Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bridge the Gap Campaign: Nicole of HLS

What is the Bridge the Gap Campaign? 

Today is an extra exciting day due in part to the launch of an unprecedented campaign: “Bridging the Gap.” This campaign is all about creating a connection between Millennials and Midlife Influencers. With 100 individual women from each generation interacting with each other, the goal is to bridge the gap between each other; blurring the boundaries in order to show that we are all stronger together. We are putting an end to the labels and differing cultural beliefs that are causing us to divide. Age is simply a number. What truly matters is a person's attitude and perspective of life and all its happenings. We are millennial women supporting midlife influencer women, but are more than willing to let men join in the celebration. Together, we desire to send a powerful message, showing that we women have chosen to be seen for who we are, rather than the number on our birth certificates. We believe in a world without separation and together, we are a far stronger than we would ever be apart. Please join us in this revolutionary campaign as it is the heart and soul of women that truly matter in the end.

The Best Part of Linking Up (Yes, I'm singing the Folgers' jingle right now!)

Back in the spring of 2016, I stumbled onto Nicole Mölders blog, High Latitude Style's, through a weekly link up I participate in. The title of her blog, along with the fact that she lived in Alaska peaked my interest. I've never visited Alaska and my only impression of the state was through shows like, "The Alaskan Frontier" and "Alaskan Bush People". While watching these shows, fashion did not play a part in my limited view of Alaskan folks going about their days. Yet here Nicole was, pulling off fashion in the last frontier.  

Upon further investigation of her blog, I noticed that she was a scientist who published 2 books in her field of study! Her blog is so well organized, it didn't take long discover the link ups where she was a participant. In fact, she hosts her own weekly link up called Top of the World Style! Naturally, I decided to add her to my list of link ups. I'm so glad I did.

I was never put off by the age difference, but rather encouraged that style isn't limited to a specific age group! Through her weekly posts it became more evident that she thoroughly enjoys putting outfits together, ranging from work appropriate wear, to outfits for a night out of ballroom dancing and even some casual wear for day to day life. 

Did I Actually Meet Nicole - IN ALASKA??

Soon after I began linking up with Nicole's blog I learned that my sister, and best friend, would be moving to Alaska. Now I paid closer attention to each post Nicole featured, trying to glean insight into the world where my sister would soon be. Around Thanksgiving some sweet and thoughtful friends surprised me with a ticket to Alaska to visit my sister in February! After getting over the wonderful shock and surprise of what I knew would be one of my greatest adventures, I emailed Nicole.

"What part of Alaska did she live in?"
"Did she have any tips for someone coming to visit?"

Nicole responded quickly with a fabulous, detailed response; fully preparing me for the drastic environment difference. Alaskan winters are surprising different from Georgia winters. ;)

In addition to her helpful tips, she had more great news: she lived a mere 15 minutes from where my sister lived and invited us out to visit her at the university where she worked!

The Meet Up

Can we talk about how we color coordinated???
It was nearing the end of my Alaska visit, but we had a couple of free hours, so I pestered my sister to take me to Fairbanks University to meet Nicole. 

We parked at the Geophysical Institute and met Nicole in her office. She was a sweet and welcoming hostess. (Can we talk about how we color coordinated!?) We chatted about her life in Alaska and why she liked living in Fairbanks versus Anchorage. It was all about the weather; colder in Anchorage due it's proximity to the water, etc, etc. The scientist was peeking through. :)
 I asked to take a look at her book,  "Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes - Impact on Climate and Air Quality" and could barely follow along. I was impressed with her beautiful mind.

{For those curious, Nicole's book deals with how deforestation, afforestation, agricultural changes, irrigation, establishing water reservoirs with dams, open pit mining, urbanization, etc. affect local weather, i.e. cloud and precipitation formation. Since vegetation also emits volatile gases, land-cover changes also affect air quality. Some of these volatile gases affect ozone formation and the formation of particles. Her other book, in which she is the first author, is called "Lectures in Meteorology". It is a textbook for students who study meteorology, atmospheric sciences, hydrology or environmental or civil engineering.}

I wished we had more time to grab that cup of coffee we originally planned on sharing, but I know if we had, the conversation would have went something like this...

Over Coffee...(Someday!)
I love Nicole in this fabulous leather trench!
Me: Nicole, how did you ever get into atmospheric science? It's not exactly your everyday type of job.

Nicole: Well, Chrissy, My father used to listen to radio broadcasts from all over the world. One day, he talked about a broadcast at dinner. It dealt with expected local climate change due to irrigation. Since he could not answer why irrigation altered local climate, I decided to become a meteorologist.

