Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day Four: What You Ate Today

I have been keeping track of what I eat on an almost daily basis since May, when I got more serious about shedding some weight and being conscious of my eating habits. At first, it was a little challenging, but at the end of the day, it's a great way to be accountable for everything I put in my body. Now, I'm completely used to it and I even have an app on my iPhone to keep track of meals. During the week, I'm extra boring with my breakfast and lunch selections. I pretty much stick to the same basic items (in different flavors or varieties). I also spend the majority of my day on the road going from appointment to appointment, so I pack my lunch to save money and avoid junk food. I'm secretly a creature of habit and once I find something I like, I stick with it until I hate it (or need a break). Strange, I know. So here's what my meals looked like today:

Quaker Oatmeal (original flavor), made with unsweetened almond milk, applesauce, cinnamon, and a little bit of brown sugar. This is kind of ironic because up until about January, I despised oatmeal. I think it was the lumpy, sticky texture that turned me off, but now I eat it almost every day. I had it when I went skiing and it was hearty and filling and I've loved it ever since! I stopped at my favorite neighborhood bakery, Seven Stars, on my way to work for a cup of coffee and a cherry-pistachio biscotti. I saved the biscotti for a mid-morning snack and it was delicious! It's a rare treat that I allow myself and it's totally worth it. Cherries + biscotti = bliss.

Raspberry Dannon yogurt, extra sharp cheddar cheese stick, Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidant bar (dark chocolate & almond flavor).
I usually space my lunch out over the span of a couple hours, but today I had the opportunity to sit outside and actually enjoy my lunch at a table. The Kellogg's bar literally tastes like a candy bar. It's sooooo good! I recently read in a magazine that it's one of Jennifer Hudson's favorite filling snacks, and she has been on a huge health kick so I took her advice. The peanut butter flavor is great, too!

Afternoon Snack:
Apple that I ate on the way to my last appointment of the day at 5pm that was leftover from lunch.

Late Afternoon Snack:
Mini bag of 94% fat-free microwave popcorn. This is definitely one of my go-to snacks. Quick and tasty.

Greek salad (romaine, feta, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, Greek vinaigrette dressing). I have a salad like this at least three nights per week. It's one of my favorites!
Homemade Margherita pizza made with crushed San Marzano tomatoes (the BEST) and fresh mozzarella. I usually make my own pizza dough, but I worked a little late tonight so I didn't have time to let the dough rise for an hour and a half so I used a prepared crust. Homemade is definitely better though.

I blame my mom for my sweet tooth. She always has to have a bite of something sweet after dinner, even if it's just a little square of dark chocolate. Now, I am the exact same way. Sometimes I have a little chocolate pudding or popcorn for dessert. I'm not sure what I'm going to end up having as my treat tonight, but a crepe sounds really good (but that's not happening).

Strictly water throughout the day and sometimes a coffee with skim milk & one packet of raw sugar. No sodas or juice for me. I also indulge in the occasional glass of wine, though usually on the weekends.

Pretty uneventful, right?! As a side note, I could eat sushi almost any night of the week. My favorite: maguro nigiri over brown rice with an avocado salad. Yum! I hope that's on the menu this weekend.


I have to preface this by saying it's a strange post. I've been thinking about this more and more and I've come to the conclusion that I'm shopaphobic. Yes, I have a paralyzing fear of shopping. I know it sounds strange, especially considering the amount of time I spend perusing the internet at sites like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and the Outnet (just to name a few). You see, I love to find things that I lust after and talk about them on my blog, but the reality is, I end up buying fewer than one percent of what I write about. I can blame it on the teacher's salary or the lack of time I have to actually spend shopping, but I think I have some anxiety about actually pulling the trigger on a purchase. Even when I go to a store with something specific in mind, I still overanalyze the purchase and put it off indefinitely (or until it's sold out, which happens more than I'd like to think about). I would never buy something that I couldn't afford, and I don't have any credit card debt. Seriously, I don't know what my problem is, but it's getting worse as I get older and it's starting to freak me out. I'm trying my sister's approach of thinking about an item in a cost-per-wear context instead of the lump sum of what it costs, but I still make excuses as to why I don't need an something.

Help! Does anyone else have this problem? Side note-sisters need not comment; I know you're both professional shoppers.

