lifetoast

twenty-nine

Usually I celebrate my birthdays with more fanfare. Cake! Gifts! Ply me with shots and cocktails because I have lived another year!

I ushered 29 in with a quick dinner at a pop-up market. There was one frozen pina colada consumed and I may have slept before midnight.

I find I’m still wrapping my mind around this whole “almost thirty” thing. I think my mind is still stuck in the mid-twenties. At the most.

See, last weekend, I journeyed with my mom from Texas to North Carolina through the wee hours of the morning, red-eyed as we maneuvered her wide-bellied SUV on the road. When we got to Chapel Hill, Amy was waiting with cardboard boxes my mom had shipped earlier. As I helped sort, I found a bag with old notes from high school- seven page epistles that stressed about a hard final, quick scribbles updating about a recent crush.

This is all to say has it really been that long?

I still see that kid who likes to read hiding in the corner bordered by the two living room couches. (Yep, I was a weird one.) Yet after twenty nine years of living, I like to think I’ve learned something. So some things I’ve learned and need to remind myself of:

Stop saying maybe. Just say yes or no.

When you do commit, don’t flake. You don’t like it and no one else does either.

Sometimes you just need to eat the cake. Calories and nutritional value be damned.

Making assumptions about people only closes you off.

But be suspicious of people who don’t have friends of the same sex. Red flag.

Realize nobody knows what they are doing. We are all still figuring it out. It’s both terrifying and comforting.

Keep learning. Yes, you’re not in school anymore. It’s not about the grades. It’s about staying present.

Take a break. Productivity is awesome. But it’s not everything.

If a friend doesn’t respect you, he/she is not your friend. Also, just because a person is interesting, doesn’t mean he/she will be a good friend. Get rid of the toxic.

On the flip side, you have some amazing people in your life. Don’t neglect them!

You make mistakes. Sometimes they are deliberate. Sometimes they are accidents. Stop reliving them. Learn from them. Then let them go.

plying ourselves with the good stuff

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In celebration of the resumed consumption of chametz, we are plying ourselves with the good stuff. Pizza and garlic knots a la Papa John’s; pretzels baking in the oven; cinnamon rolls puffing up in preparation. We are very serious about our breads here.

I hope you’re having a good start to the week as well! Here’s a little of what I’ve been browsing recently:

Thai food to make at home.

Marriage tweets that made me laugh.

A beautiful telling of one person’s seder

How retail is succumbing to e-commerce.

Utilizing my favorite fish for an argula salad dressing.

This puff piece on coconut infused dental floss pains me.

Buffalo wing soup dumpling with skin crackling. Genius.

A few Q+As about this week’s mistake in handling a customer.

If you’re in need of home goods, Canvas Home is my new crush.

My current read is Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. It pains me most to see the callousness of the young towards the elderly.  

saturday surf

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I’m getting a rare moment of solitude right now. I won’t say silence because the sun has decided to participate in the day and the birds are all too happy about this. Not that I mind. After a week of Seattle-worthy mist and rain, I am ready to toss my face back to welcome the sun’s return. My friend Jin and I are going to meet up and wander the city. Before that, I wanted to pop by and share what I’ve been browsing these days:

All spicy things call to me.

This dress is all around too cute.

My next kitchen project is sauerkraut.

Sometimes all a person needs is your presence.

For sweets, I’m contemplating making cinnamon rolls.

An absolute favorite treat for me is anchovies in the simplest way.

Ray Rice is eligible to play again and campaigning that he’s changed.

When one uses chemical weapons, you have to wonder what was he thinking?

As more people I know get engaged, I remembered this article. These pre-marital questions are still relevant.

