Coffee Chat

Who knew starting two new part-time jobs and beginning a Grey’s Anatomy Netflix binge could take up so much time?

I have graduated from trainee to full blown server.  You can catch me Wednesdays-Sunday, serving the great people of Northwest, Ohio some slightly over-priced chain restaurant food.

I have also begun to work the front desk at a gym on Monday and Tuesday evenings.  Between scanning people into the gym and making phone calls to get people who have refused to pay their bills to cough up their billing info (and being repeatedly yelled at in the process), maybe I’ll eventually get into the gym for a workout.

In the meantime, I have been re-watching seasons 6-10 studying for my ACSM personal training certification.  I’m slowly making my way through the anatomy and Kinesology chapters.  It’s a lot of review, but I am more worried about committing it to memory so I can actually use it as opposed to just learning it short-term for the test.  Which, truthfully, makes me feel super adult and painfully aware that I am not in college anymore.

Though you can take me outta college, you can’t take my college habits outta me.  In order to procrastinate studying the wondrous world of joints and how they work, I have been trying to make my room here more comfortable. I have been in the mindset of just “staying” with Mom for the time being, as opposed to actually moving back in with her.  Living in her “guest room”, using her sheets and blankets, and not moving any of my furniture into her room.

Well, yesterday, I caved.  Moved my book case into my room, put all my books on it, and even hung up a scarf/necklace hook apparatus.

Coffee Chat | Candidly Kelsey


How f’ing Pinterest am I?

It’s official.  I now live with my mother.  BRB, gotta go do my chores. (I wish I were kidding.)

xo, kelsey (2)

What is “healthy”?

I have been very aware of my health and my body for as long as I can remember.  I distinctly remember weighing myself as early as 11 years old, after giving up sweets for two months in hopes that it would help me lose weight.  At 11 years old.

Ignore how totally wrong that is, first off.

That led to more and more crash dieting, until I found books that started to teach me more about health and nutrition while in high school.  This lead me to, which was my first real experience with something that could been considered “healthy” dieting (if there is such a thing). Then from there, I started to take nutrition classes in college, and read more information on my own.

This took me to my first serious weight loss journey that began three years ago, the summer before my junior year of college.  Using My Fitness Pal, and my new found knowledge of “clean eating”, I managed to lose 30 pounds in four months.

Since then, I’ve learned quite a bit more about eating “healthy”.  And my basic conclusion is that it is so entirely confusing, that it is no wonder that people have a hard time with it.

First off, we have been programmed that all fat is horrible, and all carbohydrates are bad, and sugar should be taken in with moderation.  This makes people afraid of things like fake butter/margarine (hydrogenated oils), milk, breads, pastas, rice, and candy, but also things like avocados, eggs, plant oils, whole grain bread, and fresh fruit.  So, does this put something like an avocado on the same level as a tablespoon of margarine?  A slice of white bread = a whole grain tortilla?  Or an orange on the same level as a donut?

Now, add in different points of view, such as:

*Paleo: No dairy, no grains, no legumes (peanuts), no processed foods, no white potatoes.  Eat how our ancestors ate.  Grass-fed meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts.  The benefits of this diet have been long debated, but overall it promotes a whole foods diet.


*“Clean” eating: Not eating “chemicals” (or non-real food ingredients).  The premise is aiming for whole foods, no mystery ingredients or things you can’t pronounce.  Mostly plant based, include lean meats, whole grains, shoot for organics.   A lot of clean eaters dislike dairy as well, but it depends on your view.  Many clean eaters also stick to lower-calorie diets.

Or even,

Eating for your macros/Flexible dieting: Eating to fill specific grams of our macronutritents (“macros”), which are protein, sugar, and carbohydrates.  Specific amounts are calculated based on your specific needs, such as body mass, amount of body fat, etc, and give you a calorie count for the day.  Many subscribe to the “I can eat whatever I want” on this diet, because food is all just chemicals (scientifically speaking), so you should eat it in the ratios that your body requires, regardless of what actually makes up that food.  I.E., it doesn’t matter if you eat a donut or an apple, as long as whatever it is fits into your macronutritents for the day.

*Note, I say SOME feel this way, and do this, but not all.

Not to mention that you have vegans, vegetarians, the gluten debate, raw diets, alkaline acid diet, and much, much more.

It’s no surprise that we have an obesity epidemic with this many conflicting ideologies.  Based on all of these styles, how is someone who has very little nutritional knowledge supposed to be confident when creating a meal?

