November 15, 2016

My Health Journey in 2016

Greetings, my lovely internet family.

*Just a note, this is my last post for 2016. After quite a bit of pondering, I've decided to give myself a break for the rest of the year, and until the beginning of February. I love this blog, but I'd also love a holiday vacation. ;) So, I'm going to sign out here until February of 2017. Thanks for hanging around here this year, and I'll see y'all on the flip side. Cheers!

Now, back to what I originally intended to post today. Might as well go out with a bang. Why not?

This is certainly a post I never thought I would write... let alone publish to the world wide web. It's been sitting in my drafts folder since the beginning of this year (2016). I've mentally fought with myself for ages about whether I should put this "out there," since the topic of is one of those things I consider very, very personal - one that I never intended to share in great detail (if at all) but ultimately think I should.

Starting in the latter half of 2015, I noticed that a Facebook friend of mine began sharing her efforts (and let's be honest, tremendous successes) in fitness and weight loss. I didn't really start paying attention to her exploits until I began taking my own steps to lose the weight I needed to, and she became an inspiration. I looked forward to seeing her progress. If she could persevere and bring her strength and fitness to an extraordinarily different level, surely I could lose the extra thirty I was carrying around. Besides the grace of God and my wonderful boyfriend's encouragement, her story was one of the strongest things that helped keep me on track. Rock on, girlfriend.

I was moderately vocal about this on Instagram, but mostly for the purpose of forcing myself to follow through, thinking I'd be less likely to flunk this if people would see my failure. Thank goodness the fear of public humiliation outweighed my desire to give up.

I don't intend to preach or morph into some kind of health guru, and neither am I trying to tell anyone how they should look or weigh or eat or exercise. That much should be obvious to anyone. This is my story, and if sharing it can help just one other person as my friend's story helped me, well... I might as well go for it.

Okay. Deep breath.

October 24, 2016

Sweet Italian Meatballs

Happy Meatballs, my lovely internet family!

Whether in soup, on subs, or over spaghetti (or spaghetti squash, which are in season here at the moment) with freshly grated parmesan and thick homemade sauce, I contend that meatballs are just little bombs of happiness. Come autumn, they quickly rise to the cop of my favorite comfort foods list, along with the potato leek soup I made last week. My best girlfriend passed along a terrific and simple recipe for meatballs that I just love, and today I thought I'd share my version of it with y'all. It's a good'un, for sure.

For Amalie's original recipe, check out here brand new blog: Ordinary Green Musings. Show her some love!


October 17, 2016

Hanlin Family Potluck Quinoa Summer Salad Recipe

Hidey ho, internet family!

I know, I know... it's autumn now. But, a few weekends ago was my mom's side of the family's reunion, and it was still quite summery then. This one was at my aunt Lisa's house, and (full disclosure), we completely forgot about the potluck-ness of the affair, so the afternoon before, Jacob and I were trying to think of something inexpensive, quick, and easy to make a lot of.
There's a lot of us. And this is just mainly our cousins - only a few siblings, aunts, and uncles are sprinkled in there. The more the merrier, right?

We settled on a quinoa salad, a variation on one that my sister-in-law's mom made for us back in May when we were on their side of the country for my brother's wedding, and one that I think it quite good. In my experience, there are two schools of thinking when it comes to quinoa - people who love it and people who just can't stand the stuff. I admit, when I first tried quinoa, it was reminiscent of birdseed, but now that I've given it a shot, I actually like it quite a bit. Just give it a chance. *wink*

Let me know what you think!

October 10, 2016

My Favorite Fall Soup: Potato Leek

Happy Monday, internet family!

Last week, it rained for about three days straight, and the Midwestern winter gloom was here big time. I love autumn rain, and when it starts coming down hard, I break out the soups. ALL OF THE SOUPS. One of my favorites is potato leek soup, a recipe my mom discovered years ago, and my all time favorite, tied only with creamy mushroom. It's smooth, creamy, and comfortingly filling. Perfect for a chilly autumn evening. Or morning. Or afternoon. Or all the time.

Without further ado: potato leek soup.

October 3, 2016

Currently (October 2016)

Hello, my darling internet family! I hope you are well.

Y'all know I love October with all my heart, my favorite month of the year - autumn is here in the Midwestern United States. The leaves haven't quite turned yet, but the cool, blustery, rainy days are here in full force, along with my big cozy sweaters and boots and hot chocolate and my boyfriend's killer gumbo. Cajun boy knows how to cook!

Since I don't have a recipe this week (more coming soon), here's what I'm...

