No Sleep Till…..

Friends, it’s been a wild spring for me. Also, please read the title in the form of the Beastie Boys.

I used to be the worst at mornings. Seriously, the joys of “on this day” on facebook proves that…


But, something has happened in my old age…I love mornings, Wednesdays or Saturdays, they are all great. For total clarification purposes, I still really love milkshakes.

I like to think I’m a busy person.  I really like activities.  To be fair, I don’t fully care what they are as long as I have a structured weekly schedule to follow. It feels as though I’m constantly double booked, or I function best when being double booked.  Really, I’ve lived off of Hollie’s words, “double booking is okay, but triple booking is not ok.”  Well I’ve been triple booked since March…


Here’s one of my favorite activities. And yes. Yes it was. It was probably 7000 + pounds.

This was my first year of coaching Varsity Softball.  And well, it was awesome, tiring, confusing, heart breaking, and somehow super rewarding.  We had three sets of sisters on our team…yep, three. One of my favorite practices was just bonding with the kids when the sisters explained several times when they tried to kill each other. It made me super thankful to grow up without a sister.


No sisters, just brothers…

Anyways to stay on topic…when I used to pick my doghter up from daycare (my parents) on Friday I would immediately fall asleep in their chair with my coat, hat, and shoes on.  It was instant, I don’t even know if I had the opportunity to say hello.  My parents grew increasingly comfortable with it; it was our typical family bonding time, they lovingly watched me sleep.


Not kidding, bottom left is the chair of doom. Soph and I have a really weird bond.

“What are you doing Friday night Pam and Greg?” Watching Ricki sleep. – My Parents probably.

Don’t get me wrong, I love surprise naps. But, they also freak me out. I’m a normal functioning human and then BAM Friday at 6pm I needed an immediate nap. Also, I don’t mean a 15-20 minute fake nap, I don’t care what the research says, that’s a long blink, not a nap, I mean a full REM.

But, because of the new responsibility of softball, my Friday night naps were altered.  I talked one of my best friends, Mike, into coaching with me.  We regularly would get together after Friday games to discuss every second of every inning, and we’d invite our friends, because I double book in all aspects. They all have grown accustom to me falling asleep in front of them, they expect it, not a nap, a full sleep.


So now my schedule was waking up to get to work at 6am, struggling to fall asleep because who should hit in the 6 spot, wondering if our field will ever be dry, why did that coach say that, should I check on the well-being of the sisters, and oh yeah my original life of being double booked…Sleep didn’t happen.

Which leads me to the question…HOW MUCH SLEEP DO PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO FUNCTION LIKE A HUMAN? I always start with google searches. I used to think my google searches were weird…but here are two of my friend’s recent google searches, yes,  same friend, two different searches, and she was spot on with guessing the correct answer to both questions before google confirmed it.


Yep, a conversation went from dairy to Avatar in 19 minutes.

I checked out, sleep is in their name, it should be accurate information, I mean if it’s on the internet it’s real. They have a pretty neat graph, ranging from newborn (0-3 months) to adult (18+) I will skip the newborn through pre-school section, because I should give out zero advice about young kids. I mean, I regularly catch myself eating ice cream for breakfast.


So for school age children from 5-10, they recommend 10-11 hours of sleep. For teens they recommended 8.5 – 9.5 hours and for Adults 18+ they recommend 7-9 hours. For the past 3 months of weekdays I’ve rolled out of bed at 4:45am. And then on Saturdays and Sundays, I’m actively questioning if my neighbors will kick me out of the neighborhood if I start mowing at 6:15am. I very rarely go to bed before 10:30pm on the weekdays, so I’m just under the 7 hours, but that’s if I hit the pillow and sleep immediately. Which…I don’t, three sets of sisters.

My sleep pattern has adapted to understanding that Friday is my pay for my sleep debt day. Yes, sleep debt, the accumulated hours that people have lost not reaching their recommended amount of hours of sleep.  It’s a real thing.

Although I really like not spending time sleeping, there are some huge benefits of having an actual healthy sleeping routine.

There is definitely a correlation of sleep deprivation and a healthy weight. It’s true, tired choices are usually not the best choices.  Sleep deprivation dulls the frontal lobe, the decision making and impulse control section of the brain. Early mornings and late nights can lead to caffeinated choices that are pumped full of calories. The overall tired feeling can make people skip workouts and “save time” by grabbing fast food.  Also, going to bed, completely eliminates late night snacks.


