November 27, 2011


Turkey Cupcake
So, here I am back in my little loft in college after an amazing Thanksgiving weekend spent with family, friends, and unbelievable food. Yes, I need to work out twice as much this week to just break even, but it was worth every sweet, crunchy, salty, crispy bite. The best part, though, and the part that really made leaving so hard this morning was the warmth.

With only two weeks left until my 3.5 years of college classes are over forever, I can't help but wonder why I still feel more comfortable at home. But then I realize that that's where my family is, where my boyfriend is, and where I can lay on the couch in my pajamas until noon. School is where I have to go to work, do my homework, work out as much as possible, and try and stay social and relevant to my friends. Home is warm, school is cool, and the older I grow the more "warm" I want in my life.

I think this warmth is one of the main reasons that everyone loves the holidays so much. The warm drinks, warms soups, warm blankets, and warm cookies are just a complement to the warmth that we feel when we are surrounded my love and happiness. Now that Christmas is less than a month away, holiday season is in full swing and I hope that everyone can find a few moments to slow down from their busy, cool lives for a moment of true happiness and warmth. 

Even though ideally I would like to spend every weekend around all the people that warm my heart, this isn't always a possibility. That's what's so great about food, though! Sometimes a smell can evoke memories of home, helping you feel closer even if you are hundreds of miles away.

So, here is a list of my "Top 10 foods That Make Me Feel, Literally and Figuratively, Warm":
Warm colors make a beautiful sunset

1. Hot Black Tea with a Splash of Milk

2. Chicken Noodle Soup

3. Vegetable Soup

4. Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce

5. Hot Chocolate

6. Chicken and Vegetable Pie

7. Mashed Potatoes

8. Warmed, Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

9. Scrambled Eggs and Sausages
10. Warm Milk with a Touch of Honey

... What would you add to the list? What makes you feel warm and comforted when your family is so far away?


November 15, 2011

Life Less Seriously

One of the most important skills I've acquired in college, besides how to procrastinate with the best of them and how to remove myself from situations I find less than appealing, has been the ability to take life less seriously.

Of course, there are times when serious occasions knock at your door, such as deaths and injuries and financial crises. Most of the time, however, we just live our daily lives, planning for the future and, for lack of a less-cliche term, sweating the small stuff.

One of my favorite examples of taking my own life less seriously is last Halloween. If you refer to the above image, you can see that I dressed up at a fairy. What you can't see is that I stayed at home with my mom, dressed like this, and spent a few hours giving candy to children from the ages of 2-12.

I live in a college town where Halloween is, to say the least, a HUGE deal. The gym is heavily attended, costumes are strategically planned to ensure maximum skin-exposure, and, undoubtedly, drama ensues. This goes on for at least 3 nights. If I had to listen to a "oh my gosh. my fake tan is dripping because I tried on my slutty-santa costume and this is my last Halloween here and it has to her PERFECT" one more time, I was going to explode. So I went home. And dressed up as a fairy.

Other examples include being realistic about the GPA I want to graduate with, and not trying to make friends just to say that I have friends. I like the people that I like, and I like spending a bit of time alone. Many people stress about their popularity and would coin me, perhaps, a "loner", but I don't think that's true. I have about as many good friends as I do fingers, and I choose to enjoy my time with them when I get it instead of constantly overexerting myself to be as social as possible when, quite frankly, I would rather be watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. with a bowl of oatmeal.

That brings me to my next point - food. I try to eat as healthy as I can on a regular basis. I try to workout as much as I can to stay healthy and to allow me some extra calories. However, it is NOT worth stressing about counting calories. In fact, stress causes weight-gain (and wrinkles), so rather trust your body to tell you what and how much you need. Don't freak out about the extra cookie. You know you loved it, so what?

Like everything, life requires balance. Balance the serious with the less serious, and leave yourself room for silliness, cookies, and TV, because they are all wonderful. 

How do you avoid making life too serious?


November 14, 2011

The Joy of Something Different

It's true that most people, at some time of their life, fall into a rut. This could be with what they wear, what they eat, who they talk to, or just about anything. It seems to me like little rut-avoiding life changes can really make a difference in helping to lead a happy life.

For example, this weekend my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to drink some beer before going out. Normally, we like light, cheap beers that go well with citrus, such as Shocktop or Blue Moon. He likes Amstel or Stella, but they're still pretty light. So, last night we decided to try some different, flavored beers. One tasted of raspberries and chocolate, while the other was thicker and a bit sweeter than others. It was so fun tasting the new flavors, and it made this night "the night we tried those different beers" instead of just another night that we went out with the same people to the same places.

Of course, doing this all the time ruins its novelty. Not every moments has to be the most memorable moment ever, but switching it up every now and again makes life interesting.

Here are some ideas for "Rut-Avoiding Activities':

1. Eat a Completely New Food - This can be done at home or at a restaurant. Trying something, whether it is a new ingredient or a new dish, will make any day stand out from the rest, whether you love it or hate it. I suggest leeches, bok choy, fondue, or dragon fruit.

2. Change Your Workout - Try running somewhere you've never been or taking a kickbox class. You'll still get a great workout, but it will help you avoid boredom in your exercise schedule. Sometimes driving 10 minutes to be able to run somewhere completely new for thirty minutes is worth the extra effort, especially if it means a new set of hills to conquer or an ocean-side adventure.

3. Wear Something Out of the Ordinary - For me, this includes any and all forms of hats. I love them, but rarely find time in my strictly work and workout clothes daily attire to fit them in. Wearing something that you don't normally wear often gives you a sense of being someone else or playing a role. It could be fun to go to dinner in heels if you wear flat shoes 7 days a week, or if you spend your whole week dressed up, it could be a nice change to spend one day entirely in sweat pants - to Starbucks, to the grocery store, and in front of the TV.

4. Go Somewhere Different - Instead of the same old bar or restaurant, take a night out of the month to try a karaoke bar or a piano-dueling bar. There is no doubt that when you look back at your month, those nights will be remembered much more than the countless nights at the regular bar. Some bowling alleys serve drinks and have DJs which could be a nice change, too.

How do you avoid getting stuck in a rut?


November 8, 2011

Getting Up in the Morning

Last night, when I was filling out a job application, I was particularly intrigued when one of the questions stated "What gets you up in the morning?". I told them that honestly, my coffee wakes me up in the morning because without it I would be somewhat of a zombie. However, on a deeper level, I said that I am inspired to wake up and live my day so that I can work hard now and play hard later.

Most of my days start early, either for work or school, but I get up each day because I know that what I'm doing is worth it. I work hard so that I can play hard, both of which I am going to have to be awake to do.

Of course, the fact that I can enjoy my coffee overlooking the ocean is also a perk, making it easier to leave my dark room when there's such beauty right outside. I know, however, that everyone struggles once in a while with "why even bother?" and wants to spend the entire day in bed. Believe me, I know. I know that the world is cold but the bed is warm. So warm. But if you can find one reason, whether it's the fact that you're going to see a loved one today or work on a project you care about or eat something totally delicious, there is always at least some little inspiration to get up. 

If there isn't, give yourself one day to stay in bed. I tend to choose Sundays for this (less consequences than during the week), but it's glorious. However, one day is usually enough. 24 hours later you will be ready to roll again, thinking of all the great things that can be accomplished by getting your butt out of bed and living your life purposefully. And hey, if you need some coffee to help you see the light, go for it!

So, what gets you up in the mornings?


November 6, 2011

Why Food?

When I decided to start a blog, I thought I wanted it to have a theme. I thought about the fact that my main goal and the thing I'm most excited about in life is being a mom one day, so I made that my title. However, my daily (ok, let's be honest... more like weekly) posts had to be about my life in general because how much can I really write about motherhood since I have, you know, zero experience. 

