Friday, September 28, 2012

Jewlia Goulia Lives

Did you ever read Jewlia Goulia's blog? She was a very loud and proud voice in the weight loss blog world. She was a prominent character on twitter. I sorta loved hated her. Just being honest. I forget sometimes with people out there I don't have to be their best friends to learn from them or share in their experience.

Anyway she lost a parent, and went through her own rough time 160 pounds down and quit blogging. I was sort of relieved. I no longer had to dread and feel jealous of her presence in social media. I envied she was further along then me, more outspoken, more connected to blogs I admired. I am not proud just honest.

So a few months ago I saw an article in the NY times about a photographer who had been documenting her weight loss. I found the images haunting, beautiful and fascinating. I see another link today on jezebel. Who should the photographer be but Jewlia Goulia. She has another project as well of her dressing room photos which began when she was 338 pounds trying on a wedding dress.

She is remarkably talented and I commend her rawness and willingness to use herself as a subject matter. Everyone knows losing weight is hard, but few know and discuss the aftermath. Her photographs say more then can be explained. I mean I still struggle besides a lot comes with it, things change, your body can look wrecked, I mean none of that has the same impact.

Check it out:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is why I'm single the remix

So this message was just sent to me:

You're cute and I want to do dirty things to your body. Anyway you seem like a pretty cool person, I'd love to get together sometime and let you kiss me.

What bothers me most about this, LET YOU KISS ME?! Oh please. You wish. Back to my mature young adult literature because you sir are a jerk. 

Just Shameful

No words for how much I wish I had come up with this but it's also how I feel about my self respect. 

What's so shameful you ask...well it's not that I have been skipping work outs. It's why they have been skipped. I have had a lot going on in the evening so I was trying to work out in the morning. This is difficult to begin with, but I have a new addiction. My name is Anna and I have recently become addicted to mature young adult books. Oh. My. God. They are so cheesy and yet so amazing and compelling. Not one, not two but SEVERAL nights I have stayed up waaaaaay too late to finish a whole book. I am in far too deep. I am checking authors facebook pages for updates on series. I am reading people's reviews to get tips on other series. I need help.

I mean it's sorta easy to see why you get sucked in. You think oh it's just one and it's $.99 or at most $3.99 for a book....the dudes are always impossibly hot and the girls unnoticed until hot boy. Le sigh. I need to stop it because I am already weird enough about dating. This is not going to help matters. It's also not going to help the fact that I already speak like a 17 yr old most of the time.

In case you want to lose hours of your life:

The Breathe series...oh the effin breathe series, how you enthralled and haunted me:

I really hope the author Rebecca Donovan announces when book three is coming out soon. Seriously. I am so far gone.

Happily Crash has a follow up seeing as I stayed up reading the whole book last night, hate to quit cold turkey.

If you don't hear from me rest assured it's because I have been lost to some sort of bizarre-o lady girl land of trying to relive a romanticized teenage/early college youth....sick in the head I am. I would also like to remind everyone that I consider ya'll in the circle of trust so you're not allowed to mock me too harshly or threaten to break up with me like Juice did.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Roundup

I am in such deep like with fall right now it is not even funny. Saturday was warm, but Sunday was cool and crisp. It was delightful and I just wanted to make out with it. 

Saturday haircut and a lady date was a night and day maker. I let some random dude kiss me. Whoops. Clearly I have some additional growing up to do and decision making skills to work on. He was charming and I had enough vodka to think it was an okay idea. He then pouted when I said I had to go. He was like put your friend in a cab and then come hang with me, we'll go for a nice walk. Uhm does anyone else think it's weird to offer a walk at 2:30am? Nothing says I am going to chop you into bits like a evening drunken stroll at 2:30am. Not for nothing I think this is a new thing guys are doing. He's not the first one to bring up or offer the late night stroll. Either I am meeting many a Jack the Ripper enthusiast or it's a new NYC trend in dating whimsy. Oh she'll think I am all romantic and sweet...not so much. 

I made pancakes Saturday and Sunday morning. I was gonna throw some pumpkin in there, but to keep the nutritional counts a little more reasonable I did the next best thing I poured a ton of pumpkin pie spice blend in there. Same thing no? They were buckwheat and they were glorious. I skipped their suggested honey, and just used low sugar syrup. I didn't miss it or the extra canola oil suggested. 

Hustled the pup off to chemo post pancakes on Sunday. I have a theory that right now because I got a lot going on between life and the chemo pup I am turning to food in a different way. Not so much eating my feelings but nesting and nurturing them. If Dumplin was a human I would be making her soup and renting her favorite movies. Seeing as she is a non-communicative maltipoo I am poaching chicken breast and obsessively cleaning her bedding. I mean who doesn't like clean sheets? I am so far from an OCD person it's not even funny but lately I find cleaning and cooking very soothing. Last night when I crawled into my own clean sheeted bed, knowing the laundry was done, dinner for the week sussed out, and that trader joe's now makes dark chocolate filled with biscoff, I slept like a wee babe. About that for a second....while the pup chemo'ed I went to Trader joes, on a HUGE upside they now sell shaved Brussel sprouts. Ahhhhh-may-zing. I love brussels as a salad. On a HUGE downswing/betrayal they sell dark chocolate filled with biscoff or speculoos. This is like the confectionery equivalent of crystal meth. It's just not nice and all this time I thought trader joe's and I were friends. Friendship over! 

On the healthier shaved brussel's note I love this salad, I mean like I would marry it. It's by one of my favorite chef's Jonathan Waxman and if you can ever go to Barbuto his place lemme know cause I am always down:

On the Thai chicken enchilada note, they were super tasty but I think I would back off on the coconut milk next time. It diluted the sweet chili sauce too much for my liking. I am curious how they will taste tonight after essentially soaking all day and night. I also healthed them up with whole wheat tortillas, and I think I filled them too generously at first 'cause I only ended up with 6 not the recipes 8. Whoops. 

Run away from this. 

Fall bangs are back.

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Week's News

It's been a pretty nutty week this week. Some highlights below...

- Worked out with my brand spanking new trainer, Jesse. He's a doll and I am in for an ass kicking. For example Tuesday evening's assessment session left me sore and it wasn't even a full blown work out. Today's 7:30am was no treat and I know he's still easing me in. I am equal parts excited and terrified.

- Saw Bon Iver Wednesday night and got to have dinner and catch up with some of my favorite luscious ladies. Thursday I just dragged my butt around work.

- The pups is not doing awesome. She is not responding as well to chemo as they would like. Her nodes are larger, and on top of it she has a UTI. Poor thing, but she's in decent spirits. She could only do a small dose of chemo this week so we're off to chemo again on Sunday if she's strong enough.

- Big fight with my mom last Saturday remains unresolved and I am finding my way to not let it drive me crazy. It's more her issue then mine. We're having some growing pains as I find myself. She also says ridiculous things that I can either roll my eyes to or be honest about and risk her meltdowns. This time it was her musings on her autonomy and being over being a parent and felt she was done with that.  I unwisely asked when she had been a parent. Not my finest hour.

- Had some Egon run-ins at the gym but few are as good at the deep freeze out as myself. That was not a humble brag but a full out brag. I NO LONGER SEE YOU CREEP-O.

- Food wise, it's been chilly so I've brought oatmeal back in a big way. I also did well with an 8 pack of dark chocolate bars in my apt. Little Hershey's Special Dark ones. I aim to keep my dark chocolate evening intake to 1 ounce, and these are .49 so I get two which pleases me. It was an experiment that went well. They do not always go well with the sweets.

- Haircut tomorrow morning at 11am! Eek that means gym prior so I don't ruin my fancy hair post.