My friend Poppers bought me a giant snickers…because when I’m tired and hungry, I always reach for a snickers.

There is a hormone called ghrelin that signals to the brain when it’s time to eat. When we are sleep deprived, our bodies produce more ghrelin. On the other hand, there is called a hormone called leptin that tells our brain we are full. When we are tired, leptin levels drop.

But how do we go about getting more sleep or better sleep?

1. Don’t coach sisters.

Just don’t do it.

2. Make your bedroom your bedroom.

The less things that can distract you, the better. Put your phone down, put it on airplane mode, put it on a dresser further away, break it in fourteen pieces, whatever you have to do, disconnect from the world and SLEEP.

3. Create a schedule.

We are creatures of habits. MAKE A SCHEDULE. Stick to it as much as you can, get used to it, fake love it until you actually love it.

4. Hey, exercise.

Yep. Exercise not only releases stress but it also improves sleep quality and sleep duration.

5. Quit Triple Booking

But also don’t quit, because juggling makes everything a bit more exciting.

Case of the Mondays

I think I am already off to a better start than last year with blog posts and it is only March. Holler.

Let’s talk about Mondays.

I don’t fully believe in Mondays. I mean, I get it they happen. They do. It’s a real thing. Got it. But this perpetual weekly, “case of the Mondays” vibe, lets talk that…

Today was Monday. I have now created peace with knowing that I shouldn’t plan my days, I let them happen. Hollie and Brian love projects, they love community projects, and they love to have 85 things going on at the same time. This fits my mold. I went to school at UW-Eau Claire, changed my major seven times, transferred for 17 hours to play sports, to transfer right back, sorry mom and dad. I then graduated in four years, to then move to Boulder, Colorado, twice, to move right back, twice, again sorry mom and dad. Non-related side story, my first major choice in college was to design sneakers…I don’t know, sometimes I wish my parents killed my dreams.

BIg BLue

One of Hollie and Brian’s Projects…the Big Blue Classic

Anyways, because Hollie and Brian love projects, this past weekend was the Big Blue Classic, a youth wrestling tournament. So my day started by kind of tying up the loose ends of the weekend. I went to unload one of the vehicles we used to transfer items back to Mill Haven Foods from the school. I hit the button to open the trunk….and bam, three gallons of salsa, sodas, and chips all over the ground. Mind you it’s 8 am, I mean hello Monday.


Yeah, no joke.

Luckily, I did all of this, with my new coworker/friend Lindsey. So there we are…pop rolling away, hissing out soda in all directions, and salsa splatters all the way up to the knees. I’m short, but it still was an impressive splatter height. And you know what…I didn’t hate it, I actually laughed really hard, several times. I mean I hated smelling like a fiesta for the rest of the day, sorry Sandy. But it’s a memory…and it’s a lesson to not just open a trunk.

Craft Gray

Here’s Lindsey matching her design to her outfit.


So I read a bit. And I really enjoying reading from successful go getters and their paths to success. There is this fella named George Lois, he is a brilliant marketing and advertising genius that is incredibly blunt. One of his bullets that struck home with me is, “Throughout your career, be thrilled that you’re doing work you love.” I believe in what I do, I’m oddly intrigued by the next goal, the next project, the next whatever. I want to make things better, I want to get to the end faster, I want to make things look fantastic, I want things to go flawlessly, and I want the projects we do to tap new markets. But most importantly I want to do all of these things with the “right” people sharing the same goal, the same vision, and to be able to smile while doing it, even if it’s shoveling salsa off the ground. I mean, come on, a full time job at the minimum is 40 hours a week, we might as well spend that with good company.



Yes, I have books.

I get it, it’s a crazy idea, to love your job. However, a funny thing happens when you start smiling and you start connecting with what you do. Work becomes fun, “work becomes worship.” Another George Lois bullet. I’m odd, I get it, I live to work, I live to reach goals and push myself to the next thing. A lot of my non Mill Haven Food friends, don’t understand me. It’s ok, I don’t understand them either.


