Archive for the ‘lessons’ Category


Have you read this? No? You should.

The 1-Step Success Plan

I got this in an email on Tuesday. I get a lot of emails from Livestrong and Adam Bornstein has a lot of great things to say. This has to be his best one yet.  Read it.  There is really no arguing with his points & its super-motivating.

So much so, that Tuesday night I decided to run outside. It was 22 degrees & 18 mph wind, but I bundled and went. Am I crazy? Yes. It was brutal and slow. I was fully convinced I had wind-burn on my face, but luckily, I was wrong. I ran main roads through the city, since its safer.  I love the city all lit up at night.

20120105-094548.jpghow pretty are these lights?!

(I look ridiculous, I’m aware.)

Definitely not a good run, but I was really glad I went. I was pretty numb by the time I got home.  Thankful for both heat and my shower.

Yesterday, I got up and cranked out 5 treadmill miles before work.  Thinking it was the only time I had the option to work out forced me out of bed.  

Today – I’m going to drag myself to yoga. Do I feel like going? Not really, but I’ll be glad once I get there. 

I’m sure the motivation will wear off at some point, but when that happens.. read it again.


what motivates you? any tricks to keep it going?



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Over a year ago, before I thought anyone would ever read it, I posted this.

A simple list of goals, things I wished for in my future and in the new life I was hoping for.

I look back at those goals and realized I accomplished every single one. A few months later, I posted this.. and accomplished those too.

I did a lot in the last year:

I uprooted my life, started a new job, and moved into a new apt in a new city.

I started running.  I’ve run hundreds of miles: including two 5K’s, three 10K’s, and a half-marathon. AND, I managed to love it.

I do yoga, not always as often as I would like, but I’m making it happen.

I read. I’ve read probably 15 books this year, which may not sound like a lot.  In 2010 though, I think I read one and only because I was on vacation.

I cook. A LOT.

I lost 15 pounds. I got healthier.  I feel stronger and most importantly, I feel better in my own skin.


and then there were the things that 2011 brought that I didn’t have on a list…

I took what was my frustrated/tipsy/hopeful internet ramblings and turned it into a blog, with readers (!!)

I’m staying in my apt  (and if you’ve moved as many times as me, you know thats huge)

I stepped out of my comfort zone, a lot.

Lisa asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.

Not one but two of my good friends had gorgeous babies that I can’t get enough of.

I made lots of new friends.

I met a great guy.

AND I’m going to be aunt. excitement can’t even describe it.

That’s one hell of a year. So, every so often when I think I still “haven’t figured it out yet”, I have to remind myself that I’ve come a long way. I had no idea how true this would be.   Maybe I have it figured out more than I realize.  Maybe all I need to do is make one good decision and then make another..

One step at a time my friends.

I couldn’t be happier.

2011 has been unbelievable, friends.

Bring on 2012!


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my amtrak travel tips

Sunday, I took the train back to Boston from NY and had probably the most pleasant travel experience possible. (we’ll ignore the fact the train was 20 min late)   During the 4 hours I spent on the train, I realize that Amtrak travel is something I have a lot of experience with. I’ve taken a LOT of trains, spent excessive amounts of time in Penn Station, & picked up a few tricks over the years.

So here are my tips on the best possible Amtrak trip:

1. Buy your tickets in advance – tickets are significantly cheaper 14 days in advance.

2. If it’s a high traffic weekend, pick up tickets in advance or get there real early – I’ve learned this the hard way. The last thing you want is to be waiting in line at the ticket machine if your train is about to pull away. The email printout does NOT get you on the train.

3. Go downstairs for the track announcement – my favorite tip for sure. When they announce the track number, everyone runs and creates a mob scene to get on the escalator. Instead of joining the crowd, go downstairs before they announce the track #. If you stand at the bottom of the main stairs, you can see the giant board & there are stairs to each track with NO people. This means stress free boarding and bonus – you’ll be one of the first people on train.


4. Take the Acela if your arrival is time sensitive – The Acela arrives on time significantly more frequently than the regional. I’ve only had a few trips that were drastically delayed but they were pretty miserable.

5. Wear layers – the temperature is pretty unpredictable. Sometimes it switches from hot to cold multiple times in one ride. Be ready for it.  Sunday, I wore short sleeves and had to dig a sweater out of the bottom of my suitcase mid-ride. That was really fun.

6. Find the quiet car – I love the quiet car & every train has one. I don’t want to listen to the guy having a conference call or the college freshman heading back to school recapping the weekend for her roommate. Unless I’m traveling with someone, I’m a headphones in, mind-my-own-business traveler.

7. Bring your own food & beverages – yes, the cafe car is a wonderful thing, but its wayyy cheaper and usually healthier to bring your own.  20111027-150825.jpgthere is now a Chickpea in Penn Station. makes me veryy happy. this was delic.


Any other tips? What are your preferred modes of travel?

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different person?

I spent 4 years in NY. I loved the city, the energy, pretty much everything about it. I missed it after only a few days.


I went back this past weekend & it all felt different. I honestly thought NY would always have that magic, but this time I just didn’t feel it.

I still love my friends, please don’t confuse the two. I had a great time with them, I just wasn’t feeling the city in the same way. Maybe it wasn’t the city’s fault, maybe my head was just in the wrong place. But I didn’t feel at home there. I couldn’t even imagine myself living there.

via pinterest

Why did I feel so out of place?

How did it feel right for so long?

Have I really changed that much?

Was I really a different person then?

Maybe the love will reemerge next time?

I hope.

