Easter

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Well, this is a bit delayed but better later than never! Easter was a blast. We hosted and had both of our parents as well as Michael’s uncle join us. What a gorgeous day it was…nearly 80! Giving a nod to my Italian heritage, I put out enough hor d’oeuvres (spelling?) to feed an army…I also made sure we were not lacking desserts.

The day before I prepped banana cream pie (my favorite)…

I also made a chocolate lava bunt cake. I purchased the bunt cake mix from Williams Sonoma to finally test out my bunt cake pan that Mike got me as a stocking stuffer…It was a very large stocking.  So. I made the cake and took it out. The directions told me to wait until the cake was ENTIRELY cooled. As we have covered, I don’t have any self control. So once the pan was luke warm, I decided it was time.

It was not time.

I flipped the cake onto the cooling rack and it looked glorious. I hooted and hollered and pat myself on the back, while Mike cheered me on from the sidelines. And then the lava began to seep from the bottom. All over the counter. I lifted the cake with my hands and yelled for Mike “HELP ME!!!”, chocolate dripping everywhere.

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In retrospect, my reaction may have been a bit dramatic.

I went through the 5 stages of grief. Denial- as I tried to slop all the bits of cake onto a plate. Anger- NO NO NO NO NO NO. Bargaining- IF ONLY I had waited, like the directions stated! Depression- I wasn’t actually depressed (I’m not that unstable) but I did stare sadly at the chocolatey mess for a while. And finally. Acceptance. Mike, being his normal optimistic self was certain we had plenty of time left in the night to start over. So he took my hand and led me (dragged my slug-like self) to the mall to get a new package and then to the store for more ingredients…I WASTED 6 EGGS. 

The final outcome was a much greater success, if I do say so myself. Although it was very exciting to have sugar again, after not having it for 40 days…it hit me hard. I almost immediately got a splitting headache and stomach ache. It is amazing what sugar can do to you…If I didn’t believe it before…I sure do now. I decided that while I won’t give it up forever (why would I ever do that), I won’t be incorporating it into my daily meals like I was before. 

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Happy (belated) Easter!!

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Oils & Provisions

This week there was a lot of wellness going on. I got another Goddess Provision box and was able to sit down with Jen, the woman who sold me my essential oils and pick her brain a bit.

This box was the Sun Energy box- here is the break down of what I got:

 

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The Coal Miner’s Daughter Sun Mist- it’s an energizing spray of organic rose water and essential oils, meant to nourish skin and reduce stress. I haven’t sprayed it yet because I am trying to ease Mike into the essential oils and I worry if I come at him with another spray trying to decrease stress, he is going to pull out all of his hair and that seems stressful. Let’s ease into that one.

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Violet Lace Energy Perfume- I am not a big perfume-y type of gal. It sometimes gives me a headache to be around people who have perfume on, and also, the name of this one makes me picture an old woman playing a piano in a haunted house. It also has little things floating around in it which, at first looked to me like they were teeth but upon further investigation I discovered they were in fact, jasmine flowers which is much less unsettling. Despite my initial hesitation, after smelling the perfume it actually smells more citrusy and light and not overpowering. This one you can use before a workout to boost mood and energy though so I may give that a shot.

Amethyst Orgone Pyramid- this is meant to neutralize energy from electrical devices. I put it on my nightstand next to my phone which is right by my head and I KNOWWW is the worst possible place to keep your phone and I am a living, breathing, hypocrite for allowing the phone to be near my head as I am on a health mission. I will break that habit. Soon.

Emmy’s Organices Lemon Ginger Macaroons- vegan, organic, gluten free- I want to try and make something like this on my own next week.

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Andalou Naturals Konjac Sponges- I am excited to use this with my favorite face wash! It is supposed to brighten your skin.

Healthforce Vitamineral Green- This is a superfood with antioxidants, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids etc. It can go into food or a drink- I will probably add it to my teas with the rest of my concoctions.

