#DoMore with Degree Women’s Motion Sense

I received a  complimentary deodorant from Influenster and Degree For Women for testing purposes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Girls (and guys), let’s talk about sweat…like it or not, it’s a fact of life.  I don’t know about you, but literally anything can cause me to sweat and I’ve been trying to find the perfect deodorant forever.  I was super excited when I was sent a sample of Degree Women’s Motion Sense Deodorant to try out.

359 e1414548781592 #DoMore with Degree Womens Motion Sense

There are 3 main tests that deodorant muss past in order to be successful in my mind:

1. Weddings and Special Occasions.  I don’t know if it’s just my superb dance skills or what, but I tend to work up quite a sweat at weddings.   I first tested this out for my friend Sara’s outdoor wedding hoping it would live up to the test and I wouldn’t have sweat stains while standing up as a bridesmaid!  Passed!  Excuse the end of the day frizzy hair pic here…

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2. Working Out.   I’ll just come right out and say it– I sweat a lot (and stink) when I workout.  Even a slow jog in fall weather has been sweating!  I’ve been trying to workout in between teaching classes, so reapplying is crucial for when I head back into the classroom and office.  From the fact that people aren’t running the other way from me after a workout, I’ll consider that a win.

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3. Teaching.  Not to keep pointing out my freak-of-nature tendencies, but I still get slightly nervous each time I get up in front of my class.  Combine that with my business casual blazers and sweaters…there’s the potential for some serious perspiration and stank!  I’ve been using this deodorant for the past month now and it has definitely helped with the sweating  and doesn’t leave deodorant stains on my clothes.  With less stress on knowing I’m not pitting out every shirt I wear, I have more time to stress about other things…like grading.

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Right.  Anyway, thanks Influenster and Degree for letting me test this out!


A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Madison Wisconsin Capitol 1024x1024 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

One of the great things about teaching at smaller institutions is that there is a long weekend break in October, lovingly called Fall Break. It came at a much needed time a couple weekends ago and I was lucky to spend it in none other than my favorite place of Madison, Wisconsin. I left late Friday and was able to stay until Tuesday. I was able to see sooo many people that I love, eat allll my favorite Madison foods and drink allllll my favorite Madison beer/drinks, and even finished up some publications with my PhD advisor.

So enough with the talking, because y’all know how I feel about this place, so we’ll take a photo tour of the fabulous weekend.

On Wisconsin!
Camp Randall e1414460376783 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Gullivarn e1414460243998 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Wisconsin Friends e1414460727222 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

BEST Friday Fish Fry…Quivey’s Grove
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Traditional Roomie Date @ DLUX
DLUX drinks e1414460355552 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) DLUX Fries e1414460322981 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

this all came back to MN…

New Glarus AE Dip e1414459913494 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)
Staghorn New Glarus e1414462559930 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Office e1414460609390 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)
New Orleans Takeout
New Orleans Takeout e1414459877681 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)
Must stop at Old Fashioned for cheese curds and beer

tan lab favorites e1414460663420 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) Old Fashioned Cheese curds e1414460634265 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) greenbush bakery e1414460263525 A Madison Weekend (In Photos) Emilys e1414460295296 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Madison Capitol1 e1414460059737 A Madison Weekend (In Photos)

Thanks for a fun weekend Madtown and friends, you forever have a special place in my heart.

Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)

OH HI.  Work and life have been crazy busy, per usual.  Remember when I used to do “Did You Know? Friday” every Friday, instead of just linking up once a month?

DidyouKnow thumb Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)

I really want to get into talking about those intriguing topics on a regular basis again…however, this week is wasn’t meant to be.  However, I found myself bookmarking a lot of articles/posts over the past week or so on the internet that I think are good reads/finds and I’ve compiled a few here worth sharing….I started with the more serious ones and worked my way to the more comical. icon smile Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)   I assure you, you’ll learn something!  I know I did!   Enjoy!

Please put that pink can of soup down and put your bra back on - Huffington Post Blog

“There is nothing pink and rosy about breast cancer, yet it has been pink-washed to death. It is a serious disease that kills.”  This is an interesting article about the perception of breast cancer awareness from a breast cancer survivor and stresses how awareness does not always do justice to the disease.  It is worth the read.  As always, my two cents is this: please donate to organizations that directly support advancing research or supporting patients/families and aren’t just for profit. There are a few excellent choices listed at the bottom of the article.

