Monday, September 30, 2013

Wait, wait. I DID do something really productive yesterday!

I totally forgot. And I'm proud of it, so I'm sharing!

My resume! I'm an English teacher. I can be verbose.
  1. My most updated version of my resume was 3 pages long. 10.5 point font. Unacceptable.
  2. I revised & cut, got it down to 2 pages, 10 point font. Still not good enough.
  3. YESTERDAY, I cut enough down so it's still 2 pages, but 11 point font! I'm very pleased with it!
I also updated my LinkedIn profile--with my newly updated & less wordy resume! I'm finally starting to understand how to navigate that site & how to really use it to my benefit. Sure would be nice if ANY pictures I had of myself were LinkedIn appropriate, though. Way too much tits & tats everywhere....

What happened to me on a lazy Sunday.

And by "what happened to me," I mean, "what I did to myself."

It started out well. I had a smoothie, then went to Betty Kim's Gentle Yoga class at Yoga Garden & it was so juicy delicious. And then I went to Whole Foods.

I spent most of yesterday eating. I don't know why. But I did. And I'm feeling a little mad at myself today. But also, just ready to move on.

I had:
  • Go Max Go bar
  • Kombucha
  • Channa Masala
  • Flackers (a whole box, I knew while buying them that I shouldn't have)
  • Leftover cookies & almond milk
  • Huge bowl of pasta w/ garlic & olive oil
OK. Actually, now that I wrote it all down, it's not as bad as it felt. However, I also took an hour long nap & soaked in the tub for another hour & for the hours in between all that, I was mostly doing nothing. I mean, I read & I did research for the New Moon Women's Circle coming up on Friday, but still.

My regret isn't all that I ate on my lazy Sunday. It's all the things I could have done instead of laying around doing close to nothing. I could have gone for a walk, cleaned my apartment, run some errands, gone for another walk, spent time with a friend.

So. Lesson learned: laying around doing nothing isn't something I particularly enjoy. I won't waste another beautiful fall day again.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday Night at the Opera

When last we met, I had just stopped home to report on my experiences at the March to End Rape Culture. I then walked to acupuncture (stopping at Govinda's for a chicken cheese steak, Vegan Tree for a bubble tea, & my seamstress to drop off a pair of pants), fell asleep during my session, then happily took a cab home for a quick nap before another walk to Independence Mall for the Opera.

This was my first opera experience & I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I also enjoyed picnicking with Becca & Angela (I made eggless egg salad w/ rice crackers, Becca made us fruit salad, I baked cookies, Angela brought hummus & chips & I brought us a bottle of Prosecco. Perfect picnic snacking right there! The music was beautiful, I found myself rooting for the villain because she was a badass woman with a sword (but then being mad that she repented at the end instead of being punished). Spoiler alert--the opera we saw was Nabucco.
How cool is this?
LJ, Angela, & Becca.
(I don't know WTF is up w/ my hair or my glow necklace)
It was a great, & very busy Saturday. I think I walked at least a total of 8 miles. Whew! I have kind of a lazy Sunday planned. The only 2 things on my to do are yoga & Breaking Bad.

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

NO MEANS FUCK YOU! YES MEANS FUCK ME!

I just got home from the Slutwalk Philly/ Pussy Division March to End Rape Culture & I actually have time for a 2nd post today before I head down to acupuncture.

I just feel really empowered, to march in solidarity with so many women & men who genuinely care about SUCH an important issue in our frighteningly patriarchal society. I really enjoyed getting to hang with my friend Sue--I know her from Yelp & I'm just starting to get to know her--she's a total badass feminist & I respect the hell out of her & I'm really glad I got to march with her today.

Some of my favorite moments were:
  • The street vendor who said, "Thank you, baby," but then corrected himself with a "Thank you, ma'am."
  • The dude in the SUV who said, "I KNOW that's fuckin' right."
  • The bride on Broad Street whose response to "You're beautiful," was "So are you!"
  • And the best chant I've ever heard, right there in the title of this post, "NO MEANS FUCK YOU! YES MEANS FUCK ME!"
Here are a few pics:

One side of my sign says NO means NO!
The other side says YES means HELL YES!
One of my favorite signs, on the right.
Solidarity.
His sign says "Real men take NO for an answer."
It feels good & right to be part of something
bigger than me. When was the last time you
marched for something you believe in?
___________________

Accountability for Saturday so far:
  • Green smoothie
  • Cookie dough + 3 cookies (Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles from VCIYCJ)
So far, I've walked at least 4 miles today (to & from the march + the march itself) & now I'm headed down to South Philly. Have a great day!

NO MEANS FUCK YOU! YES MEANS FUCK ME! NO MEANS FUCK YOU! YES MEANS FUCK ME! NO MEANS FUCK YOU! YES MEANS FUCK ME! NO MEANS FUCK YOU! YES MEANS FUCK ME!

Shopping for Autumn!

