Favorite Things : July 14-20, 2018

favorite things

What. A. Week. It was a week full of good things. My paper is accepted to a conference in Montreal this November. Bruno has a paper accepted at the same conference, so guess where we’ll be traveling this fall? I finished chapter four of my dissertation and sent it in. Of course, it is not finished, finished yet and will need edits, but I’m getting closer to defending (hopefully). Then, I found out this morning all my medical expenses from March and April will be taken care of by the health share co-op we do in lieu of ACA insurance or employer insurance (grad student life) which means not only will I no longer have an excessive amount of medical bills hanging over my head, but also I will have money back in my pocket for the amounts I paid for out of pocket. And last, but not least. I had a back squat PR from 95 pounds to 123 pounds (you know you are a beginner when you make leaps like that). I’m ending this week very happy and very grateful.

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I’ve been almost done with the Odyssey for months now. I think we’ll celebrate by grilling with Homer.

How to succeed at work.

How about not finding your passion.

Great blog post from elite swimmer turned real person, Lizzie Simmonds.

I drink, but I have to ask. Why do we promote this? Reminds of some 1950s “Mother’s Little Helper” b.s. and it makes me sad.

On a lighter note, this adorable, wonderful, best thing every Instagram account Life of Sharks.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali



Favorite Things : July 7 – 13, 2018

favorite things

Growing up, my mom would come upstairs half-yelling, half-singing, “It’s Friiiiiday! It’s Friiidaaaay!” That is about how I feel today. This has been my first week back to Michigan and back to routine in a few weeks. It feels good, but I have been so ready for today.

Sunday is our one year anniversary. We thought about going somewhere, but with camping next weekend and being gone, I just didn’t want to leave. We’ll go out to eat somewhere nice and maybe stop at a brewery. I just wanted something relaxing, especially because I’m still hoping to get that dissertation in by the end of this weekend. We’ll see how it goes!

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

10 Habits to Drop

How to ask someone to put their phone down and listen.

Related. Interesting article on phone use and distracted parenting.

My mom’s new place has a pond. We may need this.

The relationship between perfectionism and injury in athletes. Suddenly so much makes sense.

A history of the greatest campfire dessert.

I admit to having a bit of an obsession with the Kardashian/Jenner clan. Kylie Jenner is worth 900 million dollars.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali


Favorite Things : June 8 – 15, 2018

favorite things

A very belated favorite things. This week has been chaotic to say the least. I seriously underestimated how long and how time consuming packing and moving could be. Then as soon as everything was in our new house, we drove down to Ohio to my hometown. My mom and step-dad have been living in Spain for the last two years and they moved back home this weekend, so we rushed to get everything done so we could drive down see them. We’ll be here for the next two weeks.

This was not the most productive dissertation week (I don’t think I looked at it at all), but I did get my third chapter approved with edits and sent an abstract in for a conference. So — some small things were done. This week I will have to hit it hard if I want to get the fourth chapter in by the end of the month. Goals.

Other than that nothing new. We went out with my elementary/middle/junior high/high school friend (over two decades of friendship here!) and her fiancé last night and today we are doing the Father’s Day celebrations. I’ve been relaxing, but I also just mainly feel antsy to get back to work, get back on routine, and enjoy some family time.

So, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I keep going back and forth on this. When I read that authors I love, like Zadie Smith, have a flip phone and no social media, articles like this make deleting facebook and Instagram more enticing.


In defense of extreme moderation.

I love this essay on cooking.

Post-work out makeup and skin routine.

On of more serious note, two things:

I did a huge research paper on Title IX for my Modern American Regime class and I still follow it fairly closely. This article on its abuse is an important read.

This Cup of Jo essay on suicide is a must read.

Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

xo, Ali



Favorite Things : May 26 – June 1, 2018

favorite things

How is it June 1 already? One more month and we are half-way through 2018. I’ll admit to being, for the most part, pretty on track with my 2018 goals so far, the biggest goal being to finish my dissertation by the end of this year (this counts even if I have to defend in early 2019). I’m waiting to hear back on chapter three 2.0 (I had to split up the original chapter three into chapters three and four) and will hopefully get chapter four, which was part of the original chapter three, in by the end of this month, leaving only chapters five (which I have already started) and six. I think once three and four get approved, it is going to feel very real that I am nearing the end of decades of school. This is terrifying because I have no idea what is going to happen next. Hello, anxiety.

