Monday, January 23, 2012

Manic Monday!

Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend - mine was busy but still managed to be relaxing.  I got to catch up with an old friend, which was lovely and got a lot of my pre-week errands done.  I also squeezed in the time to read Chelsea Handler's 'Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea'.  I had been meaning to pick this guy up for years now, & happened to stumble across it while at the lib for other purposes.  Got through it in 2 days flat - giggles and snickers are inevitable.


Busyyy busy today!

I've been going since 7 am : workout, lunch & dinner prepping (both will be enjoyed at work today), then twas off to wal-mart, hannaford, and Trader Joes!

Now I'm grabbing a few peaceful moments in the shelter of the library before its back to work on this rainy Monday.

Breakfast was my typical smoothie as well as a homemade granola bar, adapted from loveveggiesyoga.  I used 1/2 the recommended amount of sweetner - I found they tasted just as sweet & still held together. 

Lunch was a rather random medley (pre-grocery shopping, of course) of my fave organic tomato soup, a big spinach salad with tofurkey slices and hummus, and a bowl of corn, and a cara-cara orange (supposedly a cross between an orange & grapefruit). 


Anddd my pre-packed dinner is a hummus & black bean wrap with veggies and a salad. Yummers!  I've already munched on an apple, a navel orange, walnuts & almonds, anddd a chocolate chip Clif Bar (the crunchy kind).  It was my first time having this flavor - it literally tasted like a cookie!  Quite sweet, but a definite treat.

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!  Hope its not as gloomy where you are as it is here!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

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Thirsty for tea that is!! On my second cup of boiling hot green as we speak.

Its been sooo cold here - it was minus one degree last night!  Speaking of, last night I had a delicious veggie filled dinner:

veggie burger with avocado, mustard, organic ketchup, pickle, and spinach with a high fiber wheat wrap

stir fried broccoli, shroom, and carrot (i stirfried them with lime juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger)

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corn!  (My fave :))

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After, I did some writing, reading, general house cleaning, and then was oh so ready to snuggle in for the night.  Pjs on, ready to make a snack, I popped in my Mad Men DVD that I had rented earlier in the day.  I am internet-less and cable-less in an effort to save some serious moola, so the local movie rental store has become my best friend.  The DVD whirred and spun and made some generally very odd sounds and all in all, refused to play.

I made the executive and very unwilling decision to drag myself out of my cozy warm apt at 9:00pm and make the drive all for the sake of Mad Men.  I exchanged the DVD amid employee apologies and retured, frozen but none the worse for wear.  Except this one wouldn't play either - both were scratched identically.  Curse you whoever you are, renting and ruining Mad Men DVD at will! 

I resigned myself to a cup of chamomile tea, grapes, and graham crackers (and a square of dark chocolate).  ...and maybe an episode of the new Bachelor.... oops!


I am hoping for better luck tonight, I need to know what happens next I can stand the anticipation no longer!!!  I made oats in a jar at the crack of dawn this morn and I think I'll mow those tonight along with a big hummus topped salad.  Maybe not the most complimentary tastes, but I need a little veg break after my binge last night and veggie soup lunch today, as well.

Hope you all have a lovely Thursday - tomorrow is Friday, woo woo!
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Self - Love Part I

A ‘real’ relationship

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How is it that in a society so obsessed with all aspects of social life can also so deeply promote a detrimentally poor relationship with the one person that a relationship most matters?

We are encouraged to have copious lovers and friends.  We are reminded that it is ‘all who you know’.  We are immersed in social situations for the mere purpose of ‘being social’.  We go so far as to immerse ourselves in the lives of celebrities – people whom we will never truly ‘know’. 

And yet, we do not love, respect, nor give due attention to our selves.  In fact, the concept of ‘self-love’ or a ‘relationship with yourself’ sounds new-agey at best and wildly, absurdly self-indulgent at worst.  I mean, if you were to claim “My best friend is myself”, how many eye rolls could you expect?

We beat ourselves up.  We criticize ourselves.  We obsess.  We tell ourselves we cannot, will not, should not, will never.  We focus on our failures and ignore our successes - unless they are recognized by other.  We perceive the tiniest and most unimportant flaws in our physiques, in our routines, in our choices, in our capacities.

