no-booze february

Monday, February 29, 2016

With a determined and spirited[ha!] mindset and in an effort to lose weight and "cleanse systems" -- my husband decided in January, more than likely over a glass of wine, that February would be a month with no-booze.  As for me of a competitive nature and always up for a challenge, to be a good wife and encourager I decided to play along and give up booze too.  I didn't expect to lose any weight, I figured it would be fun and insightful for us a couple.  And I didn't want to be the only one downing wine on Valentines day.

So for the entire month of February we have neither consumed or purchased alcohol.  Sound easy? Impossible?  For us it was a bit challenging at first, but certainly not impossible and more rewarding/enlightening than I imagined.

A few things we noticed during our no-booze February...

--money: we saved a lot of it,  almost mind boggling at how much.  You don't really think putting one bottle of wine in your grocery cart is a lot, but over the entire month of not purchasing it, it can add up quickly.  We even started playing a guessing game when we received our receipt when eating out. "Look at that! So cheap!"  When you don't order alcohol your dinner bill is inexplicably cheaper.  It felt good to see the extra money in our wallets.

--weight: My weight stayed the same, maybe even gained a pound or two{maybe its muscle?!} but as for Chris, in addition to exercising almost six days a week, eating healthier, and giving up booze; it is safe to say he has lost at least ten pounds!  I am so proud of him and he looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself!  Although the fairness in it all makes me slightly annoyed.  MEN. ugh.

--activities: Without our default "dinner and drinks" to fall on we were left to rethink some of our dates and time together.  We started going to a nine o'clock spin class together on Sunday mornings, we ran on the boardwalk and then got juice smoothies afterwards, we did go to dinner and drank green tea with our sushi.  We were content in staying in on Saturday afternoon, sharing a pot of tea and reading or watching tv.  It was calm and peaceful, and actually really fun.

--relationship: The good news is we actually still like each other!  Only kidding, of course we do -- but I would say our time spent together seemed sincere and refreshing and pure.  We laughed a lot and talked a lot too, even without a glass of wine in hand, it felt very grown up.  I may even love him a bit more after doing this together.

-- health {Mind & Body}: For Chris along with the weight loss, he said he felt "more rested and focused."  He traded in his nightly after-work beer for a workout, which he said had the same stress relieving effect. I like to joke that his liver and other organs probably thank him for the booze break too.  As for myself I didn't lose much weight, if any, but I too felt rested and just a bit more "clear headed" in general.   I was able to push myself harder in workouts, I ran faster and felt stronger.  I learned things about myself, like one usually does when embarking on a personal challenge; things to learn from and work on.  Bettering oneself is such a beautiful and unending process isn't it?

The take-away? this was a positive experiment with good lifestyle insight, and a overall health centered challenge that opened our eyes and closed our wallets, which is always a win.  This month taught me to be more conscience and less habitual when it comes to drinking.  And while we may not continue on for a no-booze march, I am certain we will think and live a little differently thanks to this boozy or lack there of experiment.



february miscellany

February has been good to us and its a little bittersweet to see her go.

Favorite moments this month:
+ sunday morning spin class with him (x4!)
+ winter dinners that simmer all day and greet us home in the evenings
+ the lightest dusting of snow, that melted by noon
+ sparkling water and green tea and all the sushi in the world
+ hearing him whistle from the other room
+ rosey red and pink sunrises, fitting for the season
+ the prettiest $5 roses I ever did buy
+ a beach run and smoothies and wheat grass oh my
+ weekends full, with errands and chores and pizza and snuggling
+ homemade snack bars--for breakfast or lunch or for dinner
+ boots and coats and yet lingering light and flip flop days in between


winter eats

Monday, February 22, 2016

cozy comfort trying-to-be healthy foods -- winter eating in a nutshell.  I love to cook and bake and eat, embracing each seasons ingredients fully.  Here is just a taste{haha, get it?} of what we've been making and eating this winter.

ham and white bean soup || red enchilada sauce +slow cooker enchilada soup || no-bake peanut butter dog treats || Thai sweet potato curry || beer brats with grilled asparagus & mini peppers || ham & egg cups || mixed Berry Vanilla snack bars || Cashew Coconut snack bar

and a few more not pictured because I was too darn hungry to wait/find my camera{phone}
vanilla almond snack bars || Honey Balsamic pork tenderloin || Drunken zucchini noodles with spicy honey chicken || lemon teriyaki chicken || sweet potato noodles with spinach or kale || make-ahead breakfast casserole

most of these are healthy(ish) and of course I couldn't forget about a treat for the pup! Our favorite meal is hands down the drunken zucchini noodles with spicy honey chicken but the snack bars are definitely the best addition to our fridge, maybe ever.  Homemade grain free, just fruit and nuts and seeds -- healthy and so easy to make and even easier to eat.  We LOVE them.

not-so healthy
White chocolate lucky charm treats || slutty brownies || roasted garlic and bacon spinach dip

Per the super bowl these unhealthy but utterly delicious foods were made and devoured.  The dip is our favorite and in honor of football I've made it twice this season.  The treats and brownies were both sweet and rich and given away promptly after said Super Bowl -- can't have those little devils laying around for too long.

