NYC

Halfway

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Anyone else relieved we’re halfway through February—and thus, another month of winter?

V-Day red wineDespite the snow, I can’t complain so far about this winter. I also actually had the first enjoyable (aka conflict-free) Valentines Day I can recall since, well, ever. After an amazing, headache-clearing massage, I spent the afternoon working in my favorite coffee shop before meeting up with a girlfriend for a glass of wine.

There was a lady at the bar teaching her clueless man-friend how to eat oysters. It kind of made my night.

I’ve been working a lot of Saturdays at the hospital, so a mellow Friday evening with an early  bedtime suited me just fine. Besides, full moons make me tired.

Speaking of full moons, have you heard about the lunar/werewolf diet yet? Or excuse me, Moon Diet. Though I can get on board with the idea that our bodies might be more inclined to retain—or get rid of—water during a particular phase of the moon, I don’t really see why fasting is necessary. You could do just as well being mindful of sodium intake and filling your plate with bloat-fighting foods that are rich in potassium. Also, losing 6 pounds (of water weight that you’ll probably just gain back) in 24 hours isn’t exactly healthy. Just my professional opinion, of course…

Anyway, happy weekend.

How did you spend Valentines Day? What’s the craziest diet you’ve ever heard of? 

 

What I Ate Wednesday #149

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Since I’ve posted a few work-day WIAW’s in a row, today’s What I Ate Wednesday post is from last Sunday, when I enjoyed lunch and a movie with my family and did zero work. As always, many thanks to Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party—take a little trip over there to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

actions and words fortune cookieSince I saw plums at Fairway the other day, oatmeal with plum and tahini is becoming a regular thing again. This will always be one of my favorite breakfasts. Sometimes I cook in an egg white, as I did recently, as I was really hungry after a sweaty workout and knew lunch would be a way’s away. Of course, my stomach was growling an hour before I was supposed to meet my family for lunch. Apparently, I am that weirdo who snacks on roasted broccoli. It’s so freaking good. If you haven’t, you should try it! We enjoyed a late lunch at Shun Lee, which is one of my dad’s favorite places. We shared a bunch of things. The soupy dumplings (the one on the spoon) actually came with instructions for how to eat it—I wish I had taken a picture! At the end of the meal, we all laughed over our fortune cookies. I can’t not add “in bed” to mine…

After walking around for a while, we saw Twelve Years a Slave. Finally. PMS or no PMS, I think the waterworks were inevitable. That said, it was so well done, and such a story! I’m very curious to read the book now…

Anyway, here’s the “What I Ate” part of this week’s post. Hope you enjoyed some tasty things this weekend too.

  • Breakfast: Plum oatmeal with tahini
  • Snack: Roasted broccoli
  • Lunch: Veggie and “soupy” dumplings, spare ribs to start, followed by Szechuan shrimp and broccoli (yep, more broccoli) and orange beef; an unpictured glass of sparkling wine (I love bubbles with Chinese food) and a bite of my fortune cookie
  • Dessert: A nonfat latte from Le Pain Quotidien and a few bites of a shared raspberry ganache I forgot to snap a picture of
  • Dinner: A Mediterranean-spiced stuffed pepper with veggies & hummus, topped with goat cheese
  • Snack: A sliced banana—I didn’t bother with a picture because, well, we all know what a banana looks like…Why do I feel like I just made a dirty joke?

What was the last movie you saw in theaters? What’s your go-to Chinese food order? 

 

A Few Random Things for Sunday

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1.) Last week at work I spent almost an entire day on orientation computer modules. The more fire safety education I do, the more random information my brain retains about the nature of fire. This particular time, I was most struck by all the different Classes of Fire. Why is this not a Buzzfeed personality quiz yet? I’m totally a D (combustible metal). Or maybe a C (electrical)?

2.) The other night, whilst assembling furniture and drinking bourbon, I found myself thinking of a favorite quote from Gloria Steinem, on women becoming the men we wanted to marry. Not that all men—or only men—assemble furniture and drink brown liquor, but in some settings that are not my apartment, this Friday night home-improvement might garner a raised eyebrow. When I told my mother about it the next day, she laughed and said, “I love that, becoming the men we wanted to marry—someone has to do it.” Seriously.

Another old photo I couldn't part with
Another old photo I couldn’t part with

3.) The cleaning jag continues. In an effort to free up space on my computer, I trashed a bunch of old photos and music files. Like that EP from that awful guy in that awful band circa 2006 or 7? Why was that even still there? Please don’t ask me which awful guy or which awful band…

4.) This book. If you just got engaged or just a signed a lease with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you probably shouldn’t read it unless you’re prepared for some deep thoughts to wake up your morning commute, but if you’re game for a little positive reinforcement about enjoying and appreciating your independence, you’ll enjoy it. Love the NYPL for making e-books so easy to borrow. 

5.) Elaborate Valentines Day dishes? Meh. Who needs to wait until February 14th to make this chocolate soufflé? I love how sane Mark Bittman’s recipes are. I also can’t believe this one is from 5 years ago. Of course, 5 years ago I was shacked up with someone who hated eggs so much he felt compelled to make gagging sounds when I fried one up for myself, which explains why it wasn’t on my radar. Live and learn.

