Saturday, August 20, 2016

Reflections and Revelations

I used to look at myself in the mirror a lot trying to figure out who I WAS and who I WANTED to be.

It’s taken me almost 14 years to figure it out, that by dwelling on the past, I am putting a hold on my future. I have to stop letting outside influences define who I am. I’ve struggled with body issues for a long time and because of this, I have felt awkward in some social situations and have a hard time connecting with new people. I struggle with anxiety issues that make me feel nervous or scared when dealing with some of the simplest things (i.e. driving on the freeway).

I don’t always think I’m attractive or pretty. This may sound silly, but I’ve only started taking selfies in the past year or so because I have hated the way I looked. I feel like I have let myself down by gaining 60 pounds since I’ve moved to North Carolina 12 years ago. I’ve struggled the past 3 years trying to lose the weight and couldn’t find the motivation to be consistent with a weight loss regimen. I’d been given deadlines in the past by a doctor to lose a certain number of pounds by a certain day, which not surprisingly had a negative effect on me.  Every time one of those deadlines came and went with no success, it made me feel like a failure.

Since the end of this past June, I have been eating a lot healthier and have started walking again almost every night (treadmill or at the park). I’ve lost a total of 5 pounds since then and I’m actually not upset about the pace I’m going. I don’t need a deadline. I’m going to lose the weight how I feel comfortable. One of my friends is on a weight loss journey herself, so we encourage each other to go for our goals. It helps a lot when you have someone who understands what you are going through—mentally and physically.

I’ve come to terms with the realization that I’m not going to ever look like my 16-year-old self again and that’s OKAY!

This time when I look in the mirror it's different.

This time I see myself how I should.

So who am I? Well, I am happy to admit that I’m a 30-year-old geek. I play video games, read graphic novels and fantasy stories, have coloring books, and still shop at Hot Topic. I also usually root for the underdogs or bad guys in movies/stories because deep down I feel sorry for them…and, well, most of the time they are pretty good looking!  On multiple occasions I tried to buy different types of clothing that looked “girlie” and ALWAYS found myself feeling so uncomfortable when wearing them. If you look into my closet now it’s pretty much back to my go to shades of blacks, reds, and greens.  Last year I bought a Jeep, a vehicle that is not only fun to drive, but also makes me feel incredibly safe.  Because of this, Jeeptrice and I have been on the freeway a few times with no anxiety!

By denying myself my true identity these past few years, I was denying myself a real life. Now that I’m feeling more like normal, I am able to enjoy the things and people around me a lot easier. Brandon and I have made a pretty good life together so far these last 14 years—we’ve still got plenty of years ahead of us, but I don’t feel scared about the unknowns anymore. Why?

Because this time around I’m just going to be me.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Four Years Later...

Has it really been FOUR YEARS since my last blog post? I have to confess that I was finding it difficult to keep up with my interests for a while and unfortunately one of those interests was writing. Okay, truthfully it was me letting my anxiety take over my every day--I lost interest in most things that I loved to do.  Work had become overwhelming and when I came home I didn’t want to do anything except sit on the couch and be a zombie. Anything other than my routine of eat, sleep, work was of no interest to me.

I am really disappointed that I allowed my fears to distract me from enjoying my life for the past few years.

But that was then and this is now—that’s kind of cliché to say but it’s true. I picked up a new laptop last week in hopes that maybe I needed a different medium for my creativity besides my old desktop or pen and paper. Now that I have a better grasp on my work-life balance, I’m excited to get back into writing and see what I can create! Stay tuned…

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sprecher Brewery: Milwaukee's Original Microbrewery

Sprecher Brewery has been creating fire-brewed and gourmet sodas for more than twenty years in the Milwaukee area.

In 1985 Randy Sprecher established Sprecher Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their beer brews are inspired by those in Europe. Even his brewery is inspired by the microbreweries in Germany. Sprecher beers and sodas are all created in a hand-built, gas-fired brew kettle--this brings out the rich flavors of their ingredients. Because of their relatively small size, Sprecher is able to focus on creating high quality, rich tasting beers and gourmet sodas.

Tours of Sprecher Brewery in Milwaukee

Sprecher Brewery offers tours seven days a week, though reservations are required for all tours. Regular tours are offered for $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for anyone under 21. During the regular tours, adults can sample up to four out of the ten beers on tap and are able to sample all of the soda flavors inside the brewery's indoor beer garden.

