Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Few of my Favorite Links {#21}


It's been a whirlwind y'all, as it usually is. If you've been following this blog for a while now you can totally tell when things are crazy for me at work because that's when posts get a bit more infrequent (usually September and April every single year). I guess that's just the trend in my life! Anywho, we had our final *major* event of the year - Pangy Day - on Friday and it was super successful! We were gambling hard with the weather. All week called for rain and even thunderstorms but kept going back and forth on when the rain would actually begin. We had outdoor activities planned from 10:30AM to 3PM, and according to all of the weather sites rain wouldn't start coming down until right around the time we would be packing it in for the day, so on Friday morning we made the official call to stay outside and we. hit. the jackpot.

While it was quite humid (we were expecting thunderstorms, after all), the sun was shining for most of the day, everyone was in their summer clothes and summer spirits, and everyone was having a blast. It was truly such a perfect day (I keep joking that Mary Lyon was looking out for us) and the weather held right until we got the last person and last piece of equipment inside after breaking down at 4PM when it immediately started pouring, thundering, and lightning-ing. Perfect timing, to say the least! With a smattering of other weekend events, we closed out our year of student programming Sunday afternoon and I can officially say I made it through my first academic year as a professional! We only have Senior Week and Commencement to worry about before we can officially call it summer time! :)

I have a few really awesome links for you today which (per usual) involve 3 of my 
most favorite things in the world - food, dogs, and Game of Thrones. I hope you enjoy!

Super Filling Sweet Potato Tacos

If you've been following my weekly vlogs or if you were around for this blog post, you'll know that I've been making a bit of an effort to be a bit more conscious when it comes to eating meet and dairy products. I by no means have cut them completely out of my life, but lately I have been pausing to consider possible alternatives, often making the decision to take a vegan or vegetarian option when it's available, and have recently made the choice to completely stop eating pig meat all together (yes, including bacon) which was a pretty easy choice as I never was too crazy about it in the first place. It's a journey and while I don't think I'll ever go completely vegan or vegetarian (then again, who knows?), making these decisions little by little will help in the transition.

Enter, this recipe. I just stumbled upon it yesterday and it is completely vegan! It looks freakin' delicious and honestly not that much different than a regular taco recipe. Just really replacing the meat with sweet potatoes which sounds pretty amazing in my opinion. I definitely want to try these out the next time I'm in the mood for homemade tacos!

Pet Portraits by Incandescent Design

As I've come to find out, I'm all about customized pet products that create a fun memory of your beloved furry friend. Incandescent Designs offers up these fun pet portraits for a modest (sarcasm) $200. With a finely detailed drawing, a pop of color, and a little twist to show off your pet's personality, I think this would be a fun addition to any room in your home!

Chart of 40 Different Kinds of Pizza

I'm not sure when I came across this chart but I do know that I came across it when I was borderline hangry and of course fell heart-eyes-emoji in love! There are some items on this list that I wouldn't really want to try, but the vast majority of these pizzas - sign a lady UP. I think the top three pizzas I would need to try at some point in my lifetime are the Scottish Pizza Crunch, the Pizza Cone, and I really want to try Cauliflower Crust Pizza as well! What one would you want to try?

9 Times Actual History Was More F*cked Up Than Game of Thrones

In honor of Game of Thrones finally returning, I obviously had to include a GoT related link of some sort! This one showed up on my Facebook feed, as most BuzzFeed articles do, and I had to click on it because I love when fictional stories are put into historical context. It's crazy just how messed up the world was back in the day and it was just considered to be normal. I mean, could you imagine hearing about a party reminiscent of the Red Wedding happening in real life?! Yikes.

What links have you been loving lately?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Providence Marathon Update #4: A Change of Plan


It's no secret that this time around marathon training has been a bit rough. Back in February I was feeling super far behind in my training, and while I picked it up a bit through March, I came to the realization that registering for this marathon wasn't looking like it would be fiscally possible this time around. And, with a heavy heart, I've had to make the decision that this $100 race registration isn't something I could commit to right now. I'm really sad about it because I really wanted to make a spring marathon work this year, but it's just not looking possible.

BUT - it's okay. I still plan to run marathon #4 this year at some point when I've got a bit more wiggle room in my budget. There are some upcoming changes in my life (which I know I'll speak about here soon) that's going to make saving money and purchasing some fun things (like race registrations!) possible. I'm searching around for some late-summer and autumn marathons that I can shoot for, and in the meantime continue to train while running some half marathons and other distance races. It just really stinks sometimes just how expensive race registration fees (especially for marathons) can be!