Maybe I should adopt this as my mantra (although I'm not in therapy, I swear):

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day Three: Your Parents

Working with kids has given me the opportunity to interact with lots of parents, from the over-involved and anxiety-ridden to the completely detached and indifferent. I have to say, it's really made me appreciate my upbringing and the two people most responsible for that are my mom and my dad. My parents did a great job raising me and my sisters, partially because they let us make our own mistakes and learn from them, but also because they were supportive and dependable (and never, ever said I told you so). I definitely had an ideal childhood, but like many parents, mine split up. I was older and in college when it happened, so it didn't have as big an impact on me as it could have, but it hurt nonetheless and was quite a disappointment. No one wants their "perfect" family to not be so perfect after all. Together, my parents can be borderline obnoxious these days, but separately, they're actually two amazing people.

My dad was always the parent that we went to when we wanted something (or when my mom said no), because he could typically be persuaded. He worked a lot, but I don't ever recall his work being so time-consuming that it interfered with our day-to-day lives. In fact, he had the advantage of running a family business so he was always around for holidays, school events, and dinner (which we sat down to as a family on most nights). My dad was always goofy and crazy and I don't think there are many photos of him that exist where he isn't making a ridiculous face. I have him to thank for my writing/grammar skills (he was an English major), my love of all things sports, and my (slightly) stubborn streak. I definitely feel like I had to do things to please my dad growing up, which isn't a bad thing because it always made me an over-achiever.

My mom was more of the enforcer growing up. She was always involved in everything at school and made sure the household dynamic ran smoothly. In other words, she was an incredibly busy lady (especially when the three of us were all at different schools). She was our taxi, our chef, our personal shopper, our room parent, our disciplinarian, and the person I feared crossing the most as a kid. In fact, even my cousins were afraid of her. She always meant business, and sometimes it was hard to tell when she was making a joke because she was usually dead serious. Now that I'm older, I have come to really appreciate and enjoy my mom and everything she's done for me. She has a great eye for fashion and design, can make some amazing meals, and she gives incredibly sound advice without judging. She is someone who gives and gives and gives until there's nothing left (and then she magically gives some more). I have her to thank for my left-handedness, my organizational skills, my love of cooking, and my patience (and definitely not my ability to spell-sorry mom!).

So as you can tell, my parents are two very different people, and I've learned a lot from them both and credit them for somehow turning out three amazing daughters (I can count myself in this, right?). I would not be where I am today without their love and support and for that, I am very fortunate.

Thanks Mom & Dad!

Day Two: Your First Love, In Great Detail

Most of my first loves (yes, plural) were athletes. No, I'm not talking about pee-wee football players or Babe Ruth all-stars. I'm talking MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, and PGA superstars. That's right, I went straight to the majors! My dad has always been an avid sports fan, and so I, too, watched a LOT of sports growing up. Not that I'm complaining at all. It's probably why I'm 3-0 in my fantasy football league right now! My biggest and earliest sports crushes were definitely Brady Anderson (of the Baltimore Orioles), Gary Clark (Washington Redskins), Richie Sexton (Cleveland Indians), and Wally Szczerbiak (Miami of Ohio). I became unhealthily obsessed with their stats, ads, books, facial hair (okay, okay, just Brady's sideburns), community appearances, and pretty much any tidbit of information I could get my hands on. Looking back, it was kind of bizarre, but slightly more dignified than spending all day thumbing through Tiger Beat. At least I was learning about their sports, right?

I think my first experience with love towards an actual person I knew (and not a celeb) was my best friend, Ryan, from childhood. We grew up a few blocks away from one another and spent way too much time together. His parents were good friends with my parents, so we were pretty much inseparable. He used to talk me into playing hide and seek and basketball, and on days where he was being extra nice, we would do an art project together or play with Barbies for a little while. He used to make me laugh until I couldn't breathe (and almost peed my pants) and he was the person responsible for literally knocking the wind out of me for the first time (with a soccer ball). We had walkie-talkies that worked up to 3 miles away from one another, so even after we had to go home we could still talk. The only thing I didn't have was a ladder so he could climb right into my bedroom window (like Sam on Clarissa Explains It All or Dawson, of course). My dad used to joke that Ryan was his son because he was at my house more than his own.

When I was much younger, I used to just assume that Ryan and I would get married and live together because we were best friends. Obviously, I didn't understand very much about love and relationships then (and he's happily married with a one-year-old now), but it felt like a reasonable explanation of love at the time. Looking back, I wasn't far off, really. I still think that love can exist between best friends and that being able to laugh and have fun is one of the best/most important parts of a relationship. Having a simple outlook on love can be much more rewarding than overanalyzing relationships or playing games. I'm so lucky that my first love never ended in heartbreak and that we're still friends to this day.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Earn Your Stripes

I'm seriously lusting after this military-chic off the shoulder top. I love the slouchy, comfortable feel of wearing something off of my shoulder. Plus, it's typically a very flattering cut. This one has the trendy military details that are everywhere for fall and it's reasonably priced. I may just have to scoop it up for myself!