Last night, I went shopping! I'm really excited about the change of seasons. Like ridiculously excited. I spent 24 years in PA--my whole childhood in Harrisburg, college & grad school in Pittsburgh--I never appreciated the change of seasons because it was something that was always part of my life. But then, after 11 years in Miami (& 3 years in Texas before that), I moved to Philly in THE END OF DECEMBER. Let me tell you, this past spring was the best spring of my life.

See, I've come to really appreciate the seasons now. Change is nice. And it's kind of exciting to have different clothes to wear--my clothes last longer because I'm not wearing them all year & I don't get bored wearing the same things over & over again!

So last winter was basically all about survival for me. My clothes shopping was focused entirely on building a winter wardrobe just so I could get through my first winter back in the northeast. Keep me warm, please. But now, for my second winter, as I ease into it this fall, it's becoming more about fashion, which is a lot of fun!

It started with the Hot Pink Vegan Dr. Martens that I bought a couple weeks ago. They were a game changer. Outfits are being planned around them.
screen shot from the Dr. Martens site because SWOON
And here's another thing. I was reminded this summer how much I love dresses & that I don't have to wear pants just because it's winter. How absurd! That was the problem last winter: too much wearing of jeans. I'm more comfortable in dresses, so I'm finding a way to be warm enough in them. Tights are uncomfortable. I have tons of knee socks, but they're obviously not high enough. So last night I bought some thigh high socks at Sock Dreams. I'm pretty excited about them! I'm also excited about the boots I got on Cri de Coeur! Yay for 50% off & free shipping from such an ethical & gorgeous company.
screen shot from Cri de Coeur
because MORE SWOON
As for my the leaving my house portion of this shopping adventure, my first stop was Retrospect Vintage. I came away with a fabulous red polyester vintage dress that looks amazing on me. It's with my seamstress getting altered for length (of course).

Then, I hit Green Street Consignment. There, I scored a soft green sweater, a dark green cowl neck sweater dress, & a pair of jeans (which may or may not be jeggings, but they zip & look & feel denim-y & even if they ARE jeggings, I really don't care because my ass looks awesome in them, dammit!).

I'm ready for any weather! Bring it on!
__________________

Honest eating (Friday):
  • Green smoothie
  • Spring rolls
  • Cereal
  • Bubble Tea
  • Ramen (homemade, not that toxic chemically shit!)
  • Kale Krunch
  • Chocolate covered frozen banana
And of course I went to Flywheel Friday morning, took Ryan's class for the first time. Another glitch with their computers, but I worked hard, had a great class, & came away with a 233 total power.
__________________

Stoked for an awesome, & busy, Saturday! What are YOU doing to enjoy the hell out of this weekend?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday!

Yay! It's Friday! This week felt like a month long & I'm excited for the March to End Rape Culture tomorrow, as well as my first opera experience tomorrow night. I'm also excited for 2 days where I don't have to think about work.

I'm thinking about the New Moon. In Miami, a friend of mine used to lead a women's circle every month on the New Moon. The New Moon is in Libra next Friday & I'm hosting a little circle right here in my home. Just another Something New.

Funny, I hadn't done something new in a few weeks, & now I'm posting once a day early instead of late, I'm writing down my dreams, & I'm hosting New Moon circles. Oh, & the fact that I'm going to the opera tomorrow night?! That's something new too! It's a free screencast of Nabucco at Independence Mall. How cool is that? Are you in Philly? Don't have plans tomorrow night? Here are the details, it's not too late to register: Opera on the Mall.

Are you doing something new this weekend? Something new daily? Tell me about it! And have an amazing weekend!
__________________

Keeping myself honest (Thursday):
  • Green smoothie
  • Bowl of cereal
  • Another bowl of cereal (hours after the 1st one, it wasn't like 2 in a row!)
  • Channa masala & rice 
  • Edamame w/ lemon & salt
  • Grapes
Also, I went to Flywheel, but there was a glitch in the system, so I don't have my stats. I did pretty well, though--254 total power.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Well. Wow. I can't even begin this post without giving gratitude to Ricky Gervais for retweeting yesterday's post. I guess that was my big moment of internet fame. 2500+ hits on the blog yesterday. 20+ new twitter followers. Whoa. Wow. Thank you for visiting. I hope I'm interesting enough for you to stick around.

Yesterday was a lot better of a work day than Tuesday. I guess life just has its ups & downs. The downs are just there to give us more gratitude for the ups, I suppose. I have a lot of gratitude for my colleagues--my Teamies, my co-Leads, other work friends who I trust (they're few & far between)...they make the hard times better.

This weekend, I'll be participating in the Slutwalk Philly/ Pussy Division March to End Rape Culture. I have so much gratitude for both of these organizations for existing because it is so important to get the message out there that Slut Shaming & Victim Blaming are unacceptable, that Rape is Rape, that No means No & that what I'm wearing has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you can fuck me or touch me or even speak to me! (Also, the first Slutwalk Philly (2011) was organized by my former student, Hannah Altman...I gotta give myself a little bit of gratitude here, because she has said that I influenced her...& I can't wait to see her!)