Six months later, hundred of Nigerian girls are still missing -Newsweek

It may have slipped out of the media spotlight, but those girls abducted in April in Nigeria are still missing.  I’ll admit, this had definitely not crossed my mind for awhile.

We’d have an Ebola vaccine right now if it hadn’t been for NIH funding cuts -Science, US News

FUNDING CUTS IN SCIENCE RESEARCH? Imagine that.  Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now.  Anyway, while Ebola is not as contagious as other diseases with vaccinations, this may not be a huge deal breaker in fighting the current Ebola cases.  For example, measles and mumps have a higher R0 value (scale of how contagious an infectious disease is, explained here).  However, I’m no expert in infectious disease and would love to learn more.

How to interpret your blood test results – Fannetastic Food

Your routine blood test from your annual physical can reveal a lot about your health!  Anything from fasting blood lipids, glucose, or blood pressure can indicate if you are at risk for disease or health conditions.  This is a great post with guidelines on how to interpret your results to see if you are within desired range and healthy!

46 things every twenty-something still asks their mom – Buzzfeed

Great find by my sister this week and incredibly hilarious.  My poor mother has been asked just about everything on this list. The truest buzzfeed article I’ve read to date.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip - Ari’s Menu

Ummmm, my friend Ari  has just been making me drool lately with her recipe creations.  Y’all know that I love me some dip and I can’t wait to make this for tailgating soon!

15 Accurate Images That Explain Everything In Your Life

Hilarious and dead on!

Every episode of Friends is coming to Netflix – Buzzfeed

Uhhhh, don’t plan on seeing me in January.  Or at all in 2015 really. icon smile Internet things I think you should be reading (Did You Know? Friday)

Last thing– surprising food combo of the week?  Pesto and carrots!


My Life as a First-Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

How is it October?  How are we already almost done with a second month of class?

photo 3 1024x1024 My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

Loving all the fall colors here in Minnesota!

Month 2 was full with just as many challenges as month #1.  Month #1 I was just trying to keep my head above water and make sure I was delivering good, solid lectures and activities to the students.  Month #2 I started to dig a little deeper and define myself as an educator and start to figure out how to help my students get the most out of class.   It is really surreal to be at the front of the classroom full time after spending the last 8 years as a student.  The perspective I have gained into not only teaching, but also learning these first two months has blown everything I thought I knew out of the water.   I find myself reflecting more, in particular, reflecting by putting myself in my students’ shoes.  Asking myself questions such as, “What was hard about this topic when I learned it?”, “Why did I like learning about this nutrient so much?”, in order to try and teach them the material in the most efficient way.   So this month, I thought I would share a peek into professor life by talking about things I wish my students knew…or things I hope they know or will understand by the end of the semester. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

I wish my students knew that their professors do not write exam/quiz questions to try and trick them.  Or at least I don’t try to!!! haha  I remember thinking that same thing though when I was a student and looking back now, it definitely put a negative spin on some of my study habits.  Being on the other side of things, I can’t imagine any professor would ever want to trick students, and I see those “tricky” questions as testing students to find a deeper understanding of the material.

I wish my students knew how badly I want to see them succeed.   Whenever I am looking over the results of a graded assignment or quiz my students have completed, I find myself cheering for them when they score well and sad when they don’t do well.  I want my students to earn the best grades they can…if they all could earn A’s, I WOULD BE THRILLED!   They roll their eyes when I make them do review problems in class or when I make them prove to me they can do the math behind determining how many calories a certain diet should have from fat, but I do it because I know they have to problem solve to succeed.  Because I know practice makes perfect.  And because maybe if I say something cheesy and supportive along with the important content they are learning, they’ll retain the information and succeed by learning and doing well in the class.

I wish my students knew that learning is sooo much more than the grade you get in the class.

Cue all of my science professors being like, “How do THOSE words taste, Emily?!”  icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)  How I feel about this now: students are naturally “grade driven”.   When I was in college, I was definitely more concerned with the grade than what I learned!  Oh my, how I wish I could go back and just shake myself of that horrible ideal!  I wish (or hope) my students could see how happy it makes me when we’re diagramming a digestive pathway in class and they make connections between the different processes and are confident enough to share and show that they are learning the material…watching students learn and comprehend is SO much more gratifying than entering grades into an excel spreadsheet!!  Believe me.  I want them to understand that learning is a continuing process– they need to know the information in class not just for a test, but because they will build on it as they prepare for their futures.

