• August 26, 2015

    Nerd Girls Guide to the Gym: What’s in my Gym Bag?


    A couple months ago I did something I never thought I would do.  Ever.  In a million, billion years.  Brace yourselves, y’all… I joined a gym.

    That’s right, laugh it up.  But joining a gym was actually pretty traumatic for me.  You see, I was never athletic or even a little bit interested in sports or exercise or anything in that vein of existence.  My big thing was always that there should be a point to exercise and it should be fun, so things like hiking and camping, and household chores generally fit the bill (note: chores are not fun, but necessary… so I always looked at it like exercise).  But then, I discovered that I was struggling with some of those things.  I also discovered that my shorts from last summer didn’t fit anymore and my jeans took way too long to pull up over my butt.

    After mentioning it to a co-worker with similar problems, I realized my mistake!  She started asking what I was doing to make it better.  She started talking about her own active lifestyle.  And then she told me the gym near my soon-to-be-new-neighborhood was doing a summer sale and pushed just enough to get me to join.  Damn her.

    So, there I was with a gym membership and absolutely no idea what to do with it!  Being the nerd girl that I am, I did the most logical thing I could think of… Google it!

    Google quickly made it apparent that my first step would be to hit the stores because I didn’t have anything a person needs to go to the gym.  The following is a list of what I decided was necessary at first and have since discovered a need for after having, you know, actually been to the gym:


    Gym bag


    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)


    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands,  face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands, face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)


    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)




    I know a lot of people also bring their ipod/phone and headphones, but I find that too cumbersome.  I hate headphones anyway and the gym plays music so loud that I’d probably hurt my eardrums if I turned it up enough to block out the outside noise.  I know a lot of people also shower at the gym and would therefore need shower shoes, a big towel, and shower supplies.  I will never be so comfortable that I could get nekkid and shower in a public space… but to each her own.  Fortunately, the face wipes also work great on armpits and other sweaty areas, so it wouldn’t be an issue for me to go from the gym to the movies, or shopping, or whatever.

    Anyway, I hope this helps my fellow non-athletes who are ready to move towards a more active lifestyle.  Looking the part and being prepared really helped me adjust to the atmosphere and actually go to the gym.  I’m planning to follow up this first step with another installment about what to actually do once you have your gear and are ready to work, so keep an eye out for more!  

  • August 19, 2015

    House Update


    Hold on to your hats, ya’ll, I have a house update!  The builder officially broke ground last week and we’re on our way to having a house again!  I know this probably isn’t half as exciting for you as it is for me, but that’s ok, right?


    So.  Yes.  They have leveled the earth and poured the concrete and progress is happening!  This is particularly exciting because we’ve been watching our next door neighbors home being built and they have been just one step ahead of us the whole time.  Jealous as we have been, it’s good to finally see some movement on our lot!

    Also encouraging is the thought of no longer living in an apartment in the near future.  I know there are so many things to be thankful for here in this little place, but there are also a lot of things that make day to day life really difficult!  You see, we have been used to having a yard for Ollie and a kitchen with enough room for two to dance while making dinner.  We’re used to quiet dishwashers and big barreled washing machines.  We’re used to quiet and lots of light coming in our windows.  So, while I really try not to complain about things… I do find it difficult to stay positive here because so many of our routines and enjoyable activities have been significantly disrupted.

    To help us continue to look forward, I’m going to make a paper chain to count down the days until our home should be ready for habitation!  We will take down one piece of the chain every day and write something that either we are thankful for or that we are looking forward to in the new house.  I’m not sure yet what we’ll use each piece for, but for now it keeps us looking forward!

    As things progress, I’ll keep ya’ll updated.  Hopefully I’ll have lots to share soon!

  • August 12, 2015

    Cold Brew Iced Chai


    This summer I have been completely obsessed with cold brew tea – especially chai served with lots of ice and milk!  There is nothing like an ice cold drink on a hot day to revive and refresh a person.  The best thing is that this is super simple and pretty healthy too!

    You see, I adore chai, but the concentrates have way too many calories and sugars to drink every day.  But I want chai every day.  So, I discovered that I could make my own cold brew chai and cheat the system!  Tea usually doesn’t have many calories, so its all in the milk and sugar you choose.  Try coconut milk for a more tropical flavor with fewer calories or agave nectar if you are trying to avoid too much sugar.  That’s the great thing about making your own at home, you can experiment and cater to your needs as well as knowing exactly what’s going into your drink!  Plus, it costs a fraction of what Starbucks charges, so you’ll save a ton of money too!


    Cold Brew Iced Chai Recipe

    By Erin Published: August 12, 2015

      This summer I have been completely obsessed with cold brew tea - especially chai served with lots of ice and milk!  There is nothing …



      1. Fill a pitcher with water at room temperature.
      2. Toss 1 tea bag per 8 oz of water into the pitcher and let brew in the fridge overnight.
      3. To drink, poor cold brew over ice into a cup and add sugar and milk to taste. I prefer about a teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of milk per 1 1/2 cup of tea.



    • August 5, 2015

      Ollie’s First Camping Trip


      Recently, my husband and I decided to take our little corgi, Ollivander, on his first camping trip.  We’ve been working with him to be more social and less of a grump and figured he might be ready.  I was a little nervous to take him, but we made it through 2 nights of sleeping in a tent and even took him on a very successful 4 mile hike!

      The hike went around a reservoir near the campground and was just beautiful.  The trail itself was well maintained which made things much easier on Ollie’s little bitty legs.  *grin*

      We had encounters with some great small woodland creatures, but my favorites were the frogs!  There were (literally) thousands of them and it was so hard not to step on them!  I felt like I was tiptoeing through the woods!

      Do you see them?

      Do you see them?

      There were also less wild interactions… Where we were camping, it’s open range.  This means that there were all kinds of surprise encounters with cows.  The best, though, was this bovine beach party:


      After hiking, we checked out the creek and watched the water.  Ollie was so tired that he didn’t want to play at all, preferring to sit stoically and observe his domain.  It was adorable.




      Of course, the people had their own version of a relaxing reward:


      Each night we closed down camp with a fire and delicious dinner and dessert!  I found some gluten free graham crackers and we had the best s’mores I’ve ever eaten!  Ollie, ever the work hound, helped build the fire.


      What a helper, eh?  *grin*

      So, that was Ollie’s first foray into the forest.  I call him my mountain dog now and I think he really likes it!