Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Single Lady Underwear

I call myself trying to be more adventurous by finally getting rid of my TEN year old underwear and maybe... coming into this century as a grown woman. Maybe they don't come from Target anymore. Maybe they don't say Hanes on them anymore (let's be real they're so dang comfortable, though!)

Lo and behold a sale appeared at a store that wasn't for 98 year olds. Praise be the underwear gods. I ordered (why... why am I admitting all this to you?!) some straight away choosing some good foundation colors, some more risqué ones and waited patiently.

THEY ARRIVED! I tried them on straight away cuz... that's how I am. One pair I don't remember ordering was one called a "full brief."

For those of you that DON'T know, including myself, full brief? Means full on GRANNY PANTIES. At its LOWEST stretch it hit RIGHT below my boobs. Is there a handbook I missed somewhere on how to live life as a normal lady? Cuz I think I skipped over those and picked up the one on how to match your Adventure Time ankle socks to your outfit.

To FULLY illustrate how ridiculous this pair of underwear was let me tell you other... useful uses for these here g.p.'s
- a low cut one piece swimsuit
- cut a hole in the crotch? a stretchy tank top!
- covering the great and noble state of Rhode Island in a rainstorm
- capris!
- a unitard. (mostly just to say the word unitard)
- an asymmetrical skirt
- an ACTUAL chastity belt as these will NEVER garner sexy times of any kind. ever. in this lifetime or the next*

Did I mention they were sparkly? Did I also leave out the part where they were PURPLE?!??

I don't know why I try. I don't. I'll never be that girl that takes on lingerie, or anything ladylike really, with any kind of grace. La Perla? Will never see my face. Ya know what I should have KEPT those underwear. In the summer time I could have worn it as a tank top with a good cardigan.

...and with that I bid you a HAPPY WEDNESDAY 

*I am fully aware that I refer to having sex as "sexy times" - this is just adding to the noise at this point. Adding to the noise that is my life as a single lady.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SLW: live well

Everyone gets stuck somewhere. Stuck in a job they aren't in love with. Stuck in a creative rut. Stuck in Chicago for the whole HOLE of winter. All those things may have been about myself. But after a while it starts to wear on you. My brain can't actually take another "I wish..." or "..but what if?!" I think it's at max capacity and will collapse at any moment.

It's in those moments when I take extra time to pay attention to the little things. I call that living well.

Making tea and losing myself in how comforting it is to watch the cream blend with the tea. Putting a bit of butter on crusty bread and toasting it on the stove instead of shoving wheat bread in a toaster. How my toes wiggle when I rest them on the little ottoman. My relaxed breathing when I come home from a long shift at work to a peaceful, dark home. Soaking, if only for a moment, in the bathtub to soothe my aching muscles. Just... taking an extra tiny moment and thanking God for everything. How often I forget to do that easy little thing.

I'm not a rich single lady. I don't have any extra money at my disposal. I work so I can live well. Finding a bit of comfort in the middle of a hectic day makes me feel like that day meant something more than JUST work.

Eventually I will find a job I love. I'm making my way out of my rut as we speak and guess what... Spring is coming. The beginning of all things new. There is a fresh breeze around the corner, but in the meantime I will be here, doing my best to live well.

Happy Wednesday.

*sorry for this post of like infinite meanings but I started with the intention of writing something completely different. it happens that way sometimes. too much thought catalog. next weeks will be funny : ) promise*

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


A fond memory for any kid is waking up on a weekend with sleep still in your eyes, shuffling into the living room, finding a parent there and getting to be gently loved awake by them rubbing your back or hugging you. As an adult doing this is super weird, I would not recommend it, but sometimes you just want to become awake in the most gentle way.

This morning I made myself a latte bowl of coffee, perfect in it's ratio of cream and sweetener and had a few scones with cream cheese. It was my own version of being gently loved awake. I took in the light in my kitchen, stretched heavenward and thanked God for the day off.

Then Sallie Mae slammed into me by taking all my money. Real life. Such is the life of a single lady. Let it be known that if I ever meet anyone that works for Sallie Mae, though they did not contribute to my current debt, I'll have to punch them at least one good time. It's their fault for being associated.

Life's a balance.

Today I am expending energy in the form of clumsy-this-should-be-filmed Zumba in my living room. Then I'm busting out my calligraphy set my sister got me for Christmas because I finally have the time. Later it's off to Trader Joes to buy MORE of their French Market Lime-ade and Pink Lemonade because it is THE TRUTH. I'm also kind of addicted to their cheese section. Actually I can't stay away from ANY cheese section. Please tell me I'm not alone in my romantic love of cheese. Chèvre. Sexy.

Also I'll be jamming to these all day. Enjoy the bit of sunshine we're having in this cold weather. It is most definitely a pick me up for my favorite day of the week.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baking Day: Winter

Baking is my favorite thing to do, you know that. I think I have a new favorite though. Baking among friends. There's nothing like it.

