The Good Life, Pt. 2

by Holly on March 30, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,eating out,goals,lunch,seriousness

Because you can never get enough of The Good Life, no?

Can I tell you how absolutely happy your good life comments made me? Seriously. They made me so happy in fact, I just had to add some of your ideas to mine.  Not to discriminate against anyone, but here are some of my favorite good life essentials I am officially adding to my list…

  • Matt: LOST
  • Mama Pea: hugs
  • Jamie: laying in a hammock next to a campfire that is lakeside
  • Sofia: human contact
  • Madeline: car sing-a-longs
  • Brent: hot tubbing in the snow
  • Andrea: a hike with a view
  • Anna: making a meal out of my garden
  • Kacy: watching The Ellen Show and dancing with her
  • Angharad: travel. to anywhere.
  • Evan: baking
  • Samantha: a Sunday morning spent with the New York Times and a cup of tea
  • Kailey: dancing on elevated surfaces
  • Susan: my mama
  • Maura: wine, dark chocolate & romantic comedies
  • Sarah: a slow-moving morning
  • Janetha: ice cream
  • Katie: running during a sunrise

Amen people, Amen.

Besides these lovely additions however, there were still a couple of glaring omissions on my personal list.  As I’ve discussed before, writing is a career field I am currently pursuing. Ever since I was wee girl, I’ve always had a natural knack for words.  Sentences, paragraphs and stories seem to flow out of me without any concrete explanation as to their origin.  Something deep within me just knows how I want words to fit together to create a story, an arc, a meaning and/or a narrative.

For a long time, I rejected the notion of being a writer.  Why you ask? Probably because people repeatedly told me I was a good writer. Now, that may seem counterintuitive to you all, but if you learn one thing about me, it is that I DO NOT like being told what to do. Therefore, out of pure teenage rebellion, I scoffed my Roman nose at all things having to do with letters, words and sentences.

Did I mention I am also stubborn?

However, writing is now a major component of leading “The Good Life” for me. After a tough day (*cough* today *cough*), I find release in writing.  I can vent, laugh, explore, experience, sulk, get angry, create, connect – do anything I want through the magic of 26 letters…not to mention a variety of punctuation choices. The burden of the day is suddenly lightened, I stand up a bit straighter, and everything just doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

This morning, I listened to the most beautiful talk about writing + creativity from my personal hero Elizabeth Gilbert. Actually, I’ve listened to it six times today. Yes, as in the number 6. It totally reiterated my love of writing, and the creativity I explore – NEED to explore – through this medium.

Because no matter what your passion is, you NEED to do it. Really, it’s an inherent part of leading “The Good Life.” Once upon a time, I heard the most beautiful quote (not verbatim), “We serve others best by doing what we love most.” Because when we pursue what we love, it brings us happiness.  And happiness is contagious.  If you promise to never forget that, neither will I.

I don’t really know where I was going with that rant, so here is what you really came for: THE FOOD.

Yesterday’s breakfast was an epic bowl of Banana Split Overnight Oats! I seriously gave myself an actual pat on the back for this one, because it was one of the most delicious bowls ever.  It’s a bold statement I stand by proudly.

1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. brown rice protein powder

(mix + let sit in the fridge overnight)

vanilla stevia drops
1/2 sliced banana
1/2 cup strawberries
drizzle of sunflower seed butter

I mean, come on! Look at that dollop of fudgy, chocolatey goodness…

DELICIOUS. I will be recreating tomorrow morning.  Promise.

This morning’s brekkie wasn’t so bad either…Strawberry Banana Green Monster! In a bowl, naturally…because then I can sing “It’s my smoothie in a bowl!” to the tune of J. Timberlake’s infamous SNL skit, “It’s my d!ck in a box!” Never gets old people.

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup POM juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
2 tbsp. brown rice protein powder
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup Raspberry Galaxy Granola

Going in for the $$$ shot…

In more boring food news, my eats throughout the past two days have involved some of this…

…a lil’ bit of leftover Panang Chicken (from a local Laotian restaurant) here…

…as well as some trifectas of snacks there (edamame + carrots + Multigrain Cheerios).

Remember how I said raw carrots make me nauseous? Yeah, they still do.  I eat them anyways.  Then rely on the above pictured Diet Coke + pretzels to soothe my stomach.  Hey, whatever works, right?

Just don’t pair carrots with a side of broken ballet flats…that will ruin everything, including my day today. Nausea + ruined flats = sad face.


