Four Things

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I think everyone should try their own Face the Foliage project in the spirit of changing leaves and all things fall. What a good opportunity to take a mindful walk and make art.

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This sweet potato round-up is seriously good. I’m between these tempting noodles with cashew sauce (?!) and the sweet potato peanut stew. Yeah. Sweet potato peanut stew.

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My next read, if only to watch the movie after.

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I can’t stop watching these mesmerizing animations of Nigerian hairstyles. What a cool art project.

 

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Fall Outfits in Three Moods

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The Look: Alpine Meadow

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The Essentials:  A floral dress in the colors of your soft clutch and bright pumps

The Mood: Energized

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The Look: Franco Feet

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The Essentials: A graphic sweater and ankle pants with french loafers and subtle textured socks in velvet or sheer

The Mood: Mysterious

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The Look: Urban Witch

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The Essentials: Purchase this rare celestial shirt and pair it with raw-hem denim. Find delicate gold charm-like jewelry to make this ensemble sophisticated, not angsty.

The Mood: Powerful

 

Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-Kept my boyfriend’s birthday gift a secret for a whole month and surprised him with a kayaking trip through downtown Chicago!
-Kept eating right, kept exercising, kept losing weight.
-Took a sick day and felt better for it. It’s hard to know when you are really sick and when rest will fix it. Hint: rest will always fix it.

Intentions
-Schedule group personal training and other exercise opportunities (read: hiking, dancing) for the upcoming months
-Stay one day ahead of schedule so flying to a wedding this weekend is zero stress
-Really, TRULY stay up to date on the blog

Intended
-meet my blog goals. Sorry for the inconsistency, guys!
-My Climb Like a Girl program is almost over. I need to set a new personal challenge.

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Discovery

I really enjoy the personal challenge that comes with each new theme. September was all about resiliency, which translated for me as a strength and firmness. I am excited to learn and evoke more playfulness with October’s theme: Discovery.

October brings the first brisk bites of fall weather, with the accompanying sense of opportunity. It is a time of year that people consume all sorts of flavors we neglect the rest of the year: apple, pumpkin, nutmeg, mace, squash! The same goes for color and texture. The other day I bought goldenrod high heels and a royal blue velvet clutch. Granted, the purchases were for a specific wedding outfit, but the color and texture were so unlike me! I think I caught a little bit of this autumn influence.

October brings instant thoughts of festivals and Halloween. A month of celebration and adventure, people from all walks of life partake in a bit of blatant paganism. Expect a post on the vital relationship between women and their personal witchiness. It’s coming.

My personal resolutions for discovery including learning something new, trying on a new viewpoint or lifestyle, and trying something I think I don’t like (swimming, pickles, etc.).

Expect invigorating challenges, new things, whimsical stories, and the expected spookiness on the blog this October.

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Wake Me Up When September Ends?

I feel like I sort of blacked out during the month of September. Everything started out fine, and is still fine really, but I lost my focus. I stayed busy and did what I needed to do, but this blog definitely fell back in priority.

Kudos to your readership, though, because we maintained our following with only 11 posts in the month. I am working to maintain some regularity with posts throughout October. I have a lot of great drafts in the works and hope to publish them in the coming weeks. Thank you for sticking with me!

September’s theme was resiliency. Here were some of my early September thoughts on the topic.

I can be resilient.

Resilience requires constance. A commitment to one way- the harder way, usually. I commit to a job that makes me weary but brings the weary up. I commit to food I need even if it’s not the food that I want. I commit to moving when all I want to do is be still.

I think that is how to be resilient. Commit to a few hard things.

I am happy to say that, now in October, I did these things. I started some ass-kicking weight training, I went outdoor rock climbing, my boyfriend and I kayaked through downtown Chicago. Oh, and I lost 10 pounds and counting. It’s been a strengthening month.

Here is a collection of posts from this month on the theme of resilience:
Strategies for Resilience
Learning to Ride a Bike
5 Rules for Your Side Hustle
Game Changing Workout Gear
On Female Friendship
What I Ate in 10 Days

Thanks for sticking with me!

Related: The Best of August on The Wonder Of

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Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-I forgot my keys. It’s definitely Monday.
-I went rock climbing outside  !!!!!!
-I am rectified in CPR.

Intentions
-meet my blog goals. Sorry for the inconsistency, guys!

