Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Forgotten Treat

A tasty sweet treat I often forget about is meringue cookies. The ones we happened to have in the office were (4) for 110 calories, fat free and had a gram of protein. Truly not the worst caloric damage for something I find pretty delicious. It definitely curbed my sweet craving, kept me from having a sugar coffee, that's what you have to call it when you are masquerading dessert as coffee. It's called honesty Anna, honesty and sugar coffee. Meringues though are not only a good quick dessert, but they are super pretty which appeals to my inner 5 year old.

I just sort of liked them next to my beaded life pouch for snack photo composition. 

Sweet Sleep

I have struggled with sleep forever. When I was a toddler my Dad came home from a business trip and I greeted him the kitchen and then went back to me baby night roaming. They started locking me into my bedroom which to this day my mom insists the doctor ordered. I have my doubts. I sleep better these days and I think it has a lot to do with exercise, overall improved health and managed anxiety.

I still do not like going to bed. I still feel like I am going to miss out on something, and hate the process of quieting my mind. Whenever I am with a group of people I have to be the last to bed otherwise I have a really hard time relaxing and falling asleep. I have no idea why I feel the need to remain on high alert, maybe I was a watch dog in a former life. For a little while I was journaling before bed and that was not helping the sleep issue. It was like lighting a match to a pool of gasoline. My mind would start racing. I would think of other things to write down, sometimes feel upset having poked the emotional beast, but it did stop the night eating. I was having crazy wackadoo dreams and just wanted off the ride so I had to figure something else out.

 I read somewhere that reading something funny or humor before bed helps sleep. This is hugely helping me!  I modified my routine now I watch my stories with dinner, have a little journal time and then it's time for my favorite part of the evening. I curl up in bed with my ipad and laugh.  I have been reading more humor slanted books before bed and it has greatly improved my falling asleep and staying asleep. I also really like yogi kava kava stress relief tea. It makes me feel pleasantly loopy and relaxed.

What are you reading? Anything good? Is everyone reading The Help? Am I literally the last person to that party? What about some sort of book related giveaway?

My summer reading list:

I have no idea why I resisted Chelsea Handler's books for so long. Genuinely funny and charming. 

LOVE Laurie Notaro I was so excited when this was finally available.  There are some great essays but I prefer some of her other books. I could have also been too excited for this to finally be released. Regardless she is damn funny. 

I wanna be besties with Sloane. 

Seriously Sloane, you're in NYC, I'm in NYC brunch? 

Loved Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's books. A mix of funny and bittersweet. 

Not humor but very good, a touch dark at times but really captivating. 

Really loved this. Took me back to early 20's. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Giveaway Winner the Remix

Sorry peeps, I am late on doing this. I did not hear from Brynn so I had to pick someone new for the Anthropologie Gift Certificate, and the winner is..... Amie!

Amie writes a really fantastic blog at If you have not checked it out before I highly recommend it. She was just featured on fitblogger not that long ago and I am so happy for her. She writes with humor, honesty, talking about the ins and outs of what she has faced losing 70 pounds.

Hints of Fall

It's been chilly the past few mornings and it is getting me excited for fall. It's a little soon to flip over my closet from summer, but I did have hot coffee instead of iced this morning and made sure I had a scarf in my bag.

It might be too early to put away and sort through my summer clothes but it's not too early to lust after fall clothes. I looooove, love, love fall clothes. I love welcoming layers back into my life, and jackets and the crispness in the air. I love every little bit of it. Below is what I am lusting after currently.

I made the screen shot big enough to hide my messy desktop. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Storm's a Comin'

Well the hurricane has come and left. It went out less as a bang and more as a whimper. Sort of bound to happen that way. The city was on lockdown, certain areas evacuated, lines outside Trader Joe's a block long, and everyone wishing one another godspeed as they went about their preparations. Had none of the prep happened we would have been walloped. Sunday I went foraging for coffee it was an odd vibe outside with people wondering around bewildered, but returning to their routines and wind gusts would remind us what all the fuss was about to begin with.

I canceled my travel plans and Friday as I made my way home it occurred to me I might need a thing or two since I was not planning to be here. I wondered the store and felt this weird deja vu I could not place at first. Then it hit me, prepping for a hurricane felt a lot like prepping for a binge. How much did I need, how long would it go on? I kept having to remind myself that was not what I was doing. I was not planning to stay home and eat all weekend I was preparing for a hurricane. It was an odd clash of my present and past. I was doing what I was supposed to for the present but it was definitely bringing up my past.

