Thursday, December 5, 2013

merry & bright holidaze.

The holidays are here, y'all!

Which means christmas lights, holiday decor, parties, food, festive merriness and my personal fav - christmas tunes.

One of my favorite Christmas "traditions", if you will, happens the day after Thanksgiving. My mom hands me her phone and asks for Mariah. Every year, we both change our ringtones to "All I Want for Christmas is You" and every year I change hers, she lights up and starts dancing when it comes on. It's most definitely one of my favorite things.

On the same note (ha! music pun!), enjoy this magical melody and let your heart be light:





Monday, November 4, 2013

"resolve to be awesome"

I just love a good, solid "YES - nailed it" list.

Now see here, "25 things every woman needs to know":
**Note: I did not write this list, but I sure as hell wish I had**

1) Life is a steep, uphill battle but it’s fierce & it’s beautiful & you’ll be sad to see it go if you live it right.

2) New people won’t stop coming into your life and opportunities won’t stop knocking on the door but you need to have the space for them. In all you currently have– be them relationships or obligations– step back and ask yourself “why.” If you can find the answer, hold tighter. If the answer escapes you, it’s time to let something go.

3) You should resolve to be awesome for the rest of your life. Right now. Do it.

4) Leggings, no matter how much we wish, will never one day magically transform into pants. Wearing them with tops that don’t cover your bum is not cute. Please, please, please stock up on pants.

5) Goals are not a January 1st kind of thing. Set them weekly. Set them monthly. Set them so that you are moving forward and always trying to progress. Life can grow stagnant without them… beware.

6) Tuna and barbeque sauce are as unlikely a couple as Sandy and Danny from Grease. However, they go together. They go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong. Don’t gag at the computer, I promise I am not fooling you. Mix the two together with some brown rice and you’ve got a bomb.com lunch.

7) Confidence is a sexy thing. Guys dig it. Girls dig it. We all dig it.

8) I agree with Bruno Mars and, if I were a good singer, I’d serenade you alongside him in singing how I hope he buys you flowers… and holds your hands… and takes you to parties if you like to dance. You deserve that. Always. Don’t think you should have less than that. You are worthy beyond words, gal.

9) And maybe Bruno Mars should be president because he’s also right to say that you are amazing. Just the way you are. No frill. No big introductions. You’re unlike anyone else and you should lean into that every morning. Every evening. Every hour.

9.5) Knowing your states & geography is a really precious thing. As a recovering “I didn’t pay attention in Geography class and forgot my states one by one so that boys would think I was ditzy & cute, and it was, in fact, ditzy & cute until the day I made the mistake of asking everyone in Missouri how they liked living down south,” I can say firsthand that it’s really wonderful to know that Russia isn’t on top of the US and that Delaware is, in fact, a state. The moral of this bloated story: guys have never wanted us to be stupid. They actually like brain cells. It’s a wonder & a mystery but they really kind of, sort of, definitely like girls with a noggin. ALL HAIL THE LADIES WHO LIKE HTML CODING & UNDERSTAND MARXIST THEORY!! HOLLAAAA!!! WE WINNNN AFTER ALL THESE YEARSSSS!!

10) Your spirit will never benefit from shallow people. You gotz to cut the toxic out of your life, boo.

11) And if you make mean comments, and you talk about people behind their back without ever trying to love them or see where they are coming from, you MIGHT be the toxic one. Oof. I’m not trying to burn you, just trying to say that relationships are too valuable to muddy them up with what you perceive to be the shortcomings of someone else. Big girls do bigger things than that.

12) So yea, I’ll drive the point home: gossip is shallow and stupid. Hobbies are better. Social good is best ;)

13) Nude pumps. They’re good for the soul. They are a must-have in any serious closet. Buy a pair one day and I can promise your whole entire style statement will benefit from them.

14) Here’s the truth: you are going to waste a lot of hours focusing on who you are not, or who you want to secretly be. But you won’t ever wake up and actually be that person. You’ve got to embrace what you bring to the table. If you don’t like what that is, have the courage to change it.

15) The world does not revolve around us. Turns out that we are just little points of punctuation in a much bigger story glittered with periods & commas & dashes. How are you helping that story to be better? How are you being the best dang point of punctuation that you can be?

16) If you ever find yourself frying Oreos on the stove top (and being an absolute BOSS at it), do not, I REPEAT, do not take the simmering pot of grease straight from the stove and pour it directly into the sink. The thing will straight up explode… And grease will fly everywhere… And you will risk burning your pretty little face off… And then everyone will probably call you “Vat of Grease Face” or “Grease Lightning” (what is with all the Grease references, Hannah?!) for the rest of your life… And, if they do, you can refer them to this blog post and tell them to read point #11. But still, dump the grease outside and keep your face intact.

17) If you want to run a serious business, if you want people to take you seriously, then start your engine and sign out some library books. Business books are proof that God loves us. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg will make you a better leader. Seth Godin is the dude you wanted to take the prom all these years and never knew it until you cracked open his book “Tribes.”

18) No matter how tech savvy we get, there is a need to say things to a person’s face. Please, for the love of lovelier things, have the courage to call someone up and verbalize your thoughts or meet for a coffee. Breaking a heart is hard stuff, stopping a relationship is never fun, but there will never be anything as loud as this statement: You are worth my words. You are worth my presence. You are worth, and will always be worth, more than just letters on a screen and a broken heart jammed in the crooks of an overflowing inbox. Face to face connections are fading faster, please don’t let them get away…

19) First impressions are important. Really. That truth never changes. So refer to point #4. Really meditate on it.

20) No matter what kind of interview you are gearing up for, there are certain standards you should always hold yourself to: wearing something other than jeans, not talking out your phone during the interview, sending a handwritten note afterwards. An interview means you want something but it doesn’t mean they have to give it to you.

21) Regret is a real thing. It’s going to happen. It’s going to come clomp-clomp-clomping into your life at some point. Don’t hold onto things forever but learn from them and let the past go. The past will be a dictator if you let her. 

22) You never want to be the COTS (chick on the side). Girls, GIRLS!!!! IF A GUY HAS A GIRLFRIEND AND HE IS STILL TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU IN A “YOU ARE THE ONE THAT I WANT” WAY, DO NOT FALL FOR IT. HE SHOULD MAN UP AND ACTUALLY LET THE OTHER GIRL GO. IF HE DOES NOT THEN WALK AWAY. WALK AWAY. WALK AWAY. You are worth so much more than second string in relationships. And being a COTS is not an endearing title. Be the better lady and hop off his swag; you are breaking the heart of girl you don’t even know without ever really meaning to. (And truthfully: real men aren’t interested in finding another gal, they’re too wrapped up in loving the face off the one they already have.)

23) The women’s section of Old Navy and Target has failed us. If you ever really want to fully embrace to “oversize” look then just frolic over the men’s section. All those flannels you’ve been tugging at, wishing they would actually be “oversize,” are hanging out in the men’s section waiting to kiss your elbows with their flannelish lips. Roll up the sleeves and get going. And then wear them leggings having no shame at all!

24) Facebook is a tricky thing. This is an invitation to step back and ask yourself, should I really post that? In the days of diaries, we never had to worry about this. Now all that we say is a microphone so be very, very careful. Here’s a link to all the best quotes from Maya Angelou. The next time you feel like posting something really ugly that you are going to regret, take a stab at one of these instead: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3503.Maya_Angelou

25) Darling, darling–the victim song is never going to fit you. It will never be good enough for your lungs. It will never be good enough for your time. You are stronger than you know and more graceful than you know. Don’t let the parts of you that want to be a victim live on any longer. You’ve got a voice… you’ve got a story… Do us all a favor and use it. Without any apologies. Without any stepping back. If ever you need a listener, come find me…

image credit

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hallo-what?

I dislike Halloween. Growing up, it always stressed me out because I had to have the cleverest costume. Then, I'd change my mind on said costume roughly 12 hours prior to school starting.

