I’ve really done a number on myself by packing as much as possible into the first month of 2019. Recap to come later this week, but let me just say: I’ve become a coffee convert and haven’t felt this fulfilled in a very long time. Here are four big reasons why:
- WW: The recently re-branded Weight Watchers is the same classic structure that’s worked for millions of people to be healthier. I’m fortunate to have support at my workplace, making it easier than ever to drop into a meeting (in person or via video chat). I choose not to track zero-point foods, which means I spend maybe five minutes a day — tops — tracking my food but still staying on plan. And new partnerships with Blue Apron, Aaptiv and more mean it’s not the WW you may have poked fun at before. There’s a reason it works!
- StepBet: One of the guys in our WW group suggested we do a step challenge, so we joined this app and put up $40 each to compete. It’s not such a big investment that you feel burdened, but it’s motivating enough that my ass was doing laps around the block at 9:30 last night to stay in the running. After eight weeks, those who accomplished their goals (preset by the app, based on each person’s recent step average) splits the pot. Mama needs a new pair of shoes!
- Letsfit Tracker: I wanted to reintroduce a fitness tracker to my routine for our StepBet. Sadly, my Jawbone bands are all dead beyond resurrection, and I refuse to support FitBit #PettyPartyOfOne. While I prefer screenless trackers so I can wear a traditional watch, I like how slim and lightweight this is. It charges in any USB port (in 1-2 hours) and the battery has lasted 6-7 days with each charge so far. The app copy could use some love and reviewers complain about sleep tracking, but for me, it was the best $30 investment I could make to ensure step success.
- RealSimpleGood: The core components of good health are to eat better and move more. RealSimpleGood’s Whole30 meal plans are a huge part of what helped me to eat better. Each week this month, I’ve received a list of recipes, shopping ingredients, and easy-to-follow instructions. The recipes are meant for two people to make four servings of each meal, so I halve them and still get satisfying leftovers for myself. It sounds so basic, but it’s cut down my excuses and introduced a staple of easy weeknight recipes to enjoy.
Today was one of those days where it didn’t seem anything could go right. Let’s recap, shall we?
I tossed and turned all of last night from bad dreams. I don’t like calling them “nightmares,” because I’m not 5 years old, but I woke up multiple times and only got a few hours of actual sleep.
So obviously, I missed my workout class. Good thing I just bought a monthly membership — there goes my one free late cancellation.
It didn’t take long to get ready for work, since most of my stuff is in the women’s locker room at the office. I booked my Chariot ride (PS it’s a shuttle service; I’m fully aware how pretentious it sounds). So I left the house at 830am because I literally couldn’t sleep.
I realize a few minutes in, I’m on the wrong route. I booked the route to my gym, not to work. Stellar. I update my drop-off point to the last stop, because I know there’s yet another route that’ll take me from there to the office.
All morning, I worked on an upcoming presentation. I like independent work, but it’s a rare project where I feel like this:
On to lunchtime! Shoot… I signed up for a webinar, and since my Blue Apron delivery didn’t come last night (a story for another post), I didn’t bring lunch. Thankfully, we just installed a fancy vending machine so I could grab lentil samosas — tastier than they sound — and nosh while muted on the call.
All afternoon, I was in a marathon of meetings. Great when you want the day to go by faster. Not great when each meeting ends with action items and tight deadlines. Commence internal screams.
To cap off the day, I had to reschedule plans with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I usually enjoy canceled plans, because I’m an over-scheduler, but was really looking forward to tonight. The next time we’re all available is mid-July LOL.
Suffice it to say, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I won’t be coping with alcohol tonight — much as I may want to — and will instead enjoy the rest of the Warriors game in the background as I work.
Here’s hoping tomorrow will be better, and thanks for sticking with me ✌🏼
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should have…
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
Allow me to begin by saying: I’m not the type who thinks I “deserve” expensive things. I’m a commitment-phobe, a bargain hunter, relatively low maintenance, and I’d rather treat myself to a car service over the course of the month than spend the same amount on a purse or pair of shoes.
That’s not to say I’m frugal — I’ve splurged on travel and gifts for others, often finding more value in experiences than material things. I consider gym classes the best long-term investments money can buy. I’m a big fan of “throwing money at the problem” when it solves everyday inconveniences (hello, Blue Apron and Instacart).
But ask me to spend, say, $300 on a rug I love? Well, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Until today.
Part of why I bought it was this week’s challenge — yet another timely sign from above that I should just do it.
And the other part of why I bought it was because I do “deserve” it after the morning I had.
I was dogsitting over the long weekend for a good friend, but her flight was delayed last night and she wouldn’t arrive to retrieve her keys until 245am. Knowing I’d signed up for a 715am gym class, we agreed she would call me when she got close to my place and we’d make the key swap.
Easy peasy. So far, so good. All of the clichés.