I wish my students knew that when they don’t do well, I question myself first.

I may be a little naive because I am new at this, but I’ve found that when it comes to student achievement so far, I give the students the benefit of the doubt and question my teaching methods first.  Did I explain that well enough? Did I spend enough time on that topic?   During my second month, I came to better understand how student achievement is two-way street and that I can’t do it all.  I need to keep expectations high for my students and they need to meet me halfway by coming to class prepared, studying the material, and asking questions when they do not understand.  By communicating with my students after their failures in the second month, we were able to find the culprits (coming to class prepared…muahaha) and I am striving to help them become more motivated in those areas so that learning the material comes easier.

I wish my students knew that if they do not read the syllabus and ask me the same question more than twice/week, I will lose it by the end of the semester. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor: Things I Wish My Students Knew (Month 2)

#saideveryprofessorever #seriously

Now you tell me…what were some of the qualities you found in your most memorable professors?

Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil Review

Ahhhhhh, Sunday.  Here we are.  The past couple years, I haven’t looked forward to Sundays because they always entailed marathon data crunching sessions while finishing up grad school.  Now that I am teaching, I’ve found that I still have a lot of work to do on Sundays, but its much more laid back…with more blogging in the mix, yay!

A couple months ago, Apothecary Extracts asked me to review their 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil.  I really had no idea what it was or what it could do.  Always one to try something new, I was all in and excited to learn more about the benefits and uses of the oil.

teatreeoil Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil Review

I did a lot of research into Tea Tree Oil and decided upon trying it for a few different things.   The first thing I learned, however, was that tea tree oil is not to be consumed, but to be used on your skin.  Noted.

The timing of using the tea-tree oil could not have been better the past couple weeks.  One potential use for the oil, I found, was that it can provide relief from dreaded mosquito bite discomfort.    A couple weekends ago I played golf with a coworker at dusk, which was PRIME time for mosquitos.  I came home with at least 25 bites and was in some serious discomfort the next day!  I remembered reading about the anti-itch benefit of tea tree oil and applied them to my bites.  By the end of the day, the itching was gone!  I continued to apply the oil for the next couple days until the bites were gone.  Definitely a great use!

I also diluted the tea tree oil and applied it sparingly to my face and neck for the week up until my friend Sara’s wedding to clear up breakouts.  I did notice that some of them cleared up, but I don’t think one week is a long enough test period.  I have continued to use the tea tree oil every other day and find my face to my slightly less prone to breakouts.    I am hoping to use the tea-tree oil this winter as well to appease my itchy, dry skin!   Overall, I was pleased with the results of using the tea-tree oil…especially for the insect bite relief!

Lastly, one of the reasons I loved this oil was due to my inner nerd.   I appreciate that  Apothecary Extracts provides the scientific evidence behind their products to prove they’re pure…even posting scientific results on Amazon!   They must have known I was a science nerd, because I was all about trying this out when they told me the GCMS (type of purifying machine and graphs) results were readily available from the tea-tree oil extracts.  icon smile Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil Review

Interested? You can purchase the 100% Pure Tea-Tree Oil here on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil from Apothecary Extracts in exchange for a review.  I was not compensated monetarily.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Did You Know? Friday Linkup– Am I allergic to that food? Or intolerant?

Happy Friday!  More importantly, Happy Did You Know? Friday!  AND it’s linkup day.  If you have been talking nutrition on your blog, please link up with us down below!

didyouknownutritionlinkupbutton thumb Did You Know? Friday Linkup   Am I allergic to that food? Or intolerant?

First of all, can we talk about that Packer win yesterday?  Beautiful day to be wearing green and gold in Viking country!  And yes, I taught in my packer jersey yesterday.  #professoroftheyear

Ok. Time for nutrition talk. One of the most common types of questions I get as a nutrition professional usually goes like this:  Whenever i eat (insert food here), this happens (insert some type of unpleasant symptom here). Followed by,  am I allergic to that food?  OR. Am I sensitive to that food? Should I cut it out of my diet?  For many people, those are legit questions.  So today, we are debunking the differences between food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities.  I could probably write a week’s worth of posts on this topic, so we’ll keep it straight to the basics today. icon smile Did You Know? Friday Linkup   Am I allergic to that food? Or intolerant?

