Tuesday, March 29, 2016

10 On Tuesday: 10 Facts About Ali

Today I'm bringing you 10 facts about me, the girl behind the blog.

That's me!
1. In my mid twenties I owned a motorcycle. It was a dark dark blue Kawasaki Vulcan. I hate motorcycles but I guess #FOMO got the best of me since all of my friends were Harley riders and I wanted to tag along on poker runs on the weekends. I never drove the thing, it was too big for me, I just rode on the back.

2. Writing is a sense of therapy for me, which is why I started this blog, but I also have journals from over the last 10 years. Something about putting pen to paper and handwriting the words you are feeling is such a release for me. It's fun to go back and read through some of them, also goes to show some things never change because a lot of the entries seem to be about boys.

3. My Freshman year of high school we moved to a suburb of Milwaukee and I was really struggling. I had to meet with my counselor once a week and work with him. We would go over different reading materials and I'd have to summarize what was read. Fast forward five years and I was going to a local community college where I was tested for dyslexia. Turns out that was my struggle all along. Too bad we didn't figure that out earlier in life.

4. I love to read and I believe that learning I was dyslexic turned me on to reading. Now that I knew what to do to be able to read and comprehend a sentence at a time, I took to reading and now I'm hooked.

5. I make an unconscious sound that my mom has been pointing out lately. I think I would describe it as a slight 'humph'/'clearing throat' sound. Neither sound attractive, so we'll file that one under a quirk, because that sounds much more attractive.

6. When I was 17 I was banned from the state of Iowa for 6 months but I didn't find out for almost a year. I was driving my sister back to school at Iowa State, she was napping, we were running a little late so I put the pedal to the Honda Civic station wagons metal and got us up to 120mph. Dumb, I know. I woke my sister up and told her I think we were going to get pulled over. She looked behind and didn't see anything, then the lights appeared. He 'claims' someone called me in. Anyway, we had recently moved back to Minnesota from Wisconsin where my latest records were and they sent the notice to our old address. When I went to update my license that's when I found out about my IA ban.

7. I have a tramp stamp. When I got my tattoo I didn't know what a tramp stamp was. I wanted to get a butterfly tattoo in memory of a friend that passed away in elementary school. They did a butterfly release at her funeral and I started noticing butterflies would always be around, sit on my shoulder floating in the pool, sit on the top of my magazine laying out in the yard, etc. I don't regret the tattoo, I just wish it didn't come with the name.

8. I have a strange amazing love for all things cheese. String cheese, cheesy potatoes, cheesy alfredo sauce, nacho cheese, cheesy crackers, cheese flavored chips, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, gouda, colby jack, havarti, cream cheese, grilled cheese, the list is honestly endless.

9. I also LOVE potatoes. Ask anyone in my family and they will not deny my potato love, or the fact that I make the best potatoes no matter what kind you are looking for. Scalloped, au gratin, baked, mashed, garlic mashed, garlic mashed with bacon, roasted, toasted, grilled, fries. Cheese and potatoes man, they are soo good.

10. When I'm cooking I always have music on and throw a little dance party with my, myself and I. It's one of my favorite parts of the day. I can belt out my favorite songs and dance around my little kitchen with no worry of anyone catching me, except possibly the guy in the building next to mine. Oddly, we both keep our blinds open the same amount so I can only see him from the waist down. I've debated writing my phone number on my window. Let's hope the dance party doesn't end when I move in to the Hen House in a couple months!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top 10 Fitness Sites

Hello! Hello!

Coming at you with another Tuesday Top 10 list. As I'm starting to get back in to my pre-vacation normalcy, I thought I'd share with you my Top 10 Favorite Fitness Sites.

1. Tone It Up -  If you're a female and you spend any time searching fitspo on Instagram or Pinterest, then you've most definitely come across Karena and Katrina. Not only do they have rockin bods, they have quick, to the point, sweaty workouts. I'm a member which came with a whole lot of added benefits like their nutrition plan, tons of workout plans and access to TIU communities for members only. They're also like the best girlfriends you've always wanted!

2. Kayla Itsines - BBG - Kayla is so motivating and encouraging with her posts and the results some people have are just insane! The first time I scrolled through BBG I wasn't too concerned. Her workouts consist of two circuits of four moves each. HA! I have never been in so much pain, but that means it's working, right?! Kayla often posts special free workouts on Facebook, otherwise you can purchase her program or her app so some serious ass whooping.

