the wolf is free: jam of the week

This week’s jam comes from Lily & Madeline, a sister duo with sweet sweet harmonies from Indianapolis (ya know what the Midwest is, young and restless).  Their first album is really great, and they have a new one coming out soon (October 28th).  I may try to see them on tour when they come to Lincoln Hall, November 15th.

They are also only teenagers…what have we all been doing with our lives?

If you like First Aid Kit, The Staves, or Daughter, you will like these sisters.  Actually if you like listening to beautiful music you will like them.





juice cleanse

#18 on my 101 in 1001 list is “do a juice cleanse”.  I consider myself a MOSTLY healthy young woman.  I workout almost everyday, I don’t go to McDonald’s for every meal and I rarely ever drink non-diet pop.  However, I am not the best at eating as healthily as I should.  I don’t really like vegetables and cooking is not my favorite thing.  I thought doing a juice cleanse would HOPEFULLY motivate me to eat more veggies and I also thought it would be an interesting test of my will power.  Plus I had a Gilt City coupon for a cleanse.

Read on for my recap of doing the “Jus by Julie” 3 day cleanse.


image via

Jus by Julie Cleanse


I did not do anything in particular to prepare for this cleanse.  I’ve read that you should try to start eating more vegetables and stop drinking alcohol and coffee and pop ahead of the cleanse but: 1. I don’t drink coffee, 2. I assumed I don’t think enough ever that alcohol would be a problem, 3. I had run a 10K the day before I started so I hadn’t had any pop in a couple of days anyway.  My juices arrived via FedEx overnight last week.  Since I wasn’t going to be starting the cleanse till this Monday I froze all the juices (this is recommended on Julie’s site so that the juices don’t go bad.  They arrived in an insulated cooler bag (which I will probably reuse, woohoo!) inside a box.  The bag was filled with ice packs (which I will also reuse!), and all of the juices were still cold by the time I brought them up to my apartment.

On Sunday I took the first day’s juices out of the freezer and realized that they were FROZEN SOLID.  I decided to take Day 2 out as well since I was afraid I’d be trying to drink mostly frozen juice the next few days.

Day 1

I started off Day 1 with the “Morning Glory” juice and a couple of egg whites (NOTE: egg white and steamed veggies are allowed on the cleanse).  It was a green one, and admittedly I had never had a green juice before starting this so I assumed I wouldn’t like the taste.  This one wasn’t too bad as it was sweetened with some fruit.  Once I got to work I realized that some of my juices were STILL frozen so I took them out of my little lunchbag for them to thaw.  I made it through the 4th juice of the day around 3pm and couldn’t imagine myself finishing 3 days of this.  I was hangry and felt weak.

That night I had the “choco-nana” flavor for my juice “dinner” which was DELICIOUS with some scrambled egg whites (and one REAL egg…kind of cheating).  The last juice of the day was “X-treme Greens” which is my least favorite flavor of all the ones I’d tried that day.  I think it must have been the overabundance of kale + hemp seeds that gave this one a dirt-like taste.  I managed to make it through my evening Pure Barre class without collapsing, so I was feeling pretty proud of myself by the time I went to bed.

Day 2

I felt pretty good all day until the dreaded 1-5pm slump that I have come to assume is part of a juice cleanse?  You feel helpless and doomed and want to rip the food out of any hands you see.  I made it home to have another “choco-nana” for dinner with another egg white/egg scramble.  Around 8:30pm, I knew I should have my final and 6th juice of the day, “X-treme Greens”, but couldn’t bring myself to drink it.  The thought of it turned my stomach.  Instead, I had a 100 calorie bag of Skinny Pop which was definitely cheating, but I never said I was perfect…

Day 3

When I woke up on Wednesday I felt pretty weak and tired.  Taking a shower was a struggle.  I decided I probably should have had that last juice from the night before, so I forced myself to drink half of it before the rest of my breakfast.  By the time I got to work, I felt much better.

The lunchtime juice, “Sweet Spin”, is also a green juice and probably my overall favorite.  It has spinach, kale, pineapple, mango and banana in it and goes down so easy.  After I finished it, I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I had made it through 2.5 days on the cleanse!  3 juices to go!

Then I remembered that I’d be getting “dinner” with my boyfriend that night.  He definitely wouldn’t consider a juice dinner, and I couldn’t exactly split it with him anyway.  I decided at that point that I’d drink the 4th juice of the day for a snack later and probably save the last 2 for snacks later in the week.  I figured my body probably needed some more sustenance by that point, plus I knew I wanted to go for a run the next morning and I’d started yelping restaurants for us to go to near my apartment…looking at menus when you aren’t supposed to be eating anything is torture.  I could taste and smell the pad khee mao and lamb madrasi through my computer and could feel my stomach gurgling in anticipation.


