Coffee

A Coffee Conundrum

6:00 AM



In a busy life with a full schedule, it is easy to look for easy solutions to problems. Paper plates vs. real ones so you don't have to do dishes. Plastic bags that you can toss instead of cleaning tupperware daily. K-Cups for on the go coffee.

The world today is filled with shortcuts that meet the expectations of the "I want it, and I want it now" attitude of society. But at what cost?



In March 2015, The Atlantic posted an article with the creator of K-Cups John Sylvan which states: "Looking back on his invention, amid increasing public condemnation of K-Cups as a scourge on the planet, Sylvan told me, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”".

True enough, there are plenty of competitors out there who have created biodegradable options for pod machines. However, it still kills me in the grocery store each week to purchase an $8-$12 box of coffee pods. I needed a solution to this problem that had been bugging me, which would help me feel better about my impact on the Earth and on my bank account.



I'm up by 5:30AM on weekdays to ensure my pups each get a nice walk in, which means I need my caffeine jolt STAT. I love to take a minute with my cup of coffee and some almond milk each morning, taking a few quiet moments to myself before the day truly begins.

I'd heard and seen about reusable pods and decided to finally purchase one myself. It doesn't add much additional time to my morning routine and makes me feel a little bit better about having an extra cup if I'm feeling a bit sluggish!




With all the craziness in our world surrounding pollution and our impact on the environment, it is small steps like this that personally make me feel a little more at ease about my impact. There are plenty of other things I can do, but as of this moment I am glad I'm taking a small step with my daily coffee to limit the amount of trash I create.





As a perk, I'm also saving money! A $10 box of 12-16 K-Cups would last me 1-2 weeks, while a $6 canister of  ground coffee makes about 90 cups.

Now, to indulge in my magical cup of caffeine :D



Kind

ThanksLiving 2016

11:30 AM

One day, I may go into further detail about what prompted me to begin eating a vegetarian diet back in August 2008 and my journey since then. It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time it feels brand new. I'm by no means perfect and I never claim to be, and just as all things in life evolve, so has my vegetarianism.

In the present time of November 2016, I eat no meat and no fish. I do eat eggs (bought at local farms 80% of the time) and I eat dairy (mostly in the form of cheese - at home we drink almond milk and I love coconut milk yogurt).



I'm not alone. My older sister, Melissa, is a full-on vegan and I'm forever in awe of how she so easily forgoes that which she does not care to eat. Most recently, our youngest brother Matthew decided he also did not want to eat animals any longer. A compassionate and kind hearted child from the beginning, it is no wonder he has also chosen this path.



And so, our first family ThanksLiving was created November 24, 2016. AKA, no meat was brought, cooked, or consumed. Some people at the table may have been missing their turkey, but it made my heart happy knowing our table was filled with foods that were made from the earth and didn't include pain or suffering in their creation.



We had an array of delicious goodies and no one went hungry. I made roasted carrots and brussel sprouts. My sister made delicious mashed potatoes and my favorite vegan pumpkin pie. Mom supplied some appetizers, garlic broccoli, traditional cranberry sauce, a butternut squash dish, candied yams, baked ziti, salad, and even more! Of course, there were other desserts a plenty, like Grandma's famous cranberry pie, and we toasted with some wine and sparkling cider.


Family Portrait from ThanksLiving! 

The most delicious vegan pumpkin pie

In my life, there is so much to be thankful for. At the beginning of the month as a little exercise, I started jotting down a few of the things that make me happy in my life. It was a fun way for me to quickly remember why I should be happy, even if my day wasn't great or I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.



We may not always get everything we want in life, right when we want it. Sometimes, things happen that just plain suck! In those times, it is okay to feel sad or angry; that is just human nature. What is important is how we come back from those times. When we are done being sad and angry, we remember that there is so much to be thankful for. Focus on the things that make you happy, all the people in your life who make it rich and vibrant. Think about the obstacles you've overcome and the goals you have reached. Turn your head towards the sun and walk forward knowing you have the opportunity to make the most of this life.

Be thankful each and every day.





Adventure

Adventure Is Out There

6:00 AM

One of my favorite phrases is, "Adventure is out there."

Travel, Wanderlust, Adventure is out there
Monterosso, Italy (Cinque Terra) - May 2014


Automatically, you may think of traveling; seeing the world, journeying to far off lands and exotic climates, climbing the highest altitudes or swimming beneath crystal clear waters.



Epcot, Disney World - September 2012


Yes, adventure can mean all those things! But it doesn't have to. Whether it is a 10 minute car ride, an 8 hour flight, or an evening in your own backyard, living life as an adventure is an easy way to bring magic and happiness to your every day.



New York City - January 2011

The above photo was taken on a day where things just hadn't gone to plan. Brian and I were heading  into the city that day, as it was the 2 year anniversary of our first date. However, that morning, a series of unfortunate events occurred. We questioned if we should still take our city trip and decided not to let the negatives of life get in the way of making some memories. 