Also, I have gratitude for what I saw on the scale this morning. Super proud of myself!
__________________

Holding myself accountable right here, right now:

What I ate yesterday:

  • Green smoothie
  • Vegan tuna melt
  • Chocolate cereal
  • Last 2 slices of Daiya
  • Spring rolls (took me to the end of the day, but I think I got my groove back!)
And of course, I went to Flywheel! My numbers aren't as high lately, but I still feel great. I love that I've finally learned just how awesome a good workout can make me feel. More gratitude!
__________________

I've also got another something new! I've started writing down my dreams every morning. I'm not sure what purpose it will serve, but I was told to do so during a reading & it seems like a good idea.

__________________

And here's a question for you, dear readers? What are YOU Thankful for this Thursday? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Have you watched Derek on Netflix?

(I'm trying something new. Instead of posts coming at the end of the day, I'm going to post in the morning about the day before. Not that big a deal, but it's still something new & I haven't done something new in a while.)

I had a bad day on Tuesday. Directives from above, everyone is extra stressed...I felt supported by my Teamies & co-leads, which was very nice. But I also felt bullied a couple times, which was not so nice. And that's enough of a context to understand why I felt the need to watch Ricky Gervais' Derek again on Netflix.

I simply cannot recommend this show enough. I mentioned it on facebook, repeatedly on twitter, & in "real life" to anyone who will listen. If you don't have Netflix, get it. This show just warms my heart. I watched the first 4 episodes Friday night, the next 3 on Saturday morning.

Then I read reviews. And everyone loved it as much as I did. Because it's phenomenal. Incredibly well written. Funny. But also really sweet.

Yesterday afternoon, I watched the 1st episode again. Last night, I watched 4 more. I'll finish it (again) today. I never do this with shows (Buffy is the only series I've ever rewatched in its entirety), but something about Derek just really touches me. Yes, it makes me laugh & it makes me cry, but more than that, this show inspires me, reminds me how important it is to be kind to all people, & how to take delight in the little things.

Derek just really makes me happy. And I'm thankful Ricky Gervais exists & made this lovely show.

"Kindness is magic."

___________

And now for the keeping me honest portion of the post:

Yesterday, I ate:
  • Green smoothie
  • Earth Balance cheesy poofs
  • Chocolate cereal
  • Mock tuna on a toasted bagel w/ Daiya & sprouts
  • Chocolate cereal
  • Another tuna melt
  • More chocolate cereal
(I was obviously not at my best. At least I'm aware of it? And at least I went to Flywheel! And today will be better!)


After a good night's sleep, strangely full of post-apocalyptic dystopian dreams that weren't exactly nightmares, I'm ready to have a better day at work. I'm grading for my Teamies right now, then I'll continue the unpleasantness I began yesterday (sigh), but soon that part will be over & then we'll all have a clean slate at work again.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

On just the right yoga class.

I was so productive today, & so strangely happy to be back at work. I hope it lasts, I really do. I'm planning to lead some professional development sessions & to make some videos for some students that I'm really excited about. It feels so good to be excited about work again.

Food wise, I started my day with a smoothie, then I mostly snacked all day. Had some eggless egg salad w/ rice crackers, chickpea noodle soup, chocolate cereal, more chickpea noodle soup.

And then, I went to a most excellent yoga class. Brittany Policastro is one of my favorite teachers in Philly. I take her classes at Yoga Garden. Tonight was just one of those classes that I really needed, that I was just meant to be in. It was slow & juicy & deep & I came out of class feeling so much better than before--both physically & emotionally.

At one point in class, we had our arms in gomukhasana (my hands were not together, my body doesn't need to do that anymore), & Brittany said something about when a pose is uncomfortable, our instinct is to come out of the pose, to move away from it, but she encouraged us to stay with it. I immediately made the connection to my life, how things got difficult in my apartment & I was ready to just move out (when the management had been willing to work with me all along), how things at work haven't been that great, so I started applying for jobs like crazy & was ready to step down as Lead. When things got bad, I was ready to just chuck it all & run away. Twice. In the past two months.

Do you see a pattern here? So today, on the mat, I stayed with the painful pose & released into it. And there's my life lesson. When things get difficult, I can stay with it, release into it, & they'll get less difficult. There's no reason to run away.

After that revelation, I was ravenous & made some impulsive shopping choices. I had the vegan shepherd's pie from Whole Foods hot bar (incredibly delicious, this is the 1st time WF South St really impressed me in a long time). Then things got weird. As I walked home, I ate a Go Max Go bar & some Earth Balance cheese puffs. (The good news is, I didn't eat the entire bag of cheese puffs. Progress is progress.) Then I got home & had a bowl of cereal. I don't know. Not quite a binge. Mostly just a lot of snackiness.

Whatever. It's all good. I have so much gratitude for Brittany, because tonight's class felt like a really important turning point for me. I have a letting go ritual that I need to do--discussed it during my reading last week in Orlando & bought a candle this weekend at Harry's just for it. I'm ready now.

Have a good night.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, Sunday

For the first time in a long time, I'm excited for a Monday at work. Being with my Teamies really reinvigorated me more than I thought it did. After some time to process, I got excited today about all kinds of ideas I'm ready to implement. So much gratitude for my Teamies. I've said it before, & I'll say it again...I've never had this kind of an amazing group of colleagues...so much collegiality, so much friendship.