Food Allergy.  You are allergic to a food when your immune system, for some reason, doesn’t recognize it and labels the food or nutrient as an antigen (a foreign substance in your body).  In response to this, your immune system produces an immune response mediated by IgE (a complicated molecule we won’t go into).   Your immune system releases antibodies to find the problem food and release a chemical called histamine, which causes symptoms such as inflammation, hives, vomiting, etc.  This is the immune response.   If the immune response/symptoms are not attended too, this reaction can spread to multiple organs causing anaphylaxis.  Most severe allergic reactions to food are treated with epinephrine,

Food allergies can be serious issues and use a couple methods for diagnosis.  Food allergies can be hypersensitive, which means they produce symptoms within minutes of consumption, or delayed hypersensitive, which means the symptoms could have a longer onset.

Dietitians and physicians look for three things to diagnose a food allergy 1) Can you identify a specific food or nutrient in your diet? 2) proof of adverse response (do you have abnormal symptoms after ingesting the food/nutrient?)  3) Is there immune involvement?  This usually involves some type of testing from your urine or blood to look for specific immune markers, such as antibodies produced.


  • Peanuts – usually immediate hypersensitivity and response.
  • Tree nuts -usually immediate hypersensitivity and response.
  • Celiac’s Disease (allergic to the protein, gluten, in wheat) — please note though, that Celiac’s disease is a delayed hypersensitivity.  Unlike peanuts, which can produce symptoms in minutes after consumption, Celiac’s disease has a more delayed onset from the immune response to gluten.  Celiac’s can also be mistaken for several other intolerances to nutrients in grain products, so ask your physician or dietitian to help you diagnose. 

Food Intolerance.  You are intolerant to a food when your body/digestive system cannot properly break down the food. In most food or nutrient intolerances, the culprit is a missing enzyme (molecule that facilitates breakdown during digestion) and the food isn’t digested properly.  When the food isn’t digested properly it cannot be absorbed by your small intestine and ends up in your large intestine where millions of bacteria work to ferment and break it down.  That fermentation process produces many of those pleasant “digestive unhappiness” symptoms we all know and love.

Example: The best example is lactose intolerance.  People who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose.  Why does this matter? Glucose and galactose  (which make up lactose! SCIENCE!) can be absorbed by the small intestine and transported throughout the body to do their job.  Lactose cannot be absorbed!  So when the lactase enzyme isn’t there, lactose is not absorbed, and the bacteria in your large intestine go to town and the by-products of the bacteria feeding on the lactose are what lead to gas, bloating, and diarrhea that accompanies lactose intolerance.

Food Sensitivity. If you’ve hung in there so far, congrats!  This is where it gets tricky, in my opinion.  I have read many textbooks and articles regarding this topic not only in preparation for this linkup, but for my own knowledge.  Food sensitivity is a broad term that is used loosely,

Some consider a food sensitivity to be part of the food allergy family, except that your immune system doesn’t respond through that scary IgE molecule we mentioned before, but through a different kind of immune cell.   From my research, I’ve also found  that it refers to a food that causes you to have unpleasant symptoms after consumption (whether digested or not).  I would classify heartburn as a food sensitivity.  Individuals tolerate acidic foods very differently, and some are more sensitive to the acid content than others, therefore having the unpleasant burning sensation in their chest after eating.  However, I think the area of “food sensitivity” is still very blurry and more work needs to be done!

Things to keep in mind:

  1. If you eat a food once and have indigestion, this does NOT mean you have food allergy, intolerance or insensitivity.   You may have just had ill-prepared food and have a foodborne illness.  However, if your symptoms last more than 24 hours or escalate quickly, it may be a good idea to see your doctor because foodborne illnesses can also get serious.
  2. Remember that many foods contain many nutrients.  If you “think” you are sensitive to a food, you can play around with your diet for trial and error, but document everything.  DO NOT, self-diagnose yourself with any of these.  See a professional.  If you cut out a food group without considering other nutrients you could be missing, you could end up in even more discomfort than before.

Phew, that was a lot!  What about you? Any questions?