- Thinking about making these recipes: and Lets not act surprised I have another one from Jess. I am trying to healthy these both up a little bit or be very portion conscious not sure....I think 3 tablespoons of butter for an baked oatmeal seems a bit much.

-There's also the fact that I have been hankering for pancakes like you just would not believe. Anyone have a healthy pancake recipe they want to share with me? Be your best friend.

- The True Blood Sookie Stackhouse books are ruining my life. I picked one up in Costa Rica and have now re-read the whole series. I don't want a real fella I just want a Viking Vampire boyfriend. Foot stomp included.

- Fall, fall, fall and fall clothes. I am a happy fall loving chickadee.

Anyone got some big weekend plans? Busting out fall inspired things yet? Tell me please so I have to put down a True Blood book for a second.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How I Spent Sunday

I had a delightfully lazy Sunday. I should have woken up early. I didn't. I should have worked out. I didn't. Instead I got a massage, strolled with a friend, roasted garlic, did laundry and made delicious sweet potato burgers.

I have such a girl crush on Jess from How Sweet It Is, it's not even funny. I mean I feel like we could be besties. We could spend hours talking about neon nail polish and it's virtues while she fed me all her delicious creations. Her recipes are the ones I am consistently making the most.

This one was another that did not disappoint. Now it felt weird to make sweet potato fries with a sweet potato burger so instead I made a side salad inspired by Costa Rica. Super simple, chopped celery, hearts of palm, thinly sliced red peppers, and lemon juice. It provided some nice acidity next to the burger. I also cannot emphasize enough how good roasted garlic smells or is. I was taking my recycling out and got locked out of my apartment and truthfully I was less annoyed about being locked out, and more annoyed about a door being between me and the garlic. I have big plans for that garlic this week.

Now for the burgers, I used plain ole multi-purpose flour not oat, 1 tablespoon of olive oil for the burgers and the cooking of them, and I hesitate to say this but I omitted the avocado. I don't really like avocado. There I said it. Guacamole sure, but just plain sliced avocado, no thanks. As for the garlic yogurt cream...I am in LOVE. I do not know why a simple thing like this never occurred to me. I am not going to get upset about wasted time I am going to slather this dip on everything I can. I just did fat free greek yogurt, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. I did not blend it because I wanted a little garlic chunkiness.

It's 4:03pm and I all I can think about it is getting through work, my work out and then ANOTHER BURGER! It's a burger sickness.

Don't think. Just make.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Well This is Awkward

So on the final night of my vacation I was laying in bed watching terrible television killing time in San Jose. My phone went off and I had received a text message from Egon, my trainer. Not the weirdest thing we're buddies he had been concerned post earthquake if I was alright.

His text was, I have a problem and maybe you could help. It may be inappropriate-but I'm with Susanna-but I have serious crush on you. Am I crazy? What should I do about it?

I could try to explain how annoying this was but I would fail. I could try to explain how much I felt like he crossed the line but again I would fail. There were more texts, him explaining the earthquake made him think he'd lost his chance to tell me how he felt, and then his meek apology of sorry if your awesomeness overwhelmed me. Puke.

Now a little backstory for you his girlfriend Susanna is a lovely girl who also works at my gym, and who's family is from Costa Rica. She gave me a ton of helpful information for my trip. So I am mad on two levels. One, gross and inappropriate. There's a line and you crossed it, and Two, hello dude you have a girlfriend. Actually, I am mad on three. The third level is he never really owned it. He never really just laid his cards out on the table, he blamed an earthquake and me a little.

Last night, I saw him we were supposed to train. Instead I let him have it. He came at me bizarrely being very patronizing, smirking and dismissive. That's when I let him know he better cut it out or I would get loud. He then said lets talk and rectify the situation so he didn't lose a client and friend. I again corrected his logic telling him he'd lost a client, friend undecided but more then likely. He said I really thought you would just laugh it off and we could be friends, I mean I texted you to start a dialogue and conversation. He emphasized how "carefully" he had crafted his texts to not spell anything out so he had done nothing wrong, and to keep me from being in a weird position. I guess he was referring to the one where he said none of this would change our working relationship and friendship, because that's for him to decide right?

