Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I have to be honest - for quite some time I've assumed that The Help was overrated.

I mean, so many friends kept telling me that I needed to read it. But I heard the same thing about Twilight and God help me, that series of books was the worst thing I've ever forced myself to read.

That's besides the point, though - because The Help was - is - amazing. It has been a long time since I was this engrossed in a book. I literally couldn't put it down. It was beautiful. Numerous times I found myself tearing up. Sometimes I felt sick with anger. This novel was not at all overrated - it's one of the best books I've ever read. I will admit that there are a few inaccuracies that seemed unnecessary, and of course Ms. Stockett being white and attempting to write in/with an African American voice is a bit off-putting (especially at first). But the edition I read also included an afterward where she explained some of her past and why she wrote this novel the way she did, which helped me understand just a bit more and be more inclined to give it a rating of 4.5/5 stars.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Egg Nog Lattes


So I know how everyone just rants and raves about Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Don't get me wrong, they're not terrible...but I just don't "get it". I don't understand why they're so popular. I much prefer the dark horse of the Starbucks holiday drinks...the egg nog latte. The one where, when you order it, the barista looks at you with a mixture of shock, disgust, and reverence. Where he or she has to bite his or her tongue to keep from asking, "Are you sure you want that one?"

I don't get why people are always hating on egg nog. Of course it's one of those things where too much of it is way too much of it. I mean, it's made of eggs and milk and sugar and very, very fattening blah blah blah. But it's freaking delicious and it reminds me of Christmas, which is my second favorite holiday (Halloween being my first). Plus you can make all sorts of mixed drinks with it (I'll post recipes for those next month, promise).

But today isn't about mixed drinks made with egg nog...today is about egg nog lattes and how to make them at home. Because they're delicious and you should try one.
Obviously they look much better when you steam/froth the egg nog using an espresso machine.
Of course the easiest way is to go buy some egg nog, make some non-flavored coffee, and - using a cappuccino or espresso maker (or a microwave if you don't have either of those) - steam/heat your egg nog. Pour a mug of coffee, top with the egg nog, sprinkle a tiny bit of nutmeg, and taste to see whether or not you need sugar (I don't, when I'm using store-bought egg nog - homemade is a different story).

Now, here is the recipe I use when I make my own egg nog. It does come out a lot later than the store-bought stuff, which doesn't much matter to me but may matter to those of you who claim you don't like egg nog because it's too thick or some bullshit. This recipe doesn't yield a HUGE amount of egg nog, but you can easily double it.

3 eggs
1.5 cups milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

-Add the eggs to a large bowl and beat (preferably using an electric mixer, but whatever.)
-Slowly mix in the milk, then the sugar.
-Continue beating until the mixture thickens slightly (a couple minutes or so).
-Add the vanilla extract and the nutmeg. At this point you should cover the mixture and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, but I've found that when you're making the lattes this isn't quite as necessary because you're steaming/heating it and that will help the ingredients "mesh" together as well.

Again, when I make my own egg nog and use it for lattes I do usually have to add a little extra sugar to my coffee for whatever reason. Regardless, these babies are still delicious and doing it at home is way way waaaaay cheaper than buying them at Starbucks (no surprise there). So go make yourself an egg nog latte and stop whining about how you don't like egg nog.
;)
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

If Emma is supposedly Jane Austen's most ingenious work, then Pride & Prejudice is at least her most popular. However, as much as I love this novel - and especially, as much as I love Elizabeth Bennet (so forward-thinking for her time!)...it simply cannot be my favorite Austen work. That "honor" lies with Sense & Sensibility ;)

The thing is, this book is definitely a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, but it's not my favorite because it's just too happy. It's simply not as realistic as Sense & Sensibility...which leaves me with just a tiny bit more respect for that novel. I suppose this isn't much of a book review, because what is there to be said about Jane Austen's works that hasn't been said before? Pride & Prejudice is absolutely one of those books that everyone - and especially every woman should read once in their lifetime.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Confessions


