Healthy Lifestyle

Friday Fave’s

Happy Friday and Happy (lllllloooonnnnggg) weekend!

A few of my favorite Friday feelings

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Make yourself uncomfortable!

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Gah, this has worked for me YET again!!  (Suprise)  I have been putting off a book for a while now because I just thought “I will totally  HATE that book because it is so out of my usual”.  My routine. My normalcy.  My comfort.

A small yet significant reminder that I need to do things I do not really want to….like read Kindred by Octavia Butler (first sci-fi written by a black woman!)

Woah.  I thought……. “Sci-fi MEH!” however I am 100 pages invested and am having difficulty putting it down. It is NOT the sci-fi I had envisioned. It is amazing and so, so good! Loving it, and loving stepping out of my comfort zone, even in this itty bitty way



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What an awesome approach to teaching! (Interested? Click here!)  I love giving my students the option to create an infographic to express themselves! (sort of like a graphic novel!)

I love this (feminist) one I recently came across. YES!



Are you up for the challenge?

If you find yourself seeking approval constantly, it may not be a terrible day to do a little “detox” of your own. No judgment, I get it, Its hard!

Sometimes it is so hard to just be in the moment and feel those uncomfortable feelings. It is so easy to distract ourselves from our lives and our challenges, by turning to social media. It is an easy fix, but not doing much for your own personal growth


Still not ready

From the ages of 16-33 I was pretty much in a relationship at all times. Most were unhealthy. I was not at a point in my life where I was able to be myself. I put all of my energy and focus into my partner, and completely ignored myself.

The past few years of my life have been SO freeing. I am finally focusing on myself. It is hard. It is uncomfortable. It is challenging. I have many of my own judgments and misconceptions that I am trying to work through. Many feelings I felt were “wrong” all these years, that I am finding out are NOT. Many areas I am finally starting to accept, whether I like it or not.  I am happy and content just being. Living. Learning. Meeting interesting people and finally allowing myself to be me.  I am also accepting that everyone will not like me and I will not like everyone, and that is OK!



Breakfast. Makes me so happy!  Seriously, it is my favorite meal of the day. In fact, I could eat breakfast foods every day for every meal. Some breakfasts from around the world…..

Russia:  Griddle Cakes

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Poland:  Breakfast spread (don’t forget the fresh bread and jam!)

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France:  MMmmm

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South Africa:  Porridge

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United States:  Pancakes!


Sweden: Droooolllll

Welsh: Cheesy toast 🙂

Thailand:  Dim Sum

steamed buns

Or check out this infographic!


20 Breakfasts From Around the World to show how cultures affects our food choices. Something to use for the provocation?:

Healthy Lifestyle

Saturday Saves

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y!  This week FLEW by! I feel like things are really speeding and going/growing fast.  The weather (Winter to summer, where is SPRING?), the flowers and grass, my hair! 🙂

Here are five of my feelings, finds or fears from the week!


Fear:  I still fear to being….me. Speaking up, being honest, being my TRUE self. What is it that I fear? Hurting others. I constantly put my own feelings and thoughts aside because I worry about hurting others.   Yet, I would be the first to tell others NOT to do this and to put themselves first.  It’s about time I start listening to that smart lady suggesting this….ME!

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My fear stems from anxiety.  Worry about hurting someone else’s feelings or coming off as a ……..b*tch.  Yet keeping my feelings to myself and not getting them out, is hurting more than helping.  I need to continue to be honest with myself and others, no matter what the outcome is!

Something I am currently fearing?  Letting go and allowing myself to be more of my “feminine” self. I have very masculine qualities. And no, by this I do not mean a mustache.  I am very strong and determined. Independent. Direction. Focus. Productivity. Go, go, go. Those are masculine qualities.  I want to be able to surrender more. Flow. Gentle. Affectionate.  Accepting. Emotional. Allow more femininity and softness into my life…….IT IS HARD!  I guess I can start by giving myself some ‘cred.  I have come a long way and really eased up on myself in many aspects of my life.  One example?  Being able to walk away from things at work. Not worrying about others opinions and following what I feel is right and true has really given me peace.

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Read about diffusing your own conflicts at work here .


Wow. How powerful is this?



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Loved it!

This and this


Hated it!




This looks amazing!! Perfect summer dessert


24.  The number of days until the last day of school

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4.  The number of weeks until my parents set off for Alaska

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0 – the number of wake up’s until Tina’s birthday (Happy Birthday!!!)

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5  the number of coffee’s I drank today…#stillnotawake

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2  days to relax

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8  the number of hours I plan to sleep…..


Healthy Lifestyle

7-Up Saturday


Happy Saturday Coffee Chalkers’!  This week has been long and draining, so the fact that I allowed (and listened) to my body and slept until 7 am this morning FELT SO GREAT!


Life is a struggle for us all. We all have our issues and anxieties to get through each day.  We ultimately need to worry and care about ourselves first, although we have been conditioned since birth to feel “wrong” about that.

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So I want to share 7 things I am passionate about this week. What are your 7?



