Monday, November 28, 2011

finals and fat

It's that time of year and finals are quickly's also the time of year my financial aid money runs low.  Unfortunately for me, due to my lack of funds, my pantry is stocked with the unhealthiest of poor-college-student essentials, and due to finals, stress eating as commenced.  One day, however, while procrastinating browsing pinterest, I stumbled upon the solution to my problems: calorie-free (almost) popcorn.  Kernels + brown paper lunch bag = fat-free heaven and a happy Ali.  Cheers!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!

Thanksgiving has to be one of my very favorite holidays...besides christmas of course!  What's not to love about an extended weekend without school/work, being around family (and friends, read: black wednesday), as well as LOTS of yummy food that you can eat and eat and eat and never feel guilty!! least I don't ;)

What was on my family's Thanksgiving dinner menu?

Hors d'oeuvres:
cashews, cashews, CASHEWS!
black olives
shrimp cocktail
...and my very famous cheese ball with crackers!

deep-fried turkey (we live life on the edge)
homemade stuffing with ground italian sausage
mashed red-skin potatoes made with greek yogurt and chives
butternut squash and creamed spinach personal fav!
cranberry sauce with real cranberries and also the jellied stuff for me :\

Sparkling Julian (for the little-uns)
Beaujolais Nouveau

Have yourselves a fantastic time eating turkey or tofurkey or whatever floats your boat!  I need to rest up for the big Black Friday celebrations!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Two years ago, after a series of running injuries, I was told by a physical therapist that I should think about picking up swimming--I'd damaged my body, feet to hips, so badly that I'd never be a runner again. At first I felt hopeless; I'm a runner and that's what always picked me up and kept me going.  Thinking that I'd never run again left me devastated.

After letting the news digest, I poured myself into physical therapy and stretching exercises.  I read running blogs as inspiration and made the decision to not give up.

On the morning of October 16, 2011, after 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 30 seconds, I finished my first half-marathon, and damn did it it feel good!

I've learned a lot about myself through my journey, and I found a strength I never knew I had.  I learned that even when it seems like all odds are against you, with perseverance and passion, you can overcome anything!

I look forward to training for my next race, and potentially a full 26.2 later down the road.

Monday, September 26, 2011

let the games begin.

With October just around the corner, it is safe to say that school is back in full swing!  I've already had my first two exams and am looking forward to several weeks more.  I'm more determined than ever to kick butt this semester...with dental school apps coming up and all.  Tonight is my first late-night library visit and so far I've managed to check twitter, research the University of Michigan's running club, and read all the blogs I follow.  The very fact that I'm blogging now says that I'm beginning to stress, as blogging is one of my favorite procrastination tools.  I hope you're all doing least better than me.  What I really hope is that you're not taking 18 credits this semester.  Especially if it's your senior year.  That would just be crazy...

Monday, September 5, 2011

school starts tomorrow.

I've been settled in my new house now for a couple of weeks and finally all unpacked.  School starts tomorrow, so to prepare, my 5 roommates and I threw a housewarming/welcome week party last weekend.  I would definitely say it reach near-rager status as our house was jam-packed and we went thru 2 kegs in the course of a couple of hours.  Good times :)

We also  had our opening season football game this weekend at the BIG HOUSE.  It was 95 degrees and we're seated in a sunny section of the stadium.  I started feeling crampy and nauseas as the game started and ended up leaving shortly after the first quarter.  My roommates that weren't at the game took me to the after hours doctor's office in Ann Arbor and from there I was sent straight to the hospital for an ultrasound and to potentially have my gall bladder removed that day.  Seven hours and several tests later the doctors at the hospital concluded that I, thank God, didn't need surgery.  Now, however, I'm on a strict and very boring diet which prevents me from ever eating late-night and hangover pizza again.  Hmmpf.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The last of my (many) boxes are packed and I'm planning on moving the rest out in the morning.  There's something about moving that's refreshing.  New place, new space.  I am, however, going to miss my wall-to-wall windows but hey, having my own house is going to be pretty freaking fantastic!
Don't get me wrong now; packing is pretty stressful.  Dan and I had several arguments over my massive quantity of belongings I recruited/forced him to help me move.  Being a man he just doesn't seem to understand the necessity of a giant clothing/shoe collection as well as boxes of cosmetics and beauty products.  Boys.  Although, I do agree that I probably don't need 5 different kinds of candles, paintings, pictures, memorabilia, decor, etc.  This move has made me realize that I definitely need to downsize my collection and quantity of STUFF before I move yet again in a year.  Hmmmfff.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


