Day Trip: Sonoma

I have a new(ish) position at my job and it requires me to travel to Sonoma County somewhat regularly. I am not unhappy with this situation, as Sonoma is one of my FAVORITE PLACES EVER! Every time I’m in town I miss my grandma to pieces, but it does make me secretly happy that my cousin Jim and his fiance Gina live there now. It’s my own not-so-secret fantasy to live there someday. Hopefully that day will come sooner rather than later!

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I traveled with a coworker down there and we spent the entire time discussing cooking and menu planning and fun food and wine related excursions and I came home with a million and one ideas for more outings and day trips, including one to eat some Hog Island Oysters. That will definitely show up on the Summer Bucket List…..GAH! I’m so excited about that list. If Hog Island Oysters are good enough for Martha Stewart to rave about, then they are worth a trip, I think.

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We did a little bit of work and then we found ourselves needing to kill some time AND have lunch so we headed to the square in Sonoma for a little Vitamin D and some sustenance. We ended up at The Girl and The Fig and it was just as cute and delicious as you hear it is.

We started with a simple plate of heirloom radishes, garnished with grey salt and dipped in anchovy butter, and after my first bite I really could have just beat myself up right there for not planing my own radishes this year.

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I refrained so as not to shock all the linen-wearing Ladies who Lunch sitting nearby, but mark my words there will be a lot of radish eating in our house in the near future. I feel like Ina would be proud.

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After some hemming and hawing I settled on the Pork Belly Sandwich as my entree. You may recall I have a bit of a love affair with Pork Belly so that probably won’t come as a huge surprise, but it also did not disappoint.

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It showed up topped with a perfectly cooked friend egg on top and accompanied by frites with a delicious garlic chive aioli on the side. But if I’m being totally honest, what knocked my socks off the most?

The house made brioche.

You all, it was the kind of bread that dreams were made of. And when I cut into that egg yolk and it dripped down over the corners of the crusty pork and melted into the buttery brioche — FIREWORKS WENT OFF. I mean it was one helluva sandwich.

And besides being an awesome work day lunch, I feel like this meal even clarified my Food Philosophy even more. I get asked all the time if I will be Paleo forever, and the truth: Yeah, I think I will. It is the diet (NOUN, NOT A VERB) that makes me feel the best when I follow its framework. But will I never deviate? Of course not. I will. But when I eat something that doesn’t make me feel optimal (as yesterday’s lunch DID NOT, I was ready for a nap an hour later, had to pick up Emergency Caffeine for the ride home, after which I promptly skipped the gym and took an evening nap!) I want the experience to be worth it.

If I’m going to eat something that doesn’t make me feel great, it’s going to be Muther-effing House Made Brioche dripping in egg yolk and crispy pork on a Patio in Sonoma in the middle of the afternoon. It’s not going to be a Trader Joe’s Fat Free English Muffin, you know? FUHHHHGETTTABOUTIT.

So.

Awesome day trip. Check.
Successful day on the job. Check.
Beautiful Scenery. Check.
Amazing Meal. Check.
Great Conversation. Check.

All in a day’s work!

In Sonoma for work today. Not too shabby...

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On Cynicism and Saying Yes

I love Januarys and Mondays. I love fresh starts and do-overs. Aptly, I love this time of year when graduates get to celebrate the closing of one chapter and the start of another. The emotional space between an end and a beginning is powerful.

(Why has no one learned how to bottle that yet? It could certainly solve this energy crisis we’ve got going on.)

One of my favorite things about this time of year are the snippets here and there that pop up from commencement speeches. No matter who gives them, they are always full of little nuggets of inspiration that I wish I would have absorbed when I was emerging into the real world. Dorky habit confession: I sometimes watch good ones on You Tube when I’m feeling in a rut and pretend like I’m 21 and yearning for knowledge.

Here is a portion from one I think is particularly awesome:

Now will saying “yes” get you in trouble at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”

– Stephen Colbert commencement address at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, 2006

Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but is the farthest thing from it.