-My Climb Like a Girl program is almost over. I need to set a new personal challenge.

Intended
-Climb a V2 at the rock wall
-I’m climbing outside and camping this weekend!
-Get more sleep. (Tuesday night maybe?)
-Do more things that aren’t Netflix. Bike. Play piano. Play a long game of chess.

What I Ate in 10 Days

Taking control of eating and spending habits requires resiliency. Here is an account of me saying no to doughnuts because they look better than they taste, but sometimes saying yes to cake for the opposite reason.

Saturday
5:48: I don’t know why I am awake, showered, and dressed at 5:48 on a Saturday morning. I am sipping lukewarm coffee and working on the blog. ☕️

7:30: My classic green goddess smoothie. I have this almost every day, so photos and recipe cwill be found below.

8:45 I’m glad this week isn’t the money diary because I just dropped my car off for repairs. 😱 Anyway, we are downtown getting a lavender latte because Pickwick (Now Hero coffee?) is literally the cutest coffee shop in the whole world.

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I ended up eating 1/3 of my boyfriend’s Manhattan Bagel. 10/10 would have again.

1:30 We tried to go to a football game. That turned into a fruitless 45 minute bike ride followed by a frustrating moving of the car from one shop to another, and finally, a desperate stop at Potbelly. I ate the whole classic smoked ham and swiss sandwich (with tomato and lettuce, please!) along with some tangy salt and vinegar chips and an S. Pellegrino that I sourced from my refrigerator. Then I had a Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cup. 🚴

6:00 A post rock climbing feast at Green Street Smoked Meats. While I really only needed half of either, I ate all of a serving of pulled pork and loaded baked beans. No regrets.

9:00 A mini Trader’s Joe peanut butter cup while I soberly sipped water with my friends. Later: 1 (maybe 2?) baby pigs in a blanket and many, many tortilla chips.

Sunday

11:00 I had a lazy morning of sipping coffee until suddenly the coffee hit and I was STARVING. I hangrily rampaged the kitchen and whipped together a winning brunch of one pot bacon, green beans, and potato.

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12:00 A handful of pretzels I think, a chocolate covered banana, chunky monkey ice cream… skipping breakfast was not a great strategy.

4:00 Woops, I took a long nap. 2 dark chocolate peanut butter cups and a bowl of popcorn, because I haven’t been grocery shopping yet. I washed and prepped kale, which is almost like eating it.

7:30 Kale and butterbeans! 🍲

9:30 One more peanut butter cup and like 10 more pretzels (oops)

Monday

8:00 Another hangry day, because I have fasting bloodwork sometime between 9 and 12. This appointment and its many requirements means that I have the day off work.

8:54 I am so hungry.

9:26 I’m not getting less hungry.

9:54 Like, coffee would be nice. I wouldn’t mind not eating if I could have a hot drink.

10:12 Seriously, how long can this appointment last?

10:35 The nurse just guessed that I am run by looking at my legs. HIGH PRAISE.

11:35 Okay, I went a little crazy.
I just consumed:
-a egg and cheddar biscuit with butter and jam
-a chocolate almond croscent
-leftover kale and butter beans
-two cups of coffee
-a handful of pretzels

All at once. I really didn’t spread it out. This is a case for eating small meals throughout the day, also a valid argument for not skipping breakfast.

5:30 Taco night! I had mine on kale to compensate for my wild and crazy brunch.

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10:30 Sneaking snacks of pita chips and hummus before bed.

Tuesday

7:30 My school week breakfast and lunch routine is pretty consistent. The night before I make a green goddess smoothie.🍐🍌🍐🍌🍐Having that with coffee!

11:00 I have a snack of carrots and celery in garlic hummus. I clean my teeth and garlic breath with a giant honeycrisp apple.

1:00 Lunch is always last night’s leftovers on a bed of kale and spring mix lettuce. Tacos were made up of sweet potato, black bean, corn, onion, and red pepper. Add a lime wedge and enjoy! And then an orange. Everyone loves the smell of fresh citrus. It’s a pleasant aroma that lingers.

6:00 Our meal that was so good I forgot to take pictures followed by a chocolate cake with too many shortcuts and a decedent icing.

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8:46 Too many tastings of the icing. My stomach hurts, bad.

