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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Reflections and Intentions

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Image and listpiration from Shutterbean

Reflections
-Survived the first week of school!
-Not only survived, but arrived hours early each day, was consistent with my students, and supported them at their football game over the weekend
-Went climbing… twice!… as pre-training for my training for my upcoming outdoor climb
-Walked and biked and ate kale every day and lost weight

Intentions
-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!

Intended
-Join Brooklyn Boulder’s “Climb Like a Girl” program and enroll in REI’s outdoor climb!
-Figure out my morning exercise. Yoga? Long walks? Biking?
-pick up some side work like coaching, teaching lessons, leading choir… thins I enjoy (peel Lyft stickers off car and switch to cheaper insurance 🙂  )
-stay busy and happy and engaged every day

Strategies for Resilience

I have said before that I think we should make resolutions throughout the year. As I am readjusting to a work schedule, I am quickly reminded of how difficult it is to stay happy and healthy while working full time. Here are some of my strategies for staying active and alert this year, but also in just the coming weeks.

 

Sign up for fitness opportunities that are outside of your comfort zone!
Rock climbing, rowing, paddle boarding, kayaking, biking… whatever! Whatever is new and different and scares you just a little bit. Trust me. It is so good for you to be out of your comfort zone.

Do something alone.
Take a trip. Go downtown just because. Take yourself to dinner and a movie.

What do you love the most? Do that a lot.
For me, that is camping. I vow to camp at least once a month until it is way too cold.

Reconnect with your passions.
I became a music teacher because I love music, but I only play when I have an event coming up. Solutions: schedule an event, join a group, go to jam sessions, etc..

Have a job just for fun.
My boyfriend and I are hanging up posters for giving music lessons, because we get to work one on one with students and make a little extra money in the evenings. In addition to having a pleasant working experience, we are also building a small financial cushion to help during those unpaid summer months or career transitions.

Make new friends. (And keep the old!)
I made exactly one friend in my first year living in Chicago! I also made friendly coworkers, but that’s different. It is amazing how happy and relaxing it is to spend time with another person, and to get out of the house to do something with them. This year I want to continue making friends, and will work harder to visit my friends in Chicago and beyond.

Don’t disconnect.
There are a lot of ways to distance yourself from difficult work. Last year, I became closed off at times. I would avoid calling my family because I didn’t want to share the details of my day or week, and would be quiet and angry when I would get home. I would just sit on the couch fuming for hours! I realize now that I need to take some time to myself, like a 30 minute walk, or listening to upbeat music on the drive home, and then I need to reach out to the people who love me and share my day and listen to theirs! Connect with the people you love.

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The Best of August on The Wonder Of

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On travel

Backpacking in Banff National Park

Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike

Hiking in Jasper National Park

Vacations: Good, Bad, and Beautiful

In the City

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Entertainment

Book Lists

Unexpected Party Playlist

5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Roadtrip (Or Right Now!)

Books I Read This Summer

Every Movie I Watched this Summer

I’ve Never Played Poker Before

Ten Best Album Covers of Summer 2017

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Outer Space

Space is my Jam

Eclipse Experiences in 5 Regions

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Professionals Series

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Applying for Jobs

10 Ways to Get Ahead and Get the Job

Dress for Success: The Professional

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Reflection

On Ritual

Changing Mindset

True Crime

Weekend Getaway

Resiliency

 

 

Resiliency

Wow, the last day of August. I know officially we have 22 days of summer left, but unofficially today feels like the last day. It is time to go back to school and back to work. It is time to think about money and how much money you can justify spending on warm sweaters and apple cider and how much money you should just put in your retirement account. Maybe I’m the only one who stopped thinking about money by July? Anyway. It is time to get life back in order.

We have had loose themes the last few months, including Nature Week and our Professionals Series. For the month of September, we will feature 1-2 pieces each week about resiliency (I promise, we’ll lighten up in October). This comes as I readjust to my workdays and suck it up and do something I am not at all excited to be doing. Additionally, in my last week of freedom summer break, I was exercising for over an hour every day. Since my first day of full time meetings, I have not exercised on purpose one single time. I am so busy!!! I am going to correct this. Maintaining personal health and happiness requires determination and resiliency.

If you are interested in writing a piece for September, I am accepting pitches on the topic of resiliency. Email your ideas to ofthewonder@gmail.com

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The Meal that was SO Good I Forgot to Take Pictures

I have always been intimidated by East-Asian cuisine. I love eating it, and will try anything no matter how spicy or unique the dish, however I have always read through recipes and thought, ‘That sounds too complicated.’ Enter: Curried Chickpeas.

This recipe strikes me as an American interpretation of Thai/Indian food. I am sure that experts in this style of cooking would be appalled by the over-simplification of the recipe, but that is what makes this meal accessible for anyone to make.

There are 4 parts to this meal: The Curried Chickpeas, Coconut Rice, Toasted Naan, and Masala Chai.

Curried Chickpeas
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, finely diced
-2 tsp curry powder
-salt to taste
-2-4 cloves of garlic, finely diced and smashed
-2 cans of chickpeas
-1 can of coconut milk
-1 c. vegetable broth
-1-2 tbsp Sriracha
-1-2 tbsp honey

First, start the rice. It will take longer, so make the rice right now. Then, start the curried chickpeas by sautéing the onion in the olive oil until caramelized. Sprinkle the curry powder over the onions and breathe deeply for 30 seconds (count them and smell the curry: it’s meditative.) Add salt and garlic, stir it all together, and then add the remaining ingredients. Let everything simmer and stew for 10 minutes, then TASTE IT. This recipe only works if you taste it and adjust the seasoning. I felt like it was just a little off, and ended up adding another 1/2 tsp of curry, sprinkle of salt, and an extra 2 tbsp of honey. The only way to know which adjustments to make is to taste it as you make it. When it is all done, serve over the coconut rice and top with cilantro.

Naan: We bought ours from the store, brushed it with olive oil, and sprinkled it with garlic salt and cilantro before toasting it.

Coconut Rice
-2 cups of rice
-2 cups of water
-1 cup of coconut milk

Put everything on the stove together and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately turn the heat down and put the lid on. Leave at a gentle simmer for 50 minutes, or whatever time the package says. Coconut milk gives rice the best flavor and texture, but admittedly we haven’t mastered this method of cooking rice. My approach is low heat, and if the rice needs more time to cook, add small amounts of water to prolong cooking time.

Masala Chai: Here I will defer to an expert. I used this recipe exactly. Follow it exactly and you will have the best spicy chai you’ve ever tasted. I always refrigerate half to add to my coffee the next day, or drink iced in the afternoon.

Nature Week!

Welcome to Nature Week on The Wonder Of. This week you will learn how to glamp properly (even if you have NEVER been camping!), learn 3 perspectives on backcountry camping and hiking in National Parks, discover the best books for outdoorsman, and how to pack for a backpacking trip.

The bonus to all of this is that while these posts are going up, my family and I will be on vacation in Banff and Jasper Canadian National Parks! So, throughout the next two weeks, I will interrupt scheduled posts (about nature) with photos… of nature!

I am really excited to share these posts with you. To be sure not to miss anything, please sign up for an email subscription or follow the blog on Facebook or Instagram!

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Monday Reflections and Intentions

Reflections:

-Partook in a fancy AF wine tasting (only after listening to this Gastropod episode about wine through the lenses of a sommelier)

-Finally watched “Get Out

-Successfully used transit systems in two cities; also successfully used transit between the hours of 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. from O’Hare airport to the south side of Chicago.

Intentions:

-Keep posting on the blog each day during this busy week. Share music with you!

-Reconnect with old friends I haven’t spent time with in years

-Stay extremely active (like, walk through the labyrinth pictured above) and eat right in order to counter the late nights I will surely be having

Intended:

-write a post about Hamilton!

-go to the beach

-see the Redwoods

Reflections & Intentions (a Monday Series)

I am so inspired by the Intentions posts by Shutterbean. Last week, I posted Monday Reflections of the weekend and the week to come. Welcome the official Monday series, Reflections & Intentions.

 

Reflections (weekend):

-kayaked AND rock climbed

-spent more time outside than inside

-demolished extra-large pizzas and Mom’s out of this world homemade ice cream with my parents and sister

 

Intentions:

-clean the counters, clean my clothes

-rock climb inside and outside

-run every day

-go to the beach

-schedule all necessary health appointments

 

Intentions turned Reflections (last week): 

-start a new book

-stay calm

-visit my family

Salad Inspiration

I ordered a simple shrimp salad and was struck by two things:

  1. This is so simple and delicious!
  2. I could make it better.

The restaurant I was dining at did not use the freshest veggies. I prefer fresh or frozen corn in a salad over canned corn. When I use corn and black beans, I like to season them with lime and red pepper. I would love to make a spicier, zestier version.

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