Cynics don’t learn anything.

Cynicism is a self imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.

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Yesterday I read another “Healthy Living Blogger” discounting Paleo as a fad diet. Don’t worry, this time I didn’t feel quite so ragey. In fact, it didn’t even really make me upset. Call it a fad, what do I care? Stripes are a fad too, but it doesn’t change the fact that I look cute when I wear them. HOLLA! :)

I think my lack of rage comes from the fact that I know what I am doing is right for me because I am making progress. And it is still bringing me joy. I am following my own heart and mind and not letting the negativity of others confuse me.

Oh and also: I found this picture back in the archives the other day and when I showed Garrett he said to me “Dude, I think the aspect ratio is off in that picture.”

Sorry buddy, the aspect ratio was totally normal.

But luckily the aspect ratio of our current lifestyle is slightly more flattering. And improving each day! Sometimes it’s hard to recognize progress, but I’ll tell you what, this picture fills me hope that maybe those people who talk about getting better with age really are on to something!

As I get older, I try and let the cynicism around me — at work, in life, and on the internet — roll off my back. It’s a discipline, but it is discipline worth practicing. And it’s worth it because we all have things want to try. I’m not one to tell you that you should try the the things I try, because I HATE being told what to do. But the truth is, we all have secret desires that we wish we had the courage to pursue. Every last one of us. But desires and reality don’t always overlap.

So I’m not going to tell you what to do. But I will say this:

Maybe you want to train for marathon. Maybe you want to try out a CrossFit gym. Maybe you want to change the way you eat. Maybe you want to pursue that dream you had when YOU were 21 and graduating college. Hell, maybe you just want to wear a belt.

JUST FRICKIN DO IT.

Because the clock is ticking, you all. The days are coming fast and furious whether we like it or not. Many of life’s pursuits take courage and sometimes that can be hard to find amongst the daily trials of life and the sounds of cynicism. So today I just wanted to try and be one little voice trying shouting louder than the rest.

What do you want to change in your life? Because it can be done. Someone before you has done it and someone after you is going to do it again. So really, what are you waiting for?

FORGET THE CYNICS AND JUST SAY YES.

Real Life Style: A Beginner’s Guide To Wearing A Belt

Today I want to talk about belts for beginners. I am a beginner, so pull up a chair and I will tell you my belt story. You see, I bought a belt at this time last year, and I kid you not it was the first belt I had ever purchased in my adult life. Please do not drop dead of shock at my inability to accessorize. Belts just seemed like such a fuss, so I never really bothered. But also, for a long time I thought I couldn’t wear a belt.

The reason I thought that belts were out of my league is that I don’t really have a waist. Actually I prefer to spin it more positively and say I don’t really have hips. HA! Doesn’t that sound so much better? No matter which way you slice it though, I am straight up and down and basically as square as they come. See?

I mean both “glasses” have their use, of course, so I’m not complaining. But even the curvy magic seams of Lululemon cannot trick you into finding my waist.

But guess what I realized — making a waist where there isn’t one? This is one of the reasons why belts were invented. You can trick the world into believing you have a waist! It’s kind of amazing and today I thought we’d talk about not only that but a few additional reasons I’ve found that belts come in handy.

Disclaimer: If you are already a belting aficionado, you probably know everything I’m about to say, so let me give you a minute and you can put on your surprised face. There it is! Fantastic. Now let’s just pretend I’ve made some grand revelations, mmmmkay?

Alrighty, let’s get this party started.

Belts define a waist where there isn’t one.

Put away your geometry textbooks, I’ve already provided proof above for the hypothesis that I don’t have a waist. But sometimes clothing can make that even MORE apparent. Blousy hippie dresses that are listed as “Multicolored Boho” on your store receipt are going to be the biggest offenders. Something has to convince the world of the waist.

So guess what: Put a belt on it.

