Soup Sunday!

Carrot_tomato_coconut_soup_4“Soup Sunday” returns! I love our little winter ritual. We’ve already made so many good ones.

Tonight I returned from my first Young Living essential oils gathering to find all the yummy and healthy ingredients already prepped. Mikey chose Carrot, Tomato, and Coconut from GKS. It looks like it is going to be delicious…paired with a French baguette, the AMA Awards, and (hopefully) a little essential oil massage. ;)


What is your favorite winter soup?

xo dina

P.S. I’m excited to start using essential oils. I’ve been wanting to get them for some time now. More to come…and thanks Carrie!

P.P.S. Mike just gave me a taste of the corn ceviche garnish for the dish. Wow.

Shout out to Shari!

What-Eat-Before-Indoor-CyclingThe nights are darker and the evening chill is settling in, which means it is time to sweat it out indoors at Evolve Duluth again.

I love Evolve and huge bonus this season: my girlfriend Shari is instructing (I mean rocking) the Tuesday/Thursday spin class. I knew she would do great, but oh my…you’re killing it girl!

I can’t decide which is more amazing…the workout or the playlist. And she incorporates a lot of mindfulness, focus and intention. Love, love, love.

You Duluthians should join me! But sign up early– her classes were packed every night this week. Woo hoo! I’m so proud of you Shari.

xo dina

{Image courtesy of Popsugar Fitness.}

The power of connection

I don’t have class today! This is one of two Saturdays free this semester. I submitted two papers this morning and I don’t plan to do any homework today. I am thoroughly enjoying my studies. I haven’t even come close to dreading the work or the sacrifice of time, especially weekends.

Today, Mike and I are going to do a ton of house stuff and more. Things are coming together. Sometimes it is hard to believe that it has been about 7 months since the fire. Wow.

Dillon is flying in tonight to play but also help us work. I get lots of time with my dopamine buddies this weekend!

Dopamine buddies? Yes…Mikey, Dillon and Sola are my dopamine buddies. And the runs and swims I’m partaking in this weekend are my dopamine activities!

Last week I had the privilege of spending time with Dr. Judith Jordan. St. Scholastica welcomed the Director of the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley College and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is one of the founders of Relational Cultural Theory (RCT), which posits that people grow through and towards relationships. It stresses the importance of connection and real empathy for people and everything living. So when I am engaging in relationship with Mike, or a girlfriend, or running the trails on my lunch break, my dopamine levels are increasing and I am experiencing calm, happiness and health. Something we all need. Truly need. In fact, we are hard wired for this connection–since birth.

I could go on and on but I think you get the gist of it. We have been learning a lot about RCT in class and I am excited to go to Wellesley next fall to learn even more.

How do you get your dopamine?

Here is a great vid on empathy vs. sympathy from Dr. Brené Brown (love). And another fun one that includes strangers in a ball pit. When I write a post it is sort of like sharing a ball pit with you. (Especially when you “talk” back.) Thanks for sticking with me…dopamine buddy. :)

The power of connection.

xo dina

Update: Eek! This book and this book just arrived in the mail. “Day off, day off, day off…” Ha ha. But I can’t wait to read them.

{Images courtesy of jaclyn lauren.}

Cooking with the New York Times

1a3fac347a50ee455804175e42963f33Lately, Michael has been the master chef full time. I don’t think I’m even at sous chef status…my nose is usually stuck in a book.

I am so lucky.

The master chef discovered a new site from the Times. Last night he made the Warm Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese. (Mmm, lentils– always a direct shot straight to this heart.)

It was super quick, healthy and delicious. In fact, we are warming up the leftovers tonight and pairing with grilled tuna steaks and asparagus. I bet the flavors have infused even more. I can’t wait.

I like the way the Cooking site is organized…lots of photos and a simple recipe box for storing. Epicurious may take a back seat for a bit.

xo dina

{Image courtesy of Design Love Fest.}

Milk Stout Nitro

milk stoutProcrastinating for a few minutes before starting my last paper of the week. And what’s on my mind?


When I finish this paper I plan to treat myself to a yummy Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Co….with peanuts….salted in the shell. Mmm.

Dillon introduced us to Milk Stout on our trip to Colorado in August. Oh my. It is so creamy and chocolatey and…well…just divine. I was so excited to find it in Duluth when we got home. I snag a 6-pack at Mount Royal Bottle Shoppe when I miss my Amy girl. (That is today, friend. Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.)

I have a new appreciation for stouts this fall. I love the lightness of them. They look heavy, but really they are usually quite light…in calories too!

I also had a good oatmeal stout at The Brewhouse last weekend. Well done too!

If you like beer, give the Milk Stout a whirl. Oh! And serve in a glass and read the serving instructions on the bottle before you drink…you must to turn it upside down and pour hard! Trust me.

xo dina