It was a good exercise and worthwhile experience telling him how crappy he made me feel but when he wanted me to explain further, and give him more instruction on how to fix himself I didn't. It's his job to fix himself not mine. I just had to say you made me feel uncomfortable, annoyed, and disrespected and that I was bummed out that things had changed. That I work hard to be accountable, honest, and maintain healthy boundaries and clearly he didn't so working together was no longer in my best interests. I did not try to make him feel better, or backpedal from my own upset. I just rode it out. It made me uncomfortable, I had to avoid eye contact a few times, and when I got home I did eat a whole bar of dark chocolate. I blame a little of that on both it being the 16th anniversary of my Dad's death and watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo ( I love it, but it also gives me the sads). In general it was an emotional day, and there was eating fallout, but today I did feel better and this morning I REALLY felt better. I felt clear and unencumbered by someone else's grossness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Have you guys heard of Naturebox? I hadn't, but then I lucked out and it popped up in my Daily Candy Deals. I ignore about 90% of the offers but every once and a while it makes me think of something I wouldn't have. Yay! Anywayz....back to very important snacking business.

Naturebox is a monthly snack delivery. What makes it super cool and special is they are healthy! They are nutritionist approved, wholesome, and without gross stuff like high fructose corn syrup, trans fat and so on. Not only are they helping to combat obesity and their philosophy is snacks are a good place start but they donate a meal to children in need for every box sold. I like multi-tasking. I like it a lot. I especially like getting a lil snack action AND helping someone.

I got my first one in August, and lemme tell you it was a delight. I was going to save this post until I got my September one, but I came across a discount code I HAD to share with everybody. Before we get to the code goodness, here's the snack lowdown. August I received, dried figs, and dried mango with no added sugar. Just the fruit the whole fruit and nada but the fruit. There were two nut mixes, one I would have sold my soul for more of. Okay, I got carried away, but it was seriously delicious. That was the Maui Onion Crunch. It was made up of sliced almonds that were coated. It was like sour cream and onion chips and it blew my mind. The other snack mix was Bombay Cashews. A delightful spin on trail mix with cashews, roasted walnuts, cranberries, roasted almonds, raisins, evaporated apple pieces, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. That's a lot of snack. The remaining treat, was Asian Rice Crackers. These were pretty tasty and even better 35 calories for a 1/4 cup. Now what I did to keep this delicious fun and not a meltdown is combined them with existing snacks or made new snack combos. I would take a 1/4 cup of the Rice crackers to supplement my apple snack, or add in some slices of dried mango. It was a nice snack change up my routines, it made me think differently about my snacks, and I was happier. I had totally been in a snack rut. The snacks lasted me several weeks portioned out. I am very anxiously awaiting the arrival of September's delights!

Now on to the discount code right? Bloomspot is offering 40% off your first order. Use code BLOOM40. Not only is that going on, but you can enter a contest on Naturbox to also when $1000 towards a healthier lifestyle. Seriously, this company has it all.

Tasty snacks. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monkeys, Volcanos and Jungle.

I'm reluctantly back. Holy moly is Costa Rica amazing. What a gem of a country. I've been one lucky duck who's been able to travel a lot and I have to say it ranks up there as one of my absolute favorite places I have ever been. The people could not be warmer and lovelier, the country beautiful, and the adventures epic. Seriously set a kayak alert and get yourself down there lickety split.

I left my ipad on the flight from Miami to San Jose...I know, I know. Amazing part, I GOT IT BACK. I became known as la muchacha de ipad at the San Jose airport. Totally worth it. That was how the adventure started and it bode well for the trip. We crashed in San Jose (at 6pm I might add) and then were up and ready to drive to Arenal the next day.

