Life Goal: Be The Pioneer Woman

Happy Friday, all! Did this week fly by or what?

Well, you’re in luck. Instead of regularly scheduled programming, where I talk about things I see, do and eat, you get to hear me talk about myself. Aren’t you excited? Big thanks to Anne for nominating me for the Liebster award! I love talking about myself so you made my day (Disclaimer: this writer is not responsible for any and all oblivion to sarcasm).

1. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

  • Hmmmm…this is tricky. Can I say pizza, because I could then add tons of veggies one day, bbq chicken another, and arugula the next? Or is that cheating?


2. If you could lunch with any 3 ladies– alive or dead– who would they be?

  • Giada DeLaurentis, Ree Drummund, and Katy Perry. I have a note in my phone that says “Career aspirations: Be The Pioneer Woman.” True Story. I’m kinda going through a phase…


3. What inspired you to begin blogging?

  • I fell in love with food blogs my junior year of college while I was bored at an internship and needed to fill the hours sitting at a computer. I was instantly hooked and knew that once I graduated I wanted to create my own. My first favorites were Kath Eats Real Food, PB Fingers, Sweet Tooth Sweet Life and Hungry Runner Girl. I couldn’t believe you could write about food and fitness all day and call it a hobby.

4. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?

  • I got started on my path to having a career in health and fitness! It was tough making the decision to not directly use my degree anymore, especially with how expensive college was. But after a year in public relations I just knew there was something else out there for me that I was truly passionate about, and the second after I ripped off the bandaid, so to speak, my world opened up and I couldn’t be more excited.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

  • I change my mind on this every other day. Currently, I would love to live in Los Angeles (and it only has a little to do with the fact that it’s 20 degrees here). I don’t think I want to live there permanently, but I’d love to spend a year or two there. I have this dream in the back of my mind that I move out there by myself, work at lululemon in Santa Monica, run along the beach, hike on the weekends, eat tons of avocados and fish tacos, and finally get a year-round tan on this pale, pale skin of mine. It’ll be my solitary year of sunshine and happiness.


6. Favorite song at the moment?

  • Another toughie. But Spotify doesn’t lie, and the song I’ve been playing the most recently is:

7. Chocolate or vanilla?

  • As much as I love chocolate, when it comes flavored things (cake, ice cream, pudding, milkshakes) it’s definitely vanilla. Chocolate-flavored stuff just never tastes right to me. But give me a vanilla malt and goodness gracious, life is over.

8. What was the best restaurant you visited in 2014?

  • My favorite restaurant was actually back in the beginning of 2014 when I visited Boston. JM Curley — they had the best pulled pork sandwich I’ve ever had and I still sometimes have dreams about it.


9. If you could relive any moment in your life, which would you choose?

  • Weird question! I’d have to say, the first semester of college. Is that a moment? Haha. I had never experienced anything like it. I was on my own for the first time, I didn’t know anyone in my dorm, and I just loved that new, exciting feeling. I met my best friends that semester and joined a sorority, which was a ball.


10. How did you come up with your blog name?

  • I explain this in my About Me section but here it goes: I was extremely close to my grandma. She lived with us on and off for five or six years throughout my life, so she was very influential for me. She was such a gentle, kind-hearted, quiet woman. Every night at dinner, we would always ask her if she wanted seconds, and she would always say, “No, I had a big lunch.” I mean, she responded this way at least three or four times a week, as if we hadn’t heard it before. It became a running joke in our family. When I was trying to name this blog I kept thinking “Peanut butter-this, healthy-that” and it was all just generic. The idea popped up and the minute I thought of it, that was it. I feel like I fell into the most perfect blog title, as it not only embodies me (most of my meals are pretty big haha) but it pays homage to a woman who meant so much to me growing up.