“If you do not work passionately (even furiously) at being the best in the world at what you do, you fail your talent…”

So here’s a challenge, connect with those 40 or so hours. Goals aren’t just for kids, they are for everyone, create a list of things you’d like to accomplish, what you’d like to strive for in the near future. And darnit, chase those dreams, learn new things, make your work your worship. Be passionate, be proud, and just go.

Also, just a heads up, we’re hiring. So maybe, come chase goals with us.

Happy February 1st!

Happy February 1st! How are your resolutions coming? Yeah? Forgot about those? I didn’t.


I made the mistake of putting my goals out there in a blog post from last year. Let’s recap about the absolute success of all those…

 Because I really love the off-season of every sport ever, real or Madden, I’m going to give myself a goal grade like it’s the NFL Draft.


  1. My sleeping pattern.

Goals I set to alter my sleeping pattern: Be in bed by 10pm, disconnect from my phone after 10pm, and somehow, I connected Sophie, my pup, to staying at my house during the day and not going to puppy daycare at my parents. How is that related? Who proofreads these? How do I have a job?

Grade: C

I, used to be, am the ultimate nerd, and only ever accepted myself getting A’s. So this grading thing is a real kick in the ego…and this is the goal I did the best on…

  • There have been several days that I’ve actually accomplished going to bed before 10pm! But, there are 365 days in a year. And there was a lot more days that I didn’t. But, I am not completely upset with myself; it’s not a fully realistic goal. Last night, I went to the New Lisbon Girls’ Basketball Game. I arrived home a bit after 9pm. It is absolutely not possible for me to wind down for the day in ONE hour.  Sophie needed to play, I needed to look in the fridge several times, I needed to desperately flip through Hulu to get background noise, and finally selecting  on grapefruit for dinner at 9:40pm, wasn’t helpful. So 10pm didn’t happen. Friends, there is no rushing a good grapefruit. Here’s a side story about my love affair with grapefruits…


    My keyboard is really small.

So, my grandparents, Hutch and Vera, loved grapefruits. To be fair, I don’t know if my gram loved them, but gramp did, and gram loved gramp. So every year they would order giant grapefruit by the cases. Gram taught me how to cut them in half, outline the segments with the knife, the proper amount of salt or sugar to use, selecting the correct grapefruit spoon and then inhaling the grapefruit in about half of the time it took to prepare the grapefruit. She would then give me a tiny cup to squeeze the remaining grapefruit juice into; I however, just squeeze it onto the spoon these days. I don’t fully know if grapefruits are my favorite fruit or if nostalgia makes them my favorite fruit. But gosh, I love grapefruits and gosh I love my grandparents. Anyways…back to 10pm.

  • I’m still connected to my phone. I’ve lived in my house for over a year. I have pretty close to zero bedroom furniture. So I should get a table of some sort and just put my phone on it. Really, it needs to happen. Anytime I wake up in night, I’ll respond to emails, texts, and of course I’ll check Facebook and the “on this day” feature. There are a lot of gems in that. This section hurt my goal grade the most.


    Here’s today’s “on this day”

  • The odd part about Sophie not going to daycare…The one I said would “never” happen. Happens. I prep Soph every morning with a long talk about how she needs to protect the house. I put her thunder coat on her. She understands her duties, she doesn’t love her duties, but I’m positive she loves the added responsibility.



Non related side story, I have a bad habit of throwing sweatshirts on my bed, not folding them, not putting them away, and just throwing them on my bed. One day, I came home, and she had escaped her jacket. I had no idea where it was, when I finally went to bed, bam, and her jacket was on my bed right next to my sweatshirt. Love Soph.



  1. Using my kitchen.

Goals I set to use my kitchen: Take the crock-pot out of the box, buy bread, make two meals a week, and use the Traeger 3 times a month.

Grade: Z-. Yes, I’ve failed this, times a gazillion.

I took my crock-pot out in January…of 2017. Used it twice, once successful, second I disregarded the directions and the recipe…


I was, however, a special guest chef at Silver Star Health and made this. And it sold out…but it was already 2017. Ugh. RULES

I threw out a full loaf of bread last week, I mean it was a new level of, “Ricki please do not eat that.” So I’m buying bread, (A+), just not consuming it (F). I have a cutting board and I’ve used it. So that’s a plus. I used the Traeger one time in 2016. Yep, failed this goal.But this goal was super lofty.


