Friday, August 29, 2014

My Inspiration

I feel like I should start out by saying that I hate exercise. Every year, I make the resolution that I'm going to run my first 5k. One year I got really crazy and wrote that I was going to run a half marathon. Every year, I fail. (I've never run more than 1.5 miles straight in my whole life.) Every day that Ryan and I have planned a workout, I come home from the office dead tired and literally no motivation to get my butt on that treadmill. I try every excuse in the book to get out of it. 

Yesterday was the same old story. Rush hour sucked, we still had to pack for our long weekend get-away, and we were having TACOS for dinner and I wanted them NOW. But, after my usual routine of whining, I put on my sports bra, laced up my tennis shoes, and got on that damn treadmill. And I ran. 

I told myself I'd do 5 minutes and walk the rest. 5 minutes passed, and I thought about how I've been telling my dad I want to do a 5k with him for years. I kept going. 8 minutes. I thought about how my dad, who recently turned 60, takes a bootcamp class that starts with a 2 mile run. 10 minutes. I was so close to running a mile, something I hadn't done since high school. 12 minutes, 1 mile. I literally could not imagine running it any faster, but my dad finishes 3.1 miles in 30 minutes. 16 minutes later I stopped running, totally spent, but completely inspired. This year. This year will be the year. Whether it be a Turkey Trot, or the Memorial Day Eagle Run in our hometown, I'm following through. My dad and I, 3.1 miles, side by side. (Unless he leaves me in the dust. Which, let's be honest, is probably very likely.) 

Dad and me at the Girl Scout hoe down. Yes, I'm
dressed as Jessie from Toy Story 2. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vibrant Food: A Review

Remember when I posted about how Ryan and I were trying to find healthy food options? I found a cookbook that's going to help get us there! 

I have this problem where I buy a cookbook for one or two recipes, knowing full well that I won't make the rest of what is in the book. It's hard, being a 95% vegetarian, to find a cookbook that works. I like most fish, and I love eating food that's fresh and in season. Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink is a perfect combination of seasonal, healthy recipes, and I want to try them all! While this isn't a strictly vegetarian cookbook, very few recipes have meat. There are two chicken recipes, a handful of fish recipes, but most focus on the fruits and vegetables of each season. This book has a little bit of everything - appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and desserts, all categorized by season! 

I got a little ahead of myself and picked a recipe from the Autumn section of this book. I chose to make the Apple Sage Walnut Bread, and I could not be more pleased with the result!  The bread is light and flavorful, and I loved that applesauce and Greek yogurt were substituted for butter. I had almost all of the ingredients in my cupboard already, making this bread easy and inexpensive! 

Up next on my list to make are Crab Cakes with Poached Eggs and Soba Noodles with Kabocha Squash in a Mellow Japanese Curry! 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Aaron Carter, Jager Bombs, and Courtesy?

My first concert was Aaron Cater. I was probably 8 or so, and I was SO excited. My parents took me, and we brought a blanket for the lawn and enough snacks to feed a small army. (A*Teens opened for him – can you even imagine anything better?!) Anyways, we ended up sitting next to this really obnoxious family. I guess I shouldn’t fault the whole family. It was really just the dad.

So I’m dancing my butt off to I Want Candy and Aaron tosses out a bunch of huge beach balls. They begin making their way back to where we were sitting. Bouncing…bouncing…and then one was coming right at me! I was so ready to hit and send it soaring into the sky. Then…BAM. Obnoxious Dad’s fist connects with my arm. I guess he had been winding up for a really big swing (AND WAS PROBABLY DRUNK HAD NO DEPTH PERCEPTION) and hit me instead. I, of course, started crying because it hurt. I remember him not really apologizing and just going after the next beach ball when it came our way. RUDE.

Ron Swanson says it best:

Flash forward 14 years, and I’m sitting at the bar in Buffalo Wild Wings watching a Blue Jackets game with Ryan. We were sitting next to this couple when one of their friends shows up. They ask us if we would mind moving down a seat. “Of course,” we said. “It’s no trouble at all!” And then they offer to buy us our next round as a thank you. Ignoring the fact that he ordered us Jager bombs, which we were definitely NOT already drinking, this was NOT RUDE. Not rude at all.

There’s just such a difference between the two responses. I like to believe that I won’t get out of control and punch a small child at a 1D concert or whatever artist is “hip” and “rad” when my future kids are smitten with a pop singer who lip syncs but more importantly kissed Lizzie McGuire that one time. (Weren’t we all DYING to be her?) But If I do? I would apologize profusely. I would offer to go get that kid a cotton candy or Dippin’ Dots or a T-Shirt or anything. For the wounded kid’s benefit as well as my own kids’, I would want them to see respect and consideration.  I would want them to see that it was an accident, and that I tried to make it right.