 I decided to skip the hurricane parties and stay at home. I was not interested in drinking the storm away, changing out of my jammies, or putting my public face on. I just wanted to be alone. It was a conscious choice, not a I am going to hide and eat one. I watched a lot of television, chatted on the phone, fashioned a papoose if I had to escape with my dog, and then got really bored. When the storm moved in Saturday night I sat on my fire escape just listening. The city was so quiet and still. It was eerie and really calming at the same time. There are few places I would rather be then my home if ish was going to go down and sitting on my fire escape I felt that really profoundly. It felt good to be on my own but not lonely, to be dealing with the ghosts of binges past and not melting down, but most of all it was nice to not be afraid of what the next few hours might bring. It would be okay because I had what I needed where I was, pop chips and all.

luckily this was the only real damage on my block. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

There Will Be Boobs

Warning there are pictures of naked ladies at the bottom of this post. I went out last night to dinner with friends and then afterwards to support a friend. She was doing make up for a fashion show. The event was brought together all kinds of artists, and one of the things I first noticed walking in was the naked body painting.

Part of me wanted to do a very exaggerated eye roll to this. Really? Realllllllly?! We need naked ladies up on here to bring attention to the arts and to help artists, designers, illustrators, photographers, and more gain attention? I guess so.

What was really interesting was observing the ladies. They went in and out of feeling comfortable. What was even more interesting was when they had breaks and could mingle in the crowd, say hello to their friends, and so on they remained naked. I could neg on them because I do not know how it makes me feel but I won't. I will just say standing in a thong on a platform and letting someone paint me is not something I would ever do and struggle to understand. I do not find nudity shocking. I grew up going topless at the beach, frequently hang out naked in my own home, have no issue changing at the gym, I am far from a never nude. What I find interesting is that when you are naked and everyone is dressed that's a little different. There's been a shift and you are infinitely more vulnerable. These women were not so painted that there bodies were obscured. Their bodies were also all different and unique, they did all have amazing bums in common. It was interesting, shocking no, but thought provoking.

On a non boob related note, a hurricane's a comin'! I thought I was going to be heading to Raleigh to see an old friend and meet her bebe, but alas hurricane Irene had other plans. So this week I will have learned that earthquake tremors make me feel queasy and how to get through a hurricane. My main issue is how to fashion some sort of papoose for the dog if I have to evacuate. Wish me luck and I hope everyone has a great weekend.

I love that this woman is not struggling to breathe sucking her stomach in. 

naked lady line up

Just chillin' with no top a thong. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Heart Racing

I recently redid my measurements and pretty much across the board they were bigger. Egon believes some of this is because of what I was wearing and building muscle mass. I say it's because I have not been totally on track and that will lead me to being bigger not smaller but appreciate him being kind. For the record I was measured work out clothes, which would be spandex pants and a tee not the parka he was sort of trying to credit me for. 

The real thing that bugged me was my hips being bigger. They do not need any additional width or help. At all. I was even more annoyed to find out that my cardio had directly been contributing to building my hips! I have been doing the wave machine, and elliptical. These are hip building and conditioning. My hips are conditioned just fine. Truthfully I had suspected they were growing, but I thought it had more to do with late nights filled with burgers and vodka then my cardio routine. Egon and I re-evaluated my cardio. I realized that I do not take advantage of him enough when it comes to my routine. I tend to keep him in a strength training bubble only. It's hard for me to get out of my cardio ruts. I get very this is what I know helps me lose weight so it's what I am going to do. I know intellectually Egon runs like a gazelle and has pretty much every muscle developed, is a trainer, and knows more then me but I am seriously hard headed about listening to him. Getting to this last stage of weight loss though I have to be less hard headed and more open. What worked before does not always work now. I have had to makeover my whole work out routine and shockingly I like it! It's help me really re-engage with exercise. I have found new things to do, new things I like and it's building my confidence. 

My new routine includes:

Lots and lots of kettle bell routines:

Turkish get ups, figure eights, squats, dead lifts, windmills, swings. I looooove kettle bells, I like the choreography of it. It feels really fun and I do not realize until later how much it kicked my azz until I wake up the next morning and everything hurts pleasantly. 

Sprint intervals: 

I run with no incline at about 6.2-7.0 mph depending on how rested and hydrated I am for at least 90 seconds if not more. Then walk with incline at least 4.0 mph for 2-3 minutes to recover. Run, walk, rinse, repeat. This will make you sweat profusely and slightly euphoric and because you have to pay attention to going between the two the time flies. 