It was revolutionary to me when I read a quote from an Elizabeth Gilbert book emphasizing that she had discovered (in a manner equally revolutionary to her at the time) that happiness exists not outside ourselves as society dutifully pronounces, but inside ourselves – as a choice, a mindset, a life style.  Even those who ‘have everything’, from a top line car to a progressive career still report deep dissatisfaction.  Still think that their bodies are imperfect, that they don’t have it as good as the next person.  It is not in the having and it is not even in relationships with others.  Undoubtedly, both of these things hold the power to add to a very happy life.  But they cannot create, foster, or sustain our own individual happiness.

Happiness comes from within.  It is impermanent and must be lovingly maintained.  Our own negative thoughts tear us apart far more than a slight from a co-worker.  Yet we have become so accustomed to a focus on ‘outside happiness’ that it seems ridiculous to focus on self-love.  Why, in fact, it even seems selfish to focus on our own positives, our own abilities, our own attributes and successes.  It is more in line with society to have a fat day or remind yourself that you aren’t getting the salary you wanted by age thirty or that you didn’t make it to the gym.
There is so much to say about self-love.  My journey has only begun , there is much to learn and the path winds on... so I can not complete this post.  Te be continued... :)

                                                         winding mountain road
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Current Obsessions (of various forms)

-Aveda 'comfort' tea : this stuff is seriously delicious and (as promised) incredibly comforting.  To be honest, I am obsessed with all tea -particularly during the winter months- and drink on average 3 cups day

-Pinterest : I am rarely obsessed with websites, but this is way too addicting.  I therefore try to limit usage...

-LL Bean slippers : I got some for Christmas and they have been attached to my feet, gradually getting more comfortable with each and every day


-Peanut Butter : Obviously.  But more so than usual...  (Only organic though. I can't even eat the other stuff anymore - it truly doesn't even taste like pb)

-Hummus mixed with nutritional yeast : Again. Obviously


-Browsing cookie recipes : All I want to do is bake.  I need more people to help me eat them though, my batches go to waste!!!!

                                 Cookies!!                                Cookies

-My local library : Oops, I'm a nerd.  But I've been frequenting this place quite often and its so soothing to enter a quiet place filled entirely with potential new great reads.  I've been on a reading binge, too - big non-fiction kick.  Currently still on Kathy Rich's 'Dreaming in Hindi'.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Today was a long day.  I am feeling drained and so sleepy... probably got no more than 2 hours of shut eye last night, ughhhh.  And it was grocery shopping day - I don't even remember what I purchased (always good... haha)

A date with my couch & kitty cat is in order!  I think I'll drag my buns to the movie store and get the next dvd of Mad Men, one of my favorite guilty indulgences.  Its sooo decadent, dramatic, and fab.  You must get into it if you haven't, everyone falls in love with the sixties at some point, lets all re-visit it with Mad Men.
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I'm thinking a veggie burger with black bean salad for dinner - quick and easy but filling/re-fueling.  Probably going to need some comfort-food for a snack later (tea & annies bunny grahams...? :))

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Today, OhSheGlows featured a post about gratitude.  In that vein, though I am feeling very sleepy and notquiteso positive about the day, I wanted to post 5 things that I am grateful for - not just in general but today.  Each day does matter.
 1.  I am thankful that even though I woke up with very little sleep, I am otherwise healthy
2.  I am thankful that I have a job.  So many struggle with unemployment.
3.  I am thankful that I have a boyfriend who starts my car.
4.  I am thankful that I have a warm apartment to relax in this evening
5.  I am thankful to have discovered yoga.  It makes my mind a little easier each day and I will certainly be doing a good 20 min session after I eat tonight.

What are you grateful/thankful for today?
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Confession Time...

....I have a big foodie confession....

don't hold it against me but...

i love to snack. :)

After my yummy lunch that I filled you in on already (by the way sprouted grain bagels are where its at, if you haven't tried them- a little pricy, but oh so worth it ladies & gents)  I had:

snack #1 - an apple and almonds
snack #2 - a little piece of my homemade granola bar

snack #3 - a carrot, a minneola, and a 'pure' bar (I had never had, but they are organic, vegan, and raw, and have all of like six ingredients - yummers!)


what are your fave snacks?  Do you tend to have slightly lighter meals and (healthfully) snack a little more or fill up on biiiiggg meals and have maybe one snack a day?

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Fun Stuff ;)

This has been floating around on various friends' blogs, so I figured I'd tackle it - and you can get to know me a little better (everyone love random facts, right? ;))

A. Age: 22
B. Bed size: Full. I wish it was even bigger though....haha
C. Chore you hate: hmmm... mopping!! And cleaning the bathroom, uck
D. Dogs: One family doggy - Ms. Abigail, a sweet Alaskan husky

E. Essential start to your day: coffee, coffee, coffee. Immediately upon waking up
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or silver: Silver, personally.
H. Height: 5’6
I. Instruments you play: I can play twinkle twinkle and heart & soul on the piano... (I'm most non musically inclined)
J. Job title: Nanny & soon to be a student again.K. Kids: Zeeeero, except my cat who is a big old baby

L. Live: in a very cold land as of now
M. Mom’s name: Jen
N. Nicknames: Oh lord.  Weird ones... Sunster, Sunlyn, Sunbun, Sunshine, Suns.. you get the picture
O. Overnight hospital stays: Hmmm... none?  I think?
P. Pet peeve: Oops, I have a lot... not having a plan, bad spelling, lateness, etc
Q. Quote from a movie: Patience, Iago
R. Right or left handed: Righty
S. Siblings: I have four!
U. Underwear: Not sure what this is asking, precisely...
V. Vegetables you dislike: Hatesss asparagus
W. What makes you run late: I try to be timely (I'm OCD)
X. X-Rays you’ve had: chest, teef, maybe some others?
Y. Yummy food you make: Lots ;)
Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Lions, tigers, bears, I like em all!

Another Day, Another Dollaaaa

This morning was a yoga/plyometrics/strength-training blend of a workout.

I did:
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 5 sun salutations

A yoga routine designed by Women’s Health

15 minutes of plyometrics

Strength training with 8 lb weights
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This was followed by a BIG old smoothie (with all the usual fruit and veggie suspects) & a homemade granola bar (its crunch time –hehe- I need to bake more asap!) and lots of water!

Now, packing my lunch and getting ready for work!  Lunch today is a sprouted grain bagel with non-dairy cream cheese, (Tofutti, yumyum) a big spinach salad, and a grapefruit.  Wish I had some lox for my bagel… no time to grocery shop though boo hoo =/

Cheers, everyone have a lovely Monday!

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Mind Over Matter

Its a hot tea kind of day - I'm freeezing!!!

So, I found this document floating in my computer hard drive analogs last night – I can’t even recall having written it!  Ha, the mind works in mysterious ways.  I had clearly intended it as a blog post, so now I am giving it its rightful place.  I was re-inspired to complete a lot of the goals I had written down.  It made me think about how I had created these goals, wholeheartedly intending to carry them out and then, had completely forgotten I had ever written them down.  In this spirit, I’ve decided that I’m going to read or at least skim this little list each day.  I hope it will serve as a reminder and a driver to my own self.  If I lived alone, I would love to write this list down, maybe all on one sheet, maybe each thought on an individual post-it, and stick it around my house.  Sometimes all we need is a little constant reminder.

I will LOVE my body

I will admit problems and accept them, love them, and fix them when/where I can

I will treat myself well and not deprive, punish, or obsess.

I will enjoy things slowly.

I will think, actively, and not allow my habits or impulses to control me

I will listen to music.  Lots.

I will bake, read, write, sing, dance, laugh, kiss my kitty on the forehead, tease my boyfriend

I will be much, much more mindful. 

I will count to ten when something bothers me, irritates me, or otherwise pervades my peace

I will give myself credit where its due.  And sometimes where its not due because we all deserve credit

I will remind myself of the things that I love about those I love and the things that I love about (gulp) me.

I will make time for me.  And do thing I like during these times – not just do the grocery shopping.

I will not not not not not concern myself so much with money.  It’s green paper and somehow it will still be there or not be there no matter how much I stress over it.

I will allow myself to be myself.  (Yes, I know the Kardashians are ridiculous.  And yes, I totally love everything about them). 