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borrowed from the HLS facebook page

1. strangers aren’t that scary. I went into this nervous as you all know, because I’d never met anyone else that was attending. I arrived at the hotel, checked in at the front desk, and made a friend waiting for the elevator. Took a whole 5 minutes.
Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who went without friends. So glad I went!


2. Dawn Jackson Blatner is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. Her message was about R.A.W. Realistic & Achievable Wellness. I know meat isn’t awesome for me, but I like it. I could never be a vegetarian, nevermind a vegan. I respect those who go down that route, but it isn’t for me. So in her words, I’m not anti-meat, I’m pro-plants. I’m intrigued, Dawn.


3. You don’t feel defensive unless you have something to be defensive about. – Julie


4. Only put things out in the world that you’re willing to stand behind. This probably isn’t something I learned, more something I was reminded of.


5. When dealing with negativity: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? – Heather

I like the way she phrases it. Ask yourself those 3 questions before you respond to someone who makes you feel less than warm and fuzzy. (not that I’ve had to deal with a lot of blog negativity)


6. If there is someone you want to meet, just do it.  I was a little shy when it came to introducing myself to many of the bloggers that I read. Why?  I’m not really sure. I thought everyone was trying to meet them and didn’t want to be annoying? It was awkward, so I avoided it?  They were busy talking to people they already knew?  Who knows.

I should’ve sucked it up and done it.  Some of them were good about talking to the newbies and some weren’t. So I just assumed they weren’t interested in meeting me.  Probably not accurate.  Thinking about it now, imagine what its like to be in a room with 200 people who know lots of details about your life and you have no idea who they are.. awkward? yeah.    So next time..


and one random not-so-HLS-related lesson:

7. if you open/unhook bracelets, they don’t set off the metal detector.


this = serious crazy pat down from the scary security ladies while all my stuff clogs the scanner belt and I get the stare down from the dude who stuff is after mine. sorryyy


unhook bracelets = casual stroll through the metal detector. smile. retrieve stuff.

dear boston security guy –
thank you for kindly letting me know that I don’t need to volunteer for the body scanner.
love, alli


I’m feeling prettyyy motivated this week, my friends. Renewed desire to get my butt in gear. So I’m back on the training plan. Week 1 wasn’t so hot last week. Week 2 is going fairly well.

On the food front – preparation is everything. Having food & a plan of what to do with it is key. So I bought a container of strawberries at Whole Foods the other night, broke out my super strawberry slicer and planned out a few days worth of breakfast.

20110824-113147.jpgstrawberries 20110824-113229.jpglove grown granola – simply oats.  Thanks Tina!
20110824-113242.jpgadd some greek yogurt. deliciousness on my desk.

3 days in a row. addiction possible.

pretty sure I’m out of all 3 of those ingredients now though. sad.


now if only I made as much effort with dinner last night. oops.
I swear I’ll stop talking about HLS now.

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100% Rule

via lettheskybethemoment

we’re about to get a lil heavier than usual. cool?

ok then.

Back in college, I had this friend, a boy, that I was good friends with – read: huge secret crush on.   He was a good guy, fun, cute, blah. blah, blah..  and he needed me. I think that was the kicker,  why I was so into him.   He wanted my advice, my help, and when he needed to talk, I was who he called.

Then one day – I realized he made me feel crap, probably 90% of the time.   

I don’t remember what he did specifically that made me feel bad about myself, but it was there.  He knew how to play me. Yeah – I was the person he called, but probably because I came running.   I’m sure he did actually value my opinion and like spending time with me, but our friendship existed on his terms.  

Once you realize something like that, there is no turning back.  I had no idea why we were friends.  Why would I try so hard to hang out with someone who makes me feel that way? even worse why would I want to date him?! 

pause.           has he always made me feel bad?! we’ve been friends for years…   

and after a few cheap beers cocktails, WAIT! why would I want to hang out with someone who made me feel any less than awesome?!  right?  game over.


Enter the 100% rule. 

At the wise age of 20, I decided that I would only be friends with people who I feel good about 100% of the time.  

Realistically, most people don’t fall into that category. I wasn’t about to cut people out of my life, but I did take a serious look at which friendships I was putting effort into & just being more aware.

and yes – 100% is a bit extreme but it’s more about the mentality & awareness than a number.

Now – its 8 years later and I still keep that in the back of my mind. Its easy to keep doing what you’re doing but I try to make each decision for right reasons and surround myself with the best people possible. Needless to say, my friends are a phenomenal bunch and that guy – well..  I haven’t talked to him since college. 


Some people challenge us to be better versions of ourselves, while others just bring us down.  Who do you want to spend your time with?

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I realize that I never really explained the name of my blog. Maybe it’s about time I do that?

alli learns life
yes. I’m 28 and kinda old. and more than a handful of years out of college. and have had a few jobs.  
I might be almost 30. eeekkkk!!
Maybe I’m a little late in the game but I feel like I’m just starting to figure it all out.  
(it all being myself, life in general, you get the jist)
So a few things I’ve learned in the last few months.
  1. The more I run, the more I want to – which means… 
  2. I can train myself to enjoy anything
  3. How food affects me.      I never really paid attention before but what I eat really makes a difference in how I feel.
  4. I love to cook.   and I’m not half bad at it.
  5. Balance is key    This pretty much applies to everything.  
  6. I secretly aspire to be Popeye. I have spinach just about every day in some form or another.
  7. Bringing my lunch & making dinner really does save lots of money. Who knew?
  8. no matter how many times I told myself it wouldn’t be. the iphone is exponentially better than the blackberry

Here are a few bad iphone photos from Monday’s show. She’s so good. If you haven’t heard of Marina & the Diamonds. youtube. now. thanks.

happy thursday kids! 

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