Category Archives: Zen

An Unplanned Snow Day

My wake-up call this morning came at 3:20 AM.  It would have been nicer to wake up a bit later, but on days where it’s plausible that you could be trapped at the airport for nine hours, showering is always The Best Decision.

And in keeping with Murphy’s Law, since I had showered, I made it in to good old MSP at 11:00 AM.

A half-day at work would have been plausible if I hadn’t snarfed an anxiety pill for my first flight thanks to a ride on the world’s smallest plane and another round of ridiculous turbulence on my second flight.

I was basically walking sideways in the St. Louis airport, which I think we can all agree was NOT the ideal situation.

I mean, sometimes I debate whether or not a pill is really necessary (FYI: I have flight anxiety).

Today, there was no thinking, only inhaling.

So instead, Marcus brought me home and I proceeded to make the most of my unplanned snow day/second shot at Sunday/first-ever Adult Observance of the President’s Day Holiday.

There was running and laundry and lunching and napping.

When I say napping, I mean I tried to be one of THOSE people who can power nap for 20-40 minutes and call it good.  But when I heard the garage door opening, I realized that my original plans alarm had been foiled by a good hour and a half.

Consider it intuitive sleeping.

Or something like that.

And most importantly, in the middle of all this, there was the glorious discovery that Marcus CAN survive for a weekend on his own.

You see, since I wasn’t home yesterday for our regular grocery store-jaunt, I just told Marcus to go.  On his own.  Which had at last count, had happened never.

When I got the chance to examine the kitchen, I was 11/10 excited to see that he had managed to find every grocery that was on The List.

To his credit, nothing says I Love You quite like sourcing a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo.  Fact.

Are you a nervous flyer?

Seriously, if flying makes you anxious, it’s time for pills kittens.  It turns the terrifying into the tolerable.  Consider that your PSA of the day.

Readers with significant others: Would you/do you trust them to navigate the grocery store on their own?


Not Expecting

Fact of Life: I’ve been a napping fiend this weekend.

Given that I’m one of those militant-types who is up by 7 AM no matter what the day, it’s been a little bit weird.  And Linds thought I was faking her out when she called yesterday and I informed her that napping was my activity of choice.

It wasn’t a fake-out, it was just necessary.

I blame it on the registering.  After last weekend’s debaucle, we needed to make one last push to take care of some business at Target.

I mean, in contrast to our first experience, we were Peaceful.  Organized.  Armed With Lists That Made Sense.  In Control Of Our Emotional State.

But as a special bonus surprise, when the Associate gave us the registry gun, they somehow managed to transfer all of the items on Jon and Kelli’s Baby Registry onto our Wedding Registry.

We removed all of the questionable items from our registry as soon as we got home.  But not before we received some concerned phone calls from family members wanting to know what, exactly, we were planning to do with 0-3 month-sized onesies.

Marcus yelling SURPRISE! in the background probably didn’t help the situation.

I think they’re expecting a boy.

Or they’re trying to do one of those gender-neutral nurseries.  It’s hard to know these days.

Tonight, we made Aloo Gobi.

And, not-shockingly, it was spicy and delicious and wonderful.  As I was feasting-it-out, I understood the true meaning of what it is like for one’s taste buds to be dancing.

I barely knew what to do with myself.

The actual dish  involved a bit more chopping than some of our other endeavors, and the recipe involved more than a few modifications, but the end result was yet another Dump and Ignore meal.

It also marked the first week where we didn’t bring $10+ of spices home from Cub.  So that was pretty much a victory right there.  Our grocery budget definitely appreciated the gesture.

Do you believe in napping?

Like I said, Linds thought I was faking her out.  I’d say I partake every two months or so.

Do you follow a specific grocery budget?

We generally try to stick to ours pretty closely.  I mean, some weeks we’ll be $10-$15 under and others we’ll be over by as much, so it basically balances out with the weeks that we actually “make it.”

To die for.

Most important order of business: Happy Founders Day, Kappa Alpha Theta!

