Friday 5 – January 27

This week




  • Instant Pot Lentil & Chicken Soup (seriously had this for dinner on Sunday and lunch 3/5 work days. It is SO GOOD)
  • BetterOats Blueberry Muffin Instant Oatmeal – too lazy to make steel cut oats for some reason.
  • Balsamic Pork Roast is in the instant pot slow cooking for dinner tonight.



  • I did incline intervals on the treadmill this morning and it was awesome.

resolutions update: reading

One of my 2014 goals is to read 12 books this year. I am happy to say I am already ahead on that goal. This for me has always been something I’ve wanted to do. When I was a kid (and well into my teens!) I was a voracious reader. Once I got sucked into the internet and started knitting, reading kind of dropped off my radar. I kept up with Harry Potter, but other than that was done reading completely. At some point I read the Twilight Series and the 50 Shades of Grey series, and I listened to The Omnivore’s Dilemma as an audio book. Other than that? Nothing. I did read for school, but nothing particularly interesting or captivating. I had been wanting to start reading again for a multitude of reasons, so I finally got it back into my priorities this winter.

I started out trying to read Ender’s Game, but just could not get into it for some reason (which is amusing because I read the whole series in middle school and LOVED them), so while Bret and I were in Alabama over Christmas we visited this amazing used book store called 2nd and Charles, (they also sell used/new CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and records!) and I went a little crazy buying used books. Which of course, for me is like three or four books. But at that point I wasn’t reading at all, so it felt a little dangerous! 

Anyways, I started the year off with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. It was nice and short, I read it while we were traveling home and finished it the day after we got home. I enjoyed it but thought it was a little slow. I am not entirely sure what urged me to read this book, but I wanted to and I found a copy of it. I think it was a nice way for me to break back into the reading world.

After that I jumped into something a bit more substantial… I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. This is one of my mom’s all time favorites, and had been on my list for a while. I have read at least one of Wally Lamb’s other books (not that I remember it at all) and figured this one would be good. I read nearly 900 pages in about ten days. God, this book was amazing. I totally cried when it was over.

Next up was Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. This was a recommendation that I got from a friend when I posted a Facebook status asking for book ideas! That was the day I joined Goodreads and my to-read list grew exponentially! Anyways, this one got bumped up on my list simply because I read some hysterical reviews of it on goodreads and so I knew I had to check it out. It was a bit slower for me because I started it right after the semester started and I had to read slower to comprehend it, which I enjoyed. It also is so quote-able! It was kinda weird, but I really enjoyed it.

Then, (yeah, really, I set my goal at 12 books and I am already through four!) I started on Divergent  by Veronica Roth. This one came up next on my list because the movie comes out in March and I wanted to read the book first! I totally have a soft spot for YA dystopian novels that include some romance. I tore through this book – it only took me about a week to read. I am definitely going to continue reading the series, although I’ve heard the rest are not as good as the first one.

I’m now reading the first book in the Call the Midwife series. I have watched the show, so it is interesting to see it in book form. 

good things february 18, 2014

  • I made lentil soup, that not only tasted like the stuff I ate constantly from the cafeteria when I worked at the hospital, but Bret even liked it. 
  • I wore a polka dot dress and was comfy in it all day.
  • It was above zero. 



Selfies! This has been a fun experiment – a selfie everyday for this month..This was the first week..I will be writing more about this later.


Snuggling with the tiny girl, and reading a great book



The insane amount of love this guy has been giving lately


new sheets! 


Curling my hair


friends who can give me vixen eye makeup


friends who are my drinking and dancing spirit guides – take me out, make sure i have a good time, and make sure i am safe and having fun!


Last night two of my good friends from highschool took me out for drinks and dancing – something I’ve been really wanting to do. The night was perfect, I was able to relax and have fun, I felt safe and had a really awesome time. I am so thankful to have such great friends!