So...really fast before Jess gets here for my massage. I did a double this morning at Flywheel. Now that I've reached conclusions about my newfound love of fitness, I just want to enjoy it all the time. That, & I'm a little bit crazy. But mostly, because I wanted to take Amandah's class AND Nicole's class! I love those girls! It was so much fun & I'm super proud of myself!

When I was leaving Flywheel after said double, Gladi said to me: "You can eat EVERYTHING today!" And I totally did. I had:

  • Green smoothie (before Flywheel)
  • Eggless egg salad + rice crackers
  • Chocolate cereal
  • Chickpea noodle soup
  • Eggless Egg salad + rice crackers
  • Chocolate cereal
  • Chickpea noodle soup
OK, I actually finished this post AFTER my massage, so that's it for now. Heading upstairs for a bath & then sleep. Have a good night & a great week!

Michael Franti Concert!

Just a really quick post before I crash for the night. Michael Franti was amazing in concert. He puts on a really great show, & I love how he kept coming out into the audience. He did almost all of my favorite songs, & just really blew my mind. I wish he was my best friend!
Look how close!!!
Franti Feets (he's known for his barefootedness)

(This afternoon, I had Whole Foods hot bar but I only had a few bites because everything was bland. Then I had a bowl of chocolate cereal. Pre-concert, we went to New Harmony: we had pork buns, hot & sour soup, & we shared walnut shrimp & kung pao chicken. I also had a fortune cookie & Ming brought us chocolate ice cream. At the concert, I had 2 beers. When I got home, I had another bowl of chocolate cereal (I shopped while hungry today).)

I'm still reeling about just how phenomenal in concert Michael Franti was. He responded to one of my tweets today...he seems like a regular awesome guy. And his music is so uplifting...with such a positive message. If you've never listened to him, you should.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ode to Flywheel

I was away for a week. During that week, I:

  • Reserved my bike for this morning a week in advance.
  • Talked about Flywheel to anyone who would listen.
  • Tweeted Flywheel.
  • Bought new workout clothes.
  • Got a text from my brother that I made the Flywheel leaderboard for the first time for Highest Average Torq (he's on it too...& on almost all the leaderboards).
  • Spent all week sitting in keynote speeches & breakout sessions. Also in cars & on planes. I know I sit a lot at home, but I also walk a lot. By the end of the week, my knees were killing me.
  • Had a meltdown that I just now realized may have been partially caused by not working out. I should have used the hotel gym.
When I got home last night (after having a burrito in the Orlando airport), I had a weak moment of comfort fooding. I was sad because I missed my Teamies, & I was hungry but had nothing to eat in the house. Around 11:30pm I ordered takeout from Govinda's. I had a chicken cheesesteak & a Vegan Treats cinnamon roll. Not my most shining hour, but I made up for it this morning.

I woke up this morning ready for Flywheel with Hanna. I had a smoothie, got dressed in my new workout pants & top, & had an incredible (& high-scoring!) workout. It felt great to be back on the bike & I didn't suddenly become weak with no stamina like I was scared of (overdramatic reaction to a week away, no doubt). Not working out for a week was actually a good thing for me...now that I know how I feel without it, I really understand how much my body, mind, & spirit need a good workout almost every day.
Now I'm getting some stuff done around the house (including this blog post) before I go take care of some errands.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Staff Conference Day 4

I'm sitting here with my Teamies, listening to the last keynote speaker & getting ready to head to the airport. (Breakfast was 2 bottled green juices, a banana, & a bagel w/ hummus. Lunch was salad, rice crackers + hummus, & a banana.)

I'm feeling really conflicted about my job right now. So much up in the air, so many mixed feelings. I need to take some time to weigh the pros & cons of stepping down from my Lead Teacher position. 

Teamie Love
My Teamies don't want me to step down. I'm torn because I miss having my own students & I feel like I'm not making a difference with kids anymore. But making a difference for my Teamies indirectly makes a difference with kids. Right? I don't know. 

Something needs to change. I'm not super happy. But I can't express enough just how much I love the people I work with. I've never had this kind of a strong camaraderie & collegiality with work friends before. There is so much trust & respect & love in this Team & I instilled it. Maybe I need a change, but I can not & will not leave my Teamies. 

Lots to think about post conference. Only time will tell. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Another day, another shitty food option at the Hilton Orlando. I am thankful for the green juices (kale & beet) I brought with me, & the banana I ate in my hotel room. I'm also thankful for ONE employee who found me some oatmeal in a vast sea of (gross) eggs & bacon.

So that's that. What I'm REALLY thankful for, though, is my Teamies. The #1 reason I'm getting through this week is because I'm surrounded by colleagues who have become friends, who I deeply respect & love.

Lunch at the Hilton was terrible, as always. I had half a bowl of minestrone w/ some bread, then went back to my room where I had rice crackers & hummus, pistachios, pretzels.