3. Emily Skye - Another Aussie with an incredible bod. Emily often posts circuit workouts on her Facebook page that target certain areas and really challenge you. Almost all of her workouts can be done outside of the gym which is great, especially when you're on the go or traveling.

4. He and She Eat Clean - I first started following He and She eat Clean about 3-4 years ago. I started with their at home workout plan and then I purchased the gym workout plan when I first joined a gym a couple years ago. It's very simple to follow and focuses a lot on strength. I was never very comfortable working out with weights and machines until I started with their gym program. They also have simple yet tasty recipes they share often.

5. Lauren Gleisberg  - I first came across Lauren's workouts on Instagram and I love how she focuses on a lot of weight training. She shares a lot of workouts on IG but she also has a website that is loaded with free workouts! Lauren also does challenges which I'm a fan of because I feel like they keep you engaged and interested and really helps to build a community.

6. Shape - I've always been a big fan of SHAPE Magazine because I feel like they focus on being healthy and strong, not just skinny. They also share a lot of 'women' issue stories that I usually find interesting and fun to read.

7. Self - Self is another magazine that I enjoy, but for different reasons. I feel like it's geared toward a younger audience, but they recently collaborated with the TIU girls for a fun New Years challenge and they often have challenges of their own going on throughout the year with different workout routines and recipes.

8. Jillian Michaels - We all know Jillian from The Biggest Loser, but I really got hooked on her about 7 years ago when I knew I needed to get back in shape. When I first started working out JM's DVD 30 Day Shred was the first thing I purchased. I remember my boyfriend {at the time} and I would shove our furniture to the side and do her DVD every night after work...then he would take me to DQ and let me order a blizzard AND cheesecurds, awe, how sweet. #sabotage

9. POPsugar - I was first introduced to POPsugar when they invited me to go to an event here in Minneapolis at our weekend Farmer's Market. It was centered around health and wellness with a short yoga workout, massages, healthy treats etc. Ever since I've been following them on social media and I love the workouts they offer.

10. Pinterest - I absolutely love Pinterest for fitness inspiration, especially when I'm in a slump and can't find a workout I want to do. There are so many resources out there and a wonderful place to save workouts you do enjoy doing. Unfortunately last year my whole fitness board got erased so I'm starting over.

I hope you find some of these sites helpful, motivating, butt kicking and as inspirational as I do!

Follow my fitness journey through my IG @alifit84

Linking up with Karli at Sept. Farm
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Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Spring!

As much as I really love weekends, I think my body is preferring week days that consist of balanced meals and early bedtimes.

I had planned on having a relaxing movie night in on Friday. I picked up The Intern and Room, a block of cheese and summer sausage and was getting all settled in. Then Tinder happened and I was already bored with myself by 7:30 so I met up with a fella for a couple beers. Luckily I was selfish and picked a bar right by my apartment because it was an interesting 'date' to say the least.

Saturday morning I met a girlfriend at The Shed for a spin class. I went to The Shed a few times when I was doing ClassPass and I always liked their spin classes, it's like spinning in a club and the instructor was really interesting to listen to and kept changing up the routine.

After spin I was starving and didn't have anything planned for the rest of the day. I walked over to Amore UpTown to check out the new menu. I ordered a deliciously juicy cheeseburger and bottomless mimosas. It was a fun reward for getting up and going to the gym. The bartender kept topping off my carafe until 3:00 PM hit and I knew I needed to get home and get a nap in.

Napped I did! When I woke up I met a couple friends for dinner at Lucia's. I started with the soup and finished with the chicken. Very tasty, but I was still pretty full from my afternoon of OJ and bubbles. We walked over to a nearby brewery and then to a new-ish speakeasy. We didn't have to wait in line, in an alley, next to a dumpster, behind a bondage shop, for too long before we were let in and found a table. It's a good place for a fun cocktail or two.

Sunday morning I finally watched the movies I picked up on Friday and then went over to my parents house for some laundry and Miley time.

All-in-all, a good weekend.

Waking up today I think I might officially be out of my post vacay slump. Change of attitude? Letting the tears flow? Officially Spring? Who know's.