11. Blog goals for 2015?

  • I’m going to make this a much more running-focused blog. I’ve always been “a little bit of this” “a little bit of that” in terms of fitness, and while I think that variety is fun to read about, it’s really important to me that I dedicate myself to running this year and share my journey with you. As you know I’m going to be running my first marathon in October, so I have lots of work to do and lots of first-time experiences to share. I want to do it all as healthy as possible, so it’s important I focus on that throughout 2015. I’d also love to continue to do blogger meet-ups and become a more active member of the Chicago blogging community.

I’m not going to nominate anyone in particular, but I’d love to here your responses to one of the questions above!

I mustache you some questions…

Happy Friday from my homegirl KP! Who’s ready to celebrate? I’m going to my group of friends’ annual Friendsgiving dinner so I couldn’t be happier!

Thanks to Kaylin for tagging me in this questionnaire! It’s been floating around the blog world for awhile now and I’ve loved reading everyone’s responses.  Now it’s my turn – and I’m excited for the opportunity for you to get to know me a little better.


Four Names That People Call Me (Other Than My Real Name):

  • Lo – Not sure where this came from but multiple people call me that now. I love it, actually!
  • Lela – My best friend Kaitlin’s name for me growing up.
  • Pumpkin Head – my Dad called me this growing up. I always thought it was a “cute” nickname but in actuality it was all about my giaaaant dome. Thanks, dad.
  • Leehock – people in high school called me that. Not a lot of nicknames have come my way in life haha I guess Lauren just fits me too perfectly

Four Jobs I’ve Had:

  • Server
  • Barista
  • Writing/production intern for “The McLaughlin Group”
  • PR intern

And now I’m currently an educator at lululemon and in January (fingers crossed) I’ll be a NASM certified personal trainer!

Four Movies I Have Watched More Than Once:

  • National Treasure (1 and 2)
  • The Patriot
  • Horrible Bosses (Jason Bateman is the best)
  • White Christmas (it’s that time of year!)

Four Books I’d Recommend: 

  • Gone Girl
  • 50 Shades of Grey (because, I mean, come on)
  • Life of Pi
  • Bossypants (Tina Fey for the win)

Four Places I’ve Lived:

  • Madison, WI
  • Washington D.C.
  • Paris, France
  • Champaign, IL (#college)

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I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and in two weeks will finally have my own place in the city! So let’s add Chicago to that list, shall we?


Four Places I Have Been:

  • Belize
  • Prague
  • Spearfish Canyon and Sioux Falls, SD (it’s BEAUTIFUL there)
  • Captiva Island, FL

Four Places I’d Rather Be Right Now:

  • LA
  • Washington D.C.
  • Nashville
  • Scottsdale, AZ (my friend Jordan just moved there and I miss her like crazy)

Four Things I Don’t Eat:

  • Red meat
  • Dairy milk (unless it’s my only option or it’s an ingredient in a dish – but otherwise I don’t drink it)
  • Beets (NEVER)
  • Sour Cream

Four Of My Favorite Foods:

  • Seafood (tuna melts, fish tacos, GET AT ME)
  • M&Ms
  • Nuts (I almost always carry a bag of nuts around in my purse. This also includes pb)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Popcorn
  • Eggs
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Spinach Dip
  • Carrot Cake
  • wait was I supposed to stop at four?


Four TV Shows That I Watch (or have watched):

  • Arrested Development
  • Modern Family (one of my all-time favorites)
  • Seinfeld
  • Scandal

Four Things I Am Looking Forward To This Year:

  • Getting my NASM certification and finding a job in the fitness world
  • Traveling to Scottsdale to see Jordan (as long as the ol’ wallet allows it)
  • Baking perfect French macarons. What can I say I set my sights high.
  • Training for the Chicago Marathon



Four Things I’m Saying: 

  • “Totally”
  • “Wait let me get a picture of that”
  • “Thank you” (I say thank you for eeeeeeverything)
  • “Sorry” (ever seen this video? Totally me. See what I did there?)

Four People I’m Tagging To Do This Next: