Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Morning Journal 1.31.15

Firewood going unused

I was really looking forward to a giant snowstorm, but in truth I think this whole Juno debacle worked out for the best. I got 1.5 free days at home with my pup and the snow is still gently falling three days later.


In an exciting twist, I have real pictures this week! We went on a snowy hike last Sunday and it was so fun and made for a nice change. This is halfway up the mountain - I'm all smiles because I haven't fallen down in the snow 900 times yet.

Monday - ran 2 miles
Tuesday - ran 2.5 miles
Wednesday - Barre
Thursday - ran 2 miles
Friday - ran 1 mile

I did manage the gym all week but didn't do much other than bust out a couple of ten-minute miles. I was short on time and felt an overwhelming need to nest and watch movies, since it's 19° outside. Still, I'm glad I got my heart racing even if only for 20 minutes.


If you haven't done this already, go to Asos, search "oversized scarf," pick your favorite, buy it, wait 5 days for it to arrive in the mail, and wear it every single day. You're welcome. 

I stuck with the basic black one. Don't get it twisted, there is a reason this was 25 bucks. It's basically just a big swath of an acrylic knit. But by god, it's the perfect width and just as unbreathable as you want in a January scarf. I'll take it off in April.


I'm still obsessed with English Muffins and Earth Balance. Additionally, I snacked on waaay too many Tostito's but let's just not even go there.

I made homemade chocolate chip cookies on Monday night in preparation for the snow storm because it's a rule. They're obviously all gone now.

I'm at a point in my cooking game where I have enough basic knowledge to throw some shit together and produce a half-way decent dinner. I'm going to be the best mom. This week, I made black beans for the first time without consulting, and they were exactly perfect.

This photo is amazing like how do I not work for Bon Appetit right now

How to make Hope's Black Beans:
1. Drain and rinse half a can of black beans. Feed the rest of the can to your dog.

2. Chop up a garlic clove and lightly fry (OMG YOU HAVE 3 SECONDS IT'S GOT NO SURFACE AREA). Add a pinch of cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and stir it all about.

3. Add in the beans and get everything all hot and mixed together. Taste and check the seasonings.

4. Pour the hot beans over spinach and top with an egg and salsa. Add avocado, if it's one of those special days where the avocados in your kitchen are ripe.


The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

I purchased this book somewhat impulsively after skimming some reviews on Goodreads. I saw the words "loved it," "jacobites," "time travel," and all my synapses began to fire. I mean, look, we are still 3 months out of a new episode of Outlander and probably a couple years from a new book. I'll take what I can get.

It started a little slow but now I'm actually really into it! I'll likely finish it this weekend.

On the Media

Supermarket Psychology - I'm extremely susceptible to marketing and this article is making me feel the strug. I totes stick to the perimeters of the Supermarket but still spend $40 on granola every week, and I guess there's nothing I can do about it.

Um, Scandal this week?! Talk about thrilling TV. I love Scott Foley.

Now it's time for a haircut and some puppy snuggles!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Line Items 1.25.15

A cute bowl from Goodwill and an indulging in my Amazon wishlist.

Footed Fruit Bowl
It was a little pricey for a thrift store find, coming in at $9.99. I try not to spend more than $5 on any dish I like at a thrift store, but I couldn't resist. It's footed! We've needed a proper fruit bowl for a long time - I've been using our bamboo salad bowl as a stop-gap measure for years.

Manual Milk Frother
This is a coffee and hot chocolate game changer! I added it to my cart on a whim and I'm never going back. I use it mainly on the weekends because I can't enjoy the foam as much when I'm using my travel mug on the way to work, but it's still worth the $20 or whatever.

My co-worker gave me the idea of using cocoa and cinnamon on my coffee as a special indulgence everyday, so now I have a shaker next to my Keurig that has cocoa and cinnamon blended together that I use a finishing touch. It's yumtown over Hazelnut coffee (I like Archer Farms Toasted Hazelnut). Coffeetime is the best time.

bkr bottle in "Ryan"
This is probably dumb but last Saturday I ordered a $30.00 water bottle on Amazon. My only other water bottle is a huge plastic nalgene-like bottle that my work gave out as swag. It's fine for using at my desk and stuff, but it's leaky and I can't drink out of in the treadmill because the top is so wide. I kind of splurged here, but this glass one hits everything on my checklist and it's like, been in Teen Vogue or whatever.

 I don't generally mind plasticwares but I do dislike how plastic water bottles look cloudy and scratched after months of daily use.

