Friday, November 29, 2013

Scary Friday.

It's Black Friday! Today scares me a little bit.
 
 
I remember going out on Black Friday in high school, before it was such a huge deal (I think Best Buy opened at 6am the year we went). I think it's such a circus now that I can't get into it at all. I'll gladly stay enjoy Thanksgiving evening playing board games with my family and sleep in the next day rather than wait in the cold for hours to get trampled by the masses for mediocre deals on stuff I could find online. I might just be a chicken though.
 
Do you brave the danger on Black Friday?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Most Thankful Thursday.

It's the most thankful Thursday of them all...Happy Thanksgiving!
 
 
...beautiful lipsticks and shiny lip gloss.
 
...watching really great movies and falling deeply in love with the characters and the storyline.
 
...fruit. All the fruit.
 
...my family. I think I say it every week but my family is the best, honestly. Crazy, wild, lovely, beautiful wonderful.
 
...old books that smell like memories.
 
...good wine, great beer, and water on the nightstand after a night of drinking.
 
...holistic healing and the option to allow the earth the heal your hurt.
 
...comfy slippers and beautiful heels.
 
...Christmas lights and balsalm scented candles.
 
...really good hand lotion.
 
...vintage glassware.
 
...Violet snuggles. Kira purrs. Joodle nose rubs.
 
...that moment in Spring where all the roses and lilies in our yard start popping up and looking beautiful.
 
...long walks around my neighborhood with great music playing.
 
...You. Yes, you. Each and every one of you. Thank you for visiting, for reading, for emailing, for all of it. Thank you.
 
Have a great Thanksgiving, loverpants!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tofurkey Day!

Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Know how so many people say "Turkey Day?" Yeah, I don't get that part of it but I do love me some food. My grandma is my favorite cook and my mom is my favorite baker so any food-centric family holiday is my stomach's favorite thing in the world.
 
I typically bake a cool cupcake or twelve for holidays, but this year I decided on a side dish. I tossed around the idea of doing some sort of roasted veggie or something with Brussels sprouts but ultimately decided to play on my BFF, the potato.
 
I found this Taste of Home recipe for Crispy Potato Puffs and thought they might make for an interesting spin on my starchy favorite.
 
 
Prep time was simple but a bit time consuming. I added more cheese than the recipe called for (of course I did) and skipped the sesame seeds (I couldn't find them at the store and I really had to pee so I didn't bother asking anyone). These are much mushier than I expected but such great comfort food.
 
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Mean, Just Another Quote.

What would it be without a quote about the importance of happiness and looking on the bright side?
 

 
Sometimes life throws you some curveballs. Sometimes it crushes you. Sometimes you have to take a moment to soak in something ordinary. You have to draw all your attention to something ordinary and lovely--a fun tea cup, a good hair day, tasty toothpaste, bubbly rose-scented mop water. You just have to find the electric beauty in the little things. Ah, life.

Monday, November 25, 2013

For Him.

I don't know about you but I am beyond excited that Christmas is right around the corner. I love finding that perfect gift and seeing someone's face light up when they unwrap it. Though one of the most important people in my life, Rhyno is typically SO difficult to shop for. I usually wind up with everyone checked off my list and still scrambling around for something for my main squeeze.
 
I'm not sure if it's the luck of the half Irish or just an expanded selection at my beloved ModCloth, but it's not even December and I am already done shopping for Rhyno! I found so many cool ideas.
 
Some choice ideas?
 
Rhyno and I are total dinosaur nerds, this is so perfect for our basement or our living room.
 
We're also both comic book nerds...but I think that's cool nowadays? I'm also a total sucker for novelty cookbooks.
 
I am a record player hoarder. I have three but they each have their, um, quirks. Rhyno has been wanting a brand, spankin' new one for a long time.
 
 
Every year I get Rhyno a cute calendar for above his desk....it usually has cats on it though. Because I'm married to a cat lady.
 
Rhyno has so many plans for our bar when we re-do our basement. I'd love a little shelf with different booze books.
 
Any great ideas for the menfolk in your life?
 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Bright.

Happy Friday, babes!
 
 
I plan to spend the weekend prepping for Thanksgiving (I don't host, I just make intricate baked goods), binge-watching Mad Men (I just can't stop--I began re-watching it from the pilot and it is like falling so deeply in love again), figuring out my life, and doing so much yard work before winter officially arrives.
 
Have a fantastic weekend!
 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursdays.

Thankful Thursdays forever and ever, amen.
 
I am thankful for...
 
 
...the oncoming Christmas season! I love every little bit. Give me all the candy canes and garland and carols and holiday movies and ornaments. I love it all. I could live in Christmas Town forever and never get sick of it.
 
...nieces and nephews who make me laugh and teach me how to love unconditionally every single day.
 
...ice cold lemonade and piping hot coffee.
 
...dogs and cats. Especially Violet and Kira and Joodle. And the lovely memories of my Tasha baby.
 
...my wonderful family (again) that texts me when a tornado is coming toward my house alerting me to go into the basement. I got at least a dozen texts over the weekend from aunts, grandma, parents, and cousins asking me to stay so safe and saying they loved me.
 
...Super Mario Brothers. Dude, I'm awesome at that game.
 
...tulle skirts and black tights.
 
...texts with my brother about shows I've told him to watch that he winds up LOVING--namely Parks & Rec.
 
...nice people and helping hands. Always.
 
...old episodes of my favorite shows. When Charlie slept over I told him his mom and I used to watch Care Bears when we were little kids. Watching it with him was like reliving a perfect memory. (Other faves include Fraggle Rock and Muppet Babies).
 
...green tea. So much green tea. All day green tea.
 
...staying up so late and sleeping in so late.
 
...swimming pools, big lakes, the ocean. Swimming can cure anything.
 
...inspirational happenings. The latest one is BatKid. I am so in love. I cried at every news story.
 
...Mister Rogers. "On behalf of millions of children and millions of grown ups, it is you that I like."  When I was a kid, probably like you, I watched Mr. Rogers everyday. He taught me to be a strong, funny, nice, kind, sweet human (I hope so, at least) and as an adult I really admire how positive his impact on the world was and still is. As a kid I learned he wanted to teach kids to be sweet and kind. As an adult I learned his mother knit all his cardigans and he won a lot of awards for his work with children--and with each one he taught a lesson. I often watch his Emmy Lifetime Achievement Acceptance Speech. I tear up every single dang time he asks the audience to take ten seconds. Please watch it if you've never seen it.
 
What are you most thankful for?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Cranberries.

I hope you don't think this post is about the genius super group behind Zombie....but really? How awesome was that song? Dude. I need to dig up that CD stat.
 
Okay, anyway, this post is about cookies. They just have cranberries in them.
 
For the third annual JAM Cookie Exchange (so many great treats!) last weekend I had all intentions of making these beauts. I made the dough the night before and chilled it in the fridge beforehand...without paying attention to the "chill it in rolls" part. I opened the bowl in the morning to a crumbly pile of bad. After an hour of trying to roll out dough and just make it work, I sucked it up and made a new cookie....kinda.
 
 
So, instead, here's the base recipe (thanks, Pillsbury website).
 
Cookies            
-3/4 cup butter, softened
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-egg
-1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
-2  tablespoons lemon juice 
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
-1 teaspoon baking soda 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Handful of dried cranberries
-Handful of shelled, chopped pistachios
-2 cups milk chocolate chips
 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
 
In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. On low speed, beat in egg, lemon peel and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until well blended.
 
Fold in dried cranberries, roll into tiny rounds, place on ungreased cookie sheet, top with pistachios. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cool on rack.
 
When fully cooled, melt milk chocolate and drizzle across cookies. Allow chocolate to fully cool before serving.
 
ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Old Home.

WARNING: Weirdly nostalgic, too-wordy post ahead.
 
A few nights this week, for no real reason I know of, I've had dreams about living at our old condo. When I woke up each time I was so homesick for our little place. So...this post.
 
The lobby in our building. So fancy. Those chairs? The older people in our building (we had lots of 'em, much to my joy cause I love elders) would sit and wait for their mail every day. One sweet man with Parkinson's Disease would sit there every single day with his nurse and on my wedding day he was waiting for his mail when he stopped me to tell me how "absolutely breathtaking" I looked and hugged me. Again, I LOVE ELDERS.
 
 
Once upon a time we used to rent a little condo (from 2010 to 2012). A two bed, two bath in the just-outside-of-Chicago suburbs. An 18 minute train ride to downtown Chicago with a Target and a movie theater and a Trader Joe's right down the street and easy access to all highways (nice for my commuter self and my commuter then fianc√©). A stone's throw from one of my favorite cousins with the best neighbors and the world's most wonderful landlady. A big, fat forest preserve with the best walking trail across the street. A big, fancy (to me) lobby with a big mailbox wall and a buzzer system.
 
Our ground floor balcony where I spent many nights with a glass of wine and a best friend. This was taken in late winter when I was trying to find a new renter when we put an offer on a house. In warmer seasons the flower boxes were always full of blooms. We had a tiny grill that just barely fit and spent many nights eating (veggie) burgers and people watching at the pool.
 
I loved that little home so, so much. The home where we became a married couple (we moved in about 6 months before our wedding and all our DIY wedding decorations were created within these walls) and I started my first (now defunct) blog and hosted game nights and did rad DIY home projects and befriended old people floor-mates who gave us cool stuff (a never opened 1970's kiwi-shaped fondue set!) and spent the most wonderful, most mundane weekday nights of home-cooked dinners and sitcoms and early bedtimes. On weeknights we could hear our neighbor, Jo-Bee (her real name), singing along to Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell and it would crack me up as I fell asleep. We didn't have a TV in our bedroom and we turned electronics off at 9pm week-nightly. We passed out sugar free candy on Christmas Eve morning to our neighbors and stuck big gift bows to their doors. I would purposely make extra baked goods on any occasion and bring them to our sweet neighbors across the hall (Bruce and Laura) and when they went on vacations they would bring us back shot glasses and beer steins. We made big pots of coffee on Saturday mornings and I walked around Trader Joe's after work on Fridays. We had our first sleepover with Addie and Katie before the LaGrange Pet Parade. I had a big sleepover after my bachelorette party full of laughter and cheese sticks. We would drag our bedroom mattress out to the front room and watch movies all weekend.
 
Sometimes I just terribly miss that place.
 
The entryway, with (you can't see it) the biggest coat closet ever. I loved that thing.
 
I would never change our current home. I love being one house away from my best friend and having so many trees and having room to breathe. I love having enough space for a pup and a washing machine in my own home. But, after less than a year in a really craphole apartment with HORRID neighbors, my heart grew three sizes when we moved into that rented condo.
 
This is the kitchen where I learned how to cook and bake like a grown-up. Also, I loved that window shaped cut-out that overlooked the dining room.
 
When Rhyno and I first rented our own place, just the two of us, we didn't choose correctly. Our first apartment was thin walled-thin floored (which meant a constant aroma of pot from the downstairs neighbors), poorly neighbored (weird scary story: I was watching the 20/20 special on Rihanna/Chris Brown when the cops were first called to our building because my neighbors across the hall were beating one another...the cops were called weekly after that...mostly by me), and we were right off a set of freight train tracks (when I had all of my impacted wisdom teeth pulled in one day, the SO loud noise made my face hurt). When we moved into the condo and broke our apartment lease early it was heavenly. Quiet and cute and spacious and wonderful. Bruce and Laura across the hall brought us a wine and fruit basket as a "welcome to the building" gift on our move-in day and would always sign for our packages and leave us their house keys when they went on vacation and never told on us when my parents would bring my family dogs, Little Bear and Lucy, to visit.
 
 Our first apartment was our first "place" the condo was our first "home."
 
Our huge front room/dining room.
 
You could say this condo was nothing special, but to me it was everything. I loved nothing more than pulling into the parking lot after more than an hour commute home after a long day and seeing the lights on in my home. I loved sitting on the balcony with a cold drink and a best friend on a hot night. I loved snuggling with my then fianc√©/now husband slurping tea and watching sitcoms before a 10pm bedtime on a Tuesday. I loved walking into this place every single day. You know how they say you always yearn for your childhood home? I do. And also, this place.
 
 
 
The very last time that I used my key to open the door to Unit 106 I cried. When we were signing the final paperwork and getting our security deposit back after two years we had a small dinner on the condo counter with our landlady, her husband and their baby in the condo. We brought her champagne and chocolate. She gave us a big housewarming basket to bring to our new house and I died from cuteness (a birdhouse, kitchen staples, wine, a wreath, and stamps). I think you leave pieces of your heart in little places all over the world and for me? This is one of them. A teeny part of my heart is still there--in the place where I finally became a wife, where I learned who my best friends really were, where I mourned the loss of a longtime family pet (Little Bear) in, where I fell so in love with my life in every single way.
 
 I've been thinking about this little place a lot lately, having dreams about it. This is the place where we started to really build our lives and it was so wonderful and magical and lovely. I so appreciate every moment I had within those walls and will always love these little photos of our little rented home.
 
Do you have any little places that your heart calls home?


Monday, November 18, 2013

A Day with Charlie.

 In the whole wide world Charlie is one of my favorite kids and over the weekend we had our very first sleepover! If you have nieces or nephews, I suggest having them over for a slumber party immediately. Charlie was a JOY! So much fun and so excited to be a total grown up sleeping on the couch and staying up late.
 
And, boy, we stayed up late (12:30am!). After a cookie exchange party (more on that in another post), Charlie rode home with me and we jammed to Christmas carols. After about 10 minutes in the car I asked if he was tired and he said, "Yes. If I fall asleep, will you wake me up when we get to your house?" I thought FOR SURE he would be passed out and had Rhyno waiting at the door to help me carry Charlie to the couch to sleep for the night. We pulled in the driveway and he hilariously popped awake and said, "OH! WE'RE HERE! Are you going to make some popcorn for me?!"
 
Snugglin' with his blankie, popcorn, a cookie, and a Christmas movie.
 
We snuggled up on the couch with The Polar Express (I had never seen it and was nearly crying by the end) and some snacks. I thought for sure he'd fall asleep halfway through the movie. NOPE! He knows how sleepovers work and insisted we watch a couple movies and some Charlie Brown holiday episodes. He learned how to tell Violet to sit, stay, and leave it (PS, those two together? PRECIOUS).
 
Teeny, tiny boy in a big, ol' pillow fort.
 
We made him a pillow fort to sleep in on the couch and I took to the big, comfy chair. After a few false promises of sleep--at one point I was positive he was sleeping and he chirped, "Do you want me to tell you how rainbows are formed?" An hour later I was certain he was sleeping for the night and he popped his little head up and said, "Tonight I hope I dream about Violet and Frozen!" He begged Violet to sleep on his feet but she chose to lay on the ottoman and stare at him all night long. 
 
Charlie and Violet enjoying some star-shaped donuts.
 
Best impulse decision ever! About four years ago I randomly decided to cover the top of our IKEA coffee table in chalkboard paint. I have never looked back.
 
After a few hours of sleep (literally--where do children find their energy??) we woke up and took Violet potty, Charlie fed her breakfast (thus becoming her favorite person in the world), and we put on the Nightmare Before Christmas while we drew pictures of our family on the chalkboard coffee table. Without changing out of jammies we took Violet for a car ride and picked up donuts for breakfast--to surprise Rhyno we each picked out a donut for him, blueberry from me and chocolate glaze from C. Hilarious: the Dunkin Donuts by my house is connected to a Subway. When we walked in Charlie screamed, "YAY!!! WE ARE EATING AT SUBWAY!! I LOVE SUBWAY!!" The ladies at the cash register were smitten kittens and even gave Charlie his own little donut box for his order and complimented his blankie that he was wearing like a scarf.
 
So stinking cute! Some of my favorite people in the world who all wanted to sit on the same chair to eat cookies and watch Spidey...while Violet begged for sugar. 
 
We had a play-date with two of my other very favorite littles, Addie and Olive--hello, the above photo. Have you ever seen so much cute in one place? More chalk drawing, playing I Spy & Tic-Tac-Toe, watching some Spiderman, playing on the swing-set, and throwing apples from the apple tree for Violet to chase around the yard. Some cookies leftover from the party and juice-boxes and then?
 
Hey, Disney website, thank you for the free racing game!
 
