Category Archives: Travel

Noshing on the Go



Traveling can be a death sentence for someone who is OCD about planning their meals. But since we all know I don’t plan my meals very often, I am usually ok with it. This doesn’t mean I’m not super picky, I just find something I like wherever I go. It’s all about balance and finding something that works, even if it’s not ideal. I normally have rather long flights, so I always stock up on some mixed nuts or trail mix beforehand. No one wants to be hangry on a long flight!



[easy fruit smoothie for breakfast on the go]


[blogging during my layover]

trail mix

[simple plane snacks]


[It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas-- in Ohio]


Truthfully, I’ve never done a typical “day in the life of” post because every day is different for me. That’s the joy of being a student and working odd jobs, a routine is hard to come by. But just because airports and traveling are so fun around the holidays, here is a look at how my Tuesday went. You could consider it more of a “What I Ate on Tuesday While I Was Jet Setting” for this week’s version of What I Ate Wednesday


(*disclaimer: individual results may vary. In fact, this was one of the easiest travel days I’ve ever experienced. The airports were staffed accordingly for the holidays- much appreciated!)


  • 6:30 a.m. (MST)- Alarm, immediately press snooze


  • 6:47 a.m.- Still laying in bed, hitting snooze/ignoring my alarm. Eventually get up…


  • 7:05 a.m. - Hop out of the shower


  • 7:10 a.m.- Frantically finish packing since I had serious lack of motivation to do it Monday night


  • 7:30 a.m.- Walk dog, make smoothie for breakfast (obviously, not at the same time)


  • 7:50 a.m.- Out the door, sit in rush hour traffic to get to the airport (similar to the opening scene from Office Space)


  • 8:30 a.m.- Arrive at airport, wait in longest (yet fastest) line to check bag


  • 8:40 a.m.- Get through security faster than I ever have (I was the only one in my lane), proceed to those random little newsstands to stock up on trail mix and water for the plane


  • 9:35 a.m.- Board aircraft


  • 9:55 a.m.- Sit on runway for a while so the pilot can “reset the computer” due to the “minor computer glitch” …yikes!


  • 10:05 a.m.- Fight finally takes off, yay! Proceed to snack on trail mix and read magazines


  • 1:30 p.m. (CST)- land in Texas, hangout for a while during my layover (catch up on blog reading, grab a Mediterranean veggie wrap in the airport for lunch)


  • 3:25 p.m.- Hit up Starbucks before the flight (tall nonfat latte please)


  • 3:45 p.m.- Board flight from Houston to ClevelandI’m the lucky passenger with a child screaming at the top of his lungs sitting in front of me.


  • 3:46 p.m.- Take advil (see above)


  • 4:00 p.m.- Wheels up for the second time, Ohio here I come. Proceed to spend 2.5 hours on the flight organizing my iPhoto (all while snacking on trail mix, of course). Such a relief to get that under control, it was chaotic before.


  • 7:30 p.m (EST)- Arrive in the snow!


  • 8:30 p.m.- Eat mom’s Christmas cookies (it’s been a long day)


  • 9:00 p.m.- Proceed to spend the rest of the night wrapped in a blanket.



Are you traveling this holiday season? What are your favorite healthy travel snacks?

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Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

[A little in flight reading]

[back in the buckeye state]

[bridesmaids at the rehearsal dinner]

[right before the ceremony--with a sassy bridal photo bomb]


Oh hey there, remember me? I took an unintentional blog break this weekend since I was traveling. I had so much fun at the wedding and now I am scrambling to get back on track with school work. And I’m not going to lie, I am completely worn out.  I promise I am not ignoring you, I still read every single comment and love each and every one of them! I just might not be able to get to my computer to relax and post my thoughts that day. I have my first major test of the semester on Thursday and that is my main priority right now.

We had a wonderful (but brief) visit to Cincinnati this past weekend for the wedding of one of my closest friends from college. It was a great experience for me now that I am planning a wedding and was able to see many of the “behind-the-scenes” moments as a bridesmaid. Molly looked absolutely beautiful, the weather was perfect, and everyone had a great time!


[the newlyweds]

 [with the bride--heading to the reception]

[adorable chevron straws at the reception]

Orange County Eats

 [mandatory morning coffee]

[california veggie omelet @ madison square & garden cafe]

[the largest veggie burger I have ever encountered @ Nicks- it's still healthy, right?]

[grapefruit & beet salad @ pdm]

love love love trying new restaurants when I’m on vacation. As you can imagine, orange county has so many amazing places. We had a hard time deciding if we wanted to try new places, or eat at places we know and love. We both agreed to try new places when possible and we found some great spots.

