Gratitude List

I have an alert set on my phone that goes off nightly as a reminder to make a mental list of things I’m grateful for that day. Thanksgiving Day was yesterday and I’ve just gotten done eating a second plate of leftovers today. I’m grateful for that today.

I took the train out to my parent’s house yesterday for an early dinner with most of my mom’s side of the family. A cousin’s fiance commented on my plate above, “Wow, you’re going to eat all of that?!” I’m thankful to have the self control not to punch you in the face. There was lots of talk about the election. I’m thankful that it’s over. I was thankful to see my family, who I hadn’t seen since before I went to Poland. I was also thankful to have the chance to play with their 12-week-old kitten. She’s weighs a whole four pounds now. And she’s cray-cray. 

I stayed the night and left early this morning to return to my apartment for a day of relaxing with Playbill, watching Confirmation on HBO Go and another episode of The Crowns, and tonight I’m going to see Guster at the Beacon Theatre. 

There are still two days left to the holiday weekend. I hope the rest of the weekend has yoga and coffee in it. 

Ending a Collection

Shot glasses. Those little cylindrical glass houses for shots of alcohol. One of the most cliche collections a person can have, IMO, and I say that as someone whose been collecting shot glasses for almost 10 years, sadly. But (un)sadly, I’ve finally stopped. In Gdansk, the moment presented itself for me to obtain a third Polish shot glass and I said no. Part of me is afraid that I’ll look back someday and be sad that my shot glass collection is incomplete from the time I spent in Poland.

In reality, I know that I’ll probably never use the two that I bought and in a few months (or weeks, or days) I won’t care, at all. In fact, I’ll be happy that I didn’t buy another souvenir to clutter up my cabinet. I have too many already.

I have shot glasses from London, Oslo, Krakow, Warsaw, Tallinn, Rome, Venice, Jamaica, Miami, Puerto Rico, Paris, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hollywood, San Diego, San Francisco, Prague, Portland, Seattle… among other places.  

The way I look at it is that when I didn’t buy a shot glass in Gdansk, I officially ended my collection. It’s been a good run though, but I can count on one hand how many times they’ve been used, so it’s not worth it in the long run. Anyone have any good ideas for displaying shot glasses though? I’d be open to hearing them for sure!

image

Least Favorite Made Up Holiday

Let me preface this to say that I think all holidays are made up. Did you know that there’s zero evidence that Jesus H. Christ was born on December 25th? And don’t get me started on Easter. Halloween is made up but at least that one’s just fun.

I’m not typically a fan of Valentine’s Day. Two years ago when my then-long distance boyfriend flew in I asked him to cancel last-minute our dinner reservations (nothing too outrageous, I promise) and asked him to go to a pub instead. I felt fraudulent getting behind the holiday that is a) made up, b) will obviously leave large groups of people feeling bad about themselves which is unnecessary.

image

Last year I watched this vlog by Gabby Bernstein and I said fuck it and made it a day for self-care. I took a bath, I got a mani/pedi, it was fun. I even went all the way out to Brooklyn the day after for a kundalini yoga self-love workshop that a girlfriend of mine was hosting and met lots of really cool people who were also in need of something to do on this day, whether they were single or not. That was totally fun. I may or may not have started a “love vision board” (at the suggestion of Bernstein) that never really went anywhere and never was hung up. The point was that it was a lot more fun to focus on what I wanted for the future and how I could make myself feel good right now than wallow with a bunch of other depressed people at a bar.

This year I find myself in a relationship again (and not a long distance one, thank fucking god) and it’s a really wonderful and comfortable one. I knew I still didn’t want to make a big thing of the stupid day but I suggested eating one of those ridiculous milkshakes at Black Tap Burger and going to see The Boy. Is there anything more appropriate for Valentine’s Day than a horror movie? Nah. Even though it received horrible reviews it’ll be fun.  

The best part about Valentine’s Day this year? The Walking Dead is back! My dude and I are both stoked about this.

So, instead putting a lot of pressure on this day, I’m going to be Captain Obvious over here and tell you to just chill out and do what makes you feel good.

The Family You Choose

The great thing about choosing not to procreate (besides having the most thankless job out there, not having to pay for someone to go to college, etc.) is that you get to choose your family – essentially who your friends are. As I entered my mid and late-twenties, I began to make solidifying my friendships with my kick-ass and reliable friends, since they were going to be my chosen family. 

You’ll always have your parents, and siblings, and extended family, but when those holidays come around that are in the middle of the week and you aren’t granted a day off (ahem, Chanukah), you get to make your own traditions as an adult.

Ben and I have a tradition for Chanukah that includes going to an old time-y diner and eating ourselves stupid on traditional plates for the holiday. Last year it was, of course, the Edison Cafe, but since the Edison is no longer with us (RIP), we went down to the East Village last week to B&H Dairy.

The service was fast, the place was tiny and crowded, and the food was just what we were looking for. We had matzo ball soup, latkes, and blueberry blintzes. It was delicious and I think it cost us about $24. 

This is one tradition that I’m thankful for and I hope we continue it for a long, long time.

Rockin’ Lunch

For the last two weeks at work I’ve been consistently bringing my lunch every day. For someone who used to buy Starbucks every single morning and buy their lunch every day, this is unbelievable. 

As I wind down on Sunday evening, I once again start to ponder the week and what I’ll eat this week. I watched a few of the vegan videos on Essena O’Neil’s blog and her recipes look SO good. They were partially the inspiration for the wraps you see above. Of course the sauce on them isn’t vegan, and neither is the tiny bit of chicken, but they were tasty and healthy regardless. 

The wrap on the left has zucchini, cucumber, spinach leaves, and brown rice on it and the wraps on the right include spinach leaves, avocado, sliced peppers, and chicken. I’m not a huge fan of wraps and burritos normally because they’re so high in calories, but I’m working on finding rice wraps. 

I also have some of this leftover from when Steve was over on Friday night – this dish is honestly so good and lots of protein! I cooked up some chicken, there’s some rice currently cooking away, and I’m going to sauté some butternut squash soon.

This is such an expensive time of year that if i can save money and not eat out during the week, you better believe I’m doing it. Also: healthier. 

V-Day

Honestly? I really don’t like Valentine’s Day. I’m very happy that my man is flying up tonight to see me, but we’re not going out to dinner (we did have reservations but I asked him if he’d mind if we got Levain, beer, and chicken wings instead at a pub on the UWS – he was happy to oblige). But this date just happened to fall on a weekend so we said, why not

I’ve had a terrible habit of breaking up with guys that I’m seeing, casually or otherwise, within 1-7 days of this holiday. I can’t take the pressure. 

So, since I technically have a valentine this year, and the pressure is basically off (no parading around like we’re all pro-Valentine’s Day), I’m trying to calm down and just have fun eating some chocolate. 

We’re doing a cheesy Valentine’s Day thing at work and we all had to make “card bags” and mine properly reflects my feelings towards the holiday:

Happy chocolate, cupcake, and sex day!

All I want for Chrismakkah is you:

Just so everyone (including my parents) knows:

My aunt has already let me know that she got a me a chefs knife, a sifter, and frosting knife for channukah, haha.  Really though, I could buy any of this myself.  Once you have a job and a salary, Christmas really loses it’s awesomeness, gift-wise.  I need to go start making my lists of what I’m getting other people this year!