A TORNADO WATCH. Yep, our play-date was cut short since a destructive tornado was spotted in a nearby town and was headed our way. Charlie and I headed to the basement to watch Care Bears and play video games on the Disney website (texting C's mom with weather/child updates) while the cats howled from the laundry room (they hate storms) and a sickly Rhyno and a rowdy Violet snuggled. Luckily, C had no idea there was a storm going on and was pleased as punch the whole time. Charlie had said around 9am that he was intent on having Subway for lunch after our false Subway start in the morning and after the storm cleared I saw Rhyno putting on his shoes. "Where are you going?" "Char wants Subway for lunch, I'm going to get his sandwich." A-dorable.
 
Best friends forever practicing high-fives. She rarely let him out of her sight the whole time!
 
In my own childhood I knew one thing--sleepovers at auntie's (or gramma's) house were for sugar and fun and movies and friends and staying up late and laughing. I can only hope I'm doing that justice now that I'm old enough to host littles at my house. Thanks for sleeping over, Charlie! Can't wait for you to come back!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Currently.

On loop.
 
I am currently...
 
....eating eggless tofu salad. SO GOOD! I've also been learning to juice like a champ (post on that forthcoming). I'm feeling amazing. Thanks, Kris Carr!
 
...making lists upon lists of things that need to be done for the holiday season! Gifts to be bought or made, Friends-giving to be planned, cookies to bake for a Cookie Exchange tomorrow.
 
...on my To Do list a slumber party with my nephew Charlie tomorrow! I am so excited to make pancakes and watch Fraggle Rock.
 
...listening to Panic at the Disco!'s Miss Jackson. I want to stop, I just can't. Last weekend my best friend turned to me very seriously and said, "I have to ask you a question...it's kind of personal. Are you as obsessed with Miss Jackson as I am?" Yes, yes, yes. I am indeed.
 
...reading Crazy Sexy Diet. Still. On loop. Just over and over. I keep going back to pieces of the book to re-read. I've also been catching up on so many blogs I love that I've been neglecting lately. Any good suggestions? My favorite thing is finding a new blog and going through the archives and feeling oh, so inspired.
 
...watching every Wes Anderson movie on loop forever. I had a marathon last week and since then I've been watching one hit after another.
 
...loving this fall weather and the leaves that cover our yard. It's almost time to get rid of the pumpkins on our porch (uncarved) but I just can't let go yet.
 
...hoping for work!
 
 
 Have such a great weekend!
 
If you also partake in Currently posts, please link up in the comments!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursdays.

Welcome to the second installment of Thankful Thursdays.
 
I am thankful for...
 


 
...tacky costume jewelry that makes me feel crazy fancy.
 
...my best friends who make me laugh so much, understand me, and can really rock some karaoke.
 
...fresh strawberries, warm cake donuts, and ice cold water.
 
...long warm baths with a good book and a mug of hot tea.
 
...my favorite restaurant (pssst...it's The Chicago Diner)
 
...libraries full of characters, movies theaters, and forest preserves.
 
...cute winter coats, cozy scarves, colorful mittens.
 
...hot summer nights, bonfires in Fall, snow on Christmas, and new flowers in May.
 
...wishing on eyelashes and 1:11.
 
...rediscovering old songs that I used to love so much and falling in love all over again.
 
...the littles in my life sleeping over! (See you Saturday, Charlie Bear!)
 
...the ability to keep in touch with cool people and befriend new cool people via social media.
 
...the ability to hide/block uncool people's really nasty social media posts.
 
...unpacking Christmas decorations and filling this house with so much cheer.
 
...days spent doing yardwork and appreciating what I have.
 
What are you most thankful for?


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just a Happy Hump Day Thought.

Just a happy thought in the middle of a crazy week.
 
 
Have a great day, sexypants!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hair Inspiration.

I've never been good with my hair. I mean, I take good care of it and I love being a curly haired girl but I have never been good at creating cute styles. I have some tried and true go-to styles (down, sock bun, long volleyball player-type braid) but I have been trying to stretch my wings in the ol' hair department.
 
Thank gosh for Pinterest, right?
 
A few styles that have caught my eye and I'd like to try this holiday season?
 
Fishtail Braid
Also, how adorable is Katie from Skunkboy?
 
Vintage Inspired Swoopy Updo
 
French Braided Chignon
 
Braided Bouffant Updo
I have a slight addiction to braids...
 
 
Any hair styles you've been dying to try?
 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crazy Sexy Everything.