I AM, however, still planning on running a race on the day of the Rhode Races (which the Providence Marathon is a part of). If you're not familiar with Virtual Strides, it's a Virtual racing company that focuses on a different charity each month. Basically, you sign up for the race you'd like to run, they create a custom bib that you can print and wear and then they mail you a medal that you can rock after you're done running your race! For each race you can choose between 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances and each distance is the same price. You run the distance on your own timeline (they do have a time frame that you need to complete the distance by) and when you complete it you upload your time to the website and you can even share a photo of you on "race day"! It's a really easy and affordable way to race and feel a part of the running community even if you're running solo.

On May 1st, I'll be running the One Tough Mother Runner virtual half marathon that benefits the Family Lives on Foundation. This will be my first virtual race and I'm very interested to see how it goes! I'm excited that I'll still get to run a long-distance race on the day that I was hoping to, even if it wasn't *exactly* what I was planning. PLUS a portion of the registration fee will be going toward benefiting children in need. I'll be posting a review of my experience here on the blog (of course) but for now, here's a little glimpse at my bib! :)

Have you ever run a virtual race before? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Etsy Wishlist {April 2016}

Earlier this year I came up with an Etsy Wishlist and I had so much fun that I thought I'd do it again! Perusing the suggested items list on Etsy can be so much fun and I'm CONSTANTLY adding new items to my favorite items list and the recommended items that show up on my account always seem to be exactly something that I would want to buy. (Etsy's algorithms are apparently doing a great job. :P) Anyway, without further adieu, here are the items I'm eyeing on Etsy lately!

It's one of those unspoken things in the planner community - Yellow Paper House sort of rules the planner paper supply game. They have literally any color, size, and design you want no matter what style of planner you want! I recently shifted over to a hand-drawn system in my planner instead of relying on a pre-printed system, so that means I'm going to be needing some extra paper! I'm happy a shop like Yellow Paper House exists for the #plannergirls like me.

Though I know that this style is definitely not new, I've been seeing these phone cases pop up more and more and I LOVE THEM. They are so adorable and unique and there are so many different designs you can find! I would love to get my hands on one of these (and then cross my fingers I don't drop my phone) to add a bit of kawaii into my life! :) 

I believe this was recommended to me when I favorited a Game of Thrones mug, but how fun is it to have a scented candle that is inspired by one of your favorite things? There are actually quite a few shops that have Game of Thrones inspired candles with scents from the different cities of Westeros, but I really liked the idea of The North relating to a scent of pine and winter mint - totally makes sense in my mind - and the packaging is wonderful. I would love to have a few of these making my apartment smell like Winterfell!

As I was skimming Etsy for some new planner stickers, I came across these which I think are genius. They're little boxes that you can stick into your planner and color throughout the day while your in meetings, need a break from your computer screen, etc. and I'm totally on board! It's always good to have some sort of distracted when you need a quick break during the day and these are such a wodnerful idea. Kudos to Crafted by Corley for coming up with this!

What have you found on Etsy lately?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Watercolor Play

I've been wanting to mess around with watercolors for a little while now, and tonight I finally sat down (on the floor - my fave place to paint) and cracked open my palette! I used to love watercoloring back in my high school art kid days and I forgot how fun they can be. They're an easy way to play around with color and blending and get used to the feel of a brush in your hand and I totally fell back in love with them in my little 90 minute session this year.

When it comes to watercolors I don't do anything fancy - I'm perfectly happy with a dinky little Crayola pallet that you can find in any kids arts and crafts section. I've never tried a tubed watercolor (though I'd love to) and I don't think you really need to in order to create something beautiful. It's all about learning to balance the water and the paint to get the right density which you can easily do with a little $5 pallet from Target or Michael's.

I feel like I say this every time I paint or draw, but I really want to make more time for creativity. It's tough and is usually the first thing that goes when things get busy, but it really makes me feel good an connects me back to myself unlike anything else does. When it's just me and my brushes I don't have to worry about anything else. I hope I can make this a regular part of my schedule once everything settles down a bit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Artwork by Taryn Knight

I wasn't really sure how to approach this blog post. I've written and re-written this over and over again thinking of how I can perfectly portray this to whatever audience this may receive. I felt like this was a huge deal and wanted to make sure that it was coming across that way in my writing until I recently realized -  I can present my story in any way I want to. At the end of the day it's just that - my story.

