Category Archives: Zen

It never gets easier.

I know, I know.  I should have more pictures of our weekend at the cabin.  But going out on the lake for four hours and tanning-it-out doesn’t really lend itself to that as much as it does zen.  You know?

And if you’re focusing all of your energies on drinking a beer, or making a s’more with Mr. Goodbars for the chocolate-base, you’re obviously not holding a camera.  That is simply God’s truth and nothing more.

That being said, for how relaxing being Up North is, coming home is always the biggest buzzkill.  There’s laundry to be done, groceries to be purchased and life to be put in order.  Basically, busy-ness.

It never gets easier.

On the bright side, this afternoon I got to go for my first run following my week of rest.  My right leg is a bit sore (having sore legs is a still a totally new experience for me), but I was also a total speed demon.  I did my normal 5.5 mile loop in 56 minutes (at 4 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking) compared to my normal 60.  It was a romp.

Marcus and I have a ton going on this week (Family Fish Fry and a couple of weddings – Friday AND Saturday), but something I’m particularly excited for is the Lilly Pulitzer sale on Rue La La!

Besides the fact that you get $10 if you join Rue La La during this promo period (which ends next-week-ish?), Lilly Pulitzer is appearing on August 4th at 10 AM CST.  If you adore bright patterns and sundresses, then it really is worth it to join because the discounts on Lilly are incredible.  Y’all know exactly what I’ll be doing at that particular moment in time.

If you want to know what I snapped up the last time they featured Lilly, then check it out, obviously.

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This is the way I live.

I know, I know.

The last two evenings have been busy, filled with food that was NOT home cooked (though if you have to choose a way to go down in flames, Chino Latino and Chipotle are the right way to do it up), and inane chatter.

Or lack, thereof.

This is the way I live.

I wish I could say that I’ve descended into some sort of calm, but that would be an outright lie.  Tonight I rolled to services with Linds and then did dinner at Wakame with her, Galina and Katie for some quality catch-up time.  Despite the fact that I will see Linds and Galina both again tomorrow – Galina and I are going for a beast of an early AM run (~11 miles at 6:30) and Linds is leading the wedding dress shopping charge.  This is either the best combination of events in the history of man or the most terrible.  The jury is still out on that one.

But yes, I know, I’m finally going dress shopping.  And I owe you all lots of pictures of me in dresses that are not the one.  Ideally, if we find THE ONE, I’ll be enjoying a cupcake at the Sweet Retreat by 2:30 PM.

I also moved into day 8-ish of my Facebook strike.  It’s been tiring me out lately (likely a by-product of the fact that it’s July and I’m not in the mood for anything) and so I just…haven’t been doing it.  I can contact most everyone I like to get together with from my phone, and a vast number of the parties I go to are ones that Marcus and I are both invited to.  So it’s not as if I’ve been living under a rock.  When will it end?  Unknown.  And as I write this, I’m sure that means I’ll break the streak this weekend.


Yesterday was full of recommends, but today, a disappointment.  I found out on Monday-ish that Lilly Pulitzer decided to roll over to a 17 month planner starting in August.  Obviously when I went planner shopping in May, I maybe spent a little too much time trying to figure out what I wanted to organize my life with.  Long story short, I love the look of my Lilly planner but it’s not 4 months durable in my purse (the tabs in it are made of normal paper…what?), much less 17 months durable.  So I’m jumping ship and ordering a myAgenda in Cosmo Pink.

Set-to-go…or something.

Hello, world.  I tire.  Like seriously, I feel like I’ve been trampled by the Great Migration in the Serengetti.  I will not believe that my weekend of zen is here tomorrow until we’re in Onamia and I have a shake from Happy’s in-hand (and yes, for the record, that will be my lunch).

A manicure + pedicure are the only things I have left on my agenda for the evening and then I’ll be set-to-go for tomorrow.

Okay, so I might need to do a little bit of re-packing first, but otherwise I’m REALLY set-to-go.

And to kick off our relaxing weekend, Marcus and I finally addressed the issue of the season premiere of True Blood.  Which, was obviously fantastic and worth the wait.  The incredible amounts of So You Think You Can Dance that are building up on the DVR?  Not so much.  But we usually end up having to watch those in marathon sessions (we’ve never been voters) on Sunday nights after we’re done cooking.  It’s natural.

Girl Time!

Marcus is in West Virginia this week on business, which above all means…you guessed it…quality time in the Princess bed.  Which I kicked off by enjoying a couple perfects nights of sleep in.  I’m pretty sure that total exhaustion was a part of equation with last week’s mayhem.

It means I dominated the issue of Vogue I bought to read on the beach in Hawaii and just never got around to.  I got watch that sorry excuse for a man, Jake Pavelka choose “spice” (read: Hooker with bad extensions…I try not to hate on other women but this is totally legit.) and internally raged at him along with every other woman in America.  Mind you, I think Bachelor watchers can agree that a man like him does not deserve to have a girl like Tenley.

At some point in the week, I’ll get to sit down to paint my nails and toes.  And definitely take a moment to miss the heck out of Law and Couture as I watch The September Issue.

It means that I may or may not have eaten homemade guacamole and chips for dinner tonight with a smattering of Girl Scout cookies for dessert.  That’s just how I roll when it’s girl-time.  Tomorrow night is anybody’s game.

AND, on a totally unrelated note, I’ve also got to figure out which culinary skills I want to put on display this weekend, since Marcus and I are attending a potluck on Saturday and hosting a dinner party on Sunday for his high school friends.  My plan for Sunday is starting to take shape, though I find the potluck bit to be a bit perplexing.  There’s the whole issue of wanting to bring something nice, versus the reality that you can’t count on any heating elements beyond a crock pot (which I have and STILL haven’t used) and the fact that you must transport your dish to the party locale.  We’ll see.  It goes without saying that y’all will know once I get it all figured out.

If you’re reading this, you should be at happy hour.

Don’t worry, this week I didn’t forget you all whilst embarking on a crusade for food and drink.  I think it’s safe to say this week that not only did I survive this week, but that we ALL survived this week.

My plan for this festive period of time is to see everyone on the planet (you think I’m kidding, but I’m really not) in a very low-key, no-stress way.  Which is thankfully, a total 180 from the Hot Mess I no choice but to dominate last weekend.  Homegirl’s gotta find some zen somewhere.

If you get bored during the day, for a fun (or validating, depending on your perspective) weekend activity, while on Facebook, make a mental list of the people who, judging by their profiles are totally divorced from reality.  Have a laugh, be thankful for your life (or both) and then move on.

Because I know we’ve all been looking to fill the cinematic void that Snakes on a Plane left, I think we should find absolution in the fact that Hot Tub Time Machine will soon be playing in theatres near you.  Even though most of the time when I go to the movies I leave with the beginnings of a migraine, I’m ready to roll in with a flask and bask in the film’s sweet simplicity.

Black Friday

So, what was the best Black Friday surprise for me?  It was actually a new piece by Maira Kalman for the New York Times.  I’ve blogged about her work before – it is always incredible and meaningful and all of the things you look for when someone is trying to share their message with you.  Of all of the topics she could have chosen, she discusses food.  I’m not sure if I love this one more or less than the one where she met Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  But it is totally perfect.

And the Pursuit of Happiness: Back to the Land

On an aside, if I were ever to be able to sit down with three interesting people who are still alive, I would like nothing more than to sit and chat with her, Mark Bittman and Melissa Clark.

Retrospectively, I think I survived Thanksgiving swimmingly.  We weren’t originally planning on eating dinner with my family (just spending time and noshing on appetizers), but Marcus was extremely disheartened that we were going to leave immediately prior to dinner being served.  So instead, we stayed and I made myself a small plate of deliciousness as my mother makes a most savory mashed potato and my aunt produced a much-desired green bean casserole.  Following this little pre-dinner, we went for “seconds” at Marcus’ auntie Cindy’s house.  More delicious food ensued (ironically, neither of our families served a cranberry sauce or relish) and life was good.  Not gonna lie, I was hugely nervous about how I was going to cope with all of the delicious food around me and honestly, I was able to enjoy everything I wanted without being overwhelmed. 

As for the shopping that I’ve already chronicled for you, obviously my original goal was to not purchase ANYTHING because I don’t plan to fit into any of it in another three months.  Plus, lord knows we’ve all seen my closet and know that I have an abundance of clothing.  But obviously, a girl can’t look a good Banana Republic sale in the mouth.  So I compromised and only purchased clothing that would still look appropriate even if it were to become bigger on me.  This means I ended up with a rugby shirt, a shirt dress (its a size smaller than what I would normally wear) some shorts that will need to go to the tailor regardless (they were only $5, so like why the hell not, right?), an incredibly thick cardigan and a green wrap that kind of evokes MK & A.  So basically, only classy stuff.