 
It's no secret that I'm trying to get this whole weight loss thing under control. It's been a rough, well documented road but I'm still working at it. I've been stuck in this rut of doing really well for a few days and then allowing myself that glass of wine and pizza as often as I want Friday through Sunday. After talking it over it Rhyno, I realized this whole start-and-stop and lose-a-few-gain-a-few is due in big part to being home all the time (ah, freelancer life) and not using the time wisely (ah, lazy person life). I mean, eating disorders are hard to get over. It is what it is.
 
To be clear, I am totally embarrassed to admit that I keep failing and I keep fighting this battle but I want to keep this blog 100 (that means "honest" as my younger, hipper cousin taught me). So, I digress...
 
The weight disorder is a dark closet in the happy home that is my mind. I've tried to tackle it from many angles or years and it stems, in part, from years of bullying and thinking I wouldn't be good enough until I was skinny enough. I feel like I keep writing the same post over and over but one time this will stick--believe me it's as frustrating for me to repeatedly write that I want to get healthy as it is for you to (maybe) read it repeatedly. Over the last week, mostly while knocked out with the flu, I really started thinking about the unhealthy habits I take part in daily--be in dietary, mentally or otherwise. On a good day I'll research Before and After photos and plan out these elaborate diet regimes without a great support net and then I fall off the wagon because weight isn't falling off life it used to.
 
So...I've created the support net and have stopped with the crazy regimes. While down and out with the flu, I decided to knock it off with the "I need to down ten sizes in two months!" and focus on just being healthy. After seeing her expertise featured in numerous food docs, I picked up  Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr and I feel incredibly inspired to take control of my health more now than ever. I highly suggest her book or her documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. I've been taking her advice and focusing my energy on mental wellness and compassionate eating (PS I love vegetarians). I've been working the kinks out mentally about my body image issues and I am teaching myself to appreciate this bod o' mine. I am trying to retrain my brain not to get discouraged by the numbers on the scale but to appreciate the ability to take steps and all that.
 
In addition to this, I've created a net of support. In addition to My Fitness Pal, a few family members and I have reinstated our healthy living club: sending weigh-ins on Monday mornings, sharing healthy recipes and tips, water drinking reminders, and we even made a Secret Santa-esque component (we each chose names and you send that person tokens of support like workout mixes or KIND bars).
 
In case you are also battling the bulge, trying to get healthy, recovering from an eating disorder let's connect. You can find me at Sarai145 on MyFitnessPal or just leave a good ol' comment.
 
Light and love and sugar-free, chemical-free, cruelty-free lemonade.
 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Veggie Tales.

I need to make a confession...I am a vegetarian. And sometimes people are hella dorky about it.
 
Since I was 9 (so about 19 years now), I have refused meat of any kind. Before you ask, no I no longer eat fish or crustaceans. I don't eat chicken or use animal-based soup stock. I don't pick the meat out of things. Yes, it is an ethical issue for me.
 
Recently a friend shared this article on Facebook and someone else commented, "How do you know there is a vegetarian in the room? Don't worry, they'll tell you ALL about it" or something like that. As I read it, and I've heard variations of the sentiment forever, I just thought how wrong it was. Yes, there are vegetarians who see someone eating a burger and immediately tell them how cows are slaughtered. That isn't me and I'd love it if you didn't treat me like I was always on the cusp of telling you something disgusting about your food. It got me thinking about all the laughable crap you deal with when people find out you don't eat meat.
 
See what I mean? Go home, Wonka, you're drunk.
 
Bummers I deal with as a vegetarian:
 
1.) "So, like, what do you eat then?" Everyone asks me this. I eat a lot of things. I didn't get heavy by osmosis, bro. There are so many delicious foods that don't have meat in them. Plus, I have never understood this question because if you are only eating meat or meat-laced things, your heart is probably about to explode. Granted, I get this question a lot less in recent years since the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle has gone more mainstream and more alternatives have popped up.
 
2.) PROTEIN. Plus shove off with the protein lecture. I don't see animals as "protein" in the first place and you ramming your beliefs down my throat won't change my mind. Vegetables, tofu, nut butters (LOL), and legumes are chock full of protein. I log every bite I eat on MyFitnessPal and most days I exactly meet my protein requirements, some days even going over. Don't worry, lover, I won't wither and die because I prefer kale to pork chops.
 
