FOOD, goals, PODCASTS, running, TRAVEL

My Goals For 2019

I have always done a post like this at the end of the year. I will have a highlights post as well, just because that is fun. But for now I have a list of realistic goals for this year. They are all things I actually want to do. I have realized that there is no reason to wait to do something. There is always a way, even if it isn’t always the easiest route.

1. Blog consistently- I think 2018 was my most consistent year yet. I feel happiest when I am posting blogs and reading other blog posts! I hope to share more of my travels, restaurant adventures, and experiences in 2019.

2. Visit NYC- I have been wanting to do this for awhile. I have never been and exploring another big city would bring endless possibilities. Plus, I would love to visit one of my best friends!

3. Start a podcast- This has been on so many of my goal lists lately. I love podcasts, as you know, and would love to create one of my own. I need to have a solid planning session and look into any necessary equipment.

4. Travel to 3 new places- Travel is something I really want to focus on and make a reality in 2019. I would love to go many other places, but at least 3 new places would be fun. I am interested in going to Nevada, Utah, Maine, Vermont in the fall, and Arizona in 2019. Going back to Miami is another trip I’d be happy to take.

5. Learn to cook- I can make all the basic meals I like, but I’d love to be able to make some nicer meals with Connor. It’s fun to change things up and we have quite a few cook books that have a lot of good recipes!

I have a million other goals related to running, my job, friendships, and overall happiness. But these are just a few I want to focus on. I finally got my flossing routine down in 2018, so that’s one goal I have finally met. What are your goals for 2019?

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LIFE

The Christmas Tag

I don’t think I have ever done a tag blog post before, so this is pretty exciting! Thanks for the tag, Becky! If you don’t already follow Becky, AKA Strikeouts + Sprinkles, definitely check out her posts. I will have one linked here. She posts about anything from sports to running to everyday life! I have been following her for as long as I can remember and love reading her posts! Thanks again for tagging me.

Here are the tag questions from Becky and my answers:

  1. Thoughts on Christmas lights staying up all year round? I don’t mind it! I definitely feel like the Christmas season kind of starts when lights start going up, but they are so pretty that year round would be nice!
  2. When do you start listening to Christmas music? I start listening to Christmas music when my boyfriend starts playing it. I have never been a huge Christmas music fan, but Connor is, so usually around November I would say.
  3. When is too early to start listening to/playing Christmas music? Before Halloween! Before Thanksgiving might even be too early.
  4. How do you do your Christmas shopping—in the stores/online/combination? I used to do it all in stores, but now it is more of a combo. I placed an order from Glossier online this year, but everything else I picked up at little shops over the past couple months!
  5. What’s your favorite family tradition around this time of year? I like Christmas Eve with my whole family. I don’t see some of my cousins too often so it is good to see them. I also like watching Christmas Hauls on YouTube with my sister and parents on Christmas morning. Kind of random, but my sister and I have been watching them since middle school, so it’s fun to keep the tradition alive.
  6. Real or fake tree? We always had a fake tree before I went to college, but now we get a real tree! I think I like having a real tree better.
  7. Favorite Christmas song? “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John
  8. Favorite Christmas movie? The Christmas Box
  9. What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve ever received? I honestly can’t think of an answer to this. I always love everything anyone gets for me!
  10. Who is the toughest person you have to buy for this Christmas? My dad. I never know what to get him!
  11. Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph? Rudolph!
  12. Do you have to attend any Christmas/holiday parties this season? I went to a holiday bar crawl in Wrigleyville with friends if that counts (lol). I also had a holiday dinner with my team at work. We went to Girl And The Goat and it was so yummy and fun! The cocktails were great and the veggie dishes were my favorite. Can’t go wrong with cauliflower!

I’m not going to tag anyone because it is pretty much Christmas already. I’m a little late with the tag, but I’ll be more prompt on this next year! Comment your favorite holiday tradition, favorite gift you gave, or favorite holiday food/drink!

FAVORITES, FOOD, HEALTH, PODCASTS

My Top Favorites from 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, I want to highlight some of my favorites from the year. You have probably already seen me mention many of these things because that’s how much I love them!

1. Kombucha: I started drinking kombucha over a year ago. Since then, it became a staple in my diet and now it’s more of a special treat (just because it can be expensive). I tried so many different brands and flavors during 2018. My favorites are GT’s and an indy local, Circle City Kombucha. I love the Trilogy flavor, anything with ginger, and lemon flavors. I am hoping to find some local kombucha brewers in Illinois, but also throughout my 2019 travels.

2. Podcasts: I think podcasts might be my all time favorite part of 2018. Once again, I started listening to podcasts at the end of 2017, so they were a major part of 2018 for me. I started out with sales and business podcasts, and have discovered a bunch of cool ones throughout the year. Special shout outs to: In The Arena, The Advanced Selling Podcast, Travelogue, Gals On The Go, and What We Said (my favorite of them all).