Society sucks.   The pressure we deal with on a daily basis is exhausting and overwhelming.  Every article we see and read tells us how to become the perfect mother, perfect friend, excellent employee. How to have the flattest abs, jiggle-free butt, cellulite free perfection.  Grow our hair, color it , dye it the latest style.  Purchase make up and concelear to hide our flaws.  Join gyms and purchase meal plans to CHANGE us….It is exhausting. Especially when you are in recovery (and who isnt?)  So it was refreshing and inspiring to see this article today, about why diets really do not work.  


Our bodies have a natural set point that they want to be and need to be at.  When we try to change and alter this, we do more damage than good, and end up being miserable!  As a teacher, I already see my students struggle with body image and it makes me sad and want to scream. I also realize that not everyone is ready to accept this and has to learn on their own, as I am and continue to do!  Anyway, check out this article!

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Oh man.  I have 2 or 3 exciting ideas about trips and treks for the next year.  The end of August already is devoted to a few days in nature. Hiking, biking, fishing, reading and relaxing on Lake Champlain in VT.  I found a quaint little water front cabin and I am super excited to relax before beginning the new school year!


Costa Rica

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– yes, thats right. I am looking into spending a few days helping to revitalize a school in Costa Rica,

as well as some adventure for me (surf, hike, yoga, oh MY)  Costa Rica has long called my name. And because monkeys……..

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Native to the forests of Costa Rica are the threatened Central American Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri oerstedii), the White-faced Capuchin (Cebus capucinus), the Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) and the endangered Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey(Ateles geoffroyi).

I feel like this opportunity was meant for me. All the things I love (helping others, yoga, adventures, great food) plus the timing is perfect…to be determined…


Trekking in Nepal.  

Image result for trekking in nepalHUGE shout out to my uncle for finding this!  I have been doing my research and an Everest trek in Nepal sounds like such an amazing, spiritual and cultural opportunity…..Definitely a tick on my bucket list!

Top 12 trekking trips in Nepal


Dirty Dancing festival

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 Thats to my cousin Jo for mentioning this, I may actually DO It ! Oh man…a lifting competition….in the lake……….

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“I carried a watermelon”

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Decisions, decsions!  



Books.  I have been reading some really incredbile and different books lately! Not my usual picks but enjoying!  See I can handle change! (Change is SO difficult for me!)

A Walk in the Woods:  I am about ¾ through this book and am loving it!  The only downside is the fat shaming in the book. Several jabs at overweight people. That they are not equal, good enough, and many other nasty judgements.  I understand it is lighthearted and in good fun, but just not necessary.  No wonder our culture continues to bash fat.  We all have it and need it and its sad that we feel we need to put others down.

Anyway, the book has taught me SO much about the Appalacian trial, which I hope to backpack parts of in the near future.  Lions and tigers and ……….BEARS oh my!

Wrong Beach Island by Jane Kelly.  This book choice was for a book club I am in. One of the challenges was to find a book written within 100 miles of your location.  I wanted to read a book about the beach. A local beach. Long beach Island.  I happend to come across local author Jane kelly and since I like suspense and mystery AND LBI, I thought , why not!

Ok.  So I went in not expecting much.  Basically my expectations were met.  It was fluff. It was a beach read. It was light. It was ridiculous, yet it mentioned SO many familiar places (LBI, Loveladies, harvey Cedars, Cherry Hill Rt 38,, Joe Pops)  For those reasons alone it was worth it.

2 out of 5 stars.


Just a few of the books on my current TO READ list:

Eight Bullets: The lesbian victim of a violent hate crime that left her seriously wounded and her partner dead is the story of family and community, the medical system, the police and courts, and the media–and of one woman’s incredible courage. Simultaneous. IP.

The Handmaid’s Tale:  Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now..

I Let You Go:  In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.


Did you know that PA is considered the crappiest Appalachian Trail hiking area? Ha, figures! I can’t and won’t complain. I have never been disappointed.  So why the bad rap?

Due to the expansion and then retreat of glaciers thousands of years ago, much of the Appalachian Trial in PA consists of………rocks!  The rocks and boulders are crazy.  Some are sharp, jagged, slippery, loose.  Great, supportive hiking boots are needed as well as confidence and balance!  Last weekend I twisted my ankle a few times and caught myself in a near panic. Very easy to do with the massive boulders surrounding you!  Luckily I rested and my ankle is feeling much better!

However, I have only really ever hiked the AT trail in PA (so far) So I am setting myself up for some joyous trails ahead! I am going to be well prepared with some strong ankles!  Here are a few pictures from my last hike




Movies.  Those who know me, know that I am not a big movie/television watcher. HOWEVER, if I read the book, I usually see the movie.  I think it’s fun and love comparing the two.

About a year ago I read “The Circle”. I like/hated the book.  It drove me nuts, and I felt myself wanting to strangle the main character, Mae, for most of the book. By the end, I wanted to (or actually may have) thrown the book against the wall.

Well. Some things never change. This is exactly how I felt during the movie. I wanted to jump out of my (comfy, reclining seat) and run as fast as I could. The relationships in the movie (and book) were very awkward and uncomfortable and did not feel authentic.

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So I barely made it through the movie. If it weren’t for those comfy seats, I would have darted much sooner

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I would like to take my mom to see “Snatched” for Mother’s Day weekend! 

John Russo


Two of my favorite things. Together ❤

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

This Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake recipe is a showstopper! Layers of homemade carrot cake, a cheesecake center and it's all topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting!