Think Before You Eat

We have a big event coming up next month for work. When I say big, I mean big. (Think tens of thousands of people getting together). That means long hours and extremely high stress. That also means stress eating. I’m trying to stay healthy and in shape for a wedding I’ll be in but it’s hard. I love food.

To quit back the snacking I’ve printed out this “Think before you eat” guide.

Think before you eat guide. What I like about this: it breaks it down to how much work you really need to burn calories. Sure you could easily burn 242 calories if you do a light run but are you really going to do 88 minutes of crunches to work it off? Didn’t think so.

That mentality is what I was banking on when I printed it off. I wrote next to the times how long it takes in minutes. 2 hours and 2 minutes of running to burn off a chicken burrito is a lot more frightening than 122 minutes. Something about adding to that “hour” makes it worse.

Things I didn’t like: It’s not really realistic. Who is going to do 72 minutes of jumping rope to burn off a milkshake. If you want to burn it off you are going to run.

My intention of this was to trick myself to not snacking. It wasn’t for the actual numbers of what will burn what. It’s a general idea with a lot of foods I like (pepperoni pizza? ugh. I want it now).

So far this has been great. I put the list to my left so when I’m swinging around towards my lunchbox I see it and opt against snacking. Most days its really helped. Other days it’s helped me choose a healthier option. Instead of that sprinkled donut I wanted I’ll get a piece of toast with peanut butter or nutella. Side note: I just tried Nutella for the first time about a week ago. Now I understand the obsession with it. I want MORE.

My custom printout:

Grade: Cost: Time:
B+ Free 5 minutes to break it down into hours if you want.
Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
Nothing I really can change. I like it for what it is and what I’ve purposed it as.
Overall Impression:
Nice list. It’s been up for about 2 weeks now and has been pretty successful. I’ve had some cheat days in there. Overall it’s nice to put things into perspective.

Apartment Hunting Checklist

You may have noticed my posts have been lacking lately… that’s because…. I’m looking for an apartment! Yes! So, prepare for a score of moving, packing, and general apartment tips coming. That is hoping I find a place.

I’ve been looking for awhile. Months actually. I never realized how hard it actually is to find the right place or the hidden costs associated with apartment ownership. Being a first time renter I had a pretty naive idea of what I wanted. Requirements were: Closer to work and had to have a washer dryer in unit. You may be thinking “that’s it? What about apartment size, parking, a pool, central air, utilities included?” Laugh at me all you want, I had no idea what I was getting into.

Ok, I might have had some. My boyfriend has been renting a place for awhile. I saw through his experience some other things I did and didn’t want.

#1 parking is VERY important.

#2 it’s better to be on an upper floor. Ground floors = more bugs. (Waterbugs?? NO THANK YOU!!)

#3 Windows that work. Are they easy to break in to? Are there holes in the screen?

#4 noise around the apartment. You don’t realize how annoying a train is until you’re trying to watch a movie with the windows open during rush hour. Just forget it.

#5. KITCHEN! Galley kitchens are terrible…. If you like to cook (like I do) then you need space (specifically counter and cabinet space.

As I’ve been going through this process I’ve been fortunate to have some Pinterest friends going through the same ordeals. They’ve been pinning moving posts, and I’ve been repinning them. One of the things I repinned was this apartment hunting checklist.

Like I said, I had no idea what I was getting into. This checklist gave me a nice idea of other things I should be looking for “parking fee”. WOAH! Called one place only to find out that EACH parking space would be an additional $100 a month. They’re crazy…. I wanted to say “Oh, so that great deal of a rent you have going is only for people who don’t own cars….

One of the really nice things about this list is that it gives you space to mark off approximately how much each utility would cost. So that apartment that’s advertised as $900 a month may really be closer to $1200 after ulilities, parking fees, rental fees, and other various costs….

It’s a very thorough list but not complete. I wish it had a check mark for central vs window unit AC and coin laundry vs “free” laundry. Most of the list can be filled out ahead of time depending on the ad or the information on the apartment website, but some places show outdated photos and the information isn’t always recent either.

Here’s to hoping I find the right place soon so I can get back to the really fun projects.