I am thankful for the great breakout session I went to today--it was on Microsoft Excel, which I'm obsessed with.

For dinner, my friend went & picked up Rocco's Tacos. I had the only vegan option on the menu: mushroom tacos (hold the cheese). They were pretty tasty.

Now I'm chilling with my Teamies having some laughs, & I'm totally thankful. We are really like a family. I may not be super happy in my job right now, but I'm super happy about the people I work with. They're amazing. I had a great time, & I'm totally thankful for it, especially for the time with my team, but mostly I'm happy to be heading home tomorrow.

Have a good night.




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Staff Conference Day 2

So. Much. Sitting. So. Many. Cliches.

Having a great time with my Teamies of course--I busted out the Polaroid today. 
Teamie Love
And yet, I'm still not feeling super inspired about work. I really hope that will shift this week, but I'm not holding my breath. (Apparently, "grit" is our new buzzword. My reaction to buzzwords = yawn.)

For breakfast, I had a banana + 2 green juices. Then I was given a whole bunch of candy from my boss. Most of it I have to my Teamies (I'm actually GLAD it wasn't vegan friendly--no candy binge!), but I had about 5-10 of those mints that melt in your mouth. Yummy! 

Once again, disappointing food served by the Hilton Orlando. Lunch was a Mexican buffet. I was assured that the beans were vegan because they were made using vegetable stock. Alas, they were covered in cheese. I couldn't see ingredients of either salad dressing, so my lunch was sketchy rice with salsa & some lettuce. I came back to my room & had some rice crackers w/ hummus, a handful of pistachios, & a handful of dried cherries. Glad I'm taking care of me because nobody else is.

One of my former students, Kelsey Tainsh, led one of the breakout sessions, which was amazing & SO inspirational. I had two other sessions, which were less inspirational.

Then I went to Seito Sushi (again) with my Teamies tonight--I had edamame, seaweed salad, spring rolls, & a kinoko roll. YUM (again).

OK, plotting & planning a little something with my Teamies, so have a good night!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Staff Conference Day 1

I started the day with prepackaged smoothie-juice-type-things from Whole Foods--Carrot Lemon & Cashew. Those cookies I baked for my team are going fast...this morning, I only had 1-2 cookies.

As usual, meals at the Hilton Orlando are totally NOT vegan friendly. So my lunch was more snacky than an actual meal. Glad I went to Whole Foods last night! I enjoyed pistachios, rice crackers w/ hummus, dried cherries, & a Granny Smith apple
Positive Spin: I'm also not spending money each day on meals!
Then, it was back to meetings. I shared a lot of cookies with my Teamies, but I may or may not have had quite a few chocolate chippers!

Tonight, I went out with most of my Teamies to dinner at Tijuana Flats. I had a burrito, my favorite! YUMMY! And then I had more dried cherries after sitting by the pool with some of my Teamies & my former boss (who I LOVE).
It was a great night. I have another big day tomorrow, so excited to see more of my work friends. Have a good night!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Dinner with my Teamies!

Staff Conference starts tomorrow officially. But half of us arrived tonight, & we went to dinner at Seito Sushi. I ate a little too much (beer, seaweed salad, garlic-lime edamame, the Kinoko roll & a sweet potato roll) & I was uncomfortable full, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. And I especially enjoyed the company of half of my Teamies.

Now I'm hanging in my hotel room with my teamies...I expect limited time for blogging this week, but I'll do what I can!

Have a great week!

Orlando Day 3

Started the day with a smoothie. And with my moon! My cycle is up to a very normal 25 days now! I'm feeling very good about that.

Then, I baked some chocolate chip cookies (doubled the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar). There was some nomming of cookie dough & "taste testing" (only 2) cookies once they were baked, but I was on my best behavior because most of these cookies are for my Teamies (though, of course, I left some behind for Kristi & the girls).

On the way to the Hilton, Kristi & I stopped at Ethos Vegan Kitchen (of course). I enjoyed some Mac & Cheese & Peas w/ Seitan in the car. YUM!

Now I'm all checked in & unpacked in the Hilton, freaking out as I watch last night's Breaking Bad (I just HAD to pause it, I needed a break, it is THAT intense) while I wait for some of my Teamies to arrive!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Orlando Day 2

What a great day! It started with a smoothie (so glad my BFF Kristi has a Vitamix like me!). Then, we went shopping at Adjectives Market. She knew I'd love it & had been wanting to take me there. I scored a set of vintage Pyrex Polka Dots bowls & my first LONG SLEEVE vintage dress--winter is coming (& so is Staff Conference).
After shopping, we headed home for a quick lunch (leftover pizza from last night) before my reading with medium Christi Cavallo. She was phenomenal. I took a lot of notes, & I'm so thankful I recorded the whole thing. But I'm not going to share details here. Sorry.

