28 November, 2014

happy thanksgiving

You know that thing, where your house is always cleaner when people are coming over? Like, you don't want to appear to be a slob, so you clean every surface, move every scrap, and pretend like your place is always this tidy? It happens so infrequently these days because we live pretty far from any friends we would invite over but for Thanksgiving my best friend in law school was joining us so Dan and I did a massive clean in the morning. What's great is that it's still clean. It feels so good to not feel guilty about that pile of clothes that sits unfolded or the bathroom trashcan that can't fit one more q-tip. Nope, it's all been taken care of. We should have people over more often.

So now, Dan is driving two hours to meet his buddy so they can watch Dumb & Dumber To together and I sit here, in the clean house and study and contemplate eating all the leftovers. I maybe had mashed potatoes for breakfast. It was a close call between the potatoes or a big slice of apple pie with my coffee, but I figured I would enjoy a the pie after I'm done with my long day of studying -- something to look forward to.

This year I'm just thankful I'm not a 1L anymore. I mean, finals are here and there is some stress but nothing like last year. Woah, boy, am I glad I am not in 1L land and I will never be there again. I'm also thankful that Dan makes the turkey every year. Hope you had a great thanksgiving, ours was relaxing, tasty and filled with great conversation and a viewing of Pitch Perfect because our guest hadn't seen it and that had to be remedied. Duh.

25 November, 2014

Whole ::: Wrap Up

Whole 30 Challenge: dominated.

But seriously, the biggest thing I have to say about this experience is that I feel empowered. I like things I didn't know I liked. I exercised will-power I was unfamiliar with. I survived and I feel good. 


Of course there were days when I craved something that I couldn't have. But those were days came around less than expected. My body was running efficiently and it showed. 

I will say I did not follow the strict program that requires only 3 meals a day and no snacking. While I (kinda) get the purpose behind what they are trying to achieve, my purpose was to treat my body better and, if I am hungry, withholding nourishment simply because "our ancestors" didn't snack was counterintuitive to what I wanted out of this. Listening to my body was important and so I kicked that rule to the curb. 

I ate so many vegetables and I am so proud of myself! Carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes (it acts like a vegetable so I consider it one). And I liked all of them. I feel like an entirely different person and I like her.

Though this wasn't a priority for me, I also lost weight. I lost just over 10 lbs in 30 days. Which sounds crazy to me but I was eating food. Real food. And lots of it! Like I said, if I was hungry, I ate. Im chalking the weight loss up to cutting out sugar and grains.


I really want to keep this up to some degree. Not crazy strict (I missed beans and cheese too much!), but I think I'm going to keep grains to a minimum and same with sugar. I also want to keep the vegetable intake high which seems so much easier now that I know I like so many of them and how I like to cook them.

A big test for me will be to see how I do over finals. Last year it was all, study for 12 hours then come home and make 7 minute mac&cheese. I still have some blue boxes in my cupboards (how's that for will-power!) but I'm thinking I may just donate them... I don't know. It's not like I'm never going to have mac and cheese again but maybe not to the extent I have in the past.

I am definitely splurging today. I am eating chipotle with beans and rice and cheese... and it's going to be freaking-fantastic. I'm robably going to pour myself a glass of wine tonight, too. But this whole process has made me reconsider what it means to do things in moderation and I'm hoping that most of this sticks long term.

Huzzah to me and all that. I did it. And I'm pretty dang proud.

23 November, 2014

Whole ::: Week Four

 Without further ado:

1. There are a lot of home-cooked meals going on over here and I don't hear any complaints from either of us. I've been getting faster at prepping some things and it doesn't take me anywhere near as long as it did the first week. Plus, slow-cooker. That thing is a god among kitchen appliances.

2. I LIKE BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT. And you're like, so? But I'm like, what?! I never would have eaten brussel sprouts voluntarily ever before this. And then my sister gives me this killer recipe with bacon and I'm like, oh ya, no big deal. I LIKE BRUSSEL SPROUTS.

3. Almond-breaded chicken is the shizz.

4. In the first week I was a little so-so on the sweet potato thing and now I crave them. Like, I'll dream about them while I'm studying at school. Weird.

5. I roasted some sweet potatoes and butternut squash to go with pot roast the other night and it was good. Butternut squash, chalk that up as another thing I never tried before and now love. Who am I?! I don't even know this person.

