Thanks to my dear friend Heather Palmer for sharing this lovely piece…

Remember this next time you are feeling defeated, broken, or at a loss. You’re only building a more beautiful you.


Plastic Buildings

Check out this short video on a new design putting plastic bottles to use.

I think it is mildly hilarious that while she says it can “sustain strong earthquakes and typhoons” there is a man jumping on it. As if that should convince us of its sturdiness.

Regardless of a man’s weight demonstrating its strength-I find it quite interesting.

Research Projects in Food Studies are the BEST….

Because I get to drink beer for research!! Okay, technically I didn’t have to drink the beer as it that is not the focus of my research. However, as part of my final project for my Food Systems class, I am doing a Commodity Chain Analysis comparing the sustainability of Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, OH & East End Brewing Company in Pittsburgh, PA. Last Saturday a group of us drove out to Cleveland to take the tour of Great Lakes, sample brews, visit the farmers market, and I hooked up an exclusive tour of the Ohio City Garden-where up to half of the brewpup’s produce is sourced in the summer! As we were finishing up dinner one of the chefs came and chatted with us about the garden and how important sourcing local foods is to their restaurant. I love how when I asked the lady in the gift shop where to find the man taking me on the tour of the garden, he appeared from the kitchen. How fitting the “local foods liaison” (his official title) is also one of the chefs! This is the connection all restaurants need. The beet salad I had for dinner was delightful for a reason-the beets I learned were harvested the day before. You wouldn’t expect such fresh, local and organically grown food in a brewpub in the middle of Cleveland.

Anyways, back to the beer. If you are from the Midwest or East and haven’t ever tried the Christmas Ale… you MUST go out and buy some now! This beer is a consistent gold medal winner and only available seasonally (as if the name didn’t give that away). It sells out exceptionally quick! For good reason… it’s amazing. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and LOCAL honey, it’s a tongue and belly pleaser! Even if you are gluten free- the consequences may just be worth it. Chelsea and I were in love. Warning: sip slowly… it’s 7.5% ABV. We each had one and half and ended up giggling the whole way through the tour… not that laughing is a bad thing :)

Alyssa. Lauren. Chelsea. Eric.

After dinner we toured the garden… which was beautiful despite it overlooking the skyline of Cleveland (sorry Cleveland folks). It is on 6 acres and is farmed by local refugees employed through Cleveland’s Refugee Response. Refugees not only are able to make a living but are growing healthy food for the community and themselves. That’s a win-win!


I learned much more on their sustainability practices yet will save this info to share until after I complete my research!

Amazing Yoga

I moved yoga studios! I am so excited to now be taking classes by the teachers who I fell in LOVE with doing their free podcasts earlier this year. When I first started listening to Karen & Sean’s podcasts from Amazing Yoga, I had no idea they were based in Pittsburgh. While I was living in Hawaii and back in Chicago I strengthened my home practice, quite better than I’d ever believe I could, with their audio yoga classes. A week before I moved here I was doing some research and was pleasantly surprised to not only learn they had their studio in P’burgh but right my in my neighborhood! Wednesday I took my first live class with Karen Conley.

F A N T A S T I C!

It has been a struggle to manage my time here with all the work that is looming over my head at all hours of the day. I went through a short period where I was only working out a few days a week and not doing yoga at all! tsk tsk. To keep me motivated and consistently working out I registered for the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6, 2012. I have found reading while running the treadmill makes miles FLYYYY by. I’m sure this will a) get old real fast or b) result in my falling off the treadmill at some point. Either way, it’s turning out to be excellent use of my time. The work trade at Amazing Yoga will keep me balanced with its stretching and strengthening I need to counter the runs and cross-training (and peace of mind- BIG must).

Check out this clock with a sun salutation sequence representing numbers. Love it!

If you are familiar with yoga and feel comfortable doing classes at home without video search Sean and Karen Conley (Amazing Yoga) in podcasts. They are free and quite amazing ;)