Row 2000 meters and you'll be shocked the muscles you feel in your arms and back. I focus on keeping my core strong, sitting up straight and really squeezing my back muscles to do the work. I am always pleasantly surprised by how hard my heart is pounding. 

Jacob's Ladder:

It's climbing a ladder...yet it is so hard! I do 5-7 minutes of this just to see how much sweat I can make pour off of me and how much I can pray for something to end. It starts out all innocent and then it's like HOW IS THIS SO HARD? I do not understand the people who do it for what from my vantage point looks like a lifetime. 

Obstacle course:

This is something new Egon and I have been doing. It definitely makes my heart pound, but it's also making me less self conscious. I still am self conscious sometimes about moving in public. I can run no problems, but ask me to do side shuffles, or inch worms and I feel like I am 14 and in gym again. It's been a good thing to be forced to get over. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Food is Switzerland

I always make food the enemy. It's always food's fault with it's calories and fat grams. I say things like I need to be more vigilant about my choices, and make it about the food. It is so not about the food. Lately I have been more predisposed to transferring how I feel to food. It has completely become a metaphor for how I feel about my life. Last week I did an experiment. I ate what I wanted, honored my hunger fullness, super checked in when I felt the impulse to eat, and kept food neutral. When it did not feel neutral I asked why, I journal'ed about it, and generally I stayed away from a large amount of mindless and emotional eating that I have been struggling with the past few weeks. I did lose weight last week so maybe I am on to something focusing on keeping food an innocent neutral land and returning the responsibility to me. I might have had a bigger loss had I not had dinner with my brother....

I love him I really do, but I find him trying. He lives in his own fantasyland and I kept caught between thinking well what does it matter it's his life, feeling held captive by it, and wanting to shake him. I spent from 6:00pm-11:00pm with him and he did not ask me one question about myself. I find that mind boggling. We were getting together under the guise of my birthday dinner he owed me but really it was about me seeing his new apartment. I have a confession to make. I could not care less about people's homes. Especially in NYC where people tend to move a lot. I just do not find it remotely a reason why we should all have to make a pilgrimage. The more I am ordered to come out and pay homage to a place you will leave in a year the more baffled I become. My brother actually purchased his apartment so that's a little different but still it just does not interest me. To be fair some of it is because home keeping and decorating is a huge insecurity and hot button issue for me, but I also just find it bizarre because I just do not feel that way. It never occurred to me when I bought my place to summon everyone to come and look at it.  Anyway back to the tale of the broski. His apartment is lovely, but his bedroom is hilarious. It's a deep red, basement room with two small windows at the top. It's a womb meets man cave. It says a lot about him in my mind. He does want to retreat and be left to his own devices.

I was doing okay not feeling too triggered by him or annoyed as we walked to dinner and enjoying his company. Then he informed me he was going to quit his job before having another one and was going to take the LSAT's....Uhm okay. So now you want to be a lawyer? I am trying to be kind and do something different and give him the benefit of the doubt that he is reacting to his work situation which has been sucky, but I am skeptical. He only sees a little of how he contributes to any given situation, knows everything, and always has everything figured out. As we proceeded to dinner and I am trying to be kind I did what I am awesome at. For real I could get a gold medal in this. I disassociated. I left my body floated amongst the trees in the Brooklyn night air and protected myself from hearing a lot of what was coming at me. My brother is a huge impetus for disassociation for me. I struggle to remain completely present in his company and instead vacate the premises. I used to think this was sort of awesome and scary just how much I could power down. When something bothers you, just retreat so far into yourself it doesn't or just step on out of your body and leave I mean what's not to love or what's the problem here? As it would turn out this is not terribly healthy or beneficial behavior it also is not hugely different from binging. It's shutting yourself off to feeling and denying feelings. Awesome. Great. I asked my therapist since I am so good at this if it could be used for good and she said, " Sure should you be in a tremendous amount of pain, or sustain an injury but when you're turning to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping you name it, you've turned a corner and it is no longer good for you." Crap. The theory is I have been doing this since childhood and I would agree. I do not remember a time I did not. We're going to work on it, but back to the food. I started dinner well and I have to say the place was delicious, if you find yourself in Clinton Hill check it out. I ate my appetizer leaving about a quarter of it honoring my fullness, then I ploughed through my main, and very much looked forward to dessert. I have to admit I descended on the dessert like I had never seen one. I am not proud of my cake actions. When I got home I ate cookies despite not being hungry. Dinner had left me stirred and I wish I had the list of emotions then, but I have thought of it post. In some ways I am jealous of my brother's unapologetic selfishness and irresponsible ways. He just does not care. He does what he wants. He does pay a price but at least he does it. I get so hung up on what I should do, or what is the right thing, and other people. Part of me wishes I did care less. His fantasyland also just irritates me and makes me feel like I do not know this person it is so foreign to me the thinking.

Overall I had a good week and made some strives at work being direct and assertive without being aggressive, managing the emotional eating and checking in, and getting back on exercise track. Dinner with my brother while I did eat emotionally and check out, I learned something and I saw just how he makes me feel creates a negative behavior I am part of this dynamic. He so wants me to be a part of his life and for us to be closer and his neediness is not appealing to me. It's not the only reason I keep him at arm's length but it's one of them. My pushing away and disassociating just makes him pull harder. I have not really thought about until now how this affects the people around me and in my life and not just my eating habits. Maybe I am more selfish and similar to him then I thought.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My New 90 year old girl crush

So Many Emotions

My co-worker and I have a routine of speaking in a robotic voice saying emotions, and when we are overwhelmed or things are getting heated inevitably we bust out with this, sometimes we do it just because we egg one another on. Imagine a wall-e esque rendering of the word emotion, eee-mo-shun. We follow a emotion outburst typically with too many eeee-moooo-shuns...This is also our code out and about when we are overwhelmed by attractive men in my case, ladies in his.

I have always been emotional. I am capable of periods of level headed calm but often emotions take over me. I have been this way forever. Imagine my surprise learning just how limited I am at describing how I am feeling. In moving on to the next level of learning to acknowledge emotion not disassociate from it and actually process I realized I have a limited arsenal of words. I think in broad comfortable terms. Happy, sad, mad, anxious, truly the basics with some subcategories for flavor.

At therapy this week Christina gave me a list I am very excited about. It's a list of human emotions. When I am not able to pinpoint what I am feeling I am supposed to look at this list for guidance. I am excited for this to learn more emotions, and to learn new words to incorporate into my vocabulary.

Emotions Pt. 1

Emotions Pt. 2 forgive the crooked scanning please. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Food News

I try to avoid processed and frozen food but I also have limited time to cook, and prepare food therefore frozen food and processed food have to happen sometimes. I like to keep something frozen on hand for those in a pinch meals. This past Friday having something on hand came in handy. Work's been crazy so I did not get home and able to move on to dinner until 10pm. This is nutso and I should have managed to get dinner earlier but the time just got away from me and before I knew it I was home and hungry at 10pm. I was thrilled to remember I had a evol burrito in the freezer. I am not a huge burrito person. I feel like they never taste of anything, or the ones that do have mountains of high fat high calories fixins that would make anything delicious, but these burritos have been getting a lot of attention lately so I was excited to try them.

A little about evol, first it's love backwards on purpose. They love food and taste. All the ingredients are GMO free, most products are at least 70% organic, they have vegetarian options, and they were not lying the two burritos I have tried were fantastic. They are tasty, filling, and have very reasonable stats. I tried the pork Friday night with 450 calories, 11 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber and amazingly for a frozen food 720mg of sodium. That's not terribly low, but for a frozen food it's not the worst I have seen. I would usually shy away from something with 11 grams of fat, but I have to say I was wrong. It's so satisfying, I had a little fat free greek yogurt on the side and could not have been happier. Last night I had the cilantro lime chicken and was equally thrilled with it, and thought it was actually tastier and I am a consummate pork lover. The chicken has 320 calories, 7 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 450 mg of sodium. I added a grilled nectarine to the mix and was one content lady.

This week I also tried something new. I do plan my meals and snacks, but there is probably more free form in there then I would care to admit. I have a nutty week coming up so Sunday I took the time to actually plan it out and look at it on paper before I went grocery shopping. It was super helpful and kept me really on track in terms of what I did and did not need. It also made me look at things on paper to see where I needed variety. I love greek yogurt, but I can not eat it everyday and I am concerned about all the added sugar. This motivated me to grill some nectarines which I love and combine then with plain greek yogurt and almonds for a snack. If you keep the yogurt to 1/2 a cup, and to half a nectarine, and a few almonds broken up you're in good snack shape. I also discovered a new delicious cracker. Mary's Gone Crackers, are pretty delicious and pretty amazing for something processed. They are vegan, focus on whole food so they are minimally processed, and gluten free. The most important thing is they are delicious. I have been eating them with a babybel cheese and find it delightful.