One more thing! I picked up another shipment of AliPaigeDeisgn shirts and sent out my first order
this morning. That made me pretty happy!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top 10 Documentaries on Netflix

Keeping up with Tuesday's top 10, here's my top 10 9 picks for best documentaries to watch on Netflix according to someone with way too much time on her hands who spends 25% of her day thinking of wine, 50% of her day thinking about food and 25% of her day thinking about what she's going to watch on Netflix when she gets home.

In no particular order, let's begin!

1. SOMM - 'Four sommeliers embark on an all-consuming course of study for the prestigeous (and nearly impossible to pass) Master Sommelier exam'. I love documentaries like this, it shows you a completely different side to sommeliers and a peak into a life not many of us know.

2. Spinning Plates - 'This gastronomic documentary profiles three distinctive restaurants based in very different locales: Chicago; Tucson, Arizona; and Baltown, Iowa'. When I finished this documentary I almost replayed it right away. I found it so interesting the contrast between different restaurants from a fine, Michelin star restaurant to a struggling Mexican restaurant to a local gem that has had to build and rebuild. Very entertaining.

3. Dear Zachary - 'Kurt Kuenne's tribute to his murdered friend, Andrew Bagby, tells the story of a child custody battle won by Bagby's ex-girlfriend and accused killer'. Always a sucker for drama and crime, this one really pulled at the heart strings.

4. For Grace - 'As chef Curtis Duffy oversees every aspect of opening his own restaurant, Grace, he recalls his turbulent childhood and difficult adult relationships'. I'll be honest, I haven't watched this one yet, but it's on my 'must watch ASAP' list. It just came to Netflix this month and I've heard amazing things.

5. Blackfish - 'This fascinating documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilkum, who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity'. If you are paying any attention to Tilkum, who's been in the news lately for falling ill, you'll want to watch this documentary. It's very eye opening and quite sad how these amazing creatures are treated. My parents never took us to Sea World, and I was always jealous of the kids who had gone. Looking back, I'm glad we didn't support this. #FreeWilly! #FreeTilkum!

6.  Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - 'Two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, document their rigorous healing path in a big to regain their health'.  If you've been around these parts for a couple of years, you'll know I wrote about this documentary and I took my own juicing challenge. It's fricking hard man! I failed, but kept trying. I just love solids too much. These guys though, they made a big impact as to how I see food.

7. Super Size Me - 'Director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as a guinea pig'. My mom took me and my sisters to see this film many years ago. We all stopped eating McDonald's and other fast food right away. Maybe I need to watch it again to get my eating back on track.

8. Bridegroom - 'This timely documentary tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone, who finds himself without marriage's legal protections when his same-sex partner dies'. Living in the times that we are in, it's heartbreaking to watch a film judge someone on who they love. Another 'pull at your heart strings' documentary, this one shares the struggle of two guys who were so in love but the beliefs of ones family kept him from even attending his partners funeral.

9. Fed Up - 'This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes of childhood obesity, which has become an ever-more serious medical issue in America'. Childhood obesity, need I say more? As someone who grew up as a rather thin child, it's hard for me to imagine kids larger than I am at 31!

I'm going to leave you with these nine because, although there are more than 10 documentaries that I've watched, some of them I don't think are worth your time, or not-as-good-repeats of some that I've shared above.

Let me know what your favorite documentaries are!

Linking up with Karli at September Farm

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Monday, March 14, 2016

My Liver's On a Break

For two whole months I had a reservation at a popular Minneapolis restaurant, Spoon & Stable. Friday was finally the big day! It was such a gorgeous day out so a few of us met on a rooftop for a quick happy hour before our early dinner started.

Spoon & Stable has been the restaurant of the year and practically impossible to get a reservation at on a weekend, especially for a group of eight. When I called to make the reservation I just said I want a Friday or Saturday night, don't care what time, but we have a group of eight. So, we got 5:30. Fine with me seeing as how our whole group didn't even arrive until close to 6:00.

I started with their specialty cocktail which was sort of like a margarita, but not. Almost everyone at the table ordered the mushroom soup which they all enjoyed. I had the crispy potatoes because Potato is my middle name and I never pass up an opportunity to eat a spud or two. They were indeed crispy and were on a creamy tomato aioli. For dinner we moved on to a red wine and I ordered the Heritage Wheat Tagliatelle, which was a veal ragu. It was tasty and very filling, but with the exceptional Spring weather we've been having I had a hard time choosing what I wanted off the menu. Portion sizes we're great as a lot of us were not able to finish our meals. We did however, have room to share dessert. Dessert with my friends usually comes in the form of bubbles, which will now be referred to as sparkles when drank at night.

