Currently – The March Edition

“Great Future Ahead – Lisianthus Paris 9th” from Carla Coulson

Happy March!  We had a little taste of spring here for a week or two, but it’s been back to cold this week.  Our poor plants don’t know what to do with themselves!  After feeling like I was in a funk for a solid month or so, I finally feel like I’m getting my groove back.

Lately I’m …

Eating:  Recently, my sister had me try dried mango.  Initially, I was not into it — the texture had me feeling like I was chewing on leather.  But the flavor has me hooked, and now I kind of like the work I have to put into chewing it.  We’re lucky and can sometimes get ours from the local farmers market, but Trader Joe’s has yummy dried mango too.

Reading:  I just finished Feminist Fight Club:  An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace and my neck is tired from my nodding in agreement and recognition.

Wearing:  I recently picked up these loafers from Target to replace an old pair of black flats.  Mine are a half-size down from my usual shoe size and I’ve really liked them for work wear.

Watching:  I started the second season of The Crown as soon as it came out, but abandoned after a few episodes because I just wasn’t feeling it.  I tried again and finished it up last week while I was sick — I think the second half of the season is better than the first, and it did take me a while to get used to the disjointed episode story lines and the presentation of time passage, but I am happy I finished it.  If you still haven’t watched it and/or are not feeling so sure, I would recommend sticking with it until the end!

Planning:  I’ve got two trips coming up, one for work and one for fun.  I’m heading to Las Vegas for a work conference.  It’ll be my first time there and I have absolutely no interest in the typical Vegas-y things, so if you’ve got off-the-beaten-path recommendations, please send them my way!  Then I’m heading to Charleston for a bachelorette party, which should be super-fun.

Using:  When I was home a few weeks ago, I had to steal some lotion from my mom because I have dry, angry skin and I cannot go without!  She had this baby oil gel on hand and I liked it so much that I bought my own as soon as I could.  I love the subtle shea and cocoa butter scent.

What are you loving lately?


Happy Belly – Part 6

Whoops!  I was MIA last week because whatever bug has been going around here finally caught up with me.  I’m recovered now and, despite being sick, I’ve been eating really well lately.

Each Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I keep it really easy and go out for pizza — a little homage to our first date.  This year was no different.  We made a stop at Antico Pizza Napoletana for their Pomodorini pizza.  Mmmmmm!  I could probably eat an entire Antico pizza by myself and not feel miserable (and I’d probably want more), which I guess is the power of fresh ingredients and a fiery pizza oven.

During my family’s Atlanta staycation, we had coffee and toast at the Toco Hills Spiller Park location.  My dad and I had their chocolate toast with hazelnuts on top; my sister had their toast with fruit, cheese, and honey; my mom had their “Big Boy” muffin.  Everything was absolutely beautiful!  (But, as I mentioned in my staycation write-up, only my eyes where impressed.  Taste, cost, and service were underwhelming and I probably won’t go back.)

Every time I finish a Whole30, I’m reminded that having a real breakfast is a good move for me.  Gotta keep that 10 AM hanger at bay!  Lately, I’ve been putting my spiralizer to use for these eggs in sweet potato nests.  If I’ve already got my sweet potato noodles ready, the whole thing takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and is mostly hands-off.  I pop mine in the oven and get ready while the sweet potatoes bake.

Last week, my boyfriend and I made this Mediterranean chicken pilaf.  It was way easier than the recipe makes it look, especially if you prep everything ahead of time so you can just toss things in the pan as it’s time.  It was delicious!  (Quick note:  I only used 2 cups of broth, instead of the prescribed 3 or more.  Follow your gut and pay attention to your pasta.)

Another pizza, but this time it was homemade!  We used this recipe as a guide, but mostly did our own thing:  we used store-bought dough, tossed our arugula in balsamic vinegar instead of using a glaze, followed our instincts when it came to measurements, etc.  So, so yummy!

Tell me what’s been making your belly happy lately.  And, if you’re interested, you can find more of what’s made my belly happy here.

A Long Weekend Staycation

My family and I toyed with a few ideas for what to do with our long Presidents’ Day weekend, but we decided to stick around Atlanta and tour it like we’ve toured Charleston and Nashville.  It is so easy to be wooed by other cities, with their pretty buildings and bajillion coffee shops, and to forget that Atlanta has plenty of those things too!  So we set out for a little staycation, using our real home as home base, and exploring new stuff all weekend.


We started day one at Aurora Coffee in Little Five Points.  I did have a sip of their regular coffee and their Americano, and I liked both!  But my sister and I ordered their Bear coffees, which are iced coffees with various flavored milks.  She had the Red Bear, which tasted like gingerbread and, therefore, like Christmas.  I had the Kodiak Bear, which had chocolate milk and caramel syrup — I figured I should go big or go home!  It was definitely sweet, but delicious.

We hung out for a while, sipping our coffees and taking in the shop.  I liked the vibe a lot — it was very “coo, casual neighborhood hangout”.  Or at least that was the case early on a Saturday morning.  After coffee, we scoped out a few murals.  If murals are your thing, Little Five Points is a good place to start.  Then we headed across the street to Sevananda Natural Foods Market.  I’d never been into Sevananda and it was fun to just walk up and down the aisles.  Plus, we picked up a few supplies to smudge the house!

Then we decided to hit up the Freedom Farmers Market at the Carter Center, which is held year-round on Saturday mornings.  Somehow I’d never been!  The market was light in vendors and attendees, which was actually really nice — crowds are not my thing.  But I want to go back later in the year and see what other vendors set up shop there.

Continue reading “A Long Weekend Staycation”

Real Life: I’m in a slump.

from @bodiljane on Instagram

Slump.  It sounds just like it feels, doesn’t it?

These last couple weeks have been solidly slump-y.  Maybe it has something to do with the dreary rainy weather that just won’t go away, or the sudden feeling of panic and laziness and lack of direction that comes with wrapping up a Whole30.  Maybe it’s the fact that we’re about to hit March, so the excitement of the holidays and the start of the new year has totally worn off.  Who knows?  Whatever it is, I’m feeling it.  Here’s a little peek at my slumpiness:

I kid you not when I say that I did laundry last week and that it sat, clean and dry, in my dryer for an additional week before I could make myself put it away.

My boyfriend and I decided to bake a cake together on Valentine’s Day.  I am notoriously not great at sharing kitchen space or responsibility, so I decided to really prep in advance to make sure I didn’t lose my mind.  Earlier in the day I set out ingredients, some pre-measured, and all the tools we’d need.  We got started later, only to find out that the milk I’d counted on using had gone bad and that the almond milk I would’ve used as a substitute was 1/4-cup short of the amount we needed.  (We are lucky to live 5 minutes from a grocery store, so we did pick up new milk and everything was fine.  But ugh!)

One of the fitness studios I visit regularly has an assistant instructor in each class.  The assistant instructor’s job is to provide form corrections, to fetch heavier or lighter weights if anyone needs them (always lighter for me!), and to refill water bottles throughout the class.  The last two times I’ve attended a class, my water bottle has been picked up, refilled, and returned to someone who is not me.  Which has me huffing and puffing, water-less, and concerned that I am completely forgettable!

Cheers to real life, ya’ll!  But also, cheers to doing stuff to climb out of the slump.  Lately, I’ve been re-watching Parks and Rec — it helps!  My sister recommended episode 1 of the podcast This is Love and the rom-com episode of This American Life for some happy love stuff.  She also recently got a glamorous bath caddy and  now I’m thinking that I need more candlelit baths in my life.  I’ve also been all about making super-detailed to-do lists so I can cross every little thing off, which gives me a boost.

As Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft say at the end of each Happier podcast episode, “onward and upward”.  And at least it’s not Monday anymore!

Currently – The February Edition

Coconut Sugar Cookies from Foolproof Living

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day!  I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day — love and pink and hearts are so nice.  My sister and I started the day with a 6 AM workout class, I got to visit with my mom and dad, and my boyfriend and I ended the day with a giant pizza and a bit of dessert.  Pretty perfect if you ask me!

Lately I’m …

Eating:  Last week, I made this slow cooker pernil from The Noshery.   It was delicious — I added in a bit of homemade sofrito to the overnight marinade.  Because it’s a slow cooker dish, the roast is missing some of the crispiness of an oven-baked roast, but the flavor is so good.  We served it over rice and in Cuban sandwiches!  This week we had these chicken shawarma bowls from Half-Baked Harvest, which are always such winners.  The recipe looks more complicated than it is — you have to make it.  (Side note:  Half-Baked Harvest‘s author, Tieghan, is currently at the Olympics to support her brother, who has already won a gold!)

Reading:  I’m waiting for my library to add Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship as an eBook, then I will be all over it.  My sister recommended it to me recently because it sounds right up my alley.  Also, I’m over here with a girl crush on Christine from C’est Christine and it has a lot to do with her totally reasonable and responsible approach to saving and spending.

Wearing:  Just before the end of January, I got myself a new pair of running shoes.  I’m a big believer in being professionally fitted for running shoes — making sure you’ve got the right support in the right places is so important!  But I’d been putting off a new fitting for a while, despite the fact that my feet and knees had been really been bothering me.  I’m so glad I finally got around to doing it because my new shoes are a game-changer.  And my feet are soooooooo thankful!  (So here’s your nudge to do something you’ve been putting off for too long.)

Trying:  Speaking of running shoes, I am about halfway through Hal Higdon’s novice 5K training program.  I’ve run plenty of 5Ks before, but I haven’t run regularly for a long time, so the novice has been just what I needed to get back into the habit.  I’ve tried other training plans and apps, but I always come back to Hal’s.

What are you loving lately?