I am trying to remind myself that being really busy, and not in my usual schedule is not an excuse for my eating to fall to crap. I am also trying to stay on top of checking in and not eating my feelings so writing out my meal plans and then doing the prep work helped me feel calmer going into a crazy week.

What are your go to need to make a meal fast helpers?

hello new friend

Only tried the caraway so far, excited for the others. 

Meal planning rambling! 

Friday, August 19, 2011


Right now I am choosing to be positive about the uncertainty in my life. I am choosing to think things will work out and know that I can deal with what comes my way. I could choose to worry, fret, or be annoyed and angry, but I am not going to. Anger, and annoyance is safe for me. I know how to express it, sometimes I even feel empowered by it, despite genuinely being an upbeat person. I think a lot of times I thought I looked tough or strong but really I looked very foolish, out of control and probably nothing I said was heard. When I am uneasy, or need more clarity I am not thrilled always by how I act. Luckily for me someone has been put in my path that is gracious, patient, amazingly smart, and if I am articulate and patient to will clarify things for me. It's hard to be honest sometimes to someone you have just met, especially when your ego is bruised but it's harder to keep going feeling uneasy. I would rather humble myself and be honest and take a chance on getting some answers then keep riding my high horse.

I got off the high horse and instead I am seeking out the information I need to feel more settled in a way that is more assertive then aggressive. This is new for me to try to be more gently assertive and being honest, and trying on a little vulnerability for good measure. It's challenging, but I do feel better. I think more clearly and less clouded by annoyance and resentment.

I think so much about life comes down to our choices and not just good or bad, or what ifs, but how we see things. It does not have to be immediately negative or our preconceived idea. It can be a chance to grow, learn, and leave some of the stuff behind you do not like. I am choosing to embrace the changes in my life even though they make me uncomfortable, and I am excited to create more in personal life that I am excited by. It's no good when you bore yourself. No good at all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Managing vs. Acknowledgement

I've had a lot to manage. Lots of stress, vaca blues, and well just life in general. My work is in a hugely transitional state. I came back from vaca to someone being let go which was actually a positive but still unsettling. Maybe this is dumb but I spend very little time worrying I will get fired. The changes taking place at work though leave me in a weird place. We have added three new people to our team and someone has been put in place above me for me to report to. I have not really had to report to someone in 4 years. This has been good and bad. It's been great to make me learn how to oversee myself, get things done, and manage other people. It's been bad in that bad habits have taken root, and I have been left without support and protection. You can only thrive in survival mode for so long. I feel as an individual and as a company we're not thriving anymore. We've pushed it as long as we can. I am welcoming a lot of the changes and feel they are hugely necessary for our growth and in the long run will be a great thing for us as individuals and as a team. This does not mean it's not incredibly unsettling. I have felt really unsettled. I swing sometimes from feeling left out, paranoid, just plain ole annoyed to demoted, unnecessary, very excited, and looking ahead positively. It's been a roller coaster. I also have been put in the position of explain and defending a lot of how we have operated as a company. Not awesome. It makes me feel defensive because a lot of what is "wrong" was never my choice but what I had to do with what I was given. I am super lucky in the the person who has been put into place to rehab these aspects is a really great guy, who is super smart, and not judgmental. I can learn from him and I can become stronger, smarter and more experienced working with him. I have to get past a bruised ego though. Easier said then done and I am finding my way. All of this has impacted my eating. 

Not a huge surprise the eating would reflect the unrest in my life. I have been aware of it and trying to manage it. I even said to her at one point I need to be more vigilant about my choices and she no it's not about the food or being vigilant about that, it's connecting to the emotion behind it. She also pointed out to me was I was managing the using of food as my outlet, but not acknowledging the emotion behind it. This was leading to the mindless eating, and even some middle of the night eating. I have not hugely suffered from that and I am certainly not looking to add it to the roster of ish to worry about. I am still learning how to process emotion and it's still amazing to me these simple things that get pointed out to me that I need to work on and address like acknowledging emotion. I assumed I was but I was not. I was dealing with the eating impulse but not what was fueling it therefore making it harder. Oh the tangled webs we weave! 