I specifically remember one Halloween when I was set to be Steve Urkel. I had spent a good portion of the week, practicing and nailing my "Did I dooooooo thaaaaaaat?" voice.

The night before that fateful Halloween - which in elementary school meant you got to wear your costume to school, which was ten kinds of exciting - I ran into my parents' room, crying. Steve Urkel was a terrible idea! No one will like it. I'll have no friends! You know, all the usual 10 year old life-ruining girl drama. Peg loved it! Read: Peg did not love it, but was always a great sport.

Plan B turned out to be an artist (I think?). And it's funny because I don't even remember how I ultimately dressed up. Artist vs. Urkel? We may never know who won.

This year, the extent of my Halloween decor can be found below (and it's not even in my apartment):


Two pumpkins - whose sizes accidentally depict the size of the universities - dripping with school spirit!

I do like the idea of Halloween because it means fall is on and honeycrisp apples are here, y'all. It also means little kids dressing up in the cutest little snuggly outfits. I mean, pigs have never looked so gosh darn adorable. And I do love a clever costume on adults.

Heck, maybe someday Halloween/October will even mean watching the Cubs play!

Whoa. Too far, Ker, too far, too soon.

Anywho, are you dressing up for Halloween? Did you already celebrate this weekend? What was the best costume you saw? Better yet, what was the worst?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

hashtag.

I'm as guilty as the next person as "hashtagging." Why? I haven't a clue.

Everything's funnier with a hashtag?

When my cousin Emily got married a few years ago, two of my cousins, a cousin-to-be, my brother Mark and I chose to happy hour (yes, happy hour is a verb in my world) before the rehearsal dinner. During said happy hour, we came up with the hilariously funny idea to say the word "hashtag" outloud.

It was funny to us, okay? 

Flash forward to today: Jimmy Fallon and JT stole our idea. I'm all #whatevs, but let's be real: it's Jimmy and JT and they can do anything they want.

Anywho, this is comical:



#thanksforsendingmeghan
#bringingfunnyback

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

that one time i baked...

...and people actually asked for seconds...and thirds...and fourths!

I'm notorious for baking new things, only to learn they taste like memory foam or I forgot an ingredient. The effort is always there - the end result is not always edible.

I found myself searching the Interwebs for a Potbelly cookie look-alike recipe aka the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in all the land. I found this one and went for it.

And you guys, I never brag about my baking because there's nothing to brag about. But these? These were GOOD. Better than good.

So just for that, I will share the recipe with you because no one should be deprived a decent cookie in their life.

What you'll need:
1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2.5 c oatmeal
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c chocolate chips

What you'll do: 
1)  Preheat oven to 350* 
2)  In a large mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugars. Add in egg – one at a time – beating after every addition. Mix in vanilla. 
3)  In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix together then slowly add in margarine mixture. About a cup at a time, mix, then add another cup. Do this until it is all blended together. Mix in chocolate chips.
4)  Form dough into medium sized balls.
5)  Bake for about 10 minutes.


Sick of having a hand covered in flour just to get another scoop,
I opted to cut the top of the bag. Needless to say, I was proud of this moment.
You can't tell by looking but this was A LOT of batter. I'm talking over 60 cookies' worth.
Minus the three I ate whilst baking.
Voila! Edible homemade cookies!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

just run it.

The hardest part of a morning workout is getting out of a cozy bed.

But then sometimes you see this view while running (and thinking about said cozy bed)...and your run goes just a little smoother.

Cheers to a stellar Chicago sunrise this morning.
How'd you start your Tuesday?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

29.5

My half birthday is next week.

Now I'm not a "let's celebrate everything about my birthday" kinda of person, but the half birthday does mean the inevitable...I'm closer to 30. Ay carumba.

This realization hit me a few weeks ago and unexpectedly, I started to mildly freak out. 30? Thirty? How? I just finished college...7 years ago.

I had the "I haven't done anything in my life" meets "Tim McGraw wrote a song about his next thirty years" conundrum.