Sources Used:

Brostoff, J.Gamlin, L.  1998. The complete guide to food allergy and intolerance. School of Medicine, University College London, London, UK (textbook)

Berning J, Beshgetoor D, Byrd- Bredbenner C, and Moe G.  2013. Perspectives in Nutrition. 9th Ed. (textbook)

University of Nebraska- Lincoln


Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Yesterday, I recapped the wedding portion of my wedding weekend in Austin, TX….today we are talking food and drink! Austin is an awesome destination for foodies and I am thrilled to share my recommendations with y’all. We made the most of our 48 hours eating and drinking around the city!
Torchys2 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Thursday night I met up with Sara and her mom quick for dinner at 24 Diner after a long afternoon of traveling.  24 is more of an upscale dinner…their menu has a lot of interesting selections!  My first task though was finding a beer, because I was definitely in need of one.  I decided on the local Austin Brewhouse Pearl-Snap.

24beer Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

For dinner I had the pulled chicken and goat cheese sandwich, the sandwich came with a side, which was mac & cheese.  The meal was good, however it was expensive!  $15 for a sandwich is a little pricey in my opinion…and any extra sides were $4 extra!  Makes it hard for those on a budget who want to sample!

24 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Friday before the wedding my mom and I ventured to South Congress St. near the capitol to do some poking around the shops.  Obviously, shopping makes us hungry and we had lots of options!

Homeslice Pizza

homeslice1 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

We ended up getting lunch at Homeslice Pizza, a hilarious and eccentric pizza shop on South Congress.  We had about a 15 minute wait.  You can order many types of unique pizzas here, but we just ordered a couple of slices from the pizza of the day.  The slices were HUGE and a good deal!

Homeslice2 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Hey Cupcake!

heycupcake Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

There are food trucks EVERYWHERE in Austin.  We of course, found the dessert one! haha My favorite thing about Hey Cupcake is that they will top off your cupcake with HOMEMADE whip cream.  It was amazing.  I don’t like canned, commercial whipped cream but I love the homemade stuff!!!

heycupcake2 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Amy’s Ice Cream

Amy2 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Because I am a bottomless pit and am obsessed with ice cream, I couldn’t not try Amy’s while we were heading back to our car.  Many of my friends have raved about their ice cream.  I appreciated that they had a dark chocolate flavor and nutter butter mix-ins.  Was a great choice!

Amys11 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Torchy’s Tacos.

Torchys Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

The wedding reception was over by 3:30, so after we had napped, we headed out to discover some good grub and nightlife in Austin!  Our first stop was Torchy’s Tacos, which was recommended to me by several people on my airplane from Dallas to Austin, including the good looking guy sitting next to me in my row…so I decidedwe needed to act on the recommendation! icon smile Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX   373 1024x1024 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

There are many taco options at Torchy’s and you can mix and match.   I got the chicken fajita (your basic chicken taco with veggies) and the brushfire taco, which was a jamacian jerk chicken taco with pineapple and jalepenos.  Obvi, I said no thanks to the jalepenos.  Those tacos were awesome.  I loved the flavors of the brushfire and would have ordered 3 more if I had room!  My friends had the brisket tacos and salmon tacos and also approved!  We all loved the combo of flavors in our tacos from not only the meat and veggies, but also the various sauces.   Torchys2 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX Torchys3 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

But the best part of Torchy’s, in my opinion, is their dessert options.  One in particular– The Nookies.  Nookies = fried chocolate chip cookie dough bites.  OMG. OMG. OMG.

Torchys5 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX Torchys4 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Heavenly is the only way I can explain it.

Rainey St.

Rainey St. is literally one of  the coolest concepts I have ever heard of.  It is this street close to downtown Austin that is full of houses that were converted into microbreweries and bars.  Tons of outdoor seating and fun decorations.   We ventured down here after dinner and I never wanted to leave!

1st stop on Rainey St. was Craft Pride.  A few of us in our group are big craft beer lovers, so this was a no brainer.   Craft pride had at least 30 beers on tap and something for everyone.  CraftPride1 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

My friend Jeremy, (husband to one of the fellow fab-fivers) is a craft-beer pro and recommended a barrel-aged stout, which is smoother than a typical stout.  I’m not a huge fan of stout beer, but after tasting his, that was my selection!

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We spent an hour or so sampling each others beers and catching up, before heading up the street for more shenanigans.  CraftPride2 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

We next stumbled upon Lucille, which looked trendier than some of the other bars (this was not a brewery), but still looked like it had character (if that makes sense).
Lucille Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Lucille had some fun (and a little pricier) mixed drinks and a huge outdoor seating area…complete with hammocks!  We took advantage of both to catch up more.  The music selection at Lucille was also right up my alley (Robyn, Foster The People, etc.,).