Sunstone- Another crystal. This one promotes abundance and enjoyment of life. I still haven’t used the other crystal but am feeling more motivated to give them a shot after chatting with my friend, Brie, who loves them. I think I figured out why I am hesitant to use crystals. They remind me of Spencer from the reality show The Hills. Does anyone know who I am talking about/ remember him? He was mean to everyone and then helped to BREAK UP the friendship of Lauren and Heidi (looking at you too, Heidi, for your role in that one) and then it seemed like at one point his marbles went a little loose and he because obsessed with crystals.

And thennnnnnnnn- I met with Jen about the oils. She was awesome and like chatting with a friend. I love learning about health supports and looking through the information about oils, I realized if there is an ailment…there is an oil for it, from cellulite (what?!) to thyroid support. There are three ways to use the oils.

You can use them aromatically for respiratory or emotional support. It can also clean the air when you diffuse which is one thing I really love. I feel like our apartment has never smelled so fresh and clean. I used to burn candles (although that is not good for you) because I was desperately trying to cover up any smells of our two cats. I love them and I will embrace the cat lady that I was born to be but I will never embrace the pet smell.

You can also use oils topically to help with irritations or discomforts as well as for immune support. I was told that you can put oils at the bottom of your feet because they are less sensitive to irritation and they are also thought to be the end of your nerve line. If you believe in reflexology (which OBVIOUSLYYYYY I do) there are areas on your feet that correspond to your body’s organs. Also, with the pores on your feet being thicker than pores on the rest of your body, the oils will absorb faster. Oh! I should also mention, if you are going to use oils topically, you need to dilute them with coconut oil (maybe you can use other oils but I have only heard of coconut oil thus far and also, if you read my earlier love letter to coconut oil, I think it is pretty clear that that would be the only oil I would use).

Anywho, the last way to use oils (that I am aware of) is internally. A lot of people, at least initially, are hesitant to try this one. Some people argue whether or not this is safe to do. From what I have read, it is indeed safe in the appropriate quantity. But as we have observed, quantity control is not my forte.

Ok, bye!

 

Tavern On The Green

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We had to take advantage of the 80 degree weather today. It was amazing. Since I am on break and I was unable to convince Mike to play hooky from work, we compromised and he cut out of work a bit early and I met him in the city. Since NYC is one of the places we are talking about moving to next, Mike is trying (unsuccessfully) to teach me how to navigate the city on my own. I’ve been going to the city for years now but tend to have the duckling approach where I just waddle after whoever I am traveling with. I am not what one would consider “city folk”. Looking back on my many trips to the city there were many times (whether it be my aunt yanking me back on to the sidewalk right before almost getting swiped my a cab, or giving 20 dollars to a not-so-homeless, homeless man) where it seemed that even trips to the city might not be a good idea for me.

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But alas, I have grown. I usually look where I am going now and almost always am able to say “no, thank you” to street solicitors. Last time, Mike gave me directions on how to get out of the building once I got off the train, and he met me half way. This time, I had graduated to meeting him a few blocks from the train station. As you may have imagined, I went the wrong way. However, the good news was, I found an H&M and purchased $10 dollar shoes since the fashionable ones I had decided to wear had already destroyed my feet during the 5 minute walk from my apartment to the train.

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We walked to Central Park and BOYYYYY was it rowdy. I love seeing how excited everyone gets when the weather gets nicer. I feel like people literally crawl out of the ground…where was everyone during the winter?? I could sit and watch people in the park all day. Not in a creepy, hiding in the bushes type of way though. There is just so much to see. Mike asked me if I am ever able to sit and just relax my mind because he could see my eyes darting everywhere.

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We sat outside Tavern On The Green and had a cocktail and a couple apps. We split the risotto since ever since seeing The Zookeeper’s Wife, I have been struggling to eat meat. I go through phases of this like the time I saw a dead cat in the road and couldn’t eat meat for a month. Anywho. It was a gorgeous night. Unfortunately, it ended with us sitting next to a man on the train who was looking at pictures of topless men and zooming in on their crotches. Ya win some, ya lose some.

xo

Palms Monday

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Today we booked our flights to HAWAII!! I am soooooo excited. That may have been part of the reason I went out and bought palm outdoor cushions, palm napkins and a palm plant. That, and I was left to my own devices while M was at work. M says he NOW trusts my taste after loving things once they are in the apartment but that isn’t entirely true. He may love what I pick out after it is in our home but he still has that initial knee-jerk reaction of saying “no” automatically. M is a thinker. He needs to spend several weeks contemplating a purchase and talking it through before committing. I see something and know immediately whether or not I like it and then I want it that instant. It makes for some challenging shopping trips for us. We are able to laugh about our differences and M has said multiple times “Just go out and buy. Don’t show me”. So I did.