NARS duo eyeshadow in Alahambra
$30 doesn't get a lot of makeup when you're up off the drugstore level (no shade, I'm a Maybelline girl, too). I picked this out at Sephora above the other palettes because the pots are a good size and it has a mirror. The colors are nothing special, maybe, but I always rely on light pink and tan to make my eyes brighter.

Before this, I was using a Sephora brand "smoky eye" palette that has four colors - I used the tan and the pink up pretty quickly and now I have two tiny brown pots left. Lesson learned.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer #01
This is one of my desert-island cosmetics. So good you guys. It even says "industrial strength" on the back. I slather it on my eyelids (as eyeshadow primer) and on my t-zone and suddenly I look as bright and awake as a photoshopped drag queen. Literally I've applied it front of people and they are amazed at the difference it makes. It's's my favorite. I'm getting emotional.

I happened upon this $9 bottle of argan oil in Duane Reade on Thursday and immediately snapped it up. I didn't take a picture of the bottle I actually bought, because it was the last one left and the sticker on the front is peeling off.

Last weekend I dropped my Josie Maran in my sink and over half of the contents spilled out. I screamed bloody murder and wailed for 5 minutes (my husband said I was "being dramatic" - like he could ever know how it feels) before resigning myself to pony up another $40. 

Then I found this! I guess the formula must be different, but I can't tell. I use it mainly on my cuticles and elbows as a precursor to my nightly lotioning, and so far it's keeping everything satisfactorily soft. I recommend picking up a bottle of this (they also have it at Ulta, apparently) and trying it for yourself. 


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Morning Journal 1/25/14

Lex is unsure of the snow

I love luxurious Saturday mornings. My husband gets up to take the dog out (giving me a reprieve from my weekday responsibility) and then he enjoys a quiet morning while I stretch out in the bed for another hour or so, waking around 9:30.

When I get up I head straight for the Keurig and then the backyard again with Lex. I like to knock a couple chores off the list so the house is not in such a state while I Netflix binge, so I'll sweep and dust and wipe down some counters while my coffee is brewing. Its a lovely start to the weekend.

This week  I watched both the DVD (1987 Broadway Cast) and a live production (Roundabout) of Into the Woods with a friend from work, and on Thursday I grabbed Thai food with some old college pals. It was nice to go out, but I'm definitely looking forward to a weekend at my house.

The snow has hit, so I'll be snuggling with my dog under my favorite faux fur blanket and reaping the benefits of my new milk frother.

Monday - Peloton Cycle class
Tuesday - squeezed in 2 11-minute miles before seeing Into the Woods
Wednesday - Barre class with my fave instructor (I'm still sore)
Thursday - 2.5 miles, pace around 10:30 per mile
Friday - Rest Day

No selfie today since the locker rooms were mega-crowded all week. Whipping out Instagram while a dozen girls are negotiating their compression tights behind you is a No-No. 


This parka everyday because it's Winter. BTW, I'm over it. Wake me up when it's tomato season.


 I can't believe I haven't been buying Thomas Multigrain 100 calorie english muffins my whole life. I enjoy them on my commuter train with my coffee every morning and it's pure bliss, especially when paired with a good podcast. 

I actually planned ahead last weekend and roasted a bunch of veggies and cooked a giant pot of quinoa. I made this wrap for lunch twice.

-savoy cabbage
-roasted red pepper and sweet potato

I made three cabbage wraps-each about the size of my fist- and finished off the meal with some greek yogurt & granola. SO YUMMY. 


Er, Self magazine. Also say hello to my new water bottle. RIP Dove bar, I hardly new ye. OK, I promise this is the last photo of shit on my lap. 

On the Media
This woman estimates she'll only read about 3,000 books in her lifetime.  No hate - read that Regency-era romance! Or Outlander for the 10th time! Just me?

I'm your stereotypical theatre person in that I don't follow sports AT ALL - but the coverage of this deflated football thing was all over the news when I was on the treadmill and it turns out Tom Brady is super hot.

I'm off to make another cup of coffee and catch up on the Vampire Diaries...


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Morning Journal 1/17/15

A little sick this week, but at least now I'm point with my Hulu game.

