Browse Category by Lifestyle

Finding Success

Last weekend I went to my sister’s high school graduation. I would be lying if I told you it was a fun filled event. I don’t think anyone, even the graduates themselves would say it was enjoyable. The ceremony took place in a crowded gym, with screaming kids, and student/teachers giving mediocre speeches about how to best navigate through life now that high school has ended. Cue the “we are the future – this is not an end but a beginning – we did it!” speeches.

kenzEven with all the cliches, is it bad that I found the students to be more inspiring than the teacher? The teacher made a speech about starting over, making the choice right now about the person you want to be as you move forward. She asked them all to decide how they wanted to portray themselves for future encounters. They better figure out the legacy they wanted to have on the world…. Talk about putting unneeded stress and pressure onto 18 year old kids.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t inspire our youth, get them to think about their future plans. But I think it’s completely asinine that we expect 18 year old graduates to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I mean the long standing joke between my parents is that they still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

I was a mess at 18, even more so at 22 when I graduated college, and  I am still mess at 25. I’ve embraced it. I wish I could tell every single high school graduate to go easy on themselves. Shoot, I wish I could tell every single person struggling to find their career the same thing. Those young people who find their calling in life are the lucky ones. But this is not to say that those of us who work for a paycheck are unlucky. This doesn’t mean we haven’t left a legacy, or made the world better. This doesn’t mean we lack passion, ambition, or creativity. It just means we haven’t found the fire yet.

I just finished rereading This Is How by Augusten Burroughs. It is a phenomenoal book, I highly recommend it. There is a chapter when he talks about chasing dreams, and he talks about Grandma Moses. Grandma Moses didn’t start her painting career until she was in her late 70s, eventually having her art exhibitions break attendance records.

Success can come at any age, and is defined however you want. Your career can happen at any time, and can change at any time. For so long I felt lost and vulnerable because I didn’t have a career. I’m still lost, I’m still working for a paycheck, and I still feel a mess. But that’s okay, life is more fun when you’re not put together. Plus most of the things in life that I am good at are outside of the work world. I mean, I am pretty good at throwing back shots without a chaser. I am also great at bitching about the weather, overdressing for a situation, and making jello shots. If only my high school guidance counselor could see me now.

And this would be the part where I could post inspirational quotes about learning to dance in the storm, taking the road least traveled, or following your dreams. However that is not the kind of blog I write, soooooo instead you get a picture of me drinking at a baseball game, which is something I’m also pretty good at. And also something I happen to be doing this Saturday afternoon.




“You’ve always had a pretty face.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase after losing some weight. “You always did have a nice face but you look great now!”

Why do people think that’s an acceptable thing to say? And for that matter what does that even mean? Even though I have always had a pretty face does that mean I wasn’t always pretty?

The way our society defines beauty doesn’t leave much to be desired. If a girl is thin we accuse her of having an eating disorder. If she is curvy we tell her that she needs to get into the gym as soon as possible. And god forbid if she is obese we feign concern about her health. Then when a woman has a body that society has deemed to be acceptable, something else about her appearance gets ripped apart. If only she would do something about that nose, then she would be beautiful.

I don’t know when or how it happened but the beauty standards that have been imposed on women are completely repugnant. Why, oh why do we tear each other down? Finding self-acceptance is hard enough without the hate and judgement of others. I am my own worse critic, I don’t need an outside audience to also tear me down.

I’ve never been too interested in celebrity gossip. I find those shows on E! to be a little bit harsh and hateful. I don’t really care who is dating who, who is getting a DUI, or who is having a breakdown. I am in utter shock every single day at how our society feels it is okay to impose our views and opinions onto others. Celebrities chose to have a career where they are in the public eye, yeah, yeah, I know. But do we really need to be so effing harsh? Good god, I just don’t understand what is happening to our society. Hateful, anonymous commenting has gotten out of control.