But you know what the biggest irony of Black Friday is for me?  I NEVER buy things for other people.  I always end up stocking up on some wardrobe essentials for myself.  C’est la vie.

A rare sort of Saturday

Given that I already know I’ll be 100% busy for the entirety of next Saturday, I’m SO glad that today was a perfectly lazy one.  Despite the fact that when I opened the microwave to defrost an english muffin, I discovered that Marcus had inadvertently tried to culture Salmonella on my turn-table as a result of his enthusiasm for defrosting ground chicken last night.  Thank goodness for cleaning products, right?

Somehow I managed to beat my alarm by an hour and woke up at 7 am (lame, I know) so I popped a set of Chocolate Chip Meringue Puffs in the oven to surprise Miss Martha with this evening.  As that weird rotisserie ad on tv went, “Set it and forget it!”  At which point, I journeyed over to the House on the Hill to check out Dad’s picc line-free arm and his self-described “bi-pedaling” skills.  He still limps, but he’s crutch free! 

Following that, Marcus and I + his parents ate sushi ’til it hurt for Sue’s birthday at Kobe.  Seriously, that sushi buffet is incredble.  I’m still not entirely sure how it can only be $15 but I am for-sure a believer.  

Then the two of us headed over to Cindy’s shop, Specially Yours to pick out a mezuzzah for Marcus’ house, which was a sucessful mission, though he was quick to inform me that I had violated the Social Contract by not allowing him to nap during a food coma.

I hit up ALDI (saving TJ’s for a Sunday adventure…though I have no idea of what I’ll even get or what at this point I even need) and took care of some mayjah grocery shopping, including three game hens that I’m in the process of roasting for the girls right now.

And after all of this delightful adventuring, I read some Vogue and took an extremely rare and much-deserved nap.  The highlight of all of this being that the entire time I spent in my apartment, I was clad in a new, sort-of russet-orange XL crew neck sweatshirt (you know…the kind that you slouch about in wearing leggings without letting anyone see you) emblazoned with “Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival Minnesota”  that a sorority sister in her words “ceremoniously” gifted to me last night.


Some people might call it “personal time,” but I call it a self-date. Because it required me to carve out time for myself, which is not something I usually make the effort to do. Especially not since I started my new job. And also because of the fact that I usually designate my personal time not spent doing laundry for happy hours and various other social opportunities.

So what did I do? With the care of Marcus’ iPod (and a potpourri of 80’s music), I went for a walk around Lake Calhoun and had dinner at the Tin Fish. My phone was off (with the exception of a tweet) and it.was.fantastic.

This sounds so painfully obvious to say, but, I have got to start doing this more often.

If Spring has Sprung, then Fall has Flung?

Today was just one of those days where I wanted nothing more than a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt. That seems to be what happens when it rains and it gets all chilly-like outside. And as I write this, that is precisely what I am wearing.

What’s the most depressing is that the leaves on the little crab apple tree outside my room are starting to change. I noticed a couple of yellow leaves yesterday when I was looking out my window and today in the rain, it finally hit me that fall is here. The sky isn’t that summer blue color anymore and the air smells different.

Which means that this week, hibernation begins, and we’re all going to start wearing retched shapeless clothes that render us approximately the shape and size of a marshmallow.


Eat, Pray, Love

I think I’m going to try to write a little bit about each of the books I read this summer…you know, given the fact that Mads has roped us all into a book club and otherwise, I forget what I’ve read.

I finished Eat, Pray, Love today. It’s a memoir-esque sort of story about one woman’s journey of re-discovery. And during the year that she’s re-discovering, she visits Italy, India and Indonesia.

Starting out at the beginning of each new country was hard, because by the time you were finishing up a country, you had fallen in love and didn’t want to leave. I could have spent forever in Italy and then in India and finally in Indonesia, though the three of them were totally separate in terms of culture and the phases of her life.

I wonder what it would really be like to go for a year without cell phones, internet (most of the time) and carry all of your belongings with you in a satchel.