Monday, June 27, 2011

lifestyle change

So...I started a new diet. I know, go ahead and roll your eyes. But wait, roll them again because I'm about to say the inevitable- this time I'm for real.

Those of you who have been in my life for a few years or more know what a constant battle my weight has been. I've tried nearly everything, but I never have enough strength or will power to fight through. I get discouraged and give up easily. Basically, I wasn't ready to grow up. And, quite honestly, I don't know that I have ever cared about myself to lose the weight. I've learned, over the past year especially, how to love myself. And part of loving myself is taking care of myself, in all aspects...but especially in my health.

I'll give myself some credit and say over the past two years or so I have been better at making healthy choies- I mean I did do a 1/2 marathon...but I have a long way to go.

So, this diet. One of the reasons I'm so excited about it is because everything is finally in place. I have the full support of my parents, aka my roommates, which is always helpful. I've met with a nutritionist. I'm working out my emotional challenges, and I'm exercising.

Food wise, I've set up a diet perscription with a nutritionist. It's sort of hard to explain, but try to stay with me. I'm allowed 1800 calories a day...but I don't have to count calories. If I follow my meal plan correctly, I will be in that range. Here is what I am allowed:

Breakfast: 4 carbs, 1 fat, 1 meat.
Example: Greek Yogurt (counts as 1 carb, 1 meat), 1/4 cup granola (1 carb), 1 english muffin (1 carb), 1/2 banana (1 carb, 1 tbsp peanut butter (1 fat).

I know that seems like a lot of food, but it's good for me, and it helps me to feel more full during the day. Other foods I'll eat for breakfast include egg whites, wheat toast, thin sliced deli ham, oatmeal and rasins, etc.

Snack 1- 1 carb, 1 meat
Example- 1 peach (carb) 1 piece low fat string cheese (1 meat)

Lunch- 4 carbs, 2 fat, 2 meat
Example- 1/2 cup chicken salad on wheat bread (2 carbs, 1 fat, 2 meat). Veggie Chips (1 carb), chocolate covered almonds (1 meat, 1 fat).

Snack 2- 1 carb, 1 meat
Example- 5 Ritz Crackers, 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese

Dinner- 4 carbs, 2 fat, 2 meat
1 oz piece white chicken, ANY VEGGIE I WANT, fresh fruit, whole grain rice/noddles or a small baked potato.

Desert- I think it's 1 I'd go for sugar free pudding or 1/2 cup ice cream.

Once you get the hang of it, it's not that tricky. I pack all my snacks and lunch the night before. I have a whole list of things I can eat that count as carbs, fat, meat, etc. When I get some free time I plan on labeling things in my fridge and pantry.

OH, and if I want say a Lean Cuisine meal for lunch, I can totally do that, as long as I figure out how many carbs, fat, protein I'm eating. I can bank up meat/fat, but I have to stick with the carbs.

Is it going to be tough? Hell yes. Am I going to stick exactly to this every day? No. But I'm going to try my hardest, make better choices, and remember portion sizes. The hardest part is finding the time...but I'm going to try and do it right after I eat dinner, just have a list of things I can eat and stick them in my lunch box.

Now, exercise...because no diet is complete without it. My exercise schedule looks a little like this...

Monday's- Walk with my mom. Tonight we did 1.50 miles, hoping to increase that.
Tuesday's- Total Body Workout class at the gym
Wednesday's- Zumba at gym
Thursday's- Walk/Jog
Friday's- Off
Saturday- Zumba and walk at gym
Sunday- Either gym or go on one of my walking trails.

So that's my new lifestyle in a nutshell. I am seriously considering starting a twitter and tweeting what I eat. That's more fun than writing it down. I'll test it and see if anyone follows me :)

I really, really need support in this. Help me make goood choices, but also let me figure things out on my own.

Have an excellent week my friends <3

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ten years

A lot can happen in 10 years...sometimes it's fun to think about where I was, where I am now, and where I'm going.

Ten years ago...

I was 13 years old, just leaving 8th grade and getting ready for high school. I was shy, sensitive, emotional, focused, boy crazy, dramatic, and kind. I was READY to leave my school, since I had gone there K-8. I was excited and nervous for high school, having no idea what to expect. I spent that summer with my best friends, having sleepovers and hanging out at the mall. My career aspirations probably ranged from teacher to psychologist, although I really don't recall. I just remember listening to 95.5 a lot and staying up too late with my friends. I had my first "boyfriend", which, at that age, meant holding hands if we were brave enough.

