Hi friends! This week, my little corner of the internet turned three years old. I can’t believe it’s been that long!
It seems like just yesterday I got this crazy idea to stop just reading blogs and actually get in on the action. It has been one of the best decisions of my life, and has led to so many incredible opportunities. From bigger events like getting to work out with Tony Horton to smaller perks like a free dinner at Potbelly, each and every opportunity that has come out of this blog has honestly been because of you, my readers. Thank you all so much for coming back each and every day to read about my life – whether I’m writing about food, fitness, friends, family, or just a bunch of random nonsense – it means the world to me that you keep coming back.
To help celebrate this special milestone, I’m hosting a giveaway of some of my favorite things!
These are just a few items that I really enjoy and would like to receive, so I’m offering one lucky reader the chance to pick their favorite item as a thank you for reading.
To enter, please fill out this short surveywhich will help me get some feedback as to the types of posts you like seeing here on Chelsea Eats Treats. I promise it will only take a minute! When you’re done, leave me a comment below letting me know you took the survey, and tell me which of the following gifts you’d like to receive:
Personally, I would love to get any of those! Maybe this CET birthday calls for a gift for me too? 😉
Even if you’re not interested in the giveaway, it would mean the world to me if you would spend a minute or two taking my survey. I want to make sure CET is a place you keep coming back to, and I can only do that with some feedback from you.
Thank you for your support!
Question of the day: Did you take my survey? If so, which gift do you want?
Hi friends! Today I’m joining part of a blog “writing process tour” that tours different blogs and offers insight into how and why different bloggers write what they do. My friend Mary from Minutes per Mile invited me to the tour (you may remember when I met Mary for our first adventure with November Project back in the winter!), and I thought it sounded like a fun way to switch things up around here.
Below are my answers to some questions about my “writing process,” if you want to call it that 😉
1. What are you working on?
At any one time, I probably have three different blog posts saved as a “draft” here on CET. Usually only one will be something I’m actively working on, and the others will either be posts I’ve started but haven’t decided where to take them, or posts I’m planning to finish later in the week.
I also like to think that I’m always “working on” making my blog better by exploring new WordPress plugins, incorporating SEO, figuring out better site functionality, etc., but it’s honestly hard to remember to do that sometimes.
I also wish I was working on more recipe posts, but that just doesn’t seem to happen all that much around here anymore. It’s not that I’m not cooking (I always cook!) but it’s just that the things I’m making are ether not blog-worthy or I just don’t remember to photograph them in time. Hopefully I give you guys enough other content that you don’t mind the lack of recipes, but if you’d like to see more recipes pop up on CET, just let me know!
2. How does your work differ from others of its type/genre?
This is a tough one because there are so many other healthy living writers in the blogosphere, but I like to think that my real-life updates set me apart from the crowd a little bit. My favorite blogs to read are the ones that don’t just focus on workouts and food, but show readers about the life of the person behind the blog. I’m always a fan of reading personal slice-of-life recaps, and my hope is that you guys enjoy reading about that stuff too.
I try to be as realistic as possible on here, and eating and working out are just a small part of my life as a whole. The truth is that my friends, family, and- let’s be honest– Jack, make me who I am, so I truly love sharing about my life with them on here. I like to think this sets me apart a bit.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Balancing a healthy lifestyle is important to me, and it’s something I’ve struggled with for most of my life. Although I still struggle with this on a day-to-day basis, I have learned a lot along the way, and I really want to share that knowledge with others.
I know how hard it can be to go out to dinner and drinks with your friends and still want to feel confident about your body. I’ve suffered through cravings for french fries and brownies and found healthier alternatives that satisfy me *almost* as much (there’s no real replacement for french fries or brownies). I have finally gotten to a place in my life where I am happy with my body and happy with my lifestyle, and I just want others to feel confident about their lives too. If I can help or inspire just one person to love their body more, I will call my blog a success.
By the way, you can read more about my weight loss/healthy living story here.
4. How does your writing process work?
I wish I could say I follow an editorial calendar of sorts or have a very specific blogging schedule- but I just kind of write what my heart and my head tell me to. Some days I will have a perfect What I Ate Wednesday post planned, but if there’s another topic that’s been on my mind I will ditch the WIAW post and write what’s really calling to me. I usually try to post at least four times a week, but sometimes I only wind up posting three times, and to me that’s ok. I just try to do what feels natural to me because otherwise I wouldn’t be authentic!
And that’s it! Let me direct you to the next two bloggers in the tour, if you want to keep following:
By the way, I sometimes get questions about how to start a blog/tips for getting started, so if that sort of post would be interesting to you please let me know in the comments below and I will post about it!
Question of the day: What sets you apart from your peers?
*Update: If you tried to leave a comment earlier and it didn’t work, the problem should now be fixed!!*
You might have noticed things look a little different around here today. That’s because on Friday night instead of going to happy hour with my friends I stayed in to fix some kinks in the blog that have been bugging me lately, and I decided it was time for a little face lift while I was at it. I actually wound up having a nice little evening to myself (with Jack’s help, obviously) since it was pouring rain and I hunkered down at the computer with a bowl of hot tomato basil soup. Not the most exciting Friday night, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and got a lot accomplished!
So, what do you guys think of the new look?? I wanted something a little more streamlined and clean, so I think this works for now. Eventually I’d love to add some custom social media buttons to match the new colors, but I just didn’t have energy for that on Friday night. Haha!
Anyway, I had a great little weekend so let me tell you all about it! You already heard about my Friday, so I’ll skip right to…
Fabio and I woke up on Saturday morning to bright sunshine and chirping birds outside. It doesn’t get much better than that!
As soon as we were up and moving, Fabio, Jack and I headed out the door to get some bagels for breakfast. The bagel shop near our apartment is fantastic and well worth the long line. I got sausage, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel and it was divine. The three of us took our bagels (well, Jack didn’t get a bagel, obviously) to a little square by the Clarendon metro station that has a lot of outdoor tables, and once we were done eating we crossed the street to the dog park!
The park was pretty crowded since it was so nice out. It was so fun to watch all the different dogs playing around!
It was definitely a nice way to start to our weekend.
We stayed at the dog park for a little while and then headed home to get ready for Rebecca and Richard’s (aka Rebchard’s!!) wedding! (I just love their nickname Rebchard, lol. Everyone used it throughout the wedding!)
The ceremony began at 2:00 pm over in Fairfax, VA, so Fabio and I took a cab over there and arrived at around 1:45. We wound up getting there at the same time as the rest of our friends, so we selected a pew big enough for us all to sit together. I then killed some time by taking a picture of the lovely church. 🙂
Rebecca used to work with Fabio at his old job, and we have hung out with her and Richard a number of times. During the wedding we wound up hanging out with the rest of Fabio’s old coworkers (who we are also good friends with) but the majority of Richard and Rebecca’s other friends come from their two a cappella groups- the New Dominions (their UVA college group) and the Noctonals (their post-college northern Virginia group). Because there were so many awesome singers in attendance, the entire wedding party started off the ceremony by singing a song in Latin. The music was absolutely beautiful, and it was such a nice way to kick off the wedding.
The rest of the ceremony was fairly traditional, with one more song (Ave Maria) being sung at the end.
Once Rebecca and Richard were officially husband and wife (hooray!) we took some pictures outside of the church with our friends. It was still a beautiful day, but it wound up being quite windy!! Our hair was all over the place, haha!
My handsome date.
Once we were done with pictures we still had a few hours to kill before the reception, so hopped in the car with our friends Angela and Ryan and headed over to the Green Turtle for a couple beers. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the sunshine and good company!
And the beers. Clearly 😉
The whole gang!
At around 4:45 pm we headed over to the reception which was held at the Fairfax Country Club. It was a lovely venue and was close to the church (and the Green Turtle!), which was convenient.
Hors d’oeuvres were passed around for a little while and then it was time to be seated! Our table was near the window and we had a fabulous view. The sky looked a bit ominous but the rain held off. Phew!
More pictures with Angela 🙂
And another of me and Fabio!
Here are Angela and Ryan!! They are so much fun and I wish we got to see them more. We will have to change that once the summer is here!!
Soon the food came out and we began our meals with a delicious spinach, strawberry, feta, and almond salad. Yum.
I chose the filet for my main meal and it was delicious! It was so tender that I only needed a butter knife to cut it. The cheesy scalloped potatoes were also delicious 😉
The rest of the evening was spent talking with good friends, drinking the signature “R&R” cocktail, and dancing! It was a lovely wedding.
I especially loved the father/daughter dance to Brown Eyed Girl 🙂
Thanks, Rebchard for inviting us to share your special day!!
I had plans to meet one of my old coworkers (Claire) and my old manager for brunch on Sunday in Bethesda, so after another lovely trip to the dog park and completing a few little chores around the house, I headed over to Uncle Julio’s in Bethesda. (You know how I feel about that place, haha!)
I’d actually never been to brunch at Uncle Julio’s, and I really enjoyed the dish I got which included eggs, grilled chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream in a big bowl. On the side was a delicious fruit salad. Great brunch!
It was really nice to catch up with my old coworkers and we lingered for a while filling each other in on life updates 🙂
Afterwords my old manager left and Claire and I popped into the Lululemon that was right next door. Ahhh that store is so dangerous! I wound up buying a new pair of summer running capris (since I wore my winter ones ALL THE TIME) and restrained myself from buying anything else. Phew! It was a narrow escape.
And that’s pretty much it for my weekend! After Lululemon I headed back home, ran some errands, cleaned up the apartment, etc. etc. etc.
Three other things I wanted to share with you guys today:
1) My mom and stepdad have decided to start raising chickens (yes, like cluck cluck!!) and the baby chicks arrived over the weekend. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get over there to see them soon!
I don’t know anything about raising chickens (and my mom doesn’t either; thank goodness for my stepdad) so if any of you have tips please let me know so I can pass them along!
2) My aunt CC and “uncle” Steve just bought a beautiful house in the Berkshire mountains!! I am so happy for them and can’t wait to visit this summer/winter, since there is a lake, mountains, skiing, etc. Congrats CC and Steve!!
3) Unfortunately my stepdad’s father passed away in his sleep over the weekend. I wasn’t all that close with him but I know he was a great man, so please keep him and my stepdad in your thoughts and prayers this week 🙁
Ok guys, that’s all I have for today! Thanks for sticking with me through this super long post!!
Questions of the day: Would you ever raise chickens? Do you shop at Lululemon?
So if you saw my post yesterday, then you will know Fabio and I made two very important and very large purchases on Monday. Hey, we’re just doing our part to help out the economy! 😉 Haha.
Ok so here’s what happened…
As you may know, I have been in the market for a new computer for quite some time. The old MacBook that I have is from 2007 and barely works (I think someone stepped on it when we got our carpets replaced in January), and I have a really cheap little PC laptop that I bought for about $180 when I first started this here blog in the spring of 2012.
Neither one of those computers works very well, and every time I needed to use a laptop for something important (e.g., the nutrition certification program I am working on or researching grad schools) I would get sooooo frustrated. My Mac literally didn’t work at all and my PC worked at the pace of a snail.
My original solution was to buy a new Mac laptop. I’ve always been a fan of Macs, and I feel like they are such good quality that it’s worth paying more money for them up-front. They last longer, they function better, they rarely (if ever) get viruses, and they are more user-friendly (in my opinion). I was pretty much set on getting a new Mac laptop, and I asked my family to donate money to my cause as a birthday present. (THANK YOU, FAMILY!!)
The only problem is that those little Mac laptops are still so expensive. Just the basic model is about $1,200. Even with my family’s help, that was really a lot more than I wanted to spend. I then thought about getting a refurbished laptop for cheaper, but it would only save me a couple hundred buck-a-roos. What to do, what to do.
Then I started talking to Fabio a bit more about this issue, and he confided to me that while his 2007 MacBook is still holding up pretty well, he wouldn’t mind having a new computer either. This conversation took place in the Apple store about three weeks ago as we were looking at the gorgeous iMac desktop computers. (Methinks that may have had something to do with his confession, lol)
Now a desktop computer is not something we originally considered (we haven’t been out of college that long, and back then a desktop would have been silly) but the more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea. We thought it would be practical, it would look great, and, most importantly, we would be able to split the cost. I don’t think either of us could have (wisely) afforded such an expensive computer on our own, even with help from our families, but once the cost was split in half suddenly it seemed a lot more feasible.
We came to the consensus a couple weeks ago that we should probably just go for it and buy the desktop computer, but we planned to wait for a time like Cyber Monday when we could buy a desk to put it on (hello, problem numero uno) and maybe get some kind of discount. The only problem is Macs never, ever go on sale, but we hoped maybe a desk would.
While we bided our time, I started searching for a desk. I saw a leaning desk that I loved in a random furniture store in the U Street area of DC, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
The price at that particular furniture store was really steep (like $1,000) so I did some digging and found the more affordable version (above) at Crate & Barrel. A couple weeks ago Fabio and I went to see it in person, and I loooooved it. I knew I wanted it right away, but like I said, we wanted to wait for a sale. We are both suckers for a bargain, and even though we save up money for occasions like this, we both wanted to wait for the right time.
Then Monday came. Fabio and I innocently went to the mall, and while we were there I said, “Do you want to stop in Best Buy just to look at the Macs?” Fabio said something like, “K” (lol) and off we went, not thinking too much about it.
Upon taking two steps into the store, we saw a little sign on a sheet of computer paper haphazardly typed, saying: Clearance on iMacs.
Ummm…what? Is there even such a thing? I wish I took a picture. But seriously, that’s what it said.
We immediately asked a sales associate what the deal was, and she told us that since it’s such a small store (we were in Pentagon City) they have a really small storage area and they just got in a shipment of newer model iMacs. She said they didn’t have room for the old models in the store anymore, so they were selling them on clearance. I almost died of happiness at this point (seriously, what are the odds of that??) but I kept my cool while Fabio asked her a bagillion questions.
Here were a couple other helpful things she told us:
The newer models are very similar to the old ones, but may be slightly faster (think of the difference between an older iPhone and its slightly newer model)
The original price on the iMac was $1,299, but with clearance it would be about $1,000 (without tax)
Macs are definitely a better value than PCs because they will last you about seven to eight years in great condition, whereas a PC will eventually slow down and need repairs
The keyboard and mouse come with the computer
With that information, Fabio and I pretty much looked at each other and decided we’d take it. When else do you see an Apple product on clearance?? Especially one you already knew you wanted but were just waiting around to pull the trigger??
So we did it; we bought the iMac, and made sure to get the best warranty on it, just in case. We were so, so, so, so, excited at this point, but we realized we didn’t have any kind of desk to put it on.
Hmmmm. Off to Crate & Barrel!
When we got to the store, we found out that the desk we had been dreaming of was on sale!! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! ANOTHER SALE?! And it wasn’t even on everything in the store, only select items. Including our desk. (I mean, yes, it was Columbus Day, but I heard Crate & Barrel hardly ever has sales?)
Anyway, we bought the desk, took it home, and Fabio immediately got to work on assembling it. It was pretty late at this point (read: dark out) so my pictures didn’t turn out amazing, but here are some progress shots.
Jack felt the need to be RIGHT THERE to help. Obviously.
At around 10:30 pm we were all hooked up and ready to go!!
Obviously my book shelves need some more decorating, and we didn’t have all our lamps and everything plugged in yet, but I just love how it all turned out!
I can’t wait to blog from this computer!!!!
Jack likes it too 🙂
I took some more pictures for you guys today hoping it would be sunny and make the lighting look better, but it was pretty cloudy/dark when I left for work this morning. Womp womp.
You get the gist though. I’ll take more pictures for you guys next time it’s nice and sunny in there.
Oh also, we still need to buy a computer chair. I am thinking about this one, because it’s cheap and will provide a nice little contrast to the area.
So just ignore that footstool acting as the current chair, lol.
Here’s a side angle for ya’. This is what it looks like when you walk in the door.
I have to say that even though it’s not 100% done, I LOVE it!!
In terms of costs, this was definitely not cheap, but since Fabio and I split everything it wasn’t too bad. We also have a joint checking account that we use for things like paying rent and groceries, and we had a nice little bundle saved up in there for just such an occasion. We could have blown through that whole savings and not have had to pay too much for this set up at all, but we like to have extra money saved up in our joint account just in case of emergency.
When everything was said and done, Fabio and I used some of our savings to pay for this and the rest we paid up-front. It wound up being only about $610 each. Not bad!! This is also going to be our Christmas presents for each other, so that will save us some money too. We both still have plenty of money in our bank accounts so we’re fine, but it feels pretty crazy that we made two huge expensive purchases just like that.
Anyway, sorry for the novel, but I just wanted to tell you guys the story of our new computer and desk! I hope you like it!!
Question of the day: What do you think of our new set up? Are you a Mac or a PC person?
Hey guys! Today we have the lovely Jorie from The Midwest Maven here to share her summer bucket list with you all! I absolutely love Jorie’s ideas and am completely jealous of her sparkler photo. Must. Learn. To. Recreate. I know you all will love her, so enjoy!
Hi there! My name is Jorie and I’m a writer, dog lover, outdoor enthusiast, and dessert consumer who blogs about everyday living in Chicago over at The Midwest Maven. I’m excited to be posting here at Chelsea Eats Treats while our hostess is off exploring Italy.
Let’s talk about summer, shall we?
Last week, I had a wave of slight panic wash over me when I realized it was nearly the end of June and I had done hardly anything that qualified as “summer-y” yet. When I complained about it to my mom, she encouraged me to carpe that summer-diem by making a to-do list. Organization: the solution to all of life’s problems.
When I was in junior high and high school, I used to make to-do lists every summer. Only back then, my tasks were stuff like, “expand pog collection” and “invite Melanie and Ashley for a sleepover (NOT Kelly!!!).”
I like to think my tastes have matured since then but I’m still interested if you have some cool pogs worth trading (NOT you, Kelly).
Without further ado, here are the items on my Summer ‘13 To-Do List.
1. Watch Jaws.
Summer is in a holding pattern until I’ve watched this Spielberg classic. I love everything about this movie: Richard Dreyfuss’ devil-may-care beard, the musical score (DUN DUN…DUN DUN….), the ‘70s swimsuits, the fictitious town of Amity Island. It’s quite possibly the perfect summer movie.
2. Go for a nighttime walk and appreciate the lightning bugs.
3. Get back on that wakeboard.
I learned to wakeboard a few summers ago but I’m RULL rusty from only doing it a handful of times since then. This summer, I want to go full throttle with water sports (pun very much intended).
4. Consume as many s’mores as humanly possible.
5. Swim every chance I get.
I went through a phase in high school where I wouldn’t “go under” while swimming if I had just washed and styled my hair. Which meant a lot of frilly, above-the-water splashing and general boredom. Of course nowadays, my hair is generally unkempt, so it’s pretty much, “Cannonball!” anytime there’s a body of water.
But I vow (and encourage you to do the same, loyal readers of Chelsea Eats Treats) to refuse to let a hairstyle ever get between you and a tea party at the bottom of the pool.
6. Attend a movie in the park and one at the drive-in.
Chicago’s Park District hosts a ballin’ Movies in the Park summer series. But if I don’t put it on my bucket list, I’ll forget.
Caption: at Movies in the Park last summer
As for the drive-in: there aren’t many of these relics left, but there is one about 30 miles outside of Chicago that I loved growing up. I haven’t been back in a few years, but this summer, it’s ON. My favorite thing to do is borrow my dad’s pick-up truck and stuff the bed with comforters, pillows, and a big bowl of popcorn. Just back that sucker in and settle in!
Confession: I have never done a back flip off a diving board. I was a gymnast growing up, so I’ve done them off of other surfaces, no sweat. But for some reason, whenever I get up on a diving board, I’m convinced I’m going to hit my head/face on the way down. It’s absurd. I know it won’t happen. I just need to get over this fear and do it! This is the summer. Mark my words.
11. Chop off my hair for Locks of Love.
I’ve been growing my hair for quite some time now and it should be long enough to donate in the next two months (grow, baby, grow!). This hair-a-thon has been driving me nuts lately but I keep telling myself it’ll be worth it.
12. Get a car wash.
Okay, so this is on my real to-do list. My car needs a scrub down; what can I say?
Thanks so much for hosting me, Chelsea!
Question of the Day: What’s on your 2013 summer bucket list?
Good morning, ‘yall! Today is another fun-filled day in Italy for me, so I’m leaving you with this lovely guest post from one of my BFFs Sam, over at Anatomy of My World. Sam’s here to talk to you guys today about balancing the demands of grad school with having a normal (and healthy) life! Take it away, Sam!
Hey everyone! As an avid reader of Chelsea Eats Treats, I am so excited about this opportunity to guest post for Chelsea.
My name is Samantha from over at Anatomy of My World. My blog is similar to most others; I talk about my weekends, my workouts, etc. But the main reason I started blogging was to talk through the stresses that come with being a part of a demanding graduate school program.
I am currently in between my first and second year of Physical Therapy school, thoroughly enjoying my only (and last ever) summer break. You may remember from this post that my friends really enjoy the fact that they have a PT student as a best friend, haha. I love everything about the program that I am in; my classmates are amazing, the faculty is great, and I have learned more over the past year than I learned in my entire undergrad career. But it’s hard. Not only hard work – that would be an understatement – but it’s mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing. I’m here to talk about some tips I would give to anyone thinking about going in to a demanding program like this: how to maintain your relationships, your fitness level, and most importantly, your sanity.
Figure out how you study best. Since studying/reading/research is what you will be doing with the majority of your days, figure out how you study the most effectively. Some things to consider:
Do you accomplish more early in the morning? Or are you a night owl?
Group studying? Or individual alone time?
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things
Be open minded
Use classmates as a resource; people see things differently and they can help you understand concepts further
Preferences may differ depending on the class, the amount of time you have, or the amount of work you have to do
Workouts. This was a huge issue for me during the first year of the program. I struggled with keeping up with work outs and that left me feeling down on myself and overall unhappy. It was so hard to squeeze in even a twenty minute workout without freaking out about something I needed to do; because there is literally always something that I could be doing. So my tips would be:
Sign up for a race – I ended up signing up for a Half Marathon with a bunch of classmates. It forced me to get up and do the run I had planned because I knew I would struggle come race day if I didn’t.
Remember how good exercising makes you feel – mentally and physically
Study while you work out – bring note cards to the gym and jump on the elliptical/bike/treadmill
Find classmates who love to work out and plan study breaks with them to go for a jog
Get to class early and squeeze a work out in before the day starts – sacrificing sleep is dangerous when you’re stressed out but sometimes a good workout is all you need to feel better
Social Life. My take on this one will probably be different than if you talk to some other people in a program because I live at home – 45 minutes away from school and all of my classmates. Being able to go out and let loose a bit though is vital to your sanity. Since I don’t always know when my classmates are going out, I’ll plan things with friends from home, the boyfriend, or family when I know I have a small break in the amount of work I need to do.
Keep a calendar with when all tests are and when all projects are due; use that to plan fun events in advance. For example, if you have two exams in one week, plan a fun weekend immediately after that week is over.
Let your friends know when you are available – I can’t stress this one enough. Sometimes people don’t really understand how demanding a graduate program can be and just assume its like undergrad – false. Let them know you haven’t forgotten about them and plan some fun!
Significant Others. This kind of goes along with social life but these people need a little more attention sometimes than your other friends. For me this is tough because even though my boyfriend lives twenty minutes away, we still have to plan get-togethers due to our hectic, opposite schedules. Weekends where I have little work to do are mostly spent with him 24/7.
If you live together: limit the amount of time you do school work at home. Even if that means you stay later at school or head to a coffee shop for an hour after dinner. Separate the school part of your life with the intimate part of your life. When you are with your significant other, be withthem.
If you are in my situation: plan fun things when you know you have the time, take advantage of any opportunity you get to see them and make the most of that time together.
Long distance: Plan weekends to visit each other, plan time to Skype or talk on the phone to them.
And this goes for everyone: Let them know when you have crazy busy weeks coming up; That way they will understand when you snap at everything they say, make up reasons to argue, and cry a little because you burnt pasta. Okay, maybe exaggerating a bit, but seriously – these stress levels are no joke and can do a number on your emotional stability.
“Me” Time. This is probably the biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone. You must, I repeat, must, find time for yourself. You will be under a lot of stress, probably more than you ever thought you could handle. Find things that help you relieve that stress and plan time to do it. Yes, plan it. Literally write it in your calendar: “Saturday Me Time – 1 hour.” Whether it is going for long walks, painting, watching movies, whatever; just do it. Unplug from reality, put the books down for an hour, and just do whatever it is that makes you happy. Hey, it could be just sleeping for an extra hour or two; we all know how wonderful that is every now and then.
I’m sure I have some more tips in this brain of mine so feel free to stop by my blog and ask me some questions if you have any! Or just stop in to say hi. As I am on summer break, my posts about school won’t start up until August but I’ll be popping in every now and then to recap fun events.
Thanks again to Chelsea for letting me guest post while you are relaxing on the Amalfi Coast – jealous is an understatement. 🙂
Thanks, Sam! Hopefully you guys were able to gain some good tips from her if you are thinking of going to grad school and are worried about balancing everything else is your life 🙂
Question of the day: If you’ve been to grad school, how did you juggle everything?
You read that correctly. If you have a blog, who reads it?
This is something I found myself thinking about today while I was catching up on some blog reading. One blogger was hoping her husband would make her dinner, and she said something along the lines of, “Hubby, if you’re reading this, that was a hint to you.”
Then I stopped to think- that’s cute that her husband reads her blog. I know that sometimes Fabio will read my blog (testing: Fabio, are you reading this?) but I think nine times out of ten he doesn’t read it. His excuse: “I live the life with you! Why do I have to read about it?”
Touché, my friend. Touché.
Ok so, we’ve established that Fabio doesn’t really read my blog. That’s fine. But I think it is interesting to look at the people who do read it, because the answers can be surprising!
Healthy living blog community
This one is obvious. I think that 90% of my readers are from the healthy living blog community. They probably have a blog of their own and if they don’t, they probably still read a ton of other healthy living blogs, most likely the same ones that I read. They probably found me from a site like Peanut Butter Fingers or Peas and Crayons, and are here simply because they love reading healthy living blogs and I’m just another one on the list. That’s totally fine with me, since that’s probably how I found their blogs as well! I love healthy living blogs and I love the dialogues and friendships that I’ve made through blogging. It’s such a fantastic outlet for people with shared interests.
Close friends and family
This one seems pretty obvious to me too. My best friends and closest family members, especially those who live far away or who I don’t see very often, are avid readers of my blog. They read every day just to see what’s going on on my life since we can’t keep in touch as often as we’d like to. I love that they read my blog, and it makes me laugh when I eventually do see them in person and go to fill them in on some aspect of my life, only to find out that they’ve already read about it on the blog. For example:
Me: “Oh. Well did I tell you Fabio and I are thinking of running another half marathon?”
Friend: “No, but I read about that too.”
See what I mean? It’s really funny how that happens!
That being said, a few of my very best friends and immediate family members don’t read the blog. This generally includes friends who are too busy to be on the computer much or just never got the hang of following a blog every day. Even my dad doesn’t really read the blog (unless he’s been sneaky this whole time. Testing: Daddy, are you reading?).
Despite the fact that not all my closest friends and family read the blog, my writing has proved to be a really great way for me to update my close friends and family about everything that’s going on in my life. Now I just need more of my friends and family members to start their own blogs so I can know what’s going on with them (making progress on this one- already I have twofriends who have recently started their own blogs!)