Book(s) update: I finished Wednesday Letters and Small Great Things and have begun The Position. Wednesday Letters was cute- a little cheesy/preachy at times but that ending…crazy. Small Great Things is an amazing book that does a great job going headlong discussing racism. The Position is interesting so far but I’m not IN LOVE. I’ll continue to plow through and maybe it’ll surprise me in the end.

saturday surf

Bestjob6

The wind is pushing on the glass panes, hopeful that its shrieking will make me let it in. No can do. I’ve been keeping my chin tucked and focused on the day to day, hoping to eventually peer up and see spring in all its sun-soaked gloriousness.

This week has been particularly weary. Wave after wave of patients-angry, impatient, frustrated-has worn me down. Though my patience grows reed thin, I understand their annoyance. Hospitals can be inefficient beasts.

I am embracing this weekend with plans to meet up with friends and going to the BBG meetup on Sunday. I hope your weekend is lovely, friends.

By the by, here’s what I’ve been browsing this week:

My spring shoe choice.

An op-ed on choosing a universal wine glass.

I’ve got eyes on this tumeric tahini sauce for a salad.

My interest is piqued by this hemp extract oil…and its effects.

The seven units time management strategy for a win-win weekend.

Glossier had a pop up shop in NY and I recently picked up the Generation G in Leo after watching this Youtuber talk about it.

Book update: I finished reading A Man Called Ove and…oh my. The tears came so fast and I was sniffling so intensely that I’m sure my roommates were concerned. Today I start The Wednesday Letters and am impatiently waiting for Delancey to arrive in the mail.

coffee talk

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I woke up today with few concerns except battling if I wanted to work out. I pushed myself to go, was so glad I did, and then headed to the grocery store. For some people, grocery shopping is a chore. I love walking through the aisles, seeing what new products are in. I find the process soothing. Today’s haul included a kombucha and a fancy hummus among other things. Energy waning, caffeine was found at a nearby cafe. There I sipped on a latte, daydreaming and journaling. Hopping onto the 1, I spent the time reading A Man Named Ove, which made me chuckle and tear up too. It’s a fine book.

Did I bore you to death with the tales of my Sunday? It wasn’t wild for sure. I needed recuperation after Saturday’s restaurant/bar hopping. Still, today was a good day. Simple and solitary but there’s a luxury in that.

I hope your weekend was blissful as well. Here’s a little bit of what I’ve been browsing:

This rattan purse.

Shawarma, veggie style.

A tasty slaw to make this week.

Yes, I too drink that SoulCycle kool-aid.

Not using social media is now called “going ‘90s.” My age is showing.

Emma Roberts is starting a book club on Instagram; I’m not opposed.

On understanding why someone hears one thing while another goes on.

I am considering counting macros, which honestly seems overwhelming.

One of my mom’s favorite things to do is stock my fridge. Right now I have hefty bags of scallops, shrimp and tilapia. This is next on my list for the scallops.

These elementary flashbacks made me sigh and think of when I used to have plastic ruler wars with my friends. Thinking back, I’m surprised I didn’t get detention more.

2017 adventuring, so far

We are well into the new year, people.

December was beautiful, mainly because my mom spent a few days with me in New York. I would rush home after work, we’d hurdle on the 1 train into Manhattan and bop around shopping and eating trendy foods (bone broth at Springbone! poke bowls at Sons & Thunder!).

January I headed to see the family. North Carolina was perfection like always. We even snuck away for a day to Great Wolf Lodge where Zooey got to go down huge water slides and experience kiddie casino.

Winter in New York makes it brutal for me to want to emerge from my cocoon of throw blankets but I made it out here and there..


Don’t worry. There’s been plenty of cooking and baking, from trying out Molly Yeh’s tahini chocolate chip cookies to expanding my challah repertoire (babkachallah!). My co-residents are currently my taste testers. 

Tomorrow is THE BIG SNOW STORM and people are all running around madly. Best of all, WORK IS CANCELLED. I didn’t even know I was allowed snow days as an adult! I love it!