Where does all this hate come from? I can only assume people’s own insecurities, but really that’s only a guess. I just don’t get why tearing down other people helps to accomplish anything. However, I can rant all day long about this, but I’ve totally been guilty. Not of anonymous commenting, or even viciously attacking someone’s appearance. I am guilty of comparing myself to others. When I was really big I would look at girls who were bigger and think “well at least I would never let it get that bad.” One of the worst things we can do in our society is compare ourselves to others. Whether it’s comparing bodies, or beauty, or accomplishments. We need to stop.

My biggest goal in life is to find self-acceptance. I have worked so hard at the gym. I have restricted foods. I have tried every supplement known to aid in weight loss. So for right now I think I need to find self-acceptance with the way I look. This is no easy task. Especially with the views of outsiders always in my ear.

I was recently talking to someone about finding self acceptance. I had explained that I work really hard every single day, but that my weight is just not budging. I relayed that I am tired of being defined by the scale, and I just needed to accept myself for where I am currently at. Be proud of how far I have come, and how hard I work. The response I got from this person made me feel so hopeless. They said “so it sounds like you’re just kind of giving up. Maybe you just haven’t worked hard enough. Have you tried running? Or boxing?”

I had to bite my tongue so hard that I think I could taste blood. But then again I don’t know why I was surprised. This person probably didn’t think twice about the comment. Maybe it wasn’t even meant to be malicious, or over imposing. But I went home feeling defeated, and distressed. Was I giving up? Have I given it my all? Maybe I should try running again. Maybe I should restrict my calories even more. Then I was struck with complete anger, because yet again I let an outside source guide my thinking, and actions.

I know my body, my efforts, and my limits better than anyone else. I work hard, and most days I am proud of myself. I need that pride to extend into every other part of my life. It’s up to me, and me alone to find the self-acceptance that I need to live a balanced life. I need to stop listening to others. Listening to the media, to society, even to my own friends and family.

I was recently talking to a holistic health expert. And she explained the negative effects that stress can have on our bodies, health, and weight. She said what I was doing to myself was crazy. The way I was obsessing about being fat was probably half my problem. Her advice was to find myself. To let go of my daily stress regarding body image. That I needed to find what makes me happy in life. What makes me feel grounded. I went through a period of high stress last year, and I have a feeling my body hasn’t fully recovered.

My point with all of this is that we need to stop fat shaming. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. And stop being so critical of one another. We just need to stop. Everyone is living their own lives in a manner that they want.

All any of us should want in life is happiness. To go to bed feeling proud. And to wake up ready to make the next day even better than the last. I believe treating myself and others with kindness and compassion is the start to finding acceptance.

So for right now I am going to focus on eating foods that nourish my body, foods that keep me healthy, and happy. I am going to be active in a way that I enjoy. Lifting weights, swimming, riding bike, whatever grabs my fancy each day. And I am going to work at making myself proud each and everyday!



Switching to Glass

For years and years I have heard people talk about the harm in using plastic containers to store food. Especially when it comes to heating up food in those containers. I grew up using plastic, and I turned out just fine! But I have been wanting to switch to glass, just haven’t had the desire to make the money commitment to replace all my containers.

Well I finally did it, and the good news is that I haven’t spent any money yet. Reduce, reuse, recycle my friends! When I was visiting my parent’s house one weekend I noticed that my mom was using leftover glass peach containers to store food. Brilliant! So now anytime I have a leftover glass container from salsa, honey, peppers, etc. I save it.


It might not be the coolest looking container, but I don’t mind. It does the job, saves me money, reduces my waste, and keeps me plastic free!



Randoms Facts

What’s behind this blogger? I have no clue! But I have compiled a few random facts/characteristics about myself to share with all!

1) I adore carbonated water. I used to drink diet coke a lot, but I finally realized it wasn’t the taste that I loved, it was the carbonation. I can drink plain carbonated water, but flavored is always better. My favorite is the lemon raspberry from Whole Foods.


2) I have been told I have a really distinct cough. Once I was waiting for an elevator when a friend came running out from a classroom and said “I thought I heard you coughing!”