I confess...that I was invited to be a Shabby Apple affiliate, and I'm really excited about it...if only because I love love LOVE their dresses. For years now I've been really into vintage-inspired styles (I'm talking 40s/50s/60s, not 80s) and I love Shabby Apple's clothes :)
Dresses from Shabby Apple

I confess...that I repurposed an ugly t-shirt last night, and I'm super excited about it. I will hopefully have a chance to wear it this weekend/next week, at which point I'll post a little how-to entry and show you how I style it :)

I confess...that Steve has been really, really sick with a case of "the itis" as he calls it (some sort of bronchitis) and because of that, we're super far behind on building our bar. We got some work done this weekend but not nearly as much as I wanted :-/

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm trying to love fall, really I am.

I'm stealing this from Sweet Bef's blog because I'm in the same boat as she is...the one about not knowing what to post about, that is. Because I'm still not sure I love fall. I'm a summer kind of girl. I love hot weather and swimming and sundresses and flip flops and iced coffee and I could go on and on and on. But per the title of this entry, this year I'm trying to embrace fall. I'm trying to love it. Really I am. So here goes!

1. Nothing says fall like...bright autumn leaves; pumpkin- and other gourd-themed meals, desserts, and beers; fairs and festivals; Macintosh apples and Indian Summer days (sorry, had to throw that one in there!)
My parents' old farm in CT circa fall 2003
Apple picking in CT just before moving to SC, October 2009
Enjoying Greer Oktoberfest earlier this month
2. My favorite autumn tradition is...the switch back to hot coffee. Yeah, I know I said I love iced coffee, but on that first chilly morning (here in SC, usually in October) when all you want is a nice hot cup of coffee, it really does hit the spot ;) However, I also love setting up the Christmas tree. We drink [spiked] egg nog, play cheesy Christmas music and decorate the house the weekend immediately after Thanksgiving, so hey, it's still fall!
This is actually a homemade egg nog latte; my first of the year!
First Christmas tree in our SC house, November 2009
Also, my birthday. Which is in December but technically in the fall. And don't we all get to love our birthdays? ;)

3. My favorite fall treat is...pumpkin spice & egg nog lattes at Starbucks (I actually prefer the egg nog ones but I guess those are more Christmas/wintery), pumpkin beers a la Southern Tier's Pumking, and these amazing chocolate chip pumpkin muffins that Stacy introduced me to!

4. Fall makes me think of...Halloween is always the first thing that comes to mind! But also Thanksgiving, a bit. And football.

5. Autumn free form word association, go! ... Vermont, turkey, pumpkin, costumes, cold. Seriously, those were the first five words that popped into my head. You figure it out.

6. My go-to outfit in the fall is...jeggings/skinny jeans/leggings with flat boots and layered t's or sweaters. And I also enjoy the wearing of hats (more so than scarves). I'm too lazy to go find pictures of outfits like this.

7. My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving) ...Halloween Halloween Halloween! I love the parties, the bite-size candy, getting to wear a crazy costume...just...everything.
Halloween 2008
Halloween 2009
Halloween 2010
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy birthday to my *first* niece!


To Savannah, on the occasion of your 5th birthday:

For nearly five years now, I've lamented the fact that I didn't write a letter like this to you on the day you were born. But I've grown up, learned, and changed so much since then that it's probably best this waited until now. On top of that, I have a better idea of how you're going to be raised and I think that's important as well.

Of course when it's all said and done, I'll be there for you no matter what. But I might not always be around right when you want or need someone...and that's what advice is for :) So I figured it was about time to impart a few tidbits of knowledge to you...

If you look like and have the metabolism of your mother, you're a lucky lucky girl. But if you don't, that's okay - beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes. Eat healthy, stay active, dress to fit your body; be a kind, positive person...and you will be gorgeous.

McDonald's is tasty and fun when you're a kid, but don't get too attached to it.

Don't be afraid to take chances and try new things. Never be afraid to fall in love.

Know that sometimes, you just have to let go - of a toxic friend, a relationship that doesn't fit, clothes that went out of fashion five years ago...the list goes on and on.

Have a pet. Or a few pets. They make everything better. (As a note, though, two cats is enough. Three is too many. Four or more is just ridiculous. I'm speaking from experience here.)

Sometimes, we all need a little help.

Work hard. When you're old enough to have a job, never call out "just because" - just because you don't feel like going, just because you're hung over, just because your job is boring...none of these are good reasons to not go to work.

Someday, you're probably going to drink alcohol. And maybe you'll get drunk. And you may even end up doing this more than once. But please, please know your limits. It's never cute to drink to the point of getting sick.

Considering that at five years old you're already obsessed with Jurassic Park and pirates, you'll probably be a geek. That is a-okay, because geeks truly are the best people out there ;)

Eventually you'll start thinking that your mom, your aunts, and your grandparents aren't in fact the most amazing, smartest people in the world. Just try not to be too harsh on us, because ten years later you'll realize that we all have our own stamps of coolness and intelligence.

Speaking of family, be an example for your younger sibling(s). They may not always think you're awesome, they may not always agree wit you - but be a person they can look up to.

People can be very, very mean. Especially children and teenagers. Try not to take what they say to heart, because you'll grow up and you'll be stronger for having dealt with whatever those mean kids throw at you.

Don't talk about people behind their backs. Even if you have to say something that you know they won't appreciate, do your best to say it to their face - and as kindly as possible. This is the way you end up with lifelong friends.

To be honest, I feel as if there are a hundred more things I could tell you, but I think for now I'll let it rest. You are already a smart, beautiful little person and I do hope you'll give me many more chances to help mold you into the best possible person you can be. Five years ago when we all got up at the crack of dawn and met your mother at the hospital for her c-section, I never could have anticipated all the love and laughter that you have brought to our family. You amaze me more and more every day; it's sad to see how fast you're growing up, but I'm also excited for the "lady" you are slowly becoming. I love you, Savannah, with all of my heart.

Your Auntie Tara
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: The best sandwich...EVER?!



My "to be posted" recipe files are so backed up that I should really be thinning those down some before posting newer meals...but this one was so freaking delicious that I just couldn't wait :)

I found the "idea" for this sandwich on Pinterest, but there was no recipe attached. So I took the general ingredients and ran with them, and what came out was possibly the best dinner sandwich I've ever "made up". So without further ado, I bring you the utterly amazing...

"GRILLED" CAPRESE SANDWICH

Italian bread, sliced
Extra Virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh mozzarella, sliced into approximately 1/4" thick slices
Roma tomato(es), sliced
Basil Pesto

-For each sandwich, take two slices of bread. Layer mozzarella slices and tomato slices on one piece of bread, and spread the other piece with a general amount of basil pesto.
-Heat a pan on the stove top and add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon balsamic vinegar; gently place the sandwich in the pan with the mozzarella side down first (to help the cheese melt better).
-Cook 3-5 minutes and remove sandwich from the pan. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and another teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and put the sandwich back in the pan, this time with the pesto side down. Cook another 3-4 minutes.
(As a note, you may want to push the sandwich around the pan a bit to make sure that the bread gets nice and "saturated" with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar)

Seriously, go eat this now. As you can probably tell from the picture above, I took a bite out of it because I couldn't wait to try it and almost forgot about the whole picture thing.

Oh, and for dessert...

:) :) :)
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Confessions


I confess...that I'm already planning vacations throughout 2012 and into the beginning of 2013. But I swear I have my reasons ;)

I confess...that Steve was super sick all weekend and I ended up doing a lot of things by myself...including going to see a band play at Fall for Greenville. And it didn't bother me one bit. It was honestly really, really nice.

I confess...well, this isn't really a confession of mine, but I have to say that I was shocked, appalled and confused that my grocery store had NO half and half when I went shopping yesterday. None! I don't understand.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cooking DISASTER.

I am a good cook.

Really, I am, I promise.

Most of the time I can tell when a recipe needs to be altered, but once in a while I don't listen to my better judgment.