I'm trying to rember what I imagined my life would be like 10 years later... I probably thought I'd be dating Justin Timberlake and having fancy dinner parties with my loads and loads of friends. Well unfortuantley things didn't work out with Justin and I...yes, my life has definatley taken a different course than I imagined it would.


I'm 23. Just two months into my first real job. I'm shy, but friendly. Sweet, dependable, caring, and funny (at least, I think so). I'm deeply passionate about music and writing, as well as helping other people and being a good friend. I adore my family and friends. I've lost a lot of people close to me. I'm single. I live at home. I try to start every day with a positive attitude. I love kids.

Ten Years From Now...

I will be 33. I will be a mature, confident, compassionate, caring woman. I am hoping that I will be in love with a man who is patient, understanding, kind, funny, and my best friend and soul mate. I'm not sure where I will be working, my hope is that the job I have now will lead me to an organization such as Make A Wish, or something where I can help others come true. I will have my first published book. I'll have new favorite artists and bands. I'll still adore my family, because that is one connection I cannot and will not ever lose. I'd love to have nieces and nephews, perhaps a child of my own. I can see myself living in Detroit still, but if life leads me to Nashville, I'd be happy with that as well.

It's so hard to pin point. I canot predict the future. I can only hope that I stay true to my heart, trust in God, and go where life takes me...all while working hard and being kind, open, and honest with others. I will have to let my guard down but be careful to not fall in love too fast.

I'm happy, and I just pray that I don't lose that, I don't lose sight of what is important. 10 years from now, I still want to be me...just with more life experience and growth.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What's Going On

Life update time!

What I'm Doing:

Workin. I love my job. No day is the same, but if I were to capture a "typical, in the office day" it would look something like this:
-Arrive around 8:15-8:30.
-Listen to report and check e-mail, make calls if needed.
-Listen to the volunteer voicemails and take notes, input it into access.
-Go through any lose papers on my desk and put them in the right place.
-Charge and sync my work phone to see what evaluations I have to do that day. If I'm not sure what to do with a patient, I call or e-mail the social worker on the case to determine if the patient needs a volunteer at that time. I do some evaluations now, as well.
-Get my office volunteers started on projects.
-Plan for any upcoming events, trainings, etc.
-Lunch between 12-1.
-Work on long term projects such as lending library, social work kits, etc.
-Check volunteer voicemail again
-Call/e-mail volunteers reminders, upcoming important dates
-Recruit new volunteers, or communicate with pending volunteers about missing paperwork
-Finish vists on work phone

That doesn't make it sound very fun, but I promise it is. Most days I have SOMETHING going on that I have to accomplish...introducing a volunteer to a patient, training new volunteers, etc...

Writing a book: Most of you saw that on my last update...the facebook page is officially up and running, so please "like" it and participate in our discussions! Hoping to do my first interviews late June/early July.

Working Out: I have missed more gym visits than I would like, but I am really focused on getting healtheir. I'm eating much better, planning out my meals, and working out. Right now I'm taking two Zumba classes and a Total Body Workout class. TBW is awesome, but very challenging.

Trying to spend as much time with people I love as possible: Between working, writing, and working out, I'm finding myself exhausted and more likely to sit at home and watch movies than hang out with friends. But I've been better and had a few dinner/lunch dates. Yesterday I went over to Martha's for Caroline's 2nd Birthday Party and had an absolute BLAST. Sure I wasn't with anyone my age, but it was a great time.

What I'm Listening Too:

Kate Voegele's new album, Gravity Happens. It is so wonderfully, beautifully written with a mixture of fun pop songs and dramatic lyrical masterpieces. One of my favorite albums of 2011.

Christina Perri. The first time I heard "Jar of Hearts" on the radio way, way back, I had goosebumps. I'm ecstatic that she released an album. She's outstanding. Singer/songwriter, but with edge. Haunting lyrics and unique voice. I highly recommend checking out her album.