Our last stop of the night on Rainey St. was Bungalow, where we met up with the bride and groom, Sara and Miguel, and some of the rest of the bridal party and their Austin friends.  The inside was very loud, but they had a lot of outdoor seating which was lovely and easy for us to keep talking!    I thought this was a cool, unique advntage of having a brunch wedding that ended in the afternoon, so that way Sara and Miguel could spend more time with their families for dinner and their friends for the evening!

The drinks were pretty standard at Bungalow– a few beers on tap and your average mixed drinks.  My whiskey ginger was good, however, when I got home I noticed that whoever ran my credit card at Bungalow entered $10 for the tip line for the one drink I bought, instead of the small amount I tipped because the total was $16.50!!! NOT HAPPY.  However, in the grand scheme of things, not a huge deal.

Our last stop before the airport was none other than the only In-N-Out burger I have ever seen away from the west coast! Such a good surprise!  My parents and fellow fab-fiver, Dani, had never been there, so it was a must-stop for lunch. 402 1024x1024 Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX

Burger was animal-style, always.  Hopefully they are now believers!

In the end, Austin was a nice breath of fresh air and reminder of the food culture I am used to in Madison, yet have had trouble finding here in small town Minnesota.  I was glad that we stuck to the young professional scene of Rainey St. and away from the party central that is 6th St. in downtown Austin.  Maybe if I make it back, I’ll do my best to rustle up some undergrad in me and take it on. icon smile Places to eat and drink in Austin, TX  I don’t think I could ever live in Texas, or Austin, but it was a fun place to visit with lots of food and drink culture which I loved!

Have you been to Austin? What was your favorite part of the city?

Twinnie gets married- an Austin, Texas wedding

Happy Tuesday! If you follow my little journey on instagram (@emhi10s), it is no secret that this has been a whirlwind of a fall for me. Two weekends ago, I finished off wedding season with a bang, by traveling to Austin, TX for my friend Sara’s wedding. Sara and I met in first communion (4th grade) and have been great friends ever since. Growing up, we were often mistaken for one another because we looked alike, and our nickname for one another has always been “twinnie”.
emnsaramiddleschool Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

Yep. 6th grade. #dembangsdoe

emnsaraolder Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

I flew to Austin on Thursday, only to have the most random encounter ever…running into my Ph.D advisor on her layover to Indonesia!  She flies all the time, so we revised a paper and drank wine together in the Delta Sky Lounge…talk about livin’ the life! It was so refreshing to see her. You forget how much your respect and rely on your mentors for advice until you are thrown out into the universe!

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Once on the plane, the work continued.  Gone are the days of catching up on celebrity gossip from trashy magazines while flying!  I spent my flight prepping for class the next week, as I knew it would be a full weekend. To the person who reclined their seat so I could barely fit my laptop on the tray, I hope karma gets you! #tallgirlprobz

plane Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

My parents also flew in Thursday night, so I met up with them after getting a quick dinner with Sara and her mom and we headed to the hotel for some shut-eye, as we had a full weekend ahead! Friday my mom and I went shopping and poked around downtown Austin, which I’ll recap tomorrow. Friday night we had the rehearsal dinner for the bridal party and families near downtown and we all had a great time getting to know one another.

rehersaldinner Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding
It was still hard for me to believe that my twinnnie was getting married!

Sara and her now husband, Miguel, decided upon a brunch wedding that would take place late morning, with the reception in the early afternoon. We then could all go back, recoup, and all meet up later and enjoy the Austin nightlife!

So 6 am, bright and early Saturday morning it was wedding day! We all got ready together and made it to the beautiful Barr Mansion, where the wedding and reception were, by the skin of our teeth!

selfiedress Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding
selfie Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

The wedding was held outside the mansion under this old, beautiful tree with a lot of greenery around.  It was so peaceful and a gorgeous venue. While putting the finishing touches before the wedding, we had fun creeping on all the arriving guests and Sara and Miguel’s first-look before the wedding. Before we knew it, it was show time!

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The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was right next door!  Sadly, I left my phone in the mansion for the majority of the day so I don’t have a lot of pictures from the reception!  However, I did manage to get a few gems and eat some damn good carrot cake. Probably the best carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life icon smile Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

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It was such a treat to have my parents be around for the weekend.  Naturally, we tried to take a family pic…and it took about 25 tries! icon smile Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

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I also loved that my close group of friends from high school– the fab five– were able to all be there.  So far, we have all been in attendance for the 3 weddings that have occured!  I may be biased, but I just am so damn proud of all of us…4 out of the 5 of us have doctorate degrees.  PhDs, Physical Therapist, Pharmacist…you name it.  And Sara, the bride, is a city official for a hugely expanding city in Texas.  OK, brag over.  I love them and I am so thrilled we have stayed friends for so long.

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A huge congrats again to my dear friends, Sara and Miguel, on your marriage.  Thanks for inviting me to be part of your day, I couldn’t have been more honored.

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And tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of the awesome eats and drinks around Austin!

Oi Ocha Shincha Green Tea Review + Giveaway!

Happy Monday!  Do I have a treat for y’all!  Today, we’re talking about one of my favorite alternatives to the good ol’ H20…green tea!

I am pretty selective in beverages.  Not a huge fan of carbonated beverages or juices, so for a long time I pretty much just drank milk and water (until I moved to Wisconsin and fell in love with craft beer muahaha).  However, as I got older, the taste of tea really grew on me and is now commonly mixed in to my beverage selections.  In grad school, my lab mates were always trying new kinds and I definitely benefited from the small caffeine boost because I’m not a huge fan of coffee.

My go-to tea has always been green tea.  I don’t eat or drink a lot of caffeine in my diet, so the small boost in caffeine has been helpful (or so I believe).  Green tea also has a high amount of antioxidants, which are beneficial in prevention of disease.

When ITO EN contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing their “Oi Ocha” bottled green tea, I was on-board immediately.  They sent me a few bottles to try and they came in handy this past week while I was short on time in the mornings and didn’t have time to brew any.

tea Oi Ocha Shincha Green Tea Review + Giveaway!

They sent me a couple bottles of their “first harvest” batch, in which the tea leaves are picked early on in the season and give the tea a  naturally sweeter flavor.  I could taste that the tea was a little sweeter than the green tea I was used to brewing and that was a bonus!  You can buy directly from their site or from amazon.

ITO EN has graciously offered to send one More Than Just Dessert reader 4 bottles of their ready-to-drink green tea. To enter, just follow the directions on the raffle copter.  Mandatory entry is to leave a blog comment indicating your favorite type of tea, and additional entry opportunities  are listed on the rafflecopter widget.  The giveaway will end Sunday evening, October 5th and is open to US residents only.  Thanks ITO EN for the opportunity to review, I loved the taste of your tea!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was sent complimentary bottles of Oi Ocha Shincha Green Tea to review, but received no compensation otherwise.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The #LJMOVE: Active Nation Day with Lorna Jane!

Happy Sunday!  More importantly, happy ACTIVE NATION DAY.  I am so happy to have had no travel plans this weekend, which has allowed me to take part in this fabulous campaign.

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Since becoming a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I’ve been learning more about the Lorna Jane company and their efforts to motivate women to become more active! In 2012, they founded Active Nation Day to get the word out about the benefits of physical activity!

Lorna Jane also has an app for your smartphone with TONS of resources, which you can download on your Apple AND Android devices.

The app has workout trackers that calculate your time, distance, and calories burned.
 The #LJMOVE: Active Nation Day with Lorna Jane!

There is also a “nourish” tab in the app with delicious recipes and information on various health topics!
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For those of you in the midwest like myself, the weather has been beautiful lately, so there is no excuse not to get out there and support Active Nation Day!

How am i planning to get active today?

Two things:

1. Bike ride to soak in the beautiful fall colors!
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2. Golfing with a coworker.

Here’s how you can get involved:


2. Show how you are participating in Active Nation Day AND take part in the #LJMOVE to win gift cards to Lorna Jane for cute active wear! Don’t forget to hashtag #LJMOVE on instagram or twitter!

3. Download the free Lorna Jane app and use those great resources to help you keep track of your fitness!

Now you tell me…how have you been getting active lately?

Disclaimer: I was selected to participate in the Lorna Jane Active Nation Day Campaign through Sweat Pink. I was not compensated monetarily, but did receive a bracelet from Lorna Jane as a reminder to keep moving! All thoughts and opinions are my own.