Thursday, January 29, 2015

~ pho to go ~

yes I know, it's pronounced 'fuh', but for the sake of humor, don't spoil it for me.

Lately I've been in a bit of a food rut.  Some variation of eggs and toast for breakfast, some variation of vegetables and a tortilla for lunch, and some variation of tofu, sweet potato, and salad for dinner.  Now not to say these are particularly bad meals to have every day, but some weeks just need a bit of spicing up.  So the day before yesterday, in an effort to be different, I went to Pho7 and discovered my undying love of Pho.  Bean sprouts, lime, tons of sriracha.  It's perfect for a cold day (or any day).

OH MY GOD.  It's SO good.

Besides the tall, handsome British guy conveniently living next door to me, and the perfect shade of red lipstick, Pho is the one thing that's been missing from my life.

It turns out, branching out every once in a while isn't all that bad.  Just like how wearing something other than black and white stripes isn't terrible and watching something other than Friends isn't always disappointing (but let's face usually is).


Friday, January 23, 2015

~ plaid perfection ~

Do you ever find a vintage piece hanging in a shop that you're convinced will change your life and you hold your breath while trying it on and it actually FITS?  Cause that happened last week, and let me tell you, it feels awesome.

I wore it to class yesterday and felt like Barbie: College Edition.

It's a testament to my incredible self control that I haven't worn it every single day.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

~ baby blues ~

During different periods of my life, different colors have dominated everything from my underwear to pillowcases.  For most of my childhood, everything in my life was pink: my room, my sheets, my eye shadow (glad that phase didn't last long), and the majority of my clothes.  But like all things, the Pink Period came to a close and I have now entered what I have lovingly titled The Blue Period - though unlike Monet's, mine is not due to failing eyesight, but rather the need for a clean slate (and an absolute lack of pink).

Thanks to nature, nail polish, and sweater vests, I don't have to look far to satisfy my need for blues and whites.

St. Marks, Florida

By next week, I might be obsessed with hunter green - but for now I'll just enjoy each day I find myself reaching for my blue water bottle instead of my green one and thank my lucky stars that I no longer own any Hello Kitty pink eye shadow.  Happy Wednesday!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

~ bad hair day ~

I've discussed turbans before - their practicality, versatility, and simplicity - but I'm going to talk about them again.  Just to start, in case you didn't already know, turbans are the best thing ever.  It doesn't matter what time of year, what time of day, or whether you have thin hair or incredibly thick, unreasonable hair (like me).  They look good on everyone, and are super simple to make yourself.

Cold day, hot day, rainy day, good hair day, bad hair day, cold day and rainy day AND bad hair day, and every other day.

All you need is a large scarf and a little patience and you've got yourself the style of Sophia Loren and a Vogue cover model from the 60s all rolled into one.

Glamorous: Six years after the wedding, Kelly (pictured at the Princely Palace of Monaco in 1962) looks every inch the star in a head scarf and fashionable spectaclesJeanne Lanvin, 1963

So the next time your hair is driving you nuts or the humidity is above 70%, try a turban!


Monday, January 12, 2015

~ hats upon hats upon hats ~

One of my favorite parts of having a collection has always been taking inventory - pulling boxes and boxes out of the closet, digging through layers of carefully placed acid-free tissue paper, brushing off any dust that found itself inside the box, straightening out wonky bows, making lists, writing descriptions, and remembering what made me fall in love with each piece in the first place.  Each hat I own has a special place in my heart.  Even if I only wear it once or twice a year, at midnight while listening to Frank Sinatra in my pajamas.

My collection has now reached new heights - over fifty hats, big and small.  1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, tiny toppers, enormous 1940s wide-brimmed beach hats, Jackie O' pillboxes, little veiled ones with velvet bows, pink feathered monstrosities with diamonds glued on, woolen berets, etc., etc.

I've found them in antique stores, thrift shops, bookstores, on etsy, in attics, and hatboxes on the top shelf of my grandmother's closet.

Sure, some have moth holes, burn marks, bows that are one harsh movement away from falling off, mysterious stains, and veils that got ripped off by terrible, terrible, horrible kittens (I'm still mad about that), but all in all, I'd say they're holding up pretty well.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

~ dinner with friends ~

Starting the New Year sick was hardly what I had in mind, but unfortunately my immune system had other plans.  Therefor, I've spent my few remaining days of vacation in bed with a bx of kleenex by my side.

Now.  When one is in such a predicament, there are two options: wallow in self pity and hatred of your sinuses, or wallow in self pity and hatred of your sinuses while eating spicy food and watching Friends on Netflix.  Though one is obviously superior because, honestly, who doesn't like to feel miserable and be grumpy, food always wins over no food.

