Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Plight of the Green Jellybeans

This is absolutely a ridiculous thing to write about. But I've dedicated so much brain power to it over the past few days, I can't help but NOT share my story with the world. So they can all know that I am insane.

One of my coworkers has a stocked candy dish always. It's awesome. She even makes the effort to invest in holiday-representative candy (did you all know that york patties are hearts for valentine's day????). One of the office's all time favorites are the jellybeans. Not just any jelly beans, but STARBURST JELLYBEANS. Basically like a smaller version of the best candy ever, that you feel less bad about eating a ton of.

Based on my mild to medium OCD, I can only eat jellybeans 2 at a time of the same flavor (or my mouth will be uneven...yes I'm sharing my neurotic feelings with the world, I'm not ashamed). Obviously I started with the best...pink, and for a while I would only eat the pink ones (also the most popular).

When I realized my first plight (running out of pink too quickly) I expanded my preferences to include red. Which, in all fairness, is super lame of me. Because they are basically pink.

So as time wore on, I got more adventurous (and let's be honest, more bored doing the same thing every day) so I took on purple. They were also delicious. So I now had 3 whole flavors I could choose from.

BUT I WANTED MORE. So a few weeks ago I added yellow in to my repertoire. It was a great decision because, no one likes purple or yellow.

However, throughout all of this, one major thing has plagued me. Everyone knows the basic starburst assortment - yellow, orange (ew), red and pink. So here lay before me, a bowl of jellybeans, sans orange (totally fine) but PLUS GREEN.


For months now (yes seriously, months) I have avoided the green jellybeans like the plague, assuming some sort of mint or tree or some other weird greenness. What could they possibly be?

So today...I took the leap...

And they're watermelon.

Now I can more haphazardly reach into the bowl and count by twos of all represented colors.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Adventures in Cooking...Or How I Will Never Learn to Not Touch My Eyes After Cutting Jalapenos

Dill Pickle Dip on my newly knitted potholder
One of my resolutions every year is to learn how to cook/cook more/eat out less/some variation of this project. Last year, I was relatively successful. This stemmed largely from a) moving to DC and feeling like a poor intern and b) having a roommate who also loved to cook. Since those two factors have changed, I fell off the wagon. So what better time to be better than the beginning of a new year?

One of the things I enjoy doing is cooking a lot on Sunday (especially some sort of portable breakfast) and then having leftovers during the week. I've become especially skilled at this since I don't really have the ambition to do anything during the week after work.

Clearly I'm more ambitious with the goals than the blogging :-)

Last weekend I made my OWN salsa verde (minus the cilantro because I'm an idiot) and cooked chicken in the crockpot. I also made dill pickle dip for the super bowl.

Salsa Verde (I didn't take a picture of the chicken)
I signed up for the Slender Kitchen meal plan, which is nice because they have a meal plan option for 2 instead of 4. They also have a low carb meal plan, which is great for when I'm trying to actually not eat gluten. 

The dill pickle dip is a Pinterest creation, from here. It was delicious and I ate it all week!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Adventures in the north...Or that time winter was the worst season ever

This one doesn't really need a blog entry. It's pretty much how I feel every day. 

But the good news is it's supposed to freezing rain again this weekend...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Adventures in Knitting, or How I Gave Myself Arthritis

Last night my friend Sarah hosted the first annual (monthly, recurring) Stitch and B*tch night. Festivities included knitting, crocheting, baking, and w(h)ining. The night was a great success, with some guests (yours truly) persisting until midnight. Not only did I finish my potholder (shout out to Sarah and Katie for supplying me with materials), my friend Tina was able to effectively figure out how to drink wine while using both hands to accomplish a task.

I begin my knitting journey

I used to knit as a child. My grandmother taught me, and I spent a lot of time scouting out her various tools and yarns. I loved the yarn store, because much like every craft store, it's full of hope and possibility. And much like every other craft project, it inevitably ends with me spending too much money, enjoying about a second of it, and then quitting or producing a mediocre project based on my need to finish and move on to the next thing.

The dishcloth pattern

The best example of this in knitting was when I decided I was going to actually make a scarf I would wear. I walked into the local yarn store and promptly picked out the most expensive yarn ball in existence (that might be an exaggeration, but it was $25 and as many of you who knit will know, there are few projects that only require one ball of yarn). After discussing with the woman and settling on a knitting needle size, I begged my mother to let me have the ridiculously expensive yarn. She gave in, and I went home and promptly began to butcher another art project. Three balls of $25 yarn later, I had an hourglass shaped scarf, that went from large at one end to small in the middle and large at the other end. I was not impressed. Not only was the workmanship shoddy, but the insanely expensive designer yarn left black pieces everywhere. However, my mother was able to effectively guilt me into wearing this $75+ scarf at least once, and I can honestly say I have no idea what became of its fate.

It has an eyelet pattern. Not well pictured here. 

Needless to say, I'm not a knitter.

Woah...I'm halfway there...Woah - Oh

But a few years ago my mom took it up, and I have two lovely scarves from her that are not misshapen and utilize different patterns than just knit.

So last night I decided to start up again, with an insanely hard project for someone who hasn't held needles in 10 years. The night was off to an immediate bad start when I went to the knitting store and it was closed. So Sarah suggested I make this potholder, and after a few lessons (yarn on...that one was new to me) I was knitting away as if no time had passed.

