Monthly Archives

November 2016

damn delicious, recipes I've tried and liked

Recipes I’ve tried and really liked: Shutterbean Apricot Glazed Chicken

November 29, 2016

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I know I said I am exploring vegetarianism, and I really, really am. I’m still going strong with my 75-80% vegetarianism life, but sometimes I just really want meat cooked in the most delicious way. Most of the time, that’s a burger. Rarely is it chicken, unless it’s Shutterbean’s Apricot Glazed Chicken. Gah, this recipe is the easiest, most delicious thing ever. I have it in my head that I’d like to capture the same flavors with a vegetarian recipe, but I’m not a huge fan of fake meat, so I don’t know how to do it. Maybe tempeh? Who am I kidding? I’ve never even eaten tempeh. #badvegetarian.

Anyway, back to this recipe. It results in the most flavorful, perfectly cooked chicken. If you put it over jasmine rice and dribble a bit of the the leftover sauce on top, it is close to chicken perfection. Add a side of roasted carrots and a cucumber salad? Oh man, you won’t regret it. Special thanks to Tracy of Shutterbean fame for blessing us with this recipe gem.

Let me know if you give it a try.

Photo via Shutterbean

home

Finding Home

November 28, 2016

beautiful-house-photo

It’s no secret that I have a bit of a thing for interiors on this blog. In fact, I spend a ridiculous amount of time online searching out home tours and just ‘oohing and aaaahing’ over the beautiful, unique things people choose to do with their homes. I love it.

Lately, we’ve been thinking that it’s almost time for us to start the search for a home to call our own. We’ve been renting for years and years (more than 12 for me at this point) and it just – finally – feels like the right time to start working on building something together where we both have skin in the game. We were tempted this weekend by a brand new home that we fell in love with, but now that I’ve had a bit of distance, I think we need to go older, smaller and more affordable with this first foray into home ownership.

As we think of purchasing, I am even more into interiors than ever. It’s so fun to think of how we will pull together our first home. I’m constantly inspired by the web and this home tour on Design Sponge really captured my heart. It’s so close to my personal style these days that each new photo was a fun little discovery. Please head over and check it out. If you want to lose a few hours, click through the home tour archives. It’s a true gem.

Photo via Design Sponge.

fashion, Style, Uncategorized

Backpack for my birthday

November 23, 2016

everlane-backpack

I celebrate my birthday in a couple of weeks. 31. Thankfully, this birthday doesn’t have any angst with it for me. Turning 30 really threw me for a loop. I went full hog on my freak-out, with a lot of soul searching and sleeplessness. It wasn’t that I was sad to be getting older, it was that the years were ticking by too quickly and I didn’t feel like I was on the right path. It was a good time for reflection, but it wasn’t fun.

I made some changes in my life with how I spend my time and I determined to pursue what matters to me. After doing so, I feel much better. I feel more confident in who I am. I have a clear picture of what I’m working toward and I just feel an immense amount of gratitude for everything and everyone in my life.

Even though it’s more of a quiet birthday for me, turning 31 still calls for a ‘treat yourself‘ moment, right? I believe so! I have been pondering what I’d like to purchase as a gift to myself this year and I think I’ve settled on a backpack. I don’t think I’ve thought so seriously about a backpack since eighth grade, but I’m all in with this trend. Schlepping around a laptop and all my other junk everyday is getting old. I know it’s doing a number on my back. I borrowed Keith’s backpack while we were in Cabo and I fell in love with the free feeling I had while walking around. My shoulder didn’t hurt and I felt so balanced.

Thankfully, backpacks are having a moment right now. It’s easy to find a chic option out there that doesn’t make me feel like I’m revisiting my first day of eighth grade. My love for Everlane is well-documented on this site (though I still wish they’d be more inclusive with their sizing), so I’ve settled on either the Modern Commuter Backpack or the Dipped Mini Backpack. Both in black.

Which would you choose? Are you down with the backpack trend or would you never be caught dead in one?

Image via everlane

daily diary, home

Do what you can

November 21, 2016

lauren-singer_garance-dore_2_the_simply_co

I read Garance Dore’s profile of Lauren Singer and her no-waste lifestyle a few weeks ago, but I can’t get it out of my mind. I think about it when I go to the grocery store, when I use a ridiculous amount of paper towels every day and when I flip the switch for electric heat at home now that the mornings have a chill in the air.

Truth is, I do so very little to reduce my environmental impact and I’ve carried that guilt around with me for a while now. It’s inspiring to see this young person saying no to the guilt and just going after what sustainability means to her. I think it’s time that I do the same. I’m going to take her advice and just get started with it. Every little bit counts, right?