2014 goals

  • 12 books [this probably seems really simple and lame – but the amount I read these days is pretty pathetic. I’ve already gotten one done though. Read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou while we were traveling home from Alabama]
  • Be active [3-4x a week, 30 minutes at least]
  • BLOG MORE! I couldn’t really come up with a way to measure this one – but I want to do monthly prompts. January’s is Januvanity (we can all thank Sarena for that one). Be prepared for a lot of selfies!
  • Adventure at least once a month from May – September. This means out of town, probably at least one night away, plus hiking or whatever. This breaks down into a sub-list of specific adventures I want this summer [I really need to get the Outdoors in the Interior book!]
    • Hike Mt Healy
    • Hike Donnelly Dome
    • Drive to the Arctic Circle
    • I should also probably conquer my fear of the canoe
  • Continue to not wear pants (and wear dresses and skirts instead)

Sunrise 12/9/2013 10:18 AM


“It was beautiful, Mabel knew, but it was a beauty that ripped you open and scoured you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed, if you lived at all.” – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Boil over

I am at the library on campus, trying to finish up a semester long project I’ve been working on, but I cannot focus. I was telling Sarena about this phenomenon the other day, and she called it boil over, which is the most perfect way to describe what is going on in my head right now.

So, faithful blog readers, I am going to give you a couple lists and then hunker down and try and finish this project, because I want to go home and put on my pajamas and knit and read.


What I should be doing:

  • Working on my proposal (it is almost done! I really just need to edit it and write the last section)
  • Working on homework assignments (if I really want to get ahead of the game)

What I am doing instead:

  • Messing around with the layout of this blog
  • Writing this post
  • Thinking about books I want to read over Christmas break
  • Reading old emails
  • Wandering around on Spotify
  • Looking at Twitter repeatedly
  • Thinking about potential blog posts

…so on and so forth.

Okay, time to get busy. No more mediocrity!

Turning 25: A Journey to Self Betterment

This past summer I turned 25. I am not usually one to worry about age; I rarely feel particularly old or young. Anyway, since turning 25 (this fall especially) I’ve found myself in a quarter-life crisis of sorts. In one sense, it makes me feel insane, but on the other hand I’m sure it is perfectly normal.

Whatever the case is, it has spurred this interesting set of goals/ways of living I am trying to enact in my life. Not surprisingly, it comes in list form.

1. More self esteem – I think I mentioned this one in my previous post. This part, surprisingly, has been easy and fun so far. Dressing better, finding fun ways to do my hair, changing my posture, so on and so forth. Feeling awesome about yourself is great. I’m also trying to extend this past my appearance though, as I am worth more than my good looks! This kind of melds into item two..

2. NO MORE MEDIOCRITY!!! – Yep, it has to be in caps. I am no longer accepting mediocrity from myself. This is much harder than item one. I am attempting to be a better student, better employee, and better person in general. This one bleeds into some sub-items.
a. Less distractions at work – Not going so well as I spend a lot of time talking to Sarena on gmail chat. I love talking to Sarena though!! Plus she listens to me ramble about self betterment and my quarter-life crisis:)
b. Less mistakes at work – do things completely, and right the first time.
c. Less screen time – I have lately realized that I check my damn phone (facebook, twitter, email) all the freaking time. It invades pretty much everything I do and I am so over it. This one has been really hard so far. I am working on it though… I suppose it could be rephrased more accurately as, “less unproductive screen time,” because I want to start reading the news more.
d. Read more – sort of related to the above item. Less time staring at my phone/ipad/tv means there are better ways to spend my time. So far I have had to (this is kind of sad) set a timer on my phone to make myself read. I’ve done this mostly as a way to keep from checking my phone, but it has worked. Reading for pleasure is back in my far only fluff, but I plan to tackle some more intelligent reading once the semester is over.

3. Take better care of myself – this one blends with the first. Shower more, sleep more, exercise more, and eat better.

4. Be more social – There are days where I feel like I live inside my own head. I think this one can speak for itself.

5. Be more adventurous – this one manifests itself in some weird ways. I have been having the strangest desires to go out drinking and dancing (I didn’t want this when all my friends were doing it, and now that they aren’t I want to. WTF.) but also a strong desire to start hiking and go for walks all the time. Basically, I want to try new things and do things that I may not have done before, because I was/am a fuddy duddy.

It all boils down to this: I want to lead a better life. I want to like myself, challenge myself, and be a more effective person. And I’m working on it!

on goals and personal achievements

As a high schooler, I never really felt like I had life goals. I knew what was expected of me, and I planned to do those things (graduate high school, go to college, etc) rather than really set goals for myself. These things were things I wanted to do, but they never really felt like things I chose to do. 

