Dads and the Outdoors

In anticipation of my week off from school and work, I was looking forward to one thing: being completely alone. I couldn’t wait to finish craft projects, sort through my belongings, clear out my closet for donations, and go on adventures. While I was eager to go on my outdoor journeys solo, a walk along Cedar City’s Ann J. Gardner Canyon Park trail with my dad convinced me to invite him to join me in my excursions. Joining him for a fishing trip at Yankee Meadow and hiking Kanarraville Falls ended being more than what my dad refers to as “Father-Daughter bonding time.” While I’ve spent just as much time outside with my mom, I found these two outdoor opportunities left me with a few life lessons from my dad: Continue Reading ›

Low-Sugar Treats

Cutting back on the sugar you eat may seem like an easy process. Avoid things like donuts, candy, and anything with the word sugar in it, right? I’ve found it’s not as straight-forward as that. Sugar substitutes are not the best answer and there is sugar in plenty of natural foods like fruits and vegetables. So, what can you do if you need a treat? I found there are a lot of options and even tried making my own low-sugar snacks. If you find you need some suggestions on how to eat items with lower sugar amounts, keep reading to see my recommendations on this low-sugar journey. Continue Reading ›

Are Sugar Substitutes Better?

Looking at my affirmations for this month, I wondered: “Why did I choose to do this during summer school and my birthday month?” Reducing your sugar intake is no easy task, especially for someone like me with a sweet tooth. Cookies at work always grab my attention, and when I see a co-worker’s desk with a bowl of chocolate, I can’t help but pick up a piece (either imagining it in my mind or actually scooping it out of the bowl). However, having too much sugar can lead to many health dangers we already knew about: diabetes, tooth decay, and weight gain. Normally I ignore these thinking I can go to the gym after work, but eventually, it catches up with you. After hearing co-workers who have detoxed and eliminated sugar from their diet and report having fewer headaches and having more energy, I was intrigued to learn more. However, I was very concerned about my sweet tooth. What should I do if I can’t ignore the cravings? Would sugar substitutes be a better option? Most would give a resounding, “No,” but I decided to go into these substitutes to see if there is any truth to the nay-sayers. The results? Well, complicated, but here’s what I’ve uncovered about sugar substitutes: Continue Reading ›

33: The Best Year

Although most of my reading these days is confined to business textbooks, I recently started looking up other interests in light of my 33rd birthday. So far, I’ve come to enjoy my thirties, even more than I enjoyed my twenties. Listening to friends who are just on the cusp of entering their thirties, I sense their anticipation and recall feeling anxious as twenty-nine came to a close. During a conversation with one of my friends who is considering going back to school for a career change she mentioned, “If I start next year, by the time I’m done I’ll be thirty-two!” I replied, “Does it make you feel any better if I tell you I’m thirty-two and just started graduate school?” Turning any new leaf (or age) sounds intimidating, but each year feels more like an accomplishment instead of something to dread. According to Yahoo!, thirty-three seems to be the age people report being their best year. But, before I say “Goodbye” to thirty-two, I’m taking a look back at more to check off on My 30 List. Continue Reading ›

June 2017 Affirmations

June is a time most people welcome for the warm weather, upcoming adventures, and time away with family. I’m equally excited for this time of year, even if it means I have to start summer school and have difficult classes ahead of me. Looking back at last month’s affirmations, however, I know that taking on challenges isn’t impossible. Finding or making beauty products that were eco-friendly was no easy task. Products that are palm oil free and cruelty-free were not all affordable for me right now and trying to find recipes that were completely vegan or vegetarian had ingredients that were not always within my price range. Still, I’m happy with the discoveries I have made and will continue to find more products and ingredients. As I’m finding, beauty products are just as complicated as fashion or any aspect of sustainable living. The answer lies more in striving to make more sustainable choices throughout life, not finding the perfect pathway to sustainability. Continue Reading ›