I'm always willing to try new meals, as well - which has led to some really great discoveries, and some dishes that I'll never cook again.

I've posted plenty of yummy recipes in here, but I think it's equally important to admit that sometimes I am disappointed in my attempts to cook a good meal. This Rachael Ray recipe for a "Chicken 'Pot Roast' with Sassy Salsa" was one of those disappointments. A huge one.

First of all - it doesn't really even look appetizing.

Right?

Normally I love Rachael Ray's recipes. I've found a few duds from her magazine and cookbooks, but considering the number of awesome meals I've made thanks to her, in general I've been happy enough not to complain.

But this recipe was just wrong. First of all, it calls for a whole chicken (about 4 pounds) and a ridiculous amount of veggies to be cooked on low for just six hours. I thought this sounded wrong. I seriously considered upping the time. But then I was worried it would dry out the chicken if I cooked it for, say, 8 hours. So I followed the recipe. Needless to say, the chicken was not cooked through and required another 30-ish minutes of roasting in the oven. I didn't even think about the fact that the veggies wouldn't cook either, but they didn't - or at least, the thinly sliced potatoes didn't!

Add to that the completely unnecessary salsa, which taste-wise did not mesh with this chicken and these particular veggies at all, and you can imagine how annoyed I was.

Upon re-heating the entire shebang as leftovers - the now-cut-up chicken, its juices, and the remainder of the veggies - for an hour at 375 degrees, those thinly sliced potatoes still weren't cooked. At this point I simply gave up, and even though there was enough food left for us to make another full meal out of it, it had to go.

I did keep the salsa though, because on its own it's great for breakfast burritos ;) Pin It

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

To re-read The Great Gatsby was probably one of the easiest things to accomplish on my 101 in 1001 list. To the point where, upon finishing this book in a mere two days, I wondered whether it was too easy and if maybe I should edit that goal to be something more like "Re-read three books I was required to read in high school."

But you know what? A lot of my 101 goals are kind of difficult. To the point where I don't even know if I'll be able to finish some of them. So I'm letting this one slide ;)

As for the book itself - I liked it just fine in high school, but re-reading it now, at 28 years old, I'm not sure I really understood it. Not just the beauty of Fitzgerald's prose, but the characters themselves - both their flaws and their perfections. Is this, as so many claim, "the great American novel"? I honestly don't know and I'm certainly not qualified to say either way. But I finished it in two days, I enjoyed it, and regardless of whether you were forced to read it in high school I think it's definitely a novel everyone should read as an adult. 4/5 stars.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Home Renovations 103

I haven't written anything about our house on this blog, which is sad. Because when Steve and I moved to South Carolina we bought a home that needs/needed...work. A lot had already been done, but most of it was cosmetic. And our house is kind of big, but in an awkward way.

Take, for instance, the "solarium". This pointless room counts toward our square footage and was Home Renovations 101, as we had to spend months trying to figure out how to dig out all of the dead plans and musty dirt that it housed.
First attempt to excavate the "solarium"
To this day, we're still not sure who in the world thought it would be a good idea to fill this closed-in, airless space (which gets little natural sunlight as it's smack in the middle of our house) with dirt and plants. Needless to say, we finished getting the dirt out (thanks to my husband's ingenious invention involving a giant black tube and a leaf blower on reverse) in the summer of 2010...and have done nothing with this room since. Because we have no idea WHAT to do with it.

Anyway, on to the second project that we undertook - because we really had no other choice. You see, this was the front door we had when we moved in in the fall of 2009:
Yes, that's a stream/creek thing running under our house.
That front door was wood. And over the course of a year and a half the already rotting base got worse and worse until we had a good inch/inch and a half of open space between the floor and the bottom of the door. Not. Good. So we saved up money and favors and finally replaced it with this beauty toward the end of June of this year:
Seriously, the perfect door for our, err, "modern" home
And that was Home Renovations 102.

Which brings us to Home Renovations 103 - the bar.