I'm trying to settle down.

It's like Olivia Wilde (who I really don't know anything about?) read my mind and published this article:
Olivia Wilde's Advice for Turning 30

Moral of the story: "I'd rather be a good person who makes people happy than a dick who wins a Nobel by 32."

Amen, sister.

Time to embrace the big 3-0. Or right now, the big 2-9-point-5.

Yes, I took creative license with the above image. Why? Because I'm 29.5, y'all.

Friday, August 2, 2013

roll tide.

August means football season is that much closer!

And this year, we have even more reason to root for Alabama.

To our shock, it was Crimson's time also. Less than 6 weeks after Mags. Little did we know he had cancer also and it wasn't good. Crims went downhill so very fast. It's pretty unbelievable and awfully heartbreaking. (If you're not a dog person and you're reading this, this post might not be for you)

That said, it's up for debate whether it was the cancer that ultimately took the big guy or the fact he just couldn't part with his sister. Afterall, the below was a typical sleeping situation. You can't tell where one dog ends and the other begins.
Now here's the feel good part of the story.

What you should know before reading this feel good part is: I'm a believer in "everything happens for a reason." No matter what the "everything" is and no matter what the "reason" is. Even when things that suck (like this) happen.

Something else you should know: Maggie has always worn a purple collar and used a purple leash while Crimson has always worn a green collar and used a green leash.

Anywho, back to the feel good. My dad and Ricky ultimately ended up taking Crimson in last Thursday evening and on their ride back home, they drove through Glen Ellyn (hometown shout out!). They opted to take a different way home than usual - a little more winding, a little more scenic.

They turned down the street and saw a man walking two dogs.
Two black labs.
One male and one female.
The male had a green collar and the female had a purple collar. And according to Ricky, the male bore an uncanny resemblance to Crims...

Ricky turned to my dad and said, "This means they are together again."

I mean...what are the chances? Those dogs with the same color collars walking down that street we don't normally drive down...AT THAT EXACT MOMENT? How cool is that?

It was the sign we needed. Do you have goosebumps? Are you tearing up? Cuz I am.
We miss you.
Therefore, in an awfully bittersweet manner, I am so happy these pups are together again. Take care of each other and Roll Damn Tide!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

103 degrees.

What's that saying?
You learn something new every day?

These days, I couldn't agree more and here's what I learned last night:

Bikram Yoga

It is not only hotter than Singapore (we're talking room temperature of 102 - 105*), but it's looooooong. 90 minutes long. Oh and also they use words I don't understand. You want my body to go in what position? Cobra? Tree? Tortoise? CORPSE? Whaaaaaaaat? Where am I?

Shockingly, the 90 minutes went pretty fast, all things considered. Actually, scratch that. The first 70 minutes went really fast. Then the instructor said "4 poses and 20 minutes left!" and that's when I really started to struggle. I stayed strong and was able to complete my first official yoga class.

Did I stick out like a sore thumb?
Heck yes.

Did I feel awkward or judged or as if everyone knew I was the new kid?
Nope. And if they were looking, I was so focused on not falling over, I didn't notice.

Was it what I expected?
No, but then again, I really didn't know what to expect.

Will I be going back?
Ha, probably not.

Although I am still on a mission to finally TOUCH MY TOES.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

hump day.

I don't like the term "hump day" (it's just awkward and doesn't roll off the tongue naturally) but I absolutely dig this commercial.



The camel's just so darn happy!

PS - If you'd like a chuckle, read this post on why Sheila thinks she coined the phrase "hump day" initially. Then decide amongst yourselves who should break the bad news to her.

Friday, July 12, 2013

and the third angel joins the real world.

This little studmuffin:
 is now this old studmuffin:

And today, he moves to Charlotte, NC to start a post-college life. I could not be more proud of him and so look forward to watching him take on the world. Ain't nobody ready for that!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

all dogs go to heaven.

