29 October 2016

Books, Mexican Monday's, & More Books! {Friday Quick Takes}

Linking up with Kelly again, because Friday! :)

Mexican Monday's!!!
My parents and I have started a new tradition we try and stick to on Monday night; meeting up for Mexican food. There is a local chain that has a restaurant right by there house and another near my apartment. This week, they helped me haul over my very comfy arm chair and afterwards we met up for some margarita's and tacos.
Mexican Monday's are little way to spice up the start of the week:)

Still holding out on turning on the heat in my apartment! I am hoping to see if I can get rough November. The lady below me is 90 some years old and I am banking on the fact she will probably have her heat on longer. Then of course heat rises, so I am riding that train as long as I can :) #perksofupperlevel

Yesterday we had rehearsal for Confirmation on Sunday and then a vicariate event at a nearby farm for  HS teens. I love me some cider, s'mores, corn maze, and dancing in an old barn. Nothing like good, wholesome autumnal fun!

Last Friday in the midst of laundry and dusting, I decided to be spontaneous and go to Awaken. It is a local ministry in our diocese done monthly. They have confessions, great preaching, lively worship, and Eucharistic Adoration. I had never been before but I was amazed how packed the church was. Even though traffic was nuts and it took almost an hour to get there, glad I put off the rest of my chores and go spend an evening with Jesus :)

Thursday morning before work I went for a run and almost got hit by a car. I always run and sidewalks and am pretty aware of my surroundings.
I waited for the crossing signal at intersection, did a quick double take, and right as I started to run across, this car came speeding through a right hand turn. He obviously didn't see me because I was following the traffic signal. 
Looks like my Guardian Angel won't be out of a job anytime soon!

I just finished this book I "borrowed" from my Mom. Super good and really interesting to get an inside look at the different First Ladies of our country.
Picked up my latest stash of new library books this week. Excited to get through these in the coming week:

While my relationship to food has improved over the years (thank you Weight Watchers) I still easily can fall back into old, unhealthy habits. Over the last week, I have put up signs around my apartment to help me check-in to see if I am really hungry.
5 words are helping me stay in check more.

Thankfully, I'm not quite that Buddy the Elf level.

Enjoy the autumnal weather over the weekend :)

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26 October 2016

5 Words Improving My Relationship to Food

I like food. Like many folks, sometimes I use it in unhealthy ways like to numb emotions or celebrate something good in my life. 

Mindless eating is something I have noticed myself doing more in the last few months as I have started to live on my own. My weight has been up a bit, nothing huge, but more noticeable is how I feel when I acknowledge my relationship with food feels off.

So last Monday after my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, I decided to do something to help me stay more focused and accountable in the coming week.

I came home and drew up two signs, one for the fridge and one on the cupboard that holds most of the snack items.
The notes said: "Am I really even hungry? Food is my Fuel."

Am I really even hungry? 
Yup, 5 simple little words. 

Forcing myself to at least ask the question before I sit down with peanut butter and crackers for an evening catches me, and makes me think.
Asking if your body really is hungry can bring awareness to the times and reasons why you eat mindlessly. 

I've started noticing more that if a show has a lot of food scenes or eating, I'll find myself thinking I "need" a snack; like the snack almost helps me enjoy the show more or something which is not true. I also have a history of mindlessly eating when there are unprocessed, big feelings swimming around; so that's a red flag I need to stop, journal, and get the emotional vomit out of my mind.

Getting more into running, I also enjoy looking at food from the perspective that food is fuel for my body, like gasoline to a car. The right fuel helps me feel good about myself and uses my body to its highest potential. Crashing on sea salt granola bars with peanut butter or mindless eating doesn't help me fuel my body properly.

Sketch up some notes on brightly colored paper. Use sharpie markers if that's you thing. Set some reminders for yourself to help you check in with yourself to see if you're eating because you're hungry or maybe "just because."

You can do hard things. Whether its re-aligning your own relationship to food or starting to exercise regularly. 

All good things in life take hard work and focus.

You can do this :)
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21 October 2016

The Crazy Things People do for Chocolate Milk & Bananas

Linking up with Kelly again for a round of Friday Quick Takes...

