A Year Ago

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Good morning, blog friends!!! :mrgreen:

Seriously, how is it Monday already? The weekend flew by, didn’t it? Jeeeeez!


This morning’s breakfast was really tasty. I combined bulgur wheat with oat bran for a soft and creamy, yet chewy bowl of goodness.


To make my bulgar + oat bran, I added 1/4 cup of bulgar wheat and 1/4 cup of oat bran to a medium-size pot. Next, I added 1/2 cup of non-fat milk, 1/2 cup of water, chopped dates, chia seeds, and ground flaxseed meal. Then, I cooked it all, while stirring continuously, for about 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid cooked away.

(Here’s how to make bulgar in the microwaveable.)


I also enjoyed some yummy iced coffee with breakfast.


I tried a new flavor this morning: Chocolate Cherry Cordial. It tastes like sweet, smooth cherry coffee. Mmm! It’s awesome as iced coffee– no sweetener needed!



Breakfast was really filling this morning. The bulgar + oat bran provided 11 grams of fiber. No wonder!


P.S. You can win some bulgur (and a cute bowl) over on Trading Up Downtown this morning! 😉

A Year Ago

I received a few comments and questions after I wrote about how much life has changed in the past year. The long-time readers know all about my job changes, moves, and other life-changing decisions. It’s been an interesting year! But, for the new readers, here’s a little recap of the past 12 months.

A year ago, I was working full-time for the Dean of Harvard College as her Executive Assistant. (I had recently left a position at the Harvard School of Public Health with the hope of finding a more challenging and “exciting” role.) I had only been in the position for a couple of months, but I knew it wasn’t for me. As much as I liked and respected the Dean and her Chief of Staff, scheduling meetings and buying lunch were not what I wanted to do with my life.

Meanwhile, Carrots ‘N’ Cake really started to take off. My readership started to grow and the demands of the blog increased. So, working full-time, I felt like I never had enough time to do everything– just as my March 30, 2009 post was titled: Never Enough Time. (Similar blog post titles from this time include: Rushed, Go, Go, Go, Busy Bee, Not a Vacation Day, and Rushin’.) But, I was determined to make it all work. Eventually, I started blogging during my lunch break, which sort of helped me balance my full-time job with blogging. I even came up with some blogging tips for people who work 9-5.

However, in the following months, my life got even crazier. I started writing a weekly blog post for Health.com, coordinating the Healthy Living Summit, writing for the Examiner, training for a half marathon, and planning my sister’s wedding shower and bachelorette. Oh, and Mal and I almost bought a house! It was INSANE! But, these were all things that I wanted to spend my time doing, but working full-time made it so much more difficult to do it all. I eventually took a short Blog Hiatus because I couldn’t deal with all of the stress in my life. But, as you can imagine, I missed blogging so much, I came back a few days later.

Now don’t get me wrong, my life wasn’t completely terrible during this time! I had an awesome summer, which included a birthday celebration, visiting Seattle, wine tasting in southern Vancouver, drinking tea at the Fairmont Empress, visiting Kath in Charlotte and Erica in Charleston, hosting the Healthy Living Summit, seeing Coldplay in concert, and getting the puppy pug that I always wanted. Despite all of these wonderful things, I was still completely strung-out and even somewhat depressed. I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know what exactly. I thought maybe moving to a new part of Boston, closer to the city and my job, would make me happy, so Mal and I set out to find a new apartment.

After a few weeks of apartment hunting, Mal and I signed a new lease for a funky, loft-style apartment in the middle of South Boston. We were excited! But, there was a 2-week gap between our new and old leases, so Mal and I lived with our friends Dave and Marie during that time. We had a great experience living in the guest room of our friends’ house– it even felt like vacation at times— but, as you can imagine, being so unsettled in our lives added even more stress to it.

Moving Day finally came and it was an absolute nightmare. Mal and I decided to move our whole apartment by ourselves to save some money, which was a terrible idea! I don’t recommend it to anyone! Our move to Southie ended up being the Move from Hell! It was never-ending and there was plenty of blood, sweat, and tears. And, for this reason, I will never, ever move without hiring movers!

During this whole time, I was formulating a “plan of attack” to make some changes in my life. I basically made a “wish list” for how I wanted to improve things. It probably didn’t seem like it on the blog, but I was in a really bad place during this time. I was totally depressed, stressed, and constantly irritable. (My poor husband!) I finally realized that I need to do something or I’d just continue to feel this way.

Around this same time, I received an unexpected email from Melissa about writing a post about NuVal on my blog. This email exchange and blog post initiated my relationship with the company and eventually helped land me a job with them. I ended up pitching myself to the company, and a few months later, I received a call that changed my life: NuVal offered me a part-time position as a their Social Media Strategist! Of course, Mal and I celebrated appropriately with dinner and drinks in Newport! 😀

The whole time I was in Newport, I thought about what was more important to me: money or happiness. Leaving my job at Harvard would be a significant pay cut, but after much consideration, I valued my happiness (and sanity!) much more than the financial benefits. And, so, I resigned from my job first thing Monday morning and I have never looked back! Even on my very first day of work at NuVal, I knew my life would be better from then on.

I was only working 20 hours a week for NuVal, so I started working my connections to find additional sources of income. The folks at Gordon’s Wine and Liquors really enjoyed my blog post about the VinoVoyage, so I reached out to them about doing their social media. A simple business breakfast led to another part-time job and numerous wine, beer, and cheese events! :mrgreen:

By New Years 2010, things with my career were going really well. I had secured a book deal, I had more time to devote to my blog, and I liked all of my part-time jobs. But, my living situation was less than ideal.

After only a few months of living in South Boston, Mal and I decided it wasn’t for us and that we wanted to move. Eventually, we found people to take over our old lease, and with the help of our good friend, Marie, we searched for apartmentsfound a great one, and moved in. (This move was a million times easier!) Mal, Murphy, and I have never been happier! Now, when I take walks, I sing! 😉

Wow! That was much more than I intended to write! But, there it is… the past 12 months of my life. It’s crazy how much things can change in a year!

Question of the Day

How has your life changed in the past year?

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