This weekend the boy and I drove 10 hours down to Washington DC to visit my dad (for me) and to meet/impress my dad (for him).  We had such a great time in the food-and-cocktail capital of the world--this does not represent the views of Lonely Planet or the capital's congressmen, but whatevs--that my stomach and liver are no longer celebrating.

I regret not taking pictures of "Virginia Wine Country," but rest assured that the sights were even more delectable than the wine...

I was mostly excited about the scenery and the beautifully historic homes.  Someday, if I ever make my million, I'm moving into an old plantation and starting my own show on HGTV.  I was that impressed.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I admit, I've been a little lazy with my running program.  I started with guns blazing, but suffered a severe progress plateau about 2 months in.  My running started getting harder, and my lung capacity seems like it's decreasing.  Ugh.  Yesterday, however, I looked at my calendar and realized that the Detroit Half Marathon is only 2 months and 8 days away.  With school starting soon I know I won't be able to run as much as I'd like, so I've decided to punish myself for being so lazy with two-a-days until I get back into a groove.  Wish me luck!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Art Fair

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is usually one of the craziest weeks of the year.  For one, it's always record-breakingly hot, and for another, it seems each year the swarms of tourists grows larger.  The art fair itself brings a lot of commerce and attention to the city, but to locals and students in the area over the summer, the art fair brings terrible traffic and long lines at bars and restaurants.  Most frustrating for me was my inability to ride my bike through the crowds on my way running errands downtown.  Non-Ann Arbor pedestrians really have no clue how to avoid stepping and stopping in the path of a cyclist.

My friends and I managed to make the most out of the art fair, however, and took advantage of the sidewalk sales and beer tents.

Here are some of the pictures I took while roaming the streets.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This is one of my favorite ways to use leftovers.  We went to a steakhouse for my mom's birthday, so I sliced up my leftover filet mignon and laid it out over a bed of arugula, cucumbers, red onion, and cherry tomatos.  Leftovers can be far from boring!

Monday, July 18, 2011

home sweet home

This past week I've been on hiatus partly due to me being super lazy... but I took my DAT so I suppose I'm entitled.  This weekend Dan and I drove to my hometown for my mom's birthday.  On Sunday I showed him around Port Huron and we spent the day lazing around the beach and swimming in the refreshing but slightly chilly Lake Huron.

After the beach, my mom made her incredible and super authentic tacos (homemade shells and all!)  

Today was our last day in town and we decided to play some mini golf and race go-karts (which I won, duh) before going to Lucky's Steakhouse for dinner to celebrate Mom's 50th.  The bread, blooming onion, and my filet were all fantastic..even though my steak was a little closer to well-done than I had hoped.

I don't make it home very often, so when I do it's always nice to relax.  I also love to see my parents and my dogs, the newest of which is a tiny toy poodle.  She adored Dan and could not get enough of him.  A good-looking man and a dog...who could resist?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Playing with Flavor

Don't think this is turning into a strictly food blog, but I write when I'm inspired, and currently I'm thinking of a great dinner for tomorrow night to celebrate finishing my DAT.  When I'm cooking I typically like to keep things simple.  For starters, I'm in college (aka broke as hell) and I simply cannot afford to keep a pantry/fridge fully stocked at all times.  Also, when too many different flavors are combined together, I typically tend to get overwhelmed (reason why I am not partial to Ethiopian food).  Therefore, I like to keep some basic essential ingredients on hand, as well as a good rotation of new fruits and veggies to try.  Some things I almost always have at home are: feta cheese, black beans, canned corn, tomatoes, live sprouted bread, worchestershire sauce, and white wine.  With these staple ingredients, I find I can usually bring a few new ingredients to the table (no pun intended) and come up with something edible, if not surprisingly fantastic.  I'm a huge fan of vegetables, and they're the main part of most of my dishes, so I love walking into a farmers market or store and picking out things that catch my eye.  One rule of mine: Never be intimidated.  If you don't know how to cook something, or how to work it in with other flavors, google it.  You're bound to learn and 9 times out of 10 it's not as scary as it seems.