So…which class of fire are you? What was the last book you read? Do you like chocolate soufflés? 

Pause.

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Happy Friday! Hope you’re looking forward to a wonderful weekend ahead. Can you believe we’re already getting into mid-February?

I just want to hit the “pause” button and go back to one of my New Years resolutions for 2014, which was to catch up with friends over drinks or a meal at least once a month. So far I’m really happy that I’ve done well with that one—I feel like I’ve been making up for lost time, even.

spring natural kitchen stir fryLast night, I enjoyed a delicious meal with a friend from grad school at Spring Natural Kitchen on the Upper West Side—everything was perfect: the food, the wine, the ambiance. I already can’t wait to go back. I highly recommend the stir-fry. Ginger-tamari anything is pretty much always a great idea.

What  are you looking forward to this weekend? Any good restaurant meals lately? 

10 Ways to Love Yourself this February

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follow your dreams Because Valentines Day falls right in the middle of February, love is a big theme of the month. As I mentioned a few days ago, it’s important to remember other kinds of love besides romantic love. This post is all about self-love. It’s not even just about dating yourself—though that’s a good one too. I mean in the most basic sense. I always like to go back to the fact that on airplanes, you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you. In a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on workaholism a strong work ethic and selflessness, it can be hard to remember that we really do need to help ourselves before we can help others.

1.) Cook yourself something nice. It could be something simple as a fancier-than normal breakfast instead of cold cereal or a beautiful fresh piece of fish at dinner. What would you make for company but not think to fuss over for yourself? Give yourself permission to tune out distractions like the computer, chop the hell out of some veggies, and enjoy. Wine (or mimosa, if it’s brunch) totally optional.

2.) Prioritize sleep. No apologizing, no excuses. You deserve a good night’s rest. If you have a hard time settling down, write your thoughts in a journal or make a to-do list for the next day to clear your head before it hits the pillow.

3.) Be physically active. Whether you hit the gym, the slopes, or simply walk around your neighborhood, enjoy the endorphin boost and the just-flew-in-from-somewhere-awesome glow.

4.) Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, or some other pampering that makes you feel relaxed. 

5.) Buy yourself flowers. Even the $2.99 arrangements from the grocery store count.

6.) Write yourself a thank-you note for all the good work. If you have to, pretend you’re writing to your best friend or a beloved family member. Set it aside to open at a later date when you’re in need of some encouragement.

7.) Give yourself permission to let something go.  Be it a toxic friend or lover, an old idea that doesn’t serve you well anymore, or even a to-do list item that really doesn’t need to be done—say goodbye and don’t look back.

8.) Hydrate! It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when it’s freezing cold out, your body needs enough H2O to do its job. Bring your own bottle and keep it by your desk or somewhere else you’ll see it throughout the say as a reminder to drink up.

9.) Try a probiotic. Invite the good bacteria to the party to help ward off illness and GI upset. You can also make a conscious effort to consume more yogurt, kimchee or try kombucha, a fermented tea drink. My favorite flavor is ginger.

10.) Choose your own adventure. Whatever it is you’re thinking of, go do it!

How do you show yourself love? 

Cute Entertaining Idea

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Happy Monday? Did you enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday? Even though I was a bit of a zombie after work, I threw myself in the shower and headed down to my friend’s place for a lovely gathering. Aside from the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl was also playing, and there was a pool table and quite the spread of edibles. We had a good laugh over how domesticated she is now—adorable! super bowl spread

I also loved this idea for labeling desserts…So cute! Super Bowl Cupcakes

Do you use labels for food at parties? Do you ever write cute things on them? 

February and a few funny things

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So wow. February. That happened quickly. Any exciting plans for the month? I have a conference coming up that I’m super-excited about! #nerdalert

As far as non-work things go, I’m mostly looking forward to catching up with some friends. Oh—and cashing in a gift card for a much-needed massage. In a month that’s so focused on romantic love, it’s important to remember that there are many other types of love: family, friends, self-love…

Though this is the shortest month of winter, it’s still winter (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere), which may leave you feeling more inclined to want to drink wine and sleep than to do, well, anything. Aside from the usual happy/healthy cocktail of exercise, adequate sleep, and vitamin D supplementation to help you cope with the dark days and cold temps, a few good laughs go a long way too!

A few things that cracked me up recently:

*This text from my sister. That she felt compelled to send me a gif of Kramer on a random night is probably the funniest part:

Kramer

In 2012 I briefly dated a guy who had never seen Seinfeld. Maybe I judged him a little, but at the same time, it was a great excuse to re-watch the series from the beginning. Or at least the first season, given the brevity of the aforementioned dating situation. This is back when I had a TV and DVD player. Strange days indeed.

*A kid on the bus the other day singing a song about how “God made a poo-poo.” The song turned into a talking blues about Star Wars—more specifically, about the relationship between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. It was pretty epic.

*A mostly toothless old lady playing Naughty Sudoku.

*My attempt at following painting directions. paint nite

For the uninitiated, check out Paint Nite.

*My favorite sausage joke. The other day in a Pilates class, the instructor asked if anyone knew any good jokes. Of course I did.

What made you laugh recently?