Sunday, May 28, 2017

What I've Been Reading Lately: April & May

I have read 12 books so far this far. Here are the last four I read in April and May. 

This little book on the history of Milwaukee frozen custard was pretty fascinating. I learned a lot and will never look at a custard stand the same again! I'd recommend it, but the writing is not always the strongest in parts. I felt like the authors rushed to finish the book for a deadline. 

P.S. Kopps will always have the best custard in my opinion. Red Raspberry or Bienenstich for the win. 
I basically want to live in Denmark, even though I have never visited the country. For now, I armchair travel there instead by reading books like The Little Book of Hygge. Author Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and he explores topics like togetherness, summer hygge, light, hygge outside the home and more. I really loved learning all of the concepts of hygge and the way Danish citizens practice it. I think they're onto something and we could learn a lot from them. I loved the illustrations included and the cover is also quite adorable. It's a quick and fun little read and may lead to a bit more happiness in your own life.
Can you tell I'm suffering from a case of wanderlust lately? More armchair travel. This time it involved following the adventures of blogger, podcaster, and author Tsh Oxenreider, her husband, and three kids around the world. I loved hearing about how they packed up their home and hit the road for an unforgettable trip. What an amazing and brave opportunity! I read this one quite quickly. 
I picked out Super Genes for a Blogging for Books review because I am intrigued by genes and how they impact our health. This book was loaded with information and it took me a while to finish because the content was so dense and interesting to absorb. 

Part one covered "The Science of Transformation" and topics such as epigenetics, making better memories, adaptation to transformation, and the microbiome. The science covered in this section is probably what slowed my reading time down a bit, but Tanzi and Chopra discussed these topics in an accessible way. 

Part two was my favorite section because it dived into lifestyle choices. The authors clearly laid out easy, harder, and experimental choices to improve your life in areas such as nutrition, meditation, sleep, stress, and more. Their advice is practical and feasible. A lot of it was common sense, but tips were a nice reminder to read through. 

Part three talked about "guiding your own evolution" with topics like properties of your cells and well-known illnesses like type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's Disease and more. 
If you are interested in health and genes like I am, I think you'll also enjoy this informative read.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hiking: Scuppernong Trail in Kettle Moraine State Forest

We enjoyed a beautiful nearly 5 mile hike through the Kettle Moraine State Forest Scuppernong Trail today! It felt great to get on the trails again.

We purchased our state parks pass and chose to follow the orange trail, which is estimated at 4.1 miles, but we logged a little more by going to the overlook point.

The trail featured a few very sandy parts.
We spotted so many beautiful wildflowers. 
I had never seen this one before.
I love hiking through the woods with Craig. Being there instantly made me happy. I enjoyed being among the trees, birds chirping, the exercise, and exploring a new place.
We went north on the trail to get views from the overlook point. 
 Hawk watching!
Towards the end of the trail Craig spotted this huge ant hill. He estimated that it was about 12 feet long. There were so many ants working in that pile. It was freaky and amazing at the same time.

Scuppernong Trail Head
S58 W35820 County Rd ZZ
Dousman, WI 53118

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Everyday Life [Weeks 16-20]

Sorry for the unplanned absence. Life got pretty crazy for a while there. I hope it will be back to normal in June.

My brother Glen passed away unexpectedly on April 22nd while competing in his seventh Ironman competition. We all flew to Texas to celebrate his life. It is still a complete shock to all of us that he is gone. I wake up most mornings thinking it is all a nightmare.

We gathered with family before leaving for the funeral. Our cousin Steve and his family stopped by my parents house and it was nice to catch up with them during such a difficult time.
Me with my youngest nephews. 