This brings me to my next topic:  mixing flavors!  Like I said before, I like to keep it simple.  Also very important is using what YOU have.  If I'm following a recipe and it calls for a lemon garnish and I happen to have a lime in the fridge, I'll try it.  Start with a little and you can always stop of you don't like where the flavor is going.  So when I'm putting together a meal, I try to have a veggie/fruit with a carb/protein.  I also like to mix sweet and salty or spicy.  So if I'm making an arugula salad, the spicy peppery flavor is a little intense for say, an italian dressing..or at least for me.  Instead, I might use just a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette and garnish with fresh raspberries, walnuts, and a mild goat cheese.  Yum!

What are your favorite combos?  I love trying new ideas!

Sauteéd Carrots with Cilantro and Feta

I've decided to try something new with this post. If you know me, you should know that I love to cook...and I'm not half bad at it. I consider myself a bit of a health freak so pretty much everything I make is based off whole food and all-natural/organic. I recently went to the farmers' market so I've been cooking with my veggie finds. The photo isn't very good quality, but I guarantee this recipe looks as delicious as it tastes!

Sauteéd Carrots with Cilantro and Feta 

prep: 5 min.  cooking: 10 min
Serves 2
3 cups peeled organic carrots
1 roasted red pepper, chopped (I get my jarred at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
non-stick cooking spray
salt and pepper (to taste)

Lightly spray pan and add carrots, roasted red pepper, and s&p.  Sauteé until cooked but firm.
Garnish with cilantro and feta.

  by alindaue

, a photo by alindaue on Flickr.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Farmers Market

This morning I made a trip out to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for the first time on my new-to-me bike.  To be honest, I haven't made it out to the farmers market yet this summer, so I was really excited to go.  The streets of Ann Arbor were cool and quiet at 7am this Saturday morning, but the farmers market was in full swing.  There were tons of vendors and shoppers selling fresh, organic produce from local farms.  For $35 I got so many cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, cherries, arugula, blueberries and more that I had to squeeze into my little bike basket on the ride home.  I'd say I got my money's worth!

Meet my vintage Schwinn!  I'm in love :)

Forgive me, I was so distracted by the market itself that I forgot to take pictures, thus I borrowed these from google.  They pretty accurately describe some of the best things at the market, so I'll stick with them :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I am woman.

If you know me, or if you are one of my several loyal followers, you know that I love to run (I am currently training for my first half-marathon)!  I would consider myself a 'runner,' but to me that sounds more like a person who runs tens of miles a day.  I am not that intense, and even if I had the time...who the hell wants to run much more than 10 miles a day, everyday, anyways?

To me, the feeling I get while running is multi-dimensional.  For starters, the flood of endorphins interacting with the opiate receptors of my brain (aka runners' high), is absolutely euphoric!  Also, what better way is there to relieve stress than pounding out the pavement while blaring Eminem?  Thirdly, I love the overwhelming feelings of physical and emotional strength I get from overcoming my screaming muscles and the voice in my head tempting me to stop.  After a great run, I feel like a strong and powerful woman, and that to me, is the the best part about running.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy Independence Day, everyone!  I love the fourth of July for many reasons;  fireworks, barbeques, sunshine, family, and friends.  All these things are great, but the best part about the Fourth of July is celebrating our freedom in the home of the brave.  Appreciate soldiers and veterans today, and everyday, because without them we may not be Americans.

Happy Fourth of July!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope you all are having just as fabulous of a fourth of July weekend as I am!  Where do I begin?  Ok, so Friday started off rough (12 hours of studying..yuck), but everything today made up for it.  For starters, I ran my first (self-timed) 10K of the season this morning, then I made a delicious Avocado Bleu Turkey burgers and organic baked beans for a festive lunch with Dan.  To wrap up my incredible day, I found an AWESOME vintage Schwinn bike, which I mentioned I really wanted previously.  It's even red!  It's in the shop now getting a tune-up, but I'll have pictures as soon as I get it back!

