Livin’ Life

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: Hibernation is very different from sleep, and is in fact exhausting. So, often when animals come out of hibernation, they fall dead asleep in order to recharge.

Something I’m Into:  Fleece-lined leggings. I mean, never before in history has there been a more comfortable article of clothing. How lucky are we that we live in this amazing time??

Something I Appreciate: My city. I live in St. Louis Park, MN, and it’s just a very-well run city. My mom and I took a walk around one of our parks this week, and noted all of the nice amenities within it. I often joke that it’s the best place on earth. I’m like 90% serious.

Last week started off with Halloween, which was fun but a little too busy for my taste. On Friday, I attended my monthly discussion group (the word this month was “Gratitude”), and on Saturday, I saw a play called “The Parchman Hour” about the Freedom Riders of the 1960s. It was very well done, and really brought home just how far we haven’t come in race relations since then.img_1054This is from my walk to lunch. I usually get lunch from a hospital cafeteria about a block away from my school. It’s a nice way to get myself moving and grab some fresh air and sunshine. img_1053Jane has been especially clingy recently. Probably just a reaction to the chillier temperatures.img_1052I just love it when she tries to sleep with her head resting in my hand.

arabesque^ A special sneak peek of me doing aerial.
img_1051 I tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather this week, and spent as much time outside as possible. img_1050 img_1049

img_1048With Daylight Savings Time ending, I’ve enjoyed some lovely sunrises while getting ready in the morning.

img_1023After wearing a costume all day on Monday, I just wanted to wear pajamas on Tuesday. This outfit was close enough. Scarf: Target (exact) // Dress: H&M (similar, similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)img_1027Scarf: Target (similar) // Cardigan: thrifted (similar, similar) // Belt: Target (similar) // Pants: Charlotte Russe (similar, similar) // Boots: Madden Girl (exact)

img_1032Scarf: Target (similar) // Shirt: H&M (similar, similar) // Belt: Target (exactsimilar, similar) // Skirt: thrifted (similar, similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)
img_1035Scarf: Amazon (exact) // Dress: Forever 21 (exact) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

End of October

Last Monday, a student got arrested at school, on Tuesday we had two fights (2 separate groups of students), on Thursday, we had conferences and then I went to a neighborhood discussion group so I didn’t get home until like 9:30 pm, and then the weekend was packed. It was quite the week!

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: There are about 650 Stradivarius instruments around, and they’re named after the musicians who play them.

Something I’m Into:  Westworld!!!! It’s a new show on HBO that’s similar to Lost and Game of Thrones.

Something I Appreciate: Having the time, health, money, and general ability to do fitness classes. I do aerial on Mondays, a strength training class on Wednesdays, and Irish dancing on Sundays, and I’m really glad that I can do all of them. They not only keep my body healthy, but they also keep my mind fresh and always working.

attachment-1-44A few weeks ago, I did something to a tendon in my leg while doing aerial, and it was whining at me after aerial on Monday, so I iced it, and Jane thought I was conveniently not moving just so that she could cuddle. Look at her being all, “Don’t you just love me so much???”attachment-1-43Neighborhood discussion about racial issues. A few months ago, a bunch of neighbors put up “Thank You Local Police” signs, and didn’t realize that, considering the timing, it would be interpreted as a threat to our black neighbors. Duh. So we gathered to discuss it and learn.attachment-1-46^This right here is an open window. It was 72 degrees on Friday, and I got to nap with my window open. AMAZINGattachment-1-47My Saturday night was more leg-icing (frozen peas) and Netflix. It was the best.attachment-1-45Jane helping me make the apron for my Halloween costume. Super helpful.img_0916Scarf: Target (similar, similar) // Dress: Old Navy (similar // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

img_0919Scarf: Target (similar) // Dress: Old Navy (similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

img_0922This was the night I didn’t get home until really late, so that’s what the crazy face is about. All peopling and no alones make introvert go crazy. And yes I put my name tags on my leg; otherwise my hair gets stuck in them. Scarf: Target (exact) // Sweater: Charming Charlie (similar) // Jeans: YMI (similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

img_0925Sometimes I wear certain outfits because they basically feel like I’m wearing pajamas. Everything except for the boots is from Target. Scarf (exact) // Sweater (similar) // Belt (exactsimilar, similar)  // Skirt (similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

Happy November!