Normally, I don’t like to make purchases without M, especially since we are tight on money with all these upcoming trips. But we have been wanting this stuff for a while and I knew if I didn’t just go out and do it, it would be several more weeks. I felt really confident in my decisions but as I was lugging up my giant palm plant and getting side-eyed by neighbors…I started to question whether or not this would be considered a successful day.

Thankfully it was! I love all things palm right now. Looking outside and seeing our palm plant blowing in the wind, I feel like we are on a tropical getaway and it makes me even more excited for our Hawaiian getaway.

BRIT+CO knows what I mean…

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April Showers and Bridal Flowers

Since April hit, things are really gearing up for wedding season. One of my bridesmaids came back from England to have her bridal shower and she had such a beautiful day for it. We celebrated her day at Harvest on Hudson with bellinis and mimosas (and for me, the entire bread basket, since I had just finished the whole 30).

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It really feels like she is living in a movie. She moved to England to be with her love (who started as her best friend) and they have this adorable place in the country side and are getting married and will someday have little blue-eyed babies with adorable british accents. As much as I miss her, I so admire her bravery for going to a new country, far away from all things familiar and starting a new life. Her bold move truly did pay off because looking at her, she is glowing from the inside, out. 

YESTERDAY, we went and met with our florist, Melissa. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I (unintentionally) hadn’t really been all that helpful prior to our meeting. I had, of course, tried to send her some pictures of flowers or centerpieces, per her request. However, even those came with a lot of BUTs. But not those colors, not that size, not that spiky thing, not that fancy. My requests weren’t in a diva way (although over e-mail it is quite possible she saw it that way even with my abundance of smiley faces and exclamation points). I just have a vision in my head and there aren’t necessarily pictures of those ideas out there. 

As soon as we walked in, after first noticing how warm and welcoming Melissa was, I looked past her and saw a display of roses on the table. I love almost every single flower out there, including some specimens that are probably considered weeds and not flowers. I love all flowers. Except. Roses. 

Ok, maybe that is false. I actually love almost every single type of rose, especially modern garden. I do nottttttttttt like the hybrid tea rose (the one you commonly see at your local florist). I think my rejection of this rose comes from the fact that it is seen everywhere and I tend to run in the opposite direction of anything I consider to be the norm or overdone (I initially had this reaction to our honeymoon spot but I could tell M was so excited). I’m not sure what the root of that aspect of my personality comes from but we have done enough dissecting in my previous posts about me as a human so let’s just leave that one for now.

M used to get me this type of rose every single time he got me flowers and I never said a peep because 1. who would argue with their handsome new boyfriend buying flowers? and 2. I figured they must have been his favorite and that was enough of a reason to be happy about them. One day the topic of flowers came up in a group conversation. I think someone was talking about their disdain for carnations and I jumped in to defend. When it came out that I couldn’t stand roses (or that specific type) M looked at me, shocked. Apparently, he had only been getting me those because he saw every other boy buying those and figured it was safe. Now he knows to find the weirdest looking bunch in the group and go for those.

Anyways. I saw the display of roses and realized that perhaps my vague explanation of my vision had caused a big misunderstanding. I slinked over to the chair and tried to find a nice way of saying I didn’t want any of them. I decided to go with the mature approach of blurting out “I love your store! Roses are my least favorite flower of all time!! HAhaha” and then frantically trying to get my pinterest to load with M and her both side eyeing me.

She was a pro though and after showing her a little bit more of what I had in mind, she got it right away. Even my centerpiece idea, which I know had some people confused (and probably worried), she was able to work with me and we played around with ideas until we got it just right. I have total faith that she will deliver my not so clear, not so conventional vision, the day of. 

