June 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Posted in Other | 2 Comments
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Update your Feeds, Blogrolls, Google Readers, and Subscriptions because I am officially on a self-hosted blog!

Health, Happiness, and Hope!


*Be sure to add to your Google Reader to receive updates!*


I’ll be keeping this blog open for a few days so everyone can make the switch over, then will be purchasing a redirect to my new blog, so make sure you do the updates to your feeds ASAP!


A huge thank you to Matt for helping me get the blog started and putting up with all my “Wait, go slower so I can read through this page” insanity.  Matt definitely knows what he’s doing when it comes to self-hosting, setting up a blog, fixing blog meltdowns, and other technological insider details that I have no knowledge in whatsoever. 

If you’d like Matt to help you out with any of your own blog details for a small fee, give him a shout… he’s an awesome guy, trust me. Winking smile


I look forward to seeing you all on my new, self-hosted version of Health, Happiness, and Hope!










One Week of Summer Starts NOW

June 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Life, School, Snack | 10 Comments
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Life is finally starting to calm down and get back to normal for me after being gone for a week and needing to play catch-up.  This is a VERY good thing, because one week from today I’ll be starting the dreaded SUMMER SCHOOL

Nope, not looking forward to summer school whatsoever… especially since it only really feels like I have a week of summer vacation!  I’m taking 2 classes this summer, so from June 13th through August 9th I’ll be hitting the books.


Luckily, taking summer classes means that I’ll have a MUCH easier schedule when it comes to the Fall and Spring semesters.  Last semester was brutal to say the least and I don’t ever want to experience that stress again if I can help it!


Last night I had a surprise run-in with my oldest big bro… we live in the same city, yet it seems like we rarely get see each other.  Seriously love that guy and miss him so dang much!!! 

What do a brother and sister do on a hot Sunday summer night at 7:30pm?  Go to Starbucks for Decaf White Mocha Light Frappuccinos of course. Winking smile


We had A LOT to catch up on, and of course it was just great to see him and get a hug from my big brother! Smile


Getting back in my usual routine to start the week, breakfast this morning was a bowl of Nature’s Path Whole O’s topped with unsweetened almond milk and a mountain of cinnamon, with an organic banana on the side.


I got way too much accomplished in the morning for summer vacation.  So after lunch I headed out on my apartment’s terrace to get some sun and magazine time!


It was 90*F today and I was LOVING the heat!!!


Being a broke college student, I took up a friend’s request to babysit her two boys this evening.  Babysitting really isn’t my thing (kids in general really aren’t my thing Winking smile), but her boys are pretty awesome and know how to distract themselves without getting into too much trouble.

I was in a bit of a rush to head out the door, so I grabbed one of these to hold me over. 


LOVE Naan, but not the best food to keep my hunger at bay until 9:30pm.  Needless to say, a snack is happening ASAP!


Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday!








There’s a First Time for Everything

June 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Dinner, Recipe | 11 Comments
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And yesterday was my first time making a grilled cheese sandwich.

Yes, I know, grilled cheese is like THE simplest form of cooking out there, requires almost no skill whatsoever, and is a classic staple in a college student’s diet, but I just never got around around to making one myself.

As a kid, my mom would make grilled cheese sandwiches using Kraft American Cheese singles to have with tomato soup, and that was the extent of my grilled cheese experience… until now.

I’m pretty sure I gave Matt a heart attack when I told him I had never made my own, so after learning the basics (thank you wikiHow) and buying the “appropriate” cheese, I put my skills to the test.

First, a stop at Whole Foods…


Millet bread topped with Gruyere cheese.


Perfectly grilled, if I do say so myself.


Finished product.


Notice that string of melted cheese?  YUM!

Yes, I’ve now become a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches.  It was simple and SO good!  If you haven’t tried making one or don’t believe me, do it for yourself… RIGHT. NOW.  Winking smile


Have you made your own grilled cheese sandwiches before?  What do you like to put in them?








