I Love This Cook Book and You Should Too

At about the age of 12, my mother gave up cooking, my father would not attempt it and me and my brother never thought to learn. The older siblings were out of the house so, we were always kind of on our own for dinner. You would never see us sit at the table as a family after that point, unless it was a special occasions. Never would you smell stuffing on the stove or ham in the oven. In our house it was more like, “Pizza’s HERE!” or “What do you want, hot dog or hamburger?”


I have never held this against my parents. They had five children and I was the youngest of them all. Not to mention the house was small and the kitchen was tiny. If I were them, I would be tried of cooking too. But it did lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle of myself and those who still lived at home. It wasn’t until I was 24, when that began to change.

I finally decided to get out on “my own” and move to Portland and freeload off my sister and her wife for six months. A couple weeks into my stay they gave me a gift, a cookbook. The Can’t Cook Book. They must have grown tired of seeing me eat quesadillas and peanut butter sandwiches on a daily bases.

At first I was like, “Wow, thanks guys…” Thinking to myself, “seriously, you call this a gift?” But, after looking at the colorful pages and quick easy tips, I gave it a go.

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My Heritage

My whole life I have been told I am Irish. “Your skin is so pale, because you’re Irish. Your hair is so thick, because you’re Irish. You have so many freckles, because you are so Irish. You’re hair turn gray at 12. Well, that’s because you’re Irish.” Forever, I have heard the same thing over and over and over again. Not to mention, it wasn’t just my family who told me, but friends, neighbors, even strangers. “It’s the Irish in you.” Well man, were they wrong.

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Book 3 of 24: The Sun is Also a Star

At the age of 17, like the characters within this book I also dated someone outside my race. That said, at the time it wasn’t really “dating”. I didn’t call him “boyfriend” and he didn’t call me “girlfriend”, but we definitely had something. What that was, I am not too sure.

Although the neighborhood I grew up in was very diverse, the people I knew and hung out with were just like me: white , middle class, Irish folk living on the South Side of Chicago. I was always comfortable within this community and when I did something different, I never thought I would be judged, until one moment.

I decided to take my “friend” to the senior dance. When I told my mother her immediate response was, “Well, you better tell your Father.” I had taken other boys to school dances and my dad never batted an eye. Why was this different?

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30 of 30: I did it! Well, kinda…

The 30 Day workout challenge was completed within 40 days. Although to some this might come to a failure, but to me its bit of an achievement. As I mentioned in the last post, if I am not getting paid I have a tendency to just give up on my “goals”. I eventually lose interest and just move on, but that is not the case this time around.

What Have I learned over the last 40 days?

-I really have no upper body strength and pushups are hard. This is something that I really need to focus on when building a new workout routine.

Did I get fit?

-No. Was I swore at times? Yes.

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Book 1 of 24: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

I want to start by saying that I am not in love with Amy Schumer. I think she is a cool chick, funny at times and I love that she has a great body image. Not to mention, she doesn’t apologize for who she is. All of which are great traits and I respect her for all of them. All that said, I had a lot of trouble reading this book and for a few different reasons.

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Day 10 of 30 & I Still Can’t Do a Push Up

My whole life I have always played leg sports: volleyball, frisbee, I was even on rowing team for a hot second. Because of this, I have always breezed through any workout that has to do with my legs. Lunges you got it. Wall-sits, how long? Squats, I’m down. But when it comes to other parts of the body: arms, chest, back….Not so much. Never in my life, have had to use upper body strength; therefore, I have none. So of course when day two of the work out came, push up time was a bit of a hot mess.

I was half way through, what I thought was my second pushup, when I heard, “What are you doing?” I looked up to see my boyfriend, Dan sitting on the couch with a strange look on his face. “I’m doing push ups. What does it looks like I am doing?”, I replied. There was a pause and then laughter. Apparently, I was doing them all wrong. Dan then jumped to the ground and said; “It’s like this,” while pushing out 10 pushups within the time it took me to complete my two.

The thing you have to know about Dan, is that he is in great shape. Not that he works out. He never does, but his job is very physically demanding. He calls a day work, his workout and it’s the truth.

Dan soon began to coach me on how to do a pushup. I could feel the difference. My whole body began to tremble, as I inched my way to the floor. Then, I just collapsed. I could not hold my own body weight. Dan then suggested the incline push up, that the workout calls for. I decided against it, as I pictured myself hitting a certain point and collapsing again, but, this time it would be my face smacking into a wooden chair. That didn’t sound like a good idea. Dan then suggested a modified pushup. Although it was difficult, it was still better. Since then, I am still doing the modified pushup and still struggling with it.

It is now day 10 of 30, and I still cannot do a push up. I guess I will just have to build up to it. Which, I think is what this workout is all about, a gradual process. I don’t think this work out is designed to shed pounds or beef up. It’s about getting you to a place where  working out is no longer a chore. This slow, but affective process is doing just that for this Newbee.





The Words are What’s Challenging

At a very young age, I was diagnosed with a disorder called vergence dysfunction, which unfortunately affects my comprehension skills, when taking in visually information. I also have a decrease in both saccades and pursuits. Over the years, this has really affected my reading level, spelling skills and comprehension of abstract visuals. My eyes move at rapid rates, causing what I am taking in visually to be distorted. In turn, when I see something, such as words, the visual isn’t properly communicated to the comprehension part of my brain. For example, I see a word, but because the message my eyes send is corrupt, my brain cannot properly formulate sounds to vocalize that word.

I was diagnosed with this disorder as a child, received treatment and have developed strategies to support myself. That said, this disorder had caused me to steer clear of reading. It wasn’t until I was 19 years old that I read my first book from start to finish on my own. The book Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold broke the cycle.

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30 Day Get Fit Challenge

About two years ago, I moved in with my boyfriend. People say that when you get comfortable in relationship, you have a tendency to gain a few pound. Well two years and 20 pound later, I am seeing a big difference. Last month, I had to go out and purchase all new pants! That said, I don’t mind buying myself a new pair of jeans or even going up two sizes. What really bothers me is I am no longer confident in my own body.

My style has complete change. No longer am I wearing skinny jeans and a blouse. I have downgraded to yoga pants, if not sweat pants and a t-shirt. My motivation has decreased immensely. When I was out in Portland for 6 months I went hiking 3-4 times a week. I didn’t even think about loosing weight or getting in shape. I just focused on being in touch with nature. Over the 6 month I was in the best shape of my life and at my happiest. Now a-days walking the pup has become a chore.

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