September 25, 2016

Currently - September 25th, 2016

You guys!! I'm currently in Chicago. Like in Chicago for good! I spent all Thursday driving from New York (13 hours in total) and it didn't suck as much as I thought it would. It didn't actually suck that much at all. It reminded me of hiking in that autopilot kind of way. During the drive I drank two iced coffees, enjoyed the 70 mph speed limit on the interstate, and jammed out to a playlist from a night a while ago that involved lots of tequila (lolz). Good times...

It's weird (but good) to finally be in Chicago with Joe. It seems more like I'll be leaving in a few days, but this time, I'm not. I still have sooo much unpacking/organizing to do though! As for what else is happening in my life...

Listening To:
  • The Shins ( New Slang / Phantom Limb ). I caught one of their songs on the radio earlier this week and finally found out it was by The Shins.
  • Fleet Foxes ( Mykonos / Blue Ridge Mountains ). I think I'm the last person to jump on this train, but whatever.
Eating: I've felt uninspired this week, but Joe and I had some homemade tomato soup the other night and I've been eating it ever since.

Drinking: Iced coffee. (Except I don't even like coffee that much.)

Wearing: My "town dress" (the comfy dress I'd wear in towns while I was on the trail). I think I wore it like four days this week. (It's in the laundry now).

  • Portlandia
  • Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (yeah...)
  • Wild (currently dreaming of PCT 2018...).
Reading: The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Planning: A Whole 30 starting in October, getting a job..., some possible fall trips in the Midwest.

September 16, 2016

Currently - September 16, 2016

I was in the city earlier this week and saw my friend Laura (Amie L) for the first time since I left for the trail in March. It always amazing me how you can always pick up with a close friend after not seeing each other for so long. Of course we played the catch up game too. Then she asked what would be happening to my blog. After not blogging for six months I hadn't thought about it much. But now that someone has brought it up, it's gotten me thinking about what place blogging will have when I move to Chicago. I'm still thinking that through, but in the meantime here's some of what I've been up to.


  • Getting ready to move to Chicago (after living out of a 25 pound backpack for nearly half a year the amount of stuff I have is giving me major anxiety)
  • Catching up with friends + family
  • Going through pictures from my thru-hike. The best of the best are here if you weren't already following along ;) 
  • Teaching myself HTML via Codecademy
  • Trying to beat my 5K PR on the treadmill
Eating: $1.00 NYC style pizza

Drinking: Cans upon cans of La Croix coconut seltzer

Enjoying: Sunsets. My mom and I went down to the Hudson River in Ossining last Sunday night and it was amazing!

Listening To: Music my trail family got me into... I'm seriously obsessed.
Wearing: Anything cotton since I haven't worn anything cotton in ages.

Watching: Boyhood, Finding Dory, Degrassi Next Class (I started watching it in middle school and it's been a guilty pleasure ever since!)

Laughing About: Tape Face (I don't watch America's Got Talent, but I stumbled upon this the other day it was hard not to watch) + Times You Wish You Picked Up Your Package Instead

Missing: My trail families. (That's my last trail fam above!)

Planning: Besides moving to Chicago (!), a hiking trip to the Adirondacks this weekend with my brother Dan and my trail friend Mountain Goat. I'm so excited to get back to the woods!

(And for now, that's all she wrote. Have a fun weekend everyone!)

March 12, 2016

Last Day Of Work

My last day of work was yesterday. I'm seriously so sad/in disbelief that it came so quickly. When I started in advertising twenty months ago, I had no clue what I was getting myself into and or how long I would stay for. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and then I arrived at twenty months and it was already time to leave. While the decision to leave has been my own decision, it came not because I didn't like my job (I actually loved it), but because now feels like the right time to hike the Appalachian Trail and then move to Chicago. I guess I can sum it up as I'm leaving something awesome in search of something a little more awesomer. It still sucks though.

Yesterday was actually the day after my office's work party, so everyone was moving pretty slowly about the office/recalling what actually happened the night before haha, but it was pretty much business as usual, drinks with coworkers, then a bunch of goodbyes.

The lessons I've learned during my first world in the real world are numerous, but I figured while I'm writing this post, I should jot some things I'd like to remember...

01. Life is never to short for pleasantries. 
This is something my boss often repeated and it's so true. Simple pleasantries do go such a long way.

02. Success is more than just being smart and hardworking. 
People skills also matter. Like probably just as much as the other two things. Maybe more. It seems more than obvious, but it was a hard realization for me to come upon after college.

03. There's something to learn from every co-worker. 
I've had a crazy range of co-workers and work is one of those times when you get thrown together with people you wouldn't necessarily associate with outside of work. That being said, sometimes you just become friends anyways, and if not, there are still so many other things to learn.