We have no big plans for this weekend other than packing, a run, a swim, a bike, and most definitely some reading. My old mountain bike gave up the ghost this week, so I am currently training for my first triathlon and bikeless. I was hoping she would last until I could buy a road bike at the end of summer, but she could not hang out. I’ve been riding on the indoor bike on campus, but it isn’t the same. I really just want to feel comfortable with the road and hills. Cycling is scary for me and riding indoors is not helping me with that fear.

Anyway — here are this week’s favorite things.

Committing to your first ultra.

I love black beans.

“Without opposing reasonable, routine maintenance, Ehrenreich observes that the care of the self has become a coercive and exploitative obligation: a string of endless medical tests, drugs, wellness practices, and exercise fads that threaten to become the point of life rather than its sustenance.”

Something to think about : a critique of radical wellness culture.

I suspect this is probably true. I definitely judge handshakes.

Related (and for a laugh) : Seven signs that your man’s masculinity is non-toxic.

Stop imitating the habits of successful people.

Horrifying. I’m not sure I will ever eat calamari again.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali





Favorite Things : May 19 – 25, 2018

favorite things

I turned in dissertation chapter three yesterday. I had to split the original chapter three in two chapters — so this is the outcome of the division. I took the day off, did some yoga, got a massage, and have been watching lots of The Crown (probably inspired by last week’s royal wedding).

I’m hanging out with some fellow grad school ladies tonight, but other than that the plans for this weekend are to relax. I have a run planned for tomorrow and another bike ride on Sunday, but I’m mainly just hoping to rest up and be ready for Monday when I do (a much scaled down…that is no vest or pull-ups for me) Murph.

And now, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

If you’re a Midwesterner, this’ll crack you up.

Sabrina Little’s Trail World Championship race report. As a fellow Ph.D. student/nerd I always appreciate her reports.

Alumni from my college doing a beautiful thing: starting a yoga non-profit that helps survivors of domestic abuse heal.

Reminder: The gift of being a failure.

I have to remind myself of this for graduate school too.

One mother’s journey from Olympic trials to the Crossfit games.

Something to think about: what issues is obsessing about work outs and your body distracting you from?

I hope you enjoy your three-day weekend. Monday Miles post will be on Tuesday next week, because I suspect I will be too tired to write!

xo, Ali



Favorite Things : May 12 – 18, 2018

crossfit, favorite things

Happy Friday! No exciting plans for this weekend except for a six mile run tomorrow and a bike ride on Sunday. Other than that, the plan is to start packing. We move houses in mid-June and are terrible administrative procrastinators, so we have to start packing as early as possible or else I am certain it is going to be June 14 and we will have so much stuff to purge and pack. Also, we’ve been married for nearly a year. I have no idea how accumulated so much junk already.

I am so sore in places I am sure I have never been sore before from Crossfit. The strangest area of soreness is my hands, like the muscles in my fingers ache. What is that? Still. I am loving it way more than I thought I would. More on that to come.

Without further ado, here are this week’s favorite things.

Advice for life: take your dream seriously.

One basic decision for happiness.

Bookmarked for swimming improvement.

Devon Yanko is a total bad ass.

How to spot bad science and fads.

Thank God for this defense of emotional book buying.

Put the phone down.

READ THIS: Scott Jurek and the idea of endurance.

Lists that do not include Toto’s Africa.

I have friends who run the spectrum of political ideas and while we discuss and disagree, I have never ended a friendship over political differences. This article on Roseanne from the NYT is worth a read.

Everyone lives with, works with and is related to people with dramatically different political opinions. And they mostly get along. But that doesn’t find its way into most of the commentary.”

On a less serious note, is 28 too old for a shark sweater? Asking for a friend.

xo, Ali


Favorite Things : April 28 – May 4, 2018

favorite things

So far it has been a nice and relaxing morning today. I was planning on going for a swim, but the pool is closed until next week. I made myself some tea and read for about an hour. I’m hoping to get a few more things done before I head into work at the archives for the day.

Nothing too exciting is planned for the weekend. I have a massage this afternoon and we’re going to have dinner with some friends of ours. I’m hoping to run six miles tomorrow, but we’ll see how the legs feel. I’m trying to take it easy, as I have felt more wiped out and stiff than usual on both runs that I’ve had this week.