Me: What was it like to be a woman in the field of science when you first started out?

Nicole: In my thirties and early 40s, I just worked on my career. At that time, women were a minority in sciences. We also weren't allowed to do certain things. Thus, I ended up as modeler. The professors (of course all male) didn't want us in the field and do measurements. "It's too dangerous!!!!" We didn't have any role models either. There were no female TAs except for one in math. There, women were a bit more accepted. By the way, that woman also became a prof and I worked with her when I was a Heisenberg professor (it's an honorary professorship) in Leipzig. Today, guys are a minority in atmospheric science students. The reason, you can't make much money with that job, or better more generally, is science doesn't have well paid jobs.

Me: What do you like to do with your spare time?

Nicole: Ever since I was a kid, I loved dancing. I wanted to take ballet, but my mom didn't approve. Perhaps it was the money, but for sure time and travel to the location were the reasons. In middle school I took sewing classes. In high school I was on the dance team. We did Westside Story and things like that. In graduate school I was on the rock'n roll team and I took jewelry making classes for recreation. 

Today I think it was a mistake not to dance in my thirties and early forties. I took up dancing again in 2007 and it so improved my health and my body. I had to more or less overhaul nearly my entire wardrobe. That was a good thing, though.

I also enjoy gardening, which is tough with a vegetation season of less than 100 days, but it works.

Me: What advice would you have for your readers advancing towards midlife?

I adore this 7 layer tulle skirt and love the way she styled it!
Nicole: What I think is important for your readers, who are slowly advancing towards midlife is that. like when we were teenagers, your body will totally change again in pre- and post menopause. There are two times ahead where they will have to totally overhaul their closet. Things that worked all your life as a women don't do it anymore starting from color to cuts. Even worse the fashion industry only cuts for bodies of 20 somethings and pregnant women and young mothers. This has to change.

Me: When you're not reading books about science, what do you like to read?

I love to read books about fashion history.

The only subscription I have is for the German Version of Walt Disney's pocket books. I am a big comic fan of Donald Duck and his family. Isn't it interesting that they don't have fathers and mothers? Why is that?

Me: You grew up in Germany and now you live in Alaska. Anywhere else you would like to visit?

Hawaii is up first on my travel, may be also Argentina. My favorite dance is Argentine Tango (street style/performance style).

Any pets, Nicole?

I love mobile mouse traps, aka cats.

Any children?

I have no kids. In the 60s, they gave pregnant women medication to avoid pre-mature birth. Later they found out that this medication harmed female babies. Some got an uterus that is just 10% of the size of a normal one (me), some went thru menopause in there early 30s (this happened to my sister). Once she was ready to have kids she was already not ovulating anymore. 


There are many layers to Nicole! In addition to writing books on science she has also published a book on fashion! Now this is a book I could keep up with. ;) Her style is sophisticated, unique and fun. I know it's no easy feat to find great fashion in Alaska. I didn't see a huge variety of clothing stores in Fairbanks, though I did see a Blockbuster rental store (seriously, it was still in operation). This makes Nicole's great style even more impressive. I'm so thankful I was able to meet her in person and I look forward to getting to know her more in the days to come! :)

You can follow Nicole on Instagram, High Latitude Style and Bloglovin! You will love it. :)

Want to check out the other teams of Briding the Gap campaigners? Hop on over to Catherine Grace's site for a full list of all involved. I look forward to reading about all of these lovely ladies. 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Guiltless Goodies: Dairy Free & Vegan Treats

Recently a friend of mine informed me about a certified health based chef she followed on Instagram known as Laura Lea Balanced. It didn't take me long to start following her and her yummy food posts as well as her lengthy, but informative stories.  Laura Lea kept referring to some fabulous donuts and tortilla wraps she received from a company called Guiltless Goodies.  The same friend that told me about Laura Lea had ordered a sampler box from said company and kindly shared one of her GG cookies. 

The first thing I looked at was the ingredients. The "flour" is a combination of 7 seeds so there is no grain. I also noticed that they were dairy free and of course free of high fructose corn syrup. A stellar list of ingredients and great taste led to another IG follower for Guiltess Goodies.

 I checked out their website but was a little nervous about the pricing. That is not to say they are overpriced, as I understand that high quality ingredients cost more, but I had only tasted the cookies and wasn't sure if I wanted to take the risk.

*Here's an excerpt from their website on their 7 seed ingredient list...