  • I probably wouldn’t do another cleanse as I don’t actually think that your body needs help detoxing, but it was an interesting experience.  I was mostly surprised at how filling the juices were and that I rarely felt ravenous.
  • I didn’t experience the “euphoria” that some people have on Day 3, but maybe that is because I supplemented eggs at breakfast and dinner (and a damn mini bag of popcorn)?
  • I did pee a LOT these 3 days, which isn’t surprising considering the sheer volume of liquid I consumed in addition to drinking water as often as possible.
  • My favorite flavors: Choco-nana, Sweet Spin
  • My least favorite flavors: X-Treme Greens (!), and the spicy lemonade (basically the master cleanse in a bottle)
  • If you do end up freezing your juices, make sure you give them 2 days to thaw out.  Maybe my fridge is just weird but it seemed like it took longer than necessary for that to happen.
  • I would consider having green juices as a snack every once in a while, because they are surprisingly good and obviously good for you.  I definitely don’t get the recommended serving of veggies each day, so this would help a lot with that.  The downside is their cost ($8-11/juice!), but maybe I will ask for a juicer for Christmas?  We’ll see…

Banana Cake Recipe

I’m not much of a cook, or a baker, so most of my recipes will be easy (yet DELICIOUS).  This recipe was passed on to me from my cousin, Juliann.  I’ve made the cake a few times, but the most memorable occasion was for my twin friends’ birthday party; it was finished that night.  It is a great cake for the summer, but it is so yummy you could eat it all year round and you probably won’t ever have to worry about leftovers.
Eventually I will figure out a suitable gluten free version of this cake.  I’m hoping it just involves a box of GF box cake, but I’ve yet to try any of those, so that is TBD.
1 yellow box cake – follow directions on the box and add…
1 tsp baking soda
2 large very ripe bananas, smashed (make sure they are very ripe! it will make for easier smashing)
1 package instant vanilla pudding + 1 cup of milk – beat with mixer (you could also try chocolate pudding)
1 8 oz container of Cool Whip – folded into pudding
Cake is best served cold!
I promise the banana cake will look better than this...recipe for pudding pie to come later.

I promise the banana cake will look better than this…recipe for pudding pie to come later.

beyond clueless: jam of the week

Each week I’m sharing my favorite hot jam of the moment.  This week the song comes from, Summer Camp, a husband and wife duo out of the UK.  They wrote the entire score and a few original songs for the documentary, “Beyond Clueless”, that is all about teen movies (which I think I need to see ASAP!).

Elizabeth Sankey (the lead singer of Summer Camp) has a penchant for teen culture/movies/fashion and writes a blog about all of these things.  She has dressed like Cher from Clueless a few times.  If you don’t know me, you obviously don’t know that Clueless is one of my favorite movies.  Beverly Hills, 90s, teenagers, Jane Austen (hope you know that Clueless is based off of Austen’s Emma!).  There are so many great lines, outfits and characters.


Beyond Clueless is the title track of Summer Camp’s soundtrack for the documentary.  I also think it is a good “back to school” jam, although I haven’t gotten to go back to school for a few years now…Listen to it below.


101 in 1001

I was inspired to write the list by one of my daily blog reads, Mackenzie Horan at Design Darling.  It seems like a good way to check some things off my short term bucket list and keep myself accountable.  As you can see I started the list about a month ago, so I’ve already checked a few things off!

101 in 1001

Starts July 7, 2014

Ends April 3, 2017



  1. Come up with 101 things (July 8, 2014)
  2. Get my makeup done at Sephora so I’m using the right colors!
  3. Get my ears repierced
  4. Get a new iPhone!
  5. Frame my diploma
  6. Go one month without shopping (doesn’t include necessities!)
  7. Try sushi (again)
  8. Get my new license
  9. No Grubhub for one month
  10. Buy a new mattress
  11. See a scary movie in the theater
  12. Go to a double feature movie
  13. Write at least 5 Yelp reviews
  14. Create a bigger photo album with photos post-college

Health and Fitness and Image

  1. Do a sober month
  2. Get a 5K PR
  3. Join the 100 Club at Pure Barre Lakeview
  4. Do a juice cleanse
  5. Eat the recommended serving of vegetables every day for one week
  6. Cook at home for a whole week
  7. Go on a group run
  8. Get a blow out at Dry Bar
  9. Try a new fitness class
  10. Take 2+ classes at Shred415
  11. Determine a better workout plan for the Chicago winter months
  12. Be able to hold a plank for 3 minutes
  13. Complete a 20 classes in 30 days challenge at Pure Barre
  14. Run a 10 mile race
  15. Document everything I eat in MyFitnessPal for 30 straight days
  16. Get a professional spray tan
  17. Get a mole check–appointment for September 11th, 2014
  18. Do an outdoor yoga class (preferably at the beach!)
  19. Bake a loaf of gluten-free bread from scratch
  20. Learn how to make guacamole in my food processor
  21. Donate blood
  22. Bring my lunch to work for 2 weeks straight
  23. Learn how to French braid my hair