Now that I am no longer freshly out of high school (eek!) and getting ready to graduate college (double eek!!) I have been thinking a lot about personal goals and motivations to achieve said goals. Why am I doing this? Post high school, I floundered a lot. Three years, three schools, umpteen majors and multiple failed classes. I had no goal, no end point, and no good reason to be there, other than, “why not?” There was nothing else pressing that I needed to be doing with my life. 

I’ve since taken a break from school and now have been back since the summer of 2011. I’ve been trying to decipher what changed in me – I knew what I wanted after about a semester or two back at school. I want a degree. I want to do well in school, not just *not fail*, but succeed. I am still not a model student, but I have gotten better grades in the last two years than I have since 9th or 10th grade. 

Now that I am closer to graduating than I ever have been, I’ve found myself thinking, “what next?” What is next in my life? This has had me thinking a lot about goals. Why do we set the goals that we do for ourselves? What motivates these goals? 

Here is what I know for myself (I love these kind of statements, probably because they remind me of pro and con lists 🙂 )

Currently my goals consist of the following:

  1. Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree! (well on my way for this one!!! only two classes left after this semester)
  2. Regain my self esteem (this one has been surprisingly easy so far – mostly through caring more about my appearance and controlling my posture and body language)
  3. Continue on my journey of self betterment (the first part of this is listed above, but more on that later..)
  4. Figure out what I am doing after my undergrad degree (yes, the way I phrased that makes it sound like I am planning on grad school..I need to find my marbles because I think I might have lost them!)

My motivation for my bachelor’s degree is this: I know that my quality of life will be improved by earning this degree. I will have better job opportunities, more skills, and generally having a degree will be an all around plus for my life, in many areas. It will also give me a sense of accomplishment.

My journey of self betterment has come from a realization that I am in control of my life – as I said above, for many years I floundered and did what I felt others (my parents) wanted me to do. You’d think I would realize that I am in control of myself long before 25, but only lately have I realized that happiness and contentment is completely under my control (well, I realized this a long time ago, but only recently have I felt able to harness this control). 


Anyways. I am starting to ramble and lose my train of thought..Someday I will plan out blog posts like this ahead of time so my thoughts are a bit more concrete. A lot of this introspection lately has been spurred by my renewing my relationship with an old friend, who introduced me to this youtube video, which is a clip from a commencement speed by David Foster Wallace.. If you have 10 minutes, watch it! 


How to keep your head on straight

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Well, I think all the time. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about being a rational, reasonable, composed person. Anyone who knows me knows that I generally err on the side of caution and usually think things through before I do them. They also know that I am frequently irrational and tend to be an all or nothing kinda gal. I have a really hard time finding a middle ground between completely loving something or completely hating it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been giving myself some personal quests. Personal quests of betterment, if you will. The first is a quest for self esteem! So far, it has gone fairly well. I’ve also been trying to be a better student (which right now is not working as I am writing this post to avoid homework!) and a more motivated person in general. This has not been quite as easy as increasing my self esteem – as you can imagine, doing homework and schoolwork is not always fun and laying on the couch instead of being productive is very easy.

Throughout all of this, however, I keep finding myself thinking about my tendencies to get a little crazy. I fall into something, and I fall hard. It is all I want to do and all I think about. I think a lot of this comes from (and results in) my shitty time management skills. I have not been knitting because of an injury, and easing myself back into knitting has proved really hard. Knitting for a 2-3 hour stretch? Easy peasy. Knitting for 5 minutes an hour every evening? Impossible to “find the time for” even though all I’ve been doing is sitting on the couch. I’ve found a similar thing happens with sewing. I get really motivated, buy fabric and patterns, and then let it all languish because I can’t find the time to sit down and work on a single project for hours. Instead of working on it bit by bit I want to binge and finish it all in a Saturday afternoon/evening.

So I’ve been trying to decide how to keep my head on straight. How do I stay rational, find a middle ground and divide my time among work, school, and hobbies? The older I get (at the ripe old age of 25!) the more I wish I had better time management skills; the more I wish I could keep my head on straight and focus on one task at a time, instead of trying to do 3 or 4 things at once, getting overwhelmed, and becoming a slug on the couch.

I’ve been trying to set myself time limits (complete with a timer on my phone) for tasks like knitting, homework (depending on what I need to get done) or cleaning. So far this has proved semi-successful as long as I can stay focused on the task at hand.

What do you do to keep your head on straight? What keeps you grounded and focused?

Leaves in our yard that had frosted the night before and thawed during the day. Fall in Fairbanks.