Tomorrow night is fireworks and Monday morning I'm running the Firecracker 5K downtown in the hopes of bringing home a medal!
Have a great weekend! of july.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh, Ann Arbor.

There's something about Ann Arbor in the summer that I find absolutely intoxicating.  Maybe it's the smell of the grass or the sidewalk chalk.  Or maybe it's the mix of locals and co-eds chattering as they stroll through the diag.  Or maybe just God Man preaching away in front of the Grad library.  Who knows?  What I do know is that it's my home, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Burn fat, not OIL.

I've always been conscious of recycling and reusing bags at the grocery store, but I never realized how much I'm beginning to morph into a "green freak" until today, when my mother called me a hippie.

I'm not quite sure whether it's the recycle-savvy city of Ann Arbor which I call home, or the strengthening of my love and appreciation of our beloved Planet Earth, but I am most definitely noticing rather environmentally conscious behaviors in myself.

Evidence #1: I strictly shop at whole foods, trader joe, and the farmer's market.
Evidence #2: I recently bought recycled toilet paper.  Yes, recycled. toilet. paper.

Friday, June 24, 2011

finding my inner style diva..of sorts.

Fall in love with your closet, treat it well. <3

Lately I've had the inspiration to become a style diva --whatever that means--. Considering the fact that I am absolutely and devastatingly broke (thank you, Sierra, for forcing me to pay $1000+ of your rent FOR you), I've been spending my time de-stressing at the local Salvation Army, as well as the clearance racks at my very favorite Urban Outfitters.

I've enlisted the help of several style blogs to help me craft my wardrobe, which sadly up until now was lacking. With their style secrets and my natural affinity for cheap basics, I've been building up my closet. A truly neverending project, but I must say that of late, I am falling in love.

Some of you may say "well since she's broke, what the hell is she doing shopping?" Well to answer your questions, I allow myself to splurge on clothes (only under $20!), I a) stopped going out and spending money on bar tabs, and b) eat out only at restaurants to which I have giftcards (thanks Mom!).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

screw google

Google is out... Swag Bucks is in!

Use the Swag Bucks search engine the next time you search the web for something and earn points you can redeem for CA$H.

It's legit..After one day I have 62 points, and according to Marie Claire magazine, it only takes 450 points before you can cash in.

Try it, and consider it my gift to you for reading my blog :)

Monday, June 20, 2011


Today I shadowed at a pediatric dentistry office for the first time. Synopsis: LOVE.

I'm hoping to start shadowing there on a regular basis to observe more procedures and how the doctors work with the children. My favorite case of the day was with a boy named Tyler. Tyler has Down Syndrome and an absolute doll! Probably the sweetest kid I've encountered, and definitely the most calm in the dentist chair! Another challenged patient I saw today was autistic. I learned a lot by observing him, including the patience and compassion it takes to help an autistic child.

I believe that today was a turning-point in my path to becoming a dentist. If I ever had doubts about my career choice, they were all extinguished. I am more confident than ever because I know that I am truly passionate about dentistry and about helping people. Perhaps I'll even become a pediatric dentist someday :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

extreme couponing

As lame as it may sound...I think I'm going to start couponing.

I'm home this weekend and taking advantage of my parents' OnDemand to watch random shows. I came across Extreme Couponing, and the fact that these women can pay under $5 for thousands of dollars worth of food is incredible! I'm not going to go crazy, and my 1x3 square foot food shelf won't allow me to, but paying $50 a week of my hard-earned money on food is painful. Saving $10 a week, I could buy a new dress in a month :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

i want to ride my bicyle, i want to ride it where i like

Title source: Queen "Bicycle Race"

So I've been wanting a super awesome beach cruiser for a little while now. I'm not SUPER picky...just as long as it has fenders and a basket in the front it's totally cool with me. I just haven't been able to find the perfect one yet. Perhaps it's a little premature, as I currently live on the 3rd floor of my building and I don't particularly fancy the idea of carrying my bike up the stairs everyday. This being said, I'll probably continue to daydream about riding riding my cruiser through town with the wind blowing in my hair and a bag full of fresh veggies from the farmers market nestled in my basket... I could probably stand to not spend the cashola on a bike right now anyways :\

Thursday, June 9, 2011

DAT/PAT woes

Just to give you all an idea of what I'm currently suffering with...