Types of Belts That Work Best: Actually this one is the most versatile. You can go with a thick or thin belt as long as you are belting at the narrowest part of your waist. For me, this is right below my chest. It sounds ridiculous, but the proportions work. Don’t be afraid to experiment with high versus low.

Belts can hide a hot outfit mess

So listen, I know Fergie tried to sell us this bill of goods a few years ago about how lady lumps are lovely and all that, but I’m telling you, when it comes to style — lumps and bumps ain’t cuttin’ it. I always look at ladies who walk around with their shirts tucked into their skirts or pants and think “Wow…they look so pulled together.” But usually when I try it, all I can say is “Man, this is just a hot mess!”

So guess what…put a belt on it!

Types of Belts That Work Best: A thick one is my suggestion. And one that has a little bit of stretch so that it moves and flexes with all of your business. Just tuck and zip and then wherever you’ve got an edge that isn’t the smoothest, wrap that belt around it and pretend it never happened. Score! You’ve got a pulled together look.

Belts can add some interest or detail to your outfit

Sometimes you put on an outfit and it’s nice, except it’s just missing something. I find this especially true with dresses. My new solution?

Guess what: Put a belt on it!

Sometimes it’s just fun to add contrast, or sometimes you just need a conversation starter. Why is leopard ALWAYS a conversation starter? (RAWR!!!!)

Types of Belts That Work Best: Thin or thick don’t particularly matter for this item, just make sure they are in an interesting pattern or color. This is where you get to have fun! But out the leopard and the patent leather. Pick up a shiny yellow belt and throw it over your turquoise dress. Take a conservative printed dress and add a saucy red. Let your style speak for you!

Still Scared? Let’s Talk Training Wheels

So even if you are gung ho to get belting, it can feel sort of awkward at first. So here are two of my favorite ways to dip your toes into the belt wearing waters without getting too out of your comfort zone:

A Few Things To Keep In Mind:

*You will not always wear the belt in the same place — sometimes it will be higher, sometimes lower — so make sure you get a versatile size. Or if you are made of money, buy many sizes! Get crazy. It will give you more options.

*Buy cheap belts first. Experiment with what’s on sale. Shop second hand. Cruise the clearance aisles at Target. Then when you know which types of belts really work for you, you can invest!

*Have fun. Seriously. It’s not that serious, and I don’t know what took me so long. It’s an easy way to add some polish to an outfit or to add a bit of sass where there isn’t any. And we can’t have outfits with no sass, can we?

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So tell me:

What are your best belt wearing tips?

Do you think you’ll try to start incorporating some belts into your wardrobe?

Memorial Day Murph

Well thanks to all of you who crossed your fingers for me this morning during my Memorial Day Murph adventure.

This was my friend Sarah and I BEFORE the torture began:

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It may not look like it, but these are our scared faces. We’re putting on a courageous show. Mostly because behind the camera person, this was going on:

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Murph, if you recall, starts with a 1 mile run (which I completed in 10:30, which is pretty good for me) and then includes 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 squats before you head back outside for another 1 mile run. That second mile, I’m certain, I did NOT run in 10:30. Frankly, when I got out there to run I was surprised at how freaking sore my ARMS were. You expect your legs to be jello, but the arms…the arms I did not factor into the equation. Noted. I spent 400 meters running like a zombie with my arms flailing at my sides. It was pretty.

Speaking of pretty, this is what we looked like when we were done:

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Pretty. Freaking. Sweaty.

But happy for our efforts. I was hoping to beat my prior 63 minute time, and I’m happy to say I completely annihilated that and came in at just about 56 minutes. I am glad to have benchmarks like these to remind me that I am making progress even when the scale isn’t behaving how I would like it.

It was long and brutal, but I’m so glad I did it! And I couldn’t have done it with out the accountability of my friend Sarah and the encouragement of my coach Theresa, of course. Post WOD smelly ass photo shoot:

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I walked into the house when it was all over and Garrett was like “You stink! But I’m proud of you.” And you know, I will take it.