I am back in therapy and super digging it so far and loving the lady I am seeing but it's probably helping and hurting me by stirring up emotions. For my appointment next week I am to think about what I want to start working on first. Where do I even begin? Body image? Self Worth? Inability to process emotion? The mind boggles at the choices. I am going to keep it simple though and think about what do I want and what do I need to achieve it? I want to be healthy and happy ultimately and I need help learning skills to be more capable of doing that on my own. I love something she said to be when I explained to her part of what had lead me there was feeling stuck. She said based on your history and what's happened to you, you were never going to be able to process and heal from it on your own. You did not get there by yourself you were not going to be able to undo it by yourself. I felt such freedom from that statement, like it's not my fault I am not healed. I told Marisa about it and she said she validated your feelings. I wonder how often we just need how we feel to be validated and that's some of what is so beneficial about therapy. At the very least who doesn't like the idea of having a carved out pocket of time to talk about themselves and their goals once a week? Not too shabby. 

How do ya'll feel about emotion? Do you think you process it? Or do you have signs maybe you don't beyond eating? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Is anybody using I am newly in love and obsessed with it. It's the best way I have found to be able to collate your internet findings in one place. You can break things up into categories, fashion, home, art, you name it. You have to request an invite, but I requested and received mine in less then 24hours. I can not stress enough how awesome I think this is. It's like having an electronic inspiration board. 

Here are mine so far:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I won't be happy until

My bracelets reach my elbows...The collection grows and I am consistently thrilled daily by it. I have had to retire a few already due to looking gross thanks to constant wearing.

Slowly But Surely

I am pulling my apartment together. I fear less and less my family is going to submit me to A&E for an episode of Hoarders. Sunday I was supposed to get a massage but the masseuse was sick so I spent the day inside out of the rain a cleaning machine. I got a lot done and more importantly I did not get overwhelmed. I still set my sights super unrealistically high and think I can perform an entire apartment makeover in a few hours. I kept saying to myself while working on tasks okay you have two hours to do this can you start, and complete it within that time? Putting times on it helped and kept me from abandoning it, or getting thrown off course. I got some of the immediate concerns out of the way and now need to get back to throwing stuff out and organizing. I have a ridiculous amount of acessories. I mean truly ridonk. I came across the below on etsy and think it just might be the thing I need. It's charming, and has organization purpose. It sure beats my college system of hammering nails into the wall and putting necklaces on them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Amazing What Not Being a Weenie Gets You

I am not a big fan of going places by myself. Not a fan at all really. I get super nervous and anxiety ridden about it. All these random thoughts start going through my mind. I met a lovely girl through another friend of mine a few weeks ago. She and I hit it off and I got a message from her she was having a party and would love for me to stop by. My initial thought was oh no. I have met her once, won't know anyone there, and the friend I know her from won't be there. I felt like none of my usual social security blankets would be present. The thing is I wanted to go. I not only wanted to go, but I'd like to be friends with this girl. How do you become friends? By not being a weenie. By taking a chance. So I went to the party. I met her friends, they were lovely. I felt awkward at first, had some moments of what am I doing here, but overall I am so pleased I went. I am pleased I met some people I did not know before, I am pleased I did something outside my comfort zone, and I am glad I did it with a relatively low level of anxiety. I was nervous for sure, but I was pretty calm compared to when I have been faced with this before.

Being a little tired of what has been my norm makes it easier to break out of I think. I definitely stayed out too late on a school night but it was well worth it. It also inspired me to book a flight today to see a friend in North Carolina and a friend in LA. What am I waiting for and what are airline miles for? They are for seeing people! Having adventures and not being a weenie!

Giveaway Update

Brynn if you're out there claim your anthropologie prize and start shopping!  If Brynn does not by the end of next week 8/19 then I am going to pick someone new.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vive La France

Okay I am going to start with Paris. I got there bright and early Friday morning. I had to wait for my mom to arrive because she was coming from Atlanta. I got down to the important things first a latte and croissant. I barely speak French, in fact I can say a few words and can understand even fewer said back to me. I wanted an almond croissant but could not for the life of me remember how to say it. I thought the guy told me it was ham but it ended up being almond! I was off to a good start. I waited met my mom and off we went to her apartment.