Someone wants to make chicken for dinner.  But they don’t have organic, free range chicken, so is it okay?  Then they want to add sides.  Fresh vegetables are good, but can they add real butter to it?  Or should they use the less calorie butter substitutes, but they have “chemicals”?  Then they want to add something else to the meal.  They have a frozen vegetable and rice mix that is marketed as “low fat” and “all natural” on the label, but the ingredient list has “chemicals”.  But it fits in their macro requirements for the day.  But it has dairy.  But it is brown rice and mixed vegetables.  Is it okay? Is it not okay?

These are the things I think about whenever I think about eating.  Where is the line?  Which lifestyle is right?  Is there a right diet?  What is “healthy”?  And how does including your mental status and happiness into that equation and diet style factor into what you consider to be “healthy”?

Even since losing weight three years ago, this is an idea I have fought with, and will probably continue to fight until I figure out what my definition of “healthy” is.

*Please note that these dietary lifestyles are described as I understand them, or how I’ve been taught to understand them. I have included the links to sites that I think do a decent job explaining it.  I am obviously not a doctor, nor an expert of nutrition or of these lifestyles. If you have a differing view on how these lifestyles or styles of eating are, please do not hesitate to let me know! The entire point of this blog is to illustrate how confusing this is, so I am happy to evoke a conversation about it! 🙂


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xo, kelsey (2)

July Favorites

I’ve seen a lot of Youtubers (and now: bloggers) do monthly “favorites” videos/posts where they list out things they really enjoyed during the month.  And being entirely void of my own original ideas, and also wanting to post something so I don’t leave my lovely blog lonely for two days in a row, I thought I’d jump on that band wagon.  Therefore, we have our July Favorites:

1. Cash

I recently found myself without having a wallet anymore.  Whether it was stolen, or I drunkenly absent-mindedly left it on a table at a bar restaurant in Chicago this weekend… either way, I no longer have it.  (It’s a pink Vera Bradley zippered piece o’ crap in case anyone sees the large, smelly and pilfering middle age man who has probably opened up many credit cards in my name by now carrying it around.)  That included not only my license, my school ID, but my debt and credit cards as well.

I never realized how many things in life cost money until I suddenly found myself without a means to have it on my person.  Gas?  Need money.  Food?  Need money.  New black pants for your glamorous new job as a server? Money.  Need money? Surprise! You need a debit card to remove the money from the place that was supposed to be safeguarding it for you.  And you know what you need to get a new (yet very, very limited in it’s powers) ATM card to access that money while you wait for your new debit card to come in the mail? An ID.  But guess what you need to get a new ID? MONEY.

Photo Source: Here

So yeah.  Cash.  Big, big fan.

2. Pens

(Reaaaallly had to resist the urge to add “15” to the end of “Pens” because I am actually 12 years old.)

This month I did many things that involved writing: finishing out my internship, moving all of my beloved crap from one apartment into storage, studying for my personal training exam, starting a new “Write everything down in your journal as a reminder, you disorganized f*ck” system, and of course, that lovely new job as a server.

Pencils are cheap.  The lead (graphite?) smears, or the lead (graphite?!) breaks and you don’t have a sharpener.  And if you don’t pay attention, it leaves the silver smear of defeat across the side of your hand that will eventually transfer onto your other documents, or any white item of clothing you have on.  I’m not a big fan of pencils.

Pens are strong.  Pens are mighty.  Pens are permanent and wonderful.  Pens are also basically like currency if you are in any sort of job that requires writing.  Or if you are a waitress server, as I have learned this week.  You learn to heavily rely on pens.  I like pens.  Pens.  PEN15. (I’m sorry.)

3. Red Nail Polish

Very festive.  Reds are a good look for the 4th of July, and Christmas in July.  And just overall flattering color that goes with everything.

Nothing funny. Just a fan.  I really love red nail polish. My favorite is “She’s Pampered” by Essie if you ever want to try something new.

(Insert blogger trick to entice readers to comment.)

Do you have any favorites worth sharing?  Comment below and let me know that they are!

xo, kelsey (2)

UnCork the Artist: Wine and Painting

Tonight I paid a lot of money to clumsily recreate a very stressful painting while drinking a glass of too-warm white wine that we brought to the studio ourselves.

Thankfully, however, this was after I spent a lot of money to fix the whole “I don’t have a license” thing, and the “paying for the last semester of college” thing, and then spent the afternoon of watching corporate restaurant training videos.  So obviously I was feeling at my creative best and totally ready to tackle a Van Gogh.

Even though we booked like two weeks ago, our group was split when we arrived– but whatever, I’m obviously not bitter or anything.  Somehow, my Mother and a family friend ended up at the very front of the room, the rest of our group ended up at the “emergency overflow table” by the door.  AKA, we couldn’t see the instructor, and had to rely on our own artistic intuition (LOL) and a fair amount of guessing to mimic the real picture.