Grand Wagoneer

I really love these Tommy Hilfiger ads that are running for fall. Growing up, my family always had a Jeep Grand Wagoneer and I thought it was super cool until I had two little sisters and we all had to sit next to one another in the back seat. Yikes! There were definitely some tense moments there. I feel like Wagoneers are the classic prepster car that could easily go from the beach to soccer games. Even though they stopped making the Jeeps in 1993, I'd still love to own one and drive it around the Cape in the summertime. Oh, and those L.L. Bean inspired lace-up boots are pretty amazing too!

Day One: Introduce Yourself

I don't particularly enjoy talking about myself. Not because I'm not interesting or don't have anything to say (trust me, I always have something to say), but because it's difficult. I think the way in which I perceive myself may be different from how others see me; but at the same time I think it's a goal of mine to have others see me in the same way that I see myself. Does that make any sense at all? Hopefully it will.

Here are some things that are definitely solid facts:
I am left-handed (which I have grown to love).
I was born on New Year's Eve, making me a Capricorn, which is amazingly accurate (if you're into astrology).
I am incredibly quirky and sometimes borderline OCD (i.e. all of the kitchen cabinets have to be closed before I go to sleep at night).
My family and close friends (who I consider to be family) mean the world to me.
I am the oldest of three girls and I definitely fit the "big sister" role/description pretty well.
I dislike change of any kind, but I also love to be challenged (which can be quite the conundrum).
I am really good at spelling.
Sometimes I smile at strangers because it's such an unexpected gesture (some people even smile back!).
Field of Dreams is one of my top five favorite movies of all time.
I don't have a favorite color because I could never choose just one.
My biggest vice is twirling my hair. I do it constantly, usually without realizing it.

So those are the very basics. I believe in carrying on and establishing new traditions and secretly hope to fall into that role when my sisters and I have families of our own. I love big family gatherings full of chaos and laughter. I'm caring and kind almost to a fault and sincerely love doing things for other people. It really does make me happy. I love working with kids and I really think this is what I was meant to do with my life. I'm insanely competitive, even over little things like board games. I love recalling childhood memories and completely immersing myself in them. Many of my memories are triggered by music and smell. I can close my eyes and take a deep breath and smell Christmas morning at my Grandma's with the crackling fire and greasy rags frying or a hot, sticky afternoon in Colonial Beach eating crabs on the screened-in porch. Sometimes I wonder if other people do that, too?

I have the tendency to get off-topic and my brain goes a mile a minute. I am as easily distracted as some of the little kids I work with. I can be mid-sentence and then see something out of the corner of my eye that spawns a totally different thought and conversation. I truly try to appreciate the little things in life every day, whether it's enjoying a cup of coffee while doing the crossword or having a favorite song come on the radio. I relish simplicity, but I also appreciate extravagance at times, too. I strive to be a better person and make my family proud every single day. Mostly, I just love to laugh and have fun. Life is too short to hold grudges and be unhappy. Silliness is way better!

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be! I hope I can make it thirty days.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thirty Day Challenge

So as you've probably noticed, postings have been a bit sporadic on my end. I've been extremely busy with moving, work, and just day to day life. Somehow, in the past nine months I've gone from posting multiple times a week to just here and there. Tiane is having a similar dilemma (although she at least has a new job to blame it on) so we've decided to challenge one another to a 30 day blogging project. Check out her blog for all of the rules and basic overview.

I have to emphasize that this doesn't necessarily mean 30 posts will happen consecutively (I promise it won't), but it's still a goal to post more frequently with a more specific topic in mind. Basically, we're reverting to our high school selves and having a month of creative writing challenges, except this time we're choosing to do them. Yes, we're crazy & nerdy. If you're into the topics, feel free to comment or take the 30 day challenge yourselves! It's going to be fun, really!

The posting is kicking off this weekend so keep checking back for updates!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frye Not?

Now that it's fall in New England (and actually feels like fall), I'm ready to start pulling out the cozy sweaters and layering pieces from my closet. I've realized that what I'm really in need of is a stylish, durable pair of boots that can easily transition from running errands all day to grabbing dinner with friends. I'm willing to make an investment and spend a decent amount of money on a pair that will last. I've done some preliminary research and I keep coming back to Frye boots. They're sturdy, durable, and (supposedly) quite comfortable. I don't want anything too western-looking, but there were a lot of options at Piperlime and Shopbop. Here are some of the styles that I have my eye on so thus far.