Overall 2016 Grade A


I don’t believe 2016 was a fail. I just focused on other goals that I put in front of these goals. And really, I enjoyed 2016. I didn’t make a few meals, I lost some sleep.  I didn’t burn down my house and that’s pretty awesome. Soph lost five pounds. I kept my job. Really, both feet kept moving forward.


Really she likes exercising now.

Was I super dedicated to these goals? No. I wasn’t. I’m a super independent career and community minded person. Going to bed early and learning how to cook doesn’t match up with my “big” goals or lifestyle choices. Although Hollie has called me a hermit several times this week. I’m not really a hermit. I want to be busy, I want to be active, and I want to respond to things incredibly fast.

So this is what I have learned through setting New Year’s Resolutions… Make sure your Resolutions match up to your life goals, make your goals work for the YOU you genuinely want to be.   And hey, it’s a great day to set new goals.

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hollie and Brian are literally ridiculous with generosity. Check out what they did for us this year!


So here’s a quick recap, I need to blog more. Got it, thank you.

So, last year I talked about the proper way to make room for round three and four, and to skip the bun, because it’s a BUN. Need a refresher? Click here.

This year, I’m going to talk about really embracing the being thankful thing, not just Black Friday Eve Thanksgiving, but every day.

Examples are necessary, I know…

So here’s a small list of moments that I thought I was living the dream this past year. Mind you, I’m boring, and I love it.

I bought a house from one of the neatest families in the history of neat families. They could probably go on a TV show and compete for funniest family. I will not guarantee first place, but top 14 and at least a bedazzled participation ribbon. So, last Thanksgiving, my new neighbors, who are family to the original homeowner, dropped off lemon bars. I have not returned the favor; for fear that they would instantly remove me from the neighborhood. BUT how nice of them; that was definitely a thankful moment, I inhaled all of them, basically in one sitting. I love lemon. My Grandpa Hutch was a huge fan of lemon. We’d make homemade ice cream and he’d always remind my grandma, “more lemon Vera.” I was hooked. I don’t think my Grandma loved lemon, but she loved Hutch, so she tolerated lemon. That’s love.

Yes, home. I’m thankful for all the moments that have turned my house into my home.  I had super poor planning into buying my house. I didn’t have a lot of things; no chairs, no table, no couch, no plates, really nothing past my bed and a lawnmower. THEN the busiest family I know spent their Saturday forcibly fitting their old couches into my house. Yes, I’m incredibly thankful they gifted me their couches, but their determination, with my dad, to hypothetically fit a square in a circle, and be successful was awesome. Nothing else mattered to them in those moments, but to get me these couches. I’m super positive if I ever do move, the couches will have to be included with my house. Side note, the wedge is in my basement. But seriously, I am so lucky.


Well and shoes, I had shoes.

Last one about my house, I could go on forever. My pops often comes over and takes out my garbage, puts knobs on my cabinets, checks my lawnmower, checks my furnace, checks my tank, really he’s my maintenance man that ensures my house stays standing. He’s my hero.

The burger in Superior. Heck, all of Superior. I sincerely wish I met my current people earlier in life.waterfall

This is a two part-er, deal with it. Technically, I don’t have a sister, my parents decided after me, that they were done, for obvious reasons…BUT I have a Hannah. I skipped prom in high school, I’m not a huge fan of puffy dresses and my parents bought me shoes and a softball bat instead. I still have them.  ANYWAYS, Hannah’s first prom I was with her mom and her when she picked out her prom dress. I don’t care about prom, I don’t care about dresses, but this was special. Hannah found the most beautiful dress and in that moment, I was the biggest fan of prom and dresses. The next year, Hannah became even cooler when she skipped prom and we crafted together. That was also neat. And one of my favorite moments in my new home.


I had the opportunity to go to the LSU Badger game at Lambeau this year with one my forever friends, Elliott. Yeah, huge deal, huge game, just beyond awesome. I’ve never been to Lambeau. It’s beautiful and overwhelming. They also won. BUT, I think my favorite part was tailgating in the front of a random house with the family that owned the property.  The grandmother brought out pictures of her son that recently biked Ireland. The odd hospitality and warmth they showed, was bizarre, and incredible. Just proof that you can meet new friends, anywhere.


