You know how people who religiously practice yoga are called yogis?

Yeah, every time I hear that I think of Yogi Bear.

The 2013 holidays were very different for me. Brandon and I never fully split holidays between our families before getting married, so this year's Thanksgiving and Christmas was a bit of shock to me (I know we're in 2014 but I'm too lazy to keep saying "last year's" because hello, it hasn't even been a month since Christmas). It was obviously hectic but also tons of fun. And I ate so much. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not one to eat a lot. My sister routinely pokes fun at the fact that I tend to leave like two bites worth of my meal "because I'm full."

But I really am full!

Anyway, this year's holiday season left me feeling...uncomfortable. I have a favorite pair of jeans that I wanted to wear a little after Christmas and I seriously had to take them off because they were so tight they were making my back hurt. I freaked out. I kept asking Brandon, How the hell did this happen? and his response was, Well, you've never been married before.

As if marriage causes women to gain weight or something. Maybe it does? I don't know.

I know what you're thinking. Oh my gosh, Alex, just get on with it. We get it. You couldn't fit into your jeans. Big whoop. That's so tragic.
I know. I'm sorry I sound whiny. I'll move on now.

My point is, I found this 30 day yoga challenge by some internet happenstance. And I decided that since my attitude toward cardio is:
 then this would be really kind of prefect for me. And it has been. The instructor is just the kind of personality I like. It's not cliché yoga at all. And it's 15 to 20 minutes a day...so doable.I don't even have a yoga mat! I folded up a blanket and that's what I'm using. And I actually look forward to this part of my day. So much so, I'm trying to get in the habit of doing some yoga in the morning before work, but lately I can't seem to leave my warm bed before 7 AM.

Someone (as in, one of the five of you who read this) should join in with me. Pleeeeeease?

♥ A



{If you read my 12 Things post, you know I'm trying 12--well, more than 12, really--new things this year. This is my first of 5 things to do based on my Learn/Make/Do board on Pinterest aka #9.}

Do you ever have moments in your life where you finally think you've got it right? Like, you've sat down, figured out a routine that will keep you sane and healthy and are so utterly committed to seeing it through you surprise yourself? And you think that this resolve and motivation is a sign that stars are aligning and that you're on the precipice of growing as a human being.

And then Monday happens. And no matter how strong your resolve is when you get up and while you do yoga, stretch and even make/eat a breakfast and pack your lunch, you'll inevitably hit a bump in the road. Like not being able to find the dress you planned to wear and spending too much time looking for it. And then, once you find it and get dressed, you might just spill an obscene amount of your loose powder blush all over yourself, the counter, the floor and your makeup brushes.
So doesn't do the mess justice
Good thing you'd already been thinking about cleaning those bad boys. I pulled up my pin and a bit of shampoo and EVOO later, my brushes were clean. I think I might have to redo by foundation (?) brush...you know, the one covered in pink dust in the photo? I don't know its name. It's a little awkward. I mean, we see each other every day and I never know what to call her.

Speaking of work (no, we actually weren't, but I'm 100% switching gears right now and don't know how to transition us out of my bad joke about makeup brush names).

I was under the impression that a person from our German HQ would be in the office on Wednesday. I was wrong. She came in Thursday, which threw off the whole first impression I was trying to make. See above paragraphs chronicling how things just go wrong sometimes. Anyway, I took a more than normal interest in planning my outfits this week and am pretty proud of what I came up with. Here's a peek at my workweek fashion (minus Thursday which was too hard of a day for me to remember to snap a pic). Hashtag OOTD! *eye roll*

Monday. Note the sparkly dress on display.
Tuesday. Didn't actually wear these heels on that day.
Not that it really matters.
Wednesday. I'm most proud of this one.
So classy (and comfy...shh). Also, WEDDING shoes!
Casual Friday. Knit on knit and boots.
Oh! and Game of Thrones inspired braids in my hair.
I'm going to go on record and say that felt insanely weird. That being displaying my outfits on the internet. This might be the last time I ever do that. Probs for the best.

♥ A


Purple Soup

If you'll recall, I mentioned in my last post that Brandon and I hadn't bought groceries in like a month.

Well, that all changed!

What didn't change: I have no clue where to begin when it comes to menu planning. I'm a solid cook, so I feel comfortable doing more than boiling pasta and heating up some meat sauce. I like following recipes. I think they're fun (Yay instructions!). Still, with so.many.options out there, I get lost. I set all interesting information aside as soon as the next appealing recipe title comes along.

Long story short, me and Brandon's menu planning went something like me asking Brandon what he wanted for dinner, him not being hungry at the time thus not having any idea, me mulling over options and finally freaking out at the sight of the kitchen because I still had no clue what kind of protein or side we were in the mood for that night.

After finding some wonderful Pinsperation, I got to work picking recipes I really wanted to try as well as finding healthy recipes for more everyday use. Brandon and I are pretty picky (he's pickier though) so we're not going to jump in on a recipe that calls green beans. We hate green beans. But he and I had decided we need to eat real food with vegetables and nutrients and...stuff. So with a shopping list in hand and all of my reusable bags, we went to the stores to get food. When it came time to buy the carrots, I noticed a bunch -- literally, a bunch -- of randomly colored carrots. I'd seen purple carrots somewhere before and thought they were really cool, so I convinced Brandon to let me buy them.


I tell you all of this because I finally cooked with the large purple carrot two weeks ago. Brandon and I have been under the weather (him more than me) and I got the urge to make homemade chicken soup. I found this recipe for chicken and veggie soup from the blog The Detoxinista, but made a few changes as Brandon and I hate green beans with a passion. You know, in case me saying it above didn't let you know how much we hate them.
I did not chop this time. It was still yummy.

Accidental Purple Soup

What I used:

2 large carrots, chopped
3 large celery stalks, chopped
4 chicken thighs (or breasts), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 spoonfuls or 2 cloves of minced garlic
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, plus more for taste
black pepper to taste
5-6 cups of water to cover

What I did:

  1. Chopped my carrots, celery and onion. Cut up your defrosted chicken into bite-sized chunks.
  2. I melted the butter over medium heat. Added in the two spoonfuls of minced garlic from a jar, onion and chicken and cooked for about 5 minutes.
  3. Added the carrots, celery, thyme leaves and enough water to cover the vegetables (6 cups was great for me). Brought everything to a boil, then simmered over low heat for 20 minutes.
Tadaa! So easy. And it's so, so yummy. The best part: you can totally double the recipe and should still have room in your large stockpot. I think a doubling is in order for the next time I make this.

Purple soup a'brewin
In case you're wondering why I called this "Purple Soup," the purple carrot I chopped up turned my broth and chicken purple! No biggie, though. Brandon and I loved it because the taste is truly epic. Also, I'm digging the name "Purple Soup."

♥ A