I got up on time again at 615am, despite struggling to fall back asleep; and I was so proud of myself for getting my clothes, lunch, laptop and all other things in order. I was heading out on schedule, just in time to make the bus!
As I closed the door behind me, I realized a beat too late that I failed to grab my keys along with my two overstuffed bags. I’d locked myself out, for the first time (I think?) in my 12 years of living away from home.
Luckily, my landlord is local and able to meet me tonight to let me back in (before I head back out to my dinner plans, but at least I’ll be free to come and go again).
So, I made it to my first-ever barre class the same morning I had my first-ever lockout. Enter, the west elm Sivas Wool Kilim Rug in Macaroon Pink:
I’ve had my eye on this rug for more than a year… seriously. It’s become a joke with certain friends, who plead with me to either buy the damn thing or stop lusting after it.
I even set an alarm to make sure I grabbed it while it was on sale for Black Friday, only to forget all six years of corporate retail knowledge and miss out on the actual sale — on Cyber Monday. It was sold out, and my dreams died again.
So here we are, three months later, and I finally pulled the trigger to purchase this rug. Because it was on sale. And I had a coupon. And I had a shit morning. But also, because I deserve it.
It’s a cliché for a reason, but hindsight is often 20/20. I’ve struggled with feeling like I’m spinning my wheels, can’t get my head above water and all of the other phrases used to describe anxious fears. I know I’ll get through it, and I will come out stronger — but getting there is the hard part. So here’s what’s on my mind this week that’s been a welcome change:
- My Blue Apron Anniversary: Last Friday marked two years since I started using Blue Apron! I’ve enjoyed becoming a better home cook — one who knows more than how to boil water — and I’ve discovered countless recipes to add to my repertoire. Plus, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing lots of friends and family to the service, which is a win-win-win in my book!
- Women March around the World: My heart swelled seeing the outpouring of peaceful protesting last Saturday, from SF to Sydney and everywhere in between. People of all backgrounds and varying perspectives are allowed to voice their opinions, and we aren’t all going to agree. But at the end of the day, to see millions of concerned world citizens come together… it truly took my breath away.
- My 100-day Meditation Streak: Speaking of breathing, I’ve dedicated myself over the past nine months to practice self-care with meditation. I use the Calm app, and just hit a 100-day streak yesterday! It isn’t always easy to find 10 minutes to myself, but committing to this practice has kept me far more grounded and centered than I could have imagined.
- Gasparilla Invades SF: We’re bringing Tampa’s finest tradition straight to SF! Tired of missing out on the festivities, a college friend and I have organized an event to celebrate as sea wenches and swashbucklers. We may not get a key to the city, but I have a feeling it’ll be as authentic as can be. Yo-ho!
I’ve heard this is San Francisco’s rainiest month, but we got exactly 0.0” of rain last January — so imagine my surprise with seemingly nonstop showers! Aside from giving me an excuse to use my umbrella, trench coats and wellies, I’m kind of over it. Today’s brief relief is a tease… we’re set to receive another round of rain tonight. All this to say: It’s a good thing my dad wasn’t actually a meteorologist.
- A Sun Basket Soup: Is there any better rainy-day meal than soup? I submit there is not. A co-worker brought this soup in yesterday, so I decided to recreate it at home. (I modified by using frozen meatless meatballs instead of ground turkey, and kale instead of escarole.) I’ve got at least three servings of leftovers and it was the perfect comfort food during last night’s torrential downpour. Ps, I still love Blue Apron! Can’t we all just get along?
- theSkimm: I’m suuuper late to the game here, but I’ve enjoyed this for the past few months and am finally ready to share. In a world full of fake news, plus more information than ever to digest, theSkimm makes it so easy to stay informed. Get bite-size hits of news in an easy-to-digest weekday email. Food analogies aside, use my referral link to sign up yourself. I promise, it’ll make your mornings simply smarter.
- Jawbone Jambox: Shameless plug alert! I know it’s hard to reach a point in Netflix bingeing where you have to step away, but cabin fever will do that to you. Enter the Jawbone Jambox, a cute lil’ wireless speaker that connects to Bluetooth and more. I’ve found myself turning off the TV and working seamlessly through endless playlists, coming in crystal clear. Bonus: The black and gold design is oh so chic.
- “Call on Me” – Starley: Currently blasting from said Jambox is this incredibly catchy tune — the video for which is just as uplifting. I don’t know if it’s her beautiful voice, bright smile, brag-worthy hair or the hypnotic beat, but I can’t seem to stop putting it on repeat. I have no doubt this debut is set to go far, and be the start of Starley’s illustrious music career.
Are you ready for some life-changing obsessions this week?! You are?! Hint: This will not include the anger-inducing “schedule” feature on WordPress, since it failed me so hard last week.
Anyway, get set — this is not a drill.