It was a good Memorial Day. Let’s put it in the books.

Holiday Pay

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I’ve brewed up a post about how to wear a belt when you have no actual waist to speak of and you are scared to death of accessorizing beyond a necklace and some earrings. Um, the title might need a little work. :)

But when I thought about posting it today, on Memorial Day, it felt a little…I don’t know, trivial? So I’m gonna suggest this instead, and I mean it in the least douchey and cliched way possible:

Today, I think we should relax. I think we should spend some time with our friends and family. I think you should grill if that’s what your heart desires, or hell — order some takeout. Maybe do some laundry or clean your kitchen. Maybe pick up the socks your kids keep leaving on the ground. Pay some bills or run to the grocery store. Eat, drink, be merry and pepper that with a few of those mundane chores that make your life feel Not All That Glamorous.

But while you’re doing it, allow yourself a small and silent moment of gratitude for the people and the families who are missing their loved ones today. Maybe hug yours an extra time or two. Be grateful for the minutiae today because so many folks have given up their opportunity to wash that pile of dishes that never seems to go away, and to hug their families, and to throw some hot dogs on the BBQ, so that we can do all of those things in peace. And honestly, the gravity of that sacrifice is unreal.

So. I don’t mean to get all maudlin, but I just couldn’t talk about belts today, you know? Forgive me. Instead I’m off to hang my flag, marinate some steak, hug my boyfriend, call my mom and then sometime around 10 am I plan to annihilate my shoulders, do 300 squats and then run a couple miles for a fella who died in Afghanistan. I think it’s shaping up to be a pretty good day.

And then tomorrow: We’ll totally Put a Belt On It.

Let’s Get Grilling!

We made it to Friday, you all! And another long weekend…oh how sweet that is! Since it’s Memorial Day Weekend you know what that means, right? It’s time to brush the dust off of your grill.

Also? It’s time to get to wearing all the awesome white in your wardrobe and roll out the red carpet for summer. I’m finishing up some items on my Spring Bucket List and taking notes for my summer one. I’ll be throwing that up the first week of June and it’s sure to be full of fun. Hooray summer!

I bought a pair of white linen pants recently that I’m in love with and I’m definitely planning to rock them this weekend (with some sandals, natch!) just as soon as I make sure they aren’t completely see through. Man, I love white pants but there is a fine line between being fashionable and FLASHING MY ASS TO ALL WHO WALKS BY.

Speaking of things I’m not planning to do, grilling in white pants will NOT be happening either. :) Saturday I am brunching and shopping with my partner in crime Sarah, and then Sunday I am planning to grill up a feast:

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak and Grilled Cobb Salads. Please please please don’t forget about grilling your salads this summer. It’s absolutely THE BEST!

And of course, it just wouldn’t be the weekend without a cocktail in hand! I’ll definitely be sipping on some Spiked Strawberry Mint Coolers but I’m not planning to get too crazy, because on Monday morning I get to try my hand at doing “Murph” again at the gym.

Run 1 Mile
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 squats
then, Run 1 Mile

 

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, and we’re doing that for time. YIKES! The last time I did it it took me 63 Minutes, so I’m looking to beat that! Although the last time I did it I was doing modified pushups and now I’m not! woot! So we’ll see how that goes. :)

Sometimes I look at workouts like that and think “Why the hell would I put myself through that kind of torture?” Hero Wods, man. They are TOUGH! But then I remind myself of how lucky I am to be alive and healthy and in the position to push myself like this on a daily basis.

Murph is a workout created in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. This was one of his favorite workouts. If he was still around, he’d probably jump at the chance to do it. So because I can, I’m going to. Wish me luck.

I hope you have an amazing weekend filled with fun and friends and lots of sunshine and grilling!

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Psssssst….need more Menu Inspiration?