Especially this one:


My sweet baby girl found herself a better home on Saturday (June 15). At 10, her health went downhill fast these past two months and the vet deduced it was cancer. She was having more bad days than good...and no one wants to live like that.

Crimson seemed to have a clue as to what was happening because he was slowly distancing himself from her over the past couple of weeks. (Author's note: for those who don't know, Crimson and Maggie are littermates. Brother and sister. We went to go get Mags and ended up with the big guy too. Dogs will do that to you when you're not looking.)

They were always inseparable. If one was outside and one was in, the reunion once they were both in (or out) was momentous! They looked out for each other and the love and loyalty was tangible. Even though Crimson had a tendency to eat Maggie's food, she learned to become an excellent sharer.

I refuse to read or watch Marley & Me for the obvious reasons (and I've refused since the day each came out), but the book is chock full of how I feel about dogs:

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

Maggie wasn't so much loopy - she just pranced around a lot when she got excited and she hated the wooden floors on the Cape. She had zero interest in fetching and looked at you as if you had seven heads with a face that said "you want me to actually go GET that?" What a princess. She was quick to lick the ice cream bowl when you were done and she made it very clear she needed to be pet when you were lying down next to her.

RIP, Magpie.

Your stubborn Angel woman ways will be missed.
Say hi to Chelsea for us (and all those other pups!).

Monday, May 20, 2013

just like that.

Every so often, life hands you a moment where you actually get to be a "big sister." I've had my handful of moments and can't wait for the ones to come.

This week's moment was brought to you by Davidson College.

The class of 2013 graduated.

When Mark was accepted to Davidson and those words (and numbers) were a part of his acceptance letter, I couldn't help but think "That is so far in the future...I wonder how far away Davidson actually is?" (then Google Maps showed me exactly where it was because I hadn't a clue).

It was 2009. 2013 was years away. I had a lot to accomplish in that long span of time.

But in a blink of eye, it was (is) 2013.

Four years of watching my brother grow into the little old man I always knew he was...and I mean that in the best possible way. I call him "The Governor" (then stupid "Walking Dead" - and by stupid, I mean awesome - went and created a character named the same damn thing. Now I feel like that I have to defend my original nickname for Mark so people don't think he's some psychotic human who tried to keep his zombie daughter alive...I digress).

I call him "The Governor" not because he's a sleazy politician, but because he can work a room and genuinely be excited to see anyone he sees (unless he's just woken up in the morning or from a nap. Then steer clear). He knows (or pretends to know) every person in the room. He's the kid everyone says hi to. You want to be his friend. He can be witty. He can be intellectual. He's relatable. He can overanalyze with the best of them. He's human. He makes mistakes - which is exactly why you want to be his friend.

Yesterday, he walked across that stage with air of confidence I haven't seen in a long time. Watching him on Davidson's campus was - for lack of better words - awesome. It was his place. He was at home and so darn happy.

There's not much else you can want for the ones you love.

And just like that, Mark Angel is a college graduate. (Just typing those words made me tear up...again). I am so excited to watch him take on the real world and see what's next.

I've gotta feelin' some big things are about to happen. Watch out, Earth.

Friday, May 10, 2013

john + jimmy = best lip sync-ing ever.

What's the way to my heart, you ask?

Two heartthrobs battling it out - lip sync-ing style.

THIS IS PHENOMENAL. And I want in.

Watch this now.
It'll brighten your day. I promise. And if it doesn't, you need to lighten up.



I have no words.
Seriously.
No words.

A happy Friday fo sho.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

what real men do.

It's amazing what can happen in 26 seconds.



While it's sad this video is actually necessary, a big kudos goes out to University of Oregon's Samantha Stendal who released it.

Preach on, sista.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

HIIT 'em up style

I'm not a fashion trendy person, but I am a fitness trendy person.

I'll try most things at least once (Spartacus)...and things I like more than once to make them a mainstay (Nike Training Camp).

I've been reading a lot of fitness/food blogs lately (and I have to admit - they all kinda look/read the same thing), but I read them anyways.

