2017 So Far: Work, Gym, Friends & Fam

Health, Life

It’s March already? It’s March already! I almost never say this, but this winter has gone by so quickly! (Maybe this is the first time I’ve ever said that. I have the 70 degree February day to thank.)


Life has been busy. I’ve spent a lot of time at work, the gym, and with my family and friends. This is what 2017 has been like so far:

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Turns out early morning workouts are theeeeee best, especially on Mondays and when you want to take mirror gym selfies. I normally work out after work but it’s super refreshing to avoid the after work rush sometimes.

I  joined an eight-week fitness challenge that will end next week. I. LOVED. IT! I only lost a few pounds, but my goal was to learn new ways to exercise and eat healthy and both of those goals were accomplished so I’m happy about it. I’ve had to track all my food (#OverIt), so I’m excited for that to be over soon. I hope to share more about the program’s diet.


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Right before this picture we went to a craft fair and ate tacos. That, my friends, is the good life.

My friend Victoria visited me in January, and I visited her in February! She’s one of my best friends from college, and I’ve only seen her a total of four times after college.


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Dogs! Cats! Chocolate! So many jokes and GOOD memories with this girl.

I got to visit with my friend Allison one more time before her baby comes! I’m so thankful for the ease of conversation, hilarious memories and for the way she listens and cares so well.


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This squad was established in the ’90s. #SJpartyof4

I am humbled and blessed by many of my friends, old and new. I’m excited for more good times with the people I love.


February Vibes | My Update

Health, Life

We are almost through the short month of February! WINTER IS ENDING! MY BIRTHDAY IS COMING! EVERY LITTLE THING – IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT (that last phrase is intended to be read in song).

Here’s what I’ve been into this month:

Listening To: Carrie Underwood (Heartbeat); Kacey Musgraves (the whole Pageant Material album); Justin Bieber (even I am a Belieber these days and I can’t not sing “Love Yourself” aloud at the gym).

Wearing: ALL THE VESTS and ALL THE BOOTS. Basically, if it’s among my warmest wardrobe options, I’m wearing it.

Watching: Prison Break (what?) and The Bachelor. How’s that for a combination?

Reading: 2 Samuel (from the Bible) is the only book I’m reading right now. I really admire King David. He was quite the humble guy even though he had a lot to boast about! I will admit, there’s some weird stuff in this book as well.

Doing: working! exercising! meal-prepping! spending time with friends! exploring milwaukee! getting excited for my birthday!


Here’s to maximizing each day (and a shout-out to February 29 for existing this year)!


I’m Thankful


I am finding myself in a place where I feel that I deeply and truly have so many things to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that we had a nice and long mild fall.

I’m thankful for my friends; for their willingness to drive to meet up, and for those who are very close by.

I’m thankful for my church and my small group, and for the friendship and encouragement I receive from them.

I’m thankful for my awesome family and for their consistency in my life.

I’m thankful for my roommate; for her positive spirit, grounded heart, and genuine friendship.

I’m thankful for my job; for the fun I have in the workplace, for the satisfaction of hard work and for the people I get to work with.

I’m thankful for my health; for the things I learn and apply about diet and exercise, and for the joy it brings in my life.

I’m thankful for America; for its beauty and vastness and for those who have served and are serving to protect its people.

I’m thankful for amazing grace and for the salvation I have received through Christ alone.

I’m thankful for Thanksgiving Day; a time where America stops to dwell on the good things in life. For a day to gather together and eat and enjoy the company of others.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give Thanks Free Printable | Hearts & Sharts

[image from Hearts & Arts]

A Review On Making The Most Of Your Twenties


I love reading blogs, and one blog I’ve recently discovered is Career Girl Daily. Because I’m new to CGD I just today found one of their articles from February, called How to make the most of your twenties. I figured that would be a good post for me to read, cuz hey-I’m in my twenties! And I want to make the most of them!

The following ten items are the tips as posted (all credit to Beth from CGD) and the review is mine.

I love working out on the weekends! I have to recommend buying yourself some earbuds or headphones that won't fall out (so that you can't hear yourself "huffing and puffing")!

I love working out on the weekends! I have to recommend buying yourself some earbuds or headphones that won’t fall out (so that you can’t hear yourself “huffing and puffing”)!