While waiting for the train into the city, an older gentleman struck up a conversation with us. While I don't remember the specifics, I do remember him telling us that he felt we were made for each other and he thought we'd have a long and happy life together. Odd words coming from a stranger, but little did he know that is just what we needed to hear. We rode into the city and had a great time wandering around in the twilight. We ate at an Irish pub, walked by the Bryant Park ice skating rink, and visited the M&M store.

Brian and I have both been to New York City numerous times. Being from NJ, we can sometimes take for granted this major city it is only a quick train, bus, ferry, or car drive away. It wasn't a particularly fancy or expensive getaway, but it was just what we needed. Sometimes the simplest adventures are the ones that end up meaning the most.

As the blog progresses, I hope to share more future adventures with you, both big and small, as well as reflect on some of the best experiences and trips I've been lucky enough to go on in my own life!

About Me

All about Alli

5:00 AM

I guess I should introduce myself a bit for those of you who don't know me, and give you a little background about some of the key players you'll hear me talk about on this blog!

I'm Alli! I'm 29 (my birthday is August 23 in case you want to send a present) and have lived in NJ my whole life. I went to Rowan University and studied Public Relations and Advertising. Currently, i'm at a job that I adore working in marketing communications. 

College Graduation - May 2010 - With Mom, Dad, brother Nicholas, littlest brother Matthew, and sister Melissa


In September 2015, my husband,Brian, and I purchased our first home together. 

Our Home - Winter 2016


We live here with our 2 dogs and 2 cats. Meet them all (in order of adoption)! 

Cosmo: 12 yrs old. Jack Russell Mix. Adopted August 2010.

Mitzi aka Fritzle aka Mitzle Fritz: 8 yrs old. Adopted March 2012.


Harlow aka Dardle aka Hardar: 4 yrs old. Adopted Dec. 2013.
Tango: 1 1/2 yrs old. Rescued August 2016 - official adoption October.


Brian and I were married on April 23, 2016 at the most amazing wedding ever!!! (In my totally unbiased opinion, ha!) 

Photo by Tami & Ryan Photography - April 23, 2016


I've been a vegetarian for over 8 years because I love animals and can't imagine partaking in the cruelty that goes into serving up meat at your local grocer. 

Enjoying some local eats in Vermont

In 2011, I started running. I chronicled some of my training from the beginning, and I've completed a ton of races since including a few runDisney races and the best of all, NYC Marathon (which you can read about here!)

NYC Marathon Finisher 2015


Last but not least, I LOVE MAGIC! From Disney Fairytales to the wonderful world created in Harry Potter by JK Rowling, I'm a true believer that you can always stay young at heart.

Magic Kingdom, Disney World - September 2012

Again, it is great to meet you and I'm excited to continue sharing the details of what makes me life so magical!

Introduction

Making Ordinary Magic

6:00 PM

Welcome to my blog, Making Ordinary Magic!

I'm excited to begin blogging again. It is definitely one of the most therapeutic ways to organize my mind as well as document fun or exciting happenings in my life.

From where I started (blogging) to what I'm beginning today, a lot has changed. I don't want to pigeon hole myself on a specific topic since I am certainly no expert in any one category. However, if there is one thing I enjoy, it is adding a bit of magic to the perfectly ordinary.

Everyone is different. We have all taken unique paths in our lives that have brought us to this moment. Life is made of happy memories, trying times, accomplishments, failures, and tragedies that have shaped us as individuals.  It is all those pieces, the mixture of good and bad, and how you face them, that brings magic into your life. Sometimes, it just takes putting forth a bit of effort to ensure the magic shines through.

Where do I find magic in my life?

For all intents and purposes, my life is pretty ordinary and I am thankful for that. I'm the status quo for a young, American woman and I can't complain. But I also don't want to become complacent.

"It is the working man who is the happy manIt is the idle man who is the miserable man."

I don't mind working for my happiness and I am aware that it takes more than sitting around, waiting for good things to happen to you, to be happy. Over the last 29 years, I've found there are certain people/places/hobbies/things that provide me the magic that makes me a happier person.

Here are some of the things that bring magic to my life:

Relationships
Pets
Travel
Career
Running
Living Kindly

I'll get more in depth on these topics with each post... but now you know a little bit more about what you're getting into if you plan on keeping up with my blog!


*Before you go, I've left two links on the right side of this page.

Instagram: @doyoudisney

This is my "Disney" Instagram account. Obviously, my life would be a lot less magical if I didn't incorporate a little Disney into my life! There will be some Disney/Harry Potter stuff sprinkled throughout my blog since it really does play a big part of my life, so if you'd like to take a look at my magical little Instagram page, great! If Disney isn't really your thing, I get it! And I promise it isn't the only thing that makes my life full of magic!! 

Pinterest

I'm just getting starting on my Making Ordinary Magic Pinterest board, but I hope to create a little inspiration there! Feel free to follow my boards!


Hooray! I'm excited to begin this journey with you!