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

An important reminder: travel is no cure for the mind.

Memento mori?

Tips for life-long athlete performance.

Probably something I should start doing: mapping my week for productivity.

Two great posts from my friend Emily. One pre-race. One post-race.

Great post on mental toughness.

Running and a sense of purpose.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : April 14-20, 2018

favorite things

Plans for this weekend: relax. Run ten miles(????). Relax some more. And maybe, just maybe nerd out and play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time at the local comic book store. I am trying to maintain weekends as weekends. That is, I just want to take the time to read some books out on the porch because it is sunny, do some laundry, and clean the house up.

I’m feeling pretty good. The elimination diet to figure out allergies is going well although I am getting pretty bored eating the same foods over and over and over again. I did get sick out of nowhere yesterday around lunch-time and ended up having to miss my Wilderness survival class — but almost every day was like that in March, so one time getting sick a week is actually a significant improvement.

Without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I am feeling this so bad right now.

I suspect that I will be going into this half-marathon a little less trained than I wanted to be, but this made me feel a lot better.

Bad science news about wine!

Great article about a hike in the Grand Canyon.

Note to self: You cannot outrun a bad diet. Repeat. You cannot outrun a bad diet.

I’ve made it a point to check my bank and savings accounts every day — and I agree with this article, it helps!

I love skincare (I own like three things of makeup and the rest of my bag is alllll skincare) and I am sorely tempted by these products.

I sit on a tennis ball for my hamstrings on all long drives.

How to drink more water.

Last, but not least, I am nowhere near as fast or athletic as Devon Yanko, but this post on dealing with chronic illness had my heart.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo, Ali



Favorite Things : April 7-13, 2018

favorite things

I received my results from my endoscopy yesterday. Turns out everything looks good (hello again, sweet, sweet dairy and gluten), so I do not know. I do not know what is causing my eosinophilia. It has been suggested that it might be stress — which honestly, would not be all that surprising. But I kind of just don’t want to think about it anymore. I know that is bad, but I have been worrying about this for a month and a half now. I feel a little bit better. My stomach looks fine. I feel like I’ve wasted time in doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, this endoscopy, just to keep being told “everything is negative.” Well, everything except for that my white blood cells are high. Fine. Fine. I don’t want to mess with it anymore.

For the most part I’ve been feeling fine. My stomach still hurts after I eat, but nowhere near as bad as it was in March. Now, at least, I can consistently function. And the good news is that I’m healthy. So fine, money and time were spent, but I know that for the most part I’m fine.

This weekend the travel continues. I’m going home to visit my mom in Ohio and we’ll be there over the weekend so that next week a normal week can finally begin.

Without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

I recently joked to a friend that I can tell what kind of conservative someone is by the thinkers they quote. I agree with this article — Alexis de Tocqueville is overly used — but I think we differ on the reasons. Tocqueville on Algeria though emphasizes my own.

This interview with Mike Strzelecki fro Ultrarunnerpodcast is great.

What a beautiful story of human kindness.

I actually hardly ever buy running clothes, but I really love this Nike top.

Reminder for two weeks from now: The race ain’t the only clock.

As my half-marathon comes closer, I keep watching this video of the trails. And yes, I  always tear up.

xo, Ali




Favorite Things : March 31 – April 6, 2018

favorite things

Greetings from Philadelphia! Here are this week’s favorite things.

I like this idea from Cal Newport on “slow” social media.

C’est pas vrai! Cheeseburgers are now apparently more popular in France than the classic ham and cheese baguette. They show some people who argue this is not exactly true, but Jonathan Fenby notes at the end of his book, France: A Modern History from the Revolution to the War with Terror, the decline of French food in France. He notes, “Eighty per cent of croissants were reckoned to be made in food plans in the early twenty-first century” and that “in 2014, France exported more vodka than cognac.”

When making your to-do list: schedule life first.

And when living your life: run your own race.

On the #metoo movement. Can we enjoy the art of monstrous men?

Advice for life: be prolific.

Amelia Boone’s race report from the Barkley Marathons.

I spent way too much time on this article.

I like the idea of reading Joan Didion more than I actually enjoy reading her, but this article was interesting.

xo, Ali