The finished product
I finished the potholder (really it's not a potholder, it's more of a thing to set warm dishes down on) and I notice it's still uneven (counting stitches aside). However, I'm proud of it and I'm excited about this new tradition that will hopefully continue with my friends.

It works!
Tonight it will be holding Superbowl dip (to be described in a future blog post). Go Broncos!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Becoming an Adult

So it is 2014, and I haven't done much of anything in a while. I'm not really determined to start up a new blog, but I am making such attempt at change that I feel like I need a way to remember. And also to hold myself more accountable. So this will now be a place where I can document my life changes. If anyone is interested, please read on.

I liked DC so I put a ring on it...
And by that I mean, I made the financial commitment to this city by investing in winter clothes. More specifically, a good coat with a hood. That was my deal breaker for said coat, because my head is cold and remembering extra items of clothing is probably not going to happen. Although it is not down, I foresee that I will be attempting to purchase one of those in the near future (perchance at the North Face sale). But in all seriousness, I made the mental and metaphorical commitment to being in this city for 5+ years. That is a big deal for me, based on how hard I tried to get out of DC about two months ago. But I feel good about where I am in life, and now it is time for me to attempt to get to know this city better.

Explore DC
Since I am committing to this city, I need to make a conscious effort to get to know it better. So far, I'm not doing great with that (although I have been to a bunch of new places in Arlington recently). But this might be a March goal. I have the walking tour book for DC, so maybe if I have a spare moment in February I will go for a short walk and see some sights. But I will definitely make this a priority at some point in the year.

Become more versed in the world of cheese
Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I have one extreme love in the world...and that is any and every form of cheese. So, as I mature (pronounced, ma-too-er) I have decided that my tastes should mature with me. This includes such other things as wine, whiskey and food-to-go (part of that being, to get rid of fast food as a staple of my diet), but mostly it encompasses this goal for cheese. Sometimes I walk by the nice aisle of wine and think, one day I will be able to afford those $50 bottles of wine, and actually appreciate them. But various cheeses have significantly different tastes, and so I have decided to focus my taste buds on that. I even purchased this lovely book to document my tastes (which will hopefully then be translated on to the blog).

Run my first (and second) half marathon
This one is a big deal. I started Couch to 5k a year ago when I moved here. In May I ran my first 5k EVER. Now I am attempting to run two half marathons within a month of each other (Disney Princess and Rock and Roll DC). This is INSANE. But because I knew it was insane, I joined a running group, a social jewish running group, a free running group, and got a running log. Although I have been slacking a little on the running with people thing, I am excited that this has become a part of my life. I have made it to 8.5 miles, and I feel confident I will get where I need to be in the next few weeks. It has certainly been an adventure running in the cold (and living in the cold, and breathing in the cold), but I am impressed with myself at how far I have come. My original resolution was to run an organized race each month of the year, but unfortunately I couldn't come up with one for January. I do feel that running is going to become a regular part of my life, and I can't wait to see what other fun things it brings me going forward.

Read More
This is always in the back of my mind, and always an issue. I love books. Everything about them. I have way too many. But occasionally I go through periods in my life where reading takes a backseat to other things. It happened last fall, and I hit a lull. I was finally able to drag myself out of that lull by finishing a book, and then quickly finishing another one. I think that I had become complacent in what I was reading (I tend to find something I like, and then buy like 10 other books on the subject) and I needed to shake it up. So I made an effort to have my kindle with me at all times, as well as various books in various stages of being read on my nightstand. But, this goal has a double meaning. When I say read more, I mean both read more frequently and read more types of things. I have a subscription to the Washingtonian (again, thank you groupon), as well as a subscription to the Smithsonian magazine (thank you mommy). I want to mix up my reading and make sure I end up with fewer back issues of these (I cleaned them out, and honestly most of them just got moved to the coffee table, there's some good stuff in the Washingtonian). I also want to make a better effort to read the news, whether it's the free metro paper I grab and always throw away (the man who gives them out is so sweet) or the news articles sent out by our communications department every day to keep us informed of the healthcare world. To hold myself to a book standard, I swore to follow the Pi Beta Phi book club list this year, in an attempt to complete at least 12 books. All of which will be kindle so they are easily accessible.

Live better
Super specific I know. But to me this goal encompasses all of the other ones, and more. I want to eat better (and less gluten-ey) in 2014. I want to try new foods. I want to try new things. I want to see more places. I want to do better at work, at home, at BBYO, at making friends. I want to read more. I want to feel better during the days and nights. So this comes with some smaller more specific steps. I am trying yoga and I signed up for a GRE class (thank you groupon). I am spending my weekends doing things, instead of spending 8 hours in bed. I am going to cross train and NOT just run (insert yoga and potentially joining a gym). I am going to take the opportunities, but also learn to say no (this is a biggie for me). I am going to cook more. And I am going to have a more organized life, so I got a new planner.

Keep track of it
Last year I got a 2013 day journal, and I only made it through February. I have been trying to keep track of things (running, cheese) as best I can, but I have a feeling this blog might be the answer. I am going to make a calculated effort to keep track of all of this stuff, and post fun blogs with pictures and stuff. But who knows? It might only last a month. It might be too much. I might get bored or remember how good bread with gluten tastes. Only time will tell.

I will say, I am impressed with this first blog. I even put links in.

And to make it even better, I'm adding in a picture from the new year. To remind myself how well it started out.