It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives it Shattered by Don Yeager and Mike Pressler, not a book I would typically find myself reading. It's a study of the "Duke Lacrosse Case," which was one colossal mess, and that's a very, very tame term for it. Innocent until proven guilty did not happen in this instance.

I'm not going to go into all the gory details here, but for a clean summary: In 2006, three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape. It was a media frenzy, and the media was content to ignore the evidence and the facts, declaring the players guilty anyway. Long story short, after more than enough lives were destroyed and the exposition of corrupt officials and plenty of lies, all charges against the young men were dropped and they were declared innocent.

As I said, it was a mess. And one of those things that makes my journalist skin crawl, and makes me want to scream "THAT'S NOT RIGHT! WHY CAN'T YOU SEE THAT'S NOT RIGHT!?" Those students were crucified by the media before even giving the investigation time. Blargh. Anyway.

I was 12 when this incident took place, and I didn't pick up on the story when it happened, but even with all the blind injustice, it was a fascinating read.

Now, for more happy things.


September 26, 2016

Simple Spinach Pie (family recipe)

Hey there, my lovely Internet family.
I'm just getting over a head cold, so today I have a quick and simple recipe, a family classic, and a meal oft-requested throughout my brother's and my childhood. It's a birthday staple, even now, served with a side of broiled salmon or king crab legs. And, it's inexpensive, painless to make, and oh-so-delicious. I do hope you like it, too. So without further ado...


September 19, 2016

stars burn out

But even if these stars burn out
Leaving me with nothing at all to sing about
Even if my whole life I never find the place where I belong
You are still my song

Happy Anniversary, my love. It's been a fantastical year.

September 12, 2016

Easy & Affordable Skincare Routine: Morning, Post-Workout, Evening

Hey there, Hanlin family!

This just in: For the first time, Hanlin has officially lost all the content for one of her blog posts, with no warning, can't figure out what happened or how to undo it, and because she's a genius and didn't back it up, she has to rewrite the whole thing. So, I'm banging this out for a second time, and I apologize for any typos or grammatical errors. I'm annoyed at the moment. Ugh, technology.

Anyway. (ughthat'ssofrustrating)

I'm a simple gal when it comes to my skincare routine. I followed the same one from the beginning of high school through my sophomore year of college, using solely Clinique's products. But, as much as I love Clinique, their products are expensive, and that adds up for a college student. So, I switched over to Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Wash - it was easy and cheap, and it worked. In December of last year (2015), I decided it was time for a change, so I began using a few different and simple products that I have grown to love: Neutrogena, Burt's Bees, one from my kitchen, and Carmex.

So here you are, my super easy and affordable skincare routine: morning, post-workout, and evening.

August 29, 2016

2. What I Eat in a Day || Sunday Brunch Recipe Ideas

Salutations, Internet Family, and welcome to the second What I Eat in a Day, this time in video form!

If you're unfamiliar with WIAD, this is a type of video where I bring you along with me and show you what I eat. I usually do bring you along in vlogs on my channel, but for these I plan to amplify the focus on the food aspect of my days. I massively enjoy watching these types of videos on other channel, aaannnnnd I massively enjoy eating, so I thought I'd try one out here.

Last Sunday morning, my roommate and I had around 20 folks over for brunch after Mass - and this was our menu. Hopefully you'll be able to gather a few recipe ideas.

August 22, 2016

I never want to leave here. {video blog}

Gooday, my lovely Internet family, and happy Monday morning!

You may have seen on my Instagram (*cough* you should find me there if you haven't already) that I spent half a week in my favorite place in Michigan earlier this month. Amalie came with me, and our men drove up on Friday evening after work. It really was a fantastic week. I never get tired of this place. Never. I love it.

I know my vlogging consistency trailed off toward the end of the trip - for that I apologize - but I hope you enjoyed it just the same. Once my guy arrived, I was too busy enjoying him and the time with him to consider bringing out the camera. Also, it rained for almost two days, so I didn't want to get my fancy new camera wet. It's an expensive toy.

August 15, 2016

Swedish Meatballs (Gluten & Dairy Free Options)

Hey there, Hanlin family!

I love meatballs. This is no secret to anyone who knows me well. Usually I default to Amalie's Italian-style meatballs, but I recently stumbled upon a recipe for Swedish meatballs, and decided to try them out. A scrumptious blend of ground beef, sautéed onion, garlic, and mushrooms with a rich and creamy gravy... must I say more? Let's jump right in.

Ingredients for meatballs: