Monday, December 17, 2012

i'm going to dental school!

It's been a long and crazy couple of months with interviews, essays, and lots of waiting, but I've finally made it!  Out of the 5 interviews I went to at Michigan, Pitt, LECOM, Detroit Mercy, and Colorado, I received first-round admissions offers from all five.  I narrowed my choice down to Detroit Mercy and Colorado, and after LOTS of thinking, praying, and tears (yes, it's been an emotional process!) I've decided to attend Colorado!  I'm still not sure it's the most realistic decision, as the tuition is twice that of Michigan, and it's very far from home, but I really need it.  I need to get out of Michigan and start over. I'm so excited to leave my past behind me and start a new life out west!

University of Colorado-Denver School of Dental Medicine, Class of 2017!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

thoughts as a curly girl

As a child, I was teased for being the girl with the "afro."  My mother never knew how to style it and ended up brushing out my locks in a frustrated attempt to get me to school on time in the mornings.  As I grew into adolescence, I begged my mom to buy me my first flat iron one day on a trip to Target.  Of course I had no idea what I was doing and would end up really only straightening the front, leaving the back of my head a nappy mess, but I was thrilled with the results.  Over time I became more skilled with my Conair, while my hair gravely suffered the consequences.  In eighth grade I finally asked for a new straightener for Christmas and began my research.  The stylists at my salon used the brand HAI and I was in love.  I found I could buy the exact same one here (it's currently on sale!) and that was the end of the story!  I absolutely adored my straightener, and we spent 5 happy years together.  When it finally died, I re-purchased an identical one, and took it with me to college.

Although I loved the versatility that came with straight hair, and experimented with different styles, it wasn't until I really did some deep soul searching before I learned to embrace my God-given curls.  Now, I haven't touched my flat iron for over two years, and my hair is healthier and happier than ever!

I hope all you readers can learn a thing or two from this post, to love yourselves for who you are, because you're all truly beautiful on the inside!

My super-long straight hair in high school

Me with my best friend freshman year in college.

Me today, embracing my natural, God-given, curly girl pride :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

end-of-summer updates

This summer has been wild, crazy, fun, and above all, super busy!  Between working full-time at the dental office, applying to dental school, running, and maintaining a social life, I've been going non-stop.  I've never embraced my decision to take a year off of school more than after this summer!  I got to spend a lot of time with friends, spend days off by the pool, run run run, and finish my dental school apps!

Now I've finally moved out of the Animal House (I'll still miss you, 1115!) and into my beautiful, clean, spacious, and fabulous new apartment with one of my good friends and previous roommates.

Dental school update:  I accepted an interview at LECOM Bradenton!  I'll be heading to Florida in mid-September for the interview, and I can't wait!  My fingers are crossed that I'll get more interviews as admissions boards have a chance to review my application.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ann Arbor Half Marathon

Although it has nothing to do with fathers, I celebrated Fathers Day this year by running the inaugural Ann Arbor Marathon (I ran the half).  Since this was the debut of a (hopefully!) city tradition, the whole town was flooded with energy!  Locals came out to watch and cheer us on, and there were many volunteers for refreshment stations.  The energy gels they gave out were clutch, too!  The course was beautiful, as it wound through some of the best sights Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus have to offer.  I highly recommend any of you readers to check it out next year, if you happen to be in the midwest region!

Anyways, I PR'd by SIX MINUTES so I'm absolutely stoked about that!  I finished strong and energetic at 1:56:08.  Despite the heat and humidity from the threatening storm, I felt great throughout the run.  Miles 8-10 were the toughest for me, as they looped around the mall and there weren't nearly as many spectators cheering us on, but it seemed like everyone was feeling the same way, so we cheered our fellow runners on to head into the final 3 mile return to finish.

Unlike my last half, I had no joint pain after this one.  However, around mile 7 I started feeling a pretty gnarly blister forming between my toes and the ball of my right foot.  The endorphins eased me to the finish, but I'll have to take a good week off of training to let it heal properly.

My plan now is to continue running and finish the Woodstock Full Marathon in September!

What are your favorite races?

Monday, June 4, 2012

pizza night!

On Saturday I got lunch with a friend at a great little pizza restaurant in Ann Arbor, called Silvio's.  I ordered the vegan pesto pizza and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was!  Ever since, I've been craving a good vegan pizza, and decided to make one of my own, using Silvio's version as inspiration.

