Healthy Balance, Healthy Life

Archive for the ‘Living in the 802’ Category

Hey all,

Second day blogging in a row–woot! I have a ton of things to do but I think I may be more energized and focused after some writing, so here I am!

After graduating from Muhlenberg College this past spring, I moved to Burlington to live with the boy and start my MSW program. Since moving in, sprucing up and decorating the apartment has taken up a big chunk of my time. This summer I completely revamped an old dresser I bought for $50 at a thrift store and I painted every room in the apartment except for the kitchen (I’m waiting on new shelving before I do that). Recently we’ve added some more furniture, rugs, and some decorations. Here’s where we’re at!

The bedroom

Paintings I did. Inspired by Georgia OKeefe

More bed room, featuring the dresser I refurbished

Living Room. P.S. my mom got that chair for free!

Since we don’t have side tables or a coffee table, I made a tray that matches the decor in the living room which we can place in the center of the couch and put food, drinks, and anything else on. I purchased an unfinished wooden tray from a craft store, painted it a beige color and then hot glued blue patterned paper onto the bottom. I sealed the wood and paper with polyurethane so that it would be water resistant (it’s not water proof but stains can be cleaned off with a sponge). Here’s the finished product!

Above my desk in the office (featuring adaptable vision boards)

Shelves I made out of snowboards in the office

The bathroom isn’t too exciting but you can see pictures of it here.

As I mentioned, I’m waiting on some new cabinets for the kitchen. In January my landlord is having wooden cabinets put in. This will be a welcome change from the dirty, dented, metal cabinets from the 70s that we have now! After that I’m going to paint the kitchen blue! I’ll document it all 🙂

And noooooooow lettuce-less salad!

During a break in class earlier this week, I was craving salad. I mentioned it to one of my friends in the program and she said “go with it!”–my thoughts exactly! I enjoyed a small garden salad with italian dressing both days of class this week (monday and tuesday) and then I made myself a lettuce-less salad for dinner last night and had the same for lunch today! I got the idea for lettuce-less salad from Julie at When I saw the lettuce-less salads she was making I really thought she was onto something. Lettuce is FINE with me but it’s kind of boring…and I don’t want to waste money on boring things! So I whipped this concoction up last night.

In the mix: black beans, broccoli slaw, julienned zucchini, chopped cucumber, chopped green pepper, and adzuki, pea and lentil seeds + italian dressing.

Got this for less than 2 bucks! Good deal for 7 grams of protein in a one cup, 89 calorie serving!

I’m on a salad binge and I’m lovin’ it! 😉

What’s your favorite salad concoction?

Talk to y’all soon!

Hey guys. I know it’s been SO long since I’ve posted. My other domain still isn’t ready and, to be honest, I’m not pushing it because I’m so busy with my first semester of grad school! As crazy busy as I am, I’ve managed to do some fun things in the past few months. Since one post of everything I’ve been up to is too intimidating, I’m going to break it down into separate, themed posts that I’ll slowly write! First up, RUNNING!

I’ve run my first organized races ever in three consecutive weekends in a row in September.

I started with Laura’s March, a very informal 5k on a flat course next to Lake Champlain, and I ran it with Carrie. Easy peasy–I’m used to that distance!

The next weekend, I ran Warrior Dash with boyfriend, a 3.23 mile obstacle course on Windham Mountain in New York.

Psyched to begin! (I'm on the left)

Unfortunately there is no warm up for this particular Warrior Dash. There is no picture of me 30 seconds after this but if there was it would be of me with a pained look on my face walking up the side of the mountain. The boy and I walked quite a bit of the first two miles that went straight up the mountain. Coming down was much easier as we had gravity, and a ton of momentum from the incline, on our sides. We went through tons of obstacles–jumping over hurdles, climbing up a cargo net, running through tires, and then we jumped over fire.


After our fire-y leap


and then we army crawled through mud under barbed wire

and got a little muddy...

but we did it! (I dislike the bottom portion of this picture because it shows my sway back, which I'm working to correct! More on that later.)

After running a little over three miles up and down a ski mountain, I thought that the 10k (in downtown Burlington) I was planning on running with Carrie the next weekend would be easy peasy.

