Spring!

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So, needless to say I’m kind of bad at regularly posting updates. But it’s the effort that counts, right?

Since my last post, the weather has made a turn for the better. We had to have winter parking restrictions here in Minneapolis, which basically means that the snow piles alongside the roads have gotten so out of hand that we can only park on one side to conserve space. How insane! However, I do love living in a city where the second the temperature hits 40, everyone is outside hanging out and playing around. I made it home to Pennsylvania for a long weekend, spending some much needed time with friends. Since returning, I’ve gotten back into the groove of classes and turning 24! My birthday consisted of hockey, dining, and going out with friends. Aka, it was absolutely perfect.

My herbs are… well some of them are doing well! Basil, cilantro, and oregano all popped up like it was nothing. Mint, thyme and parsley don’t seem to be so concerned with germinating. I’ve tried planting new seeds again, so if they don’t pop up after this round I’ll probably just go to Whole Foods and cheat with some that are already grown for me. 

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I keep them all in fish bowls because I have a ton of them thanks to having fish all of my college career. 

Today I went on an awesome cooking binge. I spent way too much money at the grocery store on produce and healthy foods, but I suppose you gotta invest the money if you want the results! Started off making a sort of panzanella-style dish. Chopped up cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and a little mozzarella (because life is always better with mozzarella) and added some balsamic vinaigrette! 

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Afterwards, I went to town making pan-seared brussel sprouts with cranberries, pecans, and a maple/balsamic glaze! It 

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It was shockingly easy. Cut the sprouts in half, cook for 10 minutes with olive oil, and a tablespoon of syrup and balsamic, stir in your desired amount of cranberries, Gorgonzola, pecans, and then top it all off with a cup of barley! My favorite type of cooking is the “toss this in a pan, then toss this in a pan, then stir” style with little thought and a whole lot of taste.

My partner and I have also been gearing up for our trip to Italy in a month and a half! Our parents helped us out in order to send us there for our graduations, and we’re both absolutely ecstatic. So if you have tips about Italy, travelling, or any of the related topics please feel free to share! I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few experiences in Europe, but there’s always room for improvement. 

Anyways, here’s some good recipes, exercises, and thoughts I’ve come across lately. I hope everyone is off to a great spring!

Made these stuffed red peppers earlier this week. The stuffing was a bit bland, so I definitely recommend adding in a few more spices to the mix!

The recipe for the brussel sprouts I made! I improvised on a few ingredients and tossed in more of the extras than the recipe calls for to make it more of a meal than a side.

How I’m getting my triceps ready for those summer dresses!

A 9-minute mile playlist! I always love music tips to keep me on pace.

My workout for a rainy day

The Happiness Effect 

Pictures of Underwater Dogs. Because everyone needs that in their life.

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Setting the Scene

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Hello mom to my latest platform for connection, ideas sharing, and (most importantly) fun.

Over the past few months I’ve been considering starting a blog, trying to pin down exactly why. Am I just searching for a new way to connect with others? Do I miss having a blog, which I used to update on a daily basis throughout my high school years? Do I just think I have a whole lot of great ideas and for some reason, people might want to hear them (that question was more to keep myself in check)? So I did what most people do, and I googled it. What was the reason behind this new craving of mine?

The answers that came up were numerous, but many struck a chord with me. When it comes down to it, I’m about as extroverted as they come. I build energy off of meeting new people, exchanging fun ideas, and engaging in insightful conversation. I love hearing about what others think, and building who I am based on the encounters I have. So, I suppose that is where this leads me. Not only to navigating a new blog, but to Navigating Living.

So here’s the scene – 

My name is Kayla, and I’m a student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, studying International Development and Evaluation. Besides those two obvious passions, I also foster pets through an organization named Pet Project Rescue, go for runs around the lake I live near, and explore as well as practice new trends in living a healthy lifestyle. The last passion is where I’m hoping this blog goes, or at least the goal I’m slowly stumbling (sometimes gracefully) towards. 

While going through basic schooling I constantly felt myself thriving for more. As I got to college, I was able to find my career passions and begin building on those, travelling extensively and engaging in sectors such as International Law, Human Rights, and Conflict Resolution. Quickly I found International Development, and knew I hit my ultimate passion. My life was quickly uprooted from central Pennsylvania, off to the tundra beautiful city of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

And here is where I have truly learned the most about life and living.

All of the studying, dedication, and hard work to get me here has been wonderful, and it has all brought me to a fantastic life with infinite reasons to be happy. But as I began to really become a part of the Minneapolis culture, I started learning about the reasons that coincide to make this city the healthiest in the US, and the importance of valuing your physical and mental health on the same level that you do for your work and your relationships. I believe that the three of these are incredibly related, but that we commonly toss one above the other, forgetting that they cannot be pulled apart as separate entities. It’s the success of one that leads to the success of the others.

So after finding my passions, exploring different countries, and building my life, I believe that now is the time to really explore the little things that make me happy, and value those in the same way that I have been valuing the other sectors of my life for so long now. This blog will become a collection of the things I find that seem like they can brighten my day, and help to point me in a healthy direction, and will also be a great opportunity to share and bounce ideas off of one another as well.

I hope that you’ll join me in my new journey, and help me build the chapters!

Kayla