Monday, February 22, 2016

A Walgreens' Run

Few things make me feel more cosmopolitan than a quick run to Walgreens after work.

I always think of scenes like the one from He's Just Not That Into You where Drew Barrymore and Scarlet Johansson are discussing boy troubles as they toss various beauty products into their baskets. Or moments like when Carrie and Miranda point out the troubling facts regarding female Halloween costumes in their urban drug store.
Just a few city girls.
Movies and television have taught me that important conversations and life events happen in city drug stores as opposed to the neighborhood Target.

Today, I stopped into my local Walgreens, grabbed a basket, and took my time walking up and down the aisles.

I bought the following items.

Dog treats and bones for Clem since I've been giving her Goldfish crackers and Trader Joe's popcorn the past few days, and she is so over it.
I know Pup-Peroni is kind of like dog junk food, but Clem is old and can eat what she wants.
Hairspray (I was completely out! Ah!), a new volumizer (I actually bought a L'Oréal volumizing mousse recently, but it smells awful!), and deodorant.

Lots of nice-smelling stuff since Clem has been sassily having accidents all over the apartment, and I can't rent a rug-cleaning machine until next week. Blah, gross. And Clem still has the nerve to act indignant when I close her off on the tiled floor each morning before work. You've lost your carpet privileges, Clementine.

And finally, a cheap bottle of red wine.

So while my Walgreens is a bit dirty and the cashiers are generally not very nice, I will continue to relish in these trips.

Because being able to walk to a place where I can buy dog supplies, beauty products, candles, and wine is pretty darn cool to a girl who grew up in the burbs.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

In Fine Form

This past week was a stellar one.

I cooked with ginger root for the first time last Monday (...and learned that you need to chop the pieces really small to avoid your mouth feeling like its on fire). I had really great workouts. And I wore a pair of pants that was so roomy, I could grab bunches of the fabric in my hand at once!

This weekend was so beautiful, with warm temperatures and sunny skies, that I moved my workouts outdoors. Walking with Adam and Gus around the neighborhood was much more fun than my usual gym workout in front of HGTV.
 We walked 5 miles today! 
I mean, I love watching HGTV and all, but soaking up some vitamin D alongside your handsome boyfriend and his cute dog is definitely preferable.

As for some challenges, I'm struggling to get back on my healthy-eating wagon on Sunday. It's been falling to Monday for a while now, and I wish I had an easier time leaving the indulgences of Friday and Saturday behind.

For example, I'm eating Starbursts and spoonfuls of Cookie Butter right now while watching The Mindy Project.

There is definitely room for improvement.


The number on the scale this week was pretty ahhhmazing.

Drumroll please...

I'm down 16 pounds!

:) :) :)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Perfect Day Off

Today was the most perfect day off.

Here are the things I did.

7:30am: Drove to my parents' house to do laundry. While I was there, I did my daily workout. Using your parents' treadmill in the privacy of your childhood basement is much nicer than working out at a crowded gym.

11:00am: Met with my accountant and filed my taxes.

11:01am: I feel so adult saying "my accountant."

11:30am: Returned to my parents' to gather my laundry and play with Ellie before venturing back to the city.

12:00pm: I arrived home and sorted my laundry. I put new sheets on the bed and cleaned my room. What a fresh and wonderful feeling!

1:00pm: Ate leftover Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter & Sage.

1:15pm: Clementine and I walked to the pet supply shop. It's normally a 15-minute walk, but Clem moves at the speed of molasses. I let her sniff around and choose a handful of new bones. The associate gave her a treat! So sweet.

2:00pm: We arrived at Washington Park. The dog park was completely empty! Clem didn't know what to do with herself.

2:45pm: Back home again! I opened a novel. Clem retreated to the bedroom for a long nap.

3:00pm: I couldn't keep my eyes open. I was tired, too. I joined Clem for an afternoon snooze.

5:00pm: We awoke and decided to go outside for a short walk.

5:30pm: I made dinner, embarrassingly it was a Smart Ones supper because a frozen meal just sounded so darn good tonight. I'm ashamed.

The rest of the night: Reading and wining, maybe an episode or two of The Goldbergs.

There are few things most satisfying than a productive yet relaxing day off during the work week.

I feel so refreshed!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Swimsuit Revolution

When I turned 14, I grew hips.

A wideeeee set of hips, handed down to me from my mom.

But while I've always thought my mom's hips looked beautiful and fabulous on her 5'9", slender frame, mine felt big and awkward on my much shorter and much squatter build.

I dreaded bathing suit shopping every year and absolutely hated actually having to wear one.

I would keep my sarongs tightly around my waist or plunge into the water for safety as soon as possible.

The magnificent Modcloth changed this all for me a few years ago.

If you haven't checked out their bathing suit collection and are searching for a new one, head over to their website immediately.