- Hoisin Chicken Stir-fry: I haven’t been shy about professing my love for Blue Apron. And despite some ingredient issues recently, including with this very meal, it’s my go-to for creating delicious dishes. I couldn’t give this any more than five stars, but I would if I could. Check out the recipe here and let me know if you’re as in love as I am.
- Silencing FB Live: If you’re suffering an endless slew of Facebook Live notifications, you’ve wondered, no doubt, how to make them stoppp. I was only seeing the option in-app to turn off individual notifications, but there’s a way to do it from the ol’ desktop that takes two seconds and will save a million headaches. Dramatic, much? This article explains.
- Magz’s Birthday: It’s my favorite mom’s birthday today, and as she celebrates (undisclosed number here), I have to reflect on how much she’s impacted my life. From keeping our family together during tough times to answering all of my “how to adult” questions, Magz is deserving of a gold medal and a fantastic year ahead. Cheers!
- “Starving” – Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f. Zedd: I heard this song on Spotify a few times without realizing how often it’d get stuck in my head after. You may recognize Hailee from “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect” or the upcoming “The Edge of Seventeen.” Turns out, her pipes sound even better with a little pop-funk in the background.
Was last week a whirlwind for you all, too? Even with Thursday off from work, I can’t quite believe how fast Thanksgiving came and went. Oh, and it’s December. Where does the time ever go?
- “The Talented Mr. Ripley”: Speaking of time, step back to the 1950s (or 1999, because that’s how far behind I am) and soak up this thrilling tale of deception and lust. The book was better — yes, I’m an asshole — but the movie is pretty damn good.
- Ryan Gosling Hosts SNL: If time continues to move at warp speed, then Christmas come early indeed. My love for The Gos has become a parody at the office, but my excitement for Saturday is fully genuine. Here’s hoping there’s at least one shirtless sketch!
- “California Christmastime” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: This CW show continues to surprise me week after week, and this finale number from Monday’s episode was another showstopper. It’s a little more referential to SoCal than San Francisco, but all Californians alike are finding ourselves.
- Spiced Pork, Squash & White Bean Soup: I’ve obsessed over Blue Apron for most of this year, and there are often recipes I’d repeat again. But never have I felt so compelled to share — this soup not only made about five servings, but it was so easy to make (once you hack through the squash)! Enjoy 🙂
11/11: Make a wish! Or, you could consider one of these more productive ideas 😉
- Veterans’ Day: I say it every year, but today is just one opportunity of many to thank the servicemen and women who sacrifice it all to serve our country. I’m fortunate to know many active and retired military members, whom I can’t thank enough. I won’t get on a soapbox, but the freedoms we’re fortunate enough to enjoy come at a hefty cost — so JUST DO IT.
- Coffee Cups Cause Commotion: Surely, we have better things to do with our time than debate a coffee cup and its “hidden meaning.” I’m a Christian, and I celebrate Christmas because of Christ — not because of a billion-dollar company’s alleged agenda to take down Jesus. Unfortunately, it’s another example of a few bad apples (or pumpkin spices?) spoiling the bunch.
- Blue Apron Donates Thanksgiving Dinner: It’s no secret I love Blue Apron for its (literally) life-changing service, but here’s another reason to obsess. Now, you can donate your Thanksgiving box of food OR an additional box (and still receive your own). Either way, Blue Apron will match all donations to help feed local families in need! You can donate now until noon ET on November 20.
- “Hotline Bling” Parody – SNL: Last week’s SNL episode, hosted by Donald Trump, left much to be desired… until this ridiculously silly parody popped up. I’m still laughing so hard, I cry — not sure if that says more about the video or me. Either way, enjoy!
There’s a phenomenon I hadn’t experienced until moving to San Francisco, known as Mercury in retrograde. This three-week period of time is said to wreak havoc on technology, communication and life in general … and it started today. Let’s try to put some balance back in our lives, shall we?
- Skellie @omgliterallydead: This viral Instagram takes all the millennialisms we love to hate and turns them into hilarious, filtered photos. This one’s caption? “Morning Yoga!! #yoga #yogaselfie #betterthancoffee #jk #nothingbeatscoffee #namastae #namastayinbed #om #flexible”
- Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: This SF bakery invented possibly the most delicious dessert craze ever — the cruffin. It’s a hybrid of flaky croissant pastry in the shape of a muffin, and the strawberries ‘n cream cruffin I had this weekend was pure heaven.
- Blue Apron: I don’t really know how to adult, but one of my goals this year is to gain more confidence in the kitchen (I can’t bake brownies for dinner forever). Enter this service, which delivers fresh ingredients and exciting recipes right to my door! I made my first meal with it last night, and I couldn’t be more proud.
- “Try” – Colbie Caillat: I can’t believe I haven’t featured this song yet, since it’s a constant star in my daily playlist. The video is powerful, and Caillat’s message is simple: You don’t have to change who you are, so long as you love yourself.