I will make lofty goals and start projects, and if I like them I’ll stick to them and if I don’t, I won’t.  (cough, this blog coughcough).

I will learn.  I love to learn.

I will make reading lists and read. Those. Books.

I will, I repeat, love my body.  To ensure this, since I do not believe the solidity of simply writing it, I will remind myself each day of one thing I love about it. 

I will ignore my own perceived flaws.  Hello, no one else cares.  And since I will allow myself to do such a favor for me, I will ignore the flaws I perceive in others.

I will love people for who and what they are and wish nothing more and nothing less of them.  My boyfriend, my mom, (especially) my cat, may not be perfect, but they are the centers of my world. 

I will write. Much, much more. 

Maybe you can tackle this project for me/with me?  Write down (a minimum of) 5 goals or thoughts/ideas which you want to guide you.  Keep them in an open document on your computer or actually write them down and tack them to your bathroom mirror, you fridge, your bedroom window.  Get creative, be inspired, be the better you.

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Bloggy Update

As a new blogger (not even a month under my belt!)  I want to give a quick report:

-I have managed to update almost every day!  It feels good, keeps the writing flowing, and has kept me in a routine.

-I still haven’t fully figured blogger out and still (clearly) have no readers (except myselfJ)

-I’ve discovered some blogs I simply must check every day – and I love that about blogging.  Honorable shoutouts are Angela’s ‘Oh She Glows’, Averie’s ’LoveVeggiesYoga’, and Gabriela’s ‘Une Vie Saine’.  All of these ladies are admirable & inspiring – my latest discovery is the last one listed and I must say, there is something about this blog that I just adore.  Cheers J

-The biggest tweaks I want to make are:

More of (or just a better) theme

Get on at least one more blogroll

Pictures pictures pictures!! Photograph where I go, what I eat, etc.  Even though using web-images adds more pizzazz than does a blog with no pictures there is still something about having personal photography that makes a blog seem so much more real and relatable, I find.  It offers a connection that can often be lost via the interwebs. 

That’s that for now J I hope someday I can receive the occasional comment and reader feedback.  I started this project for myself and that is still mainly the reason I am doing it.  It feels fantastic and I am fully enjoying the experience.  Readership is simply one more goal to reach!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday, ya’ll.

Had a fun-filled but busy little Saturday yesterday – errands, essays, applications, etc.

For dinner, we tried a vegetarian bistro in downtown called ‘The Green Elephant’.  It offers an only-vegetarian menu with lots of vegan and gluten-free choices and options as well.  The food was delicious- I had garlic & ginger tofu and my boyfriend had something unpronounceable (haha) with lots of veggies and a ‘ham’ flavored thicker-cut tofu.   We shared a vegan orange chocolate truffle mousse pie… I think you can fill in the blank on how yummy that one was.  It was filling, but still refreshing, light, and wholesome. 

The more I stay away from dairy the easier I find it (and the more I like it and feel better!)   It’s so hard to know specifics of the meat/dairy industry and then to really enjoy it.  Especially when, with dairy, it’s not just such horrid inhumane treatment, but extends so far into health effects, too.  Eek.  It’s funny, after being so unhealthy and out of touch with my body’s needs, now I just want it to be filled with the healthiest things possible: I don’t care about being thin, I just want to be strong and healthy.
Monster Smoothie - fruits & veggies for the day in one serving?

Thought for the day (since it is Sunday) : slow it down
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Give yourself a little break in the day-to-day bustle.  This can be incredibly hard to do, but the moments flood by and life rushes on.  Slow it down a bit, take a few more breaths to enjoy the little things.  You have to ‘gymhurrytoworkmeetinglunchdatebacktoworkerrandshurryhomecookdinner’?  You are blessed to have each of these opportunities – notice them, embrace them, enjoy them.  And don’t feel pressured to bring the filled schedules from the week into the weekend, as well.  Its ok to relax a little, to sit on the couch for a half hour (or three…) and just read or watch your favorite junk tv.  Slow it down a bit people, it’s not going to last forever.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Happiness Project

Hey, bloggies!  Being snowed in yesterday was a nice little respite from the daily routine – I woke up this morning feeling more tired than usual though… too much relaxation perhaps? 