The Comparison Game Part II – Whole Foods

June 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Posted in Dinner | 9 Comments
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When I was in Alabama last week, I got to experience the wonder that is Birmingham Whole Foods.


Comparing Madison Whole Foods to Birmingham is like night and day. Basically, Madison sucks and Birmingham doesn’t.  Madison’s selection of every single food product from produce to cereal was put to shame by the variety at Birmingham. 


In one full year of living in Madison and shopping at Whole Foods every week, I have not once tried their Hot/Cold Food Bar.  Honestly, it’s always looked totally unappetizing and sparse.

This is, quite literally, the extent of the Bar Area:


Hot Bar…



Cold Bar…

photo WF


Notice how there’s only one row per item?  In Birmingham there were two rows (aka twice as many items!).  Plus, the Madison Cold Bar didn’t have a SINGLE cold pasta item.  WTF???

I got about 4 items from each (Hot and Cold), and even that was forced.  Nothing really looked appealing!

Here’s what I ended up with:


Cold is on the left; Hot is on the right.


Looks decent enough, right?

The hot foods were ok and I finished them all off, but not a SINGLE cold food was anywhere near decent… the steamed kale literally tasted like dirtI couldn’t even finish the cold. 


Needless to say, I supplemented my dinner – Helllllooo apple and peanut butter!

Bottom line – I’ll have to fly to Birmingham whenever I’m craving Whole Foods Hot/Cold Bar.  Totally practical, I know. Winking smile

How does your Whole Foods compare in regards to product selection and the Hot/Cold Bar?








The Comparison Game

June 4, 2011 at 7:52 am | Posted in Breakfast, Other | 8 Comments
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The last two days have been – for lack of a better word – INSANE! 

Although I was only gone a week and didn’t have work or school to worry about missing, there is always a lot that needs to get caught up on after being gone.  Between unpacking, answering emails, doing 6 loads of laundry, going grocery shopping, doing returns at the mall, and running errands at Target and the bank, I now understand why my mom always dreaded taking our family on vacations when I was younger. Winking smile

I finally feel a little more caught up today, so hopefully I can manage take a relaxing weekend off!

Yesterday morning I decided to open up the Living Harvest Unsweetened Hempmilk that I had bought a few weeks ago and give it a try.  If you remember, I had tried the sweetened original a while back and definitely wasn’t a fan, but I figured it was still worth giving the unsweetened version a shot.


I tried it out on my cereal (Nature’s Path Whole O’s with an organic banana on the side) for breakfast.


The verdict?  I APPROVE!  I’ve never been one to like sweetened versions of any milk product, so I’m glad I gave the unsweetened a chance!  The “bitter” taste of the sweetened hempmilk was gone and replaced with a smooth, rich flavor.  Totally worth trying yourself!

I also have been on an Americano kick lately at Starbucks instead of my usual coffee (who am I???).  I actually really like the nutty taste and more full-bodied flavor to switch things up!



Yesterday I managed to walk 11 miles (one 6-mile walk in the afternoon and one 5-mile walk in the evening) and it felt AMAZING!  Walks are definitely what keep me sane and stress-free. 

On my walk in the afternoon, I happened to come by this dude who scared the crap out of me when he sauntered out of the woods. See him peeking out behind the tree in the first photo?




You know you’re in Wisconsin when you start seeing raccoons walking 5 feet from you, completely unafraid of your presence. Winking smile  I’ve seen quite a few raccoons in my day since I grew up living in the woods, but this was probably the closest I ever got to one in the wild!  I’ve been mere feet from black bears, deer, foxes, wolves, fishers, turkeys, and SO many more… I guess it just comes with the territory!

Have you ever gotten up close and personal with wildlife?


Thankfully today’s to-do list is much more manageable and I’m finally getting back into my regular routine.  I believe some tanning time with a good book is in order if the sun decides to peek out!








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