Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Over the weekend, I went to dinner at Carabba's with one of my friends from work. While she went to go wash her hands, I looked around at the crowded room and suddenly, I had an epiphany. You know your boyfriend is getting serious about your relationship when he stops taking you to the Olive Garden on Friday nights, and starts taking you to Carabbas. I mean, whoa, he's dropping some real cash, and at a classy place, too. Nothing says "luv u babe" like having a waiter pour olive oil on a plate with herbs for you to dip your bread in. 

(On a side note, can I just say that a) yes, I did manage to find ONE paleo-acceptable dish at a restaurant the that primarily sells pasta, and b) going to Carabba's was not pre-meditated. It was simply the closest thing to where we were parked in the mall parking lot.)

So, I have a blind date on Thursday. The only problem is that he's a blonde. And we might also be cousins (and by "might," I mean, "we are"). I know what ya'll are thinking...why am I going out with a blonde guy? Besides Nick Carter (of Backstreet Boy fame), I have never been into blonde dudes. But I'm willing to give it a shot, because really, that's what family's for. 

Ok, but for realz. He's from Richfield, Utah and a pretty big chunk of my family originated in Richfield, Utah (via Denmark...with a little help from some Mormon missionaries and a long trek across the United States with nothing but a handcart...because that's how they rolled back in pioneer days). There's obviously more to it than just originating from the same small town, but I'm a Mormon and we are, if anything, really knowledgeable when it comes to family history. I just can't decide if I should spring this information on him like, right from the start, or casually over dinner...

On the subject of blind dates, I've never been a fan. I say that, but I've only ever been on one and boy, was it awkward. He picks me up, like super late, and we go get ice cream. In January. In Utah. I mean, not only is it the middle of winter, but there's about a foot of snow on the ground. Hot chocolate would have been much more seasonally appropriate. Anyway, we get ice cream and then he drives me back to my apartment, where he pulls into a parking spot that's pretty far from my door and we just sit there. Awkwardly. Making small talk. Until he finally says, "Well, I could drive you closer to your apartment if you want." 

Seriously?! You park on the other end of my (poorly lit) parking lot and you're not even going to walk me to my door to make sure I don't get mugged or fall through a crack in the glacier that was once a black top?! By this time, I'm done. "No, I can walk," I say as I get out of the car and shut the door a little (a lot) harder than needed. Now, I can't say that I've done a lot dating (or, let's be honest, any at all), but I've seen a lot of movies where people date and even if it's been absolute crap, the guy still walks the girl to the door. Period. End of story. 

In conclusion, Carabbas = pricier Olive Garden but with the same klassy crowd, do your genealogy before consenting to your next date, and real man walk their dates to their door. They also have beards and chest hair. Any maybe a plaid shirt...or four. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dear Utah County,
Your shopping sucks.

I went shopping today and all I came home with was groceries and some new makeup.

I love makeup. I don't wear much of it, but nothing would bring as much joy to my little heart as giving the world a makeover. I've done a little bit with showing girls how to wear makeup, and giving them tips on how to dress and style themselves, and I absolutely love it. Their happiness and confidence gives me a high. I love it when people feel good about themselves, especially girls and women. There are some outrageous standards when it comes to how we should look, think, and act. It breaks my heart to see girls who aren't confident in themselves yet, who are struggling to be something they aren't. I want to give these girls a hug and tell them to just love themselves, to take a good hard look in the mirror and realize that there is so much potential within them, just waiting to be embraced!

 I really feel like the way you present yourself physically is a reflection of how much you value yourself. I wish I could take every frumpy dumpy girl I see, throw her in an outfit that actually gives her a shape, give her a haircut with some life in it, throw on some mascara and lip gloss, and then send her out the door and watch her conquer BYU campus. Likewise, I want to take every insecure girl who hides behind layers of makeup, a breast lift, clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination, and wash her face, put her in an outfit that's actually comfortable, and let her see how stunning and confident she can be when she just relaxes.

One day, when I'm successful and have made a name for myself, I want to become a motivational speaker. I've wanted to do this for years, I just don't know how to get there. I have this overwhelming sense of love for women- I want to help them be able to help themselves, to see how awesome they are, to be able to value themselves more. I want to help them embrace being feminine and be happy with who they are, to feel complete as an individual. I think it's only when you truly feel that "completeness", that contentment with who you are as a person, that you can be successful in a relationship and sharing your life with someone else.

Stepping off my soap box...

I bought ghee today. I'm excited to try it. The last couple days have been rough and nothing makes me feel better than going to Sunflower Market and buying organic food, if only because it makes me think of Amy Poehler said in "Baby Mama"--

"That crap is for rich people who hate themselves!"

--I'm not rich, nor do I hate myself, but I admit that I do feel a little bit like an elitist snob, buying my wild-caught salmon and free-range eggs. Not only that, but there was not one preserved, processed, or boxed item in my cart. It was all fresh. My groceries say, "Ef the Man." (*see rant about being feminine above...).

I'm going to go make myself an organic omelet now...and maybe watch the latest episode of 30 Rock.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

My favorite earthy possession may, in fact, be my heated mattress cover. I can pre-heat my bed for warm, toasty coziness with the touch of a button. I love it. I can't wait to pour my exhausted self into bed and just melt (that advanced poetry class in college has done wonders for my imagery, no).

In other news, I tried this awesome recipe for chili-garlic roasted broccoli today and it was good. Like, biblically good. Good on you, Rachel Ray. You give hope to millions of other idiots across the nation.

I think I'm going to get this fantastic rug from Surya. My living room needs some "weight" to it- I've got too much beige going on...beige walls, beige rug, beige couch...I'm dying for some color and I think this rug will be a nice anchor for my room. I'm still working on getting a tv, a table lamp, another side table, and an ottoman, but I know if I keep my eye out on KSL and at DI that it will all come together into one, vintage-quirky look. I can't wait to paint my furniture-I really want to give my bookshelf an ombre look using either yellows or corals, and paint my side tables white, and my tv stand turquoise and do a silver-dipped effect on the legs. I'll probably paint my mirror silver too, to reference the legs on the tv stand. I know it sounds koo-koo crazy, but I can totally picture it and it warms my cold, little heart.

I now leave you with a song that I may or may not listen to on repeat several times a day.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just finished day 7 of the Whole30 challenge- woo! Shall we do a quick recap of the Whole30? Here it is: no sugars, grains, legumes, or dairy for, duh, 30 days. And I'm throwing in no soda, but I think that kind of goes without saying. I mean, c'mon, one of the main focuses of the Whole30 is consuming, with a few exceptions, nothing processed. No additives, no dyes, no unpronounceable chemicals. A lot of people, when I tell them what I'm doing, tell me that they could never do it because it sounds so hard. I used to think that too, that it was too restrictive, too extreme. Then I started researching how different foods affect the body and honestly, it's been easy peasy. You know what else has been easy peasy? Losing 8lbs in 7 days, all the while feeling more focused and energetic than I have in months. No mid-afternoon crashes, no headaches, no starving, just pure awesomeness. Also, my skin is looking fan-freakin-tastic. Most importantly though, I think, is regaining the confidence I lost there for about 5 minutes.

In last couple of months, I've left my home, my family, my friends, and moved to a new city, in an apartment all alone, and have taken on a whole new life. I've started a career that is totally different from anything I've ever done, and I've been given so much more responsibility than I've ever carried before. Everything in my life is new and different, and I approached this change with total, 100% confidence. When I set my mind to it, I truly feel that I can do anything; that's how I roll. I've never been afraid to put myself out there and make things happen. It only takes regretting something once to convince you to never let yourself regret anything again, and I've tried to live my life without regrets, to avoid the "What if?"

I recently put myself out there- like, totally vulnerable out there- and ended up blowing it. Big time. I was super bummed for a few days, and it happened to coincide with an overwhelming work load that had me questioning my performance and what I was even doing here. As soon as I questioned, though, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of "No, you are supposed to be here. Moreover, you are totally capable of what's in front of you." Even though last week really sucked, I'm glad I put myself out there...in the end, it turned a pretty humbling week and I think I needed that. There is good to be found in everything, even the painful- I live by that belief and look for the good in every experience. I mean, experiencing a crisis of confidence keeps you from turning into an ego-maniac, and really, how is that a bad thing?