Grade: Cost: Time:
B+ Free 10 min to fill out for each apt.
Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
Be more specific. What kind of A/C and heat? When were things last replaced? Is the laundry “free” or coin operated?
Overall Impression:
Nice list. More experienced renters and owners could add 50 more things to this list, but for someone new to the ballgame this was a nice list to have.


DIY Mason Jar Luminaries

DIY Mason Jar Luminaries with instructions on

Pretty right? That’s what I thought too! We were planning an end of summer pool party and I thought these would be perfect for lighting up the steps after dark. The original project comes from

What you need:

  • Mason Jars
  • Glass beads
  • Hot glue gun
  • Battery operated candles

The project is simple after that, just start gluing the stone around the outside of the mason jar. (I started near the lid and worked my way down. I continued my beads up onto the bottom of the jar and then turned them upside down so the lid was on the ground. I thought this would disperse the light better in the area.

Unfortunately, our pool party was rained out so I never got to check how it worked at night. I had tested it in our bathroom with the lights off and door closed and it really shone bright!

Now for the downside…. The beads kept falling off! Not all of them, but just enough to be annoying. I think I just didn’t use enough hot glue (even though I used a LOT!). Quite a number of stones fell off just after a good rainstorm.

I think this could be great if

A. You use a lot more glue or a stronger glue that attaches to glass.

B. Nobody ever touches or moves these.

Grade: Cost: Time:
B+ $15 for 5 jars and the beads  10 Minutes each jar
Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
Use a stronger glue. The beads kept falling off in spots I didn’t use enough glue. Even the rain was enough to knock some off.
Overall Impression:
Really easy and cute. Great for outdoor parties. Using a stronger glue is my only real recommendation.



Dandelion Artwork

Last year I made a new picture for our bathroom out of scrapbook paper.

It was perfect for the time but out color scheme started to move away from the pinks towards the teals and browns.

Since quotes are all the rage right now, we wanted to have something short and sweet put into the frame. I searched my quotes board and we agreed upon this one:

“When you look into a field of dandelions, you can either see a hundred weeds or a hundred wishes”.

The quote was on a piece of artwork that someone had created. It’d be easy enough to recreate but we didn’t have a canvas, and printing this out would look silly.

Time to get creative…. I googled images of dandelions. Originally I thought a simple artistic dandelion would do. Then I was leaning towards black and white images of real dandelions. I’m glad I didn’t choose that. Since my frame was brown it’d just look silly. That’s when I found this image on Google. It was perfect. I cropped it to the inside dimension of the frame (7.5 X 9.5) using photoshop. There are plenty of free websites you can use if you don’t have that.

Next was placement of the text. I tried a variety of fonts but finally settled on using Zippity Do which I used on my Porch Rules sign. I think it’s actually becoming my new favorite font. Strawberry Limeade came in a very VERY close second but we agreed it wasn’t as readable.

The final piece:


Grade: Cost: Time:
A+ Free 10 -20 Minutes
Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
Customizable. I love this as is.
Overall Impression:
No joke, this took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish. Once we had the quote picked, everything else pretty much fell together. I think I actually like this better than the scrapbook flower I had originally.

Side French Braid With A Fishtail Twist

I wasn’t quite sure what to call this braid. It starts as a french braid on the side, then picks up pieces from the other side like a fishtail. Hence why I have now dubbed it… “French Fishtail“.

It’s supposed to look like this:

If you know how to french braid and make a fishtail then this should be fairly easy.

  • Separate your hair into two sections, one large and one small.
  • Grab the small section on the side and begin to french braid.
  • When you get about halfway down, you’ll begin to piece in the larger section.
  • Grab from the inner-most part of the large section and wrap it around the outside of the large loose section. (like a fishtail.) The loose hair should now be lightly wrapped in ithis strand of hair.
  • Take the small strand and begin to weave it into the rest of your french braid. Continue until you reach the bottom of the braid or the end of the large section.

I preffered to sweep it over my shoulder like a side braid for the day.

French Fishtail Braid with tutorial on

Grade: Cost: Time:


Free 10 Minutes
Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
Take smaller pieces to wrap them into the braid. Maybe try this with damp hair to make it crisper, though I liked the messy form I had going.
Overall Impression:
Different. I haven’t seen a braid like this before. I felt like I could wear this both at work or out somewhere casual. It’s a very versatile hairstyle.