3) I am a sucker for flavored coffee. Bruegger’s always get’s me with their seasonal blends. Right now they have sea salt caramel.

4) I am not a smoker and I hate the smell of cigarettes or stale smoke, but for some reason I think clove cigarettes smell great. Totally odd, I know.

5) Eggs and cheese were pretty much made for each other. I think I could eat that combo every single day!


6) I can watch and rewatch shows/movies. Same with books. Even though I know what’s coming, I enjoy watching things multiple times. And actually, this makes most people mad, but when I am watching a series that has already ended I read ahead on the wikipedia page to know how it ends. I’m just not good with surprises.

7) I sit crossed legged a lot. If I am on the ground, in a chair, or wherever.

8) Mucus might just be the most annoying sound there is. Followed by the sound of packing tape.

9) I hate wind. When walking and it’s blowing my outfit all about, I get so frustrated.

So there you have it! Tell me something weird or random about yourself!


Fed Up

I watched this on Netflix last night. So interesting. So sad. You must watch. It’s one of  those documentaries that make you want to devote your whole life to that cause. Stop everything you are doing right now and go watch Fed Up! Then come back so we can discuss!




Living in the City

I have lived in the Twin Cities for nearly 8 years. Some days I don’t think I would live anywhere else but a larger city. Other days I think I could easily live on a secluded island. Because I have lived in a city for so long, there are certain things that I have accepted to be normal, or just don’t really notice anymore.


1) I am not phased by the sound of ambulances/sirens. When I used to live in a small town the sight of an ambulance was terrifying, mostly because it was probably picking up someone I knew. Now I don’t even notice the sound or lights anymore. I’m not sure that this is a good thing.

2) Sitting in traffic. No matter what time of the day or day of the week, you will likely hit some traffic. I was coming home on the freeway last Monday night at 9:30pm, and hit single lane, bumper to bumper traffic. It didn’t last long, but still very annoying.

3) Grocery shopping from 4pm-7pm during the week is a nightmare. Sometimes I just want to stop and look at a food label, but you can’t because you are always in someone’s way. And they are almost always in a hurry, and almost always angry. Back-up off me!

4) You can find pretty much anything you could ever want within a 5 mile radius. Making a cheeseboard and need some Roquefort? You can find that at your local co-op. And while you are there you may as well pick up some vegan marshmallows, and all natural toothpaste made from tree sap.

5) The city never shuts down. Unlike the small town that I grew up in, life doesn’t shut down by 5pm. Even on a Monday night people are out and about, drinking, dining, walking, biking, etc. I love/hate this. It makes me feel alive, and overwhelmed.

6) Parking tickets are real. Tows are even worse. I have had more parking tickets than I would like to admit to (11 or 12? I don’t even remember anymore). Some have been warranted — expired tabs. Some have not — parking 5 feet from a driveway. I have also had my fair share of tows (4 but whose counting), once I got towed from a parking lot, that I had paid to be in. And if you’ve never been to a tow lot to pick up your car, you have yet to truly see your life flash before your eyes.

What are things you no longer notice about living where live?


Friday Favorites 4/17/15

How is it April 17th already? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was planning for my Vegas trip, and now it’s been weeks since my trip ended. Now I am focusing on spring and summer, but I am sure before long it will be September!

I went to Madison last weekend, and of course one of our stops was Bluephies. Some of the best bloody marys I have ever had. I must find an equivalent in Minneapolis!


Current favorite song:

Interesting reads:

Why Sexual Consent Is Just Like Offering Someone A Cup of Tea – – So funny!

How To Clean Your Computer Screen Without Leaving Streaks

Serial Fans — Listen To The First Episode Of ‘Undisclosed,’ The New Adnan Syed Podcast


Spring, is that you?

