Saturday, May 31, 2014


It's been a wild few days in London, but it's time to move on! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Manchester, England in a Snapshot

I've spent the last 5 days in Manchester, England and it has been magical! As with my post from Ireland, here are just a few photos to tide you over! 

Chester Cathedral

Blue John Cavern

Chatswick Hall

See you in London!! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ireland in pictures

I plan on posting a full recap when I return, but until then, I'm alive!

See you in England!!

Monday, May 19, 2014


TODAY IS THE DAY!!  I am leaving for Europe today!! Depending on when you're reading this, I'm either en route to JFK or sitting at JFK for six hours. Since I'm traveling so long today, I'm teaming up with Emma Powers and RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car rental service in the US.

Emma contacted me a couple weeks ago with a fun challenge. She said that RelayRides was hosting a "Road Trip Essentials" campaign and would like people to create collages of what participants HAVE to have when traveling. 

Granted, I'm not going on a road trip, but I do bring all of the same travel necessities with me on plane trips and road trips. Here is a small collage of what I need to bring on any travel and keep in my purse!

[made by Photovisi]
Top left: Miscellaneous items
---This trip is including handy wipes, my cellphone charger, and deodorant. I don't know about any one else, but riding in a car or riding on a plane for an extended period of time, I feel gross and smelly. The wipes and the deodorant are to help me freshen up on the go.

Top right: Snacks
---If you know me in person, you know that I LOVE to eat. In fact, if you look at my Instagram, there are probably as many pictures of  food items as there are running/running related items. My mom got a killer deal on Larabars at the grocery store yesterday (10 for $10, with the 11th free) and I made two GIANT bags of trail mix. Think I have enough snacks for a month?

Bottom left: Travel Buddy
---I'm nearly 24 years old, but I cannot go anywhere without my Moose. I can't sleep without him and I thought I forgot him on my trip back to IL (that's where I flew out of), but my sneaky mom picked him up and smuggled him to our first hotel to surprise me. He has been to various SE states as well as to Costa Rica. He's super excited to go to Europe (or though I'm assuming). It'll be nice to have a tiny bit of home with me during my travels.

Bottom Right: Reading materials
---I have two magazines for my flight and my time to kill in JFK, then I put two books on my Kindle. I figure (and am hoping) that the only time I will have to read will be during my travel, so I'm hoping that this is enough reading for the duration of my trip! I don't do well if I try to read in a car/bus, so this will be for flights or when I can't feel myself moving ;) 

And these are some of my travel essentials!! Not very exciting, but totally me! Not pictured: My water bottle that goes EVERYWHERE with me. Also, I will miss you guys a BUNCH and will try to post (at least wellness updates), but I will most likely not be commenting on anyone's blogs. Just wait patiently for me ;) 

What are some of your travel essentials?

Edited to add: the original post included quoted information directly from the email I received. The excerpt from the email has since been removed, per request of RelayRide. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Osteoporosis Awareness Month

I received an e-mail from Mario Trucillo from the American Recall Center indicating that May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Were any of you aware of that, because I sure wasn't!  Mario was kind enough to share some information with me about osteoporosis, much of which is outlined in this infographic that Mario was kind enough to provide me with:

Hip fractures cost more than $11 billion a year ($37,000 a patient!). That's INSANE!

In addition to what was provided to me by the American Recall Center, I did some research to find out what we can do, as men and women, to prevent osteoporosis. Here's what I found from this source:

1. Get enough calcium
  • Males and females 9 to 18 years: 1,300 mg per day
  • Women and men 19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg per day
  • Pregnant or nursing women up to age 18: 1,300 mg per day
  • Pregnant or nursing women 19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg per day
  • Women and men over 50: 1,200 mg per day
I know that as a vegetarian who doesn't drink milk, I may not be getting enough calcium. However, I do monitor my intake.

2. Get enough Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and it is recommended that adults ingest 200-600 IU daily
  • Good sources of Vitamin D include: supplemented dairy products, but the best way to ingest the appropriate amount is to take supplements

3. Exercise regularly 

I know that I do this one for sure!! Doctors believe that moderate exercise (3-4 times a week) is effective for the prevention and management of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, running, and weight lifting, are considered to be the best options. 

If you'd like more information, please visit this website:

What do you do to decrease your risk of osteoporosis?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Injury Update

First of all, thank you ALL so much on your input for job searching. I'm interviewing for a job today and am still waiting to hear back from my job of a lifetime (they seemed really interested in me and then haven't responded in about a week, so maybe I jinxed it by asking your guys' opinions ;) ). I'm hoping for the best, though! Positive thinking based on that e-mail I responded to a week ago! 