Halloween Costume: Belle

“Tale as old as time…true as it can be…” I was Belle for Halloween! Gotta love a good Disney character.

Not into that Gaston dude.

I don’t like buying a pre-made costume, so I usually assemble costumes from things I already have and thrift store purchases.

For this costume, I got the blue shirt and skirt from Goodwill, the rose and fabric for my apron from Joann’s, and everything else from things I already had.attachment-1-42

Making the apron.

Most people can’t figure out who I am. They’ll guess Dorothy most of the time, or Alice, or I’ve gotten Little Debbie and Heidi. Pshh c’mon people, I’ve got Belle down pat! belle-arms



Fall Break Happenings

Last week, I had Thursday and Friday off due to education conferences, and my family was planning some activities for the weekend, so I spent my break with family and trying to get some stuff done.

3 Things From The Week

Something I Learned: Meat is “red/dark” or “light/white” depending on how much the animal used the muscle! Muscles that are used more contain more myoglobin (because myoglobin carries oxygen, and oxygen is necessary for a muscle to function), and myoglobin contains pigments that affect the muscle’s color. e.g. Chickens don’t fly much, so they don’t use their chest muscles much —> chicken breasts = white meat.

Something I’m Into: I’ve been binge-listening to the podcast “Stuff You Should Know”, which basically just takes any topic (Black Holes, The Great Depression, Chewing Gum) and spends an hour talking all about it. It’s where I’ve been getting a lot of my Something I Learneds from (yes I made that phrase plural and yes I ended the sentence with a preposition. You’re not the boss of me).

Something I Appreciate: I spent a lot of time with family this weekend, and I’m lucky to have a really great family.

attachment-1-33Children’s book illustrating.attachment-1-34Dollhouse in an antique store.attachment-1-24Family get together. It was 45 degrees outside, and we gathered at 10 am for lunch…? I don’t plan these things.attachment-1-259 Mile Creek, where my dad and his siblings played as kids.attachment-1-26

attachment-1-27Tiptoeing across this thin, rickety log became the activity of the day. No one fell in!attachment-1-28Those crazy Moen boys (my dad and uncle) trying to get a small toy boat out of the creek (see the little blue thing). Wasn’t our boat. Was there when we got there. Everything is a game. Yes, that’s my dad lying on his back, propping up the branch with his leg. He is 70 years old. #problemsolving #whateverittakes. …….They didn’t succeed. #goodtry img_0882My sweet girl.img_0898Scarf: Target (exact) // Shirt: H&M (similar, similar) // Skirt: thrifted // Belt: Target (exactsimilar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

Scarf: Target (exact) // Blazer: H&M (similar, similar) // Shirt: H&M (similar, similar) // Pants: H&M (similar, similar) // Shoes: Charlotte Russe (exact)

Happy Wednesday!

Recipe: Chocolate Bundt Cake

bundt-cake-recipeIt was my dad’s birthday the other day, and I often make him desserts for his birthday gift because he loves dessert, and because parents are impossible to buy for (am I right????)! So my mom gave me a recipe for a bundt cake she knew he had recently tried and really liked. The original recipe is HERE.


  • 1 (15.25-oz) box Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9-oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup canola oil (or vegetable)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350. Put all of the cake ingredients in a bowl, and mix.
attachment-1-23Step 2:
Spoon that pile of heaven into a (pre-sprayed)  bundt cake pan. The batter will be thick; notice I said “spoon”, I didn’t say “pour”.
attachment-1-19Step 3:
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
attachment-1-18 Step 4:
Put a plate upside-down on top of the bundt pan and carefully flip everything over. If your pan was nicely greased like mine, the cake will ka-chunk out of there neatly onto the plate.
attachment-1-21Step 5:
Let cool and prepare the glaze by putting glaze ingredients in microwave-safe bowl and microwaving for 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir.
attachment-1-22Step 6:
Glaze will be runny straight out of the microwave, so give it a couple of minutes to thicken up. When cake is fully cooled, pour glaze over it. I poured extra glaze into the center so that people could add more to their piece if they liked. Why else would we make cake with a hole in the center?
attachment-1-20Step 7:
You can add chocolate shavings, raspberries, or whatever toppings you’d like. I used raspberries from my backyard (and I put extra raspberries in the center on top of the extra glaze…like a pool of deliciousness). Now add whipped cream, ice cream, whatever, and enjoy!