I find, then, that I like to write about food. While looking through other blogs, I find that most other people like to write about food as well. In fact, in my very little although extremely enjoyable research, I've found that the 3 most popular blog topics are food, exercise, and fashion. Why these? I mean, people could write about relationships, their jobs, their childhoods, their nightly hygiene rituals... pretty much anything. I think people like to write about food for the same reasons we write about exercise and fashion; creativity, sense of accomplishments, and solidarity. 

Creativity - Food is endlessly creative. There are an uncountable number of different possible combinations of all the ingredients that the world has to offer. For example, check out my OIAJ (Oatmeal in a {peanut butter} jar) that I had for breakfast yesterday. The OIAJ idea was stolen from Emma at, but the idea to eat it overlooking the ocean on my deck was my own. Just looking at all the blogs about cupcake decorating... I mean it could take YEARS to try out all the creative recipes for both the actual cupcakes and the decorations. It is inspiring and exciting.

Sense of Accomplishment - Like running and fashion, there is a sense of accomplishment with food when you find the PERFECT recipe or you finally find a way to make a vegetable dish that the whole family enjoys. Most people that I read about try to stay healthy, so it can be so rewarding to upload pictures of healthy recipes and feel proud that you ate so well that day. Also, making the food look good enough to photograph is an accomplishment on its own, although I am still working on this aspect. I think that when you make a really good meal, snack, or dessert that you are proud of, you want to share it with others. So, people make food blogs to share all their triumphs (and sometimes failures) on their blog as a way to show others and themselves what they have accomplished.

Solidarity - Food is the one thing that literally every single human being has in common. Yea, we may wish that all people also had a desire to exercise (hello, rising obesity rate!) and a need for good fashion, but that is unfortunately not always the case. Food brings families and friends together, and for many people it is more of a hobby and a passion than a necessity. For example, I've written posts about my late-night eating habits and my love for yogurts and berries. While I've also written posts about life struggles as I leave college and about deciding what to do with my life, I tend to get the most comments about food posts because EVERYONE can relate in some way or another. Whether you hate yogurt and berries (HOW DO YOU LIVE?!) or you love them, you have an opinion because food matters to everyone. 

I'm not saying that from here this blog will be only about food, but it is interesting to notice what gets people talking. I learned in a class one year that one of the most innate human needs is the need to belong. So, if people want to belong and people need food... obviously the food-blogging community is going to be a fast-growing one that is helpful to individuals who are bored of their eating habits but also helpful to society as a way to make people bond over something that is all-inclusive as long as you are a hungry human.

Why do you like writing about food (or fashion or exercise)?


November 1, 2011

The Perfect Bite

Sometimes I wonder what my perfect bite of food would be. I would have a really hard time deciding between a fork-full of fresh chicken salad with boiled eggs, sweet peppers, and corn or a taste from a perfect bowl of pasta. I also love a good bite into a grilled vegetable panini with goat cheese and whole wheat bread. 

Lately, however, I seem to be just trying to fit in as many veggies as possible wherever possible since I feel like college-style living is not healthy and I need to compensate. Does beer count as whole wheat? Just kidding! Kinda..  Anyway, I just don't have as much time, space, or money as I would like to create unique, healthy, well-balanced recipes.

So, a few nights ago, I made one of my favorite veggie-packed meals. It was very similar to one of the meals I described in this post about balance that I wrote during another time I was feeling crunched for time but was insatiably craving vegetables.

The dinner consisted of a salad with spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese next to a Trader Joe's Reduced-Guilt Primavera Pizza. I feel like it's the best way to easily get a large amount of veggies in a cheap, quick, totally yummy way. The pizza costs $1.99 and is 250 calories, and the salad probably costs about $1.00 and has about 150 calories. Very satisfying. Plus, the pizza provides some carbs to get me through my workout the next day.

The perfect bite perhaps?

How do you get veggies in your diet when you don't have much time? 



PS: I heard that Starbucks already has holiday cups! Is it true?! They're just the best. It's illogical, I know, but the coffee just tastes better and cozier in a holiday-themed cup!