Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's about that time of year to get extra crafty

You know it’s hump day when you feel cranky because your husband isn’t responding to texts in 1.5 seconds. Not really (but yes, really). This past week has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions and it’s making me tired and last night I slipped into bed at 9:00pm and just lay there and pretended to journal. By which I mean, I mostly talked to K. whilst holding my notebook and pen. Then I fell asleep and had a dream that I was on a train with my sister and we met these two dark and handsome twins who fell madly in love with us, but then I died, and the twin who fell in love with me was very, very distraught.

There was a lot of snow in my dream, and I supposed that is my brain’s way of getting me ready for the cold, but the cold in my dream felt nothing like the cold that bit my face when I walked out the door this morning.

Everyone is posting pictures of their Christmas tree and I like it! I don’t think we will do a tree this year though, but maybe some sort of variation of one. This upcoming weekend will be reserved for crafty measures. I hope I stay focused enough to get through my to-do list! Here are some lovely DIY takes on the usual Christmas tree:

xmasladder avant-garde-accessory-tree




weird-beer-tree desire-to-inspire-x-mas-tree


Sources: here, here, here and here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

color me bright

Can we talk about how I might need to invest in some stretchy pants this year? I’m scared even talking about stretchy pants specifically purposed for eating, but it’s coming down to an issue of necessity. This past week has been a food frenzy and it’s just getting started.

Note to self to stay smart about how I eat because otherwise, it’s going to be an extra depressing January.

I am so very grateful for all of the events and for all the people in my life that I can share these things with, but basically, I guess what I’m really saying is that I don’t want to confuse overeating with enjoyment.

This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that due to lame injury, this past Saturday was the first time I had exercised in real terms in the past 2 months, and I am still hurting, meaning, I am walking around like T-Rex because of sore thighs and sore neck muscles. I think we can all agree that feeling stuffed and akin to T-Rex is very far away from feeling like a lovely lady.

All of that to get to my tried and true point: bright colors to drive away the winter greys – a surefire way to NOT feel like a T-Rex and more like a lady, and also to bring some pep and good vibrations to your day. I feel that this is most especially important in the winter time when so much is bleak, and your face hasn’t seen that much sunlight and is begging for some pop and pizzaz, am I right? Which is why I was glad to see all the colors in the most recent J.Crew holiday catalog. It’s all the bright colors of summer transplanted into winter wear:

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You know how much I like sparkles, right? A pop of color, and I'm in love.

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And the ever elusive orange-red lipstick!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

work eats

Let me drop some knowledge on you, before we get down to business. Take a look at this word:


Yeah. that just happened. It's from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word", and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It refers to "a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to do" (thanks Wikipedia).

I really like words, and I'm interested in this, but not sure that I like it. It may be that I don't think it is necessary there should be just one word for such a thing. Words by themselves are nice, but also words holding hands provide cadence and good coupling. But what do I know. I'll do some research.

In the longest meanwhile though, here are some of the things that I've been eating at work. I gnosh all the day long, and so I try to keep it healthy and diverse. Not included are pictures of greek yogurt, corn and butternut squash soup, which is also almost always part of my daily routine.

1. pepperoni, cheese, and artichoke hearts for breakfast (leftovers from pizza night)
2. irish breakfast tea & apple
3. blueberries
4. pear
5. chocolate protein shake
6. wassabi peas.

Here's to hoping the winter witch hasn't dragged you down just yet. Cheers!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

homemade pizza

Sometimes, it's been rainy and cold all day and what you really need is to make some homemade pizza with some friends. Last Thursday, we did just that, and it was the loveliest.

Pan 1 was divided into 1) mozzarella, tomato sauce, and pepperoni and 2) mozzarella, tomato sauce, and gruyere. Pan 2 was divided into 3) tomato sauce, goat cheese and caramelized onion, and 4) pesto, goat cheese, mushrooms, red pepper and artichoke hearts. The last one was my favorite.

