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balancing act

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i love my job. honest. sure, sometimes i may get a little cranky about certain aspects of it, sometimes i find it frustrating, but, by an large, i like my position, my peers, and working on my projects. i’ll even go so far as to say that when i’m not doing it, i miss it a little. why, then, should i feel so excited to take vacation? time. amid all of the satisfaction and challenge and inspiration that my work gives me, the one thing it eats away at incessantly is time. during a regular work week, i can’t find the time i need to treat myself well. i just can’t juggle enough cooking, sleeping and moving my body. before last weekend, a friend at work had tipped me off to a sale on a product we both use regularly. when she followed up with me on monday, i blurted out that i just don’t have time to shop anymore. later that day, she stopped in at my office and said, “you know, carly, i’ve been thinking and you really need to take care of yourself.” she went on to give me several suggestions that, while still shortcuts from how i prefer to eat, were still very good ideas and much healthier options than the habit i’d fallen into – not eating, plain and simple. she almost apologized for approaching me, saying, “there’s a mother in all of us.” i was touched. it was nice that somebody (other than kevin – he is all over me about that all the time) noticed and, more importantly, cared enough to say something. at her prompt, i made a stop at the grocery store on the way home after a late meeting that night and picked up a few ingredients for her solutions. it wasn’t great, but it was certainly an improvement.

Source: Uploaded by user via Irem on Pinterest

i’m hoping vacation provides me a chance to catch up. i’d like to be able to get a handle on my pantry and the food i have on hand, to facilitate whatever i need to make food preparation a regular part of my life again. i know that it’s doubtful that on any morning of this break, i will wake up after 8am and i will probably work harder physically than i have in a while (plans include running, swimming, biking, skating, and, ideally, some yoga.) the freedom of having time, of not suffocating as a result of too much to do, will make me miss the office just a little bit less.
the other major priority when it comes to holidaying and catching up…friendships. i’ve been neglectful and all y’all who’ve showed patience and understanding, i promise that i’m on the road to making it up to you. xo

travel: a rite of passage

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though laura and i are both away on vacation, she had the good sense to make provisions for her absence. me, i decided i could write for both of our blogs. (that is so a blog post of its own.)

while she is nurturing her inner southern belle on the beaches of georgia, i shared a few of my thoughts on the importance of incorporating travel into life. please take a look over at scribbles and sass for not only my post, but also for her warm, generous and adventurous thoughts as well.

I See France

a dally into kombucha

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look at this page, catch a glimpse of any of the stuff i love and you’ve got to know that i’d be all over this product. i’ve gazed longingly at the fancy, bright bottles for months in fridges all over town. drinks are kevin’s thing, though. i almost always opt for water. (just last week, i could be heard bellowing form the kitchen, “you know what drink i love? water!”) in our family, christmas was always a time when we bought special foods that we only had around once a year to celebrate the holidays. in that spirit, i finally indulged my desire and picked up the four bottles pictured on my christmas eve capricorn adventure.

just because i bought them didn’t mean they’d be gobbled up immediately. instead it took me a week or so to even dig into the first one. i didn’t know much about kombucha. do you?

Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often drunk for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture, often referred to as 酵母 (lit. “yeast mother”).

i’ll give you that from wikipedia. if you read further, the picture painted isn’t so pretty. the selling points are the debatable claims that it detoxifies the body and energizes the mind. you can see plastered all over the labeling that plenty is promised by this maker.

over the span of about ten days, i got through the final three. the first i tried was the citrus and, i’m not going to lie to you, there were times i didn’t think i would and i can’t promise you i actually finished it. i don’t know how to describe how it tastes. it’s yeasty and at the same time a little like old, bad wine and slightly fizzy. i don’t make it sound appealing because it wasn’t. it was gross.

i wasn’t always sure that i’d give the others a chance after experience number one. i didn’t have a lot of faith. however, at about $4 a pop, i wasn’t about to straight pour them down the drain.

up next: cosmic cranberry. the drinker is warned about a residue that naturally exists in kombucha. “strands of the culture may appear.” in the case of the red drink, they were more like blood clots. pretty icky, but the taste was a vast improvement.

