Category Archives: Making it Through Monday

Making it through Monday

Happy Monday, everyone! This is my last Monday at my current job and we’re now less than two weeks away from moving day. I’m working on cleaning out the pantry and freezer, which means we’ve been eating a lot of soup and canned tuna. Why I ever thought we needed 8 cans of tuna packed in olive oil is beyond me. It must have been on sale (<—– sure sign I’m turning into my mother).

The list is short this week, because I haven’t been doing a lot of web surfing, although that’s probably not a bad thing ūüėČ

Enjoy these finds from around the web (click link for photo source), and remember that Friday is only 4 days away!

Favorite Travel: 36 Hours in Phnom Pehn. Adam and I are planning to take a 3 month tour through SE Asia in 2016 and I’ve started researching travel destinations beyond the obvious (Vietnam and Thailand). If you have any suggestions for or must-sees, I would LOVE to hear them!

Favorite roundup: NPR’s Best Books of 2014. One of my absolute favorite things about vacation is having time to read, but I have such a hard time deciding on¬†new authors and series, I frequently end up re-reading the same favorites over and over. NPR to the rescue! I love that the list is divided by category; I’ve already picked several of these to add to my Amazon wish list, including The Secret Place, because I can’t get enough foreign mystery novels.

Favorite bake: Chocolate-Dipped Caramel Chocolate Chip Biscotti from Bright-Eyed Baker. This picture is insanely amazing and I just adore biscotti. Usually, my favorite way to enjoy them is with a glass of vin santo, but the chocolate and caramel in these definitely call for a cup of coffee. It looks like the perfect treat to savor inside, with a good book, while the winter weather does its thing outside. I plan on whipping up a batch next weekend!

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Chocolate Chip Biscotti - Brighteyedbaker

Favorite crave: Creamy Mac & Cheese. During the cold months, I tend to hunker down and eat all the carbs. It’s been awhile since I’ve truly indulged in such cheesy gooey deliciousness, and I think it’s time to change that.

Well, it’s that day of the week again. How was your weekend? Ours was pretty uneventful, which is just how we like it. Along with¬†the usual routine of gym, laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning, we made a short trip over to the Iwo Jima memorial, which Adam hadn’t¬†visited before.

Iwo Jima/Monument

It was a cold but beautiful day. The USMC Memorial borders Arlington Cemetery, so I feel like it usually gets overlooked. But it’s a powerful site¬†and shouldn’t be missed, especially if you’re already visiting the Cemetery.¬†

Iwo Jima - Shadow

I hadn’t been to the memorial since I was in DC for a high school trip, so I’m glad we went out to see it before we move. We only have a month to check everything off our DC must-see list; then we’re out of here!

Mondays are usually pretty rough, but today’s not so bad because of the¬†short week! How excited are y’all for¬†THANKSGIVING?!?! As you can tell, I can’t wait. It’s hard to go wrong with a day centered around eating, drinking, and a giant parade. Usually, it’s just Adam and I and entirely too much food. This year, though, it’ll be us and two of our best friends, and still entirely too much food. I predict great times and great naps ahead.

Here are some of my favorite things from around the interwebs! Click the link to be taken to the image source.

Favorite unique gift: duck fat caramels. Color me intrigued. These sound delicious – perfect for the person who avoids overly sweet desserts. Definitely not for everyone, but I’d love to try them!

Duck Fat Caramels

 

Favorite photo: Autumn in Aomori. I adore the fall foliage;¬†ours here seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye, with the temperatures in the 20s we’ve been having. Where did fall go?!

Autumn in Aomori - Nat Geo

 

Favorite splurge: Menara bed from Anthropologie. Adam and I are still sharing the double bed I’ve had since college, which is sliiiightly less than ideal. We’re in the market for a queen size bed, and if we happen to win the lottery any time soon, my vote is for this one. I showed it to Adam, who shrugged. He loves it, clearly.

Menara Bed - Anthropologie

 

Favorite lounge: fair isle knit leggings.¬†I received these leggings as a “stay warm”¬†present from my mother a week ago, and ever since, if I’m not at work or the gym, I’m wearing these. I wore them for 3 nights, washed them, pulled them out of the dryer, and put them right back on. They are so comfortable and make me happy, even when the sun sets at 4:45.

 

Favorite treat: Dutch butter cake¬†from kevinandamanda.com. Yum. That’s all I can say. It looks¬†¬†gooey and rich and insanely delicious. And only four ingredients! I need this in my life.

 

Favorite fashion: black and white outfit from Esther fromthesticks. I recently discovered Esther’s blog and proceeded to spend an entire day reading through her archives (sorry, Boss Man). She is so talented at all the things – fashion design, sewing, crafting, painting, photography, modeling – and she’s only 19! We’re not going to talk about the things I was doing when I was 19, but it certainly didn’t involve running an incredible blog and designing gorgeous clothes.