But I’m choosing to move on.  Because you can only talk so much about pursuing your dreams, buying a new pair of flats and writing about “The Good Life” until you actually need to get out in this wild n’ crazy world and just do it. Because once you’ve lived it…

…you can come back later to write about it.

What is your passion or career goal? I would love to hear all about the wonderful, fabulous things my readers want to aspire to!


Jenna March 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Is it fair to say that I have NO idea what I want to be when I ‘grow up’? :) But for reals, I don’t. Maybe a product manager for a food company?

Matt March 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm

My goal is to get out of school in one piece!

Mama Pea March 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Now I don’t feel so bad for listening to that talk twice. Thanks again for sending it.

Did you eat your SIABP? Smoothie in a Brownie Pan. I’m not judging, that’d be a great idea.

You know my dreams, friend. Yet another thing we share (along with outta control hair today, what gives?!).

Love you!

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm

My passion is writing – I’d love to get into freelance!

Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food March 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I’m also an aspiring writer! I want to teach people about health, fitness and nutrition through my writing! I know it won’t always be easy or pay well, but I’m committed now! Thanks for the uplifting post, girl!

Lauren March 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Girl, I am so happy to see you embracing your passions. You are honestly one of those most inspiring and eccentric person I know. I love your outlook on living life to its fullest and embracing every single moment for what it is worth.

You are so amazing and I am so happy that you still find time to honor the people in your life that bring out the best in you. Truly admirable girl! :)

PS- Those oats do look like some of the best I have ever seen on your blog. Wow, so recreating this! :)

Gracie @ Girl Meets Health March 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

That last photo makes me SO happy. LOVE IT!! Clearly we’re meant to be friends ;)

My career goal in life? Hm. Good question. As a recent college grad, I should probably have an idea about that by now, huh?

I know now more than ever that I want to do something related to health and wellness. Over the years, though, that has gone from being specifically focused on nutrition/fitness to *holistic* health. The more I blog, the more I realize what my definition of health is, and I become even more passionate about it. So give me a year or 2 and I’ll have a more specific answer for ya :P

Lizzy March 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm

can i just tell you that you are amazing! :)

Kady @ Livin, Lovin, Learnin March 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

This post reminds me of a quote I read recently –
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman). I think a lot of people don’t follow their passion because the road is too difficult, they won’t make enough money, pressure from their family, etc. and then they are unhappy.

My passion is definitely health education! I am going to be a physical therapist, which is different, but overall health and wellness is dependent on a healthy body- if your body feels well and healthy, everything else is just so much better! I hope to incorporate all aspects of wellness into my PT practice.

Thanks for the reminder to appreciate the good things in life :)

Jenna March 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

my career goal is to become a nurse!
and your overnight oats look amazzzz!

Whitney @ Lettuce Love March 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I love that Elizabeth Gilbert talk, I have watched it a million times. My passion is food. No seriously, food, I can’t see a career that isn’t revolved around amazing foods. Whether it is being a personal chef, caterer, food writer, grocery shopper, restauranteur, food company owner, food is where it’s at for me.

Erica March 30, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Gotta agree with Mama Pea- hugs are pretty darn jammin. I love your passion for writing- how wonderful :) Yummy snacks. Sometimes a bag of pretzels is just the perfect snack. I love edamame too. I love healthy living & fitness (don’t we all) so my dream jobs would be doing a little of both. Obviously I teach group fitness right now so I’m hitting up one of those ;)

grace b March 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Traveling as much as possible, living somewhere warm year round (I am NOT a cold weather person at all, doing fun things, teaching horse back riding lessons part-time (and just riding as much as I can) and always challenging myself.

Tiffany March 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Sigh, those were some cute flats!

I am still trying to figure out what I want to do or what my passion is. I thought I would have it figured out by the time i was 30 but wrong. I first thought it said you got to sit down with Elizabeth Gilbert and was completely jealous at first.

PS-My sis sent my coconut M&M’s, I am now a happy girl.

maria March 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm

You can totally fix those flats, I bet!

Evan Thomas March 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I want to do something in Classics, and get paid well. That’s like impossible in academia but I’m hoping
I can relate on the not liking being told what to do. I think my only worse trait is wanting to be surprised but at the same time control everything–it doesn’t work like that

Jess March 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm

My passion definitely has to be yoga! I know that sounds very “blogger-esque” (and that’s totally not how to say it, ha) but I LOVE IT. I also want to become a physical therapist!
<3 jess

Laura March 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Finally at nearly 28 I have finally found my passion – fitness and nutrition – and now know what I want to be when I grow up – a personal trainer. Then I am going to back that up with some nutrition study and see where that leads me.