Graduates in Wonderland – Book Review

I can’t even begin to tell you how many book lists I’ve pinned with Graduates in Wonderland on it.

If you were curious and haven’t checked out my “Books Worth Reading” board, why not take a look? I can only dream of reading all the books on it.

Written by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale, it follows the life of two friends after graduating from college. The book is comprised of e-mails written back and forth between the two during a three year period.

Graduates in Wonderland - The Memoirs of Two (Almost) Adults - Review on Pintertesting. I’m not one for reading autobiographical novels. If I’m going to read a novel, I just prefer it to be fiction. Why is this? I’m not sure. I guess I associate nonfiction with boring… Graduated in Wonderland was not boring. In fact, I don’t recall a single boring moment of this book. I’m pretty picky on my books, but this book I would give a 10/10. It was funny, sad, exciting, heartbreaking, and most importantly it was true. Knowing that what I was reading really happened blew this out of the water for me. What I loved most was how realistic these women were.

I’m sure that there is a lot of their life they cut out or summed up, but what they did leave in was brilliant.

“Sam’s found temp work in Sydney but is planning to find a way to move to Melbourne sometime after I start my master’s program (if I get in). If I don’t get in, then I have no idea what I’ll do. Maybe move to the Chinese countryside to sell eggs, as I’ve always feared, because I’ll have no other option”

If someone asked me what life is like after graduating I would hand them this book. I graduated a few years ago (yes, years with an “s”), so this book hit home. I thought it’d be a dull memoir, or one full of two girls bragging about what they did. Instead it’s literary gold. I’d honestly recommend every college graduate to read this book. I’m sure even high school graduates could agree.

It’s witty, fun, full of emotion, fast paced and a great well written book. I can only judge this from the perspective of someone who just graduated, but I’m sure all ages (meaning HS graduate and up) could enjoy this.

I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite scenes:

“Speaking of half-bloods, have I told you that I’ve been reading the final Harry Potter book? During my first week here, I was desperate and it was the only English book I could find. However, I made the mistake of first buying a fake one off the street. It was called Harry Potter and Leopard Walk-Up to Dragon. It was essentially bad translations of the Lord of the Rings, with Harry Potter characters inserted. I’ll try to send one to you. Here’s how it begins: “Harry doesn’t know how long it will take to wash the sticky cream cake off his face. For a civilised young man it is disgusting to have dirt on any part of his body.” He sounds a little OCD to me in this version. Fucking gold. Read it and weep, J.K. Rowling”

Grade: Cost: Time:




Library = Free(but worth buying) Took me about 3 days. It’s 285 pages. I read about a year a day.
Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
I wish they had a blog I could follow to keep up with these two. I want to know what happens next. Oh wait, what’s that??
Overall Impression:
Inspiring, emotional, hilarious. One of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. It was a surprise book and I cannot be grateful enough for finding it.

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

There was a sale last week on bananas at our local grocery store. I bought more than usual because we’re always running out. Bananas are our go to food before working out, in place of breakfast, and for general snacking. I thought “a few more couldn’t hurt”. Then I remembered that half my family was going on a vacation so those bananas were just going to sit. I had a whole bunch (6 to be exact) that were going bad.

About a week or so prior I was looking for different bread recipes to use up some greek yogurt I had. That was set to go bad in another week so I was coming under a time crunch. Expiring greek yogurt…rotting bananas….  It was like the stars aligned.

I intended to add the recipe on here, but the original site has a great format for letting you print the recipe out. Check them out here.

I didn’t have the whole wheat graham flour, so I substituted more regular flour in its place. I also excluded the nuts. I brought a loaf in to work and didn’t want to add nuts in case someone was allergic.



Grade: Cost: Time:
A Will run you maybe $5-$10. These are basics, so most you should already have Prep: 10 Minutes

Cook: 1 Hour

Cool time: 15 Minutes

Level of Difficulty:
What I Would Change:
I enjoyed it as it. I did not use the wheat flour. We only had regular.
Overall Impression:
I found that I enjoyed this banana bread more than most other recipies I’ve tried. This bread was moist and the banana flavor was just right. I agree with the original poster of this recipe that you need to use 6 bananas.

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