You see, all of those awkward rooms mean that we get to have some FUN with this house :) And if you look back up to the photo of our original door, you'll see a room that is built over the creek. That bank of windows to the right of the door (as you look at the picture). For a while my sister lived with us and that was her "living room", but she moved out this past April. We always knew we wanted to build a bar in our house, and probably in that very room - but now we've finally actually started working toward that goal!

(If you can't tell, I'm super excited.)

We spent Sunday mapping out some ideas with masking tape on the floor, and on Monday we purchased access to The Easy Home Bar Plans website. For only $20 you get access to all of their bar plans, which we were a bit surprised to find very detailed. And while Steve worked on some software to mock up some designs, I combined the measurements we took of the room with the measurements from some of the plans and created my own little drawing!
Look at those drafting skills! Impressive, no?
I know that most of you probably have no idea what the point of this drawing is, and I also realize that are EXTREMELY approximate...please give me some credit, though! I may have aced drafting in 7th grade but that was about 16 years ago ;)

So this gives us a decent sized bar and still leaves about...I would say about 2/5 of the room as open space for a high-top table and who knows what else. I'm being optimistic and hoping we'll have this done by my birthday in December...or at least by the end of the year. Steve on the other hand is being pessimistic, so I guess what it all depends on is our ability to focus and get the work done.

Shit, who am I kidding, that doesn't make our chances of finishing this in a timely manner good at all...haha. Pin It

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen

I love Jane Austen, I do. Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice are both favorite books of mine. But to be honest, I've never really been in love with Emma. I saw the movie first (yes, bad, I know) - the one with Gwyneth Paltrow that came out in 1996. And I liked the movie. I also loved Clueless, which is Emma in modern form.

So as part of my 101 in 1001 list, I decided to re-read the three Austen novels which I've only read once - Emma, Pride & Prejudice (I know, GASP!), and Persuasion. I chose Emma first because it really is my least favorite of Austen's works and I kind of wanted to get it out of the way. At the same time, I was hoping that I would enjoy it more than I did the first time. That I would see something in it that I missed all those years ago.

Others have said that Emma is Jane Austen's finest, most genius work. Maybe they're right. It is certainly her most satirical and probably also her happiest. But I'm just not a big fan. The characters are basically all annoying and/or insipid and the main love story is by far the weakest of Austen's love stories.

That said, as novels as a whole go this book does far exceed most of what has been published since, and so many people seem to love it that I almost can't NOT suggest it. 3.5/5 stars.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Confessions


I confess...that I wish I knew of a way to get this Monday Confessions blogroll off the ground!

I confess...that Steve and I finally started seriously considering building the bar we've been talking about for nearly two years, and now I can't get it out of my head!

I confess...that I joined, but still don't "get", Pinterest.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicken with Cinnamon & Peppers

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
4 tablespoons Olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2/3 cup hot chicken stock


-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the chicken in a mixing bowl and rub all over with the cinnamon and paprika, then set the bowl aside.
-Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the peppers and onion and cook over medium heat for five minutes (or until they start to soften). Make sure to stir occasionally :)
-Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes (or until the chicken is no longer pink).
-Add the garlic and cook one more minute, then stir in the chicken stock.
-Transfer to a baking dish and back for 20 minutes. Best served with a drizzle of chili oil and maybe some greens on the side!

This is really just a different, tasty and easy dish. Not the most amazing thing I've ever cooked but definitely a meal I'll make again :)
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ye Olde Facebook Gems

I'll come right out and say it: there's a lot I don't like about the new Facebook. I have the Developer profile (a.k.a. the one that allows you to have that big banner on top, and blocks off your updates side by side rather than listing them in the order they're posted) and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. What I *do* like is that they've made it easier to go back through your Facebook history. Not surprisingly, I found some great gems that kept me in giggles for quite a bit of time :)

For instance, remember when most people insisted on typing their statuses in the third person? I'm talking about when statuses were first introduced (sometime around September 2006...or at least that's when I started posting mine) and they automatically inserted the word "is" after your name. My very first Facebook status was so very trite: "Tara is nervous about her job interview this afternoon!"

