Family, Food, Thoughts

Second Whole30

This Whole30 has been completely different than my last one.

Last time, in March 2015, I don’t remember complaining about it at all, I don’t remember being extra hungry, and I don’t remember having cravings. I talked it up so much to everyone I know, sharing how I was satisfied without all my snacking, how I had lost 9 pounds, and how it was a great reset for my body. Even though I didn’t end up having any HUGE health changes, I basically just confirmed that I don’t have any food intolerances. I didn’t notice a change in energy levels, skin clarity, sleep, or anything else. Going into the Whole30, I didn’t particularly have any issues in any of these areas either. I just thought it would be neat to try it, and I love giving myself challenges.

Fast forward to October 2016. I convince my roommate to do the Whole30 with me, and we start it with no problems at all. Then, the whole slicing my foot open thing happens. My coworkers at school SO generously started a food sign-up sheet where they provided meals for us after my surgery. This was amazingly thoughtful and it was so nice to not have to cook while on my crutches. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to pipe up that I was on the Whole30 and all the food needed to meet those guidelines. I happily thanked everyone for the soups, corned beef, pastas, stuffed peppers, desserts, and more. And that was my first Whole7.

Fast forward once again to March 2017. I started getting the idea in my head that I wanted to do another Whole30, starting on April 1. The main reason this was popping in my head was because I had been snacking a LOT more than normal at the time. It became a joke with my students that I was always eating candy….yeah, I soon realized this wasn’t a great joke and it wasn’t sending a great message to my students either. I figured a Whole30 would be a great reset. Whenever I explained what I was doing to anyone, I would simply explain that I already knew I didn’t have any intolerances, but that I was just doing this as a way to reset my body back to a healthier baseline. I got my sister on board, and I even convinced my mom and dad to try it out, too. Honestly, this has been the BEST part about my Whole30 this time around!! I have always wanted my parents to try the Whole30 as a way to see how their bodies feel without added sugar, gluten, wheat, etc. and to find out if my dad is intolerant to one of these things. He has been having stomach issues for a few years now. I thought there was no way that my dad would ever do a Whole30, but he proved me wrong by being right on board with my mom. My mom was pretty excited to try it out, and she and my sister have been ROCKING it up in PA. They both say that it’s really helpful that they’re doing it together in the same house. They’re all eating the same so they make great meals and enjoy encouraging each other.

Then there’s me..down here in Virginia. This time around, my Whole30 is full of complaining (most of it in my head), cravings, and too much snacking (although at least the snacks are Whole30 compliant). I know that it’s strongly suggested not to snack, and just to eat three big enough meals, but that’s just not really how it’s been working out for me this time around. Of course, I’ve stuck to the Whole30 as I knew I would, even going out in D.C. till 3am one night and then having a Girls Night another night where everyone was drinking drinks that I couldn’t have, eating pizza that I couldn’t have, and eating all kinds of other deliciousness..that I couldn’t have. In all honesty though, those days weren’t even challenging. I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t have and I brought my own snacks. Alicia and I even did a 4-day thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, carrying all Whole30 compliant food! To an outsider looking in, I’ve been kicking this Whole30’s butt. Even my meals throughout this Whole30 have been pretty yummy. There’s been a few super delicious ones, and lots of ones that were just fine. I haven’t been as motivated in the kitchen overall, so I think maybe that’s part of what’s making me feel not as successful. It’s going..fine, but I’m definitely excited for it to be over. This is super different than how I felt last time around. I feel pretty guilty for feeling this way…but also, it’s life. Sometimes you’ll have a good Whole30 and sometimes you won’t haha.

There’s only 5 days to go, and I really am looking forward to eating some yummy things I haven’t eaten in a month!


Two noteworthy additions from this Whole30:

-Whole30 Easter! As a family, we had a Whole30 approved Easter dinner. We were surrounded by donuts and candy at church (and of course in stores leading up to Easter), but we had a great dinner of pork chops, applesauce, and some delicious side dishes.

-My parents have been doing AMAZINGLY with the Whole30. My mom has talked about even continuing it in some capacity forever! She said she feels so much better with this way of eating that it’s worth it. She has been super inspiring to me during these 25 days so far. It’s funny that I was the inspiration for her to start in the first place, but now she has become my inspiration with how well she’s doing with it!


