TOL: there’s a mouse in my house + prenatal vitamins


Running is finally getting easier!!! I can bust out 4-5 miles like it’s nothing. I mean it’s something but hey I don’t have to bring my rescue inhaler with me anymore #winning

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There’s a mouse in my house.


I’ve seen it twice – and only screamed like there was a psycho killer in my house the first time. The second time I gave him the head nod and went about my business. Thank god I have cats (is that evil?)

It’s officially leggings as pants season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suck it, haters!

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I hate that expensive candles are the only ones that really smell. I spent $25 on a candle from Bath and Body works and it makes my whole house smell like a pumpkin patch within minutes. Being the fiscal conservative that I am I did NOT want to fork over that kind of cash again, so I went with a small autumn candle from Kohl’s. Well it’s been lit for five hours now and it’s just now starting to work its magic. I am not pleased. I guess another trip to The Works is in order sooner rather than later.


Chocolate chips have become my new go-to dessert. They’re cheap, easy, and delicious, just how I like my men.


Hopefully that GIF didn’t give you epilepsy. If so don’t bother suing I have no money. But I can ship you some chocolate chips overnight?

There are some serious words of wisdom floating around the internet this week. I’m feeling so inspired.

unnamed (5)unnamed (9)What I take out of these:

  • Life is all about perspective – change your perspective, change your world.
  • Be present – wherever you are, be all there. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching TV on a Wednesday night with your friends or at a dinner party – just BE there.
  • Take things at your own pace – there’s no rule book for anything. Quit trying to figure out what you “should” do.
  • Eat breakfast. Because there’s literally nothing better than breakfast.

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I have the best banana bread recipe that I would love to share with you but seriously how many more “amazing” banana bread recipes do we HLBs need? (but for real my recipe has millet and slivered almonds in it so that makes it different and unique and special right right right?!)

Reading all of your marathon recaps from this past weekend finally convinced me to take the plunge and train for Chicago next year! I loved reading all about the emotional rollercoaster that is marathon training and, call me crazy, but I want all of it. All the ice baths, all the post-run stretching, all the carb-loading and the early Friday nights. It’s gonna be a parrrrrrty!


And last but not least, prenatal vitamins.

Have any of you taken these when you’re not pregnant? Yay or nay? Some women at work have touted it as a good supplement for my hair loss, brittle nails and general lack of energy lately. But then of course the internet says I’m going to die. So please give me your two cents.


  • What’s your favorite dessert lately?
  • Ever heard of women taking prenatal vitamins without being pregnant?
  • Do you really think quality of life is a matter of perspective? 

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.

because i want to be a better person, damnit

I’m so sick of hearing about all the little changes in your daily routine that supposedly make a huge difference in how you feel. “Drink 2 liters of water a day and your skin will glow!” “Don’t touch your electronics for an hour after you wake up and keep your stress level down!” “Get eight hours of sleep and you won’t need that Venti latte anymore!”

In my opinion that all a lot of “one-size-fits-all” advice. Some people only need six hours of sleep and I need me some Robin Roberts to wake me up in the morning so STFU.

The last few months have been pretty crazy and a lot of things are up in the air for me. Not having a plan hasn’t seemed too challenging on the surface, but I can tell it’s taking a toll on my overall health. The stress of being out of control can be overwhelming, so this past weekend I decided to make a conscious decision to make my own little changes. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Vineyard Hills Olive & Thyme Candle


I love this candle. It has such an unexpectedly relaxing scent. I hate olives so I’m not sure I would have even tried smelling this at Target if I had seen the name first, but it was love at first sniff.  It’s repurposed from a discarded glass bottle so the green tint that comes off the flame is very relaxing. I’ve been lighting this candle the minute I get in the door and letting it work its magic on the room until just before bed. It may just be a candle but it definitely brings a sense of serenity to my life after work.

Tiger Tail


This is one of the best changes I’ve made. The Tiger Tail is like a mini, portable foam roller, and I’ve made a commitment to use it at least 3 days a week. It’s much more effective (I’ve found) if someone else uses it on you so if you have any friends who owe you a favor cash it in for this mini-massage. It is working wonders for my calves and IT band.

Just Dance

I’ve been making a little more time for goofy activities like Just Dance. Spencer and I danced around the living room last night for about 15 minutes and even that upped my energy exponentially. Just Dance gives the whole room this positive energy and I love it! It doesn’t matter how goofy we look, it’s just nice to come home after work and let off some steam in a fun, carefree way. Don’t be jealous of my moves.


So yeah, I’m sure these little things won’t help everyone who stumbles upon them but they have already had a nice little impact on my daily routine. I’m not doing yoga every morning for an hour or chugging apple cider vinegar but regardless, I’m working on me. Not only are these practices healthy in and of themselves, but the very idea of setting personal health goals and accomplishing them is a real confidence-booster! It’s nice to make time for more than Netflix and Betches Love This Bachelor recaps.