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The granola bars turned out very yummy – I used banana, dried dates, raspberries, & blueberries, flax, rolled oats, peanut butter, protein powder, and a few other ingreds – I’ll post a recipe later.  Still, making my own never turns out quite how I like the taste when I buy my fave bars.  This is odd because with almost all ‘baked goods’, I prefer my own to store-bought… haven’t gotten the bars dead-on yet though.  I think this may have to do with not having found a recipe that is baked.  I always have made ‘no-bake’ variety granola bars.  This could perhaps be the difference me thinks…

On a different note, a month or so back, I read Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project”.  This piece of non-fiction is Rubin’s effort at making her life happier.  She compiles list, goes through research, and all in all brings a surprisingly methodical and scientific approach to happiness achievement… there is no meditation, soul-searching, or yoga retreat in this work.  Still, the book is fairly light and definitely inspiring.  In an appendix at the end, she offers a step-by-step approach to making your own little happiness project.  There can be nothing wrong with that, right?

I did so, and am hoping to put it into place throughout the month (and hopefully throughout the year, if I can stick with it!)  Here is mine, and if you visit her website (or snag the book from you library!) you can make your own.

My Happiness Project:  1/13/11 – 2/13/12


What makes you feel good?

·        Reading

·        cooking

·        baking

·        writing

·        learning

·        time with loved ones

·        animals

·         discovering new things I enjoy

·         hearing others’ experiences

·        exercise, health & nutrition

·         warmth

·         Traditions

·        Volunteer work

What makes you feel bad?

·        Rushing

·        Not having a plan

·        Speaking with too sharp a tongue/snapping

·        Not getting enough “me-time”

·        Feeling overtired

·        Not being creative enough with what I do (aka just sitting on the couch, or watching a movie for the tenth night in a row)

·        Feeling like I don’t have a challenge or hobby

·        Feeling insufficient or as though I am ‘expected’ to be doing something other than what I am

·        Worry over money

·        Worry over similar hard-to-control things

·        Acting grumpy or ungrateful towards those I love

·        Obsessing

·        Wanting perfection

·        Being overtly and continuously controlling

What doesn’t feel right?

·        Not getting along with my family, specifically loss of touch with my mom

·        Not quite yet having a perfect balance between “me-time” and “Ryan-time”

·        Not currently pursuing my field of interest

·        Having a job that is not particularly lucrative/gratifying in terms of what I want my future to be

·        Living somewhere cold, brrrr

·        My body/eating habits & outlook

What in your life is a source of growth?

Trying to explore my wants to figure out my next steps and my future – also sometimes a source of feeling bad because I don’t know the answers yet


·        I will say “thank you” more, be kinder, and notice the little things

·        I will bite my tongue, think twice, count to ten, and not snap.

·        I will focus on being healthy

·        I will treat myself and occasionally indulge

·        I will worship my body and care for it well – I get only one and I am lucky to have it.

·        I will give more compliments, smiles, and general affection

·        I will not make negative remarks, complain, or backbite.  If I have nothing nice to say on a topic or about a person, I will say nothing at all

·        If I am interested in something, I will let myself do it

·        I will give more

·        I will get back to those things which once brought me pleasure – chances are, they still will

·        I will be more energetic and bubbly

·        I will take things one moment at a time, not think to the future, or try to nail things down to an exact time slot – this way, I can truly enjoy them

·        I will give and show more love and laughter

·        I will counter negative thoughts with positive ones

·        I will do things the right way the first time

·        I will give myself and others more credit and slack

·        I will express my wants and needs nicely


1.      Give more love – to my boyfriend, cat, the cashier at the grocery, myself

2.      Be more grateful, especially for the things which often go unnoticed

3.      Take nothing for granted

4.      Money is paper

5.      Within you and without you

6.      Do not over-think, obsess, or in other ways be totally neurotic.  Breathe

7.      Break your plans

8.      To thine ownself be true

9.      Read more write more

10.  Indulge in a few things

11.  Discover the new

12.  Take compliments, praise, and other little acts of good from others and be truly sincerely thankful.  These are the smallest and largest gifts

13.  Give up some control.  Let others do things for you

14.  Say sorry

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