I am so going to make those overnight oats :)

Crunchy Granola Gal March 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

i think you could win some sort of awesome-award with that last photoraph. just a thought. another thought: i love this post and agree wholeheartedly: if you want something, you gotta go get it – of course this requires work, but the “go get it” part is what makes the achievement so sweet. wouldn’t you agree? :)

my career goal? haven’t quite figured it out yet, but it will involve writing + fitness + psychology. either one or all three of those things. any ideas ya got for me as to how i can infuse them all? :)

Angharad March 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Lovely, lovely post from a lovely, lovely lady! It makes me happy that writing makes you happy and that you are pursuing that love!

\For me, career-wise, who knows but I do want to shake up the nonprofit arts world like none other :) the arts make me happy.

Your oats = ridiculous and out of control. Laotian restaurant = take me there. Oh wait, you CAN because I am COMING TO MADISON!! Hells to the yeahs. Love you girl xxx

Erica March 30, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Wow, writing is to you as education is to me! Growing up, being a teacher was the career I did NOT want to have. I didn’t have a specific reason; it just didn’t appeal to me, so it was never on my wish list. Now I’m a sophomore in college and after taking a few education courses, I bashfully admit that I’m hooked. I don’t know if I want to teach forever, but I definitely want to go into the field of education (counselor? principal? superintendent? so many options!) and find myself doing an internal double-take every time I say that. It’s weird where life takes you!

I also never anticipated becoming a religion major, since from 8th grade on, my mom, sister and I opted to go to yoga class instead of church on Sunday mornings. We basically still do that whenever possible :)

janetha March 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm

that list just lit up my life! as did this post. you are so motivating. and adorable when upside down :)

Gaby March 30, 2010 at 11:16 pm

So many choices, so little time =( I´m almost out of college (just 2.5 months to go!) I just want to be happy and sucessful in what I chose to do next.

I love your pic by the way. Súper divertida

Madeline - Greens and Jeans March 30, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I heart you Holly. In other news, I’m lucky enough that I think I have found the field that I want to be in for awhile (outdoor/running/cycling gear and apparel), now I’ve just got to work my way up to the job that I want (well, when I figure that out)

Chelsea @ (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) March 31, 2010 at 5:54 am

I’m so glad you’re pursuing your lifelong goal! You most definitely have a way with words. Combined with your sense of adventure and enthusiasm, I know you can succeed in spades as a writer.

My big goal is to make it through my remaining undergrad credits and grad school in one piece. After that, knowing that I’ll be working in a field that explores a subject that absolutely fascinates me (neuroscience and psychology) is something that I’m greatly looking forward to.

Those overnight banana oats look incredible! I may just have to play oatmeal copycat once I get my hands on some fresh strawberries.

Susan March 31, 2010 at 8:44 am

LOVE. YOUR. BREAKFAST. Recreating this on the weekend.

I’m still in school, so I see my future as pretty flexible. I do know I don’t want to be behind a desk, I want to work with families, and I want my work to help others directly. I see myself in a hospital or school or something like that. I have so many passions – it’s hard to choose. Lately I’ve been contemplating a career working with new mothers of at-risk infants; teaching them how to best care for their little loves. I love babies!

Anica March 31, 2010 at 9:01 am

I would love to take over Anthony Bourdain’s job!! To be able to travel, eat, and discover new cultures would be amazing!!!

Love your blog !!

Kailey (SnackFace) March 31, 2010 at 9:11 am

I love you so much. So much.

I just got around to watching the incredible Elizabeth Gilbert speech (yesterday was also horrid over here). I think I may watch this every single morning.

Like you, writing is the most cathartic experience for me. I can go through 20 different emotions while writing, and by the end, I feel at ease. Yesterday I wrote about how singing brings me peace. The act of singing does bring me peace, but writing brings me peace, love, elation, satisfaction, connection, hope…you understand.

I’ve been asking myself what I aspire to do with my life. Why am I here? What am I meant to do? I truly believe that I am here to write and connect with others to help them feel less alone in this world. I’m here to spread positive thought and confidence. If there’s one thing I want to do with all my heart, it’s to have every single woman feel as though she can “work it” all day, every day.

And then there are the other fantasies. Hosting my own show. Having a singing career. Modeling for something other than a Cincinnati ice company. Changing the modeling industry into something that features all shapes and sizes.

There’s so much that I really need to call on my genius to help me. Can I do it all? I wish.