3. Glossier: My boyfriend’s younger sister, Emilee, was the first person I ever heard talk about Glossier. It sounded interesting and I definitely wanted to try it out once I heard about it. When I decided to move to Chicago, I saw that a pop-up would be opening during the summer. I decided to wait to get anything until I could go to the store. I ended up making 3 trips to the pop-up shop and placing one online order. It’s safe to say, I am hooked on Glossier. I love their skincare items. I use the cleanser every day and the green mask in rotation with other masks I like. I even like some of the make-up items! The packaging and cute products are hard to resist. I’m looking forward to trying out more products in 2019.

Matcha: I have matcha multiple times each week. I love getting matcha lattes in the mornings before work. I pretty much get one at any coffee shop I go to unless they don’t have matcha. I also make my own at home, but they are never as good. Some of my favorite places I have gotten matcha lattes at are Coat Check Coffee in Indy, Provider in Indy, Monon Coffee Co in Indy, Peet’s before work, Goddess & The Baker in Chicago, and The Coffee Studio in Chicago.

I’d say the four things above sum up 2018 pretty well. What is one of your favorites from 2018?

FOOD, TRAVEL, weekend

Grand Rapids Adventure

Connor, our friend Noah, and myself took a little trip to Grand Rapids on Saturday. There was a brewery I really wanted to go to mostly because it was cute. I’m not a huge fan of beer. I really only like beer that tastes like berries. Regardless, we headed to Grand Rapids on Saturday morning.

We had a few stops planned. We started the day at Real Food Cafe. The restaurant was super crowded and had a big area that reminded me of a waiting room for everyone waiting on their tables. We knew it had to be good because of the 26 groups waiting ahead of us. It didn’t take too long to get a table though. I got the Veggie Eggs Benedict, Connor got Biscuits and Gravy, and Noah got the Monster Omelet. We all really liked our food. One thing to note if you go there is that it is cash only, so make sure you get some cash before you go!

After breakfast, we stopped at Founders Brewery. I asked my friend for some recommendations and he said this was his favorite. It was pretty big and had a ton of seating inside and outside. But it was hard to get a table because they have you seat yourself. We spent 20-25 minutes just waiting for tables be available. We each got a beer. I got a raspberry one. It was pretty good. I didn’t finish it but I did like it. My favorite thing about Founders was all of the little gnomes scattered throughout.

We decided to explore around next. We checked out a few murals, went by the Pedestrian Bridge, and stopped by a park on the river before our main destination.

Finally, we made it to the Mitten Brewing Company. I had seen pictures of the Michigan shaped beer flights on Instagram. We each got a some samples and an order of cheesy bread. I really only liked half of the samples I got. The rest were not for me, but they were worth it for the cute photos. The cheesy bread was probably my favorite part.

After being at Mitten for 2 hours watching the IU basketball game, we headed to the last stop. I wanted to get a little treat. We decided on Love’s Ice Cream in the public market. There were a ton of cool restaurants in the market, so if you are ever there, I’d definitely check it out. I got a Mitten Ice Cream Bar in the mint flavor. First, it was adorable. I think I’m obsessed with all Michigan/mitten shaped things. Second, it was so good. The mint tasted natural and fresh, not like the typical mint ice cream. They had a few other flavors of the ice cream bar like vanilla, almond toffee, coffee, and even a couple vegan options.

Overall, it was a fun trip! I liked it because there were a lot of cool places to try and not a lot of traffic and people everywhere. It is always nice to get away from the crowded streets of Chicago! It’s also great getting to be with great friends. What did you do this weekend? Where should Connor and I go for our next weekend trip?

running

High School Running

I could write a novel on my experience running in high school, but I will try to keep it fairly short. This post might be a little all over the place, but hopefully it is semi interesting. I also tried to find a photo from high school running, but I guess those are all on my old computer.

I didn’t even know for sure if I wanted to run in high school. Middle school cross country and track had been somewhat easy and generally unrepresentative of the actual training, until 8th grade when we got new coaches. I knew that the high school girls ran a lot, anywhere from 6 to 10 miles each day. It was a good program, but the mileage and commitment was daunting for myself and many of my friends.

I did end up joining the team, mostly because I was a pretty good runner, I liked running, it was a good way to be involved, and cross country was how I met so many of my friends. Joining the cross country team ended up being a really good decision in most aspects. It gave me a true love for running, taught me commitment and discipline, got me outside and moving, and gave me some of my closest friends.