People I didn’t expect
Every now and then I will hear about someone who is reading my blog that I didn’t expect. Some of these people include:
A few of Fabio’s fraternity brothers
My coworkers (hi, Martha)
Acquaintances from high school or college
Friends of friends
Coworkers of friends
Isn’t that interesting? I think that because my blog is so girly (I mean come on, just look at the colors,) I am always surprised when guys read my blog. I can understand why Fabio’s dad and friends want to read my blog (probably for the same reason my friends and family do) but I still think it’s pretty cool and unexpected. Then there are the people who I barely know who tell me they read my blog, which is pretty flattering!
Then there are the “lurkers,” the people who I can see are viewing my page but never stop to leave a comment or say hi. My website stats show me how many visitors I get each day, and some days there are a LOT! Who are all these lurkers? Sometimes I wish people would just leave a comment below saying hi. I encourage you- if you are a lurker, leave me a note and introduce yourself! I love hearing from readers. Maybe you can even say how you found my blog or which category you fall under.
Anyway, I know this post was kind of random today, but I just thought it was something interesting that I wanted to chat with you guys about.
Question of the day: If you have a blog, who reads it?
Also, can we take a moment to talk about Britney’s metal belt? I totally had some of those. I think they were probably from Limited Too or something equally awful, and I remember sporting them (awkwardly) in middle school. Sheesh. Middle school was a bad time in my life for fashion.
The horror!! Haha! Ok so I think that picture is technically from before middle school, but close enough lol.
Anyyyyway, enough with the nineties flashbacks lol. Let’s jump into the meat of today’s post, which includes a fun giveaway!! 🙂
Last week I was contacted by the kind people over at Bestowed Box, who offered to send me a sample of one of their boxes to review. The Bestowed Box is similar to other boxes you’ve probably heard of (e.g., Birch Box, which I love!) only this one is filled with healthy snacks!
I actually reviewed a box subscription service for snacks before, but it was geared more towards gourmet foodies, and didn’t focus as much on the healthy food aspect. I love trying new healthy foods, but sometimes I get stuck in a rut with foods that I know I like. This box seemed right up my alley!
According to their website, Bestowed was created by the nationally recognized nutritionist and author Heather Bauer, who works with a team of health and diet experts to select healthy products that catch their attention. The boxes include products like nutrition bars, snacks, breakfast cereals, supplements, and whatever else they think their customers will like. I love the idea that nutritionists and diet experts are putting the boxes together, so you know whatever they pick will be good for you 🙂
When the box arrived yesterday, Fabio, Jack, and I were so excited to see what was inside (Jack was mostly just excited because we were haha)! There was a nice little instruction sheet explaining what all the products were, and then all the goodies were displayed inside the box.
As soon as I glanced at the products, I knew this box was going to be good. I saw a few name brands that I recognized instantly and was so happy to see the box wasn’t filled with a bunch of obscure products I would never buy (maybe that’s just me, but I like trying new things that aren’t too out of the norm).
I then proceeded to take everything out of the box and examine the goodies. First I saw a huge bag of KIND granola (looove) and then examined a “Happy Squeeze” packet of pomegranate, strawberry, and pear juice (I’m having this later today as my snack!). One of my coworkers drinks Happy Squeeze all the time, so I can’t wait to try it out! There was also a bag of “Hemp Hearts” which I’ve never heard of, but am excited to try (they’re supposed to be sprinkled over yogurt or cereal, FYI).
Then I saw this awesome $25 gift card for iTRAIN. I had never heard of iTRAIN either, but after checking out the website this morning I am super excited to use this gift card to purchase workout videos and playlists. Such a great idea!
The rest of the box included more goodies like pink lemonade energy packets, dark chocolate, a fig fruit bar, oatmeal, and chicken jerky.
At this point Fabio and I had just returned home from work and decided we could use a little snack, so we broke into the chicken jerky. Jack wanted some too, of course.
Sorry, Jack! It’s not for dogs!
Fabio and I really liked it!
It was very flavorful and made an excellent pre-dinner snack. I’m not usually a jerky person (it sorta freaks me out) but this one was really good.
Then I checked out the nutrition stats and liked it even more!
With only 60 calories, 0g of fat, and 10g of protein, I was definitely impressed with this jerky! This would make a great pre- or post-workout snack!! I will definitely be on the lookout for these from now on.
After dinner we snacked on some of the dark chocolate which was also delicious, and I have a few of the other items packed in my lunch box for later on today. So far, I have been loving this Bestowed Box!
And the best part? Bestowed will be offering one lucky Chelsea Eats Treats reader a free box of their own! Simply comment on this post telling me why you would like to receive a Bestowed Box, and I will pick a winner on Thursday morning. You can also enter by liking my facebook page or tweeting something like the following:
“I entered the @bstowed #giveaway at @ChelsEatsTreats and you can too! http://wp.me/p2H4qV-1gR”
Just leave another comment telling me you liked my page or tweeted 🙂
And if you don’t win, don’t sweat it. Bestowed is also offering Chelsea Eats Treats readers $5 off their monthly or annual subscriptions when they use the code 5OFFBSTOWED01 at checkout. The boxes are typically $19 a month so this is a good deal!! I think I’m going to sign up myself!