Monday - Cardio Barre, with belly dancing choreography! So fun.
Tuesday - sick day :(
Wednesday - night out with friends - dancing?
Thursday - 1 10-min mile (recovering from previous night out)
Friday - Peloton Cycle Class

I bought some Chat tights and cute cropped sweater at Athleta on Thursday to inspire myself to start working out again after a two-day dry spell. I'm obsessed with both of them. I usually wear cropped tights but the longer style is sooo nice in the winter so I don't have to throw my jeans back on when I'm leaving the gym. And I basically look like a ballerina all the time now.

dirty mirror selfie with m'dog

I've promoted this mockneck marled gray guy to Favorite Sweater status. I bought it on sale right before Christmas for $30 from Joe Fresh (sadly, it's not on the website anymore). It's acrylic but super warm, and I love how slouchy and casual it is.

I pretty much stuck to my healthy meal plan once Monday came, but last weekend I did eat like 7 croissants. There is a small cafe my husband and I love in town that has the best croissants. (btw: I'm a pastry expert.) They always steam the soy milk I ask for with my coffee and they give everyone a little dollop of jam for good measure.

cantaloupe make it healthy

Also, I made this zoodle recipe twice because it's SO GOOD and so fast. I ate it with a scoop of pinto beans and an egg. Tostitos on the side if you're feeling dangerous.

Still working on The Golem and the Jinni - I didn't get a  lot of reading done this week because I've been so tired from being sick. I could only manage 10 pages at a time.

Next up I'm reading On Immunity: An Inoculation.It's actually the first selection for the new book club some friends and I have started that focuses on books with a feminist bent. I'm really look forward to diving in!

On the Media

On my Hulu binge I watched the pilot for Empire - it was entertaining but I'm not going to be able to keep up with it. I've already got the Vampire Diaries to satisy my TV Drama needs (Delena forevs*^*)

Confession, I NEVER watch the Golden Globes. I think I watched like 8 minutes when Ricky Gervais hosted that time. Like it's on during The Good Wife you guys. I'm obsessed with the fashion though, and as usual Emma Stone brought it. I was really into the idea of wearing a jumpsuit to all the holiday parties this year, but in the end I chickened out and wore a sequin skirt from Zara to everything. Now I'm re-inspired for next year.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Line Items

It's a new year and I'm replenishing essentials and stockpiling gear for my health & fitness.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray because my Kristen-Stewart-inspired pixie cut is experiencing winter-hat-related difficulties. One spritz of this stuff and I'm like "oh yeah, this is absolutely worth $30." The formula far exceeds anything you can get at CVS and it smells great.

Clarisonic replacement brush head - deep pore cleansing. I love my Clarisonic Mia - it dramatically changed my skin for the better - but this replacement brush head thing is a damn Ponzi scheme. It cost $25.00 and the box said I have to replace it in three months, even though when I bought my Clarisonic it was advised I replace it every SIX months. I used my last brush head for about 10-11 months before it started to get soft, so I'm calling shenanigans. At least I got sephora points.

Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide: Reset Your Health, Detox Your Body, and Feel Your Best. I'll let you how it goes. I am super not interested in fad diets, cleanses, and restrictive eating, and the word "detox" in the title seemed like a bad sign. But I Amazon-stalked this cookbook for two days and ultimately decided that it seems to be comprised of regular healthy recipes, and since it's Martha Stewart Living I know all they will come out perfectly. And honestly I feel like I just cannot with another mason jar of overnight oats right now.

A Parsons Desk from Target. I'm trying to put together a home office and now step 1 is complete! This is pretty good for a $65 desk. My husband says it only took about 20 minutes to put together.

Sale beanies from Urban Outfitters. Aren't we adorable? This is what happens when you walk the six freezing blocks to Urban Outfitters on your lunch break with your friend. 2 for $20 special. 

Hamilton Beach Electric Tea Kettle. My husband ordered this for me after my five-year-old Teavana one started crapping out. I think it's good for the price, but if I could have a do over I would get one a little higher-end. It does not offer different temperature settings and it takes like 5-8 minutes to heat up. But it does heat water for all of your tea and cocoa needs, so, you know....whatever.

Also purchased but not pictured: Neutrogena body wash and running shoes that were on clearance at DSW (I always get Asics).

Oh, how I love the January sales!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Morning Journal

The first full week back in the office was not as brutal as I anticipated. It's nice to be in a normal routine again after a few weeks of vacations, family, cookies, and 184 episodes of FriendsonNetflix. Here are some notes from my workweek:

Monday - Cardio at the gym
Tuesday - Barre
Wednesday - uhh...I walked my dog?
Thursday - Cardio Kickboxing
Friday - Cardio at the gym

I ended up wearing this long sleeve shirt and these same black crops all week, only rotating sports bras and tank tops and what not.