Melissa has a great roundup of Paleo recipes over at The Clothes Make the Girl.

Paleo Peach Pie Popsicles

Can we talk about vices for a minute? In the book I’m currently reading, one of the characters mentions to another that they seem to be smoking more often, and he’s concerned. He’s not particularly concerned about her smoking itself, but more because smoking is supposed to be her vice and thus should be enjoyed. By his logic, if you’re using your vice to relieve stress, it’s no longer a vice it’s a crutch. That didn’t make me want to run out and pick up a pack of cigarettes, but I do love the concept. A vice is an indulgence that should be enjoyed.

I can think of many vices I enjoy: a good gin cocktail, a tall glass of red wine, reeeeeeeeeeeeeally stinky cheese (sorry, I love it!) But my absolute favorite vice is ice cream. Leave me alone with a container of Haagen Daas or Ben & Jerry’s and don’t even think about talking me into sharing! This is mostly while I avoid it now, because ice cream (and sugar in general, for me) becomes a crutch. Most of the time this suits my lifestyle just find.

Every once in a while though a sweet and creamy frozen treat is nice, especially now that it is getting hotter and our evening workouts are getting sweatier. Last week I was jonesing for something refreshing and decided I deserved some vice-like indulging. But when it came right down to it, I didn’t really want a pint of ice cream to hoard all to myself. I wanted something a little healthier, but still with that delicious vice-like quality, you know? :)

I took the popsicle inspiration that is running rampant on Pinterest, and make it work for my own lifestyle. Thus, the Paleo Peach Pie Popsicle was hatched.

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I mixed up a version of a Peach Pie Protein Shake, added a few little extras, and then poured it into 4 popsicle molds. Then I let it freeze for a few hours and voila! A slightly healthier frozen treat that we’ve been enjoying all week long (I made a tropical fruit batch that I’ll share next week!) It couldn’t be easier.

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Paleo Peach Pie Popsicles

Adapted from I Eat Grass

Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 oz of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
5 oz of Frozen Organic Peaches
1 Frozen Banana (I keep them frozen on hand for green smoothies)
1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 TBS Agave Nectar or Honey
Cinnamon to Taste (I used probably 1/2 tsp. which I thought was awesome, Garrett liked it better with 1 tsp.)

Method

1. Add All Ingredients to the blender and let ‘er rip!
2. Pour into popsicle molds
3. Freeze 3-5 hours
4. Enjoy!

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May Favorites

May has been a super busy month, but I’m never too busy to make lists of things I love. This month I’ve officially put away my fall/winter clothes and have been trying to reconfigure some kind of spring/summer wardrobe. I’ve also been enjoying a lot of time out in the backyard, LOTS of grilling, and of course some time in the gym. Most of my favorite things this month reflect that:

1. Summer Sandals

Listen, closed toed shoes are fun and all, but I would rather spend my day in some sandals. I’m not even that picky — wedges, flip flops, complicated strappy rigamarole…I’ll wear it. And love it. And I have been all month.

2. Backyard Workouts

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We bought a 53lb kettlebell this month, and let me tell you — this baby is no Jane Fonda dumbbell. Swinging the sucker is such a fantastic workout, and even better – one I can do at home when I can’t get to the gym. I’d love to have a fancy gym at my house but it’s sort of at the bottom of my financial priority list right now. Having purchased this baby (who we named Brutus!), my trusty (and cheap) jump rope, and a patio that’s measures perfect for 15m shuttle sprints, I’ve made up a bunch of fun workouts to do at home. If you’re interested I’ll share them in the future.

3. Chive and Tarragon Chicken Sausage

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I picked these up at the farmers market a couple weeks ago from the Smokey Ridge Charcuterie booth and holy hell they are DELICIOUS. I stocked up last weekend and now all I want to do is figure out how to include it in a meal. Next on my list to try is the Merguez Sausage. YUM!