I’ll be excited to share another health update in a few weeks. Half marathon training just started, and I’m motivated to get back to a nice healthy balance with my eating.




Celebrate, Decor, Family


Yay, I’m home for winter break! Christmas is in less than a week and I’m so excited! It feels like we’ve done a lot of celebrating already and there’s still a lot more to come.

We celebrated my birthday with just my immediate family…

…and then celebrated it again (as a joint birthday party with my brother) with a bigger family party with my aunts and cousins and grandma who live around here.

We also decorated the tree and the house, and took some family photos, and made a celebration of all of that as well.

This picture below is so funny. We never really take family pictures or ever make a big deal about a family picture for our Christmas cards, but as we were decorating the tree, we decided to take a few pictures with everyone. Using self-timer, we jumped on the couch and smiled for the picture. Since I was the one pushing the self-timer button, I had to run into the frame quickly and smile, which is never normally a problem. I was also picking up Daisy as I went to include her in the picture too, but still. Anyway, as I sat on the arm of the couch, Alicia suddenly knocked me over and I fell onto everyones laps, prompting both dogs to begin licking my face in excitement. This picture is the result lol and it’s actually the one my mom ended up including in the cards this year!

This below picture is the one we all thought we would go with, but my mom just thought the one above described our family really well =)

p.s. yes, my dad’s shirt says “Dads Against Daughters Dating” haha. he got it as a gag gift (with 3 daughters he probably really does feel that way) and wouldn’t have chosen to wear it in the picture, but this was spur of the moment and it’s just more funniness to add to the pictures.

I love my family ❤


Fall, Family, Food, Random


If I had to pick one word to describe this current semester, it’d have to be constant. I’ve been constantly going, going, going these past few months. I’ve always heard that your junior year of college is where you get more into your major and things start getting harder. While I can’t necessarily say anything is hard per say, it’s definitely a ton more work. These days, I think back to last year when I could lounge around in my dorm room and read a book and that sounds amazing right now! I normally read a book or two a week, but it took me almost 3 weeks to finish the last book I was reading! It’s just constant everything! With a little over a week left in the semester, everything is coming to a close…but first a million final projects have to be completed and handed in. I have two projects to do tonight that are due tomorrow and I’m teaching a lesson in the morning as well. After that, I can move on to the things that are due on Friday and then on Monday and Tuesday and so on. I really am loving all my classes though; everything is going so well. My Assessment for Instruction class is still so interesting and my Special Education Pre-Student Teaching is going great. I really love it and I love the community of teachers that I get to work with.

Here’s what November looked like:

freezing cold football games
yummy chicken, veggie, and alfredo pasta and apple pie filled apples
double dark chocolate pomegranite cookies..and no, there's no pictures of them after baking lol i have no idea why. i got the recipe from under her recipes tab. she posts the best recipes and i always love them. (it's not letting me link up to her blog but it should come right up if you try to find it)
favorite new pillow case with sleeping people on it and a group project for my sociology class
A very emotional week with a scandal rocking Penn State to its core. A heartbreaking week and a heartwarming vigil and game to show that We Are Penn State. One person's actions do not define us all. We're all still praying for the victims and hoping nothing more is to come out of this.
I went to my first wedding! My cousin Geoff married Jessica and it was a beautiful ceremony.
The reception was a blast as well.
this collage might give a hint as to who I hung out with the entire time =) I love them ❤
my favorite picture from the wedding ❤
Thanksgiving!!! Siblings G and D. Haha love these two pictures, nice smiles and then crazy happy smiles lol. they didn't do that on purpose, they were just laughing and being happy
moustaches with cousins
pin the feather on the turkey
brother ❤
sister ❤

Thanksgiving break was really nice, but now it’s time to get back to work! Pretty sure my math teacher just called on me…..



Crafts, Decor, Family

First Room Decoration

I LOVE what my sister and I made for my room. We spent a few hours working on it when she was here and I think it turned out great.


my pennant banner!!!

It’s the first decoration in my completely white room so it’s pretty exciting. =)

There are a million and one pennant banner tutorials out there, so I know it isn’t necessary for me to explain how I made this. However, I thought it’d be fun to show the step-by-step of how a pennant banner is made in a college student’s apartment. I didn’t even follow one of those 1,000,001 tutorials; I just knew to cut out triangles and put them on some kind of stringing thing and hang them up. So that’s what I went by and it was all very scientific.