What little changes have you made to your life for the better? What do you want to change? 

what I’ve learned since graduating college

While I’m only 9 months out, I think it’s a good time to get a post out like this. While I love writing about food and fitness, sometimes it’s important to write more personal post so you can get a better feel for who I am as a person, not just a food fanatic. Because contrary to popular belief, I’m not always Instagramming photos of sandwiches or Yelping the best donuts in Chicago 😉

You sit. A lot.

Train. Car. Office. Dinner. Movie. It’s all done sitting. Luckily I have to walk about 35 minutes each way to work in the morning but other than that, spending the day sitting is, quite frankly and literally, a pain in the ass. I get up at 5pm and my knees hurt. What’s up with that? Hey young adults, let’s change the culture of sitting.


You never have to read off a piece of paper again if you don’t want to

            I sit at a computer all day every day. When I walk, I’m listening to music on my headphones. When I get home, I turn on the news and scroll through my Instagram feed. I text constantly. I have headaches and wonder where they come from. I don’t read anymore. Even the occasional magazine would be nice, albeit a waste of $5. My eyes need rest from the bright lights of a screen and the constant connection to social media. I feel myself getting sucked into the internet-obsessed world, one where asking for eye contact when we have a conversation needs to be explicitly stated. Everything can be done online now, and even though most times it seems like a saving grace, it sometimes feels like it sucks the life out of me at the end of the day.


Writing cursive nowadays is next to impossible

Every time I have to write a check it’s a struggle. The third grader inside of me is shaking her head in shame.

Money still disappears

You think you’re going to spend less money because you’re not buying $1 shots at the seedy college bar followed by $5 Papa John’s pizza, but instead you replace that habit with a more grown up one: happy hour and a lot of Starbucks.


You wonder, now what?

When you’re in high school, you have a very well-rounded identity. You sing in choir, you play on the varsity basketball team, and you know exactly when the Homecoming dance is coming up and how you’re going to ask your date. Everything falls together in a predictable pattern, something so comforting and easy. In college, things get a little fuzzy. However, once you make it past the gen-eds, you become a student of a specific field. You also join a sorority or Frisbee club or some other extra-curricular to make you feel better about all the binge drinking you participate in. But once you get that diploma, all of that disappears. I remember on my graduation day I turned to my dad and said, “It’s weird to think that, starting today, if I didn’t need money, I wouldn’t have to do a single thing from this moment forward.” I had no classes to go to, no appointments to keep, no functions that had been pre-organized for fun….nothing. Since summer was approaching the inevitable identity crisis didn’t hit, but once August came and I didn’t hop back in the car to Champaign, I realized, okay, now it’s time for the real world. So, who am I? I’m not a student, I’m not a Pi Phi, I’m not going to see my college friends very often anymore, and I’m certainly not going to be given a job with the snap of my fingers.  It was a scary time which I luckily handled in a healthy way, mainly by working out. Exercise is one constant in my life that isn’t changing, and that won’t change as long as I make sure to make it an integral part of my life.

People will do whatever it takes to convince you that their life is perfect

This is something I wish we could all change – early and mid 20s are a time about change, uncertainty, and lessons. I think it’s safe to say that everyone goes through this (at least I, personally, don’t know anyone who has it all together yet). And yet, for some reason, in social situations we all feel this need to make sure people think we’re happy, that the job we have right this second was our plan all along, and that we’re already living our dream. It’s all one big perpetual fallacy that we keep promoting because no one is brave enough to say “Shit, I don’t know what I’m doing yet but I know this path I’m on is taking me somewhere.” I’m going to work on being more proud when I talk about my current situation.  “Oh I’m working a 9-5 internship, unpaid, and working three nights a week as a waitress to pay all my loans off and still have enough money for a rather unfortunate latte addiction.” Because, honestly, I’m happy with the life I’m living right now—and I shouldn’t worry if it’s a good enough answer during something as insignificant as small talk.

And finally,

You have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, for whatever reason you want. I know a few people who already feel stuck. We are young, we have time to change our minds without being called heinously irresponsible, and yet we oftentimes don’t want to take it. Why are we in such a hurry to get in on the rat race? I’m still exploring and I have a few ideas up my sleeve, ideas that I’m pretty excited about. I’m happy with the person I am and who I’m becoming. While things aren’t always easy, I most definitely still have the attitude that I have this whole, beautiful life ahead of me, and I’m not about to squander it. Even though I sometimes feel like the pieces aren’t fitting, I have enough faith in the world, in God, and in myself to know that it’s all going to fall together. And honestly, keeping that attitude is half the battle.

So for now, I’m going to keep going to brunch on the weekends, watching shitty ABC family sitcoms, and eating an ungodly amount of bagel sandwiches. Because while I might not have it all together on paper, I really like the life I’m living.