As much as I’d like for y’all to think that I’m On The Ball All The Time, I completely forgot about it until Ems e-mailed me this morning.  At which point I looked to my left (I work with one of my pledge sisters), wished Bri a Happy Founders Day and we went about our business.

In lieu of another lengthy post about the meaning of sisterhood, check out Five Years Ago Today, which is probably one of my favorite posts…ever.

Sisterhood aside, since our last wedding planning meeting, I’ve been a little bit overwhelmed.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and so the whole thing is just a lot to take in.

The Real World Application: I’ve been cooking like a maniac (like you haven’t noticed) and the supply of chocolate chip cookies in our freezer is rapidly dwindling.

I know, I know.  I need to get a grip on the situation.  I mean for all we know, next week, I could be going after my mitts with new polish colors on a daily basis.

It would be time-consuming at best.

So for now, The Edible Nesting Cooking Mania seems like a manageable alternative.

Manageable: Tonight, the situation was a combination of goat cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, onions and tomatoes.  To die for.

And as I was basically face-planting into my plate, Marcus announced that he realized what it was that he so disliked about The Lasagna.

The goat cheese had been cooked.

I had to do a double-take too.

I know I’m amongst fellow cheese-lovers here.  So, throw your hands up in despair, roll your eyes, huff, and stomp your foot.

But you should also know that this is the man who let me spread garlic-stuffed green olives all far-and-wide across the pie, despite the fact that he would have to pick each and every single one off.

Lest I go without.

So we can cut him some slack this time, eh? 😉

Last but not least, my latest Style Post is up on TC Jewfolk!  If you’re coming to casino night, want to go on an accessories-jag or just like looking at pretty things, check it out!

Do you prefer to nest or cook?

Bloggers, do you have a favorite post of all-time?  If so, leave the link in the comments so that I can check it out!  It would be a lovely way to start the weekend 🙂


Today was the longest and most terrible of Mondays.

And basically at this point, having assessed that this could be one of the most insane weeks on record for my life at That Place Where I Spend 40 Hours A Week, I’ve come up with a new goal to carry me over until Friday.

Any part of this week that I can salvage, I will.

But this didn’t come until I’d spent a great deal of time wallowing, lest y’all think that I’ve reached some sort of Pinnacle Of Enlightenment.  Because that’s really not the case.

Enter: Alamos. maybe wine is a Pinnacle Of Enlightenment.

In The Spirit Of Pampering.  You know.

But y’all know I had to keep this show on the road.

After a brief assessment of HBO On Demand this evening (selections included Paulie…yes the one about the talking parrot), I ended up settling on Whip It with Ellen Page.  I think it got kind of mediocre ratings, but I’ll be the first to admit, I think it’s kind of cute.

Just think of it as a guilty indulgence 🙂  Because even though it’s all about chicks, it’s really not a chick-flick.  I’ll go so far as to say that with all of the hitting, it might even be man-friendly.

How was your first day of work/school back from The Holiday Weekend?

The Best Remedy

These have been sitting on our coffee table for over a week now. I die.

8.5 hours of sleep, friends. In my world, that’s insane.

I woke up this morning and simply put, it was The Best.

The magazines were part of Marcus’ birthday present to me and they started coming in the mail last Sunday (I don’t know what other subscriptions he got me so it will just have to be a surprise!).  I had a few books to finish (to avoid library fines), so they’ve just been sitting there, doubling as decor.  I got to crack open the Lady Gaga issue of Vanity Fair today while I sunned on Mom and Dad’s front porch with Spot – it was positively fabulous.

In the spirit of pampering, I FINALLY got the chance to squeeze in the DIY manicure and pedicure that I’ve been dying for over the last week.  Who knew that there wouldn’t be enough time after NYC?

On a TV note, unfortunately for some of you, I’m going to be the heretical one this week and say that I was not a fan of the season finale of True Blood.  I know that every great series needs a “filler” season, but this one just felt frenetic and whiny.  If next season isn’t spectacular, then it will be going the way of Grey’s Anatomy in my book.