Nakia, from The Voice. Talk about soul! This boy has it. He definatley has my vote. I actually downloaded some of his pre- "The Voice" music- and it's fantastic as well. Go download his "Sex is On Fire" performance, for two reasons 1. I just did on Friday night and it is already in my top 25 most played. 2. It's a vote for him :)

Mumford and Sons. Guess I'm on a "soul" roll, because they pour their soul into the lyrics and vocals of this entire album.

David Cook. Cook fans are rejoicing because his new album is SO CLOSE! It's released June 28th but streaming live now on AOL. I'm actually not even a Cook fan. I mean, I like the dude. I have a few songs from his first album...but today I listened to the new one on AOL Radio and I am beyond impressed. I am crossing my fingers that it gets the attention it deserves because this album, I'm sure, was well worth the wait.

Other bands/artists I'm really into at the moment? Adele (Duh), Lady Antebellum, JillandKate, NeedToBreathe, Never Shout Never

What I'm Watching: I don't watch many summer shows. Once SYTYCD goes live, I will watch that...I HAVE been watching The Voice. Favorites are Nakia and Beverly, but there are so many talented people on that show it really is hard to pick. I'm enjoying it, but NOT enjoying Christina Auguleria. Barf.

What I'm Reading: "If You Were Here" by Jen Lancaster, one of my favorite authors. All her previous books have been hilarious, down to earth memoirs. This is her first fiction book. I'm enjoying it, it has the exact vibe of her memoirs that I get confused when her character's name comes up, because I'm expecting it to be "Jen". Anyways, I recommend it for a laugh, for anyone who has been through the house hunting experience especially. Up next I'll be reading Made To Crave.

So I guess that's me in a nutshell. What's going on with you guys?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Exciting news!

Time to make my big announcement!

I am writing a book about Laurence. For those who have never read my blog and have no idea who I'm talking about, I'll let you catch up

Ever since Laurence passed away, I have been thinking of ways to keep his memory alive. Laurence was truly one of a kind, with a mission and a heart unlike any other person I’ve ever known. One of my good friends suggested a while back that I write a book about Laurence’s life. I thought it seemed like a good idea, but doubted my abilities and brushed it off. However, in the past few weeks, the thought has come back into my mind- and has not left. I am preoccupied with ideas and thoughts about the book, constantly writing myself little notes about important things to include. I am taking this as a sign to write the book.

It is my ultimate goal to have the book published so that Laurence’s book can reach out to hundreds, thousands of other people who did not know him. However, I also know what a difficult task that will be. I am willing to work hard. I’m willing to, if nothing else, sell the book to his family and friends who would want to read it.

I have no idea where this journey is going to take me, but I’m excited, and ready.
My first step will be to begin interviewing people in Laurence’s life. This will allow me to gather enough facts and stories to create a layout. The interviews will be my backbone. Once I get enough “meat”, I am going to reach out to both Jordin Sparks (who honored Laurence with the MAD award) and Bono.

My first step will be A) Creating a Facebook Fan Page. I'm probably going to title it "The Laurence Carolin Project" for now, as I have ideas for the title but that is yet to be revealed :) I am asking that all of you "like" the page once it is created. B) Interviews! I need to interview many, many people for this project. Parents and other family memers, friends, teachers, Laurence's dr, it goes on and on. I will hopefully be able to start those soon. I will probably send you a letter or an e-mail if I need you, which is likely.

Quite honestly, I'm posting this and keeping a facebook page because I need support. I need stories, pictures, quotes, memories, AND prayers. I'm ECSTATIC about this, but also scared.

So, that's my news. I hope I have your support. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

2nd graders thoughts, final edition.

This is my last "2nd Graders" post until September, when my mom gets a new batch of kids who will no doubt make me laugh and inspire some of these blog posts. I was quite close with this year's group. I credit that mostly to Lizzy, one of the Carter kids who I adore. Plus, this year's class consistently prayed for me to get a job, pray for members of my family who are sick, drew pictures for a gift a gave Melinda, and were just so darn cute.

Their last assignment of the year was to write "10 Things I Learned from Mrs. Carolin". They could not be academic. Here are some of their adorable answers.

Notre Dame is the best football team in the world.

The most important thing is NO ARGUING WITH THE TEACHER.

I should never take Christ out of Christmas (Xmas)

Tony is A-1’s angel.