I've been dealing with anxiety the last 8 years of my life. I first started having issues around anxiety the spring of my senior year of high school and it popped up here are there throughout college, but it really started being consistent throughout graduate school and over the last year of working professionally. It's something that I never really knew what it was until recently, but throughout grad school, inexplicably it became very, very difficult for me to speak my mind, put myself out there, or even interact all that well with people (whether I know them or not) which is not something that had made me feel anxious or uncomfortable before. Over the last few years there have even been days where the feeling of being anxious has totally prevented me from doing anything but staying in bed. The feeling of panic can be so overwhelming that it's next to impossible but sit there and feel it.

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly my triggers are. There are times where I can hold it together until I'm home. There are times where it pops up in the middle of the day at work and I have to go close myself in the bathroom (which, luckily, is a one-person locked bathroom) or stand in the back stairwell until the panic passes. There was even one time a few weeks ago where Brett and I were just chatting over waffles and pancakes at our favorite breakfast spot and I felt the panic completely wash over me, and all of the sudden I was crying in the middle of a restaurant for seemingly no reason. (Luckily, Brett is amazing and is to get me through episodes like this.) Right now it's really unpredictable, but I'm starting to recognize some of the warning signs and recognize the difference between anxiety and other emotions.

When things are impacting my life in a big way, I tend to research them extensively (which is probably why I have Learner in my top 5 Strengths). I've been reading many articles and watching countless videos of those who also deal with anxiety on a regular basis. I've learned so much - that not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way, that this is shockingly more common than I ever would have anticipated, and, most importantly, I'm not alone in this. In our world, hiding things that have anything to do with mental health struggles is the norm, so many people suffer in silence. However, through the power of the internet, I have been able to read and hear stories from countless people that experience the same thing as I do and that makes me feel comforted. I don't have to feel like I'm the only one in the world that is going through this. 

I found the piece of art at the top of this post on Instagram the other day from an artist I follow named Taryn Knight (check out her Instagram and YouTube!) and it is such a perfect reminder that everything will be okay, even if it isn't in the moment. I found the image on a day that I had a lot of anxious energy flowing through my body and it put me at such ease. I instantly saved the image and it is now my phone background so that I can look at it on any day that I might be feeling anxious or panicky. There are dozens and dozens of artists that I've come across in my research that produce art and illustrations related to anxiety and other mental health issues and illnesses, and I've found them to really help me through my not-so-good days. I would highly recommend doing a Google search to find some of these artists if you feel like this is something you can relate to.

Unfortunately, like any mental health issue, this isn't something that just goes away. Some days will be better than others, there may be really good periods of time and there may be a long string of days where I'm not feeling so great. It's going to be a journey and will likely always be part of my life, but now that I'm able to recognize it, it's going to be that much easier to deal with (and I'm lucky that I have people close to me that will support me through it all). 

I want to leave you with two articles that I've found that I think are really helpful for those that deal with anxiety as well as those that might know someone that deals with anxiety on a regular basis:

Remember you are not alone. I am more than happy to talk with anyone who might be going through a similar struggle because I know it often feels like no one understands or there's no where to turn.it's a journey and is often a part of someone's life for a long period of time, but with a bit of courage in your heart, everything will be okay soon.

Much love <3

Friday, April 1, 2016

Providence Marathon Training Update #3

One month away until the Providence Marathon.

While it still isn't perfect, training has been progressing in a positive direction. Training for a spring marathon is clearly much more difficult to accomplish than a fall marathon, what with the limited daylight hours, and the higher motivation to stay cozy and warm inside when the frigid wind whips right through you. However, with the temperature rising and the sun staying out much longer, I'm able to hit my runs more frequently and I'm feeling a bit more encouraged.

I have run into a different roadblock, though, and this one is financial. Over the past months that the Providence Marathon has been on my mind, I've still yet to scrounge up the money to register for the race. I keep finding that I have to wait until the next paycheck comes around, but once that paycheck comes around I have to tell myself the same thing. This season has been rough on my wallet and I just haven't had the spare $100 to register, and I worry that I won't be able to. I am still hopeful that my next check will yield an official registration for May 1st, but I can never really be sure until it deposits in my account.

In the mean time I'm still planning to train like I will definitely be crossing the starting line in Providence, but right now I'm full of uncertainty as to if it will actually happen. Fingers crossed for checking off marathon #4 this spring!