Currently: On Repeat

Sometimes I hear a song that I just can’t get enough of and I listen to it ALL. THE. TIME. until I get sick of it. Not unlike when I stumble upon a new food and eat it every day for two weeks. Hmmm I’m noticing a trend. What does this say about me?!

Anyway, right now I have three songs on repeat. The one thing they have in common—well, after Juicy J and Ne-Yo—is that they make me want to dance. So turn up your volume and get down with your bad self! It is Saturday after all.

“She Knows” Ne-Yo ft. Juicy J

“Time of our Lives” Pitbull & Ne-Yo 

“I Don’t Mind” Usher ft. Juicy J

You will be saying “monay monay monay” for the rest of the day.

Currently: The Midnight Resolution

Well I’ve been absent. Lo siento. Class. Moving. Things people don’t care about.

I’ve been a vegetarian for over a year now and missed commemorating my one-year anniversary. I’ve wanted to write about my experience for some time now and finally had an opportunity when I was given an assignment for class. Read on…

I awoke in a sweat. My stomach was churning. Rotting flesh. Rotting flesh. It was all I could think about. Startled awake in the middle of the night by the unsettled feeling of my beef stroganoff dinner, I made a resolution – the outcomes of which, I could not have anticipated in that moment.

Spurred by a desire for change and the book Skinny Bitch I resolved to become a vegetarian just over a year ago. In that time I have gained an entirely new perspective on food and the food industry, and discovered a newfound respect for my body and the things it can do.

The decision was not one I spent much time deliberating and came as a surprise to just about everyone who knew me. My parents, while supportive, were skeptical. My sister didn’t think I would last. My brother, the cool Brooklynite that he was, didn’t think anything of it. One of the first things I discovered about my new lifestyle was that whenever you tell someone you have become a vegetarian, generally the response is “What made you do it?” The first time I was asked that question, it forced me to actually put into words why I had done what I had, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk about my choice. Now, I have it narrowed down to a quick “curiosity/animal rights/chemicals in the food industry,” answer.

If I’m going to be completely honest, one of the motivating factors behind my dietary change was weight loss, although I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. Here’s what I learned: just because French fries and cookies are acceptable in a vegetarian lifestyle, does not mean you can justify eating more of them simply because you are no longer eating meat. It was not until I understood this fundamental rule that my new diet choice really began to make sense.

I started to actually think (what a unique concept) about what I was consuming. I gave merit to the food I was putting into my body. What were the ingredients? What were the benefits of eating this? And the most important question of all: how am I going to feel after I eat this? Hummus became my new best friend. I returned to the old apple-a-day routine that I’d grown accustomed to in high school. I tried tofu again. And again. I actually liked it. That’s not to say there were no French fries or cookies in my diet, I just stopped to think before mindlessly shoving them into my pie hole. Eventually there was weight loss, but it did not happen quickly or strictly from a vegetarian lifestyle.

When I resolved to stop eating meat, I did not know how long it would last, but after a few months, I decided to try it for at least a whole year. I felt like I had something to prove, if only to myself. I was curious. I wanted to know more about what I was eating. I read books and articles about food, animals and the food industry. I discovered that when I thought about what I was putting into my body, I felt better inside and out. I felt as if not eating meat had made me lighter. I had energy. I felt great. Most importantly I was happy. I am happy – happier and healthier than I can remember.

As my one-year anniversary approached, I seriously contemplated incorporating meat back into my diet. I didn’t. I did nothing special to commemorate the occasion. I didn’t cook a big meat-free meal or celebrate with friends. I don’t even know that I mentioned it to my parents. I did recently go buy another book about food and the food industry though, which has continued to feed my curiosity and reinforce my commitment to this lifestyle.

There are still times when I think fondly of my old favorite pork, beef and chicken dishes – even of the beef stroganoff that put me over the edge – but for now I’m sticking to the resolution I made in the middle of the night. My choice to become a vegetarian has given me something to believe in. As hokey as that may sound, it’s true. It is an adventure that I began blindly on my own, an adventure that has given me a deeper understanding of food and the importance of nutrition. It’s an adventure that has been exciting and enlightening, and has taught me the power of persistence and conviction. It’s an adventure that has taught me more than I expected and an adventure I will continue indefinitely.