A few of my favorite quotes from the article:

“When I looked at myself four years ago, I realized that while I cared about the environment, I wasn’t doing anything at all that aligned with that except talking about it. So the exercise of making adjustments to my everyday life was so fulfilling because I realized I was living in a way that was exactly what I believed in.”

and

“If you look at the things that constitute zero waste, like using wash clothes instead of paper towel, saying no to plastic straws, neither of those things are hard, and once you incorporate those into your routine, it has a really positive impact”

and, finally:

“To myself, I think I’m just so much more self-aware now. I used to blame everyone else for the state of the world – politicians, and government and business, and it wasn’t until I stopped and looked at myself that I realized I had power to make a positive or negative impact, and I realized I was making a negative one. That helped me look at myself and really do things to change how I was living.”

Kudos to Lauren for the voice she’s giving the zero-waste movement and for the company she’s leading that aligns with her values, Simply Co.

Photo from garancedore.com

intuitive eating, weight

Embrace Documentary…worth it

November 11, 2016

I’m not a huge movie buff. Because I’m a big reader, a movie has to be compelling enough for me to use two potential reading hours to watch it. To Keith’s frustration, I will often start a movie and then end up on my phone because it doesn’t hold my attention. So, I may not be the best authority when it comes to film, but I feel confident saying that Embrace is worth the watch. Not only did it hold my attention for the entire film, it caused me to have a deeper understanding of women’s body image and how to strengthen my individual resolve to not subscribe to narrow definitions of beauty.

It’s a great story of personal agency and the power that comes when you fully accept who you are. Learn more about Embrace here and take a peek at the trailer below.

I’d love to know your thoughts if you give it a watch. Do share!

damn delicious

Recipes I’ve Tried and Really Liked: Smitten Kitchen Roasted Cauliflower

November 10, 2016

cauliflower-with-pumpkin-seeds-brown-butter-and-lime

Yesterday evening, we had a delightfully veggie-filled dinner that included baked potatoes, kale salad, sauteed mushrooms and onions and this phenomenal cauliflower. I’m a pretty big fan of roasted cauliflower, so I was intrigued by Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Cauliflower with Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter and Lime recipe when I saw it a couple of weeks ago. It seemed easy enough, so I decided to try it out.

I loved it! The satisfying crunch of toasty pumpkin seeds mixed in with the roasted flavor of the cauliflower, brightened up with a squeeze of lime juice brought plain ol’ cauliflower from good on its own to great. Definitely give it a try. If you’re one to stray from the uber traditional Thanksgiving feast, this could be an interesting side dish to whip up.

home

Peacock chair of my life

November 9, 2016

oldbrandnew%e2%80%a2vintagemoroccanrug

In her retirement, my mom finally has the chance to be a full-time vintage enthusiast. She hits up every local thrift shop, estate sale and garage sale on the weekends looking for treasures, which she refurbishes and puts in a booth for tourists passing through town. She has a great eye for design and has just come to life pursuing her new business, which is really an excuse for her to constantly update her home with the treasures that haven’t quite made it across town to the booth quite yet.

Because she’s down in the trenches of estate sales and the like right now, I have a little wish list with her. She keeps her eye out for vintage items that I’d love for my own home and texts me if she finds something she thinks I’d like. Luckily, we don’t have the same interiors style, so there’s no competition for items. That’s how I have a pair of vintage Lane coffee and side tables waiting for me right now at her house. Last time I saw her, I mentioned that I was interested in a peacock chair if she ever came across one. Her response: ‘oh, I saw one of those last week for $25’.

What?!

How did I miss the peacock chair of my life? Now I keep pining (and pinning) for a peacock chair. They’re just so pretty and give such a bohemian vibe to any room.

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boho-home-with-peacock-chair

peacock-chair-sun-room

Do you like them? Which one is your favorite?

Images via: Old Brand New, Amber Interiors, The Glitter Guide and Design Sponge.

 

intuitive eating, Uncategorized

On Intuitive Eating

November 8, 2016

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I’ve mentioned on this site a few times that I practice intuitive eating. I thought I’d share a very personal post about what this means to me and why I decided to learn to eat this way.

A bit of background:

I started seeing a therapist for help with learning how to eat intuitively in August or September of last year. At the time, I was so fed up with the cycle of dieting that I knew I needed to find another way. I would do some new restrictive diet (Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, 4 Hour Body, you name it) for a few weeks, lose some weight, feel good about myself, start craving ‘bad’ foods, blow the diet miserably, eat like crazy for a few weeks, feel bad about myself and start another diet again, promising myself that this time would be different. I did this over and over and over again.

Finally, I hit a wall.

I distinctly remember feeling like I needed to go on another diet again, but I just felt so defeated and tired and weak that I just couldn’t face doing the cycle again. Even I could see the futility. It was time to find a better way to live because constantly berating myself for not having the willpower to stick with the diet du jour was too exhausting.