04. To-do lists are everything. 
Just putting it out there that I would be nothing without one.

05. No one is going to read your mind. Ever. Speak up. 
It took me more than half a year to figure this out, but once I did, things seemed to get a lot better. Still working on this though.

06. One of the best ways to learn is to be thrown into the fire. 
Last summer, two of my co-workers left within a three week period. Work had to get done, but it was just me and an intern. The blind leading the blind, if you will. It was scary being left with everything, but we figured stuff out, made things happen, and I probably learned just as much over last July and August as I had the previous half year of work.

Thank you BBDO for my first twenty months in the real world. 
I hope to be back someday. (Maybe even in Chicago!)

March 3, 2016

Quick Vegetarian Ramen

Ever since Joe and I were introduced to ramen by our friend Lee, we have been on a ramen kick. In the past year we've probably gone out for it five or six times and we're not even together that much. Even though I love going out for ramen (Ippudo in NYC is my favorite), making it on my own has been something I've really wanted to do, so when Joe and I decided to stay in on Valentine's Day, we made ramen!

Besides the part where it took us more than an hour to actually find a grocery store that had ramen noodles in a blizzard (Whole Foods was this winner), it was so easy to make, and was the perfect warm, slurpy meal fit for hiding out on a blizzardy night.

In case you're interested in making your own, the recipe I used is below and was adapted from here + here + here:

1 32 oz Container Trader Joe's Miso Ginger Broth
32 oz Water
1 Large Onion (Chopped into thick slices)
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Package Fresh Shitake Mushrooms (Sliced with stems removed)
1 Package Ramen Noodles (~800 calories)
1 Package Bokchoy (4-6 bunches, each chopped in half)
2-4 Tbsp Canola Oil
Red Pepper
Green Onion
4 Eggs

1. In a large pot, combine broth with 4 cups of water and heat to a boil.
2. While broth boils, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil until soft.
3. Once soft, add onions along with mushrooms to the broth. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4. Sear bok choy in canola oil, flipping when one side browns slightly. Set aside.
5. Add ramen to the broth and turn back to a boil.
6. While the ramen cooks, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once fully boiling, drop 4 eggs in. Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 7 minutes, submerge eggs in cold water, peel, and set aside.
7. Once the noodles have fully cooked, serve in bowls with broth. Add 1-2 bok choy halves to each. Then top with halved egg and add, and add chopped scallions, red pepper flakes, additional sesame oil, and soy sauce to taste.

Pro Tip: Trader Joe's mochi covered ice cream goes splendidly for dessert - Joe and I had strawberry. ;)

March 1, 2016

Trail Tuesdays: What I'm Planning To Eat On The Trail

Two weeks until the trail. For those of you who binge-watched Fuller House this weekend, HOLY CHALUPAS.

Since my last pre-trail update, I've ordered a backpack and a waterproof phone case, put in notice at work, arranged my transportation from the airport to the trail, starting weighing my gear, and stocked up on a whole lot of food stuff.

Things I have yet to do? Test out my tent. Figure out how to hang my food bag. Decide which pair of shoes to take. Put together boxes for mail drops. The list goes on...

As for today's post, it's going to be about food because food is the best.

So food... Everyone seems to have opinion on this universal subject. Here are some of the guidelines I followed in deciding what to bring:

1. Bring on the fatty foods
Weight for weight, fats have more than twice the number of calories that carbs and proteins do. This makes fatty foods (nuts, oils, chocolate(!)) the best option to reduce pack weight and keep you full.

2. Have easy/no prep options
From past experiences in hiking, there are times when you just don't feel like cooking. I guess that's kind of life in general, except in hiking there's no bag of chips in the cabinet (so guilty of this one).

3. When in doubt, bring on the vitamins
To avoid stress fractures, anemia, etc.

4. Go for variety where you can
Partly for nutrition, partly for keeping spirits up.

5. What I'll be eating on the trail
Breakfast (aka: easy carbs in the morning)
- Pop Tarts
- Granola
- Lara / Clif / Kind Bars
- Oatmeal with brown sugar

Lunch (aka: quick no-cook meals)
- Cheese and crackers (to be eaten for the first few days after any stockup)
- Tortilla and peanut butter
- (I could probably use more help on super easy lunches here if anyone has ideas!)

Dinner (aka: a little hot sustenance) 
- Couscous with lots of olive oil
- Lentils (also with lots of olive oil)
- Mac & Cheese (maybe with some olive oil)

Snacks (aka: things I can eat while walking)
- Lara / Clif / Kind Bars
- Chocolate Bars (I read somewhere to bring twice the amount of chocolate you think you'll need and from past hiking experiences, that's the thing that always goes first)
- Nuts

Vitamins (aka: things to help prevent bad things like anemia and stress fractures)
- Iron
- B12
- Calcium