6. I have one more day, if I'm doing my math correctly (which, let's be real I'm a law student so math isn't my forte -- feel free to check my work), and it's a little nerve-wracking. Part of me is like, put that cheese in my mouth and then the other part of me is screaming "but you feel so good and you've done so well!" It's not an all-or-nothing game, I know but I am a little nervous that I'll fall back into old habits hard.

7. I'm really glad this is ending before Thanksgiving because I want pie. That's definitely a food group I'm re-introducing. It's probably the second tier on my personal food pyramid. It goes fruit & vegetables. Then pie. Everything afterwards is just... not pie.

I'll probably, maybe, do a full re-cap of my thoughts and feels on this Whole 30 business in the next week or so (maybe not, it is finals season after all). We'll see. So there you have it, week four and I'm rip, roaring and ready to go.

20 November, 2014

My Winter Uniform

My really good friend posted a link about cold weather outfits on Facebook the other day. I looked through and, while the outfits were cute, almost 3/4 of them were not what I would call "winter-wear." Granted, she lives on the west coast so winter is like 55 degrees at worst. Over there you can get away with bare legs and a heavier coat. Those were the days.

Here, it's not Fargo status but it gets cold. It's been in the low thirties lately and will only get colder. Sometimes I wish I was a more consistent dress and tights girl, but lesbehonest, it's finals season and ain't nobody got time to think too hard about clothes.

I've been living in jeans and sweaters. Thank god, because I have a ton of them. And I would probably add more if I wasn't a poor college student (in D.C. -- can we talk about how freaking expensive D.C. is?!). I digress. My go-to lately has been pulling a sweater over a shirt (layers are important, people), stepping into some booties and wrapping myself in a parka.

Much high. Very fashion.

But it works. And, when you've got eleventy-billion hours worth of studying to do in a building that is heated to maybe 57 degrees all you want is to be warm and cozy. Mission accomplished.

p.s. I did my hair with the help of this tutorial. This is the first time I've seen a braid crown that I though my thick, thick hair could handle. This was a test run for a wedding we're going to this weekend -- I haven't decided if it's a go yet, thoughts?

18 November, 2014

Meet the fosters



We'd been talking about it for a while. Whenever we'd see the kitties at Petsmart I'd implore Dan to let me have just one more. He never budged. Two cats are his limit. 

Well, two permanent cats are his limit. 

One day, while we were admiring this really adorable white, 8-week old kitten, Dan said "Maybe we could foster. Then you'll get your kitten-fix in."

Be still my man-holding-cats-loving heart.

We had a bunch of big trips back to CA on the books so we couldn't start the second we wanted to, but here we are. We've done two rotations and right now we have 21-week kitten siblings! Ugh. I don't ever want to leave the house. THEY ARE TOO FUN!!

Athena hates them and Houston is apathetic. Which pretty much sums up their personalities in a nutshell (hideous bitch and crotchety old man). 

The first night they were here, I felt kinda bad for Athena so I stoically told Dan, "Athena should sleep in our room tonight, we'll lock the cats out. She probably feels like we're replacing her."

"That's a pretty complex though process for a cat, but sure." Dan replied. 

So that's what we did. We said goodnight to the kitties and Houston and left them to their own devices as we shuffled off to bed. Within minutes we hear mews at the door. Mews after mews. 

"Dan. Dan, I can't. Oh my god. They need me. I'm letting them in." I say. Pitiful. They didn't even cry for one whole minute before I rescued them (don't worry, I'm sure sleep-training with a kid will be much easier for me).

They come rushing in and jump into bed. Athena hisses and runs away -- I felt bad for her but only for a second because then Loni -- sweet, little Loni -- comes right up to my face and curls up into my chest and purrs. Loudly. Just content to be right next to me. 

I wish I could explain my reaction. It was like when Kristin Bell got a sloth. You guys, I was hysterical. But quiet, whispering, creepy as fuck hysterical. If I were Dan I would've left the room and ran for my life. 

"Oh my god. Oh my good. This is my life right now. I am in heaven. This is my life. I can't even breath. He's just right here. I love him so much. Oh my god." I am whispering maniacally and fervently here. Ugh. Man, it was so freaking weird. I couldn't stop it. I was literally on cloud nine. There might have been some involuntary tears. Right?! I mean, what? 

My cats never cuddle with me. And Athena bites or scratches me when I pet her too long. But these kittehs -- they just love us. Lindy even camped out on Dan's neck, like a cat scarf, for about thirty minutes. 

The excitement wore off throughout the night when they woke up every. hour. We got very little sleep. So, while I love cuddling, they sleep in the living room from now on. They also don't cry at the door anymore -- which is good because my heart probably couldn't take it.