At the beginning, I really wasn’t all that excited about flowers and even questioned whether or not we needed to have them. After meeting with Melissa, I left the building, skipping out like a young school girl.

Ruffled - photo by John Schnack Photography http://ruffledblog.com/seaside-wedding-inspiration-shootRuffled - photo by John Schnack Photography http://ruffledblog.com/seaside-wedding-inspiration-shoot3

Wednesday and Dad-ay

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This week has been an interesting one. On Tuesday a medical problem that I had hoped had gone away (actually I knew it wouldn’t have gone away but didn’t address it since it hadn’t reared it’s ugly head… very “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me” of me) resurfaced and made me finally have to think about what the next step was going to be. It was a bummer and I went home and buried my head in cashew butter, as I sometimes do (guess my relationship with food is as strong as ever!). As always though, my family swooped right in and made it not feel so daunting.

Yesterday, my dad was coming through town and it couldn’t have been better timing. We look the train together into the city and then met M for dinner. It was good to spend time with him and have an awesome meal. While he will always be my parent, in recent years he feels like a friend too… Except when I frantically call him after being rear ended for the 8th time or texting him to see if I would get a disease from holding a bird…then he is mostly dad. Our similar personalities were at times the cause of us butting heads when I was younger but are now why we are so close. Even though we have very similar personalities, he does not get nearly as stressed out as I do….Sound familiar? Similar to me and M? Classic, daughter marrying someone similar to her father. Is that weird?

Anywho. I realized it when we were both talking about work. When he is in high stress situations, he is as cool as a cucumber. When I am in high stress situations I look as cool as a cucumber (minus my eyes maybe being a bit more bulgy) but inside my heart is going a million miles a minute and I have sweat through my outfit. I don’t know when that happened to me. I used to be so chill and now I am like a windup toy. Watching home videos my brother would be swinging from the rafters and I would be quietly sitting, organizing my mother’s food cabinet. There is literally a video of us at the park where my brother is running around jumping off of every slide and jungle gym and the camera pans to me, the slug on the ground with my mother prodding me begging me to do something for the camera. I begrudgingly grab a tricycle and slide down the hill, not even pedaling, just letting my legs drag alongside until I finally run into the wall at the bottom of the hill. It also used to be pointless to try and discipline me because I would be sent to my room and end up joyfully singing to myself and playing barbie dolls. Now if I feel like I have done something wrong or disappointed anyone, I angst over it until I make it right. Funny how much we can change over time. Who knew I would one day aspire to be like my 3 year old self?

 

FriYAY! Done with the Whole30!

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WE MADE IT!!! Almost. This weekend we are done with the Whole30. What a grand old time we had. It was nice doing it with M and I loved that our friends started it on the same day as us. It really helped to all chat with each other on the hard days. Things got pretty silent about a week ago and when I made a comment about it being extra difficult on certain days, they let me know they had decided to continue with it partially but add in carbs. I get it. I think we are all different and our bodies all require different things. To be honest, I had a hormonal day there where I literally would have eaten my shoe. Thank goodness M reeled me back in.

Anywho. We are supposed to gradually add the foods we had not had back in to see what our bodies respond well to and what we might have a sensitivity towards. M has a plan for us for tomorrow night when we are done and I am curious to see what he has in mind. For tonight, we will stick with our normal Friday night date spot…the Whole Foods salad bar. We initially picked it because we were desperate to get out and get something other than greens and plantains (I do really love plantains though) and then started actually looking forward to going there and seeing what new food they had for us to try. It is really helpful because they put the ingredients for all their meals on display. I CANNOT believe how much of the food we consume has added sugar. This shouldn’t be a shock to me since I watched that movie…I think it was called Fed Up, where they talk about the effects sugar has on our body and how much of the food we consume has added sugar. I’m pretty sure I was probably slurping down one of my ice cream bars while watching it though and it really didn’t phase me. What DID change my thinking was once I was not allowed to have certain foods or added sugar. Suddenly you realize just how much of the things we eat aren’t all that great for you. Even down to something as little as gum. I was ALWAYS chewing gum before starting this. That’s actually how my mom used to bribe me to be a quiet little lady when I was a lass. Anyways. I digress. 

