Friday, January 29, 2010


They are calling for snow this weekend and, truth be told, I am hoping we get some! Tonight I went to yoga for the first time in quite awhile. It was wonderful! What else is on deck for this blustery weekend?

-Sleeping in
-Making minestrone soup (my very first attempt) and matzo ball soup
-Finishing some reading for class
-Picking out 5 new recipes to try
-Watching my Netflix movies: "Up", "The Proposal" and "The Hurt Locker"
-30 Day Shred, some yoga and maybe even some running
-Cleaning up my apartment. I need to clean out my closet and my bookshelves desperately
-The Grammys

Enjoy your weekend!

{Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography}

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Revelry Review: The Happiness Project

I recently finished the book The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. She also blogs here.

I'm really into all the information emerging out of the field of positive psychology and I've been reading Gretchen's blog for awhile now, so I was excited to finally get my hands on a copy. In the book she chronicles how she spent a year making resolutions based on other people's conceptions of what might make us happier. With goals such as "quit nagging" in the chapter on remembering love and "read memoirs of catastrophe" in the chapter on contemplating the heavens, Rubin covers all her bases. You'll have to read the book for yourself to find out if she is happier after her 365 day experiment.

There is one particular section of the book that stuck with me, perhaps because it explains a bit of what I've been feeling lately. It's a part of the book where she writes about "the sadness of the happiness project", when she discovers that there are some things she will just never see, do or be. "It makes me sad for two reasons. First, it makes me sad to realize my limitations. The world offers so much!--so much beauty, so much fun, and I am unable to appreciate most of it. But it also makes me sad because, in many ways, I wish I were different. One of my Secrets of Adulthood is "You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do". I have a lot of notions about what I wish I liked to do, about the subjects and occupations that I wish interested me. But it doesn't matter what I wish I were like. I am Gretchen."

There are so many roads I haven't traveled. With every decision I make, I leave behind a potential part of me. And there are things I simply don't like that I sometimes wish I did--running, watermelon, bar hopping, birds, roller coasters, public speaking, shoe shopping, playing a musical instrument, etc.--and those things will never be a part of my life. And I will never be a veterinarian, nurse, lawyer or editor of the New York Times (all professions to which I once aspired). It is sad to know that and to let go of those things but in many ways it is liberating to acknowledge that and honor the things I am instead of the things I might have been.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Pretties.

I am loving these vinyl wall art decals from SurfaceFlik's etsy shop. You can see them all here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Revelry Review: Food Rules

I have a confession: I am a little bit obsessed with Michael Pollan. I find his books to contain the kind of information that is power. Knowing about where your food comes from and what exactly it is that you are putting into your body is crucial for getting and staying healthy. When I saw his new book, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, I had to read it.

Food Rules is essentially a compact and condensed version of Pollan's other works. Some will be familiar to anyone who has read his books, such as "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." Others were simply great reminders, such as "It's not food if it is called the same thing in every language (think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles)", "Don't eat cereal that changes the color of your milk" and "Drink your spinach water" (he advocates using the water we cook our veggies in, which is in itself full of rich vitamins and antioxidants, by adding it to things like soups and stocks).

Overall, Food Rules contains nothing new to conscientious eaters but it does provide some great reminders in a compact book that will help you live a healthier life and make better food choices.

You can read a Q&A with Michael Pollan about this book from the New York Times here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Delicious dishes.

I tried this recipe with the hope of finding a tofu recipe that would produce non-mushy tofu. This was close but I think it needed to stay under the broiler a little longer. Anyone have any suggestions for how to make asian restaurant-style yummy tofu? I try to not eat too much soy but any attempts I've made at making it at home in the past have not been too successful.

If tofu isn't your thing, I would bet that this marinade would be fantastic on chicken or a white fish. A side benefit is that it makes your house smell AMAZING while it is cooking!

Asian Style Baked Tofu

1 lb extra firm tofu


1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 c chopped scallions
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
pinch cayenne
pinch fresh ground black pepper


-Put all the marinade ingredients in a jar or plastic bag. Shake until well mixed.
-Press the block of tofu between an old dishtowel or paper towels to remove excess water.
-Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch slices and lay side-by-side in a flat baking pan.
-Spread the marinade over and under the tofu slices.
-Cover and marinate 1 hour or more in the fridge, turning once or twice.
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Drain off excess marinade.
-Bake for 30 minutes. Turn over halfway through baking. Broil for a few minutes on each side to give tofu a crusty finish.

**I found this recipe awhile ago when I did a google search for baked tofu recipes. If it's yours, please let me know so I can give you credit!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Words to Grow By.

"Act as though and it shall be. The seed you sow today will not produce crop until tomorrow. For this reason, your identity does not lie in your current results. This is not who you are. Your current results are who you were."~James A. Ray

{Photo credit: ~ggvic~}


This weekend I:

-Met up with the lovely ladies from City Girl Lifestyle and Hang on Little Tomato at Teaism. It was fantastic to spend the afternoon with them.

-Got a manicure. It's the small pleasures that mean the most after a very stressful week.

-Attended a co-worker's wedding bash.

-Got rid of four bags of things I no longer want/need. There's more that I could clean, organized or trash but this was enough to make me feel lighter and make my living area feel more spacious.

-Took a luxurious mid-day nap on Sunday. It is amazing what two extra hours of sleep can do for one's productivity.

-Watched The Golden Globes. All those beautiful dresses!

-Did Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred" a few times (and have very sore leg and arm muscles to prove it).
-Tested out a new recipe for asian-style baked tofu.

It was a perfect balance of having fun and honoring my introverted ways. I could use a three day weekend every week!

{Photo credit: AMagill}

Friday, January 15, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude: Haiti Edition

The recent tragedy in Haiti has broken my heart. In light of that, I wanted to take a moment to list the things that I am thankful for or that are bringing me joy right now. Life is far too fragile to not appreciate everything you have, big or small.

-My friends, family, boyfriend and you
-The shining sun and slightly warmer weather
-Hugo Naturals' Vanilla and Sweet Orange lotion
-The start of my very last semester of graduate school
-The arrival of Kimberly Wilson's new book, Tranquilista
-All of the men and women that are in or heading to Haiti to help with relief efforts

Please donate to help Haiti. No amount is too small. As Satoro said, "Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean." See CNN's list of organizations or visit Stand with Haiti to donate to Partners in Health.

{Photo credit: aussiegall}

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sweat and Save 2010: Eating Better

I've been really good about what I have been eating since the New Year, so I wanted to post about it. I feel more energized and nourished. Another plus side is that my sugar cravings are getting less intense. It's a big change from how I spent the majority of December when I was basically living off of baked goods.

A sample menu from the last two days:


Breakfast: Oatmeal with ground flax seeds, green tea
Lunch: Salmon and avocado brown rice sushi roll, large baby spinach salad with beets, carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, radishes, a tiny bit of feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Dinner: Curried pumpkin soup
Snack: Banana


Breakfast: Two pieces of whole wheat toast with sunflower seed butter, green tea
Lunch: brown rice, spicy tofu, kale, cabbage and peppers
Dinner: Red pepper tortilla with hummus, spinach and red peppers, cup of vegetable soup
Snack: Fuji apple

I've also made sure to take my vitamins and supplements each day, as well as drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and get at least 8 hours of sleep. I'm definitely noticing the difference!

Have you made any changes so far in 2010 that are already reaping results?

{Photo credit: EverJean}

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Word for 2010: Cultivate

My word for this year, after much thought, is cultivate. According to Merriam Webster, the definition is "to foster the growth of" or "to improve by labor, care or study". This is precisely what I am seeking to do with the good things in my life this year.

Cultivate healthy habits: I want to spend this year getting healthier. I want to eat better and work out more. I want to attend yoga classes on a more regular basis. I want to meditate, get more sleep and journal more. I want to take my vitamins every day. I want to learn to cook nutritious meals. I want to accomplish what I have laid out for myself with my Sweat and Save 2010 plan.

Cultivate my relationships: This is the year that I will finish graduate school, thus giving me more free time. I would like to spend a lot of that cultivating my relationships with friends and family alike. For the past two and a half years, I haven't be able to do that in way that I would like. 2010 will be the year that I tend to them with the care and time that they deserve.

Cultivate my passions: There are a lot of resources out there for helping early twenty-somethings find their way in life. There are less for those of us that are pushing 30 and still aren't sure where we want to end up. This year I would like to get quiet and get inside my head. I want to better understand which of my interests are hobbies, which are passions and which should be a job. I want to get a clearer picture of where I want to be in 1, 5 and 10 years from now. I want to use my newly discovered free time to figure out just who I want to be.

{Photo credit: Foxtongue}

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sweat and Save 2010

I've been remiss in blogging since mid-December. I immersed myself in an extended vacation, time with the family and enjoying the holidays. As 2010 neared, I also got sick. Nearly two weeks later, I am still battling the end of it but I am finally determined to start my 2010 intentions now (not resolutions--those are made to be broken!). This year I am calling my intention plan "Sweat and Save 2010".

The Sweating Part of the Plan

This is my way of saying that I need to get back into an all-around healthier way of life. My healthy eating habits and workout plan have really gone out the window over the holidays---the holidays being roughly October to now. Oops. I have to get back on track. I am determined to get in all my veggies, water, whole grains, protein and vitamins. I would like to lose some weight. I need the exercise so I can get those endorphins going. I am committing to working out at least 4 times a week. I used to work out 6-7 times a week and there was simply no way to keep that up while working full-time and going to graduate school part-time. I want to try new ways of working out: zumba, running, maybe a new kind of yoga. I feel so much better and happier when I work out on a regular basis so I need a schedule that I can actually do and not feel frustrated. I need meditation, journal writing, yoga and 8 hours of sleep a night in my life in order to stay sane.

The Saving Part of the Plan

I am the worst when it comes to saving money. I like lululemon yoga clothes, shop at Whole Foods and order books from like it is going out of style. Bad. This year I want to pay off my credit cards. I want to open an IRA. I want to make a list of what I spend my money on so I can more clearly see where I can cut back (ahem, lululemon....I'm looking at you!) I want to get ahead because starting in November, I will need to start paying back my (ridiculously enormous amounts of) student loans. I also know that sooner rather than later, I will want things like a car and a house, so I need to start saving NOW.

I can do it. I WILL do it.

Here's to Sweat and Save 2010!

{Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt}

Monday, January 4, 2010

December 2009 Vacation!

Had a fun Hanukkah party with the NJ friends (where my friend Katie always gets to light the menorah!).

Made the DEEEEEEElicious Apple Cider Cookies that I saw on eat make read.

Attempted my very first gingerbread house. The windows were a wee bit droopy but other than that, it's actually pretty good!

Had a few fun drinks.

And spent lots of time with my wonderful family and amazing boyfriend!

Vacation also included a lot of Wii games, Dave and Buster's, snow days, outlet shopping, a fireplace, visiting some of J's family, lots of baths with Lush bath bombs and bubble bars, hibachi, tons and tons of baking and cooking, seeing "Brothers" and "Up in the Air" and reading several books. Perfection!