Wow, thanks for getting me seriously thinking this morning. CHAT please. Love you xoxooxxo

Therese March 31, 2010 at 9:21 am

1) Cut a hole in a box
2) Put your junk it that box!
3) Have her open the box….

You ARE a wonderful writer and I think it’s amazing that you’ve found something that gives you so much joy. I wish I knew what I was meant to do in this life (besides being an athletic breeder for my husband’s future football players) :) A little soul searching is in order I suppose!

Katie March 31, 2010 at 9:33 am

I love you, Holly! This has been on my mind SO MUCH lately… I think, because of many factors like the poor economy and our youth, we’re expected to settle for things we don’t really love. And in life, you SHOULD love what you do.

I’m keeping my ambition a secret for the time being, but in due time..

samantha March 31, 2010 at 9:49 am

i love! i’m so going to listen to that today.

i’m passionate about advocating for people who can’t advocate for themselves, or for changing systems that continuously discriminate against things – be it people, the environment, whatever.
what that will translate to? who knows. all i know is that i’m getting a JD and a masters in public policy so i am armed with the best tools i can be.

this is all after i travel the world, of course! (ps – can you please send your travel abroad email? i wanna look at that bad boy).

Jenny March 31, 2010 at 10:39 am

Right on right on! I often forget that my greatest contribution to this world is to do the things that I care most deeply about, rather than things that I feel I “should” do for the wrong reasons. It’s so freeing to do what you love and realized it will love you in return! I want to be a neuroscientist. There, I said it. ;)

You are a smart woman, both in your words and your choice of eats…yummmmmy! And I think that tilted buckle gives your flats a little “je ne sais quoi” n’est pas?

Happy Hump Day!!!

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) March 31, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I love your banana split oatmeal! Yum. I NEED to get some sunflower seed butter ASAP.

My passion/career goal? Hmm…professional blogger and cookie baker! :-)

Ashlei March 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Ahh, sunflower seed butter. Makes everything better :)

Those flats are so cute…I would’ve been upset if they broke too..

Sissy #1 March 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Back Up Dancer. Obv.

Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) March 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, but I know that I want food to be involved!!!!

Susan March 31, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Silly Holly, I don’t come here just for the food! Mind you, that bowl of banana split oats is most definitely welcome ;)

A-MEN! I am a HUGE believer that you should follow your dreams. I perhaps naively believe that you can be successful at anything if you are passionate about it. When I was going through my drama in my old job, my mom said to me “Do what you love and you will never have to work another day in your life.” So now I have big aspirations to write for health magazines and help women all over the world get healthy through some form of mass communication, but in the most genuine way possible. Baby-steps. Everyone I know thinks I’m crazy going from J-school to personal training. But there’s a method to my madness. I’ve got dreams and goals to achieve!! :P

Sarah (Finding My Balance) March 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm

ain’t no shame in the diet coke game. :)

life goal: learn to speak russian fluently! or at least so that i never have problems understanding what’s going on …because of the language.

i want to add my good life essential, too! learning. i really do try to learn something new every day. it makes me happy to know a little bit more about the world!!!


Adam March 31, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I hate to say it, but you are a great writer! I have only been reading your blog for about a week, but you seem to know exactly what life has to offer and you never hesitate to live it to the fullest every day! That is pretty awesome! Since i missed your post yesterday, i definitely have to add swimming in the ocean to that list! I love waves and the way they feel in the ocean especially! It may sound funny, but i feel at one with the earth when i am in any Ocean! And btw, plain edamame as a snack ROCKS.

Katie March 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Aw, thanks for the link love! Glad you agree…

Sorry for the broken shoe, that blows, especially with such cute shoes.

Aaand, this is going to sound realllly lame, but the ONLY thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life is be a wife/mom. I have a knack for nurturing and a LOT of patience. Given this, I think teaching is an acceptable stand in until I can have my own little nuggets, but it definitely isn’t the same. There is only so much love you can give to someone else’s child…

BroccoliHut March 31, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Genius idea for oats!
I aspire to be an RD, who happens to write cookbooks and health articles on the side, plus a mother of three:)

Gabriela (froyolover) March 31, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Hahahaha – terrific post, girl!
I mean… Banana Split Overnight Oats?
Hahahahaha ;)
Have an amazing week!
Brazilian XOXO´s,

Lynn @ The Actors Diet April 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

i know this post is inspired by “the good life” by kanye but i keep thinking of the one by weezer, which is a TERRIFIC song too

Maura April 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

Just saw this and it made my day that my post became part of “the list”! Woop woop. It’s the little things right?? Yesssa

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