Weekly randomness: The Happy Hour Effect, 5 minute abs, and snacks.

Special events with a lot of people use to be panic attack inducing experiences, but this week I had an amazing special event that was anything but anxiety fueled. Thanks to my MBA classmates and the confidence I’ve found in myself, I was able to attend a happy hour event with author Kristen Brown and I am glad I didn’t miss it. Kristen has an inspiring story, lots of energy, and guidance you can actually follow. Number one take-away from her 40 minute presentation – forget the word balance when it comes to work/life; there is only harmony. You should check her out and I recommend her book The Happy Hour Effect.

After that great happy hour, my brain was on vacation mode. This weekend is the first annual sisters weekend. Chicago here we come! One thing I don’t look forward to when traveling is airport and airplane food. They have come a long way from the cheap junk, but the good stuff is often super expensive. So I like to come prepared.

Some of my favorite carry-on snacks

snacks for travelPlum chocolate chip go bars

Lightly salted roasted almonds

Chocolate peanut butter monkey bars


Wild Garden hummus to go
Ab workouts
I’ve been running for over 15 years and never gotten bored with it. I have, however, cut back over the years from runs twice a day to four runs a week. It is good to mix up your workouts to tone your whole body and avoid injuries form overuse. However, I get bored with workouts other than running. I’m constantly switching them up and looking for something that I love doing just as much. I have found the Insanity workouts keep me going, but I still have a hard time with an ab focused workout. I use to do pilates religiously and I’ve tried yoga, but my brain moves too fast for either of those slower paced workouts. So I went to YouTube to find some ideas and found this new one to do that only takes 5 minutes. That means on a busy morning I can still fit in a good ab workout and some weightlifting! Plus, the channel that it is on is full of wonderful quick workouts that you can challenge yourself with when you are bored or short on time. The accents help too 🙂

I hope you all enjoy a little happy hour, snacking, and healthy activity this Memorial Day weekend!


Weekly Randomness: Family cookbooks, exotic meats and education

I cannot believe it is Friday already! Where did the week go? For me, it was lots of last minute class work (that Econ paper on ethical consumerism and branding might be some of my best work), wrestling with a toddler who can’t seem to decide if she wants to be potty trained, and avoiding all the rain.

I was able to find a few things that really grabbed my attention this week . . .

family cookbook

Leah Bhabha’s family cookbook. Photos: Leah Bhabha

The story of a family cookbook that survived the holocaust really touched me. This book of handwritten and typed recipes has been handed down for generations. Our family has been lucky enough to preserve a few favorite recipes and distribute them to everyone so at least one copy should survive. Does your family have any recipes they hand down generation to generation?

Non-traditional meats


I’m not much of a meat eater in general so I was surprised at how many of these “non-traditional” meats I’ve actually tried. I like bison more than beef and you are started to see it more places so that one was not surprising. Goat I’ve had at a Moroccan restaurant and rabbit, we enjoyed in paella in Spain. Some of the others though . . . quail, ostrich, and alligator.

Chobani partnership for education 

This story caught my attention because it mixes together several of my favorites – greek yogurt, entrepreneurship, education, and nutrition. Chobani has partnered with Discovery Education to offer virtual field trips to high schoolers that also include the chance to learn from young entrepreneurs. It is great to see a corporation giving back to the future of this country and introducing young adults to the opportunities of business.

Let me know what was of interest to you this week since I’m always looking for a new product or story to check out.

Well, I guess it is back to economics, public relations, and potty training until next week . . . the magical life of a mother 🙂

Weekly randomness: Caribou nightmares, mother’s day countdown, and Chicago

Have you tried the new Microsoft age guessing site? I did. The results did NOT make my week. I took it as a sign that maybe I need to get more sleep and slow down a bit. If you want to give it a go and let me know how you measured up, I’d be happy to hear I’m not alone in either taking bad pictures or looking more mature than I am 🙂 coffee cup

As a possible sign that the lack of quality sleep is behind is my age discrepancy could be the fact that I had a nightmare about a trip to Caribou Coffee. That is right, I am dreaming about going to coffee shops. And the worst part is what made it a nightmare was the fact that someone threw away my perks card and I got anxious that I would lose all my rewards I’ve built up. I blame it on grad school, long work days, and a toddler that refuses to sleep in on the one day of the week I have the opportunity to. Don’t worry though, my perks card is safely in my wallet – PHEW!

Mother's loveThankfully, this week is the one time I think I will actually get to sleep in on Sunday. It is Mother’s Day after all. Hopefully you have something special planned for your mom or any other special caregiver in your life. If you still need an idea of a sweet gift to send check out this cute site, Make Mother’s Day Count, which figures how many Mother’s Days you probably have with your mother and then lets you put together a special montage of memories with your mom.

Besides the expectation surrounding a full day spent with my two favorite people I’ve been geeking out about an upcoming trip. I am two weeks away from the first of what will hopefully become an annual sisters getaway. We are headed to Chicago and I’ve finally started checking out dining and shopping options. I came across a list of bars to try and local shops to head to. I can’t wait for a little girls time, sleeping in, lots of fun and plenty of shopping.

What kept you busy (or awake) this week?

Weekly randomness: bouncy house, zombies, and wanderlust

SleepThis picture pretty much sums up how I have felt all week. On a typical week I am rushing between family time, work, and school which can leave anyone feeling a little drained, but this past week was our daughter’s third birthday and we wanted to make it extra special. So we threw a special bash and invited friends and family to our house, which equals deep cleaning, a late night arrival by family from Illinois, and lots of extra little errands to run.

All of that work and loss of sleep was well worth it though.

Olivia jumpsgiftscakeOlivia loves to jump or as she says “jump, boing, hop” so we rented a bouncy house for everyone to enjoy. We highly recommend Twin Cities Inflatables.

What birthday party is complete without a birthday cake? I searched all over for a local bakery to get our cake from and landed on Taste of Love bakery. Marie at Taste of Love did a fantastic job on our Doc McStuffins cake. A delicious and beautiful double layer chocolate cake covered in pink buttercream with smooth buttercream separating the two cake layers. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If you get the chance, check out the cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and other goodies from this local gem.

Of course, my mind never stopped running full throttle this past week so I still found lots of things to check out and share with everyone 🙂

zombies runningNeed motivation to keep the pace up when you’re running? There is a new app that taps into our basic instinct to fight or flee when in danger. Zombies, run! mixes gaming with exercise and definitely gets your heart beating faster during a work out. The app sets the stage during your workout with a story that you are out to get supplies in a world overrun by zombies. Your music playlist still plays, but every once in a while you get a message that a zombie is gaining on you and then you get a beeping sound that increases in frequency as the zombie gets closer. I didn’t think it would affect pace – it is fake after all – but without even realizing it the pace increased to get away from the zombies. So if we ever have a zombie apocalypse I guess I will be well trained for the supply runs.

EAT! Vancouver

EAT! Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival Pastry Tasting and Panel Discussion.

As part of my economics class I am working on a group project for business travel. All this talk about hotels and airlines is making my wanderlust kick into hyperdrive. So of course I’ve been looking at places to go, people to meet, and foods to try. And I stumbled across EAT! Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival. Definitely going on the list!