Wednesday, February 22, 2012


These past few weeks have been something of a whirlwind! First, I celebrated my 30th birthday on February 10th. I took the day off from work, planning on just relaxing and not doing much of anything. However, Jesse booked me a massage, took me out to dinner at Agora and sent me these beautiful flowers:

We also had a fantastic Valentine's Day. Jesse again gave me beautiful flowers and we had a delicious dinner date at Oyamel.

Even though all of that was wonderful, the best part came on February 18th, when this happened while we were in New Jersey visiting my family:

I said yes! He proposed in the sweetest way imaginable and totally took me by surprise. We went out to dinner to Buddakan in Atlantic City to celebrate.

I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Since today is a day to celebrate love, I thought I would share some things I've been loving lately:

-The adorable Valentine's votives pictured to the right, which I saw on Pinterest and are from the Homemade Serenity blog. I love, love, love how sweet these are. Next year, for sure.

-On Style and Systems from the Pink of Perfection blog.

-Gena's take on the disturbing PCRM "your thighs on cheese" ads. I had been waiting for someone to write a thoughtful and carefully laid out critique of these ads since I first saw them. While I love most of PCRM's work, these ads are really out of line. Here's to hoping they choose a different way to get their message across in the future.

-Kris Carr's new ebook, Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies. 80 pages of green drink goodness.

-The documentary "Life in a Day". At first I felt a bit like a creepy voyeur, but I came to appreciate this look at life on a single day around the world.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just say no to horse diving

My heart is so heavy (and angry!) right now. I have just learned that Atlantic City is going to bring back horse diving, which was at its height of popularity in the 1920s but continued until the early 1990s, as a way to increase tourism this summer.

I grew up in a town just outside of Atlantic City, hearing romanticized stories about this time period. I watched the movie "Wild Hearts Can't be Broken" over and over and over again. I used to wish I had been able to witness--or even perform!-- such a feat.

And then I learned that the horses didn't just willingly jump. They are walked out onto a platform with their rider and then the platform is dropped out from underneath of them. Diving like this is NOT natural for a horse, so it causes trauma and fright, not to mention any injuries that can be sustained to both rider and horse upon hitting the water (such as retinal detachment or spinal cord injury). And all this doesn't include any mistreatment during their care when they are not performing.

The owner of the Steel Pier, where the diving will take place, has said: "We know the diving horse is controversial, but I think people need to look at the bigger picture. A diving horse is going to be iconic. It's going to be a small piece of the development project that will bring family entertainment back to Atlantic City." Please join me in telling the owners that NO, we do NOT want to see their "iconic" act. The Steel Pier website is here, which contains their phone number, address, Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also sign this petition, as well as boycott and not visit this summer should these plans go through.

Friday, February 3, 2012

28 Day Healthy Eating Challenge

This month I am participating in the the Whole Foods 28 Day Healthy Eating Challenge, which is affiliated with their Health Starts Here work.

For five weeks, I will attend a class at my local store, with sessions to include: Whole Foods core values and wellness lecture, a healthy eating demo and a healthy eating on a budget store tour, navigating your way through a healthy lifestyle change, a cooking class with the store chef and a supper club with a panel of experts. Additionally, they will be screening the film "Forks Over Knives", but since I've already seen it, I won't be going to that session (but you should see it if you haven't! Fantastic film!). All this, plus a book and a bag of healthy starter groceries (lentils, quinoa, steel cut oats, Lara Bars, digestive enzymes, etc!), for just a $30 donation to their Whole Planet Foundation. This is the third time the store near me has ran this program, so if you are interested I would suggest that you see if a Whole Foods near you already is holding the class or let them know that you are interested.

At our first session this week, we reviewed what we should be eating during this time period by learning about their four pillars of healthy eating: eat whole, unprocessed foods, lots and lots of plants, healthy fats and foods with a high nutrient density. They are stressing eating a plant strong diet, which could include eating meat or dairy as as more of a garnish to a dish, but stated they aren't there to make everyone into vegetarians. While I know they are trying to not push people away, they are basing their course on the work of Dr. Fuhrman and Rip Esselstyn, so I wish they would at least touch on the benefits of a plant-based diet. They also brought in an expert on wellness who talked about reducing stress levels for a healthier lifestyle. He taught us a breathing exercise to try to combat cravings and explained how chocolate, dairy and sugar all temporarily increase your relaxation response, which is why you want to eat them when you are stressed.

This is supposed to be a challenge and I am sure that it will be. This month includes the Super Bowl, my birthday, Valentine's Day and a trip to New Jersey to visit my family. All of these are potential pitfalls for a healthy diet. However, I am hoping to learn some new things (such as more ways to cook greens!) in this course and apply them for the long term. For the next 28 days, I plan to follow their suggestions as closely as possible. It's time to go from eating vegan junk food to really focusing on eating good, whole, nutritious food. So far, after just one class, I have a lot of new information and resources. I'm looking forward to seeing where these next few weeks of class take me.

(Picture from the Whole Foods website)