20. Meditate once a week, for 10 minutes, for at least six months (2 month update!)

Happy Sunday everyone! I’m spending my day the best way I know how: iced toffeenut coffee in hand, kitties laying next to me, and “How I Met Your Mother” in the background. Ok, that’s not what I’m doing ALL day…I do have to take care of the jungle that’s taken over my front yard, and I’m going to try a new Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad for dinner. But for now…it’s relax and blog time.

As I mentioned in my last post, my last dance recital was AWESOME! We got the DVDs of the show this week and I was overwhelmed by how fantastic it was! I couldn’t have been more proud. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the show:


Rafiki during “Circle of Life”


Rafiki, Mufasa, and Sarabi during “Circle of Life”


Simba during the Stampede


Scar, Sarabi, and Nala


Rafiki, Simba, and Mufasa


Simba takes his place as king


Nala, Simba, and Rafiki during the Circle Finale


The senior girls gave me flowers at the end of the show…and I cried all over everyone.

It was a fantastic way to end my time with the dance program! Also, the week of the show, my dancers surprised me with a flash mob! Yes! We were getting ready to run The Lion King during our first rehearsal of the week, and my boss turned on a different song and the girls started dancing…and then dragged me to the middle of the room and danced around me. It was incredible! Bethany, one of my senior girls (who also played Simba), organized the whole thing: she choreographed it, did all the music, set up and led the rehearsals, and arranged for three people to tape it. It was so incredibly special, and one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.

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Ok, now on to the list! So, I just finished my second month of meditation. I’ve stuck with the “Breathe” app for all of my meditating, and I am really enjoying it. I don’t know why exactly, but the woman’s voice really focuses me. Rather than doing 10 minutes in one sitting, I’ve been trying to meditate 2-3 times a week. So far, I’ve meditated for 103 minutes. I’ve found that meditating is not only helping me when I’m stressed and overthinking, but it also helps me fall asleep much faster at night. As I jump into my third month, I am trying to decide if I want to try out another app to compare the results. Does anyone else out there meditate? Any suggestions or words of wisdom? Let me know below!

Until next time,



22. Go to a New Restaurant…a Quad Cities adventure!

Hey all! It’s May 4th, but you’d think from the way I’m bundled up (and perhaps the fact that I had to turn the heat back on…) that it’s January. We’re experiencing another below-average temperature day with some light rain. Normally, I don’t mind, but all the dreary weather has made me so tired. I want to lay in bed all day. So, that’s what I’m doing. I got up, made a quick coffee run, and am back in bed, armed with my laptop and season 9 of “Friends.” I mean, really, could this day BE any better?! Yes, yes it could. I also get to have dinner tonight at one of my favorite Thai places, with my friends, Jessica and Daniel. And, “Once Upon a Time” and “Resurrection” are on tonight. And, I’m trying a new cake recipe if I have time. I wish every day was like this…

Speaking of great days, this past Tuesday was excellent! I had a pretty good day at work and was interviewed for a local talk show. (If you’re in the QC, check out Paula Sands on KWQC this Wednesday at 3:00!) I also got to have lunch with Bryan before work. Normally, I don’t see my friends at all during the work week. With me teaching dance, my schedule just doesn’t match up with anyone else’s and by the time I get home after class, I’m exhausted. So, Tuesday was special. 🙂 I let Bryan pick where we ate, as his birthday was coming up, and he chose a place I’ve never been to: 100 Montaditos. I’d never even heard of this place, and when he told me it was a tapas place, I was even more excited!


We got to the restaurant a little after 11:30. There weren’t too many people there when we arrived, but it really filled up closer to noon. Bryan chose a high table by the door and we settled in. On the tables were a pile of menus, notepads, and pens. Bryan, who has been there before, explained that we got to write out our order on the notepad, and then we would take it up to the counter to place our order and pay. Upon opening the menu, I was completely overwhelmed. There are 100 sandwich options to choose from. The sandwiches are about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. They also have several appetizer, side, and dessert options. After searching the menu for several minutes for safe options, I decided to go with one of their “collections,” which include 5 specific sandwiches. Although I wasn’t sure I’d like all the sandwiches, the directions of the list were to “order something I wouldn’t normally order” so I decided to just go with it. I chose the “Meat Lover’s Collection.” (Click here to see the menu!)

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The ordering process was easy and very fast. As Tuesdays are long days for me, I decided to splurge and get a Pepsi to keep me awake. My grand total for my 5 sandwiches (which came with chips,) my drink, and a tip came to $11.00. Not bad for the amount of food I was getting. The wait for the food was a little long. Thankfully, I wasn’t in a hurry, and I had good company, so it wasn’t a big deal. Bryan said the wait time was much shorter the other times he had been there. I also got a chance to check out the atmosphere. I think these pictures say it all…


The ordering counter


We were right by the window!


The pictures by our table. I thought these were so cool.


The view from our table

When your food is ready, they call you up to the counter to come get it. My mouth was immediately watering as I looked at my plate. I knew right away that 5 sandwiches were going to be way too many, but I ended up saving my leftovers for an in-between classes snack. I got a quick picture before I started to eat…but then things got out of control.


Bryan’s sammichs!


My sammichs!