 

Favorite sparkle: Night Lounge Studs by Kate Spade. I have a few pairs of Kate Spade studs I snapped up when they went on sale last year and I wear them all the time. The older I get, the more I gravitate towards simple jewelry that I can wear with everything. These are just the right amount of fancy without being too much for daytime wear.

 

Favorite learn: When Thanksgiving Was Weird from NPR. Apparently, just over 100 years ago, Americans treated Thanksgiving like a second, even more popular,  Halloween. Rather than sitting around a table full of food, people dressed up in costumes and roamed the streets, asking for apples, pennies, or other candy. Who knew?! This article is a fascinating look at how drastically our observance of Thanksgiving has changed, in a relatively short amount of time.

Hey y’all! ¬†How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty uneventful, but it seemed to fly by. ¬†Saturday I worked for a few hours, then got my act together and filed my taxes. ¬†I’m losing all my deductions next year (thank you, marriage tax penalty!), so I wanted to make sure to take advantage of them this year. ¬†Result – $3k refund that’s going straight to my IRA. ¬†Sigh. ¬†Being responsible is boring, but at least I know I’ll have something saved for retirement.

Sunday we grocery shopped, went to Crossfit, and then I spent the afternoon preparing meals for this week. ¬†We’re officially less than 2 weeks away from my wedding date, and I’m trying to get through this week with as little stress as possible. ¬† I’m now having wedding nightmares practically every night, and I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at all if it weren’t for my yogi stress relief tea. ¬†But hey! ¬†This time 14 days from now, I’ll be on a plane to the U.S. Virgin Islands. ¬†It’s all uphill from here, baby.

Enjoy these entertaining links from around the web and have a great week!

Best strategic move: CVS to Stop Selling Tobacco Products. ¬†Despite estimating a $2 billion loss in revenues, CVS has announced that it will phase out sales of tobacco products in all of its 7,600 pharmacies by October 1. ¬†A store that claims to help keep people healthy will stop selling things that kill them. ¬†Seems like a no brainer, but it’s a pretty gutsy move, given all the revenue they’re set to lose. ¬†I’ve never had much allegiance when it comes to drug stores, but I can tell you I’ll be making more of an effort to give CVS my business come October 1.

(Image Source)

(Image Source)

Going from the rational to the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I give you – my new favorite dress. ¬† Very few of the dresses from the Valentino Spring 2014 collection are actually wearable in real life (unless you like showing off your –¬†ahem – everything¬†along with your good fashion sense), but I still adore the high-fashion, romantic element of these gowns, and this one is my favorite. ¬†It’s a little cheeky (like Eve has made friends with the snake), a little sexy, and a whole lot of sophisticated. ¬†If I ever win the lottery, this is definitely on my list of items to purchase.

 

 

Valentino Snake Dress

 

Most scenic resort: Bitter End Yacht Club, BVI. ¬†This place has been recommended to us by several different sources, making it high on our list to visit during the honeymoon. ¬†I’m all about the ocean-side spa treatments, Adam’s all about the excellent scuba diving, and we’re both about sipping drinks and taking in that view.

Bitter End Yacht Club

 

Adam and I never really celebrated Valentine’s Day before, and we certainly won’t now that our wedding anniversary will be February 22nd, but these DIY cards are cheesy and cute – what I think the holiday should be all about. ¬†Puns get me every time!

DIY Valentine's Cards - Real Simple

Favorite house accent Рunder the stair nook.  I just love how cozy and rustic this space is.  It looks like a great place to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee and just escape for a few minutes.  My favorite detail is the golden deer head; where do people find this stuff?

Southern Season Idea House under the stair nook

 

Cutest kitchen frivolity that I want but absolutely don’t need – Ceramic Animal Egg Cups. ¬†I would eat a three-minute egg every morning for breakfast if I a.) had the time, and b.) could eat it out of that polar bear. ¬†Or the otter. ¬†Or the lion.

Ceramic Egg Cups

Did someone say cookies for breakfast?! ¬†Please and thank you! ¬†We all know I’m a fan of healthy, make-ahead breakfasts, and these look like they fit the bill. ¬†Mmmm, I bet these would be great with coffee and a glass of almond milk.

Breakfast Cookies Recipe

 

After last night’s big game, I imagine there’s not a whole lot of you being productive at work today. ¬†In between football chit-chat in the breakroom, I hope you enjoy links of things that are occupying my thoughts this week.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bakerella.  OMG, these are good.  We whipped up a batch of these babies Thursday night and I forced the Boo to take them to work on Friday.  I had to get them out of the house. I have zero self control when it comes to chocolate chip cookies to begin with, then you add an Oreo in there? Trouble, trouble, trouble.