It's been a while since I've last updated you on the hamstring. I'm still not running, and I was hoping to be running this week, but my hamstring was tight from a long road trip these last two days. I'm going to give myself another week to recover, and I'm hoping to start running again while I'm in Europe. In the mean time, I've been loving the combination of elliptical and weights or rowing machine and weights. The rower is my new favorite.

I can still look ugly

I finished physical therapy last Monday and I have to be honest, it wasn't really much of anything. On my first day, I rode the bike for ten minutes, had a consultation with the therapist, stretched for ten minutes, then he massed me and iced me for 15 more minutes. The next two sessions, I rode the bike for 10 minutes, did squats, leg presses, calf stretches, stretched for 10 minutes, massaged and iced again. That was it for physical therapy. Also, the massages left me stiffer than I would have expected them too.

I'm keeping on with my stretching and, like I already mentioned, I am hoping to be able to start running again starting next week. I really am feeling a lot better, but I have to admit, I'm scared to start running again. It seemed as though the doctor was expecting me to run before I see him again on the 23rd of June, so I know I will have to suck it up and get out there!

I miss these guys

P.S. I leave for Europe in 6 days. Can you believe that? I'm planning on attempting to blog from my phone while I am still there (most likely photo dumps with a few words), but don't expect TOO much from me (not that I've been giving you a lot lately, anyway) because I'm trying not to be glued to my phone like I am here! 

Has an injury ever kept you out longer than you anticipated? How attached are you to your cell phone?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

If You Could....

Now that grad school is over and being a mermaid doesn't seem like an appropriate answer to what my next move is, I have been looking at jobs in my field. I haven't been really actively seeking anything, as I leave for Europe in 12 days (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!), but it seems like some good might be coming my way. I have a couple interviews set up with prospective jobs, but I'm curious to know everyone's opinion on some things. I think I have my mind sort of made up about which job I want if I am offered it, but I'm not sure.

If you had the opportunity to work abroad for at least 2 years, in your field, would you take it? Keep in mind that the salary is (very) low, but the benefits are high (think housing, utilities, etc.). Also, the job is in a beautiful vacation destination and the cost of living is very low. The job seems like a great fit to your skills, background, and interests and is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity, but you have a lot of student loans to worry about.

Would you take the first job that interviews you just because it interests you or would you shop around?

Would you interview for a job that you applied for even if you are not really 100% sure that you're interested in that job?

Would you take a job that kept you in the states, but says that it is "flex scheduling" which may mean that it is not continuous work?

How would you handle bills/finance that you have or does that not play a role in your decision making during job searching?

Life is all about taking chances and I am at a point in my life where I am not tied down (Team forever alone ;) ) and will never have this time or opportunities again. It's scary and exciting, but totally wonderful to be at this stage in my life!

I'm excited and nervous, but welcome all opinions and input as I begin my job search! Does anyone have experience teaching abroad?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Should Graduate More Often

...or not, because it's exhausting. But I really do love being the center of attention ;)

As many of you know, I graduated on Saturday!!

Master of Science

My parents have been here since Friday and it's been a non-stop flurry of activities. When they got in, we got dinner right away, went grocery shopping, and then I went out. On Saturday, I went to undergraduate graduation, because 4 of my best friends (plus 15 of my other close friends) graduated, then I ran home and got my parents and returned for my ceremony. After that, I took my parents to a graduation party with the Lambda Chis (my guy friends are in that fraternity) and they had a BLAST!

Hawaiian themed

Never would I have ever expected that my conservative father would have a blast at a fraternity party, but he did.

On Sunday, my mom and I went to the beach before we took my dad to a baseball game. After the game, my mom and I went to another friend's graduation party (this was much more calm).

Yesterday, I had my last physical therapy appointment (I am hoping to run in the next two weeks). Then, we went to the beach again, where we saw two sharks, pelicans, and my mom had a run-in with some waves. She's fine,  she just took a few tumbles and her bathing suit got filled with sand, but it was hilarious. 

Afterwards, we came home and I went to work! After work, I came home and one of my best friends, D, came over for tacos with my parents and I. I think that was the most relaxing we had done since Friday. I opted out of getting margaritas with my girlfriends (who am I?) and decided to go to bed early instead! 

This weekend was definitely a whirlwind weekend, and I think graduating was just as hard as grad school itself...

What was the highlight of your weekend? Was it busy or relaxing?