As I discovered two summers ago, Modcloth has a variety of swimsuits to suit everyone's taste, style, and body shape. My first suit from Modcloth was a black one piece with a giant pink bow across the chest. There was a subtle cut-out beneath the bust that gave the suit a more mature look, and my gosh...that suit was so flattering.

I can remember sitting on the dock at my friend's lake house and finally feeling feminine, beautiful, and comfortable for the first time in 10 years.

Pretty wonderful, right?

Last night, I placed my summer 2016 bathing suit order, and it includes the following suits.

The first reminds me of something a Grecian goddess would wear. It's whimsical, pretty, and very different.
Isn't the one strap lovely? And the soft purple paired with the watercolor pattern?

Swoon city.

The second suit is simple and sporty.

I love the type across the bust, and I think this suit will be perfect for swimming on lake trips or jumping over Lake Michigan's wild waves.

Thank you, Modcloth, for making bathing suits that show off the beauty of all body types and make women feel comfortable in their skin.

<3 <3 <3

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Every day, whenever I'm walking between home and work, I look forward to passing the barber shop.

This barber shop is everything a barber shop should be.
The chairs that sit against the faded, green wall are always filled with clients waiting for their turn with the barber. There is a stand of snacks for sale, including candy and potato chips. A vase of flowers sits beside the station where the barber does his work.

I'm sort of enchanted with the barber, you see.

He is an old man with a warm grin and big, brown eyes. He winks at me as I walk by. I wave even though we've never met.

I see him working early in the morning and late at night. He is constantly smiling or cracking a joke. Even when clients are lined up waiting, he never seems frazzled or stressed. 

Yesterday, I was passing by his shop at lunch when he walked outside to sweep the sidewalk.

"How you doin'?" he asked jovially, flashing me his bright smile.

And what did I say?

"HI!" I replied, my voice too high. 

Yeah! That's all I could manage to say to this barber I have studied so closely for nearly a year now.

Hi. Exclamation point.

I then looked away quickly, my face beginning to blush. 

Let's hope I never run into Hugh Jackman or Mindy Kaling. 

Can you imagine how weird I'd act? 

Monday, February 15, 2016

In Fine Form

This week's weight loss wasn't very dramatic—just half of a pound—but boy, am I relieved!

Over the last week, I feasted on Super Bowl foods. Ate Super Bowl leftovers with my dad. Consumed a number of yummy appetizers and entrées with my book club gals. And then devoured homemade pizza (a gigantic, very doughy pizza) for Valentine's Day, including a slice or two the next day.

I was expecting the worst from the scale, so the fact that I not only maintained my weight but even lost half a pound?

I'll certainly take it! :)

What's even cooler is the fact that I still haven't missed a day of exercise. I think my daily workout is what keeps me feeling in-control and motivated, even on those days when I eat a little (or a lot) too much.

Down 13 pounds now...! Wiss woo!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Weekend

How is it already Sunday night? Where do the weekends go?

Friday evening, I redeemed my offer for a free Chipotle burrito (tried out the sofritas for the first time...not bad!) and spent the night working on Adam's Valentine's Day gift.

In addition to buying him his favorite candy and writing a card, I made Adam a shadow box of our Michigan trip. I included rocks I had collected from the beach, photos, an antique booklet about Michigan that Adam had bought me the first year we were dating, and a poem I wrote about our trip.
This is the card I bought Adam from Etsy. You can buy it here!
I was quite pleased with the end result!

Saturday morning, I headed to the gym despite the -4°F windchill (which was a real test of my willpower). That afternoon, we celebrated my cousin and her soon-to-be-here baby at a family shower.

I made it over to Adam's by 5, and we got right to work on beginning our Valentine's Day celebration!

We made homemade pizzas (chicken, bacon, ranch and veggie pesto) and exchanged gifts.
Adam loved his shadow box and hung it up right away—hurrah! Success!

I received a box of Aglamesis chocolates (in a perfect heart-shaped box, swoon) and a pair of earrings.

I was so surprised by the earrings and am a bit obsessed with them. From far away, they look like an abstract pattern, but as you get closer, you see that they're flowers, with different color buds. They're very happy.
Valentine's Day Eve Family Photo. Clem looking angry, as usual.
We watched the Valentine's Day episodes of our favorite shows, like 30 Rock and The Office, and snacked on our finished pizzas, which turned out way too doughy thanks to too much yeast. Whoops.

This morning, I headed to 10:15am mass followed by trips to Trader Joe's and Kroger.

At Kroger, the associate gave me several pieces of candy in honor of Valentine's Day—isn't that lovely?

By the time I arrived home and had put all of my groceries away, it had started to snow pretty heavily.
Nearly six hours later, the snow is still coming down hard! My evening commitment has been canceled, and instead, I'm watching Bridget Jones and missing Adam.


I know Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday, but I still wish we could spend tonight together. Even though my event was canceled, with lots of snow on the ground, seeing Adam just isn't going to happen.