A common trend I've picked up is essentially eliminating multiple "steady pace" runs during the week. Sure, I can run and knock out anywhere from 3-6 miles without training, but what was I accomplishing? Not much other than the satisfaction when it was done.

HIIT is the new thing (and maybe it's not new, but it is to me!):
High
Intensity
Interval 
Training

And oh my gosh. I love it. I love it because you really can't do it wrong. And you can totally make up your own routine - go your own speeds, your own inclines. It's like a "choose your own adventure" and you accomplish even more in a 20-30 minute session on the dreadmill. Plus the minutes fly by. No but seriously, they do.

For example, here's what I did this morning (and I totally just made it up on the fly):


I love being in charge of what I do and trust me, 30 seconds feels like a looooooooong time when you going at a 6 minute mile pace (and you're me who doesn't run 6 minute miles anymore...).

That being said, I am not eliminating steady runs all together - just limited them to once a week.

Go on - get movin'!
















































































Tuesday, April 16, 2013

i prefer awesome.

I can't wrap my brain around what happened in Boston yesterday. It is awful. Tragic. Horrifying. Still hard to believe.

As someone who has a few races under her belt, the finish line is quite possibly the best sight of all during a race (personal opinion). I've only ran half marathons and can I just say: each time I saw the finish line, I thought I might cry out of pure happiness? And that's only 13.1 miles. A marathon is 26.2.

It symbolizes dedication, achieving a goal and making it happen. There's a sense of accomplishment as you cross that line. You did it. But that didn't happen yesterday. Yesterday, people were running...for their lives, not celebrating the amazing feat of finishing a marathon.

And for those inquiring minds: no, my dad did not choose to run Boston this year, but if he did, no doubt he would have been featured in this awesome article:

"13 examples of people being awesome after the attack".

This is one of my favorites:


I also want to give a shout out to the Chicago Tribune for this:

 
We are America. And we won't stand for this.

As for me, I don't want to stand. All I wanna do is run.
Run to help.
Run to my loved ones.
Run for Boston.
Run for America.
Run with me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

a nod to my brothers

So apparently National Siblings Day was yesterday? What? Since when is that a thing? Does someone just declare "LET US CELEBRATE SIBLINGS TODAY" and we, the lemmings we are, just follow suit and say "OKAY"?

Well, okay then. I'm game.

My siblings are pretty phenomenal:

Mark, being all smart and stuff, got initated into some honors program I had to Google to know what it meant (Phi Beta Kappa). But it's a pretty big deal so therefore, he's a pretty big deal. Although he already was in my mind. After all, what kid who says stuff like "I just had this innate feeling we were going west...like I felt the Pacific pulling me, ya know?" wouldn't impress you?

Then there's Richard. He played some baseball in college. He was pretty good at it and he was fun to watch. He made the All Decade Team a few years ago and now he's getting a shout out with a "Where are they now?" Who would have thunk? The best part is his favorite record is "IWU career leader in ... HBP (aka hit by pitch) (36)." Now that's something to be proud of. Too bad they didn't ask to quote me. I have some items which would have lead to a fun read for the readers. i.e. he didn't realize orange was a color in the rainbow. This is a fact as of last Fall.

Neither of them will ever choose to brag about these things so that's where I, being the wiser older sister, come in!

Bam.
That just happened.

Thanks, boys, for putting up with me and keeping things interesting! Let's keep this streak going.


Friday, March 29, 2013

blog-dentity crisis.

I had a coworker come up to me the other morning to share she found my blog through Instagram and loved it.

I immediately grew shy and quick to put down my blog: "oh geez, really? It's just this thing I do for fun." But this thing - this little blog -  I realize I have been working on for almost five years. Five years? Fo(u)r serious.

But why? Why was I so quick to become defensive about blogging? Being a blogger shouldn't be embarrassing nor should it be something I hide.

And my blog? Well, there's really no rhyme or reason to it...and and that's what I love about it. There's no rhyme or reason to ME either so why would I have a web log that actually made sense with a theme?