CHECK OUT MY BARRE SHOES! They were a Christmas gift from my older sister and I broke them out for the first time this week. These are Reebok True Studio Slippers and I highly recommend them. I bet they will last longer than my $20 grippy socks (not that I'm bitter or anything).

They're so effective that I can selfie in relevé!

I followed the instructions in this video (this girl is an amazing genius) to make Zucchini Noodles with marinara sauce, parm, and a fried egg.

I served myself sauteed mushrooms and dark greens three times as a snack before dinner. The recipe/idea is from one of my current favorite cookbooks, Appetite for Reduction. It is filled with fast recipes that are super good for you (so perfect for January). If you're trying to be healthy, eat vegan! A well-rounded vegan diet is basically clean eating without having to use terrible buzzwords.

Real talk, we ordered pizza twice this week. Whoops.

I'm reading The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, so far so good. Additionally, I bought a new cookbook that I will review later in the week.

On the Media

I listened to a podcast interview of Maureen Corrigan talking about her latest book, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures (I'm like, if you listen to Fresh Air you have that title memorized by now). I don't read a lot of literary criticism (or any nonfiction, for that matter) but I am going to get this from the library. 

It's really nice having tv back, especially Downton Abbey! Does Rose have a plot this year or what? 

I better wrap up and get to my laundry! Today's to do list includes Chipotle, new running shoes, and setting up my new desk. I'm doing all of it in sweatpants.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Goodbye for now, favorite sweatshirt

Nothing to see here, locker roommates

Looks like it's Selfie Sunday over here. Am I too old for selfies? I'm 28. Whatever. I've decided to get over the shame of taking locker room photos so I can have a photo diary of my workouts (to go with my snack photos - they'll all be in my upcoming book. Just Kidding.). 

Man, the gym was crowded. Maybe everyone had 18 servings of Dal Makhani for dinner last night like I did. I used this interval workout as a reference but only went for 35 minutes since I had to meet my husband. Still, it was a tough workout.

My workout pants are Athleta (favorite) and my tank top is from the Gap Breathe line. If you don't have 1,000 Breathe workout tops you're doing it wrong. The fabric is super nice - I even wear them to my office sometimes under cardigans or with a pencil skirt or whatever. I have them in the form of tank tops, t-shirts, and long-sleeve shirts (with thumbholes!). I basically buy 2 every time I go into the Gap. Anyway, I highly recommend them and they go on sale often making them a nice alternative to Athleta or Lulu workout tops. 


Obvi I spent like 20 minutes trying to capture the perfect mirror photo this afternoon, but as you can see my camera was too low on battery to take a sharp photo.

I bought this gray sweatshirt at Joe Fresh in the middle of the summer and I've been wearing it every other day since. It's in the 50's today so our house isn't too chilly, but I'm afraid now that it's January I'll have to swap it out for my wool sweaters. I just wanted to share my favorite Fall basic before the cold snap starts tomorrow. 

Happy New Year!


Friday, January 2, 2015

I've Been Taking Pictures of My Food for Six Months

First of all, do you like my awesome college? My husband helped me do it in Photoshop.

I've been taking pictures of my meals for a few months now so that I have a visual reference of healthy snacks and portion sizes. I don't post them on IG or anything, and as you can see by the blurry snaps that the photos were never really meant for public consumption. But now I have a blog and maybe someone out there is interested in different ways one can assemble apple slices and toast.

Since getting married and talking more frequently about starting a family, I decided I had to crack down on my "you only live once" eating habits and get serious about my health. I don't want to go into a pregnancy addicted to refined sugars and diet coke, only to give birth and find myself sluggish and sick while working and raising a family. I've lost 40 pounds so far, but more importantly, I've grown to love exercising and healthy food. Diet and exercise you guys, who knew?

Even on days (like today) where I eat a gingerbread cookie every time I pass through the kitchen, I try to balance out my meals so that my veggie portion is as big as or bigger than whatever bread element I've incorporated. For protein, since I'm a vegetarian, I either have beans (hummus is a bean!), eggs, yogurt, cheese, or peanut butter.

I love cooking and baking - right now I have brioche dough chilling in the fridge - but eating healthy on a weekday usually means assembling something fast before my husband can speed-dial a pizzeria. These pictures are definitely weekday meals - yogurt and granola, peanut butter jelly, store-bought guac and cut up veggies, that kind of a thing. The Brioche (oh god - I hope it turns out) is a post for another day.