Scenes from the Weekend

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. I was originally supposed to go away this past weekend but given my recent health issues, I decided that it was best to stay home and relax. I’ve been trying to really decrease my activities lately so that I can recover from this and my hope is that soon I’ll be back on my feet and going full steam ahead like I’m used to. In the interim though, I’m trying to focus on resting! One great resting activities is going to the movies and I was really excited to see Admission this weekend. I read the book and enjoyed so I was looking forward to seeing Paul Rudd and Tina Fey’s interpretation. I must say that I didn’t really like it. I mean it was ok, but if you read the book it was kind of the polar opposite. The book is almost 500 pages, serious in nature and there are secrets that aren’t revealed until 2/3rds of the way through. The movie however took a much lighter perspective, would only give a line about what in the book was a complex story and introduced the secrets in the very beginning of the movie. It wasn’t that it was bad, but it was just kind of a disappointment. To counter that though, I watched my absolute favorite book-turned movie, One Day. If you haven’t seen it, put it on your to-see list because it is fabulous! With Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, the movie and book explores the characters relationship on one day over the course of twenty years. It’s just amazing. And now that I’ve rambled a bit, let me show you some other scenes from the weekend.

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With the warm weather I’ve once again become addicted to Unsweetened Passion teas… I’ve had one every day this weekend! But considering I haven’t had coffee since November I think this is an ok indulgence!

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A fabulous Saturday afternoon pedicure with great reading material and an even better friend by my side… my mom!

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A wonderful Palm Sunday at church celebrating the first day of Holy Week

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Adorable bunny topiary made it feel like Spring!

One other event that was unpictured was watching the first Indy race of the season in St. Petersburg, Florida! I rushed home from church to catch the second half on tv (my dvr hasn’t been working, ugh) and it was such an amazing race! My favorite driver Scott Dixon did an amazing job and it was an exciting race all around! I’ve been missing Indy in my life and I’m so glad that the season has finally started. Just don’t ask me about March Madness because I don’t know a thing about it… I’m too busy watching Indy!

Questions:

-What did you do this weekend?

-How do you feel about books being turned into movies?

Eleven

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a fabulous week so far. I know I speak for a lot of us when I say that it’s tough getting back in the swing of things but it’s getting easier as the week progresses. After such a wonderful Thanksgiving, I’m officially starting to switch into Christmas mode. I’ve been playing all of the Christmas classics… you know, Glee Christmas, Mariah Carey, *NSync. To me those songs make me feel all “holly jolly” about the holidays. But before I get too holiday crazy on you, I thought it’d be fun to do a little survey that’s been floating around the blogosphere!

Eleven Questions

1. If you got to choose ANY country to travel to, where would you go and why?

Oh my goodness, there are so many places I want to go! I absolutely love traveling so I feel like I have to break up the lists into two parts. Within the US: Hawaii, Nashville, Charleston, Portland, and DC- the latter of which because 2 of my best friends live there and some blogger friends too! ūüėČ Outside the US: Portugal, Madrid, Ireland, South of France and of course England. I haven’t been back to London since I studied abroad there and I miss it so much! It truly is the most amazing city in the world!

Trafalgar Square on a lovely sunny day

2. If you were a skittle, which would you be and why?

I’m really not a skittles person- I’d much prefer M&Ms but if I had to choose I think the little girl in me would say red… because it’s the closest color to pink.

3. What was the most difficult thing you ever tried?

To be honest, I’d say trying to face various serious health issues while maintaining a positive attitude and a normal life. I haven’t gone into it much on the blog, but I’ve been through a lot in the past few years and at times it’s been really challenging. But with the help and support of my family, I’ve been able to find the right doctors and help that my body needed and with my current issue, am on my way to feeling better!

4. If you could meet any celebrity, who and why?

Well I feel like this needs to be split into gender. For male, Ryan Gosling hands down. I mean, really, does he not seem like a genuinely nice guy who happens to also be ridiculously good looking? I rest my case. For female, I’d say Reese Witherspoon. This was a little harder for me to choose but I just think Reese seems so down-to-earth and I feel like we’d really get along!

5. If money was no object, what would you do every single day while you still could?

Oh goodness, there are so many things popping into my head. First and foremost, I’d want to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family and take them on special trips and such which leads me to TRAVEL. As you saw above there are lots of places I want to visit and I’d love to try the cuisine at each location.

6. What is your favorite weekend activity?

Brunch. There is nothing that screams weekend more than sleeping in (ideally until around 10:30), getting ready at a leisurely pace and then going to some fantastic restaurant for delicious carby items (still looking for some good GF brunch spots) a mimosa and piping hot black coffee. To see some of my favorite brunch reviews check out these posts: Sarabeths (NYC), Mama’s (SF) and Straw (SF).

7. If you could pursue anything professionally, what would you pursue?

I would love to be doing something that is making a difference in the lives of others. To wake up every day and know that I am making someone healthier, happier, safer, etc. I am so blessed and want to share that with others. Ghandi said ‚ÄúA small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history‚Ä̬† and I want to be part of that body to help others and mend the world.

8. Dream Job? We all have them!

See above!