9:48 Still feeling bad. Maybe it was taking medicine with the cake? Dad swears by coconut water to cure acid reflux. I had some. It seems to help.

Wednesday

7:30 I wasn’t kidding about the consistency. Green goddess smoothie and coffee. I owe you some photos and recipes!

11:00 My afternoon carrots and celery in garlic hummus with a side of giant honeycrisp apple.🍎

1:00 More taco on kale followed by an orange. 🍊

5:00 Sneaking in a baked potato with olive oil, salt and pepper before my climbing class. I meant to pack tomorrow’s lunch before I left, but…

5:20 Popcorn with olive oil and BOTH Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Sorry not sorry. Those were followed by two hours of working out. 💪🏾✌🏾

9:45 Pita chips and hummus.

Thursday

7:30 Green goddess smoothie and fresh coffee! Here’s the smoothie recipe. Instead of almond butter, I use almond flour.

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11:00 Carrots and celery in garlic hummus with a side of giant honeycrisp apple.

1:00 More taco on kale followed by an orange. I brought my canteen of coffee today, and that is a much needed pick-me-up this afternoon. ☕️

6:00 Leftover Indian food from earlier in the week!

8:30 Instead of popcorn and chocolate, I had a few pistachios and then I blended banana and cocoa powder together. It tasted like dark chocolate pudding but it was essentially the nutritional value of a banana. Brilliant.

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Friday

7:30 Basically the same food day as yesterday. A green goddess smoothie and fresh coffee for breakfast.

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11:00 Snack time: carrots and celery in garlic hummus with a side of giant honeycrisp apple.

1:00 More taco on kale followed by an orange. I sipped from my canteen of coffee while I had a surprisingly DELICIOUS birthday cake from the teacher’s lounge. A great way to celebrate Friday (and my principal’s birthday). ☕️🎈 🎂🎉

6:00 Leftover Indian food from earlier in the week, and a big bowl of popcorn.

Saturday

7:30 First breakfast: banana bread loaded (unnecessarily) with butter. Much coffee.

10:00 Second breakfast: a brat burger grilled fresh at the farmer’s market.

1:30 An extraordinarily late delivery of our order from a great little place called Two Cats Cafe. I had a curried omelette, the Morning in Mumbai, unsweetened turkish coffee, and a nutella strawberry banana smoothie.

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5:30 Mom’s potato soup, which tastes like cozy nights in the warm kitchen during cold weather months. Followed by Mom’s pistachio salad. There was a bite of a “cookie” from my brother in there- that cookie turned out to be a spicy cracker. I was so surprised that I I just spit it out.

8:00 A huge cuppa coffee as I hit the road. 🚘

11:30 A much needed slice of late night pizza as I returned home. 🍕

Sunday

8:30 You know how you microwave a frozen burrito and it is frozen on the outside so you end up putting it in for 4 minutes like three different times and then it is lava hot on the inside? Yeah. Bonus points for this burrito being homemade, and for my boyfriend and I have the foresight to freeze it for later. 10 points to Gryffindor!

11:04 Hmm. I’m still hungry.

12:00 Okay, I went to the grocery store and picked up some fruit so I could make a peanut-butter strawberry banana smoothie. Very good. Very filling.

5:30 Gardetto’s. A desperate snack on the road.

7:30 Potato soup (Thanks mom!), grilled cheese and apple cider.

Monday

8:45 I spent like an hour this morning making all of my meals for today and half of tomorrow, and then left without my breakfast smoothie! Luckily, my very thoughtful boyfriend was willing to meet me halfway to work and drop it off. Love the green goddess smoothie and getting all the good stuff in first thing in the morning. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget my coffee.

11:00 You know the drill. Hummus and carrots and celery! Then my honeycrisp apple.

1:00 Veggies on a bed of kale, an orange. An S. Pellegrino because I need a little crisp fizzy pick me up.

6:00 Leftover pizza and a cup of strawberries during my climbing break, and some coconut water to replenish those electrolytes!

 

Thanks for reading my food diary! You learn a lot about yourself and your habits when you track your lifestyle in this way. Next up: money diary. Any suggestions for habit diaries?

 

Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-I’m really tired.
-Spent precious time with my family.
-Spent a lovely Sunday afternoon watching my boyfriend play with the Elgin Symphony.
-Trained hard at the rock wall and had healthy meals planned in advance (food diary coming soon!) and watched the number on the scale go down.