"All Guiltless Goodies products are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, yeast and preservative-free! Also, low-carb & extremely delicious! All Guiltless products are made from our custom organic 7 seed blend of Chia, Flax, Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Poppy, and Sesame Seeds. We never use any yeast, grains, wheat, corn, gluten, refined sugar, preservatives or unnecessary fillers in any of our baked goods. When our recipes do call for sweetener, we only use as little organic coconut palm sugar as possible. We are completely NON-GMO. We use dairy-free, soy-free, real dark chocolate in our Skinny Donuts, Love Muffins and Best Cookies Ever. We also grind our own seed flour fresh so it protects all of the enzymes. We don't purchase it pre-ground, meaning it is freshly ground before each time we bake your Guiltless products. By grinding the seeds, the tough outer shell is broken apart, opening up to all of the minerals and nutrients inside the seed, and that is our Superfood Seed Flour that is used to make all of our products!"  

Fast forward a few weeks and I enter one of their drawings for a free Grab & Go pack, which includes 2 packs of cookies, muffins and "skinny" donuts. 

Surprise! My name is drawn!!

I was so exited! (There is something about me and food. I don't get it.)

Two days later the shipment arrived and I couldn't wait to try each one. 

***The Cookies***

Glen eats a cookie right out of the box. He likes it, but we both found that we like them even more with some peanut butter slathered on top.  These make a great snack to curb any post lunch or dinner cravings. One of the first things I discovered is that I like them straight out of the freezer! I was in a hurry and in a hungry moment took a bite.  Now it's my favorite way to eat them: frozen with peanut butter. 

***The Skinny Donuts***

When I first opened the package of donuts, I was skeptical. True to their name, "Skinny Donut's",  are small. How was this going to feel like I ate anything? However, one morning I paired a donut with eggs and could barely finish them both. 

After the first few days of choosing a donut or muffin to eat with my eggs I notice that I wasn't not getting hungry before lunch. I also noticed that my cravings for sweets is non-existent. On Sunday mornings, my husband and I would eat a donut for breakfast and rush out the door for church. We felt satisfied until we returned home at lunch time. I love this because he runs around like crazy and I know he is less tempted to overload on junk.

***The Muffins***

The muffins are my favorite. I eat those right out of the fridge - with or without peanut butter, depending on how hungry I am. The whole family likes the muffins. In fact, I had to scale my 15 year old back to 1 a day due to budget. He plays football, so I know the healthy fats, protein and fiber are great for him but there is a limit to what we can afford!  

***The Tortillas***

A sale pops up on their website and I decide that it's worth shifting some of our grocery budget around to make room for donuts and muffins. Yeah. That does sound weird! So I order a box, only this time I decide to try their tortilla wraps.

The wraps are surprisingly soft and pliable for a grain free option! I love them, but I'm not sure about them paired with eggs. I like any kind of meat, hummus, veggies, guacamole etc, but I was not crazy about the egg combo.  Perhaps I should give that another go...

Ok, Guiltless Goodies...tell me about the health benefits!

Health Benefits...

Guiltless Means Nutrition and Health Benefits That Help...
  • Skin, nails and hair grow strong and healthy.
  • Increase anti-microbial benefits, including anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
  • Enhance immune response and absorption of vital nutrients.
  • Decrease the risk of colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes & hypertension.
  • Reduce symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Decrease waist circumference & Decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Provide structure, strength and elasticity in blood vessels, bones and joints.
  • Prevent migraine headaches, muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue.
  • Restore normal sleep patterns & Decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women who are experiencing unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause.
  • And let's not forget increased bowel regularity.
*In conclusion, I would purchase from this company again. In addition to a high quality, healthy ingredient list, they have fabulous customer service and follow up, the food stores great in the freezer and it travels well. My cravings are down and, save for the weekends and pumpkin flavored treats, I'm doing well with my food choices.

Hummus, Veggies & a Protein Snack
My healthier choices include fruits, hummus with veggies, guacamole and chips, protein smoothies and popcorn. I'm working on adding to that list each week!

For now I will wait for their next promotion to order again. Sometimes they offer 2 free items of your choice when you purchase the Guiltless Grab & Go box (that's what I received from the drawing), which is on sale for $85.99, plus free shipping.

Guiltless Grab & Go
2 packs of Best Cookies Ever
2 packs of Love Muffins
2 packs of Skinny Donuts 
Well, my friends, have you ordered food off the internet before? If so, what was your experience? 

Eat a little something "crunchy" today. Your body will thank you. ;)


*I was not paid to do this review, given anything for this review (the drawing was random), or asked to do this review!
Linking up with Not Dressed as Lamb