I've really enjoyed being in the kitchen this winter, trying and tasting new recipes-- but can I get a big amen to fresh spring time foods?! Salads and berries and fresh greens and seafood! also, carrot cake.
Who's with me!?


simple joys

Friday, February 19, 2016

february's are for hibernating and coffee drinking and cozy slippers and staying in for the night/weekend/month.  I love february mostly for the almost life-like feel to her coziness.  Days passing into a week and then two.  If you were worried, don't fret -- we are still here; in our chunky knit sweaters and plaid robes savoring the calm winter weather, readying for life and warmer months ahead.  That is what you do in February afterall right?!

simple joys that are filling me up as of late:

+ white tulips in mason jars for the table
+ early bedtimes and sunrise waking
+ one pot of chamomile tea with two mugs
+ house dreaming || looking || planning
+ sushi & spin class dates x2!
+ the comfort in sitting next to one another, not having to exchange a single word, just knowing the other is there -- with you, forever.
+ pastels and chinos and gingham and stripes upon stripes. Spring clothes are quite possibly my favorite. oh le sigh, j.crew.
+ a poem here a poem there, picking this book up daily -- filled up or breath taken away -- Chasing the Light
+ winter afternoon walks or sharing a blanket together, with my Corgi girl
+ our deep and irrevocable love for asian food is especially fierce this winter -- gyoza and sushi and drunken noodles on repeat
+ an inch of snow on the ground is cause for snowman building, the neighbors kids know the drill
+ weekend mornings-- for sleeping in and french press coffee and extra time to laze or practice yoga or make snack bars
+ a most crisp blue winter sky and a chunky knit scarf to keep rosy cheeks warm


Friday, February 12, 2016

waking up to gentle snow flakes and french press coffee

a kiss goodbye and an extra "i love you" in the morning before he leaves for work

with your best girlfriends-- chatter all around it fills the room; or quietly and passionately listening to one another

red lips and red wine and a little black dress

big spoon little spoon

a reminder from dad, to lock all windows and doors tight and to get new tires

tail{nub} wags and toe kisses from the companion who waits for you by the door

palm leaves and coconut smells, sun kissed skin and hearts full-- of life and adventure and friendship

hands intertwined-- under the table, in the truck, while experiencing somewhere new, or old  --- holding on is what matters

just because's and special occasions

sharing a pizza, sharing a blanket, and maybe sharing the remote-- cozying up, with him.

your moms tight hug and listening ears, always always always.

dark chocolate and champagne bubbles

moments so good they paralyze you and completely take your breath away

genuine compliments and unexpected kindness

the smile and sweet giggle from a tiny babe or active child, because they like you

ocean waves with a setting sun or rising one

laughter between siblings, which is more often jokes at each others expense but also the unwavering devotion to be there, whenever.

heart shaped foods, particularly of the breakfast variety -- with fresh hot coffee and mimosas

and who am I kidding, fresh flowers for the table, because I'm a girl and its Valentine's Day!!



lessons lately...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

...perspective perspective perspective.  especially in the most royally upsetting situations, is the best and sometimes only way to live in this topsy turvy, unpredictable kind of world. booze February -- is honestly, harder than I thought it would be -- but! in the same breath, more rewarding and enjoyable and more fun than I thought too.  To lose weight, cleanse our systems, save money, ect. we chose{the shortest month of the year,btw}to not drink.  yes we are crazy in all sense of the word, but its eye opening and kind of exciting too.   i.e. We went to a spin class together on Sunday morning instead of going for bloody's and we SuperBowl partied with soda! But having to get creative with a Valentine's date that isn't centered around wine, is certainly a challenge.  I'll update this at the end of February, if I survive ;)

...have a favorite time of the day and enjoy it.  savor, breathe, relish.  Run, do yoga, drink 3 cups of coffee, sit & write. take that time and be fully present in the joy of your moment.  Do what makes you the happiest and do it fully without abandon; remember, its part of what makes you uniquely you.

... be genuine.

...wash your face, keep hand lotion by your bed, take off your makeup -- skincare 101, never too late to learn.

... having the grace to know when to say something or to not or to act a certain way or not --- is hard, but beautiful and comes with age; which is the silver lining I suppose.

...take a break.  Sore and tired from yesterday's workout, can't seem to even must the energy to let alone think of tackling the day, feeling off and not quite yourself? Take a break, take the day to refresh.  Do yoga instead of running the miles you told yourself you had to.  Take a coffee & book to the beach sit uninterrupted and leave when want, not when you have to.  Call your mom, or better yet, go see her-- her hug is therapeutic enough.

...never underestimate the power of : new clothes, going for a walk, having dessert.  (but maybe not in that order or it could become problematic)

...don't compare where you are in life to where others are in theirs.  Still learning this, its a hard one.

... blog, but only because its for you. As with any hobby, really.  I can get lost for hours looking through old posts on this blog; our memories, photos, experiences -- lazy weekends and full adventures.  I love having them documented and seeing our simple life and thoughts along the way. So at those times when I waiver about continuing, I pause and remember if its enjoyable to me still, continue, if not then don't.