It was unreal.

Travis, Hollie’s brother, ran another 100 miler this year in Kansas. Kansas is no Superior, but it’s really nice to be away with good people and only having to focus on the next pit stop and what Trav might need.img_6358

This 100 miler was a bit different. He didn’t bring pacers and to find out that we might have to pace was, well, terrifying.  Luckily, for our sake, it was around mile 80 or so. We did a 5 minute jog followed by 5 a minute walk. He snuck in two 10 minute jogs, but that’s ok. My favorite part was after the 5 minute jogs, when he would tell me good job. Fella, what? You are on mile 9,000 and complimenting me. It was weird and awesome and I’m forever thankful for the time I get to spend with Travis and his wife Becky. They are uncomfortably good, genuinely happy people.img_6423

SO there it is folks. Some of my favorite moments, of 2015 – 2016 that won’t appear on Black Friday.  My advice for this week, for the rest of the month, for the rest of the year, life, whatever; slow down, embrace the everyday moments and how special they really are, because darn it they really are special.

All the best my friends, p.s. skip the bun.

Don’t Go Chasin Waterfalls…

It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you, without some more blog posts to scroll through.

GREAT NEWS, I still am employed. Not so great news, if you read the last post…about New Year’s Resolutions and such, I’ve failed mine, miserably. My crock pot is still in its original boxing. I did however; ruin my knife set…not on food. I painted my windows shut and I needed to get those back open.


It was a super proud day in Lowe Jr.’s Household…not so much Sr.’s

But let’s not talk about my shortcomings and house ownership skills.

We’ve talked a lot about health, eating, fitness, but we haven’t talked about the importance of making time.

We recently came back from the North Shore for the Superior 100. Hollie’s brother, Travis, is one of these freak athletes that is capable of running more than 40 yards. Seriously he can run around 175,960 more yards or much more easily understandable 100 miles. I mean how does one find out they are capable of these things? It’s like hey, let’s balance on a trapeze bar with just my neck, while playing a drum. Uh what? Yes.



Side note, we just added an IT fella, Chris, if he ever goes through my computer, he will be so confused on what I save.

Ok, back to Superior. Hollie and I went up a day early this year to explore for ourselves. Every year when we leave, we are always, “Yeah, let’s make time and backpack for 84 years soon.” And then every year Superior comes and we have failed on last year’s goal. But this year was different! We made time, a day.


I heart Lake Superior.

So the day before the race started we set our sights on first exploring Gooseberry State Park. This is where the Superior 100 starts. Unfortunately for sightseeing, Trav is fast. So we can hear the falls, but we never get to see the falls and explore because Trav is fast and I drive slow.


Trav being fast.

So my job in the morning was to figure out which way to go, my internal GPS system is terrible, and my map reading skills are questionable. Luckily, Hollie has no interest in even attempting to look at a map, she even found a puddle and dropped our map in it. We gave up and asked a Park Ranger. She informed us that she, herself, has never seen more than a quarter of the park. But she gave us directions. Hollie and I were super pumped, we immediately disregarded the directions.  To be fair, I don’t know if we just didn’t want to use them or we genuinely tried and failed right at the gate. Ok. I do know…seriously though we have other skills.

Luckily, we didn’t look like novices, because Hollie had her Camelbak. And everyone, I mean everyone asked us questions. Hollie eagerly answered every single question, 97% of the time she was wrong.  We ran into two fellas that had been on the trail for 7 days. Or if Hollie told the story, “We met Ricki’s future husband and his best man on the trail.” He did have a great mustache. We wondered how long they thought we’d been on the trail, we figured probably the same.


Gooseberry Falls. 🙂

Semi related side story…Sometimes Hollie has really good ideas or really understands how bad we are at directions. She packed lunch, PB&J’s. After making mine in the morning, she said, “Hopefully it’s cool I licked the knife before I made yours.”  Sweet.

After successfully getting lost 4 more plus times, it became obvious we were always in the right place. Time didn’t matter just the moment, just the place. We left Gooseberry to head to Tettegouche State Park. We stopped several times in what should have been a 20-minute drive. We explored things and places we would have missed if we were on a schedule or if we set a plan. We saw more than what we expected, but really we saw what we deserved.


