Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hot Hot Hot!

To kickstart this fine hot Sunday, Andrew and I rode our bikes to the Caribou Coffee and did some reading while sipping on something hot. After awhile, we rode to the park to sit in the sun and watch the ducks in the pond. We then rode home really quick to grab some bread for the geese and ducks. When we got back to the pond/park, the birds were all over us while we snapped a few pictures.

 It was then around 11:30, so we headed home and grabbed a bite to eat while we watched out new obsession..."Once Upon a Time". I absolutely LOVE that show and we are both completely addicted. We are only on episode 5, but I am already hooked and want to watch it all the time. The problem, though, is that it is 45 minutes long; compared to the 15 minutes of The Big Bang Theory (which is still another favorite of mine). To add to our already busy day, we decided to go to the store to buy Gus a new shelter. We found a cute little wooden dome that she seems to like, and bought a little fake sea turtle to keep in her tank as a little decoration for her :) Finally, last year we decided that during the following summer we would make her an outdoor shelter so that she could be with us and enjoy the natural outside.

 Considering that it is practically summer (with this hot and humid weather we are having, it feels like July), Andrew pulled a few 2 X 4s out of the garage, nailed them together, and built a little box to keep in the yard for her. She's an adventurer so I'm not sure if she likes being closed in a box (although the box only has 4 sides; we kept the bottom and top open), but she seemed to like being able to be in the grass and sun with us.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, again, but I took them all on my iPad and I have not been able to figure out how to transfer them.  Anyone know how to do this?

Luana ola!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eventful Week

It's finally Friday, and boy has this week been busy!  Between work and class, I have had not much time to do anything else but eat and sleep!  It all started with last weekend...I graduated from Carthage!  There were 2 ceremonies that my family and I got to go to on Sunday.  The first was a speech given by the Lutheran bishop of Chicago.  It was very nice and he was very inspirational.

Let me back up a bit...before the first speech, Andrew (and my parents) and I stopped by the Chapel Office to say hi to Debbie and Kristin.  Debbie was my boss on campus and my second mom throughout college.  She helped me through so many obstacles that there is no way I could have gotten through it without her.  I will definitely miss seeing her every day and talking to her about everything!

Here is Andrew holding up a yearbook.  His picture is on the top right of the left page!
 This is Kristin and I all dressed up :)
 After this speech there was food!  It was all free (as it should be considering how much we paid for the school...) and there were TONS of options, including a free drink bar.

Our first stop was sushi; yes, they had veggie sushi!

 Although it was my graduation, Andrew kept running into tons of people he about a social butterfly :)
 It got so crowded that I couldn't take any more pictures, but they also had a cheese station, sandwiches, pasta bar, pretzel bar (yummy cinnamon filled ones!!!), chocolate fountain, espresso, and...
 a FRUIT BAR!!!  It was loaded with tropical fruits!  I was in love.
 It was beautifully decorated with the palm tree made of extra fruit and the outside layer of the pineapple that was cut up to eat.
 The next day, I had my last meal from the student union at Carthage...A $3.99 salad from the quick mart.

Saturday evening, we got to see a professional football game at Tremper High School in Kenosha.  It was a jumble of the 2nd and 3rd string of local professional teams!

 These two little boys were so cute sitting next to those big guys!

As for the rest of the week, it has been work and Microbiology.

Throughout all of this, yoga has really helped me stay calm.  Through practice, I have learned that when something goes wrong, look at it in a different light.  Don't sweat the small stuff, because if that is the worst thing that has happened to you during the day, then consider yourself lucky.  Many times, we see things for how bad they are instead of how good everything else is.  Be thankful for what you have (or don't have) and live life to its fullest potential.  You never know what you can do until you try!

Luana ola!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I have officially started my summer classes of microbiology and business management. Because the business class is online, it's not so fun to talk about. Microbiology, on the other hand, is super fun! It is a 100 level class, so it's not that hard, but the concepts are great! Right now, we are studying microorganisms and learning how to grow bacterial colonies. I even have a lab coat!! I feel like a scientist and am really starting to get into science again. Another fun thing is that it really applies to nutrition due to the fact that proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids are made up of microorganisms. I'll try to post as often as I can, but I can't guarantee exact days fit to the fact that I am working 30 hours a week and have. 2 classes; I haven't even had time to go grocery shopping in 2 weeks!

Happy graduation to all the grads out there! I was one on Sunday!

Luana ola!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dancin' Shoes

Tonight, after work, Andrew and I went to a free dance instruction at Arthur Murray Dance Studio.  There were lots of people there; some were students of the school and some were first time dancers.  Either way, we had lots of fun!  The instructors were very nice and we even signed up for a free introductory lesson next Tuesday.

As for the dances, we did a little swing and rumba.  There were also complimentary hours 'dourves and wine.  I honestly can't wait to go back!  If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would be wanting to take dance lessons, I would have given you "the look" and asked you if you were crazy.  The dancing bug has hit me hard! From taking Zumba to ballroom dance lessons, I can't get enough.  I think that this new passion for dance comes from being an athlete.  I used to express myself through volleyball and training, but now that I am no longer competing, I have found a more feminine side to myself.  I now love to find different ways to move and use my body, like in yoga and dancing.  Doing these moves has already helped me learn more about myself and feel more comfortable in my own skin.

Tomorrow is a super long day at work, but I am hoping to break it up with another Zumba class at 5:30!

Quote of the week from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “A habitual moderation in eating and drinking is much better than certain rigorous abstinences made from time to time”
-St. Francis de Sales

Luana ola!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


For some reason, I decided that my workout today was going to be Zumba.  I have heard so many good things about it, so I thought I'd give it a try; after all, classes come free with my membership!

It was absolutely amazing!  I had so much fun and learned a lot about myself (I actually have rhythm!!) The instructor was fun and energetic, she even walked into the crowd with us.  I felt totally comfortable even though I was one of the 3 people who had never been before. I will definitely be doing it again.

As I picked up a dress for graduation, an ugly storm rolled in and it began to rain.  When I got home, grabbed a bite to eat, and sat down, I saw a huge rainbow out the kitchen window!  I grabbed my camera, took a couple shots, and sat down to write this post.  As I opened my camera to pull out the chip, I came to find that it was still in my computer!  I have beautiful pictures of this rainbow and no way to share it with you guys (I have had this camera for so long that I have misplaced the cord to connect it to my computer...)  Well, hopefully you have seen a rainbow before or will see one some time soon; they are too pretty.

Dance class tomorrow with Andrew!

Luana ola!

Monday, May 14, 2012


While searching for cute plants to give our mothers this past weekend, we found this SUPER CUTE fairie garden set...

...future garden...I think so!!

Luana ola!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Healthy Jam

Yesterday, just before work, I ran across a recipe for Strawberry Chiaseed Jam from a blog called Eating Bird Food!!!  It was the easiest jam in the world and only took 30 minutes to firm up.  Here's what you do:
  • mash up 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries (if they are frozen, make sure to thaw first)
  • add 1 T Chia seeds to the strawberries along with 1 T water and stevia to taste
  • put all of it into an old jam jar, stir, and let it sit in the fridge for 30-60 minutes!!  and...Jam!
Lunch was a delicious salad of broccoli, asparagus, leeks, and avocado (sorry, no picture)

I was starving by dinner and Panera was the only thing worth eating, so I had a piping bowl of vegetable with pesto and a side of multi-grain baguette. Yum.

Add in a little snack of cereal when I got home after work, and dream world was just around the corner.

Luana ola!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An apple a day

The old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is not so far off.  Apples are one of the top nutrient-dense foods that should be part of everyone's healthy diet.  One medium apple (about 3 inches in diameter) has under 100 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 11mg of calcium, 195mg of potassium, vitamin C, A, K, and folate.

 After a light breakfast of an apple and rice cake, I got in an awesome workout!  It was running 3 minutes at level 8 (8 being how hard I was running on a scale of 1-10) and walked 2 minutes at a level 3.  Complete that routine 5 times for a great workout.  Next, for some muscle building, I used the "Love your Legs" workout from Tone It Up (TIU):  complete 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise:

  • flamingo squat- single leg squat with kick back
  • TIU Starfish- lunge front, side, and back
  • Reach for the Sun- plie with lateral shoulder raise
Then, I went out to the garden to check on a few transplants I did.  This first picture is of a leek.  When preparing the leek last week for dinner, I chopped off the end and kept it in a small cup of water to see what would happen.  As it turns out, the leek stayed fresh so I decided to try planting it.  Look what happened!  I am so excited that it is growing!!  I am not known to have a green thumb, although I love gardening and plants, so this it fantastically amazing!  