I think the Whole30 has really changed how we think about food. M was way better about challenging his relationship with food during this process and really didn’t snack very often at all. Which is maaaaaybe why he lost 11 pounds and I lost 2. I personally think I did us all a favor by never allowing myself to become hangry. 

Other than learning about our sugar intake and 1 out of the 2 of us challenging our relationship with food, I am pretty sure we discovered that M has a dairy sensitivity and maybe even a gluten sensitivity, as well.

It’s been a fun process and has forced us to get creative with meals. We decided we will try and keep it going 5-6 days a week but have a break one day during the weekend. I’m also allowing wine back into my life because I think in moderation it is good for me and also I am a nicer human with it. I DID notice that on tough days, instead of turning to my half a glass of wine, I found (almost) just as much comfort in using some lavender and balance oils in my diffuser. So it was good to find new strategies.

I do recommend everyone try it at least once. It is a good exercise for one’s mind and the seams of your pants may thank you as well.

Wednesday (Addams) Vibes

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Vince Camuto- Mix Media Collard Top

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Happy hump day! Even though I am dressed like a downer, I have a lot to be happy about.

  1. Today is warm AND sunny!
  2. People seemed to be a lot kinder today than they were yesterday
  3. The Whole30 is almost done! Don’t get me wrong- I’ve enjoyed this process and want to continue with healthy eating…But boy it will make eating out a whole lot easier.
  4. It only took me two (versus the normal 8) tries to parallel park in front of my building today. Pretty sure I could hear the people inside cheering 😉
  5. I get to see one of my best pals who lives in ENGLAND now, this weekend 🙂

xo

Earth, Air, Water, Fire

Over the weekend, we were trying to check things off our wedding to-do list. While I focused on the registry (apparently just having an ice cream maker on the registry was considered a faux pas) M worked for 45 minutes on filling in all the details of our accommodations page. He worked out prices, distance to venue, placed them in order of least to most booked…the works. When he was finished I heard him calmly say “Oh no”. When I asked him what had happened he sighed and told me everything he had just worked on for the last 45 minutes was deleted. Simultaneously, I felt so sad for him but was also so amazed that THAT was his reaction. I kept watching him like a little specimen, waiting for the big blow up. He shook his head and went back to trying to fix it.

That. That right there is a perfect example of how we can be total opposites sometimes. I want to preface this with saying that, as a counselor, I am aware of what an appropriate reaction is and what an inappropriate reaction is. I am also aware that we do not control other people and we do not control what happens around us (usually) but what we do control is our actions. That being said. MY initial reaction would have been to throw my computer out the window. Just kidding. Kind of. But there would for sure have been a large, exaggerated exclamation, followed by some stomping of the feet and then a good 3 minute pout before pulling myself together and reminding myself that I am a grown up and what an actual appropriate reaction is (See M’s above).

We are so similar in some ways but soooooo different in others. What would have caught my hair on fire, simply ruffled M’s feathers a bit before he calmly moved right along with his day. Even though this happened three days ago, I found myself still thinking about it today. “You’ve got to be a water sign or something”, I said to him, knowing that whatever he is, it must be opposite of what I am (I’m Fire…SURPRISE!!). We decided to look up characteristics of both and see if it fits…He is earth by the way.

Earth (M)

Extremely down to earth and grounded (Check)

Dependable and trustworthy (Check Check)

Never ending duty of responsibility (CHECK)

The most dependable signs and always there to help out a friend (He has spent many nights talking on the phone and coaching friends through big decisions. So. Check)

Fire (Me)

Assertive and courageous (somewhat)

Independent and at times hard headed (welp)

Enormous passion for life (yep)

Big hearts (remember how I’ve been banned from the news)

Water

The most sensitive of the signs

Strong emotional bonds with others

Don’t always make decisions based on logic

Artistic

Air

Smart thinkers who handle abstract reasoning well

All about communication

Often calm and collected but can quickly turn cold (like the wind!)

Fair