Last Post from This Side of the Mississippi

Happy Friday! I’m currently at the airport waiting to board my flight to DC! I’m not sure what my schedule or WiFi will be like for the next couple of days, so I wanted to take the chance to recap some things now. First things first. I wanted to visit the Kitten Nursery I worked at last summer before I left, so of course I have to share adorable kitten pictures. IMG_8145 IMG_8146 IMG_8147IMG_8149IMG_8151IMG_8155IMG_8156IMG_8159   I’ve been trying to eat mostly whole foods lately, so here’s some things from the past couple of days. IMG_8161   An egg and lower sugar raspberry jam made by my aunt. Lunch out with my sister-I started with a giant cappuccino which I couldn’t finish! (But you better believe I drank all the milk foam!) IMG_8163

For the main course, my mom and I split a gouda arepa (corn based) and a salad with chicken, avocado, and gouda. IMG_8164 IMG_8165   And as my last dinner at home, I had one of my favorites-grilled chicken and peach salad with goat cheese. On the side was some whole grain bread rolled in sunflower seeds. IMG_8172   And then lunch this morning pre-airport was simple-2 eggs, half an avocado, cheese and crackers, and some English peas (unpictured). IMG_8173 IMG_8174 IMG_8175   Today, I went to my last home Crossfit, got a couple of episodes of Scandal loaded up on my computer to get in the mood, and said goodbye to my kitty. IMG_8178 IMG_8179   I’m going to miss him! Catch you all from the other side of the country!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

9 kittens!

As a lot of you may know, I volunteered in the kitten nursery at the local humane society over the summer. It was a seriously amazing experience, and I do think it influenced me a lot. That being said, of course I have a ton of kitten photos. I think it is fitting that 12 days of Christmas is exposing my (not so) inner cat lady, between this and yesterday’s post!

So without further ado…9 kittens!


Confession: this was my favorite litter. It was so amazing to watch them grow up!



This little guy was probably my favorite kitten.




Any other crazy cat ladies out there?

The Summer That May Have Changed My Life

Ok, to be fair, this title is a little overly dramatic. But let’s just get right into it, shall we?

It’s no secret I like cats. I feel like every survey I’ve done somehow ends up with every other answer being how much I love my kitty.


(Who just so happens to be sleeping purrily next to me as we speak.)

My phone pictures? Cats and food. And the food is a branch out from what my phone was like a year ago. I even made a calendar of my cats.


(Sidenote-apparently my Resident Fellows for my dorm have 3 cats! SO pumped!)

So volunteering in the kitten nursery this summer was an easy decision. Even if it was the early morning shift!Image

I mean, I knew they’d be freaking cute.


But I wasn’t prepared for the impact they would have on me. 

I loved every minute of the kitten nursery- playing with the kitties, cleaning litter boxes, getting meowed at constantly, hand feeding them, leaving COVERED in cat food. 

I learned how to syringe feed a kitten. I learned how frustrating kittens can be when they don’t feel like eating. I learned the impact one person can have on a kitten’s life.

I took this little guy under my wing. 


I could tell he was kind of falling by the wayside, which really upset me. Black cats are usually the last to be adopted. This guy was underweight and not particularly receptive to being syringe fed. I could tell by his charts that the previous volunteers had just given up-he was not given anywhere near as much as he should have. He wasn’t that receptive to syringe feeding (a lot of kittens aren’t), but I spent an entire hour with just this one little kitten. His paper said he was “antisocial” but I think it was more of shy, because he eventually purred for me. This kitty ended up being fine, and a ball of energy a week later once his weight was back on track.

I also experienced the heartbreak of losing a kittenImage

I fell in love with this little kitten the first week she came in. Her litter was so energetic and full of energy. 2 weeks later, she was so sick she couldn’t stand. She had lost a ton of weight-her whole litter was sick (and one of her sisters didn’t make it either) but she was the worst. I felt so helpless that day. This kitten had been a ball of energy 2 weeks before, and now was clearly suffering and not going to make it. I wanted so much to help them, but there was nothing I could do for them. 

I’ve always loved animals, but believed I could never be a vet because it would be “too sad.” I even avoid books I know will have sad endings (Nicholas Sparks, anyone?). But you know what? Sometimes the hardest things are the most worthwhile. 

My experience at the kitten nursery has me rethinking my whole career. I always thought I’d do nutritional research. But now, I’m seriously considering becoming a veterinarian. Because yes, when that little kitten died, it was sad. But you know what? They don’t all die. Most of them make it. What if I had an opportunity to save the life of an animal?Image

Wouldn’t that be worth the wave of emotions that came with losing one? Shouldn’t I put aside my OWN issues for somebody else? Sure, losing that kitten was unbelievably sad. But there are others out there that need help-that one loss shouldn’t stop me from saving the rest. 