Black Beach. Not on the schedule.


We made it to Tettegouche. It was neat. But I already had my vacation, my mind already hit nothing, but just to be present. Semi related side story, Hollie doesn’t like bridges, Tettegouche has one insane bouncy bridge of fear. Her head spun when she told me to get to the other side of the bridge so she could cross it without me on it at the same time. There were also some other choice words…but I blacked out in fear and can’t fully remember them. When the day was done we hiked 13 miles or so. But, we felt like we could take on the world, and agreed that we’d take on a longer, more than a day hike once again.


Bridge of Fear

So here it is, make time. Health isn’t a weight, it isn’t age, it isn’t a rep count, it’s an overall feeling. After 13 or so miles, eating a burger at a bar right on Lake Superior, I couldn’t have felt healthier. I was in great company, had a great view, and a darn good burger.

So, go chasing waterfalls, don’t stick to the streams and the lakes that you’re used to, it’s healthy.

I’m going to leave you how my trail husband said his farewell, “peace, love, and goodbye.”

Happy 2016 Friends!!!

HAPPY 2016!

Let’s talk GOALS.

It is said that if people share their goals with others, they have a better chance of sticking to their goals. I’ve never been one to set a New Year’s Resolution, but I do set a lot of goals hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc. But, in honor of the blog and the New Year, I’m game to create some and share.

If you recall my earlier blog, I discussed goal setting, remember, goals need to be realistic and timely, it helps that they are attainable. There should be a “pinnacle goal” but then also “step goals” to reach that pinnacle goal. In our goals, there needs to be some room to fail. We are HUMAN so there’s going to be a day where we all of a sudden remember that we are hungry and reach for a Snickers….

So here we go…

  1. My sleeping pattern is absolutely terrible from Sunday – Thursday. I seem to finally hit the pillow around 11 give or take 20 minutes, which then leads to a final run through of every social media distraction possible. A final refresh of my emails. A quick check of the texts I didn’t respond to and to make myself sound less cool, the texts that say read, or in my brother’s case, delivered. Thanks Brady. To be fair, mine also say delivered even after I read them, because Brady knows best. I skipped out Friday…because really when I go and retrieve my pup from my parents’ house to take her home, I regularly fall asleep on one of their recliners at around 7pm. I am so much fun. Sometimes, I don’t even take off my shoes.

But…to be fair I really like shoes.

So with this, I have three issues. First, I’d like to be in bed around 10pm, 10:30 at the latest. Here’s how I plan on fixing the first…I have some odd emotional connection with the 10pm news, I don’t really watch it, but having it on in the background is nostalgic for me. Guess what, problem fixed, I no longer have anything but Hulu and Netflix. So see ya later News Channel 8…but really, I miss you and will get cable again. So I’ll have to figure out this issue later this year.

Two, I need to chill out with needing to be connected to my phone. This I will struggle with, for those that know me, know that delivered really means I read the message. So, I think I’m going to do 1 of 2 options, once I get to my bed, set my alarm and be done, cold turkey. Or 2: use a different outlet to charge my phone from the one right by my bed.  The second option isn’t really viable because I like hitting snooze once. Which, I should change but STOP IT I’M NOT GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING. So, here’s my room to fail goal: snoozing is ok.


Side goal: delete emails.


Lastly, let my dog stay alone in my house and not go to puppy day care at my parents, this one is never happening. Soph gets what she wants.


She wins.

I did say we need to allow room to fail and stepping stone goals. Well here are my stepping stone goals. The Packers might play on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday Night. I’m going to watch those, even last night’s gem of a game versus the Vikings…

But seriously, Micha Hyde’s interception was incredible…the rest not so great. And this is the time when I chant, “Abby, Abby, Abby.” Yes, Jared Abbrederis. SO with that being said there will be instances where a 10pm bedtime isn’t viable.

So here is my wording of my goal: Sunday through Thursday average a before 10:30 bedtime. That allows each day to being a stepping stone goal.