After my reading, Kristi & I headed to Target. I never go to Target, because there isn't one conveniently walking distance, so this was super exciting for me. I got a new pair of workout pants, 2 new workout tanks, & 5 new pairs of socks, when all I went for was this Sally Hansen nail art sticker-like kit (Kristi used it over a week ago for my birthday & her nails are still perfect, so I had to try it too--it was SO easy!)
We rested this afternoon--I did my nails & had some Earth Balance Cheddar Popcorn. Then, tonight, we went to Hotto Potto--another great place Kristi has been wanting to take me. SO much fun, SO tasty, & SO vegan friendly!
After dinner, Kristi & I took Chloe, 1 of her 4 furbabies, for a walk, then we enjoyed some So Delicious Chocolate-Peanut Butter ice cream. Now I'm ready to crash. Lots to do tomorrow to get ready for Staff Conference.

Have a great night!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Orlando Day 1

So after the adventures leading up to my flight, once I got on it, everything was fine. Kristi & her daughters picked me up at the airport--we ordered from Toasted, picked it up on the way home, then ate at her house. I had the Vegan Truffle Melt Grilled Cheese & Fries. I was really impressed. They make their own vegan cheese there & it was so tasty.
We mostly laid around all afternoon, I wanted to finish the book I was reading (The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult--my dad had recommended it & Kristi wanted to read it when I finished--in some ways, it was predictable, but overall, it was quite good) & we were all kind of exhausted.

This evening we ran a few errands, & picked up a pizza with tomato sauce, daiya, mushrooms, garlic, artichokes, & tempeh from Mellow Mushroom. It was delicious. I had 2 slices. And the crust of one of Kristi's slices. Because it was the best pizza crust I've ever tasted in my life. And because Kristi is an awesome BFF. Later, I had a handful of Earth Balance cheese popcorn & a spoonful of cookie butter. (It's fun being in a house where an 11 year old & a 6 year old live. Most excellent snackage!)
1 out of 4 members of my pizza eating audience.
We were watching Reincarnated, Snoop Dogg's documentary about his transition to Snoop Lion. It was either really boring or we were both really tired, so we stopped watching. In bed before 10:30 on a Saturday night. This is what 40 looks like. (Hey! I was out until way after midnight last night drinking beers!)

I'm a little bummed to be in Florida during the first few days of beautiful fall-like temperatures in Philly. But good food & good friends & good dogs make it worth it.

Alternate Routes

I left my house about 15-20 minutes later than I had planned (which is still 10-15 minutes before a normal person would leave for the airport). I stepped out my door & there was a cab--I love Philly. 

On the way to the airport, there was a detour. The driver looked confused. I started to panic (quietly to myself). But he followed the signs & yay for a magical wonderful alternate route

I checked in, quick & easy. Then I got to security. The line was beyond the line maze. Like WAY beyond. Like so beyond that TSA gave the couple right behind me little cards with the time on them to hand in when they got to the front. So they would know just how long it would take to get there from here. Again, I started to panic (again, quietly to myself).

Then another TSA guy told us how to get to terminal D, go through security there, then walk back to terminal C! Another alternate route! I'm at my gate with time to blog before we board!

Oh, I had a smoothie this morning. Have a great day!

Edit: I just boarded my flight. My seat WAS 20F but they just gave me 18F for no apparent reason. ANOTHER alternate route!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday!

Really quick post b/c I have plans to go out tonight (that I'm thinking of canceling but I won't).

I had a great day--worked on a creative project that involved GLITTER, saw some friends on purpose & by happy accident, had a great Flywheel class, had a great acupuncture session--it was an excellent Friday & I'm excited to go down to Orlando for Staff Conference next week.


Here's what I ate today in my quest to finish everything in the fridge:

  • Smoothie
  • Leftover caulipots & spicy mustard beans (didn't really turn out great, ok with tossing the rest)
  • Spring Rolls
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie (Alternative Baking Company) & Vanilla Italian Soda at Good Karma Cafe
  • Tofu & Rice (Whole Foods hot bar impulse buy)
  • There will be beers. At least 2, maybe 3 of them...we'll see how this date goes.
Also, I walked at least 3 miles today, maybe more.

OK, gotta get dressed for this date. I hope he's worth it, because I'm exhausted.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday

So here's a little story about work. Many of you know that I've been kind of unhappy in my job for the past few months. And by "kind of," I mean so unhappy that I was starting to send out resumes, so unhappy that wearing actual clothes (as opposed to a bathrobe) to work was starting to look good to me.

But then I paused & reflected, had a long talk with a colleague I really respect & look up to, & decided this week to step down from a leadership position & go back into the (online) classroom.

So this week, in this particular situation, I have gratitude for:
  • That colleague/friend who spoke honestly with me & helped me figure out a solution to improve my current work life, rather than leaving a school I believe in.
  • My current boss for helping me find a way to make this shift happen very seamlessly, in a way that will keep my whole team together.
  • My Teamies, though sad that I won't be their leader anymore, they all understood my need to have my own students again, & are happy for me, & for us all, that we get to stay together as a team.
  • My future students (that I will get the week after next week's staff conference), who I can't wait to get to know.
  • Myself, for having enough awareness to remember that I'm a TEACHER & not a manager, & to find my way back to doing what I love.
I also have gratitude that I know how to cook & that I was able to use up (& also freeze) some of my excessive produce. After eating granola + blueberries, blackberries, & almond milk today, I washed the rest of the blueberries & blackberries & froze them for smoothies. For dinner, I used up my white beans, cauliflower, & potatoes by making caulipots & spicy mustard beans. I'll have some of those as leftovers tomorrow. Oh & I also ate some rice crackers while running the chat box in a webinar tonight.