Other noteworthy things:
1) Lambrusco and pizza are a match made in heaven
2) Rusty likes to hang out in the kitchen when a lot of girls are in there cooking.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daylight saving time is pointless

Today is Wednesday. Monday was the first work day after the falling back of time. Which means it's dark when I get out of work. I am truly feeling out of whack. In an effort to dig myself out of lack-of-sunlight blues, let's make another strategic list, shall we?
  1. If the sun is out in the middle of the day, go outside for a walk during lunch. Or just stand in a spot where body can drink up rays.
  2. Listen to happy music. Today, it's Hilary Duff and Bach's Violin Concerto in E major.
  3. Use copious amounts of lotion.
  4. Stay away from processed foods and too much sugar. Eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables.
  5. Stretch.
  6. Say nice things to your husband and have him say nice things to you back.
  7. Stay away from too much black.
  8. Paint nails bright colors.
  9. Plan trips (even if it's imaginary trips)
Let's get through hump day, and maybe my next post will be more spirited.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

nick's helps me get my falafel and hummus on

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Sometimes I come across a store that so well-embodies what a neighborhood store should be, that it makes me wish I lived in that store’s neighborhood just to be a part of that vibe. Nick’s International Foods is such a store. It’s called international but it’s mostly Greek, which is exactly what I go there for, and it’s a small place, with just the right amount of goods and goodwill. They’ve got a corner that sells prepared foods, and another corner that offers a small bit of produce, but most of what is glorious about the place is the authentic Greek products. I usually go in there if I’m hankering after a high quality olive oil, and I have not been disappointed yet. Along with the olive oil, olives, cheese, and canned tomatoes, they’ve also got a friendly bunch of folk that are more than happy to help you with your shopping, or just chat it up.

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Today I made a trip there during my lunch break (because alas, their hours don’t allow me to stop there after work) to pick up some ingredients for falafel and hummus-making at home. I found reasonably priced tahini (cheaper than Kroger’s), some tzatiki sauce, a small bit of olive oil, lemon, chickpeas and carrots. I also looked through their wine selection, which was all Greek wines (not something you find usually at a regular grocery store) and Nick recommended me a reasonably priced dry red wine that I never got to drink. I dropped the bottle on the kitchen floor when I got home and it shattered. It was the first time I had broken a wine bottle like that and it was so so sad.

I love Greek food. I love that Mediterranean flavor and I am all about a cuisine encompasses copious amounts of vegetables, spices and herbs for meats that are both fragrant and complex, great olive oil, and fresh yogurt and creamy sauces that clean the palate. Both falafels and hummus are relatively easy to make, and still make for a substantive meal. I like that both things offer a solid amount of protein and fiber (yay chickpeas) and that you can accompany them with fresh vegetables.

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homemade hummus

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falafel in pita with cucumber, tomato and tzatziki

p.s. crime scene = this is what wine looks like when it explodes :(

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Simple fall dish with butternut squash

I love this dish because it is super hearty, autum-themed, and really
easy to put together. Here's what I did (adapted from Tasty Kitchen):

1 butternut squash

1 large sweet potato

3/4 lb of red potatoes

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 lb of sausage - (I used regular italian sausage but i recommend
chicken sausage)

Olive oil, fresh or dried rosemary, italian seasoning, garlic powder,
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut potatoes, sweet potato, squash,
onion, and sausage into small 1 inch pieces. Mix them all together in
a bowl with all of the seasonings and place them on a baking sheet
lined with parchment paper and bake. Toss once or twice during the
30-35 minutes and bake until potoates are cooked. We ate it with rice
pilaf, but you could also eat this with some sauteed kale or maybe
even some whole grain pasta. If you've prepared more than you are
going to eat that day, this is a good dish to freeze before putting it
into the oven, for a quick bake on another day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Keen on green

I looked over into my drawer at work and saw that it was filled with
green things. So there it is. Irish breakfast tea, Moroccan mint
green tea, wasabi peas, Orbit sweet mint gum, and Campbell's V8
butternut squash soup – things that are part of my daily dip. The
brown nuggets are dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe's.

Butternut squash, in all its forms my jam right now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

halloween weekend

Hello lovelies, hope you had somewhat of a festive weekend! I think I did; my weekend looked like this:

Saturday: sleep the day away (so needed); watch episodes of The Wire with husband (so good)
Sunday: find out the toe I've been dragging around for the past month is, indeed, fractured
Monday: soupy dinner at community group
Tuesday: force Rusty into batman outfit and take lots of pictures

Lots of sleep and soup. All in all, it was quite nice!

And some pictures

costumes at work & pumpkin going sour just in time for Halloween

soup and bread with pirates and babies, oh my!

monty the frog & rusty the dark knight