I started with #52, which is garlic pork loin, served with lettuce, mayo, and tomato. (I took off my tomato…ick!) I inhaled it, so didn’t get a good picture. I liked it a lot, until I tried the other sandwiches. Overall, this was probably my 3rd favorite. It was good, but a little boring. My second sandwich was #45, a chicken sandwich with green pepper, tomato (eww), and ali oli. I think I told Bryan this sandwich was “divine.” It was incredibly flavorful…I could have eaten 5 of them. I don’t know what else to say about it. My mouth is filling with saliva just thinking about it. Sandwich #3 was #29, a philly steak sandwich with cheddar cheese, crispy onion, and pequillo peppers. I had such high hopes for this one and it let me down. It was very dry. I don’t think I’ll order this sandwich again. At this point, I was entering a food coma and couldn’t comprehend how I could have possibly ordered 5 sandwiches. The restaurant was nice and warm, and I was starting to slip out of consciousness…so clearly, it was time to eat a fourth sandwich. I decided to go for #11, with is a meatball sandwich with bacon, and save the last sandwich for later. The meatball sandwich was MUCH better than the philly steak, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the marinara. I’m picky. I don’t know that I’d order this one again either. By the time I’d finished this sandwich, I really couldn’t move. I managed to waddle to the counter for a to-go box. Anything farther would have been unsuccessful…thank you, Bryan, for picking a seat close to the counter. We sat for a few minutes until we could move, and then went on our way.


#11 and #47





3 hours and 4 digested sandwiches later, I decided to eat my final sandwich before classes got started. My last one was #47: BBQ pulled pork, cream cheese, bacon, and ali oli. Oh. My. Sweet. Jesus. This sandwich is THE sandwich. I almost cried while eating it. It was THAT good. Even if the other sandwiches had been a bust, this sandwich would have been the saving grace. So. Effing. Delicious.


Post-lunch selfie!

I think this goes without saying, but I highly recommend “100 Montaditos.” The awesome atmosphere is unique to the QC, the food is fantastic, and in my opinion, affordable. I will definitely be eating here again, and hope you will try it out too! Been there before? Let me know what you think below!


Crossing the 2nd Thing Off My List…

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Are you watching this game?!?!

…neither am I. (I do have it on; just not paying attention. Oops.) I hope you all had an excellent weekend! I sure did. I’ve decided that since January sucked so much, the rest of the year is going to be good to me. I’m going to make sure of it. So, I started my first day of February with a day in. My original weekend plans got a bit jumbled because of the snow we got yesterday, so a day in was excellent! I did a bit of choreography for the musical I’m currently working on, had a quick phone chat with Erica, cleaned the house a bit, rearranged the kitchen cupboards (which I’ve been meaning to do for over a month), and finished the night with a much-needed friend dinner with Elizabeth and Tyler, featuring fajitas, chips and salsa, and some yummy mango margaritas. It was just an all-around great day. I started today off with some kitty snuggles, then coffee with my wonderful friend, Jessica. I don’t get nearly enough “girl time,” I’ve decided. Sure, I spend time with my dancers all week, in an office with all girls. But, as far as getting one on one time with a girlfriend who is my age that doesn’t involve Skype? Well, that never happens. I followed up coffee with a lunch date downtown with Bryan and Seth. When I got home, my mom was here. She cleaned

Ok, sorry. I just got side-tracked by the new Spiderman trailer. At least, I think it was new. It took the entire trailer for me to realize my mouth was hanging open. As I was saying…

My mom cleaned the walls around my stove because they are a greasy, gross mess. She also delivered a whole bunch of Thirty One products! I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but my mom is a Thirty One consultant. I had a party 2 weeks ago, and it was such a success, that I got a bunch of free product. I am SO excited to use everything! Yay!  On a totally unrelated note, if you ever want to host a Thirty One party, let me know and I’ll hook you up with my mom. 🙂 Anywho, since she left, I’ve just been hanging out, making garlic chicken alfredo in the crockpot and pretending to watch this game. (The Seahawks are winning. I do know that!)

So…my exciting hoola hoop journey has come to an end. Don’t worry; I finished out strong!

Day 26 (Jan 28): 6 minutes

Day 27 (Jan 29): I forgot. Yes. I FORGOT. Like, didn’t remember until the next night. I’m an idiot.

Day 28 (Jan 30): Upon remembering, I had a moment of panic. Did I need to start over? I decided no; if I’d made the conscious decision not to hoola hoop, then sure. I’d start over. But I forgot. It was a crazy week. I compromised and decided that I’d do a double session over the weekend. But I did do 5 minutes that day.

Day 29 (Jan 31): 5 minutes

Day 30 (Feb 1): 5 minutes + 5 minutes to make up for Wednesday

Day 31 (Feb 2): 5 minutes

That’s it! I’m finished and can cross it off my list! Yaaaaaaaaay! Although this hasn’t been the greatest, given the knee/back/mental pain (ha), it did have some positives. Firstly, I started a habit and stuck to it. I’ve decided that although this may not be an every day activity, I would like to incorporate it into my weekly schedule. Lastly, and most exciting, I lost 3/4 of an inch on my waist and a full inch on my hips! WOOT WOOT!

I’m hoping February will see me crossing a few things off my list. What would YOU like to see me do next? Let me know 🙂

As always, xoxo