After dinner we picked up a couple more bottles of sparkles and went to a friends place for some rooftop fun. There was a fire pit that we huddled around while taking in the amazing view of Minneapolis. I'll need to get back to this rooftop during daylight.

I called in a night around 11:30 since Saturday was LuckyPalooza, a St. Patrick's Day block party in St. Paul.

When we first got to the palooza it wasn't too crowded so we walked up and down the street, scoped out some tents and rooftops, a BMX-er that was doing stunts and some skateboarders and a couple live bands and DJ's. As the day went on the streets began to fill up something fierce! I think it had something to do the a 70* in early March in Minnesota. The routine of the day went a little something like this, stand in line for a beer, get beer, stand in line for bathroom and repeat. Between all the restaurants, outdoor vendors and tents, you would think lines wouldn't be so ridiculous. It was another relatively early evening since the day started a bit early and we'd been on our feet for hours. The people watching was amazing!

After all that, my body needs a rest. I've been struggling to get back in to my routine after my vacation what was a month ago already! Today marks the day of getting back to my new pre-vacay normalcy. Wish me luck.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

10 Pics Snapped Through My iPhone

Today's post is brought to you by the letter B for boredom.

It's been a hot minute since I've checked in here with what's actually going on in this crazy thing we call life.

Here are the last 10 photos I've taken on my trusty 'ol iPhone.

1. Tuesday's aren't just for taco's and tequila anymore. Tuesday's can be spent drinking a bottle of bubbly to celebrate that you actually have a chilled bottle of bubbly on hand! #winning

2-4. My cousins band Ripe wrapped up their first US tour with G Love & Special Sauce. My parents, aunt & uncle and I went to support him and his band. Check out their music, because it's pretty awesome. It's a jazz funk/pop band. My cousin plays the trombone. You would never know just how much a trombone brings to a live show!

I clearly need to learn how to wear hats better

5. Game night! This particular game you weren't allowed to look at your own cards. You had to go off clues from others and then play as a team. It was so hard not to peak!

6. Spring is most definitely in the air here in Minneapolis. So I got out of dodge and went up North for the day. There are hits of Spring there too, like seeing that the ice has been moving which means that we are just that much closer to ice off and weekends spent grilling outside and floating under the sun.

7. I've been hanging out with a friend who drinks whiskey and now I'm finding myself craving a whiskey ginger  every now and them. I don't know what's happening to me!

8. Like that shirt? I designed it and you can have one of your very own! Click right here, take a look at other designs I have and if you feel so inclined, purchase and/or share with your friends and family!

9. This beauty cooked in the oven for 5 hours and it's amazing aroma is still lingering about my apartment. I'll probably be pot roasted out when all is said and done, but damn can I cook a juicy, fall apart in your hands, melt in your mouth pot roast!

10. Proof that Spring is in the air! Deck sitting. Puppy cuddling. Wine drinking.  An absolute perfect day!

Linking up with Karli at September Farm!


Thursday, March 3, 2016


Hello! Hello!

I've had a little side project up my sleeve for some time now. It's taken some trial and error, creativity, and a lot of internal strength to push the 'just do it!' button.

I suppose that would actually be the 'order' button, but who's checking?

I've always considered myself to be a creative person. Typically a creative person who keeps her ideas between herself and pen and paper.

Having this blog has been a way for me to write and express myself through words. Now I'm bringing those words to everyone's favorite way of expressing themselves - graphic T's!

I would formally like to introduce you to AliPaige Designs!

All T's are original designs and screen printed on the softest, most comfortable shirts around.

As a Midwesterner, there are a few phrases I hear quite often, specially with Summer upon us.

Friend: Who's going to be in town this weekend?
Me: I'm going Up North

Friend: What's everyone doing this weekend?
Everyone: Going to the lake!

And a phrase I say to myself all too often in the morning.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would check out my Etsy page and share with your friends and family. I have some shirts in stock and as orders come in, more shirts will be ordered and kept in stock.

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