9. When you are having a rough day what’s your go to method to perk yourself up again?

When I’m upset, I need to talk it out usually in order to feel better. Luckily, my mom is my best friend and sounding board and I love that I can tell her anything. After we talk, no matter the circumstances I always feel better. And if that’s not an option than a little retail therapy because new pretty clothes almost always make me feel happy!

10. What was the most exciting thing you’ve done in life so far?

I feel like there is a lot of pressure to pick the one exciting thing! But top 2 are traveling abroad in London for 6 months and shooting the LOFT campaigns– both opportunities I would never have expected that we so incredible.

11. How many times would you do that exciting thing over again?

Umm, as many times as possible, please!

 

Question:

Answer any of the above!

 

Let’s Do Something

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend! It’s the final workweek stretch for some of us, and some of you lucky few might be already on vacation and spending time with family and friends. My weekend was the perfect combo of relaxing and productive and yesterday I finished the grocery shopping for all of the Thanksgiving recipes. As I was walking around the stores, adding items to my cart, I couldn’t help but think of all those who would love to be “stressed” about finding their ingredients in a store. Those who would love to spend hours over the stove in order to produce a meal for their family. Those who would be ecstatic that their family had something to eat, on Thanksgiving and beyond. To me, it just wouldn’t feel right thinking about enjoying a meal with my family without thinking of all of these people. I feel extraordinarily blessed (a post devoted to that coming on Wednesday!) and it’s important for me to share that with others. But I get it- we all have so much going on this time of the year and are swamped with commitments that adding one more thing to our plates seems too daunting. Luckily, supermarkets are making it easier than ever this year. Here are a few of the programs I encountered today and some I discovered online.

  • Sprouts & Whole Foods Grab N’ Give Program

As you can see in the above, Sprouts is making it incredibly easy to give this season. You simply choose a pre-packed bag that you would like to donate. The bags come at a handful of different pricepoints (the one’s I saw were between $9-$20) and you can see on the receipt of the bag what items are being donated. I have to admit- I was a little picky about which bag I chose. I wanted one that contained staples for a healthy meal but one that would also feel like a little more of a treat or something special. They make it so easy too since they can take care of the donation for you!

At Whole Foods, you pick the meal you would like to donate- Breakfast ($5), Lunch ($10), Dinner ($10) or a day of meals ($25). All you have to do is add the amount to your total when checking out and Whole Foods will pack a healthy meal for a family and a local food bank (each store is partnered with local organizations) will come and pick up the meals for the families!

  • Ralph’s Bringing Hope to the Table

Ralphs grocery stores are offering two opportunities to help those less fortunate over the holidays. First, there will be collection canisters at checkstands for you to give your spare change. If you rarely have change or cash like I do, you can use a scan card that comes in $1, $3, or $5 denominations to add to your bill. This money will go to local food banks and Feeding America. Note: As I was researching this, I read that Ralphs donated 1 million pounds of perishable food to Southern California food banks this year which amounts to about 850,000 meals! Pretty incredible!

  • Safeway Help Us End Hunger Food Drive

Safeway has a similar format as Sprout’s program in that from now until December 25, you can buy a bag of pre-packaged food for a needy family for only $10. Even more amazing, it’s reported that each bag will provide 7-8 meals for a hungry family, an amount that so many of us spend on lunch! This past weekend, NBC Bay Area actually partnered with this program and on Saturday, an incredible 26,929 bags of food were purchased! It’s amazing to see this support but it’s important to keep the momentum up through the rest of the holiday season!

So get out there and while you are shopping to feed your family, consider making a donation to feed another family as well. Hunger in America exists for over 50 million people- that’s 1 in 6 people. Let’s do something about it together.

Question:

-Know of any great programs at your grocery store?

A Gluten and Dairy-Free Thanksgiving

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a wonderful week so far! Is it just me, or does this week feel like it’s dragging on? I think we are all excited for some time off next week! I’ve always loved Thanksgiving but I’m pretty much all about any holiday that allows me to spend time with my family… they really are that amazing. This year though, I’m presented with a slight challenge in that I’m now gluten and dairy free. So those mashed potatoes and corn casserole of years past that are full of cream and butter will be no more! Luckily, I have an incredibly supportive family and everyone is jumping on board to create a Thanksgiving meal that will be just as delicious. I’ve been collecting recipes from countless blogs and Pinterest pins and here are some of the sides I’m considering… because let’s face it, Thanksgiving is ALL about the side dishes in my book. Note: The pictures below are courtesy of the links above.

Roasted Pumpkin Sage Soup via Skinny Taste

Non-Dairy Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Potatoes via Fork & Beans

Baked Acorn Squash Rings via The Tolerant Vegan

Vanilla Bean Honey Butter Sweet Potatoes

I have to admit that I’ve been on a pinning spree of pumpkin and squash dishes lately but I’m trying to narrow it down for Thanksgiving. As my mom pointed out, not everything needs to be pumpkin. Oh well! I can’t wait to make these all and fill you in on how they go. To see some of the other items I’m considering check out my Pinterest. Oh and if you can eat dairy and gluten you should really make the stuff on my Food/Entertaining board- so much deliciousness!

Questions:

-What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods?

-Any GF/DF recipes I should consider?