I was right for many reasons: All I had to do was run– there were no obstacles and little incline. I also had Carrie with me which helped keep us motivated. We were very positive and proud of ourselves.

I was wrong for one reason: I had never run six miles outside with no breaks. I had run that many miles on a treadmill but running on a treadmill is very different from running outside. On a treadmill you can control the incline and you don’t have to worry about wind and weather. I felt great until the last mile of the race. I was pretty much dying. My legs and butt were stiff and achey and I wanted to quit. If it weren’t for people cheering me on and Carrie’s support, I don’t know if I would have been able to finish! Another thing that helped a ton was that I didn’t allow a negative thought to take up space in my head. Any time a negative thought came, I dismissed it and verbally thought of something positive to think or say to Carrie. We really worked off of each other’s positivity. I think that staying positive is what made me decide to sprint the last leg of the race, even if I wasn’t to enthralled to do so. The last part of the race was down the center of Church Street, the big marketplace in Burlington, VT. The center was clear for the runners and people were cheering on the sides. At the end was the finish of the race. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what it felt like to sprint down the street with people cheering, knowing I just ran my first challenging race. When Carrie and I finished, we were so happy that we finished. We were so happy that we ran ten minute miles in our first race (6.2 miles in 62 minutes) but most of all we were amazed that we had run non-stop for over an hour. Such an accomplishment! 🙂 We immediately wanted to sign up for another race. The post-race feeling is addicting!


We did it!

We haven’t yet signed up for another race together. Grad school is just too much for me to plan anything like that. I am, however, signed up for a 5k Turkey Trot/Fun Run that I’m doing with my mom and brother (who are not runners) on Thanksgiving day in Maryland!

So, in addition to all this, the boy has also started joining me on some of my runs. I hope this sticks! He was the one who got me into running in the first place. He was on track and cross country in high school and I would tag along when he did his informal summer training runs. Since college, though, he’s been way less active. This past Sunday I made him bundle up and get his butt outside with me for a run. We did two miles and I’m proud of him!


Bundling up means letting go of style. I kind of like this athletic-geek-chic look though!

I’m still running on my own, too. As much as I love running with other people, running is my therapy and it’s something that I do for myself. I’ve cut down on the frequency of my runs since starting grad school because I’m just so overloaded with work. Recently, I’ve made the conscious decision to change that. Since I am so stressed I need these runs more than ever. It’s amazing how different I’ve felt since going back to my schedule of running every other day. I have so much more energy, I’m less stressed, more positive, and more present in my everyday life. Running, I love you!

And new music helps re-energize my runs. When I made the decision to go back to my usual frequent running routine I decided that my library needed some new tunes. I checked out Lululemon’s 10k Running Playlist and downloaded Fly Like a G6 by Far East Movement, Club Can’t Handle Me Right Now by Flo Rida, One by Swedish House Mafia (love love love this) from that list in addition to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” because it’s so fun and upbeat. I’m also planning on downloading Will.I.Am and Niki Minaj’s “Check it Out”. It uses a portion of “TV Killed the Radio Star” and has an awesome beat for pacing. I think it’d be perfect for the warm up portion of my runs.

What songs do you love to run to?

It feels really good to be back, both to running and to blogging.

This week I made some progress on my bedroom. I painted it a light beige and put up the paintings I made last semester behind the bed. Check it out!

I think the carpet really brings everything together. Still looking for some decorative throw pillows, though!

I also got to see MGMT and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on Lake Champlain at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival.

View of the lake from the festival

Awesome place for a summer concert.

This is a picture of the stage at MGMT but they're so bright you can't see them!

Pictures of Grace Potter to come soon!

Time to get some beauty rest,

For me, this week seems to be about finding ways to make exercise convenient and fun–two things everyone wants! I didn’t plan this out or make a goal. For some reason I’ve just been seeing creative opportunities to get my sweat on! I’ve also been super motivated by a healthy lifestyle blog a 25 yr old girl named Julie writes called Peanut Butter Fingers. Julie’s positivity is delightfully contagious. Check it out!