Side note I did not stay up and watch the Badger Holiday Bowl game.  I watched our first 3 points and decided I needed to sleep. A 9:30 start time on a weekday???? COME ON DO BETTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

  1. Yep. I am terrible at being remotely active in my kitchen. When I originally moved in, I panicked the night before because I didn’t have a crock pot. So my mother to calm my crock pot nerves, bought me one that week. I have since not taken the crock pot out of the box. I have been moved in since October.  I also really needed a toaster because I was toast sensitive. Earlier that week Hollie questioned the lack of toast intake…and I realized I had no idea when the last time I had toast. I have since used my toaster twice…but for bagels.


    Here’s my kitchen, sans bread. Just lots of paint.

I do have a game plan. Throw out the full loaf of bread that I haven’t opened since I moved in. Replace the bread, because if you have been keeping up, I used to make pb&j sandwiches on the regular. And buy other groceries.


See, my love is real.

I was recently gifted the coolest gift I’ve ever received, a new fridge. I feel like my excitement level has to be comparable to when my brother found out he was getting a little sister, or at least what his excitement level should have been. So, I’m going to get to grocery shopping like a normal human.

I do actually like cooking, I’m not good at it, so I’ve found out the best method for me is the crockpot or Traeger Grill method. Because really the Traeger is just a giant crockpot that makes everything taste delicious.

For the record, I don’t really snack; I just really like Papa Murphy’s take n bake, specifically Taco (which is back for this month) and Spinach, Bacon Artichoke. Both on thin, because I’ve already told you earlier that dough in general is just filler to me. And as you found out earlier…I go over and get my pup from my parents every night just around supper time.

I do have some great resources from the moments I did cook.

  1. Yes, Chef in Training, that’s me. I’ve never had a recipe from here that I didn’t love. Like seriously, try them all, and give me your leftovers. My favorite meal is the Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken. Try it.
  2. This site is awesome so many ideas, I’ve never tried any but I’ve written several down and proceeded to forget about them. They even have weekly meal plans…if you’re trying to cook every day and not just twice. I mean look at this beaut.
  3. I’m also a huge fan of soup. Check out Tidymom. Scroll to the bottom…235 soup links all on one page.

Yes. I’m looking to cook two meals a week. Judge that. BUT I’m one person, I eat like a bird. I’d also like to really have a family meal with my parents more often. I gifted my Pops the Traeger for his birthday and they struggle with google.  So, really I’d like to use that around three times a month. And who knows, maybe this will take off and I’ll get fancy and freeze things and cook more often…but come on now. DON’T PUSH IT.

So when you are evaluating and creating your goals, make sure you don’t just evaluate the long haul, but also the hourly, daily, weekly goals, because that will make the process so much easier.

So if your goal is to lose weight. Change it, to becoming healthier. Let’s start off by what are your hourly goals? Yes, hourly goals for losing weight are necessary. So, if you are going to work at 8. You need to set a goal of have breakfast. I won’t pick your breakfast for you, but it should be high in protein and low in sugar.

Then you are going to need to set a goal for pre-lunch hunger. A goal without a plan is headed straight to nowhere. So, plan on packing something to snack on: vegetables WITHOUT DIP, fruit, almonds, protein shakes that has recognizable ingredients…low sugars, granola, SOMETHING HEALTHY. I also think planning on drinking a certain amount of water by lunch is also super helpful. You can learn why I think that here. Then have a lunch prepared so you aren’t feeling those hunger kicks and have that urge to drive to a drive thru or a quick convenient store lunch.


Things you shouldn’t have on your desk:  a Snickers bar the size of your arm. Thanks Shelly.

Also set an afternoon goal of more water and a second snack just until you figure out your habits and what you need. It’s better to be prepared with a snack then to have to look elsewhere. Boom, there is a detailed goal with a plan. We are human so, allow yourself fails, it shouldn’t be a huge day of cheat, but cheat meals, or half cheat meals, or cheat snack, which ever works best for you, while staying honest to your goals. Don’t get disappointed, plan for fails, then get right back at it the next day.

Adding exercise to any health related goal is also crucial. BUT again, do it in steps. Going to the gym every day for a beginner…is too much. Plan a daily exercise that includes some form of movement; walking for a certain distance, mix in jogging, and even times of sprinting, biking, hiking, so you don’t have to spend all of your time in the gym.

Weight training is crucial, muscle mass and muscle tissue burn more calories than fat. And after your body starts building muscle that will increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is really how many calories you would burn a day without leaving your bed. The more muscle mass the higher the BMR. Yes, burning calories just because you’re you.