So it began with a little bit of this:

UnCork the Artist | Candidly Kelsey

(Mosaic-glass (or weird blue bricks?)-like tentacles on an uneven light blue background, with special appearance by an egg yolk?)

Then progressed to a little bit of this,

UnCork the Artist | Candidly Kelsey

(At this point, I named it “Two Sea-Horsies with a Lemon”)

And then progressed even more to some of this,

UnCork the Artist | Candidly Kelsey

(Sea horsies are coming along, but are now in a mess of blue and black jellybeans?)

And then we on “Team Threshold/Team Doorway/Team Parking Lot/Team Can’t See What the F*ck Is Going On” chose to ignore the instruction of the artist who led us, and eventually it ended up like this:

 UnCork the Artist | Candidly Kelsey

(If you hold it farther away, it looks better.  It’s abstract.  Perspective.  Squinting. Whatever.)

And if you look super closely on mine (to the bottom right, next to one of the houses/purple blobs), you can see the tiny man with his tiny fire torch in his tiny hand coming to burn down the giant Spongebob’s-Pinapple-House-esque bush.

UnCork the Artist | Candidly Kelsey

Overall, not totally thrilled with this experience.  The wine and canvas equivalent in Bloomington that I went to in March was way better in terms of instruction and studio atmosphere, and I think it really affected the actual outcome of the picture.

Because clearly I am an impeccable artist and it would have been perfect otherwise. Obviously.

xo, kelsey (2)

How to: Chicago

Please enjoy this tutorial of how to take on the city (and suburbs) of Chicago.

Before you go: Plan a trip to celebrate the end of your internship (and the official end of college for you) by having a final visit with one of your best friends before she moves across the country.  Spend weeks anticipating the weekend, and then forget an important stack of clothes on your bed.  Nobody needs underwear, right?  Right.

Step 1: Accidentally drive THROUGH Chicago during rush-hour.
Bonus: Only have one anxiety attack.
Step 2: Arrive, and immediately be offered a glass of wine, eat the most delicious pizza with REAL, ENTIRE STRIPS OF BACON ON IT, and then sit outside by the fire pit with friend and her incredibly hospitable parents.

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Step 3: Take the commuter train into the city the next morning.
Bonus: Ride the train for free because the conductor forgets to check/sell tickets.
Step 4: Take stereotypical tourist pictures.

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Optional: Take somewhat confusing tourist picture. (It’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa Pose. Get it? Eh? Ehh?)

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Step 5: Stop into Water Tower Place (mall?) when your feet begin to hurt, accidentally stumble upon a wine bar while looking for a coffee shop.  Oops?

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Step 6: Return to place you are staying that evening, proceed to get ready for the Party Trolley.
Step 7: Party on said trolley, cruising the city while drinking vodka lemonades and yelling at pedestrians on street.  Don’t forget to stop and take a gorgeous picture of the skyline.

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Optional: Pick up a pedestrian who just happens to be wearing a shirt that proved he went to your college.  Don’t ask any questions when he jumps on the back of the trolley.  Just roll with it.  It’s fine.
Step 8: Exit trolley.

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Step 9: Let’s not talk about it.
Step 10: Leave city the next morning, return to suburbs.
Bonus: Leave your wallet, your favorite make up brush, and your dignity somewhere within the city.  Ask no questions, except “How do I cancel my credit cards?” and “What are the odds someone is going to steal my identity?”
Step 11: Enjoy final moments with one of your best friends before she moves many many hours away to start her big girl job.  Feel too broken from loss of pride (and license) to cry about missing her.
Step 12: Accept money from your friend’s amazingly gracious parents to help you get home.  Stop in NW Indiana to visit ex-roommate/other best friend for one day.
Step 13: Watch the Bachelorette Finale from her hot tub, and then sit around fire until 2am.  Try not to cry that college is officially over, summer is almost over, and real life is actually happening as friend discusses moving to law school.  Ignore the fact that you have no idea what you are doing with your life.
Step 14: Wake up entirely too early, and drive the last three hours home, still without wallet.
Bonus: Accidentally order $12.00 worth of fried chicken at a rest stop with precious, precious gas money.
Step 15: Shower off the last shred of embarrassment (and the chicken smell), and muster up the courage to go to a job interview.

How To: Chicago | Candidly Kelsey

Step 14: Rejoice. You are now gainfully employed as a waitress.
Step 15: Use your college diploma to soak up your tears while you go shop for black pants and non-stick shoes.  Tomorrow is the first day of training.

xo, kelsey (2)