May 2015 Recap

Woah Baby, May went by wayyy too fast! I wanted a job by June 1, and I’m guessing that I won’t be an interview and an offer tomorrow or Monday. So I’ll have to focus on the good things that happened in May instead.

derby julepI kicked off the first month of my 27th year with a Derby party.

And gave you 20 songs to listen to this spring.

Finding Neverland Musical NYCRecaped my NYC trip. And I pre-ordered the Finding Neverland Soundtrack, which meant I got to automatically download 5 of the songs.

Looked Back on Middle School, High School, College, and Graduating.

And this was my favorite Chance Chat of the month. But who knows, maybe Sunday’s will be the best?

What was your favorite part of May?

Pinned it, Spinned it: Bacon is Better than Basil.

Back to work friends! Or rather, back to job searching for me. I hope you had a fabulous long weekend! Today’s post title is inspired by Bethie the Boo who I met at a Minnesota Blogger event this spring. She does Pinned it Spinned it outfits on instagram, which I love!

Today I’m sharing a Pinterest pasta recipe from Iowa Girl Eats that I’ve made multiple times and loved, but I’m trying to use up things in the cupboard and needed a recipe that used mini ravioli, except I don’t really like traditional ravioli and tomato sauce dishes. So her Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn & Basil became my Mini Ravioli with Zucchini, Sweet Corn & Bacon.

pinned it spinned it pastaI boiled double the Mini Ravioli I needed so I could create a Greek Pasta Salad to be used for lunches the next couple days. I started by caramelizing the red onion in some olive oil, and putting bacon in the oven (my favorite way to cook bacon).

pinned it spinned it pasta 2Ravioli already has cheese in it (news flash!), so I skipped the cream and cheese, I also didn’t have basil on hand, so that was omitted as well. I considered adding spinach, but I had plenty of green from the zucchini so I’ll save that for another recipe.

bacon basil dinnerBecause I need to add a photo of my creation I will, but please know that I understand this photo could be better.

Do you follow recipes to the letter?

Or do you mix it up and hope it still tastes good?

Chance Chat #21: Be Brave

Happy Sunday friends! Last week’s post was a bit of a bummer, so I wanted to make sure this week’s was a little more uplifting.

chance be braveHard things are going to happen, there’s no avoiding them.

By being brave we can get a little more strength to get through the struggle.

We can have a little more faith that things are going to work out in the end.

It’s hard to imagine getting through tough stuff without a little bravery.

And if you find yourself lacking in bravery, maybe its time to share some of your fears and struggles with someone else.

That person might have some ideas of what to do next or at least reassurances that you’re on the right path.

Are you brave?

Or is there something else that you ask for during hard times?

Middle School Sucks and Other Graduating Thoughts

In honor of Throw Back Thursday….I’m chatting about Graduation today! I’ve had some version of this post in my head since March, and I think I’m finally able to articulate my feelings and thoughts.

Middle School Sucks. If you loved Middle School you must have lived inside a show on the Disney Channel. While there were some fine moments, and I grew up a lot, I wouldn’t want to go through those years again, ever.

2006 aitkin high school graduation

  • High School on the other hand, I would do again, only if these people were still with me. Sure there were some moments I wasn’t proud of, but overall I think it was a good experience. I would not say that High School was the best days of my life.

 

  • College was another learning experience, and if I did that again, I would do most things completely differently. I would still go to Gustavus, but I would have been involved in more diverse activities. I made a rule for myself not to get overly involved the first year of college because I was too involved in High School. And I think I should have tried a few more things when I was a freshman. I think I would have found some opportunities that would have been a good fit for my personality and development.

Gustavus Graduation 2010

  • Post – College life has been full of ups and downs. While there were times that I wished I was still in a college campus bubble, the last couple years especially have had some great experiences that I wouldn’t have had in college, or I wouldn’t have appreciated if I were still in college.

My Advice to those Graduating…. or in any of the middle school, high school, or college bubbles. It gets better. People change. You will change. Things will be harder. Some things will be easier. You will always have times of struggle, and there will be times of peace. Keep learning and you’ll be okay.

What advice would you give someone graduating?

Here’s two posts from Minnesota Bloggers that helped inspire me write this post. 10 Year Reunion and  Growing Old.

NYC Recap: Eat, Walk, Sing.

Hello Friends!!! Sorry for the silence this month, things are crazy around these parts, and it’s really hard to “Look Forward” when you have no idea what you’re looking at. But I do need to share the fun times my mom, brother and I had while in NYC last week!

Eataly NYC PizzaWe flew in on Monday and immediately started walking. We ended up having the BEST dinner at Eataly NYC. It was the #1 place I wanted to go to, and it did not disappoint. When we walked in we were overwhelmed by the line for Gelato, but eventually found the pizza place located towards the back. I could have eaten every meal there with the variety of restaurants they had.

Brooklyn Botanical GardenTuesday we ventured to Brooklyn and the Botanical Garden. It ended up being a free entry day, which was a pleasant surprise! We had a good laugh when this school of little boys (maybe 5 years old) stared at Johnny in his wheelchair. While I’m sure they have plenty of diversity in their lives, they did not know what to think of Johnny.