4. Bright Colored Pants

Bright pants make me feel more AWAKE!!!

They just brighten your day. Period. These were a good investment, although honestly they were hardly an investment because I picked them up at the Gap Outlet on sale. SCORE!

5. Skinnygirl Cocktails

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Yep, still love these. While I enjoy making my own cocktail concoctions, it’s nice to know there are options out there if you don’t want 500 calorie margaritas all summer. We have been enjoying the patio and the fire pit a lot so far this season and it’s nice to be able to pour a little treat over ice and head out there with a book in under 5 minutes — no muddling or shaking required. The peach margarita flavor wasn’t my favorite (still pretty good though) but I’m loving that they have branched out with new flavors and alcohol combinations. Makes me want to try them all! :)

6. Rick’s Picks – Spicy Sriracha Pickle Chips

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Look, these are called “Hotties” — I mean how can you NOT love that? But seriously, they are garlicky, spicy, sriracha pickles. If you like heat and flavor — you MUST try these. I picked them up at Whole Foods and I’m embarrassed to say it took us about a day and half to eat the entire jar.

7. Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes

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Full disclosure: I received these in the mail from Klout a few months back, but then I promptly forgot about them. I tried the face wash that they sent with it, didn’t love it, so these ended up stashed in my bathroom beauty-overflow cabinet. You have this section of your bathroom cabinet, right? Tell me I am not a crazy product hoarder! You know, the place where beauty products go to die, or perhaps just take an intermission? Anyway, I ran out of my beloved Neutrogena wipes in my gym bag so I decided to throw these in there until I could swing by Target and remedy the situation. The thing is, no remedy needed. I LOVE THESE. They are suuuuuuuuuper gentle (they say they are for sensitive skin right on the package!) and they do a great job getting all your makeup off, which as we get into hotter weather becomes ESSENTIAL to me before a workout. Check them out!

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So that’s what I’m loving!

What’s putting a smile on your face this month?

Required Reading For Food Lovers

In the mood to sink your teeth into some good reads? Here are a few enjoyable reads I’ve been wanting to chat about.

Links:

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*9 James Beard Award Winning Stories and Why They Won Food writing at it’s finest.

*I Was A Cookbook Ghostwriter (via The Clothes Make The Girl) Interesting behind the scenes of celebrity cookbook writing.

*A No Frills Kitchen Still Cooks — Mark Bittman shows you how to outfit a kitchen for under $300.

*Why do recipe writers lie about how long it takes to caramelize onions? Oh this was so hysterically true!

*Salads I want to Eat – I made a new pinterest board for salads and salad dressing and it is now all I want to eat.

Books:

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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
I am interested in reading about almost ANY underbelly I’ll have you know, but this was just such an entertaining read. I actually listened to the audio book, narrated by the author, which made it even more fun. It’s a little raunchy, a little informative, and A LOT of exciting entertainment. I’ve recommended this book a number of times here, but I just can’t stop.

The United States of Arugula: How We Became A Gourmet Nation by David Kamp
Kamp wrote for Vanity Fair and this entire book reads like a long and juicy magazine article. Tons of information on the who, what and why of the culinary world. I’d recommend it for no other reason than it is a great pre-requisite to watching Top Chef. :)

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
I’ve mentioned this book so many times on this website that I probably sound like a broken record, but I don’t care. I really think it’s that enjoyable. Good Food Stories. That’s it. Simple, eloquent and enjoyable.

Blogs:


*Pantry Confidential — Full of interesting interviews with people who like food. Do you like blogs? Do you like Food? This is blog about people who like food — What’s not to like?


*The Cuisinerd — This website is such a fun combination of food and design. The recipes are always inspiring and the posts are fun to look at!

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So tell me, what are some your favorite foodie reads?
*Books
*Blogs
*Interesting links you’ve come across lately?

Hey, Monday. Here You Are Again.