Currently: Spotify

It’s December and baby it’s cold outside. The good news is that this means Christmas music is now more than perfectly acceptable. While I love the Nutcracker Suite and my favorite Nat King Cole that play in my i-tunes, sometimes those just don’t cut it. For me, it’s really not Christmastime until I’ve listened to the Charlie Brown Christmas CD. On repeat. There’s something about the jazzy sounds and the childhood memories it brings out that make is so darn good. It’s just happy music.

But the problem was I didn’t have it. Nor was I willing to dish out money for it. What. A. Dilemma.

But wait – what’s that fabulous new program sucking in everyone and their dog? Spotify? Yes. Despite the continuous Spotify newsfeed that splatters my Facebook homepage, I decided to give it a shot.

I’m quite glad I did. I’ve been listening to nothing but CBC since I downloaded it. I ALSO figured out how to remove those Spotify notifications from my Facebook. That way I don’t annoy people with all my musical selections, or get embarrassed when I listen to certain songs… (I’m drawing a blank right now. But I know they exist. The sentiment remains.)

Spotify is awesome and it’s free. It’s better than Pandora because you can PICK the songs you want to listen to, although it still interrupts you with commercials every now and then. If you want an endless music library at your fingertips, I highly suggest it.

Currently: Cookies

Among the many things that bring me joy, baking something delicious is pretty high on my list. Not just baking for me though, baking to share. That’s the best.

I’ve always loved to bake. It combines a little of everything. I can follow a recipe exactly or veer off a bit if I’m feeling creative. I can get incredibly messy and then clean up and have a spotless kitchen by the time the cookies are ready to eat. It can be a social activity with my best friends or I can turn on my favorite tunes and zone out. It’s also really gratifying to eat something you’ve made yourself, or better yet share it with friends.

I spotted a recipe in Real Simple over Thanksgiving break that I knew I had to try. I also decided earlier this week that in order to really get into the holiday spirit I had to bake some cookies. Put two and two together and now you have my evening.

I’m oh-so-thankful for my lovely, off-campus-dwelling friends who let me use their kitchen and utensils. I think they would agree a clean kitchen + cookies is a pretty fair trade off though.

There were six taste-testers hanging around tonight and they all agreed these were some good cookies. They combine peanut butter and heath bar. Yum. Obviously. They’re also gluten free (if you make them sans-pretzels, which I did on a few for my friend Grace), so that’s a plus. I wasn’t crazy about them though. While they may not make it onto my must-make holiday list though, I can say I definitely liked them. And would bake/eat them again.

A bit blurry, but you get the idea.

Nom Nom Nom

Currently: Break

What’s on my mind right now? BREAK. Thanksgiving break starts a week from tomorrow. The whole dam fam is going to be together – Mom, Dad, Thing 1, Thing 2 and me – and I couldn’t be more excited.

Reasons to be excited:

  • Sleep
  • Cooking
  • No homework
  • Sleep
  • Good food
  • No interviews
  • Lots of laughing
  • Dogs
  • Sleep
  • Oh, and I guess these fools…

Yeah. They’re pretty great. I think I’ll keep them. 🙂

Currently: Oh I Wish..

I do not wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner. Rather, I’ve spent some time recently pining away for a few items and have found myself wishing I had a benefactor. A benefactor, I should clarify, who would be just some generous soul (in the least creepiest of ways) to whom I was not indebted in any way. Capisce?

That being said, you’re probably just dying to know what I’ve been checking out, eh? Well, die no more.

We’ll start small…

Tortoise shell Ray-Bans. I had these once. Then they up and walked away. Literally disappeared off of my shirt. No joke. So I’m waiting to re-invest in a second pair (and perhaps some croakies to keep those suckers in line…) Plus, every classy lady looks better in a pair of tortoise shell sunglasses.

This is a reasonable one!

Jeans. From the Gap. Because the pair I had — my favorite pair that I literally wore every day — now has a large, growing hole on the upper-inner thigh, thus deeming them inappropriate for the newsroom and most daily-life activities.

Practical application…

The power stretch pant from Marmot. I dare-say my mother would deem these necessary for existing in the cold. They are essentially fleece-lined running tights. Uses: extending my outdoor runs into the colder weather and thus promoting my health and fitness. Also, keeping me SUPER snug and cozy when walking to class in the cold or simply lounging around. I’m 99.9% sure I would live in these… and perhaps require another pair to survive the winter… but I digress.

Just because

J.Crew Sweatshirt. Super cute. Super comfy. I see it being dressed up more appropriate with jeans or pairing with leggings for the best weekend outfit EVER.

The End.