  1. Apply to MBA school (or decide I’ll wait till later in my career…)
  2. Get a raise at work
  3. Get a promotion at work
  4. Become a mentor for Big Shoulders
  5. Volunteer at an 826Chi workshop (signed up to be on the list, waiting for training event in August)
  6. Take some kind of course
  7. Save money toward MBA tuition or a down payment on a condo
  8. Have a meeting with the CEO of the hospital I work at


  1. Travel to 3 new places in the US
  2. Take a trip with my girlfriends
  3. Go to Hawaii
  4. Dip my feet in the Pacific Ocean
  5. Visit Mo in Ireland
  6. Go scuba diving again
  7. Go to an ND football away game (2015 or 2016)
  8. Go skiing
  9. See an IU basketball game
  10. Go on a polar vortex escape vacation
  11. Have a pint of cider at The Castle in London


  1. Explore a new Chicago neighborhood
  2. Go to Second City
  3. Ice skate at Millennium Park
  4. Go to the Green Market in Lincoln Park (July 19, 2014)
  5. Go to a cooking class
  6. Go to a Blackhawks game
  7. Go to the Randolph Street Market
  8. Join a church near my apartment
  9. Go to Six Flags
  10. Go to Two Brothers Brewing
  11. Go on a cruise on the Chicago River
  12. Eat at “next”
  13. Go to the Lagunitas tap room
  14. Go to the ballet
  15. Go to a state/county fair
  16. Rent kayaks on the Chicago River
  17. Go to a Bears game and tailgate
  18. See a play at Steppenwolf Theater (‘This is Our Youth’, July 9, 2014)
  19. Go to a gala event and dress up
  20. Visit Pittsburgh during a non-holiday time to see family


  1. Throw a dinner party at my apartment
  2. Take Grandma out for a dinner date
  3. Take Emily Wozniak out for drinks
  4. Encourage the family to get a new portrait taken
  5. Send Mo a care package after she moves to Ireland
  6. Go fishing with Dave (July 20, 2014)
  7. Help plan Brooke’s bachelorette party
  8. Take Braden out for a fun day sometime when I’m visiting Pittsburgh
  9. Go on a weekend trip with Caitlin
  10. Send birthday cards to my favorite people every year
  11. Take my mom for a mani-pedi (July 17th, 2014)
  12. Take my dad for drinks


  1. Write a short story
  2. Write every day for one hour for a week
  3. Come up with a list of 5 potential novella/novel ideas
  4. Pick one of those ideas and write it during NaNoWriMo (November) or Camp WriMo (April or July)
  5. Photograph my apartment and submit it to The Everygirl
  6. Use my home brewing kit!
  7. Figure out how to home brew a GF beer
  8. Get a Christmas tree (fake) for my studio
  9. Re-read East of Eden (my favorite book in high school)
  10. Read the Salinger biography and see the documentary
  11. Learn how to play chess
  12. Reorganize my holiday decorations and costumes box
  13. Figure out a better lighting solution in my apartment

this is my jam.

I’m a young lady of pretty strong opinions; when I like something, I REALLY LIKE IT.  I will listen to the same song, over and over again and still not get sick of it (I listened to “Tell It to the Volcano” by Miniature Tigers in my car for 3 years…at one point it was the only CD in the car…and I STILL love it).  Conversely, when I dislike something, I’m passionate about this dislike.  I hate mushrooms and olives, and my friends and family find this quite annoying when trying to order pizza; they say I can just pick them off, but I maintain that both of those toppings leave a lingering taste on the pizza…

I’ve been wanting to start a proper blog for a pretty long time but wasn’t really sure how to go about it or what to write about.  So, I’ve decided I’m just going to write about things that I like and that interest me, and hopefully find readers that like the same things as me.  Maybe I’ll also write about things that I hate sometimes.  This blog will be a collection of my favorite things, life experiences, and advice.  I’m sure it will evolve over time, as I transition from my “mid-twenties” to “late-twenties” (GASP, I’M ALMOST 26!).

My current passions include but are not limited to: keeping up with the hot jamz of today, watching television and binge-watching Netflix, reading my Kindle and trying to beat my list of books read from 2013, trying new beers, becoming an adult with “adult” furniture and decor, trying to beat my best 5K time, getting a tight booty and toned thighs from barre classes, looking classy at work and at play, perfecting my gift giving skills and figuring out my five year plan (HA).