Then I started thinking even more about this little blog and I realized: by golly, there is a common denominator. It's been hidden for years, but it's slowly coming to fruition.

What do I want to stand for? I want to stand for optimism and happiness. I always have and I usually try to use humor to showcase the ultimate optimist in me.

I don't write this blog to make money (ha...you can't hear me laughing right now). I write this blog for me and to make myself happy. And if you get something out of it...even better!

  
**This blog post goes out to Kristi, who inspired me to really think about why I blog and to be proud of what I blog. Also, you should read her blog too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

spring hasn't sprung.

But it sure doesn't hurt to try with a POP of color in the kitchen.


Flowers always do the trick. ALWAYS.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

cookie dough for breakfast?

Done & done.

When I hear the words "peanut butter" and "cookie dough" together in the form of a healthy, filling breakfast, I am sold. The only thing you need to know is this does take time. Read: overnight refrigeration or if you're the kind of person who breakfasts for dinner - like I did last Thursday - then make in the morning, consume at night.

Plus sides:
- No baking
- The deliciousness factor
- Healthy, all natural ingredients
-Chocolate! (well, this is optional, but it's never too early for homegirl to have chocolate)
- Super filling (we're talking eat this at 7:15am and not hungry again until 1:30-2p)

Voila! I'm a cook.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Dough Overnight Oats
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup milk of your choice (I used skim milk) + another splash in the morning
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons brown sugar (Honey or stevia will also work)
  • 1 teaspoon flax seeds (Do not omit or the oats will not thicken. You can also use chia seeds, but since I don't know what those are, I went with what I could find at my local grocery store)
  • Optional toppings: Honey roasted peanuts, fresh berries, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, etc.
Directions
  1. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Allow the bowl to sit overnight in the refrigerator
  3. In the morning, add a splash of milk and stir everything together again
  4. Top with honey roasted peanuts, additional peanut butter, fresh berries, etc.
Also, I think history has just been made. I daresay this might be the FIRST recipe I've ever posted on my dear blog. WHO AM I?

Author's note: I ended up changing the quantities from the original recipe. You should make the amount that works for you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

the time is now.

Today, it's time to revisit an old post of mine: just do this.

It involved an eye opening list of "30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself". It's not an act of selfishness, but rather self preservation. And it's one of the best damn lists I've ever read (and I've read a lot because come on, who doesn't love a good list?)

Lately, I've been focusing on #17:
Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. 
When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. 
Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

The past month has been hard. Really hard.

On February 14, I lost a dear friend way too soon. He was 33...with the smile of a champion, heart of gold and the hug heard 'round the world.

It's taken me until now to admit he's gone. Which - even writing this five weeks later - still doesn't seem possible. I know I'm still grieving and will continue to until who knows when.

Right now, I'm feeling the tug to write about him so bear with me while I broach a heavy subject.

I met Ari when I was a doe-eyed freckle-faced kid straight out of college. We worked for Feld Entertainment; he in the NYC office and me in the Philly office. After meeting my brand new coworkers down in Florida on day one, I knew this job was perfect for me. I was working with a bunch of clowns - literally and figuratively.

The coolest thing about Feld is you didn't just have coworkers. You didn't just have friends who were coworkers. You had family who were coworkers. We worked long, insane hours - at all hours of the day and night. Our bags were always packed, ready to move onto the next market. We were around each other constantly. Nobody really knew what we did except our counterparts. For that, I'll forever be thankful for my Feld family.

Ari, in particular, was so kind and treated me like an equal from day one. We had the same sense of humor and were constantly trying to outwit each other.

I always joked with him that he was "so not a dude" because no "dude" could ever be that nice. I'll miss his random gchats with an "Anchorman" or "The Office" quote. I'll miss his constant "Angel, when's your next trip to NYC so I can drink you under the table?" inquisitions. I'll miss the random email chains he would start with Dan, Amanda, Bridget, Amy and I, "complaining" Ringling was promoting on his sports channel's website. He secretly loved it.

I'll just miss him.