I love using pita bread as a crust, rather than buying pre-made crusts, or God help me.. make one myself (let's face it.. i'm not exactly a chef and I have about 2 square feet of counter space in my kitchen).  The following is my recipe:

Vegan Pesto Pita Pizza

1 pita loaf
2-3 tablespoons of pesto sauce (I used Williams-Sonoma basil pesto)
1 small onion, sliced
1 small roma tomato (I had a large sandwich tomato, so I took slices off of that)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup vegan mozzerella

Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until cheese turns a golden color

If you haven't tried the Williams-Sonoma pesto sauce, you should.  It's honestly the best pre-made pesto I've ever tried... and I've tried many!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


My graduation gift from my mom and stepdad was a mother-daughter vacation to Florida!  I counted down the days until we left, left for the airport at 3am, and anticipated paradise!  Upon arrival to Chicago O'Hare, my mom told me to look up the gate for our transfer flight.  Scrolling down the screen for Flight 445, my eyes landed on our destination:  Cancún!  That's right... I was punk'd.

Our resort was about an hour down the coast from Cancún itself, between Playa del Carmen and Tulúm right on the Riviera Maya.  The resort itself was seriously the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life!  Off the street and down a long driveway was the main lobby: a giant open-air Palapa.  The rooms were organized into separate buildings and scattered throughout the jungle, with a stone pathway leading to each one.  Our building was the closest to the beach, and a 5 minute walk to the lobby.  On the way to our room, we passed by a beautiful cenote, and came across many different species of native Mexican wildlife.  How cool?

The pool, beach, and spa were all fantastic, and the food selections were all incredible!  The resort is adults-only and all-inclusive, with incredible service and the most beautiful views of the Caribbean I've seen in any picture.

There were all kinds of activities, such as free scuba lessons (!!), pool aerobics, beach soccer/volleyball, and zumba!  The activity leaders were sourced from an Italian company, so the people-watching was pretty dreamy :)

On Wednesday, my mom and I took the ferry from Playa del Carmen to the island of Cozumel, where we took a taxi to the Chakanaab national park and went snorkeling.  If you know me, you understand that this was a serious feat for me to accomplish.  I have a crippling fear of fish, but aside from a few instances (such as being followed by a school of creepy-looking silver fish, to encountering a barracuda, face-to-face) I was totally fine.  The water was absolutely beautiful and the coral reefs were stunning!

Today was our last day in this beautiful place and I'm very sad we're leaving.  Hopefully I can make it back to this beautiful country (and the land of my ancestors!) someday soon!

The beach!

In the jungle, walking to our room.

The beautiful cenote we passed each day, walking to/from our room.

Don't worry--I wore lots of SPF!

Sipped on daquiris, piña coladas, and tequila sunrises all week!

Cozumel, from the ferry.

The ferry dock at Playa del Carmen

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

summer salad recipes!

Now that school is out and I have more time to get creative in the kitchen, I've been whipping up some yummy (most of the time) new vegan recipes!  The temperatures here in Michigan have been hot hot hot lately, so I've taken advantage of the beautiful weather and come up with some different salad recipes I've been eating nonstop!  Enjoy :)

organic dark leafy greens (I love arugula and spinach!)
chopped watermelon
balsalmic vinaigrette dressing

toss and serve with hummus and pita chips

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup sautéed asparagus
1/2 cup orange bell peppers
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

let cool and refrigerate (optional, I just like it better cold, especially on hot days!)

1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar

toss and enjoy immediately :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Run Woodstock 2012

I started my official training regimen last week for my very first FULL marathon!  In case you're interested, the race is the Running Fit Run Woodstock which takes place the first weekend of September in Pinckney, MI.  If you're in the area you should stop by!  There are a variety of distances for the more and less practiced runner.  It looks like a blast and I absolutely cannot wait!