That's it for my Thursday! Time to step away from the computer & relax.

Have a good night!

A Grocery Shopping Mistake

I may or may not have miscalculated this week when I went to Whole Foods. It was right after yoga Tuesday night, so I was in post-savasana-lala land & it totally slipped my mind that I'm leaving town Saturday morning for a week.

The positive spin is, I am forced to eat really healthfully today & tomorrow to use up all my produce. So far today, I had a smoothie before Flywheel & then, when I got home, (while I was in a webinar, I promise, I was totally listening) I made spring rolls. YAY for using up that produce!


Amandah's class was hard today--I loved it! Her playlist was amazing & upbeat, but I was way below my PB for total power. I love that I'm OK with this, but that I still know exactly what I need to work on: I need to engage my core when we're in position 2 & 3 (they're the standing ones) so that I can build up my speed. It's coming. I can see my overall growth on my spreadsheet.

I'll see you later for a little bit of Thankful Thursday love. In the meantime, I've got some projects to deal with for work. I even have to get out my printer & plug it in! So old school!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Dating.

I had a first date tonight. I think it went well--he's a lot of things I look for in a man--educated, employed, creative--but he made it very clear that he's planning on leaving Philadelphia (& perhaps even the country) within the next 3 years. I'm planning on living in the same city as my nephew until he finishes high school, so I'm committed to Philly for at least 17 more years. So do I not even bother starting something or just live in the moment & go for it? (I think I know the answer to that one.)

But then there's the fact that I'm scared. I dated a very bad man in May. I got out before anything bad happened to me (people of online dating, for the love of goddess, ALWAYS run background checks!), but it still really shifted my perspective & made me a bit paranoid. I get scared away very easily. (I also get scared very easily in general--scary movies, haunted houses, the trolley tracks on 11th & 12th streets (what?)....) So. I just don't know. But I think he definitely gets a second date. If he even wants a second date.

Nevertheless, we went to HipCityVeg. I enjoyed the hell out of the Buffalo Bella & a Green Lemonade. That sandwich may very well become the thing I always order now instead of the cheesesteak. Amazing! Afterward, we went for a walk & had a Rita's Water Ice (kid's size). (Oh, & earlier today, I had a coconut bubble tea from Vegan Tree while out running errands & when I got home, I finally ate the sweet & sour soup from Monday's New Harmony delivery. YUM!

So here's a question, for those of you that are also single & doing the online dating thing. What sites work for you? What strategies work for you? How do you stay safe but also have fun? How do you find balance in dating?

Now today, I DO feel like blogging!

Can we talk about cardio? I didn't realize how important it is, how good it can make me feel, & how the cardio (& strength) I get from Flywheel, can complement my yoga practice (& vice versa). Monday night, I PBed at Flywheel, Tuesday night, I got back on the yoga mat & felt great (Mark's class at Yoga Garden is always exactly what I need), & now this morning, I PBed AGAIN at Flywheel in Nicole's class.

6 points away from 300!
I'm getting stronger & building stamina, & I feel fucking awesome! I feel ready to do yoga more consistently, maybe 1-2 times a week, & Flywheel 4-5 times a week. That feels like the right balance for my body right now.

Where do you get your cardio? What is your fitness routine? How do you find balance?

I've had some major shifts since my Reiki appointment with Jess on Sunday night. Career shifts, dating shifts, fitness shifts. It's kind of blowing my mind. It's all happening, I am totally on my path & feeling great about it!

Have you ever had Reiki? What did you think? How did it help you?

Oh yeah, so far today, I had a smoothie & some edamame. Now I have to do some work phone calls, then run some errands before my next meeting. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Feeling not that into blogging.

So, less than 2 months back into blogging, I'm feeling not that into it, almost like I'm going through the motions.

While I still feel that it's good for ME to hold myself accountable, I feel like it probably makes for boring reading for you. (I had a smoothie today, then went out to lunch with my friend Lee to Mama's Vegetarian where I had a falafel sandwich. Later, I finished the leftover lomein from New Harmony. Then I went to Yoga Garden for Mark's class (it felt SO great to be back on the mat--my shoulder felt good, I enjoyed the flow of the class, & I was really present in every pose). I stopped at Whole Foods on my way home, & ended up picking up one of those prepackaged channa masala dishes that I love so much. I ate it as soon as I got here.) <-- See? That was totally boring!

So I don't really know what to do about that. I've been talking about doing a vlog for a while. That might happen once a week. It also might not. Thankful Thursday is nice. I know that Something New has inspired some of you to also try something new.

Meh. I'll figure it out. I'd welcome any suggestions.