The Day 

A simple group text turned into a blogger meet up, which turned into a whole day focused on baking. My dear friends, Kate of Diapers + Skinny Jeans, Katherine of Gathered Heart, and new friend, Catherine Short, one fourth of Grotto Madrid (and connoisseur of Starbucks) got together this past Saturday in my apartment to celebrate all things tasty.

Of course... I have no photos documenting the event. Because of course I don't, but Kate always has her camera on her - a blessing and a curse (mostly cuz I hate getting my picture taken). I was slightly busy doing all the things, but trust me when I say it was one of the most relaxing days I've had in a while. Especially after this week, it was something that was very needed. We sipped on Trader Joe's sparkling lemonades and nibbled pasta salad and just kinda talked about everything.

The Recipes

What is it about baking with friends that brings me such joy? I would make it a career if I could. Kate brought her Hario drip (which I am now obsessed with) and freshly ground beans from Metropolis to compliment our sweet treats.

We started with a request from Catherine to make cheesecakes - obviously a personal favorite of mine - adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe for *bacon* cheesecake. Pay no attention to the crust and the addition of bacon but the filling recipe is golden. A few additions is about a tablespoon of lemon zest and a splash of bourbon or brandy - depending on what you have/is hiding in your closet. The crust is simply graham crackers, melted butter, a little sugar and vanilla extract. Bake the crusts a little before you fill them. Also... it's time to get familiar with the bain-marie or a hot water bath. It's not as scary as you think! But it's very vital. Trust me. Your value of life will improve.

After a successful cheesecake endeavor we moved on to our adventure recipe - Dorie Greenspan's Whole Lemon Tart. This was a blind test of character for me to not have tested a recipe before trying it out but I felt it was sound. I mean Dorie Greenspan? Really? Isn't disputing her wisdom a federal crime in Iceland and northern Canadian provinces? The good thing is it turned out well! Really well. I'm going to refer you to Deb at Smitten Kitchen for her adaptation because I would appreciate a less sticky tart. The tart dough crust came from who else but Joy the Baker. Bless her whole heart forever.

We finished with *puts hand on heart* who I call my friend but in reality doesn't know me at all, Ina Garten's scones. I'm gonna rant for a bit here - stay with me. I've had a lot of scones in my day. They're like the novelty baked good based on the name alone. Oo! Scones! They're not from here! I love your accent. But when you get them they're dense and dry and kind of hockey puck-ish in nature and taste. This recipe used lots. and LOTS of cold cubed butter which in turn made it one of the lightest most flaky scones I've had. We split the dough and added cranberries to one half and chocolate chips to the other half. In total? Pure bliss. It's definitely going to be what I measure every scone against. It also ensures that I will never get another scone from Panera... or Starbucks... or the bakery downstairs. Dang. I just went there.

It was a wonderful day, filled with sweet people, sweet conversations, and sweet, sweet baked goods. I can't wait to reconvene in the spring with new recipes and new topics to talk about.

*all photo cred goes to Kate De La Rosa - for higher resolution photos of the day please head to her blog. But really you need to read her blog. Let's be real. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


New Years is like the ultimate clean slate. I know it is just another day that I'm living but it's actually a pretty great thing that the year starts OVER. Otherwise you feel stuck on this path you'll never deviate from - have you ever had that feeling?

Looking back at my short list of attainable goals I actually did a lot of those! Which makes me feel great because somehow... I thought I was stuck in THIS year where I made goals that... honestly were way too much. I wanted to punch myself in the face at the end of that year.

This past year was filled with good things like the beginning of Single Lady Wednesday and embracing my singleness instead of treating it like leprosy - that I needed to be secluded from society until marriage. I also met JOY THE FREAKIN BAKER in real life and gave her a hug. Sometimes we tweet each other. Sometimes we don't. All in a day's work. I also baked for my first. ever. WEDDING. Oh man I'm still kind of on a high from that one... woo...

Also Target happened. We will never forget.

Towards the end of this year I kept waiting for something... anything to happen. Watching friends become wives, wives become mothers, friends moving away... and I just sat... and waited for life to happen. Instead life passed me by a bit. By the time I realized it - it turns out I'm deep in laziness and self neglect. If I want something to happen I have to actually make it happen and not be afraid because it actually involves some pain.

I only have 2 goals this year but they pertain to a lot of areas in my life.

Tell myself "no."
I need to build a LOAD of self discipline. So when I find myself staying up too late, it's time to say no. When I'm craving Portillo's for the second time that week, it's time to tell myself no. Want a giant Coke? Nope. Sorry! I am unfortunately a huge believer in the TREAT YO'SELF system which roughly states "Any time you do something remotely hard you must reward yourself with something tasty" so...

...this is going to suck.

Tell myself "yes."
Yes to dreaming at all... dreaming anything and everything. Yes to making those dreams happen, yes to more single lady adventures, yes to motivation and yes to being open.

This is equally as difficult because I am a watcher. I observe. I can be laughing with you and joking with you but I really haven't SAID anything. I sneak by in life a lot that way, but I really want to take the time to get to KNOW people and have people know who I am. I want to have people of value in my life - which means it's time to put my foot down about who I hang out with.

Here's to a happy, healthy, new year!


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