Hasta la Vista Rainforest Cafe

I know that yesterday I went all Little Miss Zen on y’all.  But right now, it’s what I do best.  Especially since I finally found the time tonight before ladies’ dinner at Black Sheep to squeeze in a little DIY mani-pedi action.  My mitts, they were a horror.  Truly, I’m surprised at how good I feel now that I’m sporting a fresh coat of Gray Suede.

It makes the world go round.

Overnight Oats were a success.  It was definitely a lighter breakfast than I’m used to (let’s be honest, I was a touch hungry this morning), but actually craving your next meal from a physical standpoint is a healthy feeling to experience.  It’s how we know we should be eating something, and helps us to figure out what we actually need versus what we actually want.  If I ate what I actually wanted to all the time, a large part of my diet would be composed of cupcakes and champagne.


But in all seriousness, if you wanted to make it heartier, you could just increase the amount of oats/liquid you use and bulk up the toppings.

Or you could just go the cupcakes and champagne route for breakfast.

I try to keep an open mind.

As I type, there’s a terrific lightining show going on off of our patio outside (Fear Not, I am Indoors), which I’m hoping will bring about the end of the Rainforest Cafe-style weather we’ve been experiencing again for the past few days.  Tomorrow is also meant to be the end of my running break (since I learned my lesson last time about resting up after a long run) and it would really be nicer if I didn’t have to run in a hot box.

Mind you, next week that won’t be an issue anymore.

Everybody Wins Situations

As they say, all good things must come to an end.

And despite the fact that my champagne-fueled, chocolate-coated weekend extravaganza including two weddings, a bridal shower for my cousin’s fiance and an eleven mile run were absolutely glorious, I’m ready to hunker-down into detox-mode this week.

Translation: There will be lots of tea and lots of unprocessed foods.

Did I mention that we also drove across the metro to check out a treadmill that we found on Craigslist?  When I say “across the metro” instead of “the city,” I mean, it took us 45 minutes to get there.

Because there was that too.  But thankfully, we saw it, we loved it, we gave the guy half of the payment up-front and next weekend we’ll be returning to pick the darned thing up.

Can I tell you how wonderful it will be to have the option to run inside again on the days when it’s oppressively hot?  When it’s pouring?  How perfect it will be to be able to wake up in the early A.M. when my schedule is a mess, and be able to run without having to worry about The Dark?

So yes, we have left the weekend behind, and really, the past four weeks of mayhem in the dust.  It was a wild ride, but I need some time to catch my breath and live life.  You know?

This week is the perfect canvas.  The only things I have scheduled are time with my girlfriends (Linds and Mads are moving out-of-town in the next few weeks and Jillian moved back to MN at the beginning of the summer) and some time to relax and make the magic happen in the kitchen.  Obviously there’s a host of other things that do need to be done at some point (cleaning, more unpacking, re-arranging of things, the purchasing of paint for the bathrooms and the inevitable painting that will follow), but scheduling those things would ruin The Zen.

I know that awhile ago I told y’all I was trying to escape from my cooking rut, which, thus far has been going swimmingly.  I’ve been enjoying zucchini and beets (vegetables I’ve never enjoyed in any sort of significant quantity prior to this summer) and baking up a storm (a la focaccia, banana bread muffins, and pizza crust).  Since I have time to breathe again, I’ve got a couple of dishes I’ve been dying to try that would fit into the category of “make the magic happen in the kitchen.”  I’m not sure what this week’s selections say about me, but it’s what we do.

I will make Muffins That Taste Like Donuts.

And because I had to bring milk into the equation in order to make the aforementioned recipe (I don’t drink straight milk because I’m Lactose Intolerant…anything else is fair game), I’m going to take a whack at making Overnight Oats.  If they’re all that they’re cracked up to be, I should be more than happy to add another dish to my breakfast repertoire.

Did I mention that I adore breakfast?  Another tale, for another time.

Finally, to get rid of the last few Tilapia filets that we have in the freezer, we might take a whack at fish tacos.  That’s an everybody wins situation if I’ve ever seen one.

And yes, I know I owe y’all the run-down from Saturday’s wedding.  I’ll make sure to post the pictures tomorrow!