The drive was pretty cool because you go through about a million micro climates. It vacillates between jungle, mountains, valley, and then at one point a cloud forest. Really cool, mildly terrifying in a car, but very cool. At La Montana de Fuego we met Sergio who is a biologist/concierge. He informed us the GIANT blue butterfly we spotted on the road was the spirit of god. We were like uhm....what? He's like oh we believe when you see that it's the spirit of god. Cool. Got it now. The next day we lucked out and he was our guide for the hanging bridges rainforest jungle exploration. He knows the area so well my brain is still melted from all the info. We got to "off road", walk on unmarked paths because of how well he knows it and see more things. Of course it poured rain a lot of our 4 hours there but to be expected in the rainforest. We went got back to the hotel and had our second massage of the trip. We got 1.5 massages for $95 total. I love Costa Rica. It was not as amazing as the previous night's massage at Tabacon where we were in open air bungalows by the hot springs at sunset but whatevs a massage is a massage.

Tuesday we were up early and off to the coast. Driving was the best decision we made. We just got to see so much more that way. Included in these sights was a lady walking down the street cuddling an armadillo like a baby. Where we went on the coast was Nosara. It's remote, a sleepy surfer jungle town. The last 30 kilometers there are unpaved and it gets progressively more unpaved and is this a road or not as you get closer. Sergio our biologist gem had warned us there would be a river that gps would tell us to cross but to not do it. We tried to cross the river. I learned my Spanish is good enough to get a man to call his friend with a tractor to pull us out of a river. Knowledge I has it. I called the hotel pre-river friends because well who else is going to help me? Francisco who ended up being a grand hotel friend granted me one of the better phone convos of my life. His question of, "Miss Anna, but why are you in a river?", will never cease to make me giggle.

Wednesday am we woke up and went to breakfast. A cup of coffee in we experienced a 7.6 earthquake and then subsequent tsunami warning. The good thing about Costa Rica is it's extremely relaxing so I was pretty unfazed by this. Not sure why. I mean nature is a real beast sometimes. The monkeys that live in the trees on the hotel were very upset however. I loved, loved, loved, the coast though and seriously cannot wait to go back.

Thursday we got to check out Playa Ostional after pool and beach lounging most of the day to see turtles swim ashore to lay their eggs. It was pretty amazing seeing there little heads pop up in the waves stacked up like planes, and watch them wash ashore to get to the egg business. I felt bad for them however. I mean they looked worn out by their biological plight and here we are crowding the beach photographing them.

I was very sad to leave and the trip back where I got stuck in immigration purgatory and an unexpected night in Miami made me think I should never have left. I cannot wait to go back and I already keep looking to see when I can make that happen.

Not to get all serious and vaguely cheesy but being there and navigating it all and getting caught up in the spirit of adventure made me really realize you can have any life you want, but it's on you to make it happen. I can head out and adventure wherever I want and cannot forget that even if delicious plantains are not at every meal, and kind Costa Ricans aren't fishing me out of rivers.

welcome to the jungle

watching clouds form

jungle realness

juice of the jungle

amazing and scary hanging bridges

Arenal, the volcano. 

Volcano digs

roadside jungle

quick stop and that's the view. 

Lake Arenal. 

Before we hosed Lupe. 

so this happened. 

when you hear monkeys all around you, you get in the car. The car in the river. 

hotel jungle

tsunami watching view

lonely palm tree

hotel's beach

A lil sunset beach action

Turtles ahoy!

Turtles incoming! 

Fisher price makes planes now. Not too scary a flight. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oh the places we will go

Dear lord am I confused. Why am I watching Toddlers & Tiaras at 2am with wet hair? We'll dwell on T&T another time, but I'm up and at it because past anna hosed future anna. Why oh why did I book a 5:40am flight?

You know what who cares. I've been beside myself for hours. I wouldn't have slept anyway. Today I'm 5 years cancer free and Costa Rica bound. My pup is on her own road to recovery and I want for little. Life for now is quite good.