 I also transplanted the garlic this morning because it was starting to look sad.  Plants are not meant to be in a pot, and I think it was starting to suffocate because of the lack of space.
 Finally, 2 weeks ago, Andrew and I were in Vernon Hills with my parents and we bought this solar powered garden light with tortoises on it!  The best part was that it only cost $15.  It is super cute and a perfect little touch to the garden.
It's finally sunny here!  Enjoy the spring and get outside for some fresh air!

Luana ola!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Energy and Digestion

After a nice long walk, I sat down to my computer to go through emails.  Upon reading through some of my favorites, I found a really good article from Yoga Journal.  I am so happy that I subscribe to this magazine because it gives great tips and information about all things yoga and healthy living; from nutrition, to yoga practice, to meditation, and even controlling emotions.

According to many health articles that I have read, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is said to be so because your body has been fasting all night and needs to be refueled to help you carry on throughout the morning.  This article makes a good case as to why lunch may be the most important meal of the day.  Your metabolism is much like a fire; it needs to be monitored with little bits of fuel added consistently so that the fire remains strong.  If too much fuel is added too quickly, the fire might be put out.  It is important to get a good breakfast to get your body going, but it is a proven fact that many Americans skip lunch or eat a very light lunch.  By the time you are half way through the day, breakfast has been burnt up and your body needs refueling to finish out the day.  When you eat a very light meal, or no meal at all, many times you compensate by munching on sugary snacks or sipping caffeinated beverages to keep pushing on.  By the time you get home for dinner, you are so hungry that you eat a whole lot of food to feel satisfied and full; ultimately overeating and feeling bloated before going to bed.  By night time, your body is ready to relax and repair for the next day; it does not need to be spending precious energy on burning up that large meal you just ate.

I'll be honest, I am definitely known for having a lite lunch and eating a little too much for dinner sometimes, but I think that this perspective has opened my eyes even more to healthy living; it just makes sense.  Why would I want to give my body all of this fuel right before I go to sleep?  Why not fuel myself more during the hours that I am using my body the most?

On another completely random note, I tried on my Ssekos today and practiced two different ways to tie them!  The $50 that they cost were completely worth it because the money goes to young women in Africa trying to pay their way through college.  Buy some for yourself or a girlfriend and let me know what you think!

Now, remember to take a couple minutes (5-10) after you mindfully eat your meals to meditate and relax before jumping back into your routine.  This will help with digestion and help you to feel more relaxed and rested.

Luana ola!

Sunday Fun Day!

Yesterday was amazing!  Although the weather was cloudy all day and there was on and off storms, Andrew and I found plenty of fun things to do.

Upon waking, Andrew asked me if I would want to go out for breakfast; who can say no to that?!  He then said that we should ride our bikes there and then take our normal loop around the forest preserve; and I said why not?!  The nice thing about the restaurant we went to is that it is this cute little place that is only open for breakfast and lunch and completely reminds me of The Lake Villa Restaurant by my home town (that my parents and I would always go to after church on Sundays) so it was like starting a new tradition for ourselves :)

The bike ride is just 1 mile from his house.  We split one of their HUGE omelets, called the Iron Man.  It is a giant mixture of egg whites, broccoli, peppers, onion, and mushrooms with a side of fresh fruit and whole grain pancakes.  Super tasty with some hot sauce on top (of the omelet of course...).

As we continued on our journey, we ran into a small issue 7 miles into the ride...
 During the storms from this past week, one of the trees fell across the path!  The guys in the picture above were coming from the other direction and hopped off their bikes to go under the fallen tree.
 This poor tree got uprooted!

We just got off our bikes and rolled them under the tree.  7 more miles and we were back at home.  The whole trip lasted about 2 hours and 30 minutes.  What a great way to start the day!

Later on, a huge storm came, so we popped in a couple movies and relaxed the rest of the afternoon.  Perfect relaxing Sunday :)  Now, it's back to work!  Parmida, JuicePlus+, and My website!

Luana ola!