Super Curry-y Curry:
1 can of cannellini beans,
1 large sweet potato (microwaved and cubed),
a handful of frozen green peas,
a half an onion,
a few tablespoons of diced tomatoes,
lots of curry powder, some cumin, some salt, and cayenne pepper to taste

First saute the onions in a little olive oil.  Add the beans and diced tomatoes and let it simmer for a few minutes.  Then add the green peas, sweet potatoes, and spices.  Cook for roughly ten minutes and serve over rice with some sauteed garlic spinach.  If you currently cannot taste anything, add LOTS of cayenne pepper and hope for the best.

Cabbage Spring Rolls with Sweet Potato Fries and Peanut Sauce:

Rolls: saute the following in a large pan with a little olive oil, then boil the outer leaves of a cabbage, and roll the filling up in the leaves.

two carrots, shredded,
thinly sliced broccoli,
half an onion, thinly sliced,
a handful of bean sprouts
four pieces of tofu, cubed and marinated in soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, and a lot of black pepper
red pepper, thinly sliced
shredded green cabbage,
a little soy sauce and a pinch of cayenne pepper,

Sweet potato fries: peel two sweet potatoes, slice as thin as you like, lightly coat in olive oil, salt, and a lot of pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees on a piece of tin foil until crispy.

Peanut sauce: mix two tablespoons of peanut butter, two tablespoons of soy sauce, one tablespoon of honey, one clove of garlic, cayenne pepper, and a bit of lemon juice.

Tonight, since I'm still feeling pretty crappy and can't taste anything, I had black beans and rice with green olives and balsamic vinegar followed by hot tea with lemon and honey.  Now it's strawberry popsicles and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Oh and just in case you didn't know, Ross kisses Rachael.


Friday, January 2, 2015

~ resolution, shmesolution ~

Every January I make bold New Year's Resolutions, and every February I forget them.  This schedule is something that is shared by many but seems to be discussed by few.

Get in shape, be happier, spend less money, clean out the junk drawer, etc., etc.  I could go on.

{continuing the five-year tradition of a New Year's day jump into Wakulla Springs}

Humans have a tendency to start things that they don't finish - at least, the humans that I know - and so it's not shocking that new year's resolutions get put down at some point and never get picked back up.  Maybe it's the excitement of the new year that makes people make these grand proclamations (no more alcohol, go for a run everyday, climb Mt. Everest), but just as all things in this world must end, a gradual loss of enthusiasm is inevitable and the resolutions are quietly cast aside.

Life gets in the way.  Maybe running is worse than you thought it would be, french toast too tempting, Starbucks too easily accessible.  Sometimes running shoes and yoga pants are just too damn comfortable and putting on real pants is too much effort.  But however long you hold onto your resolution before it flies out the window (a month, a day, all year), pat yourself on the back and know that you lasted longer than at least one person in the world.

As for my resolutions, I'm working to simplify my life.  This year I'll turn twenty, graduate with my AA degree, most likely move away and most likely start my degree.  It's going to be a scary year - one of growth and development and change - and the last thing I need is to train for a marathon or work towards bench pressing my body weight.

So my goals this year (because I like goals more than I like resolutions) are the following:

  • get healthy.  For 12 years, I danced everywhere from 2 days a week to 5 days a week, went to a noontime Zumba class three days a week and yoga on the nights I wasn't dancing, and obsessed over my flexibility.  I watched TV while in a split, I stretched while brushing my teeth, and I made very little progress.  I had an eating disorder, constantly worried about fitting in my costumes, and almost always felt guilty for truly enjoying a meal.  12 years of that takes its toll on your mental and physical health and my body was a train wreck.  After I stopped dancing and once I'd given my injuries a few months to heal, I started running a minimum of three days a week.  After five 5Ks and a year of this routine, old injuries (shoulders, hips, knees, feet) started popping back up and forced me to slow down.  Over the past year and a half, I really haven't done much.  For several months I was back to doing yoga twice a week and going for a walk around the neighborhood occasionally, but for the first time in my life since I was four years old, fitness was not the primary focus in my life.  In the last year, I haven't felt a pang of jealously when I see someone with really good abs, and with therapy and lots of time, I no longer feel ashamed to occasionally have pancakes for dinner.  All in all, I am healthier mentally, but I have found that my physical health has taken a turn.  So this year I am going to get healthy.  That means eating better, drinking more water, getting back into yoga, and trying to go for walks more than twice a week.  No more extreme sports for me, just a healthy lifestyle.
  • buy a bike.  The bike that I used everyday during the summer from the time I was 10-15 is currently in rusty pieces on my front porch.  My helmet has a bird's nest in it.  This year I'm investing in a grownup bike and a bird-less helmet.
  • be braver.  For me that means becoming more comfortable being on my own, wearing more vintage clothes, and sticking up for myself.
I'm already pretty happy, I don't need to find my true love (seriously, not interested), and I'm fairly good at managing my spending.  But there's always something that one can strive to be better at.  I hope each and every one of you find your focus this year and have tremendous success!