Two complete strangers opened their huge and gorgeous Texas home to us and let us stay there. I still cannot believe such kind people exist in the world. We also had strangers bring us breakfast and other food every single day.
 The pretty pond on their property.
 We went for walks every morning. I loved this plants--not sure if they are agave.
 Our way back home featured a lightning storm. I took so many photos and videos.
Once I was back, I tried to go back to doing normal things in life like walking. I kind of love teal a little too much I think. 
Experienced my third Warby Parker at home-try on. I still have not ordered any glasses. These are the only ones I was interested in because they are so unique.
My sweet co-worker gave me her extra diffuser and a bunch of oils. I love using it so far!
We celebrated my mom's 78th birthday!
A great library hold pickup day!
Our neighborhood outdoor kitty attacked a cardinal nest in our woods, so I tried my best to save these guys. I am not sure if they made it or not. He knocked them all out of their nest and I had to pick them off the ground. 
Leaving Nathan's soccer game a couple of weeks ago.

Played soccer and baseball practice driver for a night. I don't know how parents find time for themselves with all of the driving around they have to do!
My fidget spinner obsessed nephew.
A view of Waukesha outside the car roof. 
Texas made me obsessed with pimento cheese dip! This one from Fresh Thyme was perfectly spicy and delicious.
I had it on toast with the amazing everything but the bagel sesame seasoning blend from Trader Joe's.
Pema was probably being naughty right before this so I bundled him up in a blanket to get him settled down.
I visited my sister-in-law and nephew a couple of weeks ago. 
Took mom to a cute local cafe for Mother's Day! We had a cozy little spot to sip our lattes.
 Pretty backyard blooms.
A MUCH needed lychee cocktail on Friday night. I never order cocktails, nor do I drink that much, but last week was just one of those that required a drink.
I also enjoyed a massive bowl of tofu soup and vegetarian sushi. It was great to get caught up with my friend. I look so tired in the photo below though. Between Glen's death and work being so busy, the past month has been rough.
I speed walked through the rainy Waukesha Farmer's Market yesterday morning, but it was worth getting damp for an apple cider doughnut and a huge bunch of asparagus for a mere $2 (thanks to the sweet vendor who gave me a deal)! Craig and I headed to a new to us coffee shop in downtown and it was so cute inside!
 I roasted the asparagus with some mushrooms for dinner last night.
We went on tours of historic homes in Waukesha today. This one is Les Paul's father's house. He never lived there, but certainly visited the home while his dad and stepmom lived there. It had a lovely arts & crafts interior.
 So did this house. Very pretty and cozy!

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Everyday Life [Weeks 13-15]

Here's what the past two weeks looked like!

Nothing beats roasted veggies. Yum!
 I enjoyed this Kite Hill almond milk yogurt. I'm just bummed that I can only find it at Whole Foods.
 An art break at work.
I look like a hipster in these Warby Parker glasses. Sadly, all five pairs I tried on at home weren't a fit for me. I've got another box on the way! This time, I sent a selfie to a customer service rep and she recommended some frames. Their customer service is amazing!
 Pema smelling my hair after a fresh cut.
 Craig and I discovered a new place to hike up to for great views of the pretty countryside.
 Yummy chocolate!
I've been needing to use up vacation days lately and have been using them wisely. I spent a rainy day off reading and taking quizzes for my CEUs. I passed three quizzes that day and now I only have a small portion of a credit left to finish.
 Finally chilling outdoors with my favorite magazine (and my favorite sandals ever).
Ordered a Schlitz beer at a local bar just because two of my grandpas worked for the company.
 An early morning walk is so peaceful.
 Back to walking in the morning before I have to sit at work much of the day!
I took this picture to taunt my sister since she loves Kopps custard so much. I got the flavor of the day which was, "roll of the dice."
This flavor tastes like pancakes. Very tasty!
 Celebrated national grilled cheese day with a vegan version!
I became an Aunt for the 20th time last Thursday morning! My sister-in-law had little Conner. Look at those adorable and tiny fingers!
 I just loved holding the little guy for as long as possible. He was so warm and cuddly.
 I propagated succulents for the first time. I hope they take!