There are also private reserve tastings on the weekends, comprised of smaller groups, which are $15 and are only for adults. With this tour, guests are given up to 10 samples of beer, each paired with a different cheese.

Sprecher also offers guests a chance to purchase their beers and sodas, along with a wide array of other Sprecher merchandise, in their giftshop, which is open daily.


  • Year Round Brews: Special Amber, Black Bavarian, Hefe Weiss, Pub Brown Ale, and Light Ale
  • Seasonals: Irish Style Stout (winter--St. Patty's Day), Mai Bock (spring/summer), Oktoberfest (summer/fall), and WinterBrew (winter)
  • Premium Reserve: Abbey Triple, Pipers Scotch-Style Ale, Russian Imperial Stout (winter), Double India Pale Ale, and Dopple Bock (fall/winter)
  • Limited Release, Gluten-free African Style Beers: Mbege (east Africa) and Shakparo (west Africa)
  • Other Unique Beers: Barley Wine and Generation Porter

Gourmet Sodas

All of their sodas are sold in 16oz bottles vs the 12 oz bottles most sodas are sold in. This gives the buyer a better bang for their buck. Their root beer was also recently voted #1 by the New York Times and Imbibe Magazine. Sprecher sodas are all caffeine and gluten-free. While all of their sodas include Wisconsin honey and pure vanilla into their recipes, there are many other ingredients used in each soda to bring out that specific flavor (Ex: the Wisconsin cherry juice and ginseng in Ravin' Red).

Soda Flavors: Root Beer, Lo-Cal Root Beer, Orange Dream, Cream Soda, Ravin' Red, Ginger Ale, Puma Kola, and Cherry Cola.

**Flavors added after original publish date: Gorilla Grape, Strawberry Soda (Seasonal-Summer), and Red Apple (Seasonal--Fall/Winter)

But Sprecher Brewery does not just make beer and soda. They have expanded their magic to the production of an array of BBQ sauces, mustards, brownie/cookie mixes and bread mixes. Unfortunately Sprecher products are not available in every state yet--a list of retailers and wholesalers on their website makes it easy to find a local seller--but most of their products are available on their website.

With their commitment to their customers and the quality of their products, Sprecher Brewery will easily prosper another 25 years or more.

You can visit their website at

*this article was originally published by me on on May 12, 2010

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Memories for Tomorrow

For eighteen years

we have grown

and have been inspired.

When we fell,

someone was there

to help us on our feet.

Friendships were made

as secrets were kept.

While we grew older

Those friendships grew

as others were brought together.

There were those in our groups

who went astray

and some, who will never return.


As commencement approaches,

the child still in us doesn’t want

to let go.

Friendships will be lost,

as our innocence is left behind.

But as we walk away on that day

we each shall forge our own path,

with our future unknown.


what we have gained

from these eighteen years.


we must carry these memories on

for tomorrow.


*This was composed for the yearbook for the class of 2004 at Menomonee Falls High School, but I think it carries a message many new graduates can relate to year after year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bring it, 2011!

So it's been a while since I last posted and I can't say I have a valid excuse other than life has been a bit busy. There are so many New Year's resolutions to choose from and every year I try to come up with one that I'll stick far that hasn't worked out too well. I think my best bet for 2011 is to become more motivated towards my goals. One of my goals was always to become a published writer. Last year I finally broke into writing online for suite101. But for 2011 I think I'm going to work on my other goal--cooking. I've been working on my cooking and recipes at home for some time now and reading up on what I can, but I think I want to pursue culinary school. Call me crazy, but it is something that has been nagging at me for some time now.

I don't know what it is about this new year, but I feel excited for what is to come!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Been a While

It has definately been a while since my last blog post. I've been writing recipes for my online articles and have been working my tail off at work. Luckily I have had some time away from work to be with family and friends. I was able to make it back home this summer, but still haven't made it to the beach. My busy work schedule should slow down around mid October when my work hours come back to "real time" haha. Until then, stay tuned; I hope to publish something soon!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Silent Stalker

Lurking over your shoulder
Gazing at you in the mirror
Seeking you
Wanting you
Pulling you near

Following at a distance
Not too far away
Behind you
Beside you
Shadowing your day

Greeting you in the beginning
Pretending to be your friend
Tricking you
Haunting you
Getting you in the end

* A darker theme than normal, but one of my favorites I wrote years ago. Can you guess who or what the silent stalker is? *