  1. Try to start healthy habits. I like how she said TRY because sometimes us twenty-somethings go to concerts and they typically start at like 10pm so sometimes by 3am you’re starved and the 24 hour diner has omelets. But in all seriousness, now is the time to start healthy habits and I’m so glad I have made my health a priority-and now a lifestyle that I quite enjoy.

    Truly this guitar is a beauty. With campfire season coming up, I've gotta brush up on my skills (and by BRUSH UP, I mean ACQUIRE skills).

    Truly this guitar is a beauty. With campfire season coming up, I’ve gotta brush up on my skills (and by BRUSH UP, I mean ACQUIRE skills).

  2. Learn new things. I swear I’m not going to make all ten points be about the gym. But I did learn a lot through my training program. On another note, I bought a guitar last summer so I have some major learning-opportunities in that department. Oh, and I am constantlyyyyyy learning at work (on so many levels).
  3. Follow your dreams. Am I the only one whose dreams tend to change 24/7? Apparently dream-following is something I need to figure out in the next few years…

    Mockingjay, anyone? This dressing room situation might have had us laughing harder than ever.

    Mockingjay, anyone? This dressing room situation had us laughing harder than ever.

  4. Find your true friends. Found ’em! Without name-dropping I’m just gonna say that (1) family is forever, (2) life-time friends ARE family, and (3) new friends can be true friends, too 🙂
  5. Fight the fear. The twenties-decade is filled with NEW and CHANGE – so “fighting the fear” is inevitable, in my opinion. Shout-out to my college yoga instructor for teaching me how to hold myself in ways to physically calm my body down. Smile, breathe, and keep your feet planted on the ground! #yoga4lyfe 😉
  6. Manage your time, and money. Post college I’ve discovered that (1) I’m an “at least 8 hours of sleep person” and (2) now I have to pay for everythinggg including toilet paper. I’m working on time-management and money-management but I think both of these areas could use lifelong assessment and improvement.
  7. Breathe. Back to yoga! Beth’s point in this item was not to be too hard on yourself; this is important for me to hear! Being a twenty-something means I am still establishing myself and grounding myself, so I can-and should-give myself grace. Noted.

    Livin the twenty-somethin dream, right here.

    Livin the twenty-somethin dream, right here.

  8. Be independent. Honest moment, coming right up. I honestly think I am too independent in some areas of life… but in others I’m probably still too dependent. As in so many things, balance is key here.
  9. Be vulnerable. *Insert Secondhand Serenade song here because if you’re in your twenties you totally jammed to that song in high school or college.* Humbly asking for advice or taking responsibility for the mistakes I make is a big deal-sometimes easier said than done but important nonetheless.


    Striking a pose as all 23 year old besties should.

  10. Have fun. No wonder I love this article! Affirmation to work hard, and play hard too. Excellent.

The Seven Semesters: #5


If you’ve been following my Seven Semesters series, you won’t be surprised to know I was fearful and skeptical of what this next semester might bring. But I clung to the truth and truly saw that

when I have the least amount of control, God takes control and wonderful things happen.

I came into junior year with very low expectations, but it was hands-down-by-far fabulous.

[Side note: if you want to have background music while listening to this post, I’d recommend you listen to what I jammed to all year: Florida Georgia Line, the Pitch Perfect Soundtrack and Joel Piper songs including Gimme That Love Song and The Only One.]

First of all, my job kept me very busy at the beginning of the year. I didn’t realize what a large role I would get to play in homecoming, but I loved the extra responsibility, bonding with my boss, and seeing everything fall into place on homecoming day.


My floor even called me “homecoming queen” and they encouraged and supported me so fully, that other people on campus thought I was legit homecoming queen! (We don’t, in fact, have homecoming court) Ha!

I went for round two of freshman mentoring. Man, this group threw me for a loop. Before I met these students, I prayed that they would feel comfortable to speak and get to know each other, and that they would have peace. I think God probably laughed at this request. My fabulous group walked in the door bouncing jokes off of each other. I’m so thankful for this group of students; I consider several of them good friends to this day and I loved their spunk and preparedness for college from the start.