But…to be fair I really like shoes.

Set a goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, with 3 of those days being more intense and make sure you mix in weights!!!! I like to do weights three times a week. Don’t be afraid to get creative!


Yes, I even hike in clean shoes.

I’ll post another blog about some of my favorite exercises in a future blog.  For the time being,, google, and youtube are great resources!


I mean I really like shoes.

I’ll take a progress pic of my fridge and maybe even a meal or two! My fridge isn’t in yet. BUT once it is, be prepared for the inside view, like MTV Cribs, and pictures of meals!

Again, HAPPY 2016! Let yourself fail, have fun with your goals, and work for them.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” SO GET WORKING!

It’s Thanksgiving Time!!

First look at what all of us Mill Haven Foods folk received today from Brian and Hollie! Yes, they like us. We like them too.Thanksgiving

Now, let’s talk Thanksgiving!

I think I’m so programmed at this point that I now get hungry just at the word Thanksgiving. Not really my problem, my family is capable of throwing down. Seriously, I anticipate my Aunt Lori’s vegetable bake like a sneaker release. It’s that good.

But, with that being said there are a lot of claims out there that we tend to pack on the pounds during this holiday season. There are a few ways to curb that fourth plate extra weight.

Let’s start with a “Ricki” 5 ways to curb the gain…

  1. Skip the bun. Yes, I call the bun, filler…and empty filler at that, like the salad line at a buffet, SKIP IT. Unless it’s a homemade one that is still warm, then you’re on your own.buns
  2. At the family gatherings, you really don’t need to try everything. I’m sorry mom, I love you very much, but we both know you aren’t Betty Crocker or even a distant cousin. And I’m ok with that, you taught me other things, like how to order a pizza.
  3. Drink less, I’m not talking about less water here friends…I mean the extra cheerful calories in a bottle. I’m boring, I’ll have an occasional watered down beer, but my pops usually finishes it, as in normally more than half. So, if you’re near my dad this holiday season, offer the rest to him. He is a super hero.
  4. Don’t buy plates. Yes, I just bought a house, and still only have 1 real plate, of my parents. They also don’t know I have it.
  5. If the turkey isn’t great, don’t try to save it with gravy. Just power through the not great turkey. The protein is still there.

Ok moving on to maybe some actual helpful advice…

  1. Don’t skip breakfast to be extra hungry for Thanksgiving Lunch/Dinner. I am guilty of this, I fully understand the importance of breakfast, but I’m telling you right now, DON’T GO HUNGRY. You’ll then fill up on the pre meal snacks. And snacking on non-healthy snack foods isn’t the best plan. Just extra calories that aren’t your Aunt’s stellar vegetable bake.
  2. Pace yourself. Eating shouldn’t be considered a sprint! Our brains tell our body we are full after about 20 minutes of eating. THAT DOES NOT MEAN CRAM ALL YOU CAN ONTO 8 PLATES AND PROCEED TO DOMINATE YOUR FOOD IN 20 MINUTES!! Take your time. Enjoy the vegetable bake.
  3. Hey, maybe just one round of the dessert table. Yes, I’m aware there is probably going to be 18 different desserts on the dessert table. My family is even bringing cake to celebrate two birthdays. I can understand and appreciate wanting to try everything…but be selective and try smaller portions if you really want to try everything.Thanksgiving Pie
  4. Leftovers…I get it, they are awesome. That 9pm hunger hits, boom you have 8 GladWare containers full of joy, and a full belly by 9:21pm, yes, I accounted for the 1 minute of luke warm microwaved food that you couldn’t wait for a fully warm plate. But maybe, skip them. Don’t take 8 containers, maybe 1; give away your 18 pie slices. Be creative on dodging an extra container.Pumpkin Pie
  5. Get moving! Yes, we are all excited about a turkey nap. BUT, we should also be excited about exercising afterwards. If you have a sibling like I do, who sends a text of “CAN WE EXERCISE A LOT THIS WEEKEND” use their excitement and join them.

THANKSGIVING is meant to be a time of being THANKFUL! Enjoy your plate, enjoy your family/friends/whoever you are blessed to be spending your time with, and also enjoy the process of trying to cancel out the holiday season food!