The first morning we were there we decided to go to  Madison Square & Garden Cafe for breakfast because it was dog friendly and within walking distance of our hotel.

Thursday evening we went to Nick’s, a popular spot in downtown Laguna. This was easily one of the best meals of my life. If you ever get the opportunity to go there you will not regret it, the food was incredible. It’s always very crowded, so I would recommend making reservations or trying to go early but it is worth the wait.

In between our adventures on Friday we stopped at PDM Bakery & Cafe for a quick salad. It gave me enough sustenance to get me through paddle boarding.

After our engagement on Friday we went to celebrate with breakfast in the morning on Saturday. We ventured down to Dana Point to a popular joint called Stacks Pancake House. I told Greg to not hold back and order whatever he wanted since we had a reason to celebrate. I ordered a Greek omelet and he took my advice a little too literally when he ordered the chicken & waffles. Sigh. Boys…

We finished off our celebratory engagement vacation with a delicious seafood dinner overlooking the Newport harbor at the Rusty Pelican. Don’t let the name fool you, this place had amazing views and incredible food! There was no better way to end such a wonderful weekend.

[my celebratory greek omelet at stack's]

[greg's celebratory chicken, bacon & waffles at stack's]

[blackened catfish with tropical fruit salsa & jasmine rice @ rusty pelican]

[warm chocolate torte for dessert @ rusty pelican]

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While in Laguna

One of the reasons I’ve fallen in love with Laguna Beach is because of the casual laid-back atmosphere. It feels more like a vacation town than just a city in Southern California next to a beach.

We stayed at a charming inn along the Pacific Coast Highway that was within walking distance to Heisler Park and the Main Beach in Laguna. It quickly became a routine to walk down to the beach every morning and evening with Dexter. Dogs are only allowed on the beaches in Laguna before 9 am and after 6 pm in the summer. This forced us to get up early and go for a stroll. Thankfully, we also had a Starbucks within walking distance as well.

Laguna is known for its art festivals and has an abundance of art galleries. Sadly, I didn’t get to any again this year but it was still fun to walk by art studios and look at paintings through the windows. If you didn’t already know, art has always been one of my passions. (Hence the name “Illustrated” Nutrition)

It was so nice to spend time relaxing without an itenerary. We enjoyed walking everywhere, trying new restaurants, and relaxing on the beach. Perfect vacation.

I Said Yes

I’m back! This weekend we ventured back to Southern California for a mini vacation. It was such a remarkable and unforgettable trip. I am planning on doing a more thorough recap of our trip, but I will begin with a recap of Friday.

The secret is out already but in case you missed it….

Greg and I are engaged!

Laguna Beach has become one of my favorite vacation spots over the past few years. Greg knows how much I love it there (and the beach in general) and knew it would be the perfect spot. I was completely caught off guard and had no idea it was coming.

The day started out by walking around one of the beautiful outdoor shopping centers in Newport Beach, which is just north of Laguna. Since we happened to be right around the corner, we stopped at Sprinkles Ice Cream. Greg really knows the way to my heart!

[salty carmel ice cream in a red velvet cone- in case you were wondering]

We had a really fun and carefree day which makes it even more memorable. We went paddle boarding (for the first time) on the Newport harbor. If you’ve never done it before, you should jump at the opportunity to go! It was a lot easier than I thought and it was really therapeutic.

[paddle boarding in the Balboa peninsula in Newport Beach]

After paddling around the harbor all afternoon we went to a fresh local Italian restaurant in Laguna. California is very dog friendly and we took Dexter to dinner with us. He loves to be out with us and people watch.

[kale pizza & chardonnay]

We stayed at a really charming inn in Laguna and the owners displayed constant generosity and hospitality toward us for the entire duration of our stay. They invited us to an Elvis party at the hotel pool on Friday evening. This is an annual party for them and we had a blast talking and having drinks with the locals who know Laguna best.

After mingling around the party for a bit we decided to go down to the beach for a walk. This was nothing out of the ordinary for us since we had been doing this every night since we arrived as a last stitch effort to wear the dog out before bed.

When we got down to the beach he popped the question in a secluded area with no one around except us. It was shocked. Before I said yes, I said a few things along the lines of “Is this a joke?” and “Are you completely serious?” before it finally sank in and I said yes!

The next night we celebrated with a fresh seafood dinner on our last night in the OC. We had a relaxing dinner overlooking the Newport harbor.


We are both beyond ecstatic right now and cannot wait to start planning!