The toughest part is all the questions around his death. Not having answers is frustrating. SO frustrating. But you can either let the frustrations consume you and drive you crazy or you can attempt to push them aside and embrace the friendship while it was there (in person). A friendship he gave to everyone equally.

RIP, Papa Burgundy. We'll live through the memories and a few pictures to keep your light shining. And just so you know, no, I will never be an Eagles fan or a Phillies fan or a fan of Philly, but I'll always be a fan of yours.

Day four (or five?) at my first post-college job. "Under the Sea" ball
The best part about this picture is that elephant's name was Ari too!
A fact I know I appreciated more than human Ari.
This was captured at 3am in NYC
right before the start of the infamous Animal Walk.
All in a day's work.
In a suite at a Mets' game for JP's surprise going away.
We drank our feelings of sadness away.
"Basile's Ball Busters"
Papa Burgundy enjoying the elements of a hangover.
I *dig* this picture because of its irony.
Ari actually never rowed for a second during this canoe trip.
Absolutely no idea.
Whip cream love.
Capping the night with a creepy smile? Seems about right.

*Note: this turned into a "Dear Diary" entry in a hot second...and for once, I'm actually okay with that.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

watch this.

You know what motivates me?

MATERIAL POSSESSIONS!

You guys, I'm joking.

But for real, check out my new running watch (which Ricky "got" me, knowing I'd love it....thanks, Amazon gift card!)

It's lime green.
It's lightweight.
It's easy to work.
Let's go running!

All that's missing is some SPRING weather. Come on, Chicago. Hop to it please.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

not so happily after?

Don't get me wrong. I love me some Disney.

BUT you guys, how talented is this guy? Parodies to all the best Disney jams and not so happy parodies at that.



Sacre you blew me away!

Hot damn, son. But maybe ease up on the princesses a little, no?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

reLENTless

Let's backpedal a couple weeks and talk about the start of Lent.

Ash Wednesday was February 13 a.k.a. the day before the big 2-9! (As Peg wisely pointed out "So glad your b-day is squeezed between Ash Wednesday and a Friday in Lent! Phew" - meaning we could devour the cheeseburgers for dinner guilt-free). I digress.

The big question lingering over errybody's head is WHAT DO I GIVE UP FOR LENT?

I've done the pop thing.
I've done the candy thing.
Yadda yadda yadda.

I needed something new. Something edgy.

I tapped into my inner self and asked, "Self, what would be a super challenging thing for you to give up?"

Sadly, a few things came to mind far too easily, but that's neither here nor there.

The end result: "No online shopping for 40 days."

This entails: clothes, jewelry, food and basically everything (with the exception of airfare because homegirl's got a few places to be).

Here's the old me online shopping! Don't I look goooooooooooooooooood?

Just kidding. That's not me. I just borrowed the image from this article.
Anywho, I'm two weeks in and proud to say: two weeks online shopping free.

Pretty sure my credit cards have not been sadder, but my wallet's been much happier. This is one time where "it's what on the inside that counts" does not apply.

What did YOU forgo these next 40 days?

** And for your reference, this really is me and some of the fam the day I entered my 29th year on this here confusing Earth:

Just being epic.
Roll Tide?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

cutting the cheese.

Cheese. You sweet delectable dangerous dairy product you.

I love it and I hate it.

I love it because well, come on, it's cheese.

I hate it because - truth be told - it doesn't really help my body in the unhealthy doses I tend to eat it in.

That said, I may be a month late, but I'm introducing a new rule into my eating habits (note: I don't use the word "diet." Diet just seems so negative, so temporary and so angry!).

My new rule? Limit the cheese.

This won't stop me from eating pizza or the occasional mac n cheese, but I'm hoping it will stop me from eating cheese and crackers for dinner. Yes, I'm 28 (for one more week!) and still eat just that for dinner. Stop judging. It's delicious.

Here's the sad little cheese I removed from my sandwich today:



Go ahead and call me out on the bite missing (Mike already did), but I said limit myself, not deprive.