3.) "Oh, you don't eat meat? DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT MY FOOD!" I am never planning on doing this, please stop assuming. I can't tell you how many times people have found out I was veggie and then assumed I was about to regale them with a tale about how that steak wound up on their plate. Do I wish the world was full of tofu-lovin', cow-rescuin' hippies like me? Yeah, I kinda sorta do. But I'm not judging you for your meaty choices, don't judge me for mine. Eat yo' food, I won't tell you how the sausage is made unless you ask. Pinkie swear.
 
4.) People waving their meat in my face (LOL x 2). This is a real thing. Some people who know I'm veg will take a bite of a burger or hot dog and then wave it in my face, "Oooooh, meeeeat!" See #3, this doesn't make my mouth water or inspire me to give you a lecture that PETA would be proud of. I keep my choices to myself unless asked, do the same.
 
5.) "Plants have feelings and you eat those!" I have no comeback to this other than to zip it. If I found out cantaloupe was capable of companionship, it'd probably kill me. But until that day comes I'm cool with chowing down.  
 
Any annoyances that surround your diet choices? Oh, and happy Friday, ya babes! 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursdays.

It's nice to be thankful, ain't it?
 
Despite seeing numerous complaints about people using social media to proclaim what they are grateful for in November, I love it. I love that people acknowledge what they are happy for in their lives, no matter how small those things are. Since I probably won't do it on Facebook or Twitter, but I've decided to devote Thursdays on this ol' blog to fifteen things I am thankful for.
 
A wasabi macaroon. I am always thankful for treats.
 
I am thankful for....
 
...the people I am surrounded with. My family and friends and colleagues. I am lucky to have such thoughtful, inspiring, funny, and wacky people in my everyday life.
 
...a roof over my head. I have mentioned before that one of my favorite things about cooler weather seasons is walking from the cold outdoors into a warm home--I'm lucky for that. I know I'm lucky to have a place to call home with security, heat, heart, and shelter.
 
...Kira and Joodle and Violet, of course.
 
...books. I love to read and as I get older, I'd much rather spend my weeknights snuggled up with a good book rather than partying at a bar.
 
...the ability to change my life at any time. Isn't it amazing that we kind of take that for granted? It's inspiring to realize that every day offers a chance to change and try new things.
 
...chocolate chip cookies, handwritten thank you notes, and all the glitter in the world.
 
...vacations. We aren't in the spot to plan one at the moment but I love to peruse all the destinations on Pinterest and just daydream the day away.
 
...my library card. This is basically my favorite thing in the world and it's nice to know there's a mental escape freely available whenever I need it.
 
...thoughtful gestures and sweet people.
 
...old photographs, cold milkshakes, and warm blankets.
 
...Fall leaves. Even though our yard and driveway are currently COVERED, I still love those autumnal delights. Nothing makes me melt quite the way that driving down a quiet street with the changing leaves hanging off the trees.
 
...cooking and baking. I like that at any time I feel like it, I can go into our kitchen and there is the possibility to create something amazing.
 
...inside jokes, really great paint brushes, and black coffee with two ice cubes.
 
...museums. It's been a goal for a while to check out more of the museums in our area (I usually hit up my tried and true favorites--the Field and Museum of Science and Industry).
 
...twinkly lights, good music, and Wes Anderson.
 
What are you most thankful for?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Water Works.

Let me paint you a picture. It's a Wednesday morning, you have the flu so you are cuddled up working from home under a blanket on the couch. You decide to move your temporary home office to the basement so you can watch some TV clips on Hulu while you media pitch.
 
You grab your laptop, mug of tea, and tell the crazy pup to follow you downstairs. Then it happens. You are walking down the stairs and you put your foot in something wet and freezing. Your first thought is that the dog had an accident (hey, pee happens) and upon further inspection you realize it's water. Water all over the basement. Under the washer and dryer, under the kitchenette stove and fridge, covering the baseboards. There's two inches of (luckily!) clean water from a leaking toilet all over the bottom level of the house.
 
The one photo I took because I needed my husband to know that the basement is flooded and I just realized our towels don't match.
 