Step 1: Buy fabric. It’s not imperative that you get lost and end up in a Jo-Ann Fabrics parking lot and buy your fabric at that time, but if you’re following what we did exactly then you’d need to do that too. A and I picked 5 coordinating fabrics that we thought represented me well and would look pretty in my room. We weren’t sure how much of each fabric to get, but we ended up getting 1/3 of a yard of each. I thought that wouldn’t be enough at first, but it ended up being more than we needed, which worked out well. This is 3 of the 5 fabrics we chose.


Step 2: Measure fabric.Our fabric pieces were each around 44 inches long, so we decided to make our triangles about 8 inches wide at the top. I measured along the fabric on the top and bottom edge and (now this is the technical part) made dots with my highlighter every 4 inches. Be sure to use yellow highlighter and sometimes make the dots so light that you cant see them and have to guess where they are. Well, I didn’t do that on purpose but it worked out anyway. I marked every 4 inches so that I would know where the points were in relation to the top part of the triangle. This way, we could connect the dots in a zig zag fashion and get twice as many triangles.


Step 3: Connect your dots and cut along those lines. First, get a Macbook Pro box to use as a hard surface and then get a desk calendar to use as a straightedge. I connected the dots with pencil, going up and down diagonally. So I drew the lines in a way that essentially looked like this: /\/\/\/\/\/\/\

My cuts weren’t perfectly straight, but it didn’t matter at all. You can’t even tell now that it’s hanging up.


Step 4: Continue drawing lines and cutting along them for what seems like forever. Listen to Tik Tok Radio on Pandora while doing this. Also, smile when your sister takes a picture of you and tells you to make a serious face.

(Yes, those are Post-It notes taped onto my window screen. There were holes in it when I moved in and I didn’t want bugs to come in. The obvious solution was to tape Post-Its over the holes and it has worked great so far. Also a great look overall. Very classy.)


Step 5: Hand the cut triangles to your sister as you go. She will iron them very nicely. We thought about putting a backing on the triangles for about one second, until we realized we probably wouldn’t have enough fabric for that and also we didn’t feel like doing more work. Turns out we most likely did have enough fabric for that, but oh well. Ironing them really made them keep their shape and since I hung them against a wall, you can’t see through them or anything. Ironing them really made a huge difference, so this is the one step I wouldn’t skip if I were you. Well, I’d recommend not skipping the step where you cut out the pieces either, or even measuring them, those are both pretty important. Actually most of the steps are. Moving on.


Step 6: Find a random bunch of white ribbon in your drawers and decide to use that as the base of the banner. Then, using a hot glue gun, glue the ironed triangles to your length of ribbon. We first made sure the ribbon was the right length to fit in the place we wanted to hang it, of course. Pro tip: have your sister hold the ribbon on either side of the length you’re glueing at the moment. If you don’t, the ribbon will react to the heat of the glue by shrinking and curling up on itself. Once you glue the fabric down though, it stays perfectly.

Ta-da! You have a finished banner!

P.S. I painted that painting a few years ago. I took it off of my wall at home and brought it up here to try to fill up some of the white space.

P.P.S. It’s hanging on a push pin.

P.P.P.S. The banner is also hanging with the help of push pins. Just one on either end and you’re good to go. They’re clear though, so again, very classy.

This was really fun to make. I had a few extra triangles so we also hung some more banners over my desk and outside my door. It was like a banner explosion, but in a good way. I definitely need some more things on my walls, but I think this is a very good start.



Fall, Family

Sister, Sister

Does anyone else remember watching Sister, Sister?

One of my younger sisters, A, came up a few weekends ago, and the title of this TV show kept running through my head. It’s like a little jingle kind of thing and I seriously couldn’t stop thinking it! haha. It was really fun having her come visit, and even though she only stayed one night, I thought we fit a lot in!

She came up on Saturday evening, and we started off the night by going to Jo-Ann Fabrics and getting some supplies (for a project we were making on Sunday). After that, we stopped by my apartment quickly before going downtown to meet up with some of my friends. We all walked around in the rain, went to dinner, stopped at the candy store, and finished the night at the ice cream shop. After we got home, A and I watched Tangled before going to bed.

Sunday ended up being a total craft day! It was so much fun and I can’t wait to share what we made.

She left Sunday afternoon and I can’t wait for her and my other little sister to come visit again!