Pleasantly Piquant



My Healthy Journey: Putting Self-Care First

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to re-evaluate and set new healthy goals. For me, that always means trying to refocus on self-care.

As those of you following along know, I always have a hard time prioritizing the little things. So far, I have 3 big self-care goals that help with that for 2017.

Get Organized for Self-Care

Planning in Writing

I always have a planner for scheduling our company’s social media because I like to have it in writing. But this year, I took it a step further and bought myself a Passion Planner.

If you haven’t heard of Passion Planner, it combines a lot of things, like keeping a bullet journal, setting goals, imagining your future, and reminders to take care of yourself. Here’s a peek at what that looks like:

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Putting Self-Care First”

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.

-Kurt Vonnegut

Featured post


Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books of all time. My freshman year of college, I took a Russian Literature class. It is famous at our school, one of the classes that they tell you everyone should take. Gary Saul Morson was the professor, and while I found our other selection Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov one of the best books I’ve ever read, his reading of Anna Karenina changed how the book was read.

Once, it was considered a tragic love story with the death of its heroine. Morson claims otherwise, that Anna is a selfish character that Tolstoy wrote against, and that in fact another, loving, responsible wife and mother is the heroine of the story, despite her minor role. His reading is now the commonly accepted interpretation. He changed the way I read literature, and made me pick up another beloved major. (Read a bio piece on him here.) Therefore, the trailer to this new movie makes me pretty excited:


I am drawing to the end of my college career. I graduate in June, and closer to then there will probably be a nostalgic what-it-means-to-me in general sort of post. I had every faith in the college system coming to Northwestern, and since then that has largely disintegrated, but that is a bigger story than the one I aim for today.

I am a journalist who is graduating with a journalism degree who hates journalism. I don’t hate what it stands for, and good pieces of it still move me more than most other forms of writing ever could, but I don’t like the politics of journalism. I don’t like the pitching, the angles, the pre-destined and plotted plan for something being delivered under the label of unaltered “truth.” And writing within this system of forces not only makes me feel as though myself and my work is fake, I also feel like I am alternately begging or harassing people to “puleeaase be my source!” to write a mediocre story that I already decided the plot of. It’s bad truth and it’s bad fiction.

Continue reading “Zeitoun”

Malice in Wonderland

Recently I watched the movie Malice in Wonderland on Netflix streaming. I put it in my queue a very long time ago because I will watch pretty much anything Alice in Wonderland themed.

I have loved Alice in Wonderland since I was a little girl. I remember the movie, but we never owned it. Just the idea though enchanted me, particularly since I was convinced for a long time that it was Allison Wonderland, because my name was Allison I automatically assumed it wasn’t Alice in, and I thought Allison Wonderland was a pretty sweet name. Of course, I eventually realized that wasn’t true, but it was too late, I was already enchanted.

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The Dead Zone

When I was 12 or 13, I read my first Stephen King book. As I’ve told you all before, I strive to be Stephen King one day. Once upon a time in my father’s bachelorhood, my father had read and owned many King novels, but in the combination of him and my mom, some of his nerdier and creeper things lost out, and these books were one of those things. Unfortunately therefore, there were none of his books to be pilfered in my home when the time came. Instead, I asked my father what novel I should start on from the vast King collection, and hiked down to the tiny local library to search for it.

He recommended The Dead Zone.

Continue reading “The Dead Zone”

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