So far training has been light, as I technically bumped down my mileage to prevent injuries.  I'm still vegan and going strong (except for the occasional cookie, but who's counting?)  My body feels stronger and I keep reducing my mile time.  I'll keep you all updated!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I'm DONE!!  I cannot even begin to describe to you how absolutely fantastic it feels to be finished with my undergraduate education forever!  Finals were rough, but I made it through and managed my highest semester GPA yet ... well, still waiting on one grade, but things are looking good :)

Updates on going vegan:  I feel fantastic!  Sometimes I do feel a little annoying when telling people I'm vegan now, because they feel the need to make special accommodations (please don't!  I can work my way around meat/cheese dishes!), but other than that I've found my dietary transition to be going smoothly.  My running times have improved already, and I feel more energetic and strong during my runs as well.  I've also re-discovered my love of cooking, which I hope can continue now that I'm no longer in school and have significantly more free time.  Next on my recipe-tackle list is vegan mac n' cheese, which if you know me, you know is one of my all-time favorite foods.  Wish me luck!

Please, if you have any good vegan recipes or tips, pass them along!  I appreciate you in advance!

Monday, April 16, 2012


So my dear friend Alina and I have decided to go vegan.  I experimented with the notion for the week following spring break as more of a detox, and found that I felt a lot more energetic and healthy.  I also discovered that by eliminating animal products from my diet, my running improved, and in JUST ONE WEEK!  I was only set on eating vegan for the week following spring break, so I transitioned back to eating omnivorously again afterwards.

I've been feeling weak and sluggish again lately and didn't really make a connection with my diet, I just thought I might be stressed with finals coming up and term papers due.  Today is officially day 2 of my vegan-again lifestyle (strictly dietary -- can't say I could ever give up leather) and I'm already feeling great!  I've always known I am slightly lactose-intolerant, but was never terribly bothered as long as I avoided drinking milk straight or eating it with cereal.  Perhaps the dairy I was eating hidden in foods, such as cheeses put in sauces, skim milk in my coffee, or the cream hidden in my all-time favorite tomato basil bisque, is the secret culprit?  I suppose I shall see.  I'll continue posting my progress, as long as what I'm eating and how I'm running.  Any other vegans out there?

Day 2:

Breakfast -- coffee (black)
Lunch -- Naked brand Green Machine juice, roasted red pepper hummus with pita bread
Dinner -- (Seva's restaurant) Tempeh burger with daiya and basil-cashew pesto and sweet potato fries.
Dessert -- unsweetened applesauce

Run -- 9.2 miles in 84 minutes

Friday, April 13, 2012

my FINAL finals

I cannot believe that in 6 short days I will have taken my last EVER final exam and completed the requirements of my degree for graduation.  My oh my, time sure flies, doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

Happy spring everyone!

The weather here in Michigan has been fantastic, with today and tomorrow topping out at 80 degrees!  I have a huge and scary term paper due tomorrow and fully plan on spending the rest of the day outside after I turn it in.  If this is truly global warming, I feel sorry for a soon-to-be sinking Florida, but the weather here in Michigan keeps getting better (this is sarcasm, not to offend anyone.  I love Florida and would hate to see it go!)

I celebrated the beginning of warmth this weekend with St. Pattys Day!  Lots of time with friends and good ol' green beer made the day remarkable!  

What did you guys do for the Irish holiday?  What are your plans for this warm weather?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring Break!

This week was a whirlwind of fun, craziness, and (memory) haziness!  Essentially, it was everything a spring break should be.  A few of my roommates and I drove the 16 hours down to Panama City Beach, Florida and spent eight days there.  The few days were foggy, windy, and cold, but considering 60 degrees was still warmer than the 20 we came from, no one really complained.  By day three, the sun came out and temperatures neared 80 for the rest of the trip.  The girls and I spent the majority of day three laying out on the beach and ended the day with horrible sunburns.  Lucky for me, my sunburn has yet to peel and I'm feeling refreshed, tan, and fabulous :)

Do any of you have awesome plans for spring break?  I can't wait to hear stories!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

i'm baaack!

I suppose I'm an awful blogger leaving you all out of the loop and all, but to tell the truth, I've been feeling far as blogging is concerned.  I rounded out finals with a bang and managed my best semester yet!  Whew, what a relief!!  Winter break was fan.tas.tic. and I got LOTS of sleep.  On the downside, however, I managed to gain 10 pounds with the lack of stress hormones coursing through my body..and the never-ending trays of Christmas cookies.. ohhh boy.  Anyways, I recently started planning my senior year spring break (!!!) and am going to whip my butt back in shape in preparation!  Panama City Beach, here I come :)

Where are you all headed for Spring Break?