The guy at BWW reminded me that taking the time to appreciate the little things can actually be a really big deal for the person on the other end. He inspired me to make that effort. He reminded me that I maybe shouldn’t avoid speaking with all people. (Kidding…kind of.) All this from showing just a little courtesy. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Reading: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Listening: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (obviously) and Don’t by Ed Sheeran

Wanting: So many of Fifth and Mae’s new items, including this Ohio necklace and this fox ring.

Feeling: So sore after getting back on the treadmill. Ryan and I been trying to run and lift at least twice a week. (Something about getting in wedding shape.) I’m more into finding healthy eating options and he’s more into finding new exercises for us, so we’re trying to motivate each other!

Not believing: That my last first day of school is one week from tomorrow! Ryan says that he doesn’t believe that I’m done with school forever, but boy do I need a BREAK.

Needing: All the storage containers. Merging two houses hasn't been too bad, but we just don’t have the space or storage for anything! Like that set of margarita glasses and pitcher that I just had to have or my candle hoarding problem moderately sized collection. We want to keep these things, but we just need a way to store them that will allow for preservation and easy access.

Crying: Because I just got my bill for my first car payment. This is Lucy, and I’ll post about her story on another day. I love her, but my bank account doesn’t.  

Excited: For Fall to come! (Nobody remind me what comes after Fall…I’m in denial). But boots and pumpkin decorations, squash, and crunchy leaves – it’s my favorite time of the year!

Smiling: Because there’s Olive Garden waiting for me when I get home! Oh, and I guess my fiancé too, now that we live together. #priorities. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Say Yes to the Venue?

If there was a TLC show about brides who try to find the perfect venue for their weddings, I would binge watch it to the end. (Alternate title: The Good, the Bad, and the Tacky.) No one tells you how hard it can be to find a venue. With the dress, you just try on until you find the perfect one. With the venue, it’s a different story. Even if you find the perfect reception location or church, some other bride may have already booked it!

In the past two months, I think we’ve found about 6 “perfect” places for our reception that have already been booked on our date! (Because how could we not get married on October 3rd?)

This past weekend, Ryan and I spent almost an entire day driving all over the state looking at different places. 1 was horrible, 1 was beautiful but not our style, 1 was a possibility, and 1 was perfect, as long as it doesn't rain. We’re going for a more country-rustic feel, and we think this location will be beautiful once the leaves begin to change! 

Ceremony location

Historic barn where a cocktail hour would be held

Inside the barn

Garden conservatory where the reception would be held

Inside the conservatory

What do you think?

Linking up with Rachael and Lisa

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wait, What is Public Health?

I get asked a lot what I do/where I work/what I'm in school for. When I tell people that I work at the state health department and that I'm in school getting my Master of Public Health, they usually say, "Oh, that's great! Wait… What is public health?" I spout out my 30 second spiel about how public health is about disease prevention, not disease treatment. I try to include some examples, and people nod their heads, except no one really seems to get it. So… What is public health?
Public Health Is:

o   The design and analysis of studies that examine whether a specific behavior leads to a specific disease. (Ex. Smoking à Lung Cancer)

o   The development, implementation, and evaluation of health programs and educational campaigns. (Ex. Comprehensive sex education, encouraging stair usage vs. elevator usage)

o   Looking at how environmental factors affect the health of a community.

o   Examining how and why a disease spreads through a population, then working to put an stop to it. (Ex. Ebola, HIV)

o   Collaborating with government officials and stakeholders to make changes to policies or the environment. (Ex. Having an area of land allocated to a city’s Parks Department to build a walking trail. Walking trails à more exercise à decreased risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.)

Public health has a lot to do with education and disease prevention on a community/population level, and less to do with the treatment of an individual’s disease. My Master of Public Health does not qualify me to be a certified nutritionist, a physical therapist, a personal trainer, a physician, or a pediatrician. There are other degrees for those. It does, however, qualify me to develop programs to prevent heart disease, but it does not quality me to treat heart disease once it develops. It qualifies me to design health campaigns promoting healthy eating choices, but it does not qualify me to design nutrition plans individualized to a given patient. It qualifies me to teach teenagers how to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STIs, but it does not quality me to prescribe the antibiotics needed to cure the bacterial infections or manage the viral infections if something goes wrong. That being said, some public health professionals also go to medical school and are qualified to treat disease as well as prevent it. I am just not one of them. (Sick people freak me out.)

Long story short, public health is everywhere...See?