This is a true story. This happened a few hours ago. Know what's a great cure for the flu? Wading around in cold water. Thank my lucky stars that two of our best friends live one house away and were willing to let me sneak into their garage to grab their ShopVac. I spent a good two hours drying the place out and I can still hear all the box fans whirring as we try to dry out the walls.
 
It's easy to let things like this weigh on you--I could feel myself beginning to let this ruin my day. I caught myself saying aloud, "Oh, this is a nightmare" as I followed the water and realized how much of the floor was drenched. But I stopped. Maybe it's the Secret or maybe it's the cold meds, but I realized this shouldn't weigh me down. This story might be funny in a few days, things could've been MUCH worse, and I was lucky to have people willing to loan me exactly what I needed.
 
It's all about perspective, I suppose. You could say, "I spent the whole afternoon cleaning up freezing water in the basement!" or you could say, "Hey! I finally got the indoor swimming pool I always wanted!"
 
 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sick As a....


This.
 
The last time I was sick it was a rough head cold, this time I am 99.999% positive I am battling the flu.
 
After a whirlwind weekend and some busy work days, I woke up Monday with a slight ache in my throat and a wonky stomach. Today brought more congestion, more stomachaches, a fever, and a sinus headache. I have decided to admit to myself that I have the flu and not do what I usually do (run myself into the ground until I am so sick I can't do anything except lay around). Because of the crazy weekend, we are insanely low on groceries so I have lived on veggie broth and black tea (I'm hoping for the motivation to get groceries tomorrow). I have been taking detox baths, chugging water, and abstaining from all alcohol and caffeine.
 
Two days in and I am ready to feel better already. Bottoms (of a mug of Emergen-C) up in hopes you stay flu-free this season! 
 
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hot Diggity Dog!

I think I have an addiction to signing up for 5Ks. I have this idea upon sign-up that the day will come and I'll be SO ready and then reality sets in and I break down (um, hey, Diva Dash).
 
My parents, cousin Samantha, and I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 5K over summer and I had every intention of running 6 times a week to train. Spoiler alert: I didn't.
 
But, guess what, thanks to taking things at my own pace, wearing a silly costume, and good company I had a blast during the race even if I didn't complete the course in 25 minutes like some of  those super fit runners surrounding me. I spent the day before stomping through the city with my parents and then spent the actual race going at my own pace--I wasn't pushing to keep up with anyone or beat any certain time. My parents ran ahead and Sam & I kept our own pace--I've FINALLY unlocked the secret to actually enjoying 5Ks: go however fast you can go, don't worry about who is ahead or who is behind. Oh, wear a hot dog suit if you happen to have one lying around. It's fun to be ridiculous.
 
Some photos from the day...
 


 
All in all, it was a blast! Lots of hot dog suit-induced laughs, drinks at the bar the night before with my dad, perfect weather, and crazy good chocolate fondue at the finish line. I would definitely run for chocolate in 2014!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Clear the Clutter.

 
By now you know I'm always yammering on about being happy and Secret-ing the shit out of life and being nice. You could definitely say that I am always on the quest to be better than I was before and all that. After a few weeks of being grouchier than usual and a slump brought on probably by not getting out enough and junk food and not sleeping well at night, I am clearing the clutter...again.
 
Clutter, that's right. Home, body, mind, life. Clear that ish out before the snow falls.
 
I've been planning this for a while but now I'm trying to make a big push before winter sets in. I am getting rid of things we don't need/use/want anymore, getting rid of the junky things in our cabinets, trying to cut down on toxic chemicals and habits and people. I'm starting in the easy places like deep cleaning the house, finally cleaning out the clutter in the garage, and unfollowing all those people who do nothing but whine on social media. I do a big purge at least once or twice a year and I always have that feeling of wholeness afterward. I am trying to clear the clutter of my body with staying on track with my clean eating (while cutting WAY back on alcohol, processed snacks, and takeout). I have been researching meditation to keep my mind at peace since I can be easily stressed out.
 
I feel like it's so easy for me to clear the clutter (I just did that this summer!) and then have it build right back up again so I'm pulling more focus to this little exercise this time around. I'm clearing the junk and trying not to pull more junk into my life to replace it. Good grief!
 
How do you clear the clutter in life?


P.S. Rabbit, rabbit! Happy November!