Thanks!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to Work

Good morning! I feel refreshed after my staycation, but very, very sad to be at work. I made some pasta last night for Jess & me after my Reiki appointment, & this morning, while on a call full of frustrating news, I ate cold pasta straight outta the fridge. It was only a couple bites, I stopped myself & made a healthy smoothie instead, but I'm already looking forward to more pasta for lunch.
...

That's what I wrote this morning. Then, I finished the pasta. And I ate some rice crackers. And I had a bad day at work. (I seem to have a lot of those lately. I am actively working to remedy that situation.) Then I went to Flywheel & burned away that bad day! It was awesome! I beat my old PB by 15 points! Natasha gave an awesome class, & it was exactly what I needed! I kicked ass tonight!


And then. I was ravenous when I got home. I'd been craving New Harmony since I really only had a few bites at my party. I tried to eat only half of my dim sum, but I ate it all. And some lomein. And a fortune cookie, but it didn't have a fortune! (I did save the hot & sour soup for tomorrow & most of the lomein.) I should have eaten better during the day*, but I obviously need to grocery shop. I'll get to it this week.

*This is something I need to pay attention to. I get so busy that I forget to eat & then I binge at night. Gotta work on this.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Staycation Day 9: The Final Day, part 2.

Here's a recap of my day before Jess gets back for my Reiki appointment. :)

Kristi & I had a great time this morning in Amandah's Flywheel class! It felt good to be on the bike again, after 2 days off, & I think Kristi really enjoyed the class. YAY!


After class, I was ravenous, like I always am, so I finished the rest of the tofu scramble. Not much later, Kristi & I headed over to HipCityVeg where, I had a vegan cheesesteak.

After Kristi left for the airport (I'd be sad except that I'm seeing her next Saturday--I'm heading to Orlando for my company's annual Staff Conference), Jess dropped her massage table off, before heading to GreenFest Philly to run the PAN (Peace Advocacy Network) booth. I planned to walk her only as far as Vegan Tree (I wanted a bubble tea, of course), but I went with her all the way to GreenFest. There, I ran into Amandah, ate a TVP skewer from Kung Fu Hoagies, bought some amazing upcycled earrings from Beacycles & an amazing Soy Lotion Candle from My First EcoPot (SO rad...when it melts, the liquid wax can be used as a lotion/cuticle cream!).

Before I headed for home, I saw this book title:
Word.
And on my way home, I may or may not have stopped by Blackbird for a Whoopie Pie. Now, I have some time to finish MaddAddam before Jess gets here.

Enjoy your Sunday evening.

Staycation Day 9: The Final Day

Well, tomorrow I get back to work. But I still have all of today to enjoy the shit out of before that happens.

Before Kristi & I head over to Flywheel, here's what we did (& what I ate) yesterday: tofu scramble in the morning, before a visit w/ my parents over at Jeff & Nikki's house. There, I had a bagel w/ hummus. Kristi & I walked probably a total of 5-6 miles yesterday. We walked all the way to Eastern State Penitentiary for the Flea Market (& while we were there, we also did the Eastern State tour, of course). On the way home, we stopped for a bubble tea up in Fairmount. We rested for a couple of hours, then headed over to Blackbird for a pizza (w/ artichokes, roasted garlic, mushrooms, & a whole lotta daiya cheese!).

YUM!
After pizza, we were planning on going to the movies, but we were exhausted, so we came home & watched Jeff, Who Lives at Home on Netflix. It was phenomenal, highly recommend.

Right now, I'm drinking a smoothie, & now I'm up to date on food. Yay!

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Staycation Day 8: About Last Night

The rest of yesterday was full of party planning, decorating, a chicken quesadilla at Govinda's, a nap, & getting ready for the party.

At the party, I barely ate, because I was having way too much fun singing & mingling. Though I did enjoy a few bites of awesomeness from New Harmony, mostly appetizers, and I'm newly obsessed with their lomein. I also had a nice slice of cake from Sweet Freedom. Also, I didn't drink nearly as much Prosecco as I'd planned to, so no hangover today! YAY!

But this post isn't about what I ate yesterday, it's about my party, so here are some pictures for your enjoyment!



BFFs who've been taking selfies since before they were called selfies

The best sister-in-law EVER!
CAKE!

Little brother rockin' the mic!

Dad & Stepmom
(Authentic Polaroids > Instagram)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Staycation Day 7!

I won't have a lot of time to post this weekend, as my best friend's plane is due to land in 38 minutes landed early! This is us, 20 years ago:
Kristi & Laura (long before I became known as LJ), NYE 93/94
I've been taking it easy this morning, laying around reading MaddAddam, eating roasted garlic + rice crackers for breakfast (I don't know), taking an Epsom salt bath, drinking a really beautiful green smoothie. (ingredients b/c I was actually (slightly) different today: almond milk, ginger, dates, flax seeds, misc supplements & powders, spinach, kale, banana, apple, peaches...LOTS of frozen peaches).
such a pretty shade of green!
OK! Kristi is on her way from the airport! Have a great day!

P.S. I promise, there will be birthday party pictures. They won't ALL be taken with a Polaroid!