It is a joke at races that you get a free bag of snacks after crossing and getting your medal. Sure I'll run fast and furious for a free banana and chocolate milk!
So glad I did it :)

Already mentally talking myself into a full marathon for next fall and I am thinking of joining a running group to help with the training in the new year.

One of the best things about races are all the people that come out to cheer runners on, but even better are the hysterical (and sometimes inappropriate signs) people make and bring.

Some personal favorites from this race?

- All toenails go to Heaven!
-If Trump can run, so can you! (saw this one lot in Windsor!)
-Run Now, Poop Later! (Sorry Mom, my personal favorite)
-May all the porta potty lines be short and non-smelly
-Smile if you're not wearing underwear!
-Don't forget you paid to do this!

Nothing like a good laugh to keep your energy up and focused ;)

As I neared the finish line, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I can do hard things. We all can do hard things we never thought possible. Those 5 words have come to be the perfect mantra when the going gets tough.

I'm crazy into time tracking my life right now and creating a strong morning ritual. These two books are game changing for me. I'm amazed at how logging my time is just showing me how much time I can waste away. 


I'm kinda a nut when it comes to following podcasts. I have favorites I love and love looking for new ones to check out.
A new one I just discovered is The New Activist . They are connected with International Justice Mission whose passion is to end slavery in our lifetime.
Check it out!

I'm new-ish to drinking coffee (since last March). While my favorite is a good latte, I'm realizing a good coffee machine of espresso maker may be worth the time. I love Earl Grey tea but this morning two cups later and I was still dragging...

Any suggestions on good brands you like for coffee machines, espresso maker, and/or favorite brand of coffee?!


Next Sunday is the Confirmation liturgy at our church. One of the smaller projects of my work week was creating some type of signage for the Archbishop to know where to park. The sign is complete with a stick-on miter and crozier on red paper. Hopefully he doesn't miss it ;-)

Happy weekend-ing! :)

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20 October 2016

Read, Watch, Listen, Follow

One of my favorite podcasts has a feature where every so often the ladies share what they are reading, watching, listening, and following.

I'm always on the hunt for new running music or book ideas to add to my reading list. So I thought it would be fun to share and maybe get some ideas from you too.


New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton: Essential Writings 

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard


Honestly. Just re-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Pre-gaming for November 25th.

I need some new suggestions of worthy watching on Netflix. Suggestions? I'm all ears.


Right before my race, I decided to treat myself to a few new tunes to spice up my running playlist.

American Authors -Believer

Coldplay -Sky Full of Stars I listened to this as I ran across the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor. Kinda fun with watching the sunrise as a backdrop:)


Upside Down podcast

My friend Shannon started this new podcast with three other girlfriends. It has this cozy feeling like I'm sitting down for coffee with all of them, and they have interesting topics all focused on life, faith, and culture. Good stuff!

And you?!

What would yours be?

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17 October 2016

You Can Do Hard Things.

The hardest things in life sometimes are the best teachers.

Yesterday I finished my 3rd half marathon. 

It was the second time I ran this particular race, last year was my first time. My time didn't improve by much, but my pace was steady and consistent the entire time. Heck the last 3 miles, I felt great and finished feeling more energized than exhausted!
So much so, I know next year I am going to run the full marathon...because I can do hard things.

The last few miles of races I use as a time to just reflect on life over the past year and count my gratefuls. I started thinking about all the many times in my life I have told myself I can't do certain things. Those times I have talked myself out of something because I thought it was "too hard." 

In that final mile, I started repeating to myself, "You can do hard things, you can do hard things." As I approached that finish line, those words just rolled around in my mind so much so I started tearing up as finished. Those 5 little words mean a lot to me.

Yes, YOU can do hard things. You don't need to run away from the hard things.

Stop telling yourself the lie of "I Can't" or "Its Too Hard." Replace it with the life-changing truth of "I Can Do Hard Things." And when you start to believe that in your core, an amazing transformation starts in your soul. You begin to undo all those self-imposed lies. 

I have told myself (and too often believed) so many lies over the years; lies that have held me back emotionally and spiritually. I told myself I couldn't live on my own and take care of myself financially. I told myself it would be too painful or scary to start a new life on my own. I told myself I was not fit enough to run. I told myself it would always hurt, that the pain and sadness would follow me forever. I told myself I won't survive this or will not being able to trust again.

We all tell ourselves lies. Yours are probably different than mine. The lies we tell ourselves are only true if choose to believe them. The choice is up to us.

I am doing hard things I never would have imagined. But that's the beautiful part because the hard things are transforming and shaping me into a stronger, more refined woman. I am done lying to myself, I've wasted too much time on it. 

Stop lying to yourself. 

You can do hard things.

Neve say never.

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12 October 2016

A Lazy Girl's Guide to a Better Morning Routine

I am a book junkie when it comes to all things organization and/or time management. I also am a morning person. Like that annoying person who wakes up bright eyed-bushy tailed singing (yes singing) ... like a Pop-Tart popping out of the toaster. 

So a book on working towards a better morning routine is my jam.

For the longest time, I've been waiting to read What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast from the library. While the title eludes to where the author is going, I'm amazed how a meaningful and structured morning routine is becoming a game changer for me how I start and look at the coming day.

One of the biggest things was tracking my time in the mornings from wake-up to when I leave for work for several weeks. And sure enough, the findings were an education for me in terms of time wasted and priorities.

So from a girl who loves a good morning routine, here's some things I am finding helpful to save time in the morning.

Track your Time
Simple enough, right? But seriously just tracking your mornings for two weeks could open your eyes.  I started seeing a big part of not getting done what mattered most (exercise, prayer, stillness) was because I wasted time on things that didn't really matter. Which for me boiled down to lack of planning.

Just track your mornings for two weeks. It could really open your eyes. I know it has for me!

Plan Your Wardrobe Weekly
First off I'll say I don't do the entire week, but I have started taking 30-40 minutes every week to plan at least 3-5 days of outfits for the coming week. Its funny how something like that can really save time for me in the morning. 
Plus this helps me use the clothes I have, and have a better handle on what I'm not wearing at all.

Arrange the outfits separately on hangers in your closet so you can just grab and go. The payoff with a bit of planning here is worth it!

Dry Shampoo Before Bed
I used to be in the camp of daily hair washing. And then 5 years ago I discovered dry shampoo. #gamechanger. While I believe in daily showers, I only wash my hair now 2 or 3 times a week.

If you a dry shampoo-er you probably put it on in the morning and then spend a few minutes rubbing it in and brushing before you leave, right? I've started putting in the dry shampoo at night right before I go to bed. It gives your hair plenty of time to soak up any greasiness and the moving around in your sleep can help work it in more, which leads to time saved in the morning.

Sleep with towel under your head, or your pillow will look like it got snowed on in the middle of the night.

Sleep in Workout Clothes
Since I began running, I was quickly amazed how starting my day with the planned run was one of the best ways to jumpstart my attitude for the day. Besides coffee and prayer, its like turbo charging my batteries for the coming day.

Sleeping in my workout clothes is a small way to help beat any excuses when the alarm rings come morning.

Know What is Most Important for You
Really knowing what is most important in a healthy morning for you, what matters most can help you eliminate what is just mindless, white noise. Naming those non-negotiables will help you build a morning routine around them.

For me, I'm learning what matters most is 15 minutes of silence, Bible reading, exercise, enjoying a cup of earl grey tea, and maybe some light reading (if there is time). Now of course I don't do them all every morning. But knowing what is most important is focusing me to do those things before anything else in the morning.

If you're on the hunt for a guide to a better morning routine, might I suggest this and that book as options?

Any other morning people out there? What tricks do you use to make your mornings go smoothly?

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08 October 2016

On Learning to be Alone

This is the first time I have ever lived on my own.

Before I married, I went to college in my hometown and lived with my parents. While I did the responsible adult-ing thing fairly well, I never experienced or had practice living on my own.

Fast forward to the present where present life circumstances are not what I expected to be at 31 years. But somehow even on the rough, sad days one of the greatest lessons I am learning right now is how to be alone.

Right before I moved into my new apartment, I told God I wanted to use this time well and not run away from the pain or loneliness I know that will come from time to time. I am constantly asking God to teach me how to be alone, how to turn my sadness or big feelings as a sacrifice of love and trust to Him.

Slowly and deep down inside me, the solitude of loneliness is re-making me into something new. I am learning that unless I learn to be alone, no other relationship will fill that void. Learning to be alone actually can make us stronger and healthier to be in stronger, more life-giving relationships.

Loneliness is not a bad thing, it can actually be a lesson used to teach us something if we allow it. Most of the time (at least in my life) I would run away from loneliness. I would use money, food, clothes, or wanting the "perfect guy" to fill that lonely void inside me. That never ever works.

And when I was married, I came to see that even in a relationship such as marriage a person can still be very, very lonely. Right now in life, I am learning to be lonely. And that's not a bad thing.

Sometimes it still feels weird coming home to a dark apartment and no one is waiting to hug me or ask how my day went. Sometimes I still have days where the tears catch me off guard and the sadness can take my breath away.

But as each day passes, it gets easier. 

I am learning to use my loneliness. It is a small, little sacrifice I can give to Jesus as a sign of trusting Him when I don't fully understand it all.

I am learning to allow my loneliness transform me from the inside out. I am quicker to pull out my journal and get all my emotional vomit out on the paper rather than numbing it with Netflix or spoonfuls of peanut butter with chocolate chips.

The solitude of loneliness is my classroom right now. So I am just showing up, sitting in the desk, and leaving the rest of it up to God. Running away won't change reality. 
But showing up and facing pain head on, can be the radical difference between thriving and just surviving.

How have you faced loneliness in your own life? 
What about facing loneliness (or other emotions) feels scary sometimes?

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07 October 2016

Friday Quick Takes on Coffee, Running, & Gilbert Blythe

It has been ages and ages since I've linked up for the Friday Quick Takes with Kelly and Co. 
Happy to be back:)

Seven Quick Takes

A week from Sunday is the Detroit Half Marathon and my 3rd race! I'm SUPER excited. Running has slowly become a big part of my life and personal healing over the last two years. I am seriously toying with running the full Detroit Marathon next fall, we'll see but I've got time to ponder that some more ;)
Image result for the office running gifs
So far, the weather for October 16th is supposed to be a gorgeous, sunny day! #pleaseandthankyoujesus

Tonight the Archdiocese of Detroit is having a Mass of Pardon. It is in repentance and acknowledgment of past sins committed by the Catholic Church and is in preparation of the diocesan Synod we've been preparing for over two years! 

This video explains what Southeastern Michigan is praying and moving towards...will you pray for us too?

I'm really, really looking forward to attending tonight. I think a HUGE part of moving forward in healing and unity, we as church need to name past and present sins committed. #comeholyspirit

Maybe you saw on Wednesday the Gilmore Girls craze taking over local coffee shops around the country??
In prep for the Netflix revival series of Gilmore Girls, coffee shops turned into Luke's Diner (the famous diner/coffee shop on the show) for a morning promising free coffee + nostalgic vibes.

A 5am wake-up call and my Mom, a friend, and I drove to downtown Detroit to share in the fun:) The coffee was great, and company even better.

In the next week or so, I am getting another tattoo! Its gonna be on the inside of my right arm, high enough I can cover but not too big either.

It will read, "You are enough." It comes from a quote by St. Francis of Assisi: "Oh God, You are enough for me."

Those words have become one of my mantras over the last year. To me it means, God alone has to be enough and nothing (or no other person can satisfy me like Him). It also means I am enough. Me Patty I am enough the way I am, I don't need to change or become something I am not.

My sweet friend Sarah  recently invited me to become a blog contributor to The Living Person.  They have a great mission and outreach to Catholic young adult and I am excited for another opportunity to do more writing in my free time.

I am late to the Anne Shirley party. One of my favorite podcasts Fountains of Carrots the two hosts Haley & Christy have a deep love for Anne of Green Gables. So after a recent episode, I decided to start the book and movie series. I into book three and already finished the DVD series, gotta love free week rentals from the library.

I am LOVING it. In different ways, I see parts of me in the main character Anne. 
Also Gilbert Blythe? Strikingly handsome, kind, loyal, and all wonderful mushy things in a beautiful love story.
Image result for anne shirley and gilbert blythe

Can you say a prayer for me? On Monday evening, I'm giving a talk to some young women on how to thrive (not just survive) through pain in life. Its the first time I am really sharing and reflecting on the healing work God has done in the pain in my own life and I just hope it bless and touch their hearts.

Have a great weekend and be sure to check out other post's too!

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