Source: Bakerella

Source: Bakerella

This list of adorably awkward mutts. ¬†Say hello to the Cheagle, aka the cutest small dog ever. ¬†I’m not normally a little yap-yap dog kind of girl (if it can fit in a purse, it’s not a real dog), but I would absolutely make an exception for this guy. Those ears! I can’t handle it.

Chihuahua and beagle mix - not sure this guy could be any cuter

Chihuahua and beagle mix – not sure this guy could be any cuter

Landmannalaugar, Iceland.¬† A few years ago, I read a murder mystery book set in Iceland. ¬†Ever since, visiting Iceland has been on my radar. ¬†Now that Icelandair is offering direct, 6-hour flights from DC to Reykjavik, it’s entirely feasible for us to travel there for a long weekend. ¬†I have to admit, I don’t know a lot about the country, but every image I find is breathtakingly gorgeous. If it’s that beautiful in pictures, I can’t imagine what it’s like in real life.

Landmannalaugar

This very concerned cat.  Every time I see this meme, I giggle hysterically.

Soy milk cat

Disney Princesses in Accurate Period Costume.  I love all things Disney, including this list.  When I was 6, I wanted to change my name to Jasmine.  My parents refused, but (somehow) I love them anyway.  This list only reaffirms my belief that Jasmine is the best Princess of them all (with Mulan as a close second).

She has a pet tiger.   Not sure it gets more badass than that.

She has a pet tiger. Not sure it gets more badass than that.

Beach vacation must-have: this bright pink wrap dress from Lilly Pulitzer. ¬†For our honeymoon (in 3 weeks!), we’re spending 2 weeks in the US Virgin Islands. ¬†I think this dress would be just the thing for nice dinners on the beach; easy, effortless, and forgiving (important when you’re spending days on the beach gulping down fruity beverages with cutesy umbrellas).

Whitaker wrap dress

For dinner this week: Peanut Butter and Kale Fried Rice by Connoisserus Veg. ¬†Kale. ¬†Peanut butter. ¬†A vehicle for Sriracha Rice. ¬†All the things. ¬†I picked up 3 pounds of kale from Trader Joe’s this week (seriously, 3 pounds – I couldn’t eat too much kale if I tried), and can’t wait to try this.

Making it through Monday

Due to the holiday weekend, I’m a little behind schedule, so forgive my lateness. Tuesday is the new Monday?

The Boo and I were in Florida this weekend to attend an engagement party thrown in our honor and take care of some last minute wedding planning. We are officially in the 30s for our Days Until Nuptials countdown, and although there’s a lot that has been accomplished (wedding invited went out last week, which was our last big to-do), we still have a lot of little things to take care of (ceremony music selection, ordering bridal party gifts, putting together gift baskets for the out-of-town guests, finalizing rehearsal dinner plans, yada yada yada). I know everything will come together, so I’m not particularly stressed; mostly I’m ready for the Big Day to hurry up and get here so we can go on our honeymoon.

Anyway, enjoy this week’s list of things that are helping me make it through Monday Tuesday!

Best dose of Vitamin D: Florida sunshine. This afternoon, I was sitting out on my parents’ patio, soaking up the gorgeous sunshine and enjoying a delicious veggie avocado sandwich. When I was growing up in the Sunshine State, I’d complain about the lack of seasons, but after spending 3 cold, gray winters in DC, I’m thankful to come home to flip-flop weather in the middle of January! (Of course, everyone here is bundled up in boots and scarves, but hey, to each their own.)

Weather in FL

Lunch on the patio

Best quirky character: Tucker. ¬†Also providing me with great entertainment and happiness this weekend was my parents’ dog, Tucker. He’s a two-year-old Boarder Collie they rescued from a family who couldn’t keep him any more. ¬†Tucker is a sweet, good-natured dog, but he clearly has a few screws loose (bless his heart). ¬†When he greets new people, he jumps up to sniff their eyes, he keeps himself occupied by chasing his own shadow, and occasionally he licks the walls. ¬†Not only did he provide my “dog fix” for a little while, but he provided several minutes of entertainment throughout the weekend as we watched him sprint back and forth across the lawn, trying to catch his shadow.

Tucker

In other, non-family related links…..

Best internet list: Distractify’s¬†28 Most Flawless Responses to a Wrong Number Text had me laughing out loud throughout the whole thing. ¬†I know this has been circulating the internet for a while, but this gets me every time I read it. ¬†Warning: inappropriate language, probably not safe for work.