My mom's apartment is ridiculous. 18th century, spacious and in a great area. I am such an idiot for not taking advantage of her real estate. Granted she rents it out pretty much year round so it's not like it sits there vacant. The great thing though is we really had no plans or agenda. We got breakfast, wandered around, got some groceries and just relaxed. I really like going back to cities I have been to before that I can just wander and not feel the pressure to do and see everything. It's a real luxury to just be able to wander and not try to cram everything in. I did spend a huge amount of time saying, why am I not here more, and thinking about how soon could I come back. I was a little food worried....I mean France in general is not exactly known for being a dieters paradise. Cheese, chocolate, wine, and other delicious things abound. It sort of is an intuitive eaters paradise though. There is no low fat anything except maybe milk and fromage frais my new obsession I need to find here. Think greek yogurt which is more like pudding. Anytime I ordered a coffee I got a square of dark chocolate and I did not even request skim milk because the cups were tiny and I did not know how to say it. I ate a lot of fresh whole food. I snacked on these plums I became obsessed with and again need to find here. I ate french bread, butter, had profiteroles one night, ate a box of truffles over the course of my trip, had wine with lunch and with dinner, and did no cardio and you know what I lost 1.5 pounds. I did not journal while I was there and I am not going to defend it. I was just plain ole lazy and did not want to do it. I did however remain very checked in being with my mom who can be a trigger for me, and being somewhere I was a little concerned would be like a food/eating free for all. Having every sort of temptation surround me made me far less interested and preoccupied by it. 

One day when we were having lunch, I watched this woman eat her lunch. She had a giant plate of scrambled eggs with something on top, a small carafe of wine, a creme brulee and then a coffee all while reading her book. I loved it. I loved watching the time she took, the enjoyment, and like most people I observed she ate dessert. I like anyone who eats dessert. I loved this appreciation of food and meals. What I found really interesting is how bothered my mom was by it. My mom is slim, but not without effort. She watches what she eats, exercises, and lives wanting to lose 10 pounds. Dealing with my own issues has made me much less annoyed by hers, but also let me hear so much of her dialogue. Her body image is really poor, her assessment of other women is pretty harsh, and we will never see eye to eye. She judges a woman who eats a whole creme brulee. One night we split profiteroles and the next day she went on and on about how she needed to exercise after that and she never lets herself eat bad food and all this stuff. I just found it really tiresome and annoying. Just eat the damn profiteroles and move on. Exercise if you want but not your mouth your body. In some ways with all the talking she does I think she just likes the attention. The talking calls attention to the fact she does have a good body and while she does work at it, she never has had a weight problem except when and after being pregnant with me. Ironic no? I think it's her way of participating in the hate your body lady conversation because while my mom has never felt pretty and hates aging, she likes her body. I can tell. It was tough to separate my own issues and hers and just hear her dialogue and not personalize it. I think it has far less to do with me then I have always assumed. I think there are moments it's directed at me, but I truly believe my mom does not have a healthy relationship with food. She lives a diet mentality, lucky for her it has not had any real negative affects and it's worked out okay, but it makes it easier for me to see and accept we will never ever see eye to eye. What I am actively trying to move away from and reject she lives by. She lives by good and bad food, and a feeling of superiority denying herself. I do not want that anymore and I certainly do not want it for a lifetime. I feel like because I am overweight and she's not she just assumes she is right, healthier, or whatever then me and that annoys me. It makes me want to leap to defend myself, knowledge, process and so on, but then I remember. I do not have to, and I no longer want to. 

I bit my tongue and just listened. I stayed quiet when before I might have leaped right on in and I learned. I learned more about her, and therefore about myself. I realized just because you are related it does not mean you know everything about one another. I also realized I am over taking trips with my mom, it makes me feel weird like it's all I have and it's not. It's time to grow up, plan my own vacations. To loosen how enmeshed we are. I can not move on and heal from the past I think until I do that. 

Back to Paris. I just took in the beauty, the people, the fashion, the food, the attitude and I loved every second of it. I saw some friends I had not seen in a way. I remembered I grew up in Europe and I missed it. It's a part of my history and I forget that. I had plums I had never had before. Spent the night in a chateau, made friends with some curious corgis, and wandered around an amazing cemetery. We drove from Paris first down to the Loire valley and then to Villars which is in the Southwest of France. 