So instead, I'll hug Clementine to me tight and enjoy my Cookie Butter.
Goodness this Cookie Butter is good.

Too good.

Wishing everyone a warm, safe, and happy week ahead!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Day in the Life

This morning, I woke up to a cuddly Clem, nestled beside me. After working late last night and not arriving home until nearly 8, I figured the least I could do was let Clementine sleep in bed with me. Despite how grouchy she looks below (she hates mornings), I think getting to sleep in bed made Clem Babe a very happy gal.
Snow was coming down in the most beautiful way. It was that perfectly light and flakey wet snow that makes you feel like you're in a snow globe. All I wanted to do was stay in my warm duvet all day!

I did manage to make it to work, and I wore my rain boots covered in dogs to make my day a bit merrier.
I bought these over a year ago, but they're apparently still available online!
My workday was productive and flew by as it usually does.

I decided to spend my evening at my parents' house doing laundry and using their treadmill. My dad and I dined on leftover Super Bowl appetizers for supper, including chicken wings and spinach dip. It felt appropriate for Fat Tuesday.

I came home to a sassy Clem who refused to pee outside in the blustery cold. She feigned a leg injury, knowing I would completely fall for it. I rushed her back into the warm apartment where she proceeded to happily gallop up and down the hallway before peeing on the rug.

She's such a jerk sometimes.

After putting fresh sheets on my bed, I took a chance and tried on a pair of overalls that hasn't fit in a long while, and voilà! I could get the zipper up!

And now, following my cold but happy Tuesday, I'm sipping on a Canada Dry in bed and daydreaming. Which is my favorite thing to do before night dreaming.
Bonne nuit, mes amis!

Monday, February 8, 2016

In Fine Form

This past Saturday morning, I tentatively stepped on my scale.

Adam and I had gone out the night before. We went to a restaurant called Ember's. I ordered a fun, fizzy cocktail, and we split an order of spring rolls for an appetizer. Adam had a steak, and I devoured the most amazing burger with a side of duck fat fries and aioli.

Obviously I wasn't looking forward to my weigh-in that following day. Even though we had followed dinner with a trip to Half Price Books—which always includes me practically sprinting down every aisle in glee—I figured the scale wouldn't be too pleasing.

I closed my eyes. Opened them. Closed them once more. And then finally, I looked down.

"What? No way," I said, seeing a beautiful, low number on the scale. "That can't be right."

I stepped off the scale and back on again.

The same number appeared.

I picked the scale up, released the batteries and blew some dust out of its insides.

And yet? The same number.

I am now down 12.5 pounds!

And I could not be prouder.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February: Things I'm Digging//Things I'm Disliking

February is here! Which means we are one month farther from the post-Christmas blues and one month closer to spring.

I am actually sort of partial to February.

Cincinnati usually gets a pretty great snowstorm during this month, and I've always been a fan of Valentine's Day.

I don't care if it's a made-up holiday. It gives me an excuse to wear my leggings with hearts over the knees and eat heart-shaped chocolate wrapped in pink and red foil. I think it's pretty lovely all around.

Anyways! Here is what I'm currently digging and currently disliking as we begin this new month.

Lush Skin Drink Moisturizer: In early January, I went into my local Lush shop feeling desperate and chapped. My entire face was dried out from the winter cold and wind, and it hurt. The Lush associate recommended this moisturizer to me, and it's been incredible. It gives me great hydration without a greasy feel or look. Warning though? It does smell a bit like Thai food because of the sesame oil!
You can buy this magic stuff here.
Red Wine: Ever since I began eating healthier, this drink has become my go-to. And I swear...every night I have a glass of two? The number on the scale is a little less the next morning.

The Goldbergs: This show is a ray of sunshine in my life, and I'm sort of obsessed with Bevy. 
The Beautiful and Brilliant Bevy
Adult Coloring Books: I get it! I finally get it! Curling up with one of these in front of The Office is now one of the most zen things I can imagine.

Adam's Homemade Granola Bars: Adam is an amazing chef, and he has been so supportive in my effort to eat better. This past Friday night, he taught me how to make homemade granola bars. They turned out fantastic and are so much tastier than any of the varieties I buy at the grocery.

Noisy Neighbors: My one neighbor sounds like he is eternally hammering away on piece of Ikea furniture and/or vacuuming. Always at 10pm or later. And the neighbor above my bedroom? I don't even want to go into the noises I hear from him...eeeek!

The Crowded Work Gym: I don't want to complain too much about this one because it's wonderful that my company offers a free gym to us. But ever since January 1st hit? If you're not down there by 5:15, good luck getting a treadmill! :(

Weekends Rushing By: Does anyone else feel that the weekends after the holidays pass in a blur? Lately it feels as though the weekends are just flying by at warped speed. 

Sodium: It turns out, there is a ton of this lame stuff in some of my most favorite foods. So disappointing.

The Boxes of Christmas Decorations I Haven't Taken to the Creepy Basement Yet: Whoops.