Taylor (how appropriate!)



Which ones do you like? I'm not looking for anything too trendy here. I'd rather have something classic that will go with a variety of outfits.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Claw

Pretty much in love with this unique bracelet. Seen on because i'm addicted from London fashion week. I like the photo itself too with the tattoo & avian-print blouse (or blazer pehaps?).

Tweet tweet!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Forever 21 Collaborations

I absolutely love the fact that fashion bloggers are popping up everywhere and that people are taking them more seriously (remember the Coach collabo & Planet Blue, too!). The most recent nation-wide blogger campaign features 5 lovely ladies and their picks for Forever 21. My favorite look is (obviously) Emily's from Cupcakes and Cashmere, but some of her favorite pieces appear in other blogger styles too. I love the flowy chiffon tops and layered looks that can be created from Emily's California chic wardrobe.

Which blogger has your favorite look?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Biker Chic

Oh, Rick Owens, your motorcycle jacket is perfection, but slightly out of my price range at $2400. Why do I always fall in love with the most outrageously priced items?! It's not fair.

Mid-Move Mania

It's been sooooo long since I've blogged. The move went really well, now it's all about unpacking and organizing, which is somewhat daunting, but also a lot of fun! I hope to be back to blogging regularly (and reading my favorite blogs) later on in the week. Hope you're enjoying your Sunday! Here are some pictures that have caught my eye lately. Aren't those nude lace shorts absolutely amazing?!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I find this photo to be so appealing. I think it's the juxtaposition of the weightless, flowy fabric and structured, industrial backdrop & accessories that works perfectly. As soon as I saw it, the word ethereal popped into my head. That used to be my favorite word because it sounds like what it represents and I like that. Is it weird that I had/have a favorite word? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the shot as much as I do.

Happy fashion week! I sure wish I was in NYC browsing Elizabeth & James' pop up shop and taking in Deborah Lippmann's appearance at Barney's.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall Steam Ahead

I know we're only a week into September and I may be jumping the gun a little, but I love fall. The mornings here in New England have already started to cool off and I'm so excited for fun fall things. Check out some of my favorites below.

warm, cozy sweaters

pumpkin spice lattes (my fav seasonal drink!)

brightly colored fall foliage

the return of football season

trading flip-flops for boots

apple picking & cider sipping


What do you love about fall?

images via flickr, we heart it, beauty in everything

Monday, September 6, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Summer

Hope you're all enjoying the long weekend. I'm ready for fall!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cookie Exchange

After reading about Joanna's old fashioned cookie swap, I haven't been able to get the idea out of my mind! It seems like such a fun, relaxed way to get together with a group of friends. Plus, as a hostess, you really only need to provide some cold milk (or wine) and a batch of your favorite type of cookie. That's a pretty simple party in my book (if you like baking, that is). I think this would be the perfect pre-holiday fete so that you'd have lots of new recipes to try once December arrived! I'd probably whip up one of the goodies below, or these amazing sweet potato whoopie pies from Sprinkles Bakes (a favorite baking site of mine). I think whoopie pies might just be the next big trend once macarons and cupcakes fizzle out. I've been seeing more and more variations of them popping up in magazines and blogs. What do you think?

images via tumblr, beauty in everything, and we heart it

Pinkberry Bliss

Ever since I got my first taste of tart frozen yogurt at Red Mango back in June, I've been dreaming about the cups of swirly goodness. Luckily, Pinkberry finally branched out and opened a shop outside of Boston. Last weekend I managed to justify the drive (after a stop at Nordstrom to lust after some fall clothes) and waited in line for fifteen minutes to see what all thy hype was about. I decided to stick with the original (although coconut sounded good too) and topped it with fresh raspberries and blueberries. I have to say, it was tasty and totally worth the detour! I can't wait to go back and try some more flavors, especially because it's a somewhat healthy option as far as desserts go. The pumpkin spiced granola bits sounded perfect for fall!

What's your favorite Pinkberry concoction?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Vacation Snapshots

One of the best parts of visiting Vermont for my cousin's wedding last month was exploring the quaint little town of Lyndon, nestled in the Northeast Kingdom. It had so much personality and charm. My favorite stops were the used bookstore, where I snagged a couple of paperbacks and stumbled upon a beautiful origami crane mobile, and the local coffee shop. I wish I could go back and spend some more time hiking the trails and checking out more bed and breakfasts.

It's hard to believe that vacation is winding down and it's already September! Are you excited for fall?