Have you ever completely rethought your career? Have you had an experience that changed your life?


The Wrong Feet Forward

Hey all! A lot has been going on lately, so let’s do a bit of a brain dump. 

1. Today I half-moved into my dorm. I unloaded all the stuff from a storage unit, plus my bike and food. Which turns out to be pretty much everything except for clothes and me. Image

2. Instead of carting my protein powder and cocoa powder to the dining hall to make a smoothie, I put together some “smoothie mixes” with cocoa powder, xantham gum, and chocolate protein powder. Just add milk, banana, and ice!


3. I absolutely killed this WOD last night. I knew it was up my alley-any time when we do only a few reps of a heavy lift is my forte. Since lifting over speed is more of my strength, I’m never the first to finish the workout. Well, on this one, I lapped everyone in my class and was the fastest of the day. I didn’t Rx it-hardly anyone did, but I still did the deadlift heavier than almost everyone. #winning


4. I decided to start my Mini Whole30 today, instead of having an entire day to think about and go crazy eating all the things I won’t be eating for the next week. Success? I think so. Image

Mango iced tea, chicken chop salad, plantains. 


Egg whites, potatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach; topped with avocado and nutritional yeast, plus bruscetta. A side of papaya. 

5. It was really awesome seeing some of my friends again! I love all my blog friends, but it was great to see real live people. 

6. I recently ordered a ton of things online, and my boots just came! Thoughts?Image

7. I had THE WORST run today. It was a 5 mile run-I started off at a good pace, but I made a poor shoe decision. GIven I can barely stand to run in my normal shoes, wearing my Brooks (which cause me the most foot pain) was probably not the best move. For some reason I got it in my head that they would be better. Running is becoming kind of tortuous. I had to keep stopping to walk because it felt like I was running on knives. And it’s so annoying because it’s definitely a shoe issue-I just can’t find any shoes that work. I think minimalist shoes would be better. Anything with a completely flat inside. The problem is the part on the inside of the shoe where it’s slightly raised where it’s supposed to be between your foot and toes. That just digs into my foot, hitting a nerve. After today’s run, I can’t even imagine my 11 miler this weekend. I got custom inserts made, but I conveniently don’t get them until AFTER both my 11 and 12 milers. Awesome. I have one more trick up my sleeve to try-my old running shoes which I LOVE (but are really old and worn out) plus a cushier insert to help take out some of the impact. It’s just REALLY frustrating. I swear, on some of these runs I’m THIS close to going shoeless. Grrr. Well, at least the scenery was pretty.


I hate my feet folks. 

8. I’m a little bit Crossfit obsessed. I know I really SHOULD skip it tomorrow-I’ve gone a lot this week, plus have to run and go to Spin tomorrow, but I’m sort of drooling over the workout. I guess I’ll see how my legs feel tomorrow evening. 

9. Today was my last day in the kitten nursery. 🙁


Happy Friday!

What’s going on with you right now?

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

Happy Friday! I have about a week left before I have to move back in. While I had a great summer, at the same time, I’m ready. I can’t wait to see my friends again. If it weren’t for the blog world, I would have gone crazy this summer. My school friends all went home and my home friends all stayed at school for the summer session. Awesome. 

Yesterday was my second to last day at the kitten nursery. I worked with 2 litters, and they were all black. I LOVE black cats. The litter of 4 was so sweet-all they wanted to do was climb on me and cuddle. At one point, all four of them had climbed onto me. I had to syringe feed them, which was difficult when at least two kittens were hanging off me at a time. One little girl loved climbing up my arm, onto my head. ImageImageImage

And now-a recipe! I’ve made this once before, but never bothered posting the recipe for some reason. If you look on my recipe page, you’ll notice a lot of the recipes are some type of salad with chicken. What can I say-I love them!

This recipe is sort of a variation of my Grilled Peach and Chicken salad. That salad is a little more summery; this one is more fitting for fall. Especially since I recently learned that fig season in California lasts until December. Yay! 

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad


Serves 3


6 fresh figs

1 bag of lettuce

3 heaping T goat cheese

3 small chicken breasts (grilled)

Dressing (from Cooking Light):

3 T balsamic vinegar

2 T olive oil

1 T minced shallots

 1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 t Dijon mustard

1/8 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1 garlic clove



Mix up dressing.

Toss together lettuce, figs, chicken, and dressing.

Top with goat cheese.



For this recipe, you could use rotisserie chicken, but the slightly smoky flavor of grilled chicken compliments the tart balsamic and sweet figs better.


Goat cheese is my newest salad obsession. Slightly tart, but very creamy, it’s the perfect complement to the sweet figs in this salad. Share the love-try this out!

What do you like in a salad?