I recently bought the book Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, used of course (yay for recycling!) and I can honestly say it's beginning to change my relationship with food, even after only four chapters! I've spent my whole life dieting, or thinking about diets, just like most girls my age. Not only is it not satisfying, it's usually not successful. Bethenny's #1 rule is simple:
treat food like your bank account.
What the eff does that mean? Well, you don't want to "spend" all your carbs/fat/sugars at once...and you definitely shouldn't! It's alright to splurge once in a while, as long as you save elsewhere. Have that cheeseburger at lunch! Just don't get the fries.. Just like dropping all your cash at one store and having an entire mall to go! And if you do eat the cheeseburger (or the fries), balance the fat and carbs with a salad with grilled chicken and veggies for dinner.

and never feel guilty. if you honestly crave something and only eat a few bites (savor them!), no "damage" will be done.

This is only a portion of the book, and already the woman's got me convinced. I'm excited to read the rest :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I was born to survive.

I don't consider myself religious, but..

there's something so inspirational about Lady GaGa's

Born This Way

Saturday, June 4, 2011

the real life

Has anyone heard the song "Last friday night" by Katy Perry?

Ohh the glory days of college.. The time in your life when it's appropriate to.... ok perhaps not appropriate, but SHIT who cares?

As you can see, I'm feeling philosophical as I sit here in my hungover state with swollen feet (from my fabulous 5 in. heels that miraculously didn't hurt last a consequence of alcohol), last night's makeup and black pleather minidress.

Cheers to friends, college, tequila, and Ricks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

chat roulette

Ohhh where do I begin? Yesterday I had the spontaneous idea of going on chat roulette (for the first time..lame). Apparently, the old one was shut down and redirects to a live porn website (not too different from the original). After about 10 minutes of research, my genius roommate and best friend (I pick them for their endearing qualities) came across It didn't take us long to realize the site is hosted in Russia, and that Russian men, as well as the Americans on our beloved version of the site, enjoy taking their pants off. It made for an interesting night..

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Practice Safe Sun

While rubbing aloe on Dan's lobster-esque back, I was quickly reminded of how important it is to practice safe sun. So do it, otherwise you'll have leather-y skin and wrinkles at age 25, not to mention scars from where your pre-cancerous moles were removed.

Sexy? I think not.

Monday, May 30, 2011

memorial day weekend

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I hope you're all having just as much fun as I had. Unfortunately, I'm back in Ann Arbor studying away with only mosquito bites to remind me of my fabulous weekend at the lake.

ps. In case you don't know me, that man in the hat is Dan. Trust me, it was really bright out. He normally doesn't look like that. ...sorry, Dan :P

Thursday, May 26, 2011

to-do list

I definitely have to say that I have been enjoying myself so far this summer. I've realized this after I finished making my to-do list for this weekend. It is 21 assignments long. I suppose it's time to stop living large and start being slightly more productive with my time, seeing as though my DAT is only 8 weeks away. Eeeks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

to punctuate or to punctuate obnoxiously--that is the question

My oh-so-dear friend Laura just got back stateside from a semester abroad frolicking with Kiwis, so we were porch drinking in celebration of her first day back, which was also coincidentally the last day of warm weather. More of her and our friends arrived to join the festivities and as the beer and cheap vodka started flowing, we somehow got into the conversation of the respective contexts of hahas, lols, and smiley faces in text messages. This also got me thinking...what about the obnoxious multi-letter/punctuation texts (read: no fucking wayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!)?

How much is too much? And which, out of the hahas, lols, and smiley faces are appropriate and in which scenarios? Someone should write a book...

"rain drops are falling on my head..."

Hello world!

Today it was raining and something made me realize I wanted to start blogging again (hence my blog title). My last blog was okay...but it was written by the old me. I feel like my life has suddenly switched direction, which makes starting a new blog 100% appropriate.

Please excuse the lack of page creativity, but one fit of inspiration per day is enough for me... Not to mention this first post is the product of my procrastination.

Stay tuned...and happy reading.

ps. stay dry out there!