So what have I done to get some activity in conveniently? Wednesday I had two calls to make that I knew would take a while. They were with my mom and one of my best friends, Kaitlin. Although I love talking to them I hate being unproductive on the phone. I can’t multi-task being on the phone with doing chores; it’s just too much of a bummer to have to hold the phone with my neck (ow) while making the bed, doing the dishes, etc. And I can’t talk while doing anything involving thinking either (the person on the other end of the phone deserves as much ADD-impaired attention as they can get!

ANYWAY, so what did I do? I went for a walk the entire time I was on the phone (the beauty of cell phones). I got to enjoy the beautiful sunset, talk to my loved ones, and burn some cals. Woot woot health points for Allie!

Read the rest of this entry »

This weekend was SO much fun! One of my best friends Marlaina came up to visit on Friday and then two more good friends, Scott and Kaitlin, came up on Sunday so I’ve had friends here from Friday to Tuesday. Too much fun!!

On Saturday Marlaina and I went out for lunch at Vermont Pub and Brewery. We had yummy cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, and we shared two yummy drinks, a beer called forbidden fruit which was made of berries and hard apple cider. Sooo good! I decided I’m going to combine the two into one drink next time I go because the bitterness of the beer and sweetness of the cider complemented each other so well. Then we went to the beach and got to jet ski, water tube, and cliff jump! The next day we were sore from holding on but it was all worth it!

Vermont Pub and Brewery

Marlaina, so excited to be in Burlington, with our drinks!

Read the rest of this entry »

Of course in addition to South Beach but I blog enough about that (and I have a lot more posts to put up about it!)

This first picture is of decorative letters I made for my friend Laura, who will be having who she calls her “long time tummy tenant” any day now! The colors in the picture are a bit off. They’re really more pastel-y and the green isn’t as dark. I painted the wooden letters with acrylic yellow paint, hot glued ribbon on the sides, and then added some cute stickers and, voila!, an adorable room decoration for the new arrival’s nursery!

Letters for Noah's bedroom

I also painted my bathroom this past week. It was a really quick job. Two coats of Behr’s paint and primer in one and it was done! Probably took me 3 hours–4 tops! The color was called Almond Wisp. It’s really soothing!

The bathroom before it was painted

Annnnnnnnd after!

This week, the ferrets found a new play toy. It’s a plastic tube that the rods for our window treatments came in. They LOVE playing with found objects (Bear loves beer bottles) so we don’t buy them toys. Why do that when the core of a toilet paper or paper towel roll is, in their opinion, the best toy around? Well, now it’s not. The plastic tube is! Here’s a video of Dan playing with Polar. I caught the fun a little late. Before it was taken, Dan would put the tube on the floor, Polar would walk into it and he’d pick it up so he’d slide down on the other side. After polar got out, he’d turn around and walk right back in! This happened multiple times before this vid was taken. Enjoy!

Burlington Vermont at its Best

Burlington, Vermont is one of the most liveable cities in the United States. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain between the Adirondack and Green Mountains, Burlington is the largest city in the U.S. state of Vermont. Burlington attracts visitors for its perfect blend of cosmopolitan flair and stunning lake and mountain beauty. With 40, 000 year round residents, Burlington and the surrounding areas have generated international publicity as one of America’s most desirable places to live and visit.

Church Street in Burlington VermontChurch Street in Burlington Vermont

The Burlington, Vermont, region offers a unique combination of recreation and enjoyment. Located in the heart of downtown Burlington and a unique blend of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and performers, the Church Street Marketplace has been named one of the 10 Greatest Places in America by the American Planning Association. Travelers to Burlington, Vermont region can enjoy outdoor activities from lake-based kayaking, fishing and sailing to mountain-based hiking, cycling and skiing- and everything in between. Or you can also spend your time enjoying the area’s fantastic dining, shopping, concerts and special events during your stay in the city. The city is also well known for its cultural amenities and rich arts that pull visitors.

via Trip to Burlington City, Vermont Travel Guide


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I am a 22 year old social work graduate student living in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. I love do-it-yourself projects, being active, and cooking delicious, healthy food! Feel free to leave comments or email me at You can also anonymously ask me questions at I would love to hear from you!

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