I had been reading healthy living blogs religiously for a few months, and I was tired of always being behind the scenes. I was ready to jump into the conversation.
I knew I could do what the other bloggers were already doing; I was constantly experimenting with healthy recipes (I was into spaghetti squash and quinoa before most people had heard of either one) and I loved trying out new fitness routines. The next step was just to write about it all and, as a kid who grew up with a passion for reading and writing, it seemed like an obvious choice for me.
I remember the day I officially decided to do it. I read a few posts from other bloggers on getting started with blogging (mostly this one, this one, and this one, if you’re interested) and I debated on weather to use a free host (like blogger) or to shell out a few dollars and pay for my own domain name. It was at this point that I decided I wanted to commit for the long haul, and I paid for a one-year domain. There was no backing out then!
My first couple of posts were a little shaky. I didn’t know exactly what my posting schedule was going to be like, but I started off a bit like this:
Through trial and error I learned that posting recipes takes up a lot of time (so many pictures to edit and post!) and that Fashion Fridays just aren’t that interesting (or maybe it’s my wardrobe).
Either way, I eventually I found a schedule that worked better for me, and I try to stick to it as much as I can. I now know that posting four times a week is sufficient, and that I don’t really have the time or energy to post two brand new recipes each week. Maybe if I didn’t work a full time job and have a bunch of outside commitments I could handle it, but I can’t.
And that’s ok. I’ve learned that blogging has to be enjoyable and if writing two recipes a week is too time-consuming and stresses me out, then it’s not worth posting them. You gotta do the best you can.
At the moment I’d say my little blog over here is doing pretty well. I get a fair amount of visitors from around the world, even if they don’t always comment and say hello (why don’t ya, once in a while?!). I like what I have going and I will keep chugging along for the foreseeable future.
Here’s to another successful year of Chelsea Eats Treats!
And now for a little walk down memory lane, here are some of my favorite posts from this past year…
And now, dear readers, I’d love to hear from you. What do you like seeing on the blog? Would you like more recipes? More personal posts that discuss my feelings/opinions on healthy living? More recaps about fun things going on in my life? More pictures of what I’m eating (like a WIA-every day)? Let me know!
I’m open to switching it up around here so if there’s something you’d like to see just ask 🙂
Hey guys! Thank you so much for your kind words about my crazy work schedule lately. Luckily those hours are only temporary and they are almost back to normal now that I turned in a huge report that was due to one of our clients yesterday. Phew!
As I explained in response to some of your comments yesterday, on the one hand I was totally flattered that I was chosen out of all of the great people on my team to be in charge of the report. I am one of the youngest members on our team, so it really was nice that they trusted me to take on so much responsibility.
On the other hand, it meant that I had to stay until the very last minute to make sure that everything went smoothly and that the report was completed correctly. Gotta do what you gotta do!
Luckily I really enjoy my job (and the people I work with- so important) and most days I just work a typical eight hours. It’s really not so bad!
Ok, so today I don’t really have too much to talk about, so I thought it would be a fun time to host a giveaway!
I was recently contacted by a representative from SlimKicker offering to host a giveaway for the blog. Heck yes, a giveaway for my awesome readers? Why not?!
SlimKicker is an online calorie tracker that takes your health/fitness goals and turns them into a level-up game. To participate, you upload an image of something you’ll reward yourself with (such as a new handbag), and when you reach a certain number of points, SlimKicker will remind you to reward yourself with that. I could definitely use a reminder now and then for when I deserve a new handbag, couldn’t you? 😉
It’s a really great idea and it could be really helpful for keeping you accountable on your health and fitness goals!
The prize they are giving away is pretty awesome too; it’s actually something I’ve been wanting for a while myself! Think I can enter my own giveaway? Haha probably not. And I love you all so much that I just want one of you to enjoy the prize 🙂
This Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale. Yep, if you win this giveaway you can weigh all of your food so you never have to worry about how many ounces of potato chips you are eating (seriously, how are you supposed to know that?) or how big your pieces of chicken actually are. #Firstworldproblems
To enter the giveaway leave a comment below with a fitness/health challenge idea that SlimKicker could feature on their website. An example would be to “do 20 pushups a day for 1 week” or “squat during commercial breaks.”
SlimKicker will pick the best one after 1 week, and use it on their site. Then I’ll announce the winner and you’ll get the food scale in the mail! Woohoo!
Unfortunately this will be limited to USA residents (for shipping costs purposes…sorry Anna!)