Here is what a week of training looked like:

Monday: 1 mile warm-up, 4-5 mile run, some sort of strength training

Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 3 or 4 by 1 mile speed workout, 1 mile cool down

Wednesday: 1 mile warm up, 4-5 mile run, some sort of strength training

Thursday: 1 mile warm-up, mile repeats again or a fartlek run for 4-5 miles, 1 mile cool down

Friday: 1 mile warm up, easy 2-3 mile run, ice bath

Saturday if a race: 1 mile warm up, 3.1 mile race, 3.1 mile cool down (we would run the race course backwards)

Saturday if no race: 1 mile warm up, 6-10 mile long run

Sunday: biking or other cross training

Our coaches were very serious. They told you where you stood and let you know when they were proud or disappointed in you. That was pretty motivating for my teammates and I. If you wanted to be good at running and be a leader, a good attitude, hard training, and accountability were very important. The desire to be good and be a leader kept me at every practice, brought me to extra practices, and gave me an interest in running in college.

With the training and my motivation to be successful and a “good runner,” I was decent. We were a fairly large team, with around 130-150 runners, so I was happy to float around the top 30 depending on the day. I think my best time as a high school runner in the 5k was 19:52 or something like that. I didn’t run that time a lot but I was proud to break the 20 minute mark.

High school running was kind of brutal sometimes. Some days I wasn’t in the mood for a speed work out on a hilly course. Some days I wasn’t positive at practice. Some days I was a great leader to the younger runners. Some days I left wanting to run harder and get better. There were ups and downs, but I’m happy I ran cross country in high school.

Did you play sports or participate in any activities in high school? What did you learn from those experiences?

LIFE

22 Things I Learned At 22

This is a birthday tradition on my blog. 22 has been a big year. I graduated from the best college, in my opinion. I moved to one of my favorite places with my best friend. And I started my first job. I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot. I have been good about blogging this year and I think I will only be more consistent and passionate from here on out. I have so many dreams to chase in year 23 and I am looking forward to it. For now, here are 22 things I learned at 22:

  1. If you want to do something, do it
  2. How to make a perfect hard boiled egg
  3. I am better with kids than I thought
  4. You can make the best out of any situtaion
  5. I am very positive in the workplace
  6. Make the little things seem big every day
  7. I need a lot of coffee to get through the day, which I never thought I would say
  8. Sunsets are prettier, but being awake for the sunrise is way better
  9. Don’t let others bring your mood down
  10. Don’t let others be condescending toward you
  11. Be kind to others even if they aren’t always kind to you
  12. Always cheer others on even if it is something you wish you were doing or something that you don’t see as super important
  13. Aldi pizza is the best pizza
  14. Keep in touch with friends even when they are far away
  15. Take time for yourself
  16. Recognition from others isn’t important. Being proud of yourself is
  17. The one food I will always love is Cheerios.
  18. Go to bed early. Having a longer day is more productive than a longer night
  19. My favorite music will always be from when I was in middle school or high school
  20. Share your ideas and don’t keep them to yourself. You never know how someone may be able to help
  21. Take steps towards your dreams every day
  22. Podcasts are one of the best parts of my day. I literally leave work saying how excited I am for the next day because of a podcasts.

Can’t wait to see what 23 has in store and to begin writing “23 Things I Learned At 23” tomorrow.

ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC

My Spotify Wrapped

There are so many things that I love about this time of year and one of them is the Spotify Wrapped. I was so excited to see my top songs and artists this year. I had a few guesses, some were right and others were not. Regardless, I wasn’t surprised.

Eminem was my top artist. He probably will be for the rest of my life. If you have read my other posts, then you know that’s the only other concert I need to go to for the rest of my life. I love pretty much any song from Eminem. The old ones, and even the new ones that many people don’t like. Even, my top song was by Eminem. I don’t know why but “Nowhere Fast” has been one of my favorite work out songs this year.

Moon Taxi is also up there as my mom actually recommended them to me. I actually saw them in concert at a bar in Bloomington, so that’s a band I started to like in 2018! I will always love Dierks Bentley and Lil Wayne. I think the newest Dierks album was my one of my favorite albums of the year. I listened to it all summer. As for Lil Wayne, I have been running to the song “Uproar” a lot so that could have helped give him a top spot. Love that song.

Finally, Morgan Evans is on my top artists. I started listening to him a couple months ago. I also bought tickets to see a show he is opening for, so I’m really excited for that. The best song on his album is “We Dream.” It made it on my top songs which wasn’t a surprise because I listened to that song everyday for 2 months on my walk home from the train.

The other three songs that made it to the top are “Live In The Moment,” Remind Me To Forget,” and “We’re Going Home.” All three of these songs have been go-to songs for me this year. I will play them in almost every car ride over 2 hours. I’m sure Connor doesn’t love that, but I will never tire of them.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is the minutes listened this year. I am pretty sure that number was a lot bigger last year. 2018 was the year of podcasts for me. I listen to one every morning and almost every afternoon. I mostly listened to music in the car and while working out. I know you can listen to podcasts on Spotify, but I listen to post on the Apple podcast app.

I’m excited to see what music I discover in 2019. We will see if Eminem is still the artist I listen to most! What were your top songs, artists, etc. this year? Were you surprised?