My plans are to do laundry, work on a puzzle that’s been waiting patiently to be opened and read. If you’re in the northeast, stay warm and safe. If you’ve got a snow day like me, here’s some of what I’ve been looking at:

Here‘s a total body circuit to try.

I’ve got pottery classes on the mind.

I am intrigued by this cauliflower risotto.

A great way to use leftover everything bagels.

The biggest threat facing middle-aged men is…loneliness.

These naturally dyed linens call to my love of all things pastel.

Currently watching Shameless. It’s crazy insane and tugs at my heartstrings.

Perfection is in the get-togethers, especially if you’re gathered over warm cheesy pesto bread.

My newest blog reading addiction is blogs by women in medicine like this one by dermatology resident Elyse Love.

coffee talk

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Hello! I’m broadcasting today whilst nestled in a cardigan and nursing a hot coffee with almond milk and collagen. (YES, I hopped on that bandwagon. We shall see if it is as life-changing as the media has been saying.)

Let’s catch up, yes?

Today I discovered a crack on my phone screen which means (1) Even the Otterbox cannot protect my phone from me. (2) I will never hear the end of this from my sister.

In other electronic failures, my laptop has been forlornly collecting dust because the WiFi card stopped working. The genius at Apple told me the easy fix would be to get an external WiFi antenna. Well..the first didn’t work with the router, the second didn’t work with the laptop, the third didn’t work because my laptop doesn’t have a disc drive to download the needed files! I am borrowing a laptop until I can drag myself to Best Buy in the hopes that someone knows what my laptop needs.

But enough technical gripes!

November was a month of experiences: I went to my first soccer game (NYC vs. Toronto for the MLS Cup Playoffs Match). I also went to Six Flags in NJ where way too many curse words flew out of my mouth due to sheer terror. With age amusement parks are less amusing and more terrifying.

I’m now counting down the days until my mom comes into town. I’ve been planning places to eat, things to do and generally preparing my apartment and life so she can see I am a fully functioning adult that eats enough vegetables.

I’m also counting down the days until our whole family is reunited in January! I last saw everyone in October when I went to North Carolina to see their new home. It’s a gorgeous place and getting away from crazy New York was nice. Still, I think I’ve become a city dweller because I found the pace possibly…too slow!? Who am I!?

I’m going to try and spend the rest of the day cleaning and meal prepping and basically avoiding being a degenerate.

I hope you’ve been having a great Sunday!

**

An idea for breakfast spaghetti?

I love reading predictions of wellness trends.

Rescue goats are a thing? Future hobby emerging.

On my weekend to do list: scallion pancake challah.

New York has an underground park that I have to check out.

I love the idea of a cookbook club! If you know of one in NYC, hook a girl up.

A collection of bodyweight exercises by Gina who always comes up with real burners.

I have been craving gingersnapsThese chai snickerdoodles have also been calling my name!

I am unashamed to admit I purchased a bar of Kerrygold after reading this butter taste test. It was delicious.

Purchases Black Friday weekend included J. Crew Chelsea rain boots (40% off purchase) and a Glossier balm (20% off everything + free shipping).

tuesday surf

The Seed Church 1

I know it seems I haven’t been cooking much. It’s been a stream of what I’ve being reading. I’m still puttering around in the kitchen but I haven’t been cooking anything particularly new. The highlights are that I am currently binging on arugula salad and have developed a dangerous love of kombucha. I will be back soon with a recipe-or two-I’ve been tweaking. Not today though! I’m off to sleep for now because tomorrow-today for you,reader- I am traveling the skies before dawn to North Carolina where I hope it’s warm enough so I can enjoy a snow cone. Have a wonderful Tuesday, loves.

By the by, to browse at your leisure:

My pick for a fall skirt. And cardigan.

All I need is the pasta to make this dish.

This post about being a great mother/father. HAH.

butter churn needs to be added to my appliance closet.

The answer to preventing recurring incarceration is education.

Make your kids less entitled by letting them engage with the world.

Current read: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It is intriguing but baffling.