Chilly Mornings, Warm Afternoons

I’ve still been enjoying our weather over the last week. It’s been very mild for us, and I’m trying to soak it all up while it lasts. This week is a shortened week, so I’m hoping to have some time during the break to work on my Halloween costume, get some things done around the house, sleep in, do nothin’ much, and have some festive fun with family.

3 Things From The Week

Something I Learned: Cats have “free-floating” collar bones (unlike our attached clavicles), which allows them to fit into spaces the same width as their head.

Something I’m Into: I decided to try to cut back on my paper towel usage (#itsnoteasytryingtobegreen), so I bought six small cloth napkins, and for the last couple of weeks I’ve used them anytime I wanted to reach for a paper towel. I’ve been doing a great job! I’ve only used paper towels a couple of times for removing nail polish (because cotton balls are the devil). Lifestyle change!

Something I Appreciate: I tend to resist enjoying fall because I know it’s the beginning of the end: winter. But this year, I’ve been trying to appreciate it more. The leaves have started to really turn their pretty colors now, and the other night there was a giant, low yellow harvest moon with wispy clouds rolling over it. Very Halloween-y.


img_0894Smushing her face against my arm while I draw.img_0873I call this outfit “Super Lumberjack Girl”. Shirt: H&M (similar) // Skirt: Charlotte Russe (similar, similar) // Belt: Target (exactsimilar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)img_0885

Shirt: H&M (similar, similar) // Scarf: Target (exact) // Belt: (exactsimilar, similar), Skirt: Target (similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

img_0888Sometimes you just want to be swallowed by a scarf. Scarf: Amazon (exact, almost exact) // Sweater: Target (similar, similar) // Shorts: Boom Boom Jeans (similar, similar, similar) // Boots: Top Moda (exact, similar)attachment-1-14

img_0895All-day conference on Saturday.

attachment-1-15Have a great week!

Busy Bee

The last month or so has been busy, always something to do. I hate being busy, but I like all of the things I’m doing (aside from stupid stuff like mowing the lawn and fixing house stuff).

3 Things From The Week

Something I Learned: The colorful outfits that jockeys wear are called “silks”. And they’re different for every race, chosen by the horse’s owner (I thought they were owned by the jockey himself). Also, the word “character” came from the name for a tool that was used to make stamps. Stamping—>impression—>character

Something I’m Into: I’ve been on an Eggo Waffle kick. I wonder if Eggo’s sales have gone up since Stranger Things came out. I’m pretty sure my craving has nothing to do with the show, but who knows…

Something I Appreciate: I just got a new blanket for my bed, and it’s perfect. It’s soft and thick and cute. I appreciate having a safe, warm bed. So many people don’t.
attachment-1-7My poor, battered tootsies from aerial.

img_0863Sweater: Derek Heart via Goodwill (similar)//Skirt: Charlotte Russe (similar, similar)//Boots: Naturalizer (similar)attachment-1-5Jane being super helpful while I try to work on illustrations.attachment-1-6She can sense the moment I think to myself, “Okay, time to get up now”, and she comes and sits right on top of me so I can’t move. Look at her face. She couldn’t care less about my plans.img_0870Scarf: Amazon (almost exact)//Sweater: Target (similar)//Skirt: thrifted (similar)//Boots: Top Moda (exact, similar)attachment-1-9Backyard raspberry picking.attachment-1-13attachment-1-8Found this plant while I was picking raspberries. Don’t know what it is. Anyone know?attachment-1-12It’s that tall, bright vine growing on my lilac bush. It has yellow flowers. Sometimes plants creep me out because they just take over, like in one of those cult horror movies. “Run for your lives!! It’s…THE VINE!!!!”attachment-1-11Oh, Autumn. (Shoes: Refresh, exact)