Never, ever, under any condition argue with Mrs. Carolin.

Mrs. Carolin is a clean freak, if you’re desk isn’t clean, you’re in trouble.

We cannot say shut up. Mrs. Carolin's kids could not say it when they were kids and they still don't.

Don’t talk in church because it is God’s house.

You should always say, Maggie and I, and not me and Maggie, or Mrs. Carolin will correct you.

A bad tone of voice is unacceptable.

Nobody can make you do anything….it’s your choice.

Don’t say bad words because Jesus doesn’t want us to.

Never count on your fingers unless absolutely necessary.

You should always pray the rosary because Mary asked us to.

Never cheat on a test because the teacher wants to know what you know, not your neighbor.

Always love Notre Dame.

Always be a good friend and let others play.

Never steal Mrs. Carolin’s FAT PENCILS.

Second grade is the only year you will receive two sacraments

Be a follower of Jesus.

Pray every day, anytime or anywhere.

Use proper grammar because people always say, “I am done.” People get finished.

Laurence and Tony are very special to Mrs. Carolin.

Mrs. Carolin only has two hands, she cannot help everyone at once.

Prayer can be in the form of a song.

N.E.V.E.R. argue with the teacher, no matter what (even if your teacher is a softie)

It is unacceptable to go ahead of the teacher because she knows more than you.

Do not snap your fingers because it is annoying.

Don’t do your homework in school. That’s why it’s called HOMEwork.

Use proper grammar like, saying ly (as in quickly instead of quick).

Never, no never, no never should you swear.

Do not shove people. Say, “Excuse Me.”

You should say yes and not yeah.

Mrs. Carolin wants a grandchild.

Mrs. Carolin has three children. Maureen is married to Dave. Jonathon likes to play tricks on his mom. Megan took me to Red Robin.

I know, they are adorable little boogers, aren't they?

Monday, June 6, 2011


It's so strange, the emotions we fill by simply seeing an old friend. I've always been a sensitive, nostalgic person who isn't a big fan of change. So last year, when I had to pack up and leave my house in Corktown, say goodbye to the best year of my life, it was a challenge. But, for the firt time in my life, I didn't spend every single minute thinking about it, missing it. Instead, I decided it would be best to move on. So I did. Quickly. Instead, I spent all of my time trying to find a job. I totally pushed my year of MVC out of my mind. Not exactly healthy. I wish I had found a balance between the two. Because sometimes, I honestly feel like last year did not happen. That it was all just a dream. And that's terribly sad, considering all that it blesed me with.

This past weekend, one of my roomies from last year, Nate, came into town. I'll be honest, we haven't spoken very often since we said our goodbyes last July. But, like I said above, I wasn't focused on that. It was so wonderful to see Nate. He seemed happy, which made me happy. It was a relief that our friendship had not changed. He was still his sarcastic self, cracking jokes left and right, but also looking at me with sincerity and compassion when I was talking with him. I loved hanging out with him again. Another thing that made it so great was that his old supervisor stoppped by, and the happiness in her eyes seeing him was beautiful. She and the MV this year who took his place were going on and on about how people at his old job missed him and constantly asked about him. I was so proud of Nate for that, for making an impact on people. I know that as he goes through med school he will continue to do so. I am very lucky to have Nate as one of my best friends. Now it's my turn to go visit him...and I'm going to do my best to make sure to keep in contact with him.

So, seeing Nate was fabulous, but it made me feel awful for not keeping in touch with him, or Dave and Katie. It doesn't mean I don't miss them, because I do. They will always be three of my best friends, and the year I shared with them was the greatest year of my life.

On Sunday, I spent time with Cristo Rey kids when I took them to the Lupus Walk at the Detroit Zoo. We had an absolute blast. It was fun to see the kids just act like kids, because I know they don't get to do that often. Plus I was super proud of Jasmine for her passion for the cause and raising so much money. But, like Nate, it also made me a little sad. I just miss them.

I know things change, but I think I tried to force them to change too quickly this time. People warned me about getting stuck with last year, wanting to hold on forever..and I did the complete opposite of that. I pushed it away. I didn't realize it until I tutored at Cristo Rey a few times, and even more so when I saw Nate.

I love you all. Thanks for the constant support. I know this blog won't make much sense to anyone, but I just had to get it out.