When we finally found the Chateau we were staying in the Loire valley we dropped our things, had a brief rest and then went out looking for dinner. We had declined to dine at the chateau. We drove around, and went to town after town where every restaurant was closed. It's August and France is on vacation. We maybe should have rsvp'ed for dinner....Finally we stopped at one town and decided we would have to picnic. We went to the grocery store. I love grocery stores and drugstores anywhere. I find them very interesting, where products are placed, what's there that isn't other places, and maybe because I live in NYC where they are all tiny the space. I loved wandering around this one. We bought bread, prosciutto, cheese, fromage frais, a bottle of rose and creme de cassis for kir's, and reine claude plums that we were both obsessed with and I bought maribelle jam that I am obsessed with now. Put a spoonful of that into fromage frais and it's a party. It was one of the better meals I had. Simple, satisfying, and delicious. How can you really go wrong though with prosciutto and cheese? That's a little bit of heaven for me anywhere anytime. I have to say though I was really surprised by the supermarket a lot more processed food then I expected and, tons and tons of sweets. There were 4 aisles alone devoted to sweets which I found sort of awesome and surprising. One thing I was also struck by was the flours. There was a huge section devoted to all sorts of almond flours. I really love almond and need to look into things I could make with this. I mean an almond croissant is great and all but I can not really be having those all the time, but I bet there is something healthy I could make utilizing almonds. 

The next morning we had a quick breakfast and then back on the road. We stopped in Samur for lunch. Took a lovely walk to see a giant chateau that looked more like a castle if you ask me and then kept going to Villars. My mom's friend Kevin who I have known since I was a child moved to France with his partner bought a chateau and started a B&B catering to celiacs. Check out their site, and anyone looking for a fabulous vacation in the country nearby I highly recommend it. The grounds are gorgeous, Bill who is the chef creates delicious food. He had never cooked before they started this, and took a course at the cordon bleu and learned. We went out to dinner with them to a local place in Brantome which is a small town nearby that looks like a movie set. Utterly ridiculously cute and beautiful. We had a delicious dinner and an amazing time. It was really great to see them, speak English for an evening and learn what their lives were like and had been like adjusting to this. Kevin had previously been a lawyer, and now is a hotelier always looking to expand. They both learned French and completely changed their lives. It was really inspiring. Anyone want to give it all up and start a hotel? Only half kidding. 

I reluctantly left and returned to New York. I signed up for French classes and have though a lot since I got back about how life should feel a little more like a vacation does and sometimes what I am jealous of with people is that they are living. It's not the material things, but the experiences somewhere along the way I stopped doing that as much as I would like. Life can be anything you want it to be, I know that to be true but needed to be reminded of that. It can be filled with sheep, corgis and croissants if you want or not. Sunday night I was doing laundry and I ran into a neighbor of mine. She invited me to her wedding in India and you know what I just might go. I have always wanted to attend an Indian wedding, and it would also be lovely to stop by Paris on my way. I have no reason not to, and that is the life I want to be living. 
A Perigord speciality I did not partake in 

almond worship 

I brought a jar back for myself and Marisa. 

Wine. In a sport pack. 

Remains of our chateau picnic. 

Devon one of the corgis. 

Mama is an artiste always at work. 

Le sigh. Oh so pretty. 

Giving up trying to wing it. 

Saint Jean De Cole. Bee-yoo-ti-ful and where we ate a very large mystery meal. 

The chateau had it's own chapel naturally. 

The chateau we stayed in, we were in the tower to the right. Ridonk. 

Memorial left at the cemetery we wandered. 

The gardens at Chateau Villars. I picked our lettuce for dinner one night.

Paris Plage. 

Mama's Parisian digs. No really why am I not living there? 

In the town of Villars. 

Saint Jean de Cole. 

Walking to Ile St. Louis. 

Beautiful beaded memorial left. 

Touristy as can be but one of my favorite places in Paris. Right by the Louvre. 
A peach I had never seen before it's dark purple inside, and plums I had not had before. 

Daily kir, I miss this habit but did have one on Monday. 

Just gorgeous. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

And I'm Back

So much to catch up on! I had a fantastic time, and I am a little blue to be back. I have a whole lot to write about, pictures to post, and everyone else's posts to read. It was so weird to not blog for a week. I did not realize how much a part of my life it had become. I did not have the most reliable internet for a few days and shock gasp I learned I can in fact live without it. I also came back to this which felt really awesome pic below. Stories and photos to come.  Hope everyone is fantastic, Gen loving your new blog and experiment, D lots of breakthroughs been going on with you I'm reading, and yes nommy, Hannah on her American adventure, so much to catch up on, Samara I am dying to see pics and hear about your European adventures...

An Emmy Nomination, not one you would see on the televised awards but I'll take it.