Intentions
-Climb a V2 at the rock wall
-I’m climbing outside and camping this weekend!
-Get more sleep. (Tuesday night maybe?)
-Do more things that aren’t Netflix. Bike. Play piano. Play a long game of chess.

Intended
-Get my car fixed for significantly less than the car is worth (goodbye, Midas. It’s over.)
-Adjust work/life balance. The first week of school had me there two hours early and two hours late most days. I am paid for a 40 hour week, not 60. Figure out how to get it all done efficiently. Lists. Lots of lists.
-Visit my family.
-Keep working on that side hustle. Finally hang advertisement for private lessons.
-Do all of my food prep at the beginning of the week!
-Don’t purchase anything except groceries and maybe one more pair of leggings for my climbing training
-Get consistent with the blog!

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20 T-Shirts You Need this Fall

Everyone says that fall is all about layering, and we go on and on about the outer layer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cozy sweater or flannel. But don’t forget your trusty base layer: the quirky tee. I have one statement t-shirt that I wear every chance I get and I would love to have any one of these!

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Pick Flowers Not Fights
If I could wear t-shirts to school…

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Happy Camper
Because I am happy when I’m a camper!

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Far Out

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Peachy

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Peach

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Cherry Pickin’

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Cactus Crew

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Please Don’t Talk To Me

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lol You Wild

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Man Eater

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Good Vibes

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You Little Shit

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Electric West

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Joshua Tree

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Mountain Moons

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Serenity

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Grand Canyon

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Berlin Manhole Cover

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Good Sport

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No Bad Days

 

On Female Friendship

Image from Glossier

When I was in high school, I boasted about the fact that I had no girlfriends.

It was trés cool to roll with the boys. And that’s what I did! Forever the friend, I drove my buddies in my mom’s minivan to heavy metal concerts and we pulled off the most ridiculous stunts at band practice. Sometimes we would break into an abandoned “haunted” house just to have the shit scared out of us and other times we would watch bad movies and recreate the gross signature meal. I’m looking at you, Troll 2 Nilbog Pie. I have grown distant from these friends, but I love and miss those guys, and they shaped who I am today.

I remember the first time I made a real, reliable girlfriend. The kind that you click with instantly and remember forever. I was away, traveling, and when I met these girls from bigger and faster cities, for the first time I felt like I was listened to completely, and more than that: I felt heard.

I was not the butt of the jokes with this crew, and intelligence and argumentativeness were validating qualities. They were funny and danced with ease and comfort. They felt like all of the good parts of femininity that I had been stuffing away so that I felt cool and accepted with the boys.

Flash forward:

In college, I was back to my old ways of worrying about whether or not I was accepted as one of the guys. When I wasn’t concerned about my friendships with some, I was pursuing romantic interest with others. I keep in touch with a number of them, but the people that I will always love are the women that spent time with. What I miss most are late night debates about the politics of colonial America (?) or playing tunes on the porch a lazy Sunday morning with all the girls. I will never forget the minutes that felt like hours during which we considered all of our pizza options and everyone’s personal tastes before inevitably settling on Hawaiian. I not one single women entered my life as a friend and abandoned me as a friend. Every female friendship I have made in the last 5 years has lasted and developed and has been deeply meaningful.

I am so excited that now, in my formative years of adulthood, I am learning how to seek out these independent women to have in my life as supporters and friends. I made my first new friend in my new city 6 months after moving! I realize now that you can’t meet new people when you sit on your couch and watch Netflix. By learning how to rock climb, I have made one new friend, who shared her friends with me (even bringing me to a B.Y.O.F. party… Bring Your Own Friend!). I have recently joined a group of women training to be better and stronger climbers, I am amazed at the ease of new friends who want to put themselves out of their comfort zone and learn something new. When my friend joined a rowing course, she noted how few men were on the beginner team, and said “of course it’s all women signing up and trying new things!” Of course there are adventurous men signing up and trying new things, but one of the amazing qualities about women who seek personal independence is that they aren’t afraid of something new and different.

This new group of women I have been climbing with is already very special to me because we can all share a sense of camaraderie formed from being awkward and uncomfortable together, laughing at these struggles, and drawing power from them.

So here is to long and lasting friendships with great women.

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Image from Glossier