Here are two financial websites that you should check out, especially those of you with debt: One + Two.

Yesterday I watched the first two episodes of Westworld and am now terrified of A.I. and disturbed by humanity.

monday surf

Cutesy pet grooming shop has been established in 2000and our quality services made us reach the top 1 grooming shop all over New South Wales We take care of the pets like our own feeds them and plays with them We also do theadoption to h

In the time since we last spoke, a month has passed in a blur of good eats, crazy experiences and excellent company.

I finally got a bloody mary in SoHo at Jack’s Wife Frieda, went for a family-style dinner at Mission Chinese, and read blissfully while dining in the cathedral of Bluestone Cafe. I’ve visited Amelie TWICE now for happy hour wine flights-always a crowd favorite- and enjoyed some cheap college-style happy hours at Jake’s Dilemma and Ace Bar. Last week I consumed much too much cheese at Raclette and FINALLY made it to Trader Joe’s wine shop for some $3 wine bottles.

September also brought me Adele in concert, where I fell in love with the fast talking, loudly cackling Brit, and my first Soul Cycle class. There was also a very up close experience with the New York strip club scene for a bachelorette party..

I saw some of my very favorite people this month, like Keyla-who is now MARRIED!-and my world traveling bestie Won-Joo who, after much schedule orchestration on both our parts, I was able to see TWICE this weekend. And, of course, my beloved Jin Guo, has now joined me in the tribe of Texans now in New York.

September treated me very well. I feel blissfully content and am ready for October.  Here’s to the first Monday of the month!

The Internet, through my eyes:

Tips on how to rest post-workout.

Sheet pan meals for this week’s prep.

Some ways to use a not-so-good tomato.

This article. The real issue is police culture.

Being a restaurant critic seems dreadfully lonely.

Let’s think about what being happy really means.

Perhaps a dinner option this week is pesto pizza.

A video showing you how to get awesome Anh Co Tran style hair.

Customized online prescription for anti-aging and acne is the new wave.

I’m on the hunt for good snack options: this looks like a savory possibility.

friday surf

FRIDAY SURF

This week has been a drug-induced doozy.

If you’ve seen me within this past year, you may have noticed this growing bump on my foot. I had been getting more involved with doing high intensity circuit workouts and was not taking rest days between them. Result? A stress fracture and  a multi-lobed ganglion cyst. It’s nothing malignant! Still it was causing me a lot of pain when I wore shoes and has been preventing me from doing anything too active. I was hoping it would just… go away. A “time heals all things” attitude! Unfortunately, it didn’t apply here. I bit the bullet this past Tuesday and got a surgery for it to be excised.

I’ll be honest, this was my first surgery so I was anxious. Then the anesthesiologist gave me “a little cocktail” via IV and… I was back in the recovery room. HAHA. I don’t remember a single thing and I LOVE THAT. Drugs are an amazing invention.

Although the surgery wasn’t extremely invasive, I still need to be off my foot to heal. I’m slowly getting stir crazy SO I’m heading to Fire Island today! The plan is to lie out in the sun, read and enjoy the weather.

So lesson for today is resting is as important as working! Have a lovely weekend!

Here’s my week on the Internet:

Kanye West is Tracy Jordan.

The inspiring Elizabeth Smart.

Let’s learn from each other’s mistakes.

Boxer braids are in the books for next week.

I’ve been hearing good things about this blush.

Apparently I need to check out the Whole Foods in Williamsburg.

Have you ever heard of a hummingbird cake? On the to bake list.

If you’ve got the love and resources, it’s never too late to start a family.

I’m a forward planner this year and I’ve got my eye on this necklace for my niece’s birthday.

I watched Spotlight this week and it was…terrifying. Here’s a good article on the story the movie is based on. Sum up? Question authority. Value, respect and support investigative journalism.

On that note, this is a very long- but intriguing- read about life inside a private prison.