In those first few weeks of Facebook status updates, I made quite a few awesome ::sarcasm:: statements. "Tara is...
...off to visit her parents in SC for a couple days!
...hungover from the wedding she attended yesterday.
...wishing she had time for a nap."

I could go on. Seriously. But I won't torture you like that.

Of course, for some reason Facebook also felt the need to show me some of the weird/silly/pointless and random posts that others made on my wall. I particularly loved this one from my dear middle sister, posted in December 2007: "tara when you get this go to ur myspace i sent u a message its important ho!"

Let's ignore the text speak and grammatical errors and focus on the fact that she was posting on my Facebook, telling me to look at my MySpace page. Yeah.

Now, my birthday in 2007 kind of sucked. My best friend was coming to visit and her flight got canceled, so she didn't make it until the day after my birthday. It was a Thursday and there wasn't much going on where I lived...plus I didn't really know that many people. Thank you Facebook, for saving all four of my shitty birthday statuses from that year: "Tara...
...is excited that her birthday is this week!!!
...is singing...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!
...hates birthdays.
...is thanking everyone for the birthday wishes!

Yeah, I'm blaming the fact that it was my 25th and I was absolutely going through a quarter life crisis.

Skip forward to 2008 and Facebook has me married to my husband...err...we didn't get married until last year. But apparently when I switched our status from "in a relationship" to "married", it kept our anniversary as September 20th, 2008 (the date we officially became a couple). I guess if Facebook wants us to have been married from the day we started dating, I'll just go with it.

Or maybe I'll fix that one. The jury's still out. Pin It

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Series Review: The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

I have to admit...I'm not sure why people LOVE this series so much.

But...I'm also not sure why so many people also seem to hate it.

I'm inclined to believe that there was definitely a lot lost in translation (literally, as these books were originally published in Swedish), but I can't imagine that the translator is the one who inserted the extremely unnecessary amount of description and the many many pointless characters that exist in these novels.

I'm reviewing this trilogy as a series because I honestly believe that you'll like the first book - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - but not as much as you should, if that is the only one you ever read. I do see why Larsson's books are so popular. To be honest, if you're a big mystery novel person (and can deal with some pretty graphic scenes) you'll probably love them. For my part, I'd give the books standalone ratings of 3 stars, but the series as a whole is more like 3.5 stars. Why? Because the way everything rounds out in the end just makes reading all three novels (Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) *so* much more worth it :)

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Confessions


I confess...that I skipped yoga again yesterday. And this week I didn't have the excuse of being in pain. Oops.

I confess...that I got super pissed off at our Payroll company this morning for their consistent idiocy....aaand threw my phone earpiece across my office. Yeah. Real mature, I know.

I confess...that I was one of those people complaining about the weather this morning. 46 degrees? Really? In South Carolina? On October 3rd??? We seriously shouldn't be having weather like this for at least another month, maybe two. I miss summer already :-/

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Monthly 101 Update: September

Well, I guess I have to rip off this bandaid.

I absolutely sucked at my 101 list last month :-/

To be fair to myself, I was really on a roll for the first four months and that had to come to an end sometime. And I've got some big things in the works for October. I think. heh.

I did finish one single goal in September - Go two weeks without eating meat

I did allow myself fish, but only ended up eating shrimp twice. And honestly, I didn't miss meat at all this time around! (For those of you newer to my blog, last year one of the Change Your Life Challenges was to go a week without eating meat, and by day three or so I was seriously craving a cheeseburger.) I started on 8/25 and went through 9/8 (one day over two weeks). I decided to check off this particular one at this point because I was so tired of meat after our trip to eastern Europe in August.

Although I only finished that one goal and didn't really start any new ones, I did make some good progress on other goals - I only have one more new recipe to go before I finish my "make 25 new meals" goal, I'm only two movies away from my "see 10 movies in theaters" goal, and also finished a handful of new books toward my "reading 50 new books" goal.

I just hope I can get my shit together for October ;) Pin It