Aladdin on BroadwayWednesday we had tickets for the matinee performance of Aladdin, and it was awesome!! I’m sure Disney will have it traveling soon, and I will definitely be going again. After the show we headed to the TKTS booth so I could snag a discounted Finding Neverland ticket. Finding Neverland Musical NYCI am Peter Pan obsessed, and when Mathew Morrison started singing I teared up (and I am NOT a cryer). By the end of the performance I was full on crying, and cannot believe they are making me wait until June 23 to buy the soundtrack.

What movie from your childhood are you still into?

Chance Chat #20: Failure

I hold on to things. For a day longer than forever. I recently threw away a sweatshirt from 6th grade that I hadn’t worn in over 10 years. It didn’t take up a significant part of my closet, but it also had no need hanging there.

chance 20 failureWhile holding onto clothes isn’t a failure… Failure can mean different things to different people. And I feel there is a large difference between “Failure” and “Failing”.

Failure is final. You tried something, it ended, and it ended poorly.

Failing is a process. What you’re going through hasn’t ended. There’s still a chance. You might turn it around.

This quote tells us that even if we don’t turn it around, and save the process before failure…we still have a chance. The next time the process starts we have an idea of what didn’t work, and we can begin again.

Opening a can of worms here….have you failed at something?

I like to think that I haven’t been labeled a failure, but I have had my failing moments. Hopefully I’ve worked at correcting my course enough to be considered “failing” instead of a final “failure”. But if I haven’t, there’s still another chance to begin again and try a new way.

 

Where To? NYC! (Recommendation Request)

Hello from New York!! You may remember that last year my mom and I traveled here together for a few workouts and sight seeing. This year we’ve brought my brother along so we can go to Aladdin on Broadway with him!

Mother Daughter at the Brooklyn Bridge

You may not be aware that my brother only walks short distances, so we will be hopefully continuing our trend of 13+ miles per day of walking in the town, while pushing his wheelchair.

Barney in Concert

But the real point of this post….We’re looking for food recommendations! We aren’t terribly fancy, just looking for some new things. Here’s last year’s food post.

Breakfast: coffee, bagels, no need for huge breakfasts.

Last Year: Loved Alice’s Tea Cup and Murray’s.

Lunch: Salad, pizza, not burgers (we are from the midwest and get plenty of them).

Last Year: Stopped at a random Italian spot after walking from the Brooklyn Bridge to Soho.

Dinner: Anything! We tend to do appetizers/small plates and share, so no steak houses with huge side dishes.

Last Year: Loved the huge menu of The Smith and had some surprisingly great food at the Tommy Bahama restaurant.

Chance Chat #19: Fairytale Truth

I struggled coming up with a Chance Chat for this week, and I considered re-writing my post from last week or at least editing it, but for now it remains untouched….ANYWAYS.

This week’s choice is completely different than anything I’ve done before. I considered a Mother’s day quote, but none of them seemed quite right especially in relation to my One Little Word for 2015 “Chance”.

marriage is a fairytale someecard We don’t know how things will finish. We can plan all we want, work as hard as possible, and the end is still a mystery. Also, where you choose to end your story can alter the entire feeling of what takes place.

What if the story ends at Midnight? Cinderella is back in her rags, the Prince is searching for a woman who doesn’t exist, and the Stepmother and her daughters continue to be awful.

What if the story extends past Happily Ever After? Does the Stepmother change her ways and become nice? Or is she banished while the sisters recognize the error in their ways and become friends with Cinderella?

Chance, especially in taking a chance, means to see the story out. Don’t close the book, but instead let things play out and see if they can become something more/different.

If the story ended right now what would the theme be? If you let it play out longer would the theme change?

Spring 2015 Music Inspiration

I’m a girl of varied tastes, while I’d love to call my music tastes “eclectic” I think you’ll find it skews Top 40, and I’m okay with that.

spring music 2015

I know I’m having a good day when I find myself singing along to the music playing in my car. I love Meghan Trainor’s style, I hope she continues to come up with catchy tunes.

spring music singalong 2015

The “chill” songs are also ones I’ll sing along to, but they also help me unwind and I can feel stress leaving when they come on. I especially love “Almost Everything” which I rediscovered when rewatching “One Tree Hill” on Netflix.

spring music chill 2015

I’ve officially been teaching Yoga Sculpt for two years and depending on where I have my next full time employment I may have to move to a new studio. I have 15 yoga sculpt playlists and my most recent one might be my favorite. I love “Bills” as it helps me push in the last few minutes of my workout.

spring music workout 2015

I’ve been a country music fan since middle school and I did include one older song, while the Dixie Chicks’ song is about politics (if memory serves) I tend to hold on to things that bother me, and this song really resonates. Whereas “Raise ‘Em Up” is great for lifting my spirits.

spring music country 2015

What songs are you loving lately? Any new bands I need to check out?

 

Derby Darlings

As promised: here’s a recap of my Derby festivities.

derby julepWhile my horse BOLO wasn’t the winner, he came out too fast at the start, had he paced himself maybe things would have gone differently. What’s that? I’m not an equestrian expert? That must be the bourbon talking.

I partook in exactly one Mint Julep, and loved every strong sip of it. The trick to enjoying it this year was a mint infused simple syrup. My hat was purchased on Etsy via Properly Southern.

derby hatI also stayed up and watched the Mayweather – Pacquiao fight. I was rooting for Pacquiao for no good reason, and I did not come up a victor. But I woke up on Sunday feeling pretty good, just a little tired, so I call the weekend a success!

Want to see my full outfit? Follow me on instagram!