After I wrote this ridiculous post about being cold, basically saying eff you Minnesota, eff you, Minnesota delivered. My prayers were answered and it feels like spring. Knowing the Midwest, there will probably be a blizzard mid-April, but stay tuned, I will bitch about that when it happens. Today there is no blizzard, and the sun in shining!

weather I want to cry, I am so happy with the weather today. 64 degrees may not sound all that warm, but to me it feels like the tropics. I may as well be digging out my swimsuit and blowing up my floatie! Today I walked to my car in sandals! SANDALS! And then I ate my lunch outside, without a jacket. I let the sun beat onto my face, and I almost forgot that last week at this time it was below zero, and I was walking across a frozen lake.

My roommate and I went for a long walk last night, and it almost felt therapeutic. Then I remembered that I live in a city, and I am sure that I was breathing in enough pollutants to give me cancer. Not really, I live in a fairly clean city. And I am fortunate enough to live near a string of lakes, which makes the pollution worth it, or so I keep telling myself.

Anyway, now I am on the hunt for a bike. Since I just can’t get down with running I figure the next best thing is a bike. Plus a bike is a much faster way to get to happy hour than simply walking, so really a bike is a very practical investment.


Friday Favorites 3/6/15

It’s finally happening! The cold is ending, well at least for awhile. You never really know in Minnesota. But It’s suppose to be like 45 degrees above zero by Sunday. I can’t wait! I will be walking around in shorts, not really. Well maybe.

5 Surprising Ways Mindfulness Can Change You

Dingo’s Got My Baby: Lindy Chamberlain’s Trial by Media

Manipulated. This art student manipulates her body 126 times with photoshop to show beauty ideals.

A glass of red wine is the equivalent to an hour at the gym, says new study

5 Exercise Machines You Should Never Use at the Gym

Have a great weekend!


Spring Fever

I am antsy. Life lately has got me antsy. I don’t know why but day after day I feel anxious. Like I am waiting for something to happen. But what? What am I waiting for? That’s when I narrowed it down to spring fever. I am so ready to say good bye to winter, and embrace spring. Spring is arguably my favorite season. I love when the foliage comes back, the snow melts, the days get longer, and you know summer is on the way.

I go through the same motions each year. Summer is jammed packed with every possible thing I could ever want to do. Then fall/winter comes and most of November/December I embrace having no plans. I hibernate. Then February comes and I get cabin fever. I am sick of being indoors. I am sick of wearing boots. I don’t want to wear anymore layers, no more wool socks. I can’t stand the thought of putting on another scarf, hat, or mitten. I am done. Do you hear me Minnesota? I am done with your cold temperatures!

And what I am struggling with the most right now is my routine. My morning commute is a breeze, but my evening commute gives me a headache. It makes me seriously consider building a tree fort in the middle of the woods, and becoming a hermit. Then after sitting in the car for 45 minutes, I arrive at my overly crowded gym, and do the same classes, with the same people. Then I go home and eat the same things, and watch the same shows. Day after day, the same. Hello First World Problems, my name is Nadine. This could not be more accurate for me:


The glass feels half empty, but that’s only because I drank all the beer. I know I have a really great life. Honestly. I am super happy with the way my life has been going lately. I just get so bored, so easily. I always tell myself that I am not going to get regimented in the same stuff everyday, but I always do. And part of that is the pull I feel towards the gym. I feel glued to the gym, like if I skip a day, I would gain 10 pounds. With my body, it’s entirely possible.

I let my life revolve around the weekend and that’s just stupid. I would adore getting to meet up with a friend on a random Tuesday for dinner and drinks, but that wouldn’t be good for trying to fit into my pants. But if I did start boycotting the gym, and embracing a looser schedule, I would probably enjoy my life a bit more. Sometimes I really wonder if weight loss and all that jazz is actually all that good for me. Sometimes it doesn’t feel good on my mental health. But sometimes it does. Activity realllllly helps elevate my mood, just not the same activity, week after week.

Insert spring fever here. I want to be outside. I want to get on a bike and meet a friend for dinner. I want to walk around the lake by my house, and not worry about wind burn on my cheeks. I want to explore different trails around my city. I want to paddle board, canoe, hike, camp, sit on a patio and drink, wake up before the sun and sit on my back porch with coffee.

Spring, if you’re listening, I am so completely ready for you!