New Jersey

Merry Revolution to Me

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My birthday totally snuck up on me this year. The “oh s***” moment came yesterday while I was out for lunch with a friend I’ve known since, technically, nursery school, and we were talking about weird it is that all our friends are married and the ways in which we are and are not dreading our high school reunion.

“Oh s***,” I said, and smacked the table. “Tomorrow’s my birthday. F***.”

And then I joined the cookie-baking party that had been underway at my aunt’s house since 1 pm. I drank a glass of port and spaced out for a moment as I watched everybody work from the recipes they’ve treasured since “before Black Friday,” as my mom said—plus some awesome newer recipes they’ve added to the roster over the years. IMG_4085

I remember going to Cookie Baking day as a little kid, then as a pre-teen, a teenager…I’m sure I went when I was in college, but I’m drawing a momentary blank. And now I’m the age my mother was when she had her second child. If I feel old, I should take a moment to acknowledge my parents and shut my mouth about that one.

My mom loves to torture us with this picture
My mom loves to torture us with this picture

I have to admit, the past year was not at all what I expected, but in many ways, much better than I could have anticipated. From getting my license and my Masters,  to learning how to crack open my own damn lobster—and that McNuggets in bed is a deal-breaker for me (long story)—27 was a game-changer. I’m eager to see what this next year has in store.

I have some exciting things in the works that I’m looking forward to sharing with you along the way. If nothing else, cheers to that : )

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The Same Cloth

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I spent yesterday with my mom in the burbs doing girl things like nails and a bit of birthday/Christmas shopping. Apparently, we really are cut from the same cloth—for whatever reason, we both kind of love gloomy November weather. We also both like red cabbage with, well, anything. weird diner lunch

I fully acknowledge the weirdness of pairing it with a spinach & feta egg white omelette, but I just had to have it. I blame my ancestry: What do you expect from a gal with a lot of Polish and Greek in her background?  My mom enjoyed her fix with a burger that looked freaking amazing. It’s probably better I didn’t get the same, though. I’d probably have tried to put the cabbage on the burger, just because I could.

Another thing I have in common with my mom is the crazy-person morning people genes. I also love spending a day on cooking projects. After waking up before 7 (on a Sunday, I know), I threw in a load of laundry and set about making the first cranberry sauce of the season. cranberry sauce

Cranberries + Honey + Water=November Comfort Food

Man, I can’t believe it’s cranberry sauce weather. Totally okay with that, just no idea how the time has passed so quickly! Have a great rest of your weekend!

What do you have in common with other members of your family? Do you like November? 

Beach Weekend

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Monday always comes to soon. I spent this past weekend at the Jersey Shore (first time in two years) with some high school friends and had a relaxing time.

To extend the beachy vibe, I am refusing to blow-dry my hair for the next few days. We’ll see how that goes…

What are some of your favorite things to do at the beach?  Do you take breaks from blow-drying your hair? 

Long Weekend

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Good morning and happy Monday! I have today off because I’m working Saturday, so it’s kind of nice to have a long weekend.

I spent my Saturday afternoon in New Jersey for an eye exam and had time for lunch and nails with my mom. I caught a ride into the city with my parents, which meant I got to bring back the guitar I haven’t touched in ten years. Why not? It’s funny what comes back and what doesn’t. Chords, strumming, no problem (probably all that ukulele tinkering), but the finger-picking I used to know how to do? Gone.

I spent most of Sunday outside running errands and wandering through the park. I also finally used a Williams Sonoma gift card from my birthday or Christmas and bought a new chef’s knife. I love the red color.

Monday is all about cleaning and yoga and catching up on Mad Men. I don’t really know why, but my body is freaking exhausted even though I got enough sleep this weekend. I guess I’m still playing catch-up. Even though I can clock around 7 hours a night during the week, the lost sleep adds up! It’s not that I feel unfocused; I feel out of focus. It could be the weather or that I’m due for my monthly filet mignon or the wine I had in the West Village yesterday evening (the difference in 1 and 1.5 glasses is cruel)—my brain feels like this song, which supposedly Neil Young wrote when he had a really high fever. I’d believe it.

What was the best part of your weekend? What are you looking forward to this week? How many glasses of wine is your limit? 

“Artist Date” Weekend

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I know this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way on this blog, and it probably won’t be the last. Whether you’re making a living as a sculptor, a dancer, a lawyer, or a clinical nutritionist, it’s important to nurture your creative side and set aside time to play.

Something Cameron talks about is taking yourself on “artist dates,” and while I try to be nice to myself as I would a person I’m dating and not be overly critical or impatient, I tend to slack on actually taking myself on “dates.” I’m making this weekend an exception, though.

I’m not going to lie–the past few weeks have been full of very positive things (starting a new job, finally graduating with my MS in clinical nutrition after 4 years of hard work), but they’ve also been some of the hardest weeks I’ve had in a while. A lot of it is run-of-the-mill New Schedule stress, but also some really emotional stuff (thanks full moon lunar eclipse). Often,  Big Things/Big Changes = Big Feelings, so no surprise there. Just. Wow.  It doesn’t help that it is seriously, like, Leonard Cohen-style “wash my eyelids in the rain” weather. Read the rest of this entry »

Not Okay

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This made me cringe yesterday when I went to get a coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

mom's heartUm, yeah, if by “Happy Mothers’ Day” you mean “die a slow, painful death from complications related to diabetes…”

My uncle pointed out that it’s the same donut they were featuring over Valentine’s Day but with a different name. The blatant marketing of junk food really tweaked me. I know, I know—what do I expect from Dunkin Donuts? But still! Cream-filled, frosting-covered donuts do not equal love! At least not when you consider that some of the ingredients (hello, trans and saturated fats) have been linked to various heart ailments.  It’s like saying, “Here Mom, I wanted to help shorten your lifespan a little.” Besides, naming it “Mom’s Heart” is just too freaking creepy!

I know I may be overreacting, but I am so not okay with stuff like that. Whatever happened to flowers?

What do you think about this Mom’s Heart donut business? 

Happy Mothers’ Day

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Happy Mothers’ Day to the woman who has always generously encouraged my mad scientist tendencies and yet somehow never laughed at me whenever I managed to singlehandedly take down the lab by plugging in a space heater/cracking crucibles/breaking glass and/or taking the fall for an exploding thermometer & subsequent building evacuation.

Thanks for always laughing with me! Love you!

me & my beautiful madre
me & my beautiful madre

Off to a BBQ with the fam. Have an awesome day : )