating and watching the game. I’m so excited!

In other news, happy Friday the 13th! Can you believe we’re basically halfway to October?!

Question: what are you loving currently?