Best science:¬†NASA scientists take first steps to building faster-than-light warp engine that could make Star Trek a reality. ¬†Don’t be deterred; the article title is nearly as long as the article itself. ¬†If you’re like me, just gloss over the science part and marvel at the intelligence of some of these guys. ¬†Achieving warp speed is even a remote possibility? ¬†How. ¬†freaking. ¬†cool.

Picture from Daily Mail

Warning: the next link is not for the squeamish.

Best home cleaning: Drain Wig. ¬†Like I said, not for the faint of heart. ¬†Clogged drains are always disgusting; but, if you have long, curly hair like I do, they’re a way of life. ¬†This product promises to eliminate the need to dig it out yourself. ¬†(Like I said, gross, but worth sharing.)

Try not to think about what it actually does...

Try not to think about what it actually does…

Best one-bowl dinner: Maple-Miso Glazed Tofu with Broccoli and Winter Squash. ¬†Sweet + Salty = happy Erin. ¬†I’ll probably sub Brussels sprouts for the broccoli, but everything else about this dish looks divine.

Photo by Joanne Bruno

Photo by Joanne Bruno

Best gift: Savino Wife Saver Carafe. ¬†I discovered this contraption while adding some last-minute items to our wedding registry, and I allowed the sales lady to make me into a total believer. ¬†You pour leftover wine into the carafe, drop in the stopper, and your wine keeps for 5 – 8 days. ¬†Best of all, when you’re ready to drink again, you can pour straight from the elegant carafe. ¬†I can promise you that this will make it into our kitchen, one way or the other!

 

 

 

 

Savino wine saver carafe

 

And that’s all for now, folks! ¬†We’re supposed to have a minor winter storm tomorrow, so cross your fingers for a snow day! ¬†I’d love to work from home instead of traipsing about the city in cold, gray slush.

Making it through Monday

I’m pretty sure it’s one of those universal rules, like death and taxes – no one likes Mondays. ¬†One of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats, has a feature called Friday Favorites that I absolutely love. ¬†I always look forward to reading through her favorite finds from around the web, so thought, why don’t I create a similar list on Mondays? ¬†At least then everyone’s least favorite day will have some redeeming qualities!

Whether you’re searching for something to jump-start your day, or you’re at work and need a mental distraction, scroll down and repeat after me: We will make it through Monday!

Determined pup: Lucy the Beagle.  She wants chicken nuggets and nothing will stop her!  She moves a chair and conquers a toaster oven in order to get her snack.

 

 

 

 

Lucy the Beagle

 

 

Best new cookbook: Founding Farmers Cookbook.¬† This is one of our favorite restaurants in DC, and I’ve been meaning to order their cookbook since it was released in October. ¬†I finally picked one up last weekend when we were there for lunch and spent the afternoon reading the book cover to cover. ¬†I can’t wait to try all the recipes!

Founding Farmers Cookbook

 

 

Most inspirational list: 52 Places to Go in 2014 by New York Times. ¬†I love to travel, but I can honestly say I’ve never even¬†thought about traveling to half of these places. ¬†After reading this article, I immediately updated my travel bucket list.

52 Places to Go in 2014 - NY Times

 

 

Unexpected beauty find: Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up highlighter for face. ¬†I know I’m¬†super late to the party, but highlighter is the jam. ¬†I’ve never used one before, but I received this in my Christmas stocking (thanks Santa/Mom!) and immediately fell in love. ¬†This version is easy to apply and imparts a super subtle glow. ¬†I use it on my cheekbones and inner corners of my eyes, and it immediately makes me look well rested (even when I’m not).

 

 

 

Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up Highlighter

 

 

Nerdiest foodie article: Sourdough Primer by King Arthur Flour. ¬†Despite all the breads I’ve learned to make over the past year, sourdough is one I have not yet attempted. ¬†Not only did King Arthur take all the scary mystery away from making a sourdough starter, they created an incredibly interesting article. ¬†I’m mixing up my starter this week!

 

 

Sourdough Loaf from King Arthur Flour

 

 

Next on my reading list: The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (discovered via this Buzzfeed list). ¬†A novel about an Indian family who moves to France and opens a restaurant. ¬†There’s food, travel, and humor – what more could you need in a book?

 

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey

 

 

DIY to make ASAP: Baked Chili Cheese Fritos¬†from Minimalist Baker. ¬†UM. ¬†YES. ¬†I’m about 10000% sure my honey would love me¬†even more¬†if I made him these for dinner one night. ¬†I’ve struggled long and hard to cut processed junk out of his diet, but my Texas boy misses his Frito pie. ¬†This solves the problem and might just save our impending marriage. ¬†

Baked Chili Cheese Fritos by Minimalist Baker

 

 

Thanks for reading, and Happy Monday!

Disclaimer: please note that none of the pictures in this post are mine.  Please click on the related link for the source of the image.