So, the moral of the story is this: eat more vegetables and less processed foods, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, and look for the good in everything, because it's there. I promise.

Also, let men do the chasing. Just sayin.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I used to blog a lot in high school and during my freshman year at college. Then I offended a bunch of people and since then, the only blogging I've done has been in the form of craft blog...there was also that one time I went backpacking in Europe and kept a travel log, but it only lasted two weeks. To be frank, I've all but given up on the craft blog. I'm just not "there" anymore. I had a Suzy-homemaker phase and thought my projects were awesome, but now I feel they were just a little precious...plus, uploading pictures is kind of a pain. So here I am , back to writing about my experiences, my thoughts, my feelings, blah blah blah.

So, why the sudden interest in blogging again, you ask (or not, because really, who reads personal blogs)? The answer comes in two parts. First, I live alone and while I'm insanely busy during the day, I come home at night and have no one to do a run-down of my day with (the plethora of owl paraphernalia adorning my bookshelf just stare back at me with their ceramic expressions...jerks). Second, I've made/ am making some pretty major changes in my life that I'm excited about. Within the last seven weeks, I've started a career, moved into my own apartment, got a brand-spankin new car (named Wellington, btw), and a Costco membership. Yep, I've arrived. 

Yesterday was my first real Saturday off of work- I had the whole day just to myself and it was wonderful. I'm on a mission to find pillows for my bed and sofa, and a rug for my living room. No luck yesterday on those endeavors, but I finally went to Ikea and bought a floor lamp I've wanted since, like, forever...only to get it home and find it was much to large for my living room....and then damage it in such a way that it is no longer returnable. Awesome. But I found a way to make it work and I'm currently basking under its glow. 

Besides shopping for home goods yesterday, I also made it over to Winco (aka, the grocery store of wonders). I've been researching and studying the Paleo diet for the last year (thanks to my amazing friend Lisa) and this week I finally decided to just DO IT, totally and completely! I'm reading a fantastic book that really delves into the science of how our bodies break down the food we consume and I have committed, for the next 30 days, to abstain from grain, sugar, beans and legumes, potatoes of the white variety, and dairy products. I'm also giving up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper (so painful). I'm focusing on eating whole foods- loads and loads of vegetables (seriously, my fridge is absolutely packed with green goodness), meat, fruit, and nuts. 

Now, last week was really just a fantastic week. Really awesome. Truly. Are you still not convinced? Good, because I'm lying. It was total crap. You couldn't find my sense of confidence even if you were using a microscope, but you could hear my heart beat from a mile away because I was under so much stress at work. Usually during a week like last week, I would have drowned out my stress in, oh I don't know, a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt (not the whole thing though, I swear!), but in a masochistic streak, I decided to forgo all forms of comfort food (and my caffeinated beverages) and do something really extreme...like eat more vegetables. Those first few days were rough, but on the third day I woke up a little earlier than usual and totally energized for the day. What the what? I don't even remember the last time  that I woke up and was ready to jump out of bed to get going. Usually I just lie in bed awake, pinned between my heated mattress cover and fourteen layers of fluffy, warm blankets, bemoaning the cold and stalling my trek to the shower, because really, who wants to be naked in the winter, especially when wet and in a perpetually chilly bathroom? Pas moi (that's the French way of saying "not me"-consider yourself educated. You're welcome). Moral of the story is that so far I'm feeling "Grrrrreat" (tm, Tony the Tiger). And looking more awesome (my new pair of nude, platform wedges may or may not be contributing to the awesomeness).

So that's where I'm at today. I'm going to go whip up something amazing in the kitchen and prepare to watch the final episode of Downton Abbey. On a side note, I swear, if Mr. Bates and Anna don't finally get a happy ending, I'm boycotting PBS, BBC, and maybe just love and happiness in general.