I had heard and read about intuitive eating before, but I knew I needed help to make it happen. Beyond the dieting, there were real emotional issues lurking below the surface for me related to self-image and childhood trauma that I needed to address. The food and the emotions felt so inexorably fused together that I didn’t have the knowledge to untangle them myself.

I found a therapist who would help me with the emotional work and also teach me how to eat intuitively. It seems so counter intuitive that you need someone to teach you to eat, but after so many years of shame around food, I needed a reliable voice of reason to show me the way. I needed someone to tell me that I could trust my body to tell me what it wanted to eat. I needed someone to tell me that I wouldn’t gain a million pounds by giving up dieting and by allowing myself to eat anything I wanted. I needed someone to reassure me that I wouldn’t only want chips and ice cream for every single meal (including breakfast) for the rest of my life. I needed someone to promise me that if I undid the shame around food and trusted myself that I would be able to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full and that I would be able to live a fuller life. I needed someone to help me safely return to my childhood emotional trauma to help me diffuse it and give away its power over me.

We’ve been working together for more than a year now and I just can’t tell you how much therapy has helped me. The best way I can describe it is that I knew I had the capability to be the person I wanted to be, but I didn’t have the tools to get there. Every day, I’m learning the tools and they’re helping me peel back the layers that led me to such destructive behaviors.

Man, it’s hard work. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to quit or just go on one more diet again, but I just keep on keeping on. I have homework after every session. I read a lot and I write a lot. Most of all, I reflect. I observe what’s going on in my head without judgement and then I try to puzzle out the how and why I feel that way. Most of the time it has nothing to do with food and if I just allow myself to sit with the emotion, I come out so much stronger.

The inevitable question: have you gained weight learning to eat this way? Most people ask me this and then reassure me that they’d be as big as a house if they just let themselves eat whatever they wanted.

The truth? I haven’t weighed myself once since I started eating intuitively. Judging by the way my clothes fit, I may have gained a bit of weight while I was legalizing food, but not much at all. I’m still pretty much the same me on the outside, but I’m so, so much better on the inside. That’s what counts.

Image via designlovefest

beauty, fashion, Style, Uncategorized

My perfect lipstick for day

November 7, 2016

Why is it so hard to find a lipstick that just works for daytime? I feel like almost every woman I know is on a quest for that perfect shade. First and foremost, it has to feel great. It can’t cake or dry or be too glossy. It also has to be a hue that works for your coloring, that isn’t too out there for work, that fits your personal style and still feels present enough on your face to be recognizable. It’s no easy task.

I searched and searched for my perfect shade. I even wrote about it in my 30 in 30 list. I was a woman on a mission. I looked at Sephora, at the drugstore, online and at beauty counters in the mall. A few months ago, I was in Macy’s in San Francisco, sneaking in a shopping trip after some work meetings. I meandered over to the Chanel counter and asked for a shade recommendation. I knew I wanted something in the red family and I told her my list of needs.

She recommended Chanel Rouge Coco – 446 Etienne and I fell in love. I knew it ticked all of my boxes, so I forked over a sickeningly expensive $37 dollars for it right away. Nearly six months later, it’s still going strong after at least two applications per day. It feels as comfortable as chapstick, but looks so much better. I love the way it works with my skin color and I just feel like it’s worth every single penny. I shared it with my mom, who is the queen of the lipstick search, and she almost died at the price. I know it’s ridiculous, but sometimes you just have to treat yourself, right?

A photo of the lipstick in action:

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Do you have a lipstick you love? Dish it out in the comments!

daily diary, workplace

Back to life…

November 7, 2016

cute-office-picture

The end of vacation is here! It’s back to life, back to reality for me. Here are four ways I’m making my return to the workplace easier:

  • Eating a bomb breakfast – My mom canned me some homemade pepper jelly, which I’m putting on the best, nutty toast with some cream cheese.
  • Getting to work early – I used to be the type to spend the Sunday before I came back to work sorting through emails to get a head start, but then I realized that I was just giving back one of my vacation days for free. Now I just try to arrive to the office a bit early to sort through the urgent emails before my meetings start cranking.
  • Maximizing the actual vacation – Knowing that I made the absolute most out of my vacation, including sleeping in, eating and relaxing makes it easier for me to get back to the grind. It’s the worst when you get back to the office after a vacation only to realize that you never actually disconnected from work in the first place.
  • Packing lunch – I have a mandatory lunch meeting this afternoon. Oh goody. Instead of taking the wild card catered lunch, which is almost always questionable at best, I’ve opted to pack my own. Leftovers of homemade vegetarian pizza and kale salad give me something delicious to look forward to.

How do you ease back into work after time away?

Image via Bloglovin