#3: multi-green. i love green stuff. if i loved the base of a kombucha drink, i’d have loved this one. of the greenery, i was a fan. of the slightly off flavour that ran common to all of them, not so much.

finally: gingerberry. i ended on a high note. sipping gingerly (heh) i was able to keep the chunky stuff at the bottom of the bottle while enjoying the flavour of this one. the ginger has just enough bite to make absent the overpowering taste of the bacteria/yeast/whatever you want to call it.

the sick thing about me is that the product is still just so candy to my eye that i will probably want to buy a bunch of them every single time i see them. sometimes i probably will. i think kombucha may be a taste i can acquire. i’m just not sure it’s at a price that my wallet can.

treats boys love

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for everything that i have learned to cook this year – from pot roast to meatloaf and chicken soup – kevin has been a great sport. there is only one thing he has ever specifically asked me to make. given that, how could i resist?

if there’s one thing i’ve learned this week, it’s that boys love rice krispie squares. this is batch number two. since i didn’t track down christmas krispies, i improvised using green and red sugars to festivize the recipe. batch number one was split between my numero uno and one of his friends. i packed some up to send his pal off when we dropped him at the airport last weekend. when i told him i had them on me, he practically squealed.

we never had rice krispie treats when we were kids. i’m sure we tried them at friends’ houses and parties, but my mom never made them. i didn’t have the heart to break down for kevin just how simple their creation really is.

i just couldn’t leave them as boring old squares – you have to know me better than that!

options

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sometimes life just takes control and shows you who’s boss.

the second i closed the door behind me this morning, i knew something was wrong. the tiniest bit of care would have ensured i had my keys with me on the other side. i slipped my hand into the pocket of my raincoat and, just as i suspected, those weren’t my house keys in there, but my office keys. (yes, i have enough of each to keep them on different rings, thankyouverymuch.)

when i told kev about it, he asked “how did you feel?” ugh. i told him the truth. “i panicked. then i got over it.”

feelings are much like waves. we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf. ~ jonatan mårtensson

standing there in the still and quiet early morning hallway, i assessed my options. sure, i could be the victim in this situation. i could curse the return of monday or my early wake up call. i could count all the ways that things don’t go as planned à la just my luck... i could ride the wave of anxiety i’d initially felt and spend my morning frantic over who would be willing to come to my place and bail me out, imagining every possible inconvenient outcome. i could let it ruin my day. or i could just let it go and see how things worked out.

the final option has not, to date, been my style. nope, even though i consider myself an established optimist in most circumstances, i often have a tough time coping with change or unexpected circumstances. i get antsy and uncomfortable and i can’t really think straight.

but here’s the thing: with just a little awareness and effort, that’s happening less and less frequently. nope. this morning, i just shrugged, smiled to myself and off to work i went. progress!

and guess what? everything *did* all work out and even though today was kevin’s gym day, i didn’t need to disturb his plans. coincidentally, my mom and i had some business to do this week (tv buying, yo!) and, as the other key holder, it made convenient sense to have her come into town and take care of that today. yay!

turns out that as good as calm feels, it’s even better when you’ve worked for it.

cute, no?
yeah, i shamelessly stole it from here.

so then the mail started rolling in. two particular blog posts that arrived in my inbox completely brightened my entire day.

how to write 300 000 words in a year by chris guillebeau – sure, i’m pretty consistently in awe of chris and i’d love anything he wrote, but this was somethin’ special. yes, his travel is extraordinary and his ambition is infectious, but this hit home. it was about writing. everyone fancies themselves a writer, no? to a certain sect of the population, it’s the most appealing (and common) dream. i guess it’s the hard work that gets in the way. guilty! as chris encourages the reader: “Make your art your obsession. Fall in love with it. Experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t give it your attention.” aye, aye, captain. 😉

and

elephant in the room at living in the (k)now – “Everyone, including ALL parts of us, wants to be recognized. That is one of our essential needs in life – the need to be SEEN. Recognition of the soul is vital to our wellbeing. … The minute you say YES to whatever situation you are in, pleasant or unpleasant, you have essentially said to the Universe, “I trust you. Everything will be ok” and then… things do end up ok.” it echoed my experience in the morning and it was kinda cool to feel so connected to sweet thais.