I don’t make it a habit of doing a weekend recap every single Monday morning but lately — perhaps it’s the weather — weekends have felt sort of noteworthy. The funny thing is, it’s not because we’re doing all sorts of fabulous things. I think it is the fact that I decided at the beginning of spring that I was going to embrace the heat and the sweat and sunshine that never seems to quit here in this city, instead of complaining about it all. And what do you know — change your mindset, change your life. Hmmm..

This weekend was a No Rest For the Weary kind of weekend though! Luckily it was a 3 day weekend so I could cram all of the stuff in! Man do I love those. So much so that I work an Alternative Work Schedule to ensure they happen twice per month. If you have to sell yourself to a corporation, this is a nice way to do it. In a normal pay period I work 9/9-Hour Days and then on the tenth, I get an Earned Day Off. I recently switched that day to a Friday Earned Day and man has THAT been the best decision ever!

This past Friday I got mah hairs did and I basically walked around feeling sassy all afternoon. I always forget how a new haircut will do that.
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I’m VERY lazy about doing my hair, so it was a nice reminder, and then I spent the rest of Friday afternoon doing some other errands (New Hair! New Purse! New Tank Top! All of these things make Errands more F-U-N.) They weren’t exciting errands, so every bit of positivity helped. That’s what I spend a lot of my Earned Days Off doing. I guess I should just be grateful I get to do them on a week day instead of the weekend like the rest of my fellow Monday thru Friday 9 to 5ers. Oooh, one of my errands included FINALLY finding a nude colored slip, so thanks for all the suggestions on Twitter. Much appreciated help with my fashion emergency! :)

Friday night we ended up at Chicago Fire at a going away party for an old friend and coworker named Erin. We’re sad that she is moving (all the way to NEW MEXICO!) but the upside is — we go there pretty regularly, so we don’t have to say goodbye forever, just for right now!

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Plus, she’s moving FOR LOVE! Hello, is there any better reason to move? These two love birds say No!

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Chicago Fire has a great cocktail made with gin, lemon zest and elderflower syrup. It may be my new favorite! I love a good sour cocktail! Speaking of cocktails, we had so much fun being out and about downtown that we made an impromptu stop on the way home and one at another bar where one of our favorite CrossFit coaches works. (Well, Garrett had one, I was the DD. Womp Womp.)
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The weekend was definitely filled with lots of social time with folks we like!

Saturday I was up early because my mom and I were heading up to Chico for a Bridal Shower for my cousin Jim’s lovely fiance Gina, and for some reason I got a hair up my ass to bake. I think it was the brown bananas that were staring me down, but I whipped up a quick batch of Paleo Banana Bread Muffins.
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It was a good decision.

Fueled, my mom and I road tripped up to Chico which is about 90 minutes away.

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It was a Hawaiian themed shower so we noshed on delicious food (I tried to make it my mission to eat ALL the macadamia nuts) and I got to see all the ladies in my family, which was great.
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Saturday night, after that 90 minute return drive, I started to feel a little under the weather though. So I went to bed early in hopes that I would wake up feeling refreshed. I didn’t feel too much better on Sunday morning, but I made it my mission to at least hit up the park and go to the farmers market and grab some groceries. There was no weekly food prep happening this week though, I was just TOO TIRED!
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It was all I could do to marinate a batch of Maple Mustard Chicken for dinner that night. (Also worth it. Man that stuff is good!)
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We grilled last night and watched the awesome shadows of the eclipse. Sometimes nature just blows my mind.
Eclipse shadows are blowing my mind!

Then it was early to bed for me again (even after a 3 hour mid-day nap!) so you KNOW I’m not feeling super amazing. Pretty sure I’m going to have to skip the gym tonight, which makes me VERY unhappy. But I gotta make it through this week in one piece because HELLO, next weekend is a 3 day weekend too! Back to backs! Holla!

*****
Did you do anything crazy this weekend? Do you have any good natural remedies to suggest when you feel a cold coming on? I’m all ears.

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