I think this picture accurately displays the enthusiasm and excellence going on in this ALPHA FYF group. But can I just brag about this group a quick sec and tell you that they’re all doing amazing things – some on campus, and some outside of campus? What a TALENTED group of leaders, smarties, and just genuinely nice people.

I was nervous about housing but I have to tell you that it was, legitimately, the bomb.com. My roommate Allison and I spent so much time together and we got along very well; I just love Allison because she is one of the kindest gals I’ll probably ever know. We would go on Tours of the Town where we’d visit, like, eight different places in one of our nearby towns. And then there was the time (I think we called it Man Night?) when we went to Menards, Wal-Mart and Nonna’s Pizza. I should honestly write a blog post about all the music we jammed to because we did a lot of that.

We had two wonderful sophomore suitemates, Anna and Kelly. I couldn’t pick either of these girls out of a crowd before junior year and I can truly say I felt so blessed living with them. Kelly is artistic, a dedicated runner, and a stylish shopper! She’s also extremely sweet, hard working and a dear friend. Anna is a smartie! She  also played softball and spent a lot of time with her teammates. She’s a beautiful, loving, and thoughtful big sister and I know her younger sisters look up to her so much. What a joy it was to get to know these ladies!


10,000 reasons to sing praise to the Lord.

My RA Lisa was also theeeee best. While completing her most difficult year of nursing school, she took the time it required to take on the RA role; and she didn’t just do it- she did it well. Because Lisa prayed for and supported and loved me, she became one of my closest, dearest most treasured friends. I learned what a support system can do for my emotional health. And she showed me-by example- what it means to truly live for Christ.

Late to Class, Latte to Class


I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been late to class a few times in my day due to a quick stop for coffee beforehand.

However. No latte has made me late for work-at least, not yet. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty coffee shops on my way to work; it’s just that they’re straight up inconvenient to get into. We’re talking left-side-of-the-street and no matter how appealing a Starbucks latte may sound at nighttime, I’m not in the mood to leave ten minutes early before work the next day.

Enter Mixology. Talk about a smooth segue (sense the sarcasm, people). Anyways, so far I’m not hooked on Mixology by any means (talk about a slowwwwww movingggggg plot), but the show does inspire me to make all kinds of drinks. Tonight, I saw my love for lattes and home made beverages collide (see where this is going?).

Here’s what I did:

Mix one generous shot of Kahlua with about 1/2 mug of coffee. Meanwhile, simmer milk* on a stove for a few minutes. Once the milk is hot, tilt the pot and whisk. As air pockets are created due to whisking the milk, frothing happens. It’s a beautiful thing.

Pour the frothy milk into your mug. Boom. Kahula latte.

Sip and enjoy! Cheers.

ImagePS: Small rant: milk will froth best if it has a higher fat content (think: 2%, whole milk, cream, etc). I made this latte for my sister using some 1% milk and some cream. If I made it for myself I would’ve used coconut milk (I’m crazy about coconut these days) but it would’ve been much thinner and less frothy.

Half-Way Status: January


January has been here, there, and everywhere for this girl! I rang in the New Year at my family’s cabin Up North. Then, I took a few days to settle into the Cteve Hut! And then, I started a new chapter of life (technically, I started more of a second-book-in-the-same-series, if you will). I. Am. Not. A. Student. Anymore. *insert all the happy and sad faces here.*

So this new chapter/book.  I’ve already worked two whole weeks, what?! I’m thankful for my job, and I’m beginning to get the hang of this life, but there are a few things I’m missing about college. I suppose that’s to be expected! Shoutout to #phil102c because I keep telling myself what I said once in class, that work is the vegetables of life- working is good for me and necessary for my health.

Even though January isn’t my fave month (in fact, it’s among my least faves- winter with virtually no holidays.. what’s there to love?) I have been doing a few things to keep life interesting. I started a Fantasy Bachelorette League (it’s Juanderful!) which, I mean, is pretty exciting. I also have been doing a little exporing of the Milwaukee area (I’m alllllways gonna be down for Colectivo, FYI).

Our league is now officially named Girls [And Guys] Just Juan To Have Fun. Ha!

Our league is now officially named Girls [And Guys] Just Juan To Have Fun. Ha!

Here’s to the second half of January! Let’s make the most of these [short] nights!