Health Care Reform: The Basics

November 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (3 Comments)

This post is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

After my post last week on how the Health Care Reform will impact taxes I realized many of you have a lot of questions on what the Affordable Care Act is, and how it will actually impact you. To be honest I’m still trying to figure out what it all means! So, I’m excited to partner up with UnitedHealthcare to bring you a series of posts over the next few months on this topic. I’m passionate about making healthcare accessible to EVERYONE and as someone who was uninsured for 10 years I know how stressful it can be to not have any. Here’s a brief history of health insurance.

Some basic information on the Affordable Care Act:

      • The ACA has raised the Medicaid limits in some states so more are eligible and is offering subsidies to eligible income levels above medicaid but still in the realm of struggling.
      • Open enrollment = the time where you can buy health insurance for you and your family. This time period lasts from November 15, 2004 to February 15, 2014.

    • You buy insurance through the exchange or ‘marketplace.’ It’s basically a website that lets you compare different plans to see which would suit you best.

Before I got on my husbands insurance I was looking at plans on the marketplace. They had a few plans that fit my budget, and many people I know qualified for subsidies to make it even more affordable. Next month I’ll talk about the in’s and out’s of buying insurance and how to compare plans. Deductibles, co-pay’s, and premiums, oh my!

Are you enrolling in, or switching, health insurance plans during the open enrollment period?

Is there anything about insurance or the ACA that you’d like me to address in future posts?

Workout Wrap Up

Sunday: 6 miles
Monday: REST
Tuesday: Tracey Mallet F.I.T.
Wednesday: 6 miles (at 9:15 pace which is UNHEARD of for me!)
Thursday: REST
Friday: 5k + Jillian Michales six week 6 pack

So….I’m having this crazy thought. I think Travis and I may run a 50k in three weeks. Obviously I wouldn’t be doing it for time, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and we found the perfect race. Most ultra’s are done on trails now, something that I have no experience with, but this 50k is on a paved 10k loop around a park in Tallahassee. It seems like the perfect first-time race, and if you look at most 50k training plans they have you do a marathon a month out which we just did. We are running a trail half marathon this weekend and will make our formal decision after that. Here’s to going big, or going home!

One big reason not to would be the pain in my right leg still flaring up now and again. It started with my right hip, then became my right knee popping out, and now it’s the tendons on the top of my right foot. The pain goes away after running a mile or two, but I’ve been trying to take it easy this week with the mileage. I couldn’t help but go all out on Thursday. It’s been weeks since I really pushed myself pace wise and it felt GREAT to feel winded!

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This week has been non-stop work. It was the last full week of classes and I’ve been up working by 6 a.m. a few times. Next week I only work until Tuesday afternoon then I’m FREEEEEE. At least until December 2nd when I have to go back to finish up classes at one of the schools I work at. I’m also not really going to be free as I’ll be moving, and I haven’t even started packing.

The highlight of the week was Mom coming out Wednesday night to go out to eat and do some Christmas shopping. We went to the mall, Jason’s Deli (her first time) and Sams Club. I found this giant stuffed Grumpy Cat and texted this photo to Travis telling him I found one of his Christmas gifts. He said ‘please no.’

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This week I received the prints I made of our wedding photos. I can’t wait to make a collage out of them! Even though I still feel it’s a little narcissistic to have an entire wall of photos of our face, I think it will look nice.

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I’m really looking forward to my first ‘real’ trail run Saturday. I did a trail 5k with Travis (that I placed at!) a few months ago but it’s a trail in a park with paved parts, so not a real ‘deep woods’ trail. I have NO expectations for time. I just want to finish injury free!

Have you ever ran on trails? Got any tips to share?



Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

November 20th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (20 Comments)

This post is sponsored by

My poor Mom.

Every year she spends hours in the kitchen for a meal that maybe lasts 30 minutes. For the last few years she’s been trying to come up with a Thanksgiving menu that satisfies multiple dietary restrictions. This year it’s even more complicated with the new addition to the family! Here’s what Mom has to avoid: all gluten and grains for dad (Celiacs disease and he eats grain-free on top of that), no meats for me, and no tomatoes, onions or sweet potatoes for Travis. So, I’m interested to see what she comes up with!

In 2012 it was delicious stuffed portobello mushrooms and her amazing carrot salad:

Thanksgiving1Last year the standout dish was a candied pecan, apple, pear & cheese salad:


I’